Houston Child Custody Attorneys
Protecting Your Family Throughout the Texas Divorce Process
Everyone wants what is best for their children. In a contentious divorce, however, tensions can erupt when there are disagreements over what will best serve the needs of a child. Custody cases can be especially emotionally difficult to navigate due to what is at stake.
Our Houston child custody lawyers at Myres & Associates PLLC can work to explore all available solutions in resolving your custody case as quickly and painlessly as possible. We are compassionate to the challenges parents experience when these cases need to be adjudicated and work to do everything possible to achieve results that will benefit your family.
Types of Child Custody in Texas
There are two discrete types of custody that are relevant in Texas courts. Physical custody is granted to the parent who has physical possession and access to the child. Legal custody determines who has the authority to make significant life decisions for the child, including where they live, where they go to school, what religion they practice, and what medical care they receive.
Barring extenuating circumstances, Texas courts will typically rule that both parents should share responsibilities of physical and legal custody in a joint managing conservatorship. A joint managing conservatorship does not mean the parents necessarily have equal abilities: One parent may be granted physical custody, for example, while legal custody will be more or less equally shared.
In situations where a court believes a joint managing conservatorship is not in the best interest of a child, a judge may choose to grant a sole managing conservatorship to just one of the parents. A sole managing conservatorship gives a parent both full physical and legal custody. This approach is not favored by the courts but can be pursued if one of the parent’s behavior poses a threat to the child. This can include a history of drug and alcohol abuse, physically or emotionally abusive behavior, or an extensive criminal record.
How Child Custody Is Decided in Texas
When litigation is required to resolve disputes involving custody, the judge will only consider what they believe to be what is best for the child. The court will evaluate any relevant factors that might influence the child’s wellbeing or either parent’s fitness to care for the child. Legal teams of each spouse will present arguments and evidence for the court’s consideration.
Factors that can influence a child custody decision in Texas include:
- Each parent’s income and financial resources
- Each parent’s physical health
- Each parent’s criminal histories, especially if familial abuse was involved
- Each parent’s role in caring for the child thus far
- The potential for each course of action to cause disruption in a child’s life
- The child’s preferences (if they are at least 12 years-old)
Our Houston child custody attorneys are familiar with how child custody cases are adjudicated in Texas and can give you the support and advocacy you need to achieve your goals. No matter how complex your case may seem, we can assess the facts and help you understand your options.
The Role of Visitation in Texas
Even in joint managing conservatorships, a child will need to maintain a primary residence with one parent. The other parent will in most circumstances be granted some form of visitation rights, or guaranteed, regular periods in which they can spend time with and help raise their child.
Contrary to a common misunderstanding, visitation and spousal support are not interrelated. Visitation rights cannot be denied just because a parent is struggling to pay their support obligations. Only the appropriate court can restrict or otherwise modify a visitation order, and this is generally only done if a judge is convinced that a parent’s continued presence is not in the best interest of the child. Our team can also assist you with visitation enforcement and other custody or support problems once a decision has been issued.
Get Help with Child Custody
We understand that matters of child custody are fraught with stress and uncertainty. Our Houston child custody lawyers at Myres & Associates PLLC will leave no stone unturned in advocating for what is best for your child and your family. We have decades of experience helping families develop effective, persuasive strategies, and our founding attorney is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If your case has already been decided but circumstances impacting custody, support, or visitation have changed, our team can assist you in modifications and other means of post-judgment custody support.
Support Network of Experienced Professionals
We work with a national and international network to help provide industry-leading support during and after your case, ranging from forensic accountants to specialized counseling coaches.
Collaborative, Team-Based Approach
When you work with any of our attorneys, you get the experience, knowledge, and support of our entire team. We're all by your side.
Experienced In & Out of the Courtroom
We will do our best to achieve an amicable settlement out of court. If additional litigation is needed, we are right there ready to go.
Fully Invested in Your Case
We care about the outcome and well-being of your family as much as you do. We will do everything to protect your best interests.