Which parent keeps custody of shared children is often an emotional and difficult part of any divorce or separation case. All parents love their children and wish to have a say in how they are raised and how decisions are made about their future. State law recognizes this fact, and the default position for courts is that both parents have the right to raise and live with their children.
However, courts are also required by law to act in the best interests of the children. This can result in unequal parenting time, one parent having limited visitation, or even parents being barred from seeing their kids at all.
A Fort Worth child custody lawyer could help assert your rights as a parent and protect your family. A dedicated attorney could help protect your interests during a child custody hearing and fight for your right to raise your children.
The Different Versions of Child Custody
Texas law creates two types of child custody. The first and more common is called joint managing conservatorship. This recognizes the fact that both parents are competent to care for a child and both parents retain a say in how that child is to be raised. Common topics under joint managing conservatorship include:
- Choice of schools
- Medical care
A joint plan will also create a schedule for where that child will live and when. For example, one parent may live with the child Monday through Thursday while the other retains physical custody Friday through Sunday.
However, courts can also order a sole managing conservatorship if they believe one parent is unfit to raise the child. Convictions for child abuse, sexual abuse, or domestic violence are common incidents that may result in a court stripping parental rights from a parent. A Fort Worth child custody attorney could help parents understand the details of a joint managing conservatorship and fight back against any potential loss of parental rights.
Modifying Existing Custody Arrangements
Family courts can order a modification of an existing custody agreement. However, under Texas Family Code §156.101, a parent may move for a modification only if a material or substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of either a parent or the child.
Examples of these changes in circumstance can include:
- A parent moving to a new home
- A child changing schools
- A parent losing the financial means to support the child
- Any new criminal charges faced by a parent
Additionally, any conviction for child abuse against a conservator is always a qualifying event to justify a modification. According to Texas Family Code §156.104, a court may also institute a temporary order to remove the child from the home pending the outcome of the modification request. A Fort Worth child custody attorney could help parents file modifications when needed for the best interests of the child.
A Fort Worth Child Custody Attorney Could Fight for Your Family
Child custody disputes are often emotionally charged, and parents may disagree about what is best for their children. As a result, it is often up to a family court to make custody decisions.
A Fort Worth child custody lawyer could help present your interests to the court. They could present evidence about your qualifications to have custody and even argue for modifications of existing orders, if necessary. Your children’s futures are of paramount importance; let a compassionate attorney fight for your family.