Determining the custody of a minor child when parents are no longer living together can be extremely complicated and emotional.
At the law offices of Simer & Tetens, our child custody lawyers in Waco, TX can help you to understand our state’s laws surrounding the custody of children, what your rights are in regards to custody of your child, and how to reach a child custody agreement with your spouse or former partner.
Reach out to us today to learn more.
Types of Child Custody Arrangements in Texas
In today’s world, parents may reach a parenting agreement that allows them both to have custody and visitation rights with the child, as well as the power to both make decisions about the child’s life.
In fact, having both parents equally involved in the child’s upbringing is often preferable. This is known as a joint custody agreement.
In other words, this is when both parents participate in providing care for the child. They also work together to make decisions about the child’s life.
Texas recognizes both physical custody and legal custody as two distinct custody types. Ideally, parents may share both, but if a relationship is especially contentious or other there are other circumstances, physical custody may be given to one parent only. Legal custody (the ability to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and life) will be shared.
It is rare for a parent’s visitation rights to be completely revoked, or for only one parent to be able to make decisions about a child’s education, healthcare, religion, etc.
Reaching a Child Custody Arrangement in Waco
When parents do not plan to live together and raise a child together in one household, they must come to an agreement about the child’s care. One way to help separated parents prepare for the challenges of co-parenting a child is to create a parenting plan.
A parenting plan–the creation and adoption of which is often ordered by the court–is a plan that details the following:
- Where a child will live.
- What the visitation rights of the other parent will be.
- Who will make decisions about the child’s life.
- How the child will be transported from one parent’s home to the other’s.
- And various other child-rearing specifics.
Parents are strongly encouraged to work together when they create a parenting plan or child custody arrangement. In addition, they should reach an agreement via negotiation and mediation.
When both parents come to an agreement on their own, there is often less resentment about following the terms of the agreement. Because of this, the general relationship between the parents is usually more amicable – something that can be very important for the child’s well-being.
In the event that parents cannot reach an agreement about their child’s care, they must turn to the court to make a decision for them.
If a court is tasked with making a child custody determination, it will do so based on the child’s best interests. According to the Texas Family Code, there are numerous factors that the court may consider in determining a child’s best interests. This includes the physical and mental needs of the child, the ability and willingness of each parent to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other parent, the child’s wishes, and more.
How Our Child Custody Lawyers in Waco, TX Can Help
Our lawyers will be by your side to explain to you the different factors a court considers in reaching a child custody determination, and what you can do to improve the chances of a judge ruling in your favor.
Before it even gets to that, though, we can represent you in negotiations with your spouse and help you to understand the value of compromise.
Going to court is not only contentious, but also expensive and time-consuming, too – we’ll work hard to help you and your spouse reach an out-of-court agreement that considers everyone’s needs and puts your child’s interests first.
Call Our Child Custody Lawyers, Waco, TX Today
The idea of losing custody of your child is likely extremely hard to come to terms with.
One thing that you can do to even the playing field–especially if your (ex) spouse has retained legal counsel–is to hire a skilled child custody lawyer who is committed to working hard for you.
At Simer & Tetens, our lawyers understand how sensitive child custody cases can be and will approach your case competently and aggressively. We are passionate about helping families like yours.