Sugar Land Father’s Rights And Custody Agreements Lawyer
Texas family law favors custody arrangements that are in the best interests of the child, despite common misconceptions, this does not necessarily favor either parent. An experienced father’s rights lawyer will support you in fighting for your parental rights through negotiation or the family courts to secure the best custody agreement for your child.
At Skillern Firm, a strong attorney client relationship is a priority for our team. We empathize with fathers fighting for their rights and child custody, and we will passionately work on your case to ensure the best outcome for you and your family.
If you are looking for a Sugar Land Father’s Rights And Custody Agreements Lawyer, contact Skillern Firm at 936-213-8479.
How Does The Court Determine Child Custody?
Family law in Sugar Land, TX, supports both parents to take an active role in their children’s lives. Although it is a common conception that Texas courts favor the mother in custody arrangements, this is incorrect. Family courts decide custody based on the best interests of the child. Custody agreements in Texas are split into two main categories, possession and access and conservatorship. Once the child custody arrangements have been agreed upon, either between parents independently, through mediation, or in a court hearing, they are finalized in a court order.
Primary Residence Of The Child
Primary residence is the home your child will mostly reside in following the parental split. This is important as this gives the child a home base and impacts school choices.
Many parents struggle to agree on the primary residence of a child and both may argue that primarily residing with them is in the child’s best interests. The courts typically aim to keep the child in the same primary residence that they were living in before the split of their parents, at least for the first year following the split.
When deciding primary residence, a court may also consider which parent has provided the most care, where the child has been living previously, proximity to friends and family, the quality of schools in the area, and whether either parent demonstrates impaired parenting. A father’s rights lawyer can help fight your case to ensure that your child primarily resides in the best home for them.
Visitation comes under the category of possession and access in Texas family law. Visitation outlines when parents have physical custody of their children and when they can visit them.
Parents can agree on visitation arrangements between themselves, but if this is not possible, a court will make the decision. The court will usually appoint a standard possession order, which outlines a visitation schedule of every Thursday during the regular school term, the first, third, and fifth weekends of the month, alternating major holidays, and 30 days in the summer.
Conservatorship covers the rights and duties of parents to their children. This includes the ability to make decisions for the child’s life, such as medical decisions and schooling.
Conservatorship can reside exclusively with one parent, known as Sole Managing Conservatorship or split between both parents (Joint Managing Conservatorship).
What Factors Can Affect Custody In Texas?
Texas courts favor a custody arrangement that is in a child’s best interests. If your ex has demonstrated behavior that suggests that residing with them would not be in your child’s best interests, this needs to be highlighted and evidenced to the court.
Factors that can influence the court’s decision on primary custody, conservatorship, and access include how involved each parent is with their child, the emotional stability of parents, the proximity of the family, and the emotional and physical needs of the child. In custody cases where the child is over 12, their preference can also influence the decision.
Although there will be minor disagreements between parents on the best approach to parenting their children, serious parenting issues may impact the court’s custody decisions. Examples of a parent displaying poor judgment include allowing an underage child to drink alcohol or other behaviors that are not in the child’s best interests or may endanger the child.
Proving to the court that a parent has displayed poor judgment could be challenging, and evidence will be required to support your claim. A child custody attorney can help to build your evidence base and develop your argument.
When one parent continuously speaks poorly of the other, leading to a negative opinion of the other parent in the child’s eyes, this is known as parental alienation. Bad-mouthing a parent to their child is shown to be damaging for the child, particularly if they think of their parent as a liar, cheater, or any other accusation an ex could make.
Texas law takes parental alienation and any negative interference in a child’s relationship with their parent very seriously. If your ex has been attempting to alienate you from your child, this could be grounds for them to lose custody.
If either parent is abusing alcohol or drugs, this will undoubtedly impact their ability to parent their child in a manner that meets their best interests. If one parent is proven to be abusing drugs or alcohol in court, likely, this will affect the custody decision. Visitation may still be permitted in a supervised setting if the Judge deems it appropriate.
Child Abuse and Neglect
The safety and well-being of children are of the utmost importance in child custody cases. If your ex has a history of child abuse or neglect or poses a potential risk to the child, this will seriously impact how the court decides custody.
If allegations of abuse or neglect arise, you will need to work closely with your family lawyer to gather evidence and build a case to support your argument.
A history of domestic violence in the household can also be viewed as a threat to a child’s safety and well-being. If one parent has a history of domestic violence, this will sway the court’s decision on child custody.
Evidence to support an allegation of domestic violence could include police reports, hospital reports, texts, and other supporting evidence.
In the case of unmarried parents, determining paternity can play a role in the custody agreement process. To pursue child custody, a biological father may need to first become legally recognized as a child’s father. This can be done through a paternity test or by filing an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) with the court.
Complications In The Custody Agreement Process
Child custody matters are complex and can be made more complicated by a range of factors. In many divorce cases, a parent may want to move closer to their family after the divorce. This could have complications on the other parent’s ability to see the child, but depending on the involvement of both parents in the child’s life, this could be a difficult decision for the court. Other complications include when parents do not have typical work schedules or if life-altering events occur that mean the original custody agreement is no longer suitable.
Do I Need A Lawyer For My Child Custody Agreement?
Family law matters can be highly emotional and challenging for all parties, which is increased with children involved. Many fathers assume that the odds are stacked against them in child custody cases. However, if you can prove that your proposed terms are in the child’s best interests, then the court may grant them.
A child custody lawyer with experience in father’s rights will understand how to navigate these potentially complex cases to ensure that the outcome is best for your child. Fighting for your rights without a lawyer is challenging and this is a risk that you can’t afford to take when it comes to child custody and your family’s future.
If you are looking to establish a custody agreement, or amend an existing one, seek representation from a skilled child custody attorney to fight your case and defend your parental rights.
Skillern Firm Can Support Fathers With Custody Agreements
Skillern Firm’s father’s rights lawyers are passionate about father’s rights and securing outcomes that are best for the well-being of the children involved. If you and your ex struggle to agree on custody, legal representation from Skillern Firm can help.
You may have concerns about your ex’s ability to fulfill your child’s needs, or you may be receiving unfair treatment from your ex that could affect your custody. Whatever situation you are in, we will build a case to support your proposed custody arrangements and fight to defend your rights and ensure that you are heard.
Contact Skillern Firm at 936-213-8479 to take the first step towards protecting your rights as a father.