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Child Custody


Houston Child Custody Attorney in TX


Tackling child custody is one aspect 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 attorney can help you get the best outcome for your child.

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 it 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’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 court can decide for you. Once the judge makes a decision, both parents should abide by the order. Our experienced Houston Texas attorneys can help you determine which arrangement is in the child’s best interest.

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 at 832-479-4499 to protect your child’s best interests today.

Houston child custody attorney

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.

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 connect with an experienced Houston family attorney. Our Houston TX attorneys at Chargois Harper Law can help you decide on the best course of action to take based on your family’s specific circumstances.

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 attorney by calling 832-479-4499 today.

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, 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 attorneys can help you find the best custody arrangement for your child.

Visitation


In Texas, 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 period during the summer.

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 us by calling 832-479-4499 today to talk about child custody and visitation with our experienced Houston TX family attorneys.

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