During a divorce with children, much of the negotiations and mediations are focused on the visitation or physical custody of the children as well as the power to make important decisions about the children. In Texas law, these are known as possessory conservatorship and managing conservatorship, respectively. In many cases, the parents can work together to create a parenting plan that meets the children’s needs and addresses possessory conservatorship and managing conservatorship. However, in some cases, parents cannot come to an agreement, and the decisions may be made by court order. It is essential to hire a child custody lawyer experienced in contested custody cases and who knows the factors the court will consider when making its decision.
Factors in a Contested Child Custody Case
Through negotiations or mediation, parents can often create a parenting plan which addresses issues such as the children’s primary residence, a visitation schedule with each parent, how the parents will share decision-making responsibilities, and how the order will be enforced and modified if necessary in the future. The court will approve this agreement if it meets the best interests of the children.
In this contested child custody case, a judge will weigh several factors in determining how managing conservatorship and possessory conservatorship will be divided. Throughout the process, the children’s best interests will be paramount. These factors can include:
The mental, physical, and emotional needs of the children
What the parents’ relationship is with each other
How involved each of the parents was in raising the children before the divorce.
How close the parents live to each other and how that will affect the children’s everyday life and custody agreement.
If there is any previous domestic violence between the parents or by either of the parents to the children. In cases of serious abuse or neglect, the court may restrict or prohibit a parent’s access to the children.
If any of the children are at least 12 years old, their preferences will be considered too.
The judge’s order may include a plan for joint conservatorship between the parents or a sole conservatorship by one parent. If one parent does not have managing conservatorship, they may still be granted visitation, or possessory conservatorship, to allow them to see their children regularly.
Contact a Plano Child Custody Attorney
At Law Office of Brian Bagley, our Collin County family law attorneys know how important it is to achieve the best outcome for you and your children during a divorce case. We will work with you so that you understand the process, help you through negotiations, and represent you in court if necessary. Call our office at (972) 843-7158 today to set up your free initial consultation.