Nothing in your life is as important as your children. You always want what is best for them, but it can feel difficult to protect their interests in the case of a divorce or separation. For this reason, child custody disputes are a common issue heard in Dallas family courts.
While courts have the final authority to make decisions concerning child custody matters, a family law attorney could help you present a convincing case that protects your family. A Dallas child custody lawyer could help show that you have the means to properly raise your child or argue that the child is best served by living with you.
Texas Statutes Regarding Child Custody
Texas law refers to the concept of child custody as “conservatorship.” This simply refers to which parents retain which rights and responsibilities when it comes to raising a child. According to Texas Family Code §153.002, a court must always rule in a way that keeps the best interests of the child in mind.
Whenever possible, courts attempt to create parenting plans that allow a child to retain a relationship with both parents. This usually means creating some form of joint managing conservatorship. These plans outline the responsibilities of both parents but generally allow each parent to have a say in how that child is to be raised.
In other situations, a court may decide that one parent is not fit to have any conservatorship over a child. In these cases, the court may issue a sole managing conservatorship to one parent. A Dallas child custody attorney could help parents understand the state laws concerning child custody and press for the option that is best for their children.
Common Issues that may Affect Child Custody Cases
State statutes list a number of criteria that may affect the court’s decision-making process. For example, Texas Family Code §153.004 states that a court must consider evidence of any physical or sexual abuse committed by one prospective conservator over the two years prior to the filing of the child custody matter. If the court finds evidence of neglect or abuse committed by one parent, the court cannot issue conservatorship to that parent. In addition, the law requires a judge to take a child’s wishes into consideration if that child is at least 12 years old. A judge has discretion to do so if the child is under 12 years old.
Finally, it is important to remember that not every child custody action needs to involve conflict. Texas Family Code §153.007 states that parents may submit a mutual child-parenting plan to the court. As long as a judge agrees that this serves the best interests of the child, the court will adopt this plan.
A Dallas conservatorship lawyer could help convince a judge of a parent’s fitness to raise a child or rebut another parent’s statements that they would be a better choice.
Contact a Dallas Child Custody Attorney for Help
The most contentious matter in many divorces and separations is which parent keeps custody of the children. While it is common that courts will issue some form of joint managing conservatorship, the terms of these decisions can vary greatly. It is important to fight for the right to have an important role in your child’s life.
A Dallas child custody lawyer could help protect your rights as a parent and the ability of your child to remain in a safe situation. An attorney could help to convince a judge that you provide a safe and stable living situation while rebutting any allegations of abuse. An attorney could also help to craft parenting plans that help parents remain on good terms moving forward. Call today to schedule a consultation.