Child Custody

Your child custody case may be uncontested or may involve serious issues affecting your child’s best interest. Our team of lawyers has assisted parents in every variety of child custody dispute from amicable shared custody arrangements to high-stakes contested cases.

Contact us today to schedule your personalized consultation:  by phone, 512-201-4083, or email

Austin Law Firm with Experience in Child Custody Matters

Disputes over child custody and visitation rights can be highly contentious and emotionally challenging in family law matters. Our primary goal in child custody cases is to assist you in finding a custody arrangement that prioritizes the well-being of your children and your family as a whole. Throughout the process, we emphasize focusing on the child’s best interest and encourage our clients to prioritize their needs rather than engaging in actions against the other parent.

Understanding Child Custody in Texas

In Texas, child custody cases start with the presumption that parents will have joint conservatorship of their children. The term “conservatorship” refers to the rights and responsibilities parents have towards their children. It encompasses legal custody, which involves making major decisions regarding the child’s health and education, as well as determining where the child will live. Additionally, conservatorship encompasses physical custody, which pertains to the actual possession and care of the child.

Furthermore, Texas law presumes that the Standard Possession Order, which includes a specific visitation schedule, is in the child’s best interest. This schedule typically includes weekend possession, extended summer visits, and alternating holidays. However, it’s important to note that these standard provisions serve as a starting point and can be modified based on the unique circumstances of each case.

divorce attorney Austin, TX
divorce lawyer Austin, TX

Promoting Cooperation and Customization

When it comes to child custody, our approach emphasizes the importance of cooperation between parents in reaching agreements regarding possession time and custody rights. While standard provisions exist, we believe that parents have the ability to work together to find solutions that meet the unique needs of their children. Courts generally support and approve agreements that are reached amicably between parents, recognizing the value of parental collaboration.

In child custody cases, various types of custody are considered, including joint physical custody, legal custody, and sole legal custody. Joint physical custody involves both parents sharing the physical care and residence of the child. Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to the authority to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious matters. Sole legal custody grants one parent the exclusive right to make these decisions without the input of the other parent.

We encourage parents to consider joint legal custody, as it fosters ongoing collaboration and shared responsibility for the well-being of the child. Joint legal custody allows both parents to participate in significant decision-making processes, ensuring that the child benefits from the input and involvement of both parents. This arrangement recognizes the value of maintaining a positive and cooperative co-parenting relationship, which is essential for the child’s overall development and stability.

While parental agreements are typically respected, courts retain the authority to impose restrictions or modifications to custody arrangements when necessary to safeguard the well-being of the children involved. This authority is exercised in cases where there is evidence of family violence, severe mental illness, child abuse, or substance abuse problems. By imposing restrictions, the court aims to protect the children and ensure their safety and emotional well-being.

When determining custody arrangements, the mental and physical health of both parents is considered to ensure the best interests of the children. Courts take into account the ability of each parent to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child. Factors such as mental stability, physical fitness, and the capacity to meet the child’s emotional and developmental needs are carefully evaluated. This assessment ensures that the custody arrangement supports the overall well-being and healthy growth of the child.

Our experienced team recognizes the significance of mental and physical health in child custody matters. We strive to advocate for arrangements that prioritize the child’s best interest and create a supportive environment for their growth. By considering all relevant factors, including the different types of custody, joint decision-making, and the well-being of both parents, we aim to help you navigate the complexities of child custody proceedings and reach a resolution that is beneficial for your child’s future.

The Goal: A Comprehensive Court Order

In every child custody suit, our primary objective is to secure a comprehensive court order that delineates the rights and responsibilities of each parent, visitation schedules, child support, and any other necessary provisions that prioritize the child’s best interest. With our knowledgeable and experienced team by your side, we are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process and attaining the desired outcome in your child custody matter. We recognize the crucial role that mental and physical health play in relation to child custody, and we ensure that all relevant factors are thoroughly considered.

Whether your goal is joint physical custody, sole legal custody, or any other custody arrangement, we are committed to advocating for your interests. We understand that each case is unique, and we tailor our approach to serve your individual needs. Our focus is on securing a custody arrangement that not only protects your child’s well-being but also reflects your desires as a parent.

In child custody determinations, primary physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. Sole physical custody means that one parent has exclusive physical custody of the child. These arrangements can significantly impact the child’s relationship with each parent, and we carefully consider the dynamics involved to develop a custody plan that supports a healthy and nurturing environment.

Joint custody, whether it involves joint physical custody or joint legal custody, recognizes the importance of shared decision-making and parental involvement. We help you navigate the complexities of joint custody arrangements, ensuring that both parents have a voice in important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. Our goal is to foster cooperation and collaboration between parents while promoting a stable and loving environment for the child.

Obtaining a detailed child custody order is paramount in ensuring clarity and consistency in co-parenting. The court’s involvement is crucial in approving and enforcing custody arrangements. We leverage our expertise to present your case effectively and advocate for your desired custody arrangement. Throughout the process, we take into account the child’s best interest, ensuring that the child custody order reflects their needs and provides a framework for their well-being.

Let us support you in determining the best path forward for you and your child. We are committed to your success and will work diligently to achieve a favorable child custody resolution that promotes the well-being of your child and maintains your parental rights.

For more information on child support, please see Child Support.

Questions about Child Custody?

What custody arrangement is best for a child?

When determining the best custody arrangement for a child, several factors are taken into consideration. According to recent family laws, many courtrooms favor a joint custody arrangement whenever it is feasible. This means that both parents share responsibility for the child’s upbringing and decision-making.

The primary goal of a joint custody arrangement is to ensure that children can maintain positive relationships with both parents even after their separation or divorce. This arrangement recognizes the importance of the child’s well-being and encourages ongoing involvement from both parents in their upbringing.

By spending significant time with each parent, children have the opportunity to develop and maintain strong bonds with both sides of their family. This arrangement also allows for shared decision-making regarding important aspects of the child’s life, such as education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.

Ultimately, the best custody arrangement for a child is one that promotes their emotional and psychological well-being, supports their ongoing relationships with both parents, and considers their individual needs and circumstances. It’s important to note that each situation is unique, and the best custody arrangement may vary depending on the specific dynamics and needs of the child and their parents.

Who decides custody?

As is usually the case in family law, courts will weigh all parental agreements regarding child custody. If parent-parent cooperation is possible in order for fair and appropriate custody arrangements, the courts may approve the case. Working together provides a better chance of controlling who’s going through the separation process or divorce process in their own family. The judge decides for you whether to have child custody or a visitation if you try to talk to your partner or participate in child custody mediation. The court must look at specific circumstances before a child’s custody decision.

How courts make custody decisions?

In custody cases, courts typically prioritize the best interests of the child when making decisions. Several factors are considered in determining what arrangement would be most suitable. If none of these factors favor one parent over the other, courts tend to focus primarily on the child’s well-being and which parent can provide the best support.

When children are younger, this often means that the parent who has been the primary caregiver should continue to take care of them. Courts recognize the importance of maintaining stability and consistency for younger children, as they may have formed stronger attachments to their primary caregiver.

However, it’s important to note that custody decisions are not solely based on the caregiver’s role. Courts take into account various other factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, their emotional and physical well-being, their educational and social needs, and any history of abuse or neglect. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests and promotes their overall development and happiness.

It’s worth mentioning that custody decisions can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case, as courts strive to tailor their judgments to the unique needs and dynamics of the individuals involved.

How can I modify custody arrangements?

In virtually every state a judge must always keep stability for the child while taking a custody decision. This strong preference towards maintaining the status quo makes modification of current custody orders difficult. In order to amend custody or visitation, a state must show that it has changed substantially circumstances. Moreover, parents have to demonstrate that this order does little more than serve the interests of children

What types of custody awards exist?

Custody awards can be granted in two main forms: physical and legal, and they can be held either jointly or solely by parents. When a parent has physical custody, it means they have the right to have the child live with them. Legal custody, on the other hand, grants the parent the authority to make decisions regarding important aspects of the child’s life, such as religion and medical care.

In most cases, parents are entitled to physical custody of their child, meaning the child resides primarily with them. However, there are situations where sole custody is awarded. This typically occurs when one parent is considered unfit or incapable of adequately caring for the child. Sole custody arrangements have historically been more common, but nowadays they are generally given in specific cases where it is deemed in the child’s best interests.

Alternatively, joint custody arrangements are increasingly favored. These occur when both parents share either physical or legal custody, or sometimes both. Joint physical custody means the child spends significant time living with each parent, and joint legal custody entails that both parents make important decisions together regarding the child’s upbringing. This arrangement promotes cooperation between parents and ensures that both have ongoing involvement in their child’s life.

The specific type of custody arrangement awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and what is deemed most beneficial for the child’s well-being and development. Courts strive to create arrangements that prioritize the child’s best interests and encourage positive and collaborative co-parenting.

What types of custody orders exist?

The child custody process is divided between the legal custody of a child and the parental custody of the child: Parents who share legal custody both have an equal right to decide about certain aspects of their own children’s lives but they do not have a legal right to take each decision. Neither parent has the right to do anything independently. But to avoid any problem and get through trial, both parents must talk to one another and work together to make decisions. Joint custody does not mean children have a minimum of half of their time together in a single household.

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