Sugar Land Child Custody Attorney
Uncontested Child Visitation Schedules in Texas
Child custody and visitation are two of the most sensitive subjects involved in a divorce, or in a family law matter between two unmarried parents. The court typically tries to find an agreement that encourages both parents to have an active role in the child's life whenever possible. If you and your spouse (or the other parent of your child) can agree on a custody and visitation schedule, you may be able to proceed amicably. However, if you cannot agree on what's right, litigation will become necessary. Our Sugar Land child custody and visitation lawyer at Kutty Law Firm, PLLC is here to help you find the solution which meets your child's best interests.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Texas?
Determining child custody in Texas will look different in every case as there are various factors the judge will consider. Ultimately, the goal is to meet the best interests of the child. Some things the judge will evaluate when determining the child’s best interests include:
- Which parent can care for the child best (both physically and emotionally)
- The living situation of each parent
- Which parent is the most capable parent
- How well each parent works with the other parent
- If a child 12 years or older has a preference
- If either parent has a history of abuse or domestic violence
- Whether or not there is one child or multiple children
- If there is a parent that was already the primary caregiver
Child custody cases can be complicated due to all the factors involved. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our firm.
Types of Custody in Texas
When children are involved in a divorce or family law dispute, custody can become a major source of contention. In fact, many family law matters are dragged out for far longer than necessary due to disagreements regarding custody. Kutty Law Firm, PLLC seeks to help protect your parental rights and resolve your dispute as painlessly as possible and works to avoid unnecessary stress for your children and family.
The main types of custody are as follows:
- Joint Managing Conservatorship
- Sole Managing Conservatorship
Contested Custody in Texas
A contested custody case is one where both parents do not agree on matter related to where the child will live, who will make decisions for that child, and who is responsible for providing financial support. Even if a matter starts out contested, both parties can agree on a settlement at any time during the case. Should both parents be unable to reach a decision, a judge will rule based on what is in the best interests of the child. In these cases, a judge will favor having both parents involved in a child’s life as much as possible, unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect, and will not favor one parent over the other.
You may also contest a custody or visitation schedule if you can prove the other parent is unfit. To do this, you must provide proof, such as photos, videos, medical records, witness statements, or sound recordings proving abuse. A past criminal history or an addiction to drugs or alcohol may also prove that a parent is unfit. The court or a lawyer will then request a home study to be conducted by an official who will write their report outlining living conditions, the relationship between parent and child, the parent’s availability, their background, their employment, and other pertinent matters. The court will then weigh this evidence and make a ruling.
If one parent is deemed unfit, they will be denied custody and/or ordered to partake in supervised visitation, where they must be accompanied by a third-party when seeing the child. It is important to note that this does not end the parent’s rights and they will still be responsible for support payments and other issues regarding their child.
What Is a Visitation Schedule?
Visitation is a complicated subject. In most cases, the parent who the child is not living with (the non-custodial parent) will have visitation rights and a schedule will need to be drawn up.
There are two major types of visitation schedules in Texas, the first is the Standard Possession Order and the second is the Standard Possession Order with Full Elections. With both schedules the non-custodial parent is provided generous amounts of possession and access with his/her child(dren). Often times parties do not appreciate how much time each parent has with the subject children during his/her periods of possession. It is important when both parents have been involved in raising children, that the children have the support of each parent to spend as much time as possible with the other parent.
In some situations, if the parties are amicable and both extremely involved in the care of the children, the parties can voluntarily agree to a shared custody agreement; however, if there is no agreement, the courts will not order a shared custody agreement.
Please contact our firm for more detailed information about your visitation options.
The topics that must be covered in a visitation or parenting plan include:
- How visits will take place
- Where the child will go on holidays
- Where the child will go to school
Reaching an agreement is not always easy — sometimes it is not even an option. Our child custody and visitation lawyer at Kutty Law Firm, PLLC stands ready to assist you whether you negotiate the terms or have to go to court to reach a resolution. During any discussion of custody or visitation, the child's needs should be paramount. When there are just reasons to limit possession and access our team is there to guide you through the process to ensure the children can be protected.
When Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?
During child custody hearings, the court will determine which of these is in the best interest of all involved children. If the children involved are under the age of 12, only extenuating circumstances such as abuse, neglect, or a history of conflict will impact the court’s decision in this matter. When children are over the age of 12, their wishes, along with other factors, will be considered when determining which parent is awarded primary custody.
Allowing a child’s wishes to be heard does not necessarily mean a 12-year-old is empowered to choose his or her primary residence. However, the child’s wishes will influence the court’s decision and can play a role in determining which parent will maintain primary custody.
Hear from Our Clients
To learn more about what to expect, speak with a Sugar Land child custody lawyer from the Kutty Law Firm, PLLC by calling (713) 955-7477.
Every Case is Treated with Professionalism & Respect
We Provide Legal Advice on a Variety of Legal Issues
Attorney Kutty Has Over 20 Years of Experience