Justia Lawyer Rating
Justia Lawyer Rating
National Bar Association
Fort Bend County Bar Association
State Bar of Texas
United States District Court of Southern Texas
Texas Supreme Court
Avvo Reviews Badge
Texas Bar College
Expertise Best Divorce Lawyers in Houston

Child Custody: A Guide for Parents

Custody may be a separate case or part of a case related to divorce, separate maintenance, or temporary separation. Depending on the type, a custody order may come from a district court or a juvenile court. Divorce law controls how custody works, even though the parties weren't ever legally married. Most orders award custody to one or both of the parents.

Guardianship of an underage person is a legal guardianship that describes the legal and practical relationship of a parent or guardian and the child in that person's charge. Legal custody gives the right to make decisions about the minor, physical custody gives the rights and duties to house, provide and take care of the minor. Parents usually share both legal and physical custody of the child. Custody cases arise in proceedings involving divorce, separation, adoption, and parental death. In most countries, custody is decided based on the best interests of the minor. In many countries, "guardianship" has replaced the older concepts of "custodial arrangement" and "access". Instead of a parent having custodial arrangements over a child, a child now resides with or has contact with a parent.

Legal custody means that you are allowed to make major decisions regarding your children's life. Physical custody means that you get to decide where the children live every day. Joint custody means that both parents share decision-making equally. A judge decides whether to award sole custody to one parent, joint custody to both parents, or shared custody to both parents. In deciding who gets custody, judges consider the child's best interest and the wishes of the parents involved.

In sole custody, one parent has full control over the children. Sole decision-making means that one parent makes all major decisions for the child. The court decides who gets custody of the child. In sole custody cases, both parents must share equal access to the child. Both parents are allowed to make decisions about the child's health care, education, and other important matters.

Physical custody means that a parent gets to decide who the kid lives with. A parent with more than 50% of the time with the kid may be awarded full physical custody. If the kid lives mostly with one parent, then that parent gets full physical custody. If there is equal time spent with both parents, then both get shared physical custody. In this case, both parents get to see the kid every day.

Legal Custody means having the right and obligation to make decisions about the child's upbringing. A parent with custody can make decisions about school, religion, and medical care. In many states, judges regularly award joint legal custody. If you share joint custody with the other parent, and he or she is excluded from the decision-making, you can take them back to court and ask for enforcement. You won't get punished or jailed, but it'll probably be embarrassing and cause further friction between the two of them. It could also damage the children. More importantly, if you're represented, it'll cost money. You should get full legal custody if you think your ex-spouse is an unfit parent. Otherwise, you'll have to fight for joint legal custody.

Both parents should share joint legal custody and physical custody of their children. Courts usually won't hesitate to give sole physical custody to one of them if the other is deemed unfit. However, they are moving away from giving sole custody to one parent. They are also moving towards sharing more responsibilities between both parents. Divorce can be hard, but if either parent harms or neglects the children, it is better to get a divorce than to try to force them to stay together. Courts usually grant joint custody, allowing both parents to see the children.

Joint Custody Arrangements

When parents share joint custody, it is very important to know what kind of schedule you want. You should be aware of how much time your child spends with each parent. For example, if you want your child to spend more time with you, then you may need to make sure that your child stays with you during the day. On the other hand, if you want your kid to spend more time with his/her father, then you might want to make sure he/she stays with him/her during the day.

Judges prefer joint physical custody because it guarantees that children have regular contact (and therefore binding) with both parents. In some states, judges must assume shared physical custody is better than sole physical custody. Parents who disagree should provide evidence as to why shared physical custody isn't a good idea in that specific situation. Joint physical custody does not mean that both parents share equal amounts of parenting time. It means that the two parents share joint custody of the children. In this case, the two parents do not agree about how much time the child should spend with each parent.

Joint custody has the advantage of allowing children to continue to see both parents. But there are also disadvantages. Keeping two homes can be costly. You might need to pay extra child support if you're not living together. If you have a bad relationship with your ex, you could cause problems for your children. Keep detailed financial records of your expenses to prove how much you spend on your children.

Custody should be given to the parent who can better meet the child's needs. All decisions regarding the child should be made with the goal of making sure the child is happy and secure. Both parents should try to make sure the child gets along with both of them equally.

Custody agreements are hard to make. Most parents want to see their kids every day. Judges consider joint or sole custody depending upon the facts. You may want to talk to an attorney in Harris County, Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Brazoria County, Houston, Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Texas at Thornton Esquire Law Group, PLLC, if you're having trouble with legal issues, contact us today at Thornton Esquire Law Group.

Client Reviews
Selecting an attorney can be one of the most difficult decisions a person has to make. In what seems like an overwhelming sea of attorneys who do you choose? Are they qualified, compassionate, and are they willing to fight for you without compromising their integrity? When faced with this decision in 2016 I received this and more when I retained Rahlita Thornton as my attorney. Since 2016 she has represented me on several court cases and I've never been disappointed. She is well versed and very knowledgeable on many aspects of the law. Attorney Thornton and her staff work diligently to ensure no stone is left unturned and justice is served. When I was crippled with fear, bullied, and felt like giving up she was my voice. She is highly recommend and I'm truly blessed to have her in my life. TTW
It was a divine power that drove me to call. There are ton of lawyers online but I knew this attorney was the one for me. C.B., Divorce Client
Attention & communication is very good when working with this professional legal team. They are here to help you whenever questions arise and explain details as they go. Thank you for taking the time to accept my case & working with me. P.L.