Trust Our Devoted Austin Child Custody Lawyers
Our Austin child custody lawyers will help you do what’s right for your children. In Texas, child custody is called conservatorship. Conservatorship is, contrary to popular belief, not about where the child primarily lives. It’s actually about which parent gets to make the big decisions for the child, including but not limited to what school they attend, what doctor they see, and yes, also where they live. When it comes to your kids, we know you only want what’s best for them.
Unfortunately, during child custody proceedings, it can often be difficult for parents to agree on what’s best for their children, so the court must decide these issues. When going to court, you want someone sitting with you who has experience fighting these battles like Chris, who is a family law specialist. Each parent must convince the court (usually a judge) what is in the child’s best interest one way or the other. This is why it is so important for you to have one of our experienced Austin child custody lawyers on your side.
Types of Conservatorship
The two types of conservatorship in Texas are Sole Managing Conservatorship and Joint Managing Conservatorship. The Sole Managing Conservator has the right to make most of the choices about the children. If parents are Joint Managing Conservators, they both have rights to certain decisions. However, generally one parent is awarded the right to determine the primary domicile, or in plain English, choose the children’s primary residency.
Does the Judge Give Preference to the Mother?
Judges may not give preference to the child’s mother over the father in court proceedings, as it is against Texas state law. They generally try to make the least disruptive ruling for the children’s sake, so regardless if the primary caretaker has been the father or mother, judges will often award custody to that parent in order to make things as smooth as possible for the children after the divorce.
What Is Taken into Consideration?
The court will look at the ability of each parent to care for the children. Substance abuse by one parent can affect the decision of the court, as can physical and emotional abuse. Mental illness is also taken into account if relevant. If the child is 12 years of age or older, the child can speak with the judge and the judge will take their preference into account, but will not rely solely on the child’s wishes when making the conservatorship decision. These are the most common things that can affect the decision, but the court will consider anything it deems relevant to the custody of your children. In the end, the court must always find that its ruling is “in the best interest” of the children.
No one wants to fight over their children, but we may do it because we love them and want to avoid disrupting their lives any more than necessary. Sometimes, parents disagree what that is best for their children. While it is unfortunate that parents are pitted against each other the Austin child custody lawyers here at Merritt Law are ready to fight alongside you for your children. If you need our help, contact our Austin Child Custody Lawyers to schedule your initial consultation.