Protecting The Best Interests Of Your Children
As parents, you can’t simply “go your separate ways” when you divorce or split up. You are still a family, and you and your ex have to somehow make it work. But the emotions and other entanglements make it difficult, especially if the other parent is using your kids as leverage.
The Moran Law Firm, PLLC, provides experienced guidance and strong representation for all family law matters relating to care and custody of children. Our attorneys will fiercely protect your parental rights while helping you work through the details of co-parenting arrangements.
Custody And Co-Parenting In Texas
Ideally, divorcing parents can work out the custody arrangements without a legal battle. Our lawyers can help you negotiate the details and put your agreement in writing. The court will typically approve these plans if they serve the child’s best interests.
If you are unable to resolve your custody dispute, a judge will decide contested custody proceedings. Our lawyers have extensive experience in custody litigation in the family courts of East Texas. We will prepare you for what to expect and fight to protect you and your children.
How Are Custody And Visitation Determined?
The Texas courts presume both parents will be involved in raising the children. “Sole custody” is rarely awarded to one parent unless the other poses a danger to the child’s welfare. But it’s also rare for the courts to divide custody 50-50. That arrangement is simply not practical or healthy for most families.
Usually one parent will be granted primary possession, meaning the child lives most of the time with that parent. The other parent will be granted regular possession (aka “visitation” or “parenting time”). Texas statute has a standard possession order which calls for visitation every other weekend plus one evening or overnight each week. The standard order also alternates holidays and spring break, and gives the nonprimary parent at least 30 days of summer vacation. Parents are free to work out any alternative arrangement, and the court can deviate from the standard possession order to accommodate the child’s needs or the parents’ realities.
The counterpart to possession (physical custody) is managing conservatorship, known elsewhere as “legal custody.” This refers to decision-making authority over the child’s education, health care and religious upbringing. The default is joint managing conservators, meaning both parents have a say in important decisions even if one parent has primary possession. Sometimes the court will award sole managing conservatorship to one parent if the other is absent, abusive or unfit.
Beyond primary and nonprimary custody, you have to work out the nuts and bolts of a parenting plan. This document spells out pickups, dropoffs, overnights, extracurricular activities, ground rules, communication and many other specifics of the co-parenting relationship. We help you negotiate a workable parenting plan that prevents disputes or court intervention as you all move forward.
Skilled And Compassionate Custody Lawyers
At , we understand how important and how complex custody conflicts are. We know the law and how to maneuver for the best outcome for you and your children. To arrange a consultation call our Tyler office at 903-412-8346 or contact us online.