Divorce is an incredibly emotional, stressful, and complex time of one’s life. We understand that it’s an understatement to assume that individuals who are trying to file a Round Rock divorce, have a lot on their minds. Especially for couples with children, the stress and anxiety of the divorce process and worrying about who will obtain child custody, is one of the many issues that Texas parents face. The Round Rock child custody lawyers at the Law Office of Jason Wright, PLLC, help parents navigate the complex process of establishing a child conservatorship. Our lawyers take a practical approach to every case we handle, never losing sight of our client’s best interests. Whenever possible, we aim to resolve issues outside the courthouse; however, as experienced litigators, we are prepared to take a case before a judge when it becomes necessary.
Most people refer to a parent’s rights and responsibilities relating to their children by a term called, “child custody.” Under Texas law, the term “conservatorship” and “possession are the terms used in place of custody. Conservatorship deals with rights and duties of a parent while possession deals with the actual time a parent has with their child. Types of conservatorships under Texas law include:
If a court names both parents as joint managing conservators, it is essentially the same as awarding both parent’s joint decision-making power. In a joint managing conservatorship, both parents share the right to make decisions that affect their child’s life. For example, both parents have a say in their child’s healthcare and issues related to their child’s school. The presumption under Texas Law is that parents should be joint managing conservators for any minor children whenever possible. However, the court may name one parent as the sole managing conservator if there is a history of abuse or other factors that lead them to believe co-parenting might difficult.
A judge can designate one parent as the sole managing conservator in certain situations. Examples of when a court may name one parent as the sole managing conservator include:
If the court names a parent as the sole managing conservator, that parent will have the right to make all decisions on behalf of their child without consulting with the other parent. However, the other parent will still retain their parental rights and will have a possession schedule with their child, although the court may order that all visits be supervised it’s determined that parent poses a risk or danger to the child
Even if you and your spouse have an informal agreement regarding child custody, obtaining a court order for the custody of a child is imperative. Without a court order of conservatorship, a parent cannot ask the court to intervene if the other parent violates the terms of the agreement you have with one another.
Once a court decides on a child conservatorship, that decision is final as long as the circumstances remain the same. However, the law allows parents to petition the court to change the order if either spouse’s circumstances substantially and materially change. This is a high burden as courts do not want people coming back to court over and over again for minor changes. Knowing what may or may not hold up as a substantial and material is something an experienced Round Rock attorney can help with.
Modification orders can be contested or uncontested. An uncontested modification order is one in which both parents agree that a modification is appropriate, as well as the terms of the new arrangement. Uncontested modification orders are referred to as “modifications by agreement.” Of course, because family law judges must do what is in the best interests of a child, even a modification by agreement is subject to the judge’s approval.
If one parent wants to modify a conservatorship order, but the other parent does not, the parent seeking modification can pursue a contested modification. The first step to obtaining a contested modification order is to show that the circumstances have substantially and materially changed since the court’s initial determination. Examples of changed circumstances include:
Many people believe that once a child turns twelve that the child can “decide” which parent they live with. This is not the case as children do not get to decide. However, Additionally, if a child is over 12, the court can confer with the child to allow the child to share their opinion regarding which parent they want to live with. The court is not bound by the child’s desire or opinion.
The most obvious time a court makes a conservatorship decision is during a divorce hearing. Regardless of your situation, the Round Rock child custody lawyers at the Law Office of Jason Wright, PLLC, can help you understand your options and effectively pursue your desired outcome. We pride ourselves in taking a no-nonsense approach to child custody matters, focusing on what is important to you.
At the Law Offices of Jason Wright, PLLC, we pride ourselves on our reputation and integrity. Given what’s at stake, the truth is that most parents end up retaining the services of an experienced attorney to help them through the process. There are a few reasons why.
First, a Round Rock child custody lawyer is intimately familiar with the laws that govern the judge’s decisions. While judges are always bound to do what is in the child’s best interests, there are often conflicting versions of what is in a child’s best interests. An attorney can explain how your desired outcome fits what is in the best interests of your child.
Second, an attorney can assist with negotiating to avoid a court hearing. Many children custody cases and modification cases start as contested. This is to be expected, as parents are invested in their children’s lives and may have bitter feelings towards their former spouse. Having a lawyer negotiate on your behalf can remove some emotion from the process, potentially leading to an agreement.
Third, an attorney can advise you to better position yourself to reach your desired outcome. Often, there are things that a parent can do to make their child custody case more compelling. Your lawyer can advise you on the steps to take before filing your case to increase your chances of success.
Finally, a Round Rock child custody lawyer can provide other types of assistance, such as helping you request a modification of child support. At the Law Office of Jason Wright, PLLC, our Round Rock child custody lawyers are there for you every step of the way. We are available to sit down with you to review your case and provide you with our honest advice on the best way to pursue your interests.
If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about who will end up with custody of your children, or you have an existing conservatorship order that you’d like modified, reach out to the Law Offices of Jason Wright, PLLC. We provide comprehensive guidance, support and representation to parents seeking to establish custody of their child. We also help parents facing a modification order maintain the status quo. Whatever your desired outcome is, our Round Rock child custody lawyers can help. To learn more and to schedule a consultation, call 512-884-1221 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.
To get in touch with us, give us a call at 512-884-1221 or submit the form below. We are committed to zealously working to find the solution that is best for you and your family.