How Is Child Custody Determined In Texas?
Most parents agree that the needs of the child come first. Unfortunately, that is often where agreements end. Both parents may have dramatically different ideas of what is in the child’s best interest. That is why you need an experienced attorney on your side to advocate for you and protect your relationship with your child.
At the Law Office of Rebecca Anne Gonzalez in San Antonio, I have extensive experience in all areas of family law. At the outset of your case, I will take the time to get to know you and understand your relationship with your child. Then I will take every step to protect that relationship and help you do what is best for your child.
Where Do I File For Child Custody?
From the very start, pursuing a child custody case in the San Antonio area is complex. Finding accurate information online can be difficult.
For most people, the first question is: Where do I go to file for child custody? You file for child custody at the district clerk’s office in the county where your child resides. You can also file online. For example, if your child lives in Bexar County, you will file in the district clerk’s office at the courthouse at 100 Dolorosa in San Antonio.
The first step is to complete the correct form, either the divorce petition if the child custody case is part of a divorce, or a petition in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. I can help you complete your paperwork and make sure everything is filed correctly at the correct location.
What Is Really In The Child’s Best Interest?
In Texas courts, judges will base their decisions on what is in the best interest of the child, not the desires of either parent. This is based on several factors, such as the age and health of the child and the financial situation of both parents. In most situations, the ideal outcome is one that preserves the child’s current relationship with each parent. In most cases, that means the child will continue to spend time with both parents.
I will educate you about the various forms of child custody and visitation arrangements such as a standard possession order, an expanded standard possession order and 50/50 visitation. Parenting plans come in all shapes and sizes. You may have heard terms like joint custody and primary custody. I will help you understand them. I will help you determine the arrangements that make the most sense in your case, and I will strive to obtain them.
Child Custody For Unmarried Parents — Suit Affecting The Parent-Child Relationship
Unwed parents faced with child custody issues will have to address many unique issues. For instance, there may be a need for a paternity test and related documentation to legally establish the father of the child. In Texas, parents can address these and other issues by filing what is known as a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). By establishing paternity, mothers can establish child support and even recover retroactive child support for up to four years. As your lawyer, I can assist with all aspects of your Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship.
Can Child Custody Be Changed?
Even though the objective of a child custody case is to establish a reliable, permanent plan for both parents and children alike, Texas law recognizes that circumstances change. When necessary, child custody arrangements can be changed along with them. By filing a modification suit, you can seek changes to child custody. If the other parent agrees with the changes, it is considered an uncontested modification suit. If the other parent does not want the changes, it is contested and the legal process will be more involved.
Regardless of the situation, I am a lawyer who can guide you through the process of changing child custody. Whether you need to make the change due to something like a change in your work schedule or you fear that your child may be in danger when with the other parent, I can help.
Why Do Fathers Or Mothers Lose Custody Of Their Children?
Losing custody of a child is something every parent fears. However, it is actually fairly rare and tends to be reserved for the most extreme circumstances, such as those involving abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, imprisonment and the like. Texas law wants both parents to be involved in a child’s upbringing whenever possible. With that said, the child’s safety is paramount. While a parent totally being cut out of child’s life is rare, there are scenarios where a parent may only be able to see a child through supervised visitation.
Whether you are worried you will lose custody or you want to prevent your child from spending time with a parent who you believe puts the child in danger, I encourage you to discuss the matter with me.
Learn More About Child Custody Options In Texas
I am available to answer your questions about child custody and visitation. Contact me today at 210-888-9836 or toll free at 800-823-6321 or, if you prefer, by email. Evening and weekend appointments are available, upon request.