One of the thorniest issues that emerges in a divorce is determining custody of the children. When parents cannot reach an agreement, a court will need to make the determination. That’s why it’s important to work with a Texas family lawyer who is knowledgeable about Texas child custody laws and the information a court will need to make its decision.
The Austin child custody lawyers at Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C., have represented parents in custody disputes for nearly 50 years. We will work aggressively protect your rights while remaining sensitive to the concerns of both parents and children. To discuss your child custody case, call us today at (512) 476-4873 or reach us by email or through our convenient online form. We can provide you with a free consultation.
Texas Child Custody
Under Texas law, there is a presumption that a joint managing conservatorship will be in the best interest of the children. This doesn’t mean the parents will evenly split physical custody of the children, but instead will share equally in important decisions regarding matters such as the child’s health and education.
The first step in developing a parenting plan will be for the parties to attempt to reach a mutual agreement through mediation that is conducted by a neutral parenting coordinator. In most cases, the parenting coordinator is appointed by the court.
If the parents cannot arrive at an agreement, the matter will go before a Family Law District Court judge who will review the evidence and issue an order that is in the “best interest” of the children. The evidence a court can consider includes psychological evaluations, social worker studies, witness testimony and the child’s preference if the child is age 12 or older. Proof of misconduct by one parent, such as adultery, alcohol or substance abuse or violence, can factor into the court’s decision.
When parents live within 100 miles of each other, the court will likely enter a standard possession order that will give physical custody of the children to one parent and visitation to the other parent. The parent with visitation rights generally will divide holidays with the other parent and receive two weekends a month with the children, two hours per week during the school year and one month during the summer.
Custody orders can be modified if either the parents or children experience a “substantial change in circumstances” or the current order is no longer practicable.
Contact Us Today
A child custody dispute can be protracted and expensive. For that reason, the Austin child custody lawyers at Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins, P.C., will work hard to reach a fair and reasonable parenting plan during mediation.
However, we are skilled and experienced trial lawyers who will be ready to protect your rights and interests if the matter goes before a judge.
We have helped parents work through child custody issues throughout the state of Texas, including: Travis County (Creedmoor, Elroy, Manor, Pflugerville); Williamson County (Cedar Park, Georgetown, Liberty Hill, Florence, Leander, Round Rock, Taylor); Hays County (Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, San Marcos, Wimberley); Bastrop County (Bastrop, Clearview, Elgin, Rockne, Smithville); Caldwell County (Lockhart, Luling); Burnet County (Bertram, Burnet, Marble Falls); and Comal County (Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Gruene, New Braunfels, Sattler, Startzville).