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Child Custody

Dallas Fort Worth Attorneys Representing Parents in Family Law Matters

If the parents of a child decide to divorce or end their relationship, an important concern is typically how custody of the child should be divided. In some cases, co-parents parting ways are able to amicably determine a custody arrangement that is suitable for everyone involved. In many cases, however, child custody is a contentious issue. If you are involved in a custody dispute with your child's co-parent, it is prudent to meet with a skilled Dallas Fort Worth child custody lawyer regarding your options for protecting your rights. The assertive family law attorneys at Powell Law Offices will work persistently to help you seek a custody framework that is suitable for your child and allows you to exercise your parental rights.

Factors Weighed in Determining Custody

When the parents of a child cannot come to an agreement regarding custody, it may become necessary to seek legal intervention. In any Texas case in which the parties are seeking custody of a child, the court will determine a custody plan that is in the best interest of the child. The court will assess numerous factors in evaluating what is in the child’s best interest, such as the health of each parent and the child, which parent historically has taken care of the child, and which parent is better able to meet the physical and emotional needs of the child. The court will also consider the parents’ proximity to each other and whether the child has a sibling in either household. Additionally, the court will look at whether either parent or anyone in either parent’s household has been accused or convicted of domestic abuse. The court cannot consider the sex of either parent in determining child custody, however. A child custody attorney in Dallas Fort Worth can advise you on how these factors may apply to your case.

Legal Custody (Conservatorship)

In Texas, conservatorship is the term used for what is typically known as legal custody in other states. Conservatorship allows a parent to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as where the child’s main residence will be, which types of medical treatment the child will receive, and how the child’s education and religious upbringing will unfold.

It is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interest of the child for the parents to be appointed as joint managing conservators, but in some cases, the court will deem it necessary to appoint one parent as the sole managing conservator. In cases in which the parents are appointed as joint conservators, the parties can submit a parenting plan, which the court will approve if it defines which parent can determine the child’s residence, sets forth the rights and obligations of each parent, and is in the best interest of the child. Our Dallas Fort Worth child custody attorneys can help you craft an appropriate parenting plan. If the parents do not submit a parenting plan, the court will designate which parent has the right to determine the child's primary residence and allocate parental rights and duties.

Physical Custody (Possession and Access)

In addition to establishing conservatorship, the court must determine an arrangement for physical custody of the child. Under Texas law, physical custody is called possession and access. Generally, the primary joint managing conservator, who is the parent who determines the child’s primary residence, is known as the custodial parent, while the other parent is known as the possessory conservator. The parents can share joint physical custody of the child no matter where the child’s primary residence is, and often the possessory conservator is granted as much possession and access to the child as the joint managing conservator.

Contact a Knowledgeable Dallas Fort Worth Attorney to Discuss Your Case

Custody disputes can become heated, since co-parents do not always agree regarding what is in their child’s best interest. The diligent attorneys at Powell Law Offices are skilled at handling child custody cases in the Texas courts. We have offices in Grapevine and McKinney, and we are available to represent people in family law matters in cities throughout Dallas and Tarrant Counties. You can contact us by calling 972-584-9382 or using our form online to schedule a confidential and free consultation with a child custody lawyer in Dallas Fort Worth.