Frisco Child Custody Attorneys
Why a Lawyer is Needed for Child Custody Cases
Custody is one of the most important issues to settle during a divorce or after a separated couple has a child together. At Pfister Family Law, we are intimately familiar with the laws and processes that govern child custody determinations in Texas. With decades of combined experience, our child custody lawyers in Frisco can advocate for your best interests while protecting your parental rights every step of the way.
How Is Child Custody Determined In Texas?
In Texas, there is a presumption under the law that parents should be named as joint managing conservators. To determine the appropriate conservatorship of the child, the court will use the "best interests of the child" standard.
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How Custody Is Determined in Texas
For the vast majority of cases, Texas courts presume that some form of joint custody is best for children. That is, the child will live part of the time with both parents who will share parental duties, such as making educational choices or medical decisions.
However, unless the parents agree, one parent will still have the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child. Usually, the other parent will have a Texas Standard Possession Order and pay guideline child support.
The courts often award "standard possession" or primary custody to one parent, with a defined visitation schedule for the other one. The custodial parent is generally barred from moving out of the jurisdiction with the children.
Texas courts can give children ages 12 and older the chance to explain which parent they would prefer to live with, but the court makes the final decision. Courts can have the discretion to allow children younger than 12 to express a preference, and we can help you decide whether to ask the court to do so.
What Do Courts Look For in a Custody Case?
Ultimately, the court is concerned with the best interests of the child. The goal is to issue a custody order that ensures the child's physical and emotional well-being. Some of the things that judges look for in a custody battle include, but are not limited to:
- Each parent's capacity to care for the child
- Each parent's financial situation
- Each parent's living situation
- Each parent's relationship with the child
- Any history of substance abuse and/or domestic violence on the part of either parent
- The child's preference, if they are 12 years old or older
There is no set formula for deciding child custody in Texas, which is why it is important to have a skilled Frisco child custody lawyer on your side.
What Should You Not Do During a Custody Battle?
- Avoid any altercations with your children or your ex-partner
- Avoid any appearance of talking down about the other side
- Never damage property of an ex-spouse
- Do not interrupt your child's regular schedule, or take them on a trip without your ex-spouse's knowledge
Finding Solutions in Your Best Interests
Our attorneys help negotiate child custody agreements involving equal or approximately equal time and decision-making abilities. If the agreement is reached in a mediated settlement agreement, the courts must honor the agreement. We can also act as mediators – provided both parents have an attorney – as counsel in collaborative law negotiation, or in traditional negotiation to create a workable parenting plan.
If a compromise cannot be reached, the court will determine custody, visitation, and child support. Should that be necessary, we have the trial experience and skills to litigate aggressively on your behalf to protect your rights.
What Rights does a Mother Have to Her Child?
We have experience in paternity and various custody claims involving mothers, fathers, grandparents, or other individuals seeking visitation rights or custody. An unmarried mother always has full custody of a child from birth, but a married mother carries the same rights as the father. We also represent grandparents and other family members who intervene in CPS suits to seek custody of the children involved.
In certain cases, courts may award a set possession order to grandparents in cases. We handle uncontested stepparent adoptions and private adoptions to help clients overcome any legal barriers. Additionally, we handle contested adoption and private termination suits for individuals.
We Always Think in Terms of Resolution
We Offer Child Custody and Parenting Agreements
We Prepare Each Case for the Possibility of a Jury Trial
We Commit to Constantly Adding to Our Legal Knowledge
We Strive to Be Responsive, Attentive and Compassionate