May 22, 2015 | Share
Who Makes Child Custody Decisions in A Divorce?
Divorce is rarely easy for anyone, but there are certain approaches you can take to help make the transition a little bit less confusing, especially when it comes to child custody.
So many parents are so deeply emotionally invested in custody issues that understanding more of the process may help you make the best decisions for your child or children. If you need help with your divorce, please contact a McKinney child custody attorney at Nordhaus Walpole PLLC.
One of the biggest concerns of parents is who will make the child custody decisions in a divorce. It’s natural to want to be in charge of decision-making for your child, but ultimately the only thing that determines what happens with child custody is the best interest of the child.
Since this is the only standard by which courts issue final orders in custody arrangements — called conservatorship in Texas — you should keep it at the front of your mind. Parents can exert plenty of control over who makes child custody decisions, as long as it is in the best interest of the child.
Parents Can Make Custody Decisions
Texas family courts presume that the best interest of the child is served when both parents share what is called managing conservatorship — the authority to make legal decisions for the child, such as where the child attends school or church or visits the doctor.
Possessory conservatorship, often referred to as physical custody, may be split less equally in many cases. One parent may care for the child during the week or several weeks each month or during the school year. The courts still generally favor arrangements where both parents are able to share physical custody.
If you are hoping to make these decisions yourself, it is best to work closely with your attorney to form an agreement with the child’s other parent. Your child custody attorney can help you negotiate a custody arrangement that suits the best interests of your child.
As long as the child’s other parent is willing to work with the best-interest standard, you may find that you can make a good portion of the child custody decisions.
Family Law Courts May Make Custody Decisions Too
If you and the child’s other parent are unable to agree to a custody arrangement that is in the child’s best interest, the court will intervene and make the decision for you.
By working with an experienced attorney, you can present evidence that supports your case. Some of this evidence might include showing how much time you already spend with your child, what factors you control that influence the child’s health and safety, where you live, what your financial situation is and compare these factors with the lifestyle of the other parent. The court will issue a final order and that final order is legally binding upon both parents.
Child Custody Appeals in Texas
If you disagree with the final order, your attorney may be able to present legal grounds for an appeal. This must happen swiftly and the right to appeal is not guaranteed, but you may find that an appeals court agrees with what you say is in your child’s best interest.
Let us know if you need help with child custody decisions in McKinney or nearby. Our attorneys are here to assist you.
Categories: Family Law & Divorce