First of all, you may be wondering where to find the laws on child custody in Texas. The answer is that Texas child custody laws in are codified under Title 5 of the Texas Family Code. The rules are very complex and this article is just a brief introductory guide. To get specific details about your case please call my office to schedule an appointment.
What is a Child Custody Determination?
Texas family courts consider two prongs of what is commonly referred to as child custody in everyday language. The first prong I will talk about is possession, what most parents may think of first when it comes to child custody. Possession means which parent is physically in possession of the child, a court will consider when and where both parents should have possession of the children and for how long. Conservatorship refers to the right and duty of a parent to make decisions about a child and the duties that a parent has towards a child. Texas family courts determine a parents rights and duties using what is known as the best interests of the child standard. It isn't about what the parents want, it is about what is best for the child in the court's eyes after an interpretation of the Texas Family Code and Texas case law.
A More Detailed Explanation of Conservatorship in Texas Family Law?
Conservatorship is the term that describes the rights and duties that you have towards your child such as the right to make decisions. As you are probably aware, there are many decisions that need to be made when raising a child and you may not have specifically pondered all of them, it may have been something that you just did. In the child custody context the court will decide if one or both parents should make certain decisions, and what decisions are to be made. Sometimes parents make decisions jointly and are called joint managing conservators or conversely one parent makes all the decision and they are called a sole managing conservator. An example of a decision that a court may assign to one or both parents is the right to make educational decisions or the right to make decisions about an invasive medical procedure, or the right to designate where a child primarily resides. (This decision is usually by only one parent). A court may decide that only one parent is to make a decision or both parents are to agree to the decision. There are also other options that a court may consider. There are some rights that parents have at all times and some rights that parents only have when the child is in their possession. An example of a right that a parent has at all times is the right to attend school activities or to be informed about how a child is doing in school. Another is the right to be notified in the event of an emergency regarding the child or to make an emergency medical decision. An example of a right and duty that a parent may have only during their period of possession is the right to exercise reasonable discipline on a child or the duty to feed and clothe the child. There are many rights and duties and some of the issues surrounding who should make those decisions or perform certain duties can become contentious in child custody litigation given the complexity of many specific circumstances in which people operate. If you need help with a child custody case then you should hire a competent attorney at the Law Office of Chad Zubi to aggressively pursue you getting the rights and duties that you should regarding your child. You can get a free consultation by calling 281-962-3877 or by sending an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here and leaving your contact information.
Possession and Access and Child Custody
Under Texas family law there are managing conservators and possessory conservators. A managing conservator is the parent who has primary possession of the child meaning that the managing conservator has the exclusive right to determine where the child lives. This parent is commonly called the primary parent. Usually the primary parent will have the child for the majority of the time and the other parent will be given a visitation schedule. The other parent is called a possessory conservator. A common visitation schedule in Texas child custody cases is the standard possession order which in a nutshell is every first, third, and fifth weekends of each month and alternating holidays. It is possible to come up with a custom visitation schedule and that is commonly accomplished in mediation more than it is in front of a judge.
Child support in Texas is almost always paid by the parent who does not get to decide where a child lives. The non primary parent. Child support in Texas is based on the payor's income level and is based according to certain guidelines that were developed by the Texas legislature and are presumed to be in the best interest of the child. You can calculate your child support amount by visiting the resources page of this site by clicking here. If a court is going to veer from guideline child support then the judge is going to have to have a reason why veering from the Texas guidelines is in the best interest of the child. In mediation it is much easier to agree on a child support amount that is different from the Texas guidelines.
Contact the Law Office of Chad Zubi if you need help with your case
If you have a child custody case then I urge you to hire a compatant lawyer to represent you. There are many more complexities to the relevant law other than what is mentioned here. You can schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at the Law Office of Chad Zubi by calling 281-962-3877 or sending an email to email@example.com or by clicking here and leaving your contact information.
What is a Protective Order?
The state of Texas has enacted legislation, under the Texas Family Code, that allows a victim of domestic violence to ask a Texas family court of law to render an order that is designed to help stop an abuser from contacting, threatening, physically harming, a victim or a victim's household, and ordering the abuser to stay away from the victim's residence or place of employment.
When does a Texas Family Court Issue a Protective Order?
The Texas Family Code states that "A court shall render a protective order if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. Family violence means an act by a member of a family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
Who Can Get a Protective Order?
Members of a Household
If family violence has occurred (an act by a member of a family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself) or if abuse has occurred against a child of the family or household by a member of a family or household then an adult member of the family or household may file an application for a protective order to protect the applicant or any other member of the applicant's family or household. That is a mouthful. Stated more simply, if a person who is a member of a home acts in a way that harms, or causes fear of harm, against another member of the household then they may qualify for a protective order. An adult may file for a protective order to protect themselves or another victim member of their household including children. It is also important to note that any adult can file for a protective order to protect a child from family violence.
Victims of Dating Violence May be Eligible for a Protective Order
If an adult person is a part of a dating relationship with the abuser then that adult person may file a protective order if dating violence has occurred against the adult person. Dating violence is defined as an act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or has had a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
Who is a Part of a Dating Relationship According to the Texas Family Code?
Obviously, not all relationships can be considered dating relationships. The Texas Family Code defines a dating relationship for purposes of obtaining a protective order as a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. That is a fairly vague definition and is open to several interpretations at first glance. Therefore, the Texas legislature has determined that the existence of a dating relationship is determined by three main factors and a certain type of relationship is specifically excluded. The first factor that a court examines in deciding if a dating relationship exists or existed is the length of the relationship, the second thing is the nature of the relationship, and the last thing is the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. These factors give a court the tools they need to determine if a dating relationship exists or existed. A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a "dating relationship." If you, a child, or a member of your family or household is a victim of physical violence or the threat of physical violence then you should get help immediately by calling the police, but additionally a protective order is an option that you have. You should get a qualified lawyer to help you with all of the complexities involved in obtaining a protective order in Texas. The Law Office of Chad Zubi can help you determine if you qualify for a Texas protective order and can aggressively represent your interests. You can call 281-962-3877 or click here to send your contact information. You can also reach the Law Office of Chad Zubi by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Protective Orders
In certain circumstances an applicant for a protective order needs immediate temporary protection to protect themselves or another member of the family or household of the applicant from violence or the threat of violence of an abuser while the protective order proceedings are going on. Texas family law allows for a temporary protective order to be issued without giving notice to the other party if certain requirements are met. If a Texas court finds from the information contained in an application for a protective order that there is a clear and present danger of family violence, the court without further notice to the alleged abuser and without hearing may enter a temporary order for the protection of the applicant or any other member of the family or household of the applicant. If you or a member of your family or household is in danger then call the authorities. The Law Office of Chad Zubi can help you decide if you qualify for a temporary ex-parte protective order and help you obtain one. Call the Law Office of Chad Zubi at 281-962-3877 to schedule a free consultation. You can also send an email to email@example.com or leave your contact information by clicking here.