Arlington Child Custody Lawyer
Texas child custody law attempts to balance the interests of all parties involved whenever possible in child custody and visitation matters. The courts favor joint custody or “joint managing conservatorship” of children in marriage dissolution.
It’s important to not misinterpret “joint managing conservatorship” to mean an even 50/50 split in terms of time with children. Many parenting plans come close to creating equal time for both parties, but it is not guaranteed.
At the law firm of J.D. Milks, PLLC, in Arlington, Texas, we work with clients and opposing counsel to reach an agreement on custody and visitation plans whenever possible rather than leave the decision to a family court judge.
Once a child is 18 years old and is no longer enrolled in school, he or she is no longer considered a minor for custody purposes. The child is legally an adult under Texas law.
Mansfield TX Child Custody
Texas courts address two different types of custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions that will impact the child’s life, such as education, religion and medical matters. Physical custody refers to where and with whom the child lives.
The courts’ guiding legal principle in deciding who should be the custodial parent is the child’s “best interests.” Factors that are considered in determining what is in the child’s best interest include:
- The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody
- The stability of each parent’s home
- The emotional and physical needs of the child (now and in the future)
- The extent of parental involvement of each party in the child’s life to this point
- The desires of the child (if the child is at least 12 years old)
To emphasize the importance of parental cooperation, many courts require parents to attend parenting or divorce education classes before a court action can be finalized.
Courts also typically order both parties to meet with a neutral third-party mediator to work out disagreements. We accompany our clients to mediation in order to review proposed agreements and answer any of their questions.
Meet With An Arlington, Texas Custody Lawyer Who Will Protect Your Rights
Every child custody case has its own set of circumstances that greatly impacts the outcome. Our attorneys take the time to review your situation carefully before developing the strongest possible case to meet your objectives.