Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer
Serving League City
While parties will address a number of issues in going through the divorce process in Texas, child custody and visitation can be among the most challenging. Parents have rights and duties with respect to minor children despite the fact that their relationship ended, and they often share the same goals in wanting what is best for them. Disputes can arise when the parties do not agree on what that means for the details. The Texas Family Code covers some aspects of child custody, though the statute uses the term managing conservator. Still, these laws provide rules, not guidance on how to address child custody.
You can rely on the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates to help you navigate child custody matters and protect your rights as a parent. We have the skills to advocate on your behalf in court, but we will explore options for settlement and assist with mediation on conservatorships. Please contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a League City child custody and visitation lawyer who can explain specifics. Some information on how the laws work is also helpful.
Overview of Texas Conservatorship Laws
Despite the unfamiliar terminology, conservatorship covers many of the same familiar concepts you know about child custody. The key focus is on decision making by parents on the important issues that affect the child’s life. Many people assume that custody is about where the child lives, but the residential arrangement is just one aspect. Conservatorship also includes rights to:
- Manage the child’s education and developmental needs;
- Access the child’s medical, psychological, and school records;
- Seek information from a co-parent about the child’s health and well-being;
- Determine the child’s participation in extracurricular activities, sports, and religion;
- Discuss the child’s well-being with physicians, educators, and other influential individuals;
- Consent to medical treatment in the event of an emergency that presents a danger to the child;
The different forms of child custody are described in detail below, but you should note that conservatorship does affect visitation. Again, Texas uses a term that may be unfamiliar: Possession and access. When the child primarily resides with one parent under the custody arrangement, the other parent will have visitation rights and pay child support. Possession and access is also referred to as parenting time in some contexts.
Common Types of Child Custody
There are multiple arrangements for custody that are available by law, but the details are very specific on what types would be suitable for different cases. There are a few types that you may discuss, consider, or implement:
- Physical Custody: This concept pertains to a parent’s right to have the child live with him or her, and it is typically shared when the two households are relatively close. The child may split equal time, but may spend more time at one parent’s home for convenience or school.
- Legal Custody: The authority to make decisions about the child’s upbringing is legal custody. The court’s order on conservatorship is binding, so one parent can seek enforcement if the other does not comply with the requirements.
- Joint Custody: Texas family laws prefer both parents to participate in raising the child and maintain a solid parent-child relationship. Therefore, joint managing conservatorship is the most common arrangement.
Sole Custody: In some cases, it is not appropriate for parents to share in raising the child. A judge may appoint one parent as sole managing conservator in cases involving domestic violence, criminal activity, or other factors that affect the child’s safety.
Options for Resolving Child Custody Arrangements
Under Texas law, all determinations on conservatorship must comply with the child’s best interests. This standard is a list of factors that a court is required to weigh when making decisions. They include:
- The child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs;
- The stability of the living arrangement at each parent’s home;
- Each parent’s involvement with raising the child and whether one acted as the primary caregiver;
- Support from family, siblings, and community;
- The child’s preference, if appropriate based upon age and maturity; and,
- Many others.
However, these are the factors a judge uses when making a determination after a court hearing. Parents may not need to go to court if they can work out an agreement on joint managing conservatorship and possession and access. Even when you cannot compromise, it is often possible to reach an agreement when working through your respective attorneys.
Plus, the court may order mediation to resolve child support issues. This is an informal proceeding where the parties sit down with a trained mediation professional. Through productive, positive conversations, parents may be able to smooth things over. If you cannot agree or are dissatisfied with the mediation outcome, you can still go to court.
How a Lawyer Helps with Custody Cases
Considering the various types of conservatorships and options for resolving disputes, guidance from a League City child custody attorney is important. Some aspects of your divorce may be purely financial, but conservatorship involves your rights as a parent and preservation of your relationship with your child. The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates will assist with all essential tasks, including:
- Consulting with you about objectives;
- Gathering evidence and support for your position on child custody;
- Discussing settlement and negotiating an agreement with your child’s other parent and/or attorney;
- Representing you during mediation;
- Preparing and reviewing the custody agreement and relevant court orders; and,
- Fighting for your rights at a contested hearing, which is a trial on child custody.
Trust a League City Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
It is helpful to know the basic steps for negotiations and court proceedings, but you can see why retaining knowledgeable legal counsel is essential for conservatorships and possession. Our team at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates has extensive experience assisting clients with these cases, so please contact us today. You can reach a Texas child custody and visitation attorney by calling (281) 962-7817 or visiting us online. We are happy to set up a consultation to learn more about your circumstances and discuss strategies.
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Thank you Tad Nelson for standing up for me and what is right, Tad Nelson is obviously well known and respected through out the court system as he spoke with authority and precisely to the assistant DA resulting in the dismissal of my case before the case went to trial. Thank you again. if you want it done call Tad Nelson
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I've had the pleasure of working with Tad personally as a technology consultant for him in the past. We've eaten lunch and dinner together. I know that Tad is very dedicated to his clients and cares for them off the clock. He's definitely the lawyer you want on your side.