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Child Custody

Houston Child Custody Lawyer

Choosing the right Houston child custody attorney is an important decision for you and your children. The right person can be a key factor in helping you find peace after a divorce or legal separation. At Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law. we have more than 30 years of experience helping parents protect their child’s best interest and safety. If you’re in need of help getting custody of your children, call us today to schedule a consultation and get legal advice from our experienced Houston custody lawyers in Texas.

Why do I need a Houston child custody attorney?

Determining custody arrangements is one of the most difficult aspects of divorce that parents have to go through. Deciding who gets custody of a child is a big decision to make, especially because it will have a huge impact on the development and future of the child or children involved. A skilled Houston child custody lawyer can help you get the best outcome for your child.

Are there other ways to resolve custody disputes?

Like with most family law issues, the parents of the child will drive the custody case. If both parents can agree on a certain custody arrangement, then it is highly likely that the judge will adopt the custody agreement into a court order. Compromising and working together is the best way for parents to still have control over what happens to their child even after a divorce or separation.

If you want to explore alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and collaborative divorce, give us a call. Our Houston attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law can help you explore your legal options in resolving custody issues and other divorce disputes.

What if we can’t agree on a custody arrangement?

If you’ve tried discussing with your spouse how to arrange visitation and custody but fail to arrive at a decision that is agreeable for both parties, then the family court can decide for you. Once the judge makes a decision, both parents should abide by the order. Our experienced Houston child custody lawyer can help you determine which arrangement is in the child’s best interest.

How does Houston Texas determine who gets custody?

Texas family court considers a number of factors when determining who gets custody of the kids. This includes:

  • Who the primary caregiver is.
  • What the work schedules of the parents or guardians are like.
  • Other details about the employment situation of each parent.
  • What the current living arrangement of each parent is.
  • Any history of mental health issues or substance abuse for either parent.
  • Any history of domestic abuse, domestic violence, or other criminal history for either parent.
  • How the children are performing in school.
  • Whether the children are facing any other developmental issues.

These are used to determine an arrangement that is in your child’s best interest. If you have a concern about any of these and you’re worried about how it will affect your custody case, give us a call. Our Houston custody lawyer will help you understand how your situation affects your case and find out what you can do to win your custody battle. Call our Houston family law firm to get legal help today.

Can a child decide which parent they want to live with?

A child does not have the final say on which parent gets custody. However, a child who is at least 12 years old can submit an affidavit to inform the judge of their preference. In some cases, they may also be allowed to speak with a child about their preferences about their living arrangements in the future.

An experienced Houston child custody lawyer can handle the paperwork required to ensure that your child’s preferences are made known to the court and taken into consideration when determining the custody arrangements.

What are the different types of child custody arrangements?

Custody decisions vary from case to case, and it will depend on your family’s circumstances. While it does happen, it’s not always true that a mother will automatically get custody of a child. A judge will decide who gets custody based on the best interest of the child.

Usually, a divorcing couple would agree to give the child’s custody to the mother since they usually have more time to take care of the child, or are more aggressive in getting child custody. However, if both parents are on equal footing when it comes to their abilities to provide and take care of the child, then the father having custody is just as likely to happen.

If you’re going through a custody battle, our Houston child custody attorney at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselor at Law can help. Call us today to protect your child’s best interests in Houston, TX and more Texas areas.

What is Physical Custody?

Physical custody is having the right to live with the child. In most cases, joint physical custody is awarded to the parents if the child spends significant amounts of or equal time with both parents. This type of arrangement works best if both parents are living close to each other, to lessen the stress on the child and to keep a normal routine. If the child is living primarily with one parent (the custodial parent), then the other parent(the non-custodial parent) will only have visitation rights or parenting time with the child. A Houston child custody attorney can help you come up with a parenting plan and visitation schedule that works for both parties.

What is Legal Custody?

Legal custody is having the legal right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and wellbeing. If you have legal custody, you have the obligation to make decisions about your child’s medical care (dentist’s appointments, regular check-ups, etc.), schooling, etc. If you have joint legal custody with your ex-spouse or partner, then the decisions will be made by both of you. 

If you have joint legal custody with your ex-partner, and you failed to include them in your decision-making, then they may bring it to court and ask a judge to enforce the custody arrangement which you both agreed upon. This can cause more rift between you and your ex-partner, as well as bring stress to your child.

If you think that the relationship between you and the child’s other parent isn’t healthy, and it will be hard to share joint legal custody, then you can ask a judge for sole legal custody. Having joint legal custody is what is usually awarded in court for the best interests of the child, so you’d have to convince them otherwise.

If you’re planning to file for sole custody, it is best to consult with an experienced Houston family attorney. Our Houston child custody attorneys at Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law can help you decide on the best course of action to take based on your family’s specific circumstances.

What are the two options for child custody?

Generally, there are two possible outcomes in a child custody dispute under Texas Law. Either one parent gets sole custody of the children, or both parent share custody of the children.

Read on below to find the difference between sole custody and joint custody.

Houston child custody attorney


What is Sole Custody?

Sometimes, a parent can have sole physical custody or sole legal custody of a child. While a family court would usually prefer to grant joint custody to both parents, a court would grant sole custody if the other parent is not qualified or unfit to take care of a child. For example, if they are drug or alcohol dependent or they have charges of child neglect or abuse.

In most cases, when one parent is awarded sole physical custody, both parents are still given joint legal custody of the child. The custodial parent will be the primary physical custodian of the child, while the non-custodial parent will be given visitation rights under a schedule or parental agreement.

If you need legal help getting sole custody of your children, contact our Houston child custody lawyer by calling Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law today.

What is Joint Custody?

In joint custody, parents share the responsibility of making decisions regarding their child’s wellbeing or share physical custody of the child (where the child lives). Joint custody is for parents who don’t live together, are divorced, legally separated, or no longer cohabiting. 

Joint custody can either be:

  • Joint physical custody
  • Joint legal custody
  • Joint physical and legal custody

In joint custody arrangements, parents usually share a schedule and work around their work schedule, housing arrangements, and their child’s needs. If the parents can’t agree on a schedule that would work for both of them, then the court will come up with an arrangement. Usually, the court will impose a schedule that is split between the two parents every few weeks. Other joint physical custody schedules are:

  • Every other month, year, or every six months
  • Spending weekdays with one parent, while spending weekends with the other parent

In other arrangements, the children will stay in the family home while the parents will take turns in staying with them. This is called “nesting” or “bird’s nest custody.” Our Houston child custody lawyer can help you find the best custody arrangement for your child.

How can a Houston child custody lawyer help with visitation rights?

Under Texas family law, a Standard Possession Order will set forth the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. It will give the visiting parent the right to visit every other weekend, usually on the first, third, and fifth weekends of every month. When the parents live apart for more than 100 miles, the non-custodial parent will usually be awarded only one weekend to visit per month and an additional visitation for another time.

Both parents will have the right to spend time with their child during holidays, and divide the visitation in half or alternating years. During summer, non-custodial parents are entitled to 30-day visitation periods. If the parents live 100 miles apart or more, the non-custodial parent will be awarded 42 days of visitation during the summer.

If you need help with issues in visitation and parenting time, our Houston custody lawyer can help you protect your visitation rights and ensure that you get to see your kids. Call us now to schedule your initial consultation.

Get in Touch with a Houston Child Custody Lawyer Today!

Discussing child custody arrangements and visitation rights can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you are going through a divorce. Our Houston family attorneys can help you come up with an arrangement that is best for your child and is fit for your family’s situation. Contact our Houston family law firm today to talk about child custody and visitation with our experienced Houston child custody lawyer and family law attorney.

Chargois Harper Attorneys and Counselors at Law provides legal services for child support cases, custody filings, divorce filings, divorce modification, order modification, and other family matters. We also offer estate planning services for probate, probate litigation, power of attorney, trust administration, trust litigation, will writing and more.

You can count on us to protect your interests and resolve your legal concerns in Texas & Illinois.


You can count on us to protect your interests and resolve your legal concerns in Texas & Illinois.


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Houston, TX 77079

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