Dallas Child Custody Attorney
Custody and Visitation Rights in Texas
Figuring out a custody arrangement will be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce. It is usually better to try and figure out this arrangement collaboratively, but this is not always possible. If your spouse is fighting for an unfair arrangement, or if you believe you need custody of your children for their safety, contact our Dallas child custody lawyer today.Call (214) 972-3025 to schedule an appointment at Garcia-Windsor, P.C. We serve Dallas and Collin County, and we offer services in English and Spanish.
How is Child Custody Determined in Texas?
Texas refers to child custody as “conservatorship.” Parents can share custody of their children in "joint managing conservatorship," or one parent can maintain primary custody, also known as "sole managing conservatorship." Courts always make decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the child.
In most cases, even parents who do not have primary custody are given ample opportunity to visit and spend time with their child. It is rare for a court to deny a parent access to a child unless they have demonstrated violent and abusive behavior, or have demonstrated little interest in the safety and well-being of their children.
If parents cannot come to an agreement on custody, a court may institute joint custody if:
- It will benefit the child’s mental and emotional health
- It will benefit the child’s financial and social welfare
- It will encourage parents to maintain a civil relationship on behalf of their child
- Both parents live relatively close to each other
- The child is at least 12 years old and has a preference for which parent they stay with
Children make divorce more complicated. While difficult for parents, divorce is often harder on the children. This is not to say it will not benefit them in the long-run. Being a child of divorce is much healthier than being stuck in a family where the parents have irreconcilable differences. Both parents can still have a positive relationship with their children after a divorce.
What Rights Do Custodial Parents Have?
Custodial rights are typically listed in a document called an order and is signed by a judge. This order is legally binding on both parents and must be followed unless the order is modified.
Legal custody rights allow a parent to make major life decisions on behalf of the child. These decisions typically concern important aspects of the following:
- The child's health
- Safety and welfare
- Educational decisions, such as where they will go to school
- Medical decisions, such as what doctor they will see
- What religion they will or will not practice
What is Considered an Unfit Parent in Texas?
In the state of Texas, child custody rulings will always be made with the child's best interests in mind. If a parent is considered "unfit" to play the role as guardian and provider, they will most likely disallow them to make decisions regarding the child, or sometimes even disallow visitation. Here are some key factors a court will examine when analyzing a parent:
- Does the parent have a history of substance or alcohol abuse?
- Is there a history of domestic violence or abuse towards the child?
- Does the living situation provide the child with a safe place to stay?
- Does the parent have a mental illness that inhibits them to carry out their role?
- Has the parent shown a willingness to be part of their child’s life?
Contact Our Dallas, TX Custody Lawyers
At Garcia-Windsor, P.C., our child custody lawyers in Dallas care about the well-being of our clients and their loved ones. Protecting your child’s best interest sometimes means fighting in court and demonstrating everything you do for your children. The children come first in these cases, and our child custody lawyers can help you prove why putting your children in your custody is in their best interests.
Schedule a consultation at Garcia-Windsor, P.C. today by calling (214) 972-3025 or by contacting our child custody lawyers online.