League City Child Custody Attorney
Helping Parents Obtain the Right Child Custody Arrangements in League City, Friendswood and Clear Lake Area.
Parental rights are one of the most important legal rights a person has. Unlike financial losses, a damaged parent-child relationship cannot be made right with compensation. This is why it is important for parents to proactively protect their rights by hiring an experienced League City child custody lawyer. Learn more about what custody rights you have, and how court orders can impair your rights if they are left unprotected.
Legal Custody (Conservatorship)
Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions for your child. These are important decisions about where the child will be enrolled in school, what church he or she will attend, and what medical procedures the child can have. If both parents are equally capable, and there is no history of domestic violence or abuse, the court will generally order joint custody. This is referred to as “joint managing conservatorship” under Texas law. This means that both parents have the right to make these decisions, and neither parent’s decision gets to overrule the other’s.
The court can also award sole custody to one parent if that is found to be in the best interest of the child. This parent will be designated as the “sole managing conservator.” While this parent has the right to make decisions on behalf of the child, it is still important for a parent with sole custody to consult with the other parent and demonstrate respect for his or her opinion. Family court judges want to see parents respect each other’s opinions, and if the court feels that a parent has abused his or her sole custody, it can be modified to joint custody. The court can even award sole custody to the other parent.
Physical Custody (Access and Possession)
Physical custody is called access and possession under Texas law. Other states refer to this as parenting time or physical custody of the child. Texas law encourages frequent and continuing contact with both parents, regardless of gender. This means that courts will usually try to order essentially equal visitation schedules whenever it is safe and practical to do so.
In cases where one parent has primary custody, the court can institute the Standard Possession Order (SPO). This is a default visitation schedule that lets the noncustodial parent have physical custody of the child on:
- Thursday evenings (plus overnight during school year)
- The first, third and fifth weekends of the month
- One month in the summer (plus more)
- Alternating holidays
Of course, every family has different schedules and different needs, so the SPO will not work for every family. Parents are encouraged to agree to a schedule that is best for their children. Families should also ensure that the children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. But if the parents cannot agree to a schedule, the default schedule of the SPO will apply.
The Right Attorneys for League City and Friendswood Child Custody Disputes
Attorney Rob Musemeche has helped many Texas parents protect their custody rights. Call 281-475-4145 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with an experienced League City divorce attorney.