Child Custody

Denton County Child Custody Attorney

What Does Joint Custody Mean in Texas?

 Lawyers can draft joint custody agreements between the two parties to determine what days the child will spend living with each parent. This is commonly divided by weekdays. For example, a child lives with one parent during the school week and the other during the weekend. Other cases involve residing with one parent during the school year and the other parent during the summer.

On the other hand, Sole custody is when only one parent has custody of the child or children. The other parent may be able to obtain visitation rights. Still, the child or children will not be allowed to live with the non-custodial parent.

The sooner you contact our law firm, the better your chances of obtaining custody of your child. The other parent may also seek legal representation, so it is in your best interests to stay ahead and retain legal guidance immediately.

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Understanding Physical vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody determines the parent(s) with which the child will live, while legal custody decides which parent(s) makes life decisions for the underage children.

Legal custody can be determined amicably between the two parents but is often court-ordered by a family law judge in divorce court. This type of custody gives one or both parents the right to make life decisions for the child, such as where they attend school, what medical care they receive, etc.

How is Child Custody Determined in Texas?

In contested divorces, the judge often decides on child custody instead of the parents. In such cases, it is crucial to have an experienced and aggressive Denton County family law attorney to fight for you and your child's best interest. The court makes custody decisions based on the child's best interest, so you will need to prove that the child's best interests lie with your custody.

Some factors that the judge will consider include:

  • Which parent can provide for the child's physical and emotional needs
  • Which parent provides a safe environment for the child (both physically and emotionally)
  • The stability of each parent's home
  • How the parents cooperate
  • Which parent has primarily cared for the child beforehand
  • The child's preference (the judge might consider this if the child is 12 years or older)
  • Whether or not there are siblings
  • The abilities of each parent
  • Any history of abuse or domestic violence

Can a 12-Year-Old Refuse Visitation in Texas?

In Texas, a child cannot refuse visitation until 18. Visitation is the parent's right, and the custodial parent or child cannot take it away. The only option would be for the custodial parent to request a modification of orders.

Visitation and child support are separate matters that the court decides, and one parent cannot refuse visitation to the other if the courts have approved visitation rights them.

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