Houston Child Custody Lawyer
Top Rated Family Lawyers in Houston Protecting Your Parental Rights
Every parent loves their children and, naturally, the idea of spending less time with them is not an easy thought to cope with.
However, if you are getting a divorce, you and your former spouse must divide your time with the children.
At The Pollard Firm, PLLC in Houston, our child custody lawyer is experienced in handling these challenging legal matters and will advocate on your behalf for the child custody arrangement you are seeking.
You can rely on our law firm to get you through this difficult experience.
How is Child Custody Determined in Houston, TX?
In Houston, Texas, child custody is also referred to as conservatorship, and parents are referred to as conservators. When determining conservatorship, a judge may grant either joint managing conservatorship or sole managing conservatorship.
If granted custody or conservatorship, a parent will have the right to:
- Obtain information from the other parent regarding the child’s education, welfare, and health
- Have access to the child’s psychological, educational, dental, and medical records
- Speak the child’s psychologist, physician, or dentist
- Speak to child’s teacher or other school officials regarding their educational status or extracurricular activities
- Consent to surgical, dental, or medical treatment during an emergency situation
What is Considered an Unfit Parent in Houston, Texas?
Generally, family courts in Houston, TX believe the involvement of both parents is in the best interests of the children. However, there are some unique circumstances in which one parent may be granted sole managing conservatorship or custody due to one parent being deemed an unfit parent in Houston, Texas.
Here are some examples:
- One parent has a history of domestic abuse or neglect
- One parent has a history of substance abuse or other criminal activity
- One parent has been absent from the child’s life
- There was severe conflict between the parents regarding the religious, medical, and educational values
- One parent does not wish to have joint managing conservatorship
Below are some of the other pertinent factors a judge will examine when determining child custody:
- The quality of the relationship between the child and each parent
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The willingness of each parent to support the other’s relationship with the child
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable and loving home environment
- The wishes of each parent
Although a Houston judge may consider the wishes of each parent, it does not necessarily mean you will receive the arrangement you are pursuing.
Is Texas a Mother or Father State?
Texas does not favor mothers or fathers in custody cases. According to Texas law, judges base rulings on custody cases on the child's best interest. However, it is crucial to understand the law regarding courts and the court's discretion when determining child custody.
Is Texas a 50/50 Custody State?
Yes, Texas is a 50/50 custody state. This 50/50 custody means that, without any exceptional circumstances, the court will award joint managing conservatorship to both parents. Joint managing conservatorship means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities for the child's upbringing.
The Houston courthouse will only award sole managing conservatorship to one parent if it finds it in the child's best interests to do so. Our child custody attorney can help you arrange a fair custody agreement with your spouse or represent you in court if necessary.
Child Custody Laws in Texas for Unmarried Parents
In Texas, if a child is born to unmarried parents, custody, both legal and physical, are automatically given to the mother. Whether the father signed the birth certificate is irrelevant. The only way for the father to gain legal or physical custody is to establish paternity with the court and file for custody.
How to Get Primary Custody in Texas
You should prove it's in your child's best interest to get primary custody in Texas. You must indicate to the Texas court that you seek primary custody or Sole Managing Conservatorship rights. The Texas courts encourage parents to try and agree using mediation first. Only if they cannot resolve custody issues independently will a family judge step in.
Speak to Our Experienced Houston Child Custody Lawyer About Your Custody Case Today!
If you are in the middle of a child support or child custody dispute, reach out to the family law team at The Pollard Firm, PLLC in Houston, TX for the skilled legal guidance you need to protect your rights as a parent.
Our Houston family lawyer understands the challenges you will face during this process and can provide the representation you need to smoothly navigate these disputes.