Hiring a child custody attorney in Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita, Houston and surrounding areas is not a matter that should be taken lightly. In fact, it could be one of the biggest decisions a parent makes for their child during their young life.
Only a few decades ago, Texas judges nearly always found in favor of the mother. Many times, there were no questions asked. Child custody in Humble and surrounding areas has evolved quite a bit since then. Nationwide, the number of households headed by a single father has increased ninefold since 1960. Courts do much more than just play lip-service to the principle of “best interests of the children.” Through pretrial discovery, social investigations and other tools, courts are determined to do what’s best for your children.
If your family is in transition, contact me here at Welsh Law, PLLC today. As a compassionate attorney I take the time to understand your family and your specific situation, then represent you zealously inside and outside of the courtroom throughout the entire process.
Child custody issues are often dealt with during a divorce. Other times, if the parents were never legally married in Texas, in an adoption proceeding and in some other situations, there may be a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR). First, the court often enters temporary orders for the stability of the children. These orders may include protective orders, if family violence is an issue and they are deemed necessary by the judge. After the parties conduct pretrial discovery, the judge enters final orders. Mediation is often a part of this process.
Life happens, and the custody order that made perfect since a few months or years ago can either slowly become unworkable over time or suddenly be out of touch with your current situation. Most child custody modification procedures fall into one of three categories:
- Conservatorship: This area may involve a change in the legal or physical custody of the children, or both these things. In other words, the court may change where the children live and who makes important decisions.
- Visitation: The Standard Possession Order (SPO) gives the noncustodial parent visitation rights every other weekend, every other holiday and during the summer. The SPO is not workable in all situations, and the periods of possession may need to be adapted to work schedules, changed to include travel provisions, and so on. In other cases, provisions regarding supervised visitation or supervised exchange may need to be added or deleted.
- Termination: These proceedings are rare, and Texas courts rarely accept a voluntary termination of parental rights, but sometimes termination is in the best interests of the child.
If a conservator refuses to allow visitation or refuses to return the child, an enforcement action may be necessary. This remedy is appropriate in other situations; for example, one conservator may intentionally schedule activities that conflict with the other conservator’s visitation period.
Nonparent Conservatorship and Visitation
Many times, a grandparent, a non-spousal partner and other adults may be a big part of a child’s life. Texas law recognizes this reality, and you may have certain rights and responsibilities, from weekend visitation privileges to the possibility of full legal conservatorship.
Child Custody Lawyer in Humble
Kids need stability. They need to have basically the same routine on a week to week, month to month and year to year basis. Child custody issues in Humble and surrounding areas, and the uncertainty they bring, can destabilize your family. Children who do not have a predictable home environment may do poorly in school, may have trouble making friends and may easily become depressed.
At Welsh Law, PLLC, I can help provide the stability and predictability that your family needs. Contact me today for your consultation if you have unsettled child custody issues from a prior divorce, if you were not legally married in Texas and need papers, or if your family is otherwise in transition.
Joint Managing Conservatorship
In Texas, this term embodies both physical and legal custody – where the children live and who makes important decisions. The courts favor joint managing conservatorship between parents, if such an arrangement is feasible.
The term is rather deceptive, because it does not mean “equal custody” or “divided custody.” Children live with the primary conservator most of the time, and they visit the nonprimary conservator on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend, every other holiday and over the summer. The nonprimary conservator provides input into important life issues, such as what doctor to use and which school to attend, but if parties do not agree, then the decision may fall back to the primary care physician’s recommendation.
Joint Managing Conservatorship is not always an option. Perhaps the children are nursing infants, there have been incidents involving physical or nonphysical abuse, the parents are separated by a considerable distance, or there are concerns that the parents may not be able to effectively co-parent the children.
An experienced family law attorney in Humble can advocate for you and your children in these situations, and find some possible solutions:
- Adaptive Orders: The custody order can be written so it automatically changes when a certain event occurs. Visitation provisions that change when a child becomes older than age two or if the parents move more than 100 miles apart are both common provisions in many orders.
- Sole Managing Conservator: In certain situations, one parent may be designated as the managing conservator while the other is appointed the Possessory Conservator. This arrangement gives the SMC more authority and is more difficult for the PC to modify later.
- Supervised Visitation: In abuse cases, the culpable partner may be restricted to a few hours of visitation a week at either a public place or a visitation facility. These visits are often supervised by another adult.
Whatever the situation may be, Welsh Law, PLLC, can help you reach a workable and fair solution.