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Plano, TX Child Custody Attorney

Sachse TX child custody lawyer

Lawyer for Visitation and Child Conservatorship in Collin and Denton Counties

Child custody is one of the most important legal issues for both divorced and unmarried parents in Texas. The terms of a custody order will determine a parent's ability to spend time with their child and be involved in important decisions about their child's life. Child custody decisions also have a financial impact in relation to child support, and they will almost certainly have some effect on the parent's relationship with their child.

Considering both the personal and legal ramifications of a child custody case, you should be sure that you are represented by an attorney who can protect your interests and your children's well-being. With 10 years of family law experience, the team at the Law Office of Brian Bagley can help you handle both amicable and contested custody cases. We will do everything in our power to help you achieve your desired outcome, either through negotiations with the other parent or a child custody trial.

How is Child Custody Handled in Texas?

One of the challenges for parents in Texas child custody cases is understanding the unusual terminology that the state uses to describe these issues. In general, the legal term for child custody in Texas is "conservatorship," and this can take a few different forms.

One issue that Texas courts must resolve in a custody case is known as "managing conservatorship," which refers to a parent's authority to make important decisions about their child, including the child's primary residence, education, health care, and medical treatment. The court usually prefers for both parents to be involved in these decisions through a joint managing conservatorship, but one parent may instead be named as the sole managing conservator if doing so is in the child's best interest.

Parents who are granted managing conservatorship are also granted periods of "possession" of the child. This is more commonly known as visitation or physical custody, and it refers to the time that the child lives in each parent's home and care. Even parents without managing conservatorship can be granted possessory conservatorship, allowing them to regularly see their children even if they are not permitted input in important decisions.

Custody Decisions in the Child's Best Interest

You may be able to work out a joint managing conservatorship agreement with your child's other parent by negotiating or using alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation to create a parenting plan. If so, you should be sure that your plan addresses issues including a visitation schedule, a geographic designation for your child's primary residence, parental decision-making procedures, and provisions for modifying and enforcing the order. You can then file your plan with the court, where it will be reviewed to ensure it meets your children's best interests.

In a contested custody case, however, you and your child's other parent will likely need to prepare for a court hearing to determine how managing and possessory conservatorship responsibilities will be allocated to each parent. The children's best interests are of paramount importance in such a case as well, and the court will consider many different factors in making its decision. These include:

  • The children's physical, mental, and emotional needs
  • The preferences of children who are at least 12 years old
  • The parents' ability to prioritize their children's well-being and relationships with the other parent
  • The parents' previous involvement in the children's upbringing
  • The proximity of the parents' homes and the effects of the order on the children's routines
  • The parents' history of domestic violence toward each other or the children

Depending on the circumstances, the court may order joint conservatorship or sole conservatorship, and it may restrict or prohibit a parent's access to their children in cases of serious abuse or neglect.

Contact a Dallas County Child Custody Lawyer

We understand how difficult and stressful child custody cases can be, and we strive to make them more manageable by handling the complicated details and advocating confidently on your behalf. For a free consultation regarding your case, contact us at 972-422-2424 today. We represent parents in Dallas County, Collin County, Tarrant County, Denton County, and surrounding areas, including Parker, Wylie, Plano, Sachse, Lucas, and Murphy.

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