Texas Child Custody Attorneys
Child Custody Laws in Texas: Sole Custody, Joint Custody and Visitation
There are several types of custody in Texas. A parent can have sole custody, which means that the child lives with that parent and the parent makes decisions for the child. The other parent has visitation. Then, there is joint custody. With joint custody, the child still lives with one parent, but the other parent has visitation and an equal say in making decisions for the child. No matter the type of custody issues you are facing, the experienced child custody lawyers at Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C., can help you seek custody of your child or defend you against changing custody.
Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C., is comprised of child custody lawyers in Texas that focuses their practice on family law matters. The firm’s two founding partners are Shannon Boudreaux and Kevin Hunter. Ms. Boudreaux has been licensed to practice law since 2003. She is a graduate of South Texas College of Law. While a student, she was named to the Dean’s list. Throughout her legal career, Ms. Boudreaux has received many awards and recognitions. Ms. Boudreaux and Mr. Hunter teamed up after Mr. Hunter’s graduation from South Texas College of Law. Mr. Hunter participated in varsity moot court competitions while in law school. Prior to enrolling in law school, he served his country in the United States Air Force and became a firefighter.
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Custody issues require experienced child custody lawyers.
If you have a custody issue, the law firm of Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, L.L.C., would be pleased to assist you.
CONSERVATORSHIP, CUSTODY AND VISITATION
Texas uses distinct terminology to refer to custody and visitation. Custody is called “managing conservatorship.” There can be a sole managing conservator – in other words, sole custody – or there can be joint managing conservatorship where both parents make decisions for the child. When one parent is a sole managing conservator, the other parent is called a “possessory conservator.” That is the parent who has rights to visitation only. To avoid confusion, we simply call conservatorship “custody” and use the word visitation rather than the official, but confusing, statutory language – Possession and Access.
Joint Custody Presumption – Texas law includes a preference for joint custody. The court is supposed to appoint both parents as joint managing conservators if that is in the best interest of the child. If it is not in the best interest of the child that the parents be appointed joint managing conservators, then the court will select one parent to be the sole managing conservator and grant visitation to the other.
Rights of Custody – Parents who have joint custody of a child share a list of parental rights and duties. Some of the more important rights are to direct the child’s religious training, to consent to medical care and to make decisions about education. Even if the court appoints the parents as joint custodians, the court can grant the power to make a particular decision to one parent if the parents disagree.
Modification of Child Custody – Sometimes, a court’s initial awards of custody do not work out. In those situations, the court has the power to modify the custody order. To modify custody, one of three things must be shown. First, there must be material and substantial change of circumstances with respect to the child or either of the parents. Alternatively, a child at least 12 years old may request a change in custody by privately telling the judge where the child would like to live. Finally, the parent wishing to change custody must prove to the court that the modification is in the child’s best interest.
No Gender Preference – At one time, the courts nearly always awarded custody of younger children to the mother under the “tender years doctrine.” The Texas legislature eventually required courts to decide custody based on the best interest of the child, which made custody awards to fathers more likely. Later, the Texas Legislature made it even more clear that there should not be a gender preference when it passed a law stating that courts must make custody decisions “without regard” to gender.
Child Support and Child Custody – Child support might not seem to have anything to do with child custody except that the parent who does not live with child pays child support to the other parent. But the Texas legislature passed a law stating that visitation rights cannot be cut off if the noncustodial parent fails to pay child support. The legislature determined that maintaining the relationship between the parent and child is more important than whether child support is timely paid. A custodial parent has no right to deprive the noncustodial parent of visitation with a child based on failure to pay child support.
If you decide to work with our Texas custody lawyers, you’ll never be left in the dark about the status of your legal proceedings. We communicate regularly and clearly on any developments included in all aspects of your matter. Call us now at (713) 333-4430 to schedule an appointment and get your questions answered.
Child Custody Attorneys Serving Texas
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