Filing for custody of your child can create a messy and complicated legal battle with your spouse.
It can also create a mess with the other parent of the child over child custody and support.
If you plan on filing for child custody, there is important information you need to know in order to maximize your chances of prevailing in the suit for custody of your child.
The experienced family law attorneys at The Stout Law Firm have successfully advocated for many clients in their child custody cases and are here to help parents navigate the process for filing for custody in Texas.
How Do You File for Custody of a Child?
A parent can file for custody of a minor child in Texas so long as the child resides in the state. You can also file if you did reside in the state for at least six months prior to the filing.
A parent may also file for custody in Texas if one parent has a connection to the state besides physically living there, like a job, or if evidence exists in Texas regarding the child’s care.
Our attorneys at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC can assist you in filing the proper paperwork to obtain legal orders regarding custody of your child. This can include filing a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR); a paternity action; or a divorce suit which includes provisions that will address custody of your child.
The process differs depending on whether the child is a product of your marriage or if you and the other parent are unmarried. In most instances, especially in contested cases, you will need an experienced family law attorney advocating for you to ensure that your rights and needs as a parent are protected.
The attorneys at The Stout Law Firm, PLLC are prepared to do just that. Contact The Stout Law Firm, PLLC today for assistance with your case.
Factors Considered in Child Custody Cases
Texas law requires that the court consider the best interests of the child when determining “custody” which is referred to as “conservatorship” in the family arena. The courts look to a list of
non-exhaustive factors decided by the landmark case, Holly v. Adams. Some of those factors include, but are not limited to:
- The child’s desires;
- The parent’s ability to provide for the child;
- The needs of the child;
- The current and future emotional and physical needs of the child;
- Any current or future emotional and physical danger to the child;
- The programs available to assist each parent to promote the best interest of the child;
- The plans a parent has for the child;
- The stability of the proposed home;
- Any acts or omissions of the parent that may indicate parental unfitness, and any explanations for such acts or omissions; and
- Any history of domestic violence.
It is important that potential litigants begin collecting evidence early that helps prove custody with you is in your child’s best interests. Collect documentation for your attorney that proves your ability to provide for your child physically, emotionally, and financially.
This might include medical records, employment history, financial records, school records, and any applicable police reports. You might also consider a child custody evaluation, which involves hiring an outside expert.
This includes a child psychologist or social worker, who performs an evaluation on the circumstances of your suit and can make recommendations to the court regarding conservatorship, possession and access to the child and rights and duties.
Contact us to help guide and assist you in proving to the court that you are the parent most able to care for your child.
Types of Child Custody Awarded in Texas
As mentioned above, custody is also known as conservatorship in Texas. There are two types of conservatorship, sole managing conservatorship and joint managing conservatorship. Joint managing conservatorship is generally the best interest for you and your child.
The difference between the two largely centers on the allocation of rights and duties pertaining to a child. The court will decide what rights you have to make different decisions regarding your child’s care including:
- Who has the right to decide where the child will live primarily;
- Who will make educational decisions for the child;
- Which person will make psychological or psychiatric decisions for the child;
- Which person has the right to manage the child’s estate; etc.
It is important you have an experienced attorney to educate you and protect the rights of your child early on.
Do You Need Help Filing for Child
Custody? We Can Help.
If you would like more information about protecting your legal rights to your child, our office is here to help. Call or contact The Stout Law Firm, PLLC in Houston to schedule a consultation today. Together, we can start working towards solving your legal matter