One of the most difficult issues to deal with in a divorce is how and when each parent may have access to their children. Father’s rights, mother’s rights, and even grandparents’ rights are all guided by one thing –the best interests of the child. Protect your parental rights during divorce.
The court takes into account all circumstances that best serve the child’s physical, emotional and mental needs, above all else.
This may result in shared custody where both parents have access to the children, or the court may award sole custody to either the father or the mother, making one or the other the sole conservator. In cases where a sole conservator is decided, that parent has all the rights to make decisions about schooling, healthcare, legal needs and extracurricular activities. In a joint conservator situation, both parents must work together to make decisions.
Courts take many factors into consideration when deciding custody issues. They can include the children’s emotional and physical needs as well as the stability of each parent’s home. Parents must also be able to demonstrate that they can competently provide for the children’s immediate and future needs.
In addition, consideration will also be given to the past relationship between each child and each parent. And in cases where the child is 12 years or older, the court will also give strong consideration to where a child wants to live and what their relationship is with their siblings.
As part of a divorce proceeding, a court will encourage parents to try and work out a custody and visitation plan before a conservatorship hearing is held. The plan should include which parent will be responsible for the child during the week, on weekends and on holidays. Sometimes, if parents cannot agree, the judge will step in and resolve custody and visitation issues.
Once the custody order is in place and approved, it generally cannot be changed unless agreed upon by both parents, or if there is a significant change in circumstances for any member of the family.
Myres & Associates proudly serves Houston and surrounding Texas communities. To learn more, contact our office to speak with a Houston family law attorney.