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Child Custody, Visitation and Modifications

Galveston Child Custody Lawyer

Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer Serving Houston, Galveston & League City

It is often the case that children are the principal victims of divorce. Even when parents do not intend to, they make child custody and visitation rights a battleground–in some cases as a proxy for other unresolved financial or emotional issues. Obviously, every parent wants to do what is right for their children. But when you and your spouse (or unmarried co-parent) cannot agree on “what is right,” you have every right to work with a skilled child custody lawyer to assist you in making your case to the court.

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates assists parents in Houston, Galveston, League City, and the surrounding areas with all kinds of child custody and visitation issues, including modifying an existing agreement following a divorce or other change in circumstances. We understand how to handle custody disputes with maximum sensitivity and discretion. At the same time, we will be aggressive in ensuring the court respects your legal rights as a parent.

Common Types of Custody Arrangements

While many states can differ, the following are some common types of custody arrangements that can be seen, discussed, and implemented depending on the situation. Some arrangements may end up with sole legal and physical custody to a single parent, sole physical and joint legal custody, joint physical and legal custody or, sole legal and joint physical custody.

  • Physical Custody: Simply put, this means a parent has the right to have a child (or children) living with him/her. Joint physical custody, typically best if the parents are living relatively close to each other, is splitting time between both parents at two locations.
  • Legal Custody: This custody gives one the right to make decisions about their child’s schooling, religious upbringing, where they get check ups done, and more. *If both parents have legal custody (joint legal custody) and one parent violates the rights of the other, the violated spouse may take the other to court and enforce the custody agreement.*
  • Sole Custody: Sole custody is granting custody to one parent of the splitting-couple. This can be easily determined if one party has a drug dependency, abusive past, or any sort of unstable living condition.
  • Joint Custody: Parents can have joint custody if they are divorced, separated, not living together and still share the decision-making responsibilities for their children.

How Custody Decisions Are Made

As is mentioned later in this article, doing what is best for all parties, especially the children, is what the goal should be. The best interests of the children can differ for each family and child. Some of the factors that can go into the custody decision are age, sex, and physiological well-being. Others could be indirectly related to the child such as the parent’s mental and physical health, the ability to care for their child, and some other social factors.

If you are unsure on what could be a determining factor in a custody decision surrounding your family, contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates. We can evaluate your case and help clarify any questions or concerns you may have.

Determining who will have custody of the child(ren) can also be influenced by the parent’s ability to provide. This can be broken down into how much each parent works, is at home, and interacts with the children on a regular basis (prior to the divorce/separation taking place). If a father works 60+ hours per week while the mother works part time, custody may be granted to the mother with visitation permissions given to the father. Many of the decisions made during a divorce or separation, while difficult, must be done with the best interest of the child in mind.

How Conservatorship and Possession Works in Texas

The Texas Family Code spells out how child custody proceedings work in the state. Technically, it is not called child custody. Instead, the Family Code refers to “conservatorship and possession” of a child. In many cases the court will name both parents as “joint managing conservators,” meaning they share responsibility for making critical decisions regarding the child’s care and well-being. However, one parent is almost always granted the “exclusive right to designate the primary residence,: i.e. who the child will live with the majority of the time.

If the court decides to only name just one parent as sole managing conservator, the other parent is usually named a “possessory conservator”. This is the legal term for granting the non-custodial parent regular visitation rights. A judge should never deprive a parent of access to his or her child unless doing so would endanger their physical or emotional welfare. Among other things, this means a court cannot restrict a parent’s access to their children for failing to pay child support.

Indeed, the Family Code expressly states that the “best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration” when deciding issues of custody and visitation. Obviously, this is not a one-size-fits-all standard. The unique facts and circumstances of each family’s situation must be considered. And as things change over time–e.g., one parent gets remarried or has to move out of town for work–it may be necessary to revisit and amend a prior conservatorship and possession order.

We Will Work to Obtain the Best Result for Your Family

Remember, child custody does not have to be a “battle.” The goal is not to “win” over the other parent. Rather, it is to reach a mutually satisfactory arrangement that benefits all parties involved–especially your children. Hiring an experienced Galveston child custody and visitation lawyer does not mean you are looking for a fight. It simply means that you want to make sure a judge has all of the relevant facts and legal arguments before making a decision. Attorney Tad Nelson and his experienced legal team only want to reach the right outcome for you and your family. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today at (281) 280-0100  to schedule a consultation.

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