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Sugar Land Child Custody Lawyer

Stick figure of family holding hands is broken between one of the child’s hands and parent. Our Sugar Land child custody lawyers will help resolve legal agreements on a child’s custody.

Child custody cases are some of the most emotionally draining cases for our clients. Disagreements between ex-spouses can sometimes lead to spiteful and unfair actions, which can create stress for everyone involved, including the children.

At Skillern Firm, our child custody attorneys are highly skilled in mediation and negotiation. We work with families to solve disputes in the fastest and least damaging way possible. Our goal is the best future for the child and for our client.

We have dealt with many Texas child custody cases, but we understand that no two situations are the same. We take the time to listen to you, adapt to your needs, and lend a sympathetic ear when you need it, all while upholding the highest standards of the attorney-client relationship.

Contact Skillern Firm

After a Texas child custody decree is in place, it becomes very difficult to change. Therefore, it is essential that you have representation from an accomplished lawyer who handles family law issues as their legal specialization.

That is exactly what you will find at Skillern Firm, where we are committed to family law. Regardless of the circumstances of your child custody case, our law firm is here to help. When emotions are high, it is important to have honest advice from a legal professional. Contact us or call us today and arrange an initial consultation at 936-213-8479.

How Are Child Custody Cases Decided?

According to the Texas Family Code:

“The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the Court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child. (Tex. Fam. Code 153.002).” 

When parents separate, it is common for both parties to want custody. In the case that an arrangement can not be made, a family law Judge will have to decide who will become the custodial parent or whether shared custody will be granted.

The Family District Court Judge is required to base their decisions on what is in the best interests of the child. What is best for the child is not always clear, and a Sugar Land attorney can help you to evidence that you deserve certain rights to the child.

Which Parent Is More Likely to Be Awarded Custody?

Judges are required to make decisions based on the child’s best interests without bias towards any gender. Our team in Sugar Land, Texas, is highly experienced in helping both mothers and fathers fight for custody, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights.

Different Arrangements in Child Custody Cases

There are three types of Texas child custody arrangements,

  • Sole Managing Conservatorship.
  • Joint Managing Conservatorship.
  • Possessory Conservatorship.

Sole Custody

If one parent gains Sole Managing Conservatorship, then they have the right to make all important decisions in regards to the child. This usually only happens if one parent has issues that negatively impact the child’s wellbeing. Examples include instances of domestic violence or drug and alcohol abuse. 

Any parent who wishes to have sole custody must plead their case and sign an affidavit that details all of the accusations they are making as a reason for the request. This could also lead to restrictions on the other parent, such as supervised visitation.

If you believe you should be the sole conservator, or if your partner is fighting for sole conservatorship unfairly, then you should speak to an accomplished lawyer focusing on family law matters as soon as possible. At Skillern Firm, we will help you form a persuasive plea and will ensure all your paperwork is in order.

Joint Custody

Joint Managing Conservatorship is presumed to be in the best interests of the child unless one party can prove otherwise.

Joint custody in Sugar Land, Texas, means parents share rights and duties. However, exclusive parental rights in certain factors involved can still be given to one parent, such as the right to decide primary residence and the right to receive child support.

With joint custody, the parent who has the child for the most amount of time is considered the primary conservator, meaning the other parent has possession and access rights.

It is a common misconception that joint custody means equal possession of the child. While a 50/50 split can sometimes be granted, conservatorship only addresses the rights and duties of each parent and does not affect possession time or time spent with the child. Joint custody can take several forms in terms of the duties and rights of each parent.

Possessory Conservatorship

If one parent was named the Sole Managing Conservator, then the other parent could be named the Possessory Conservator. Or if a non-parent such as a grandparent has sole custody, then both parents could be given Possessory Conservatorship.

In basic terms, possessory conservators have rights to access to the child but no rights to make certain decisions on the child’s behalf, such as medical or educational decisions.

Sugar Land, Texas Child Custody Considerations

During a child custody hearing, many factors will be considered by the court to determine a parenting plan. Some of these factors include:

  • Potential danger to the child from either parent.
  • Family proximity.
  • Previous parent involvement.
  • The parent’s stability.
  • The ability of either parent to meet the child’s emotional and physical needs.
  • Child’s Preference (if 12 or older).

Potential Danger to Child

If either parent poses a potential danger to the child, then this will be an important aspect of the child custody case in Sugar Land, Texas. Any history of domestic violence, drug and alcohol misuse, or child abuse is taken seriously.

If you believe that your ex-spouse poses a potential danger to the child, then it is essential you work with an experienced family lawyer who will understand how to evidence your claims. If, on the other hand, your suitability is being questioned, then you will need help to present a compelling case that the allegations are false or that the issues are no longer valid and that you have a legal right to your child.

Parent Involvement

In a Sugar Land child custody case, previous parental involvement will be a deciding factor. If your partner has not been meaningfully involved in your child’s life, then their visitation case will be very weak.

If you are the parent who usually takes your child to the doctor, dentist, and to school,  the Court may look favorably upon you. Even if you do not win sole custody, the court may want you to continue doing these things to minimize the disruption to the child’s life.

That being said, being a working parent does not necessarily work against you. If you can present evidence that you work long hours, this should be taken into account.

The Child’s Preference

If the child is 12 years of age or older, then under family law, the Court can take their wishes into consideration, although it is not necessarily the deciding factor.

Judge’s can confer with the child of the suit at the request of an attorney on behalf of a party.

The Judge will listen to the child but the Judge’s core decision will always be what is in the best interest of the child. 

The Emotional and Physical Needs of the Child

The stability of each parent is another area of consideration, i.e. can each parent maintain a job, provide a stable home, and meet the child’s financial needs. Both the Court and the child custody attorneys will assess each parent for their ability to meet the child’s current and future needs.

When a child has both parents in their life, this usually equates to a healthier development. Therefore the Judge will want to keep both parents in the child’s life where possible.

Family Proximity and Closeness

Family bonds are important to any child, and if a child has grown up around close family members, then the Court will prefer a decision that maintains those relationships. If either parent is looking to relocate, this can complicate matters, and a family law attorney can help you to find a solution.

Forming a Parenting Plan

In a Sugar Land child custody case, Texas courts favor a joint custody plan where both parents are involved in the child’s life as much as possible.

Usually, the child will need a primary residence, which may mean one parent spends more time with the child. However, the other parent will have visitation rights based on the best interests of the child.

If one parent has a history of violence, or drug or alcohol abuse, either parent may attempt to restrict access or implement a supervision requirement.

Once a possession and access order has been laid out and established, it can only be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Examples can include the changes in the stability of either parent in regards to their finances or health.

The best way to ensure a good parenting plan, or to change a plan that has already been established, is to get in touch with a reputable child custody lawyer. They will be able to help protect the rights of both you and your children.

Enforcing Court Orders

If your ex-spouse is regularly violating their court orders such as visitation rights, marital agreements, or they are alienating your children against you, then you should speak to a family law attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to guide you through the legal issues and advise you on your best course of action.

How an Experienced Family Law Attorney Can Help You in Sugar Land, Texas.

Family law is complicated, especially where Texas child custody arrangements are concerned. There are both state and federal regulations to consider, and without legal experience, you could end up with an unfavorable outcome that could have been avoided.

Even if your case seems simple, a Texas family law attorney can take away the stress of handling paperwork, meeting deadlines, and appearing in court.

Negotiation and Mediation

It is always better if parents can come to amicable agreements without too much Court involvement. However, this can be difficult if both parents feel they have the best claim for custody or if one party believes that the other party should not have the same rights to their child.

This is where having a law firm that is dedicated to mediation and negotiation can become invaluable. At Skillern Firm, our family law attorneys are highly skilled in mediation and can help you and your ex-partner communicate without allowing emotions to take over.

We want your case to be resolved quickly and with as little hostility as possible, because we believe that this is what is best for the child. However, we will also be prepared to fight your case as strongly as is necessary.

Questions to Ask a Potential Attorney

Here at Skillern Firm, we are committed to doing what is in the best interests of the children while protecting the rights and interests of our clients.

We are highly experienced in all aspects of family law and pride ourselves on our ability to work out conflict and do what is best for our clients and their families.

However, we want you to be confident in your choice, which is why we offer an initial consultation. In this consultation, you can ask all the questions you need so that you can move forward in the knowledge that your case is in safe hands.

However, if you have never dealt with attorneys before this conversation can feel a little overwhelming and you might not know what questions to ask. Therefore here are some ideas of the types of things you may want to ask a potential attorney:

  • Who is your typical client?
  • Have you handled cases similar to mine?
  • Have you handled similar cases to mine in court?
  • When can I expect communication?
  • What is your level of experience?
  • Can you show me testimonials from previous clients?

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

Finding a law firm that is experienced in child custody, child support and other related issues should be your main priority. At Skillern Firm, we exclusively practice family law, and we will happily demonstrate our previous wins and recommendations from previous clients in similar situations to you. Simply contact us for your initial consultation.

We understand how difficult a child custody case can be. At Skillern Firm, you can easily get in touch with us, and we will promptly respond to your queries. We are not just there to help you with paperwork. We are there to listen to you, show compassion, and give advice wherever we can.

Speak to an experienced family law lawyer today at 936-213-8479.