Child Custody Lawyer Austin
Are you going through a divorce and struggling with the issues of child custody? Are you wanting to do what is best for your child(ren) but are unable to come to an agreement with the other parent?
Child custody is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce.
We understand the delicate nature of child custody issues and the emotional toll custody disputes can have on our clients and their children. Our approach is simple: We treat our clients’ families as we would our own.
Our child custody attorneys are committed to helping clients not only accomplish their goals but also do so in a way that protects their future relationships with their children. We take a personal approach to every case, offering tailor-made solutions to client’s problems.
Every family is unique and faces unique challenges, and in every child custody case, the court must carefully consider which arrangements are in the best interests of the child.
Our firm helps mothers and fathers pursue positive resolutions to these issues through negotiation or mediation when possible and litigation when necessary. If you have outgrown your current custody arrangement or there has been a change in your custody circumstances, we will help you with the modification and enforcement of child custody and visitation arrangements.
Leading the field of child custody and family law, we are committed to assisting families through the contentious child custody process while avoiding unnecessary expense and drama.
Whether you and your spouse are working towards a parenting plan or facing the prospect of court-determined time-sharing, we are available to provide you with the knowledge and advice necessary so that your rights, and the best interests of your child, are protected.
We are here for:
- Protecting the Best Interests of Your Children
- Free Consultation — Let Us Evaluate Your Case
Texas divorce law looks specifically at the relationship of parent to child in order to determine custody rights, and whether they will be joint, sole, or split. Sometimes, divorcing couples may be in agreement on terms, but in many cases, there is a dispute which will need to be settled through arbitration, or in court. That is where the Austin child custody lawyers can help.
The court will take into account the individual situation of each family, so it is up to Texas child custody lawyers to present the family structure in a way that is accurate and takes into consideration the best possible arrangement for the children. Here are some of the factors that the Texas divorce courts will look for specifically:
- The child’s primary caretaker will play an important role in custody disputes.
- The ages of the children will also play a role, as only children over the age of twelve will be consulted by the court.
- The schedule of both parents and their time resources will be a factor. Parents who are required to travel frequently, work on weekends, or work long hours may have less time to devote to childcare.
- How the family situation affects standard possession. While Texas does have standard arrangements regarding visitation rights, these are flexible and may be adjusted to provide better care for the child.
- Any cases of domestic abuse will be evaluated closely and will have some impact on a decision regarding custodial rights.
If you are considering divorce, and are worried about how a custody battle will affect your children, consult the considerate and experienced Austin child custody lawyers. We can work together to ensure that children who are going through a divorce are protected from custodial disputes as much as possible, and we will work with you to present your case for child custody in the most sympathetic light. Finding a trustworthy Austin divorce attorney can be difficult, but we are able to make at least one decision easy, by providing the best child custody.
If you have any questions or concerns about time sharing or any other divorce-related issues, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.
Winning Your Child Relocation Case
Sometimes parents consider moving out of state because of new jobs, remarriage, the need for specialized health care, and so forth. In child custody cases, a parent must seek permission to relocate, for example, in Texas, a relocation beyond a radius may require either consent of the other parent or a court order. In another word, if you are the moving parent, before relocation, you must provide a written notice regarding your moving plans to the non-moving parent.
On the other hand, if you are the “non-moving” parent and think your former spouse moves because of bad faith reasons, such as to discourage you from visitations, you can either negotiate with your former spouse or file objections to the court. A judge will schedule a relocation hearing.
In a relocation hearing, both parents can testify and bring witness or evidence which are relevant to the cases. In Texas, the court will determine a relocation case based on the best interest of the child. To decide what accounts for the best interest of the child, the court will consider the parent’s reasons for the relocation, the other parent’s reasons for an objection, the parents’ relationships with the child, the impacts of relocations on the child’s future contacts with the non-moving parent, the consequences on the child’s education and emotion, and the effects on future visitation.
Child Custody and Kidnapping by a Parent
It’s a scary thought, but kidnapping by a parent is the most common type of child abduction. This type of child kidnapping often occurs when parents separate or the process of divorce is initiated. Problems arise if a child is taken to another state by one parent, but only if this parent does not duly notify the other. But parental kidnapping can occur in the same city, however, if the location of the child is deliberately kept secret from one parent.
Kidnapping and Custody
If the child is in a known location, a parent cannot be charged with parental kidnapping unless it is in violation of a standing court-ordered and recorded custody decision. Even so, simply not returning your child after visitation, or failing to bring your child to a scheduled visit, is not necessarily grounds for a parental kidnapping charge. Either of these actions, when accompanied by a court-ordered custody decree is considered contempt of court, interference with court orders, and often results in returning to court for an emergency decree. If the child is still not produced, then it may be grounds for parental kidnapping.
The court’s aim in these situations is to maintain contact between the child and both parents. Barring extenuating circumstances, it is considered in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with both parents.
There are many reasons a parent may commit parental kidnapping, but, by and large, the intended victim of this offense is the other parent. While it is not appropriate for one parent to use a child as a tool for revenge against the other, emotions run high when two people separate or begin the divorce process. It is important to remember that less than 1% of parental abduction cases involve abuse, or place the child in real danger. The horror of these cases should not be minimized, but they are statistically very infrequent.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody
Q: Legal vs. physical custody?
A: The Texas Family Code doesn’t use the term child custody in describing a parent with whom a child primarily resides. Parents are labeled conservators and usually will be appointed Joint Managing Conservators of the children. One of those parents will be named the parent with the “right to designate the primary residence of the child”, which is usually interpreted to mean that parent has primary custody. Legal rights and duties are then determined as to each parent to deal with the decision making responsibilities associated with a child’s healthcare, education, and general welfare.
Q: How do courts decide with whom the children should live?
A: If parents cannot agree on which parent will designate the primary residence of a child, the court will make this determination based on the best interests of the child. Many factors are considered by the Court in making this determination, such as the mental health and physical abilities of the parents, whether there is a history of family violence or domestic abuse, the child’s age, which parent has been the primary caretaker of the child, and depending on the age of the child, the child’s wishes.