Family law disputes are often legally complex and emotionally demanding, and child custody disputes are no exception.
In 2021, family cases comprised 44% of the civil caseload in Texas courts, a significant portion of which involved child custody-related matters. When it comes to something as precious as your children, finding the right legal representation is paramount to protecting your rights and interests to the greatest extent possible.
Today we’ll discuss child custody matters and how a Cypress child custody lawyer from the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, can help fight for your rights.
Ramos Law Group, PLLC: Your Trusted Child Custody Lawyer in Cypress, TX
At the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our mission is to fiercely advocate for you as you navigate the complexities of your family law dispute. We pride ourselves on specializing in family law, and we devote a significant portion of our practice to child custody matters. Thus, when you hire our team, you can feel confident that we have the knowledge and skills necessary to handle whatever your case requires.
Our experienced Cypress child custody attorneys can help you:
- Understand your legal rights, responsibilities, and remedies;
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
- Develop customized strategies to reach your unique needs and goals in as amicable a manner as possible;
- Prepare and file any necessary legal documents to initiate or further your custody case;
- Pursue enforcement or modification of existing custody and visitation orders;
- Negotiate potential out-of-court settlements with opposing parties and their legal counsel;
- Advocate on your behalf and in the best interest of your children;
- Gather critical evidence and information to help support your claims; and
- Represent your interests in court when an out-of-court resolution is not feasible.
Working with an experienced family law and custody attorney can often be a significant benefit to your case. And when something as important as your time with your children is at stake, having a knowledgeable professional in your corner can make a tremendous difference in your case outcome.
Texas Child Custody Overview
Let’s take a closer look at some important information about custody and visitation in Texas.
Texas law formally refers to child custody as “conservatorship.” Conservatorship refers to a parent’s legal rights and responsibilities with respect to their child or children. There are two types of conservatorships, managing conservatorship and possessory conservatorship. First, we will discuss managing conservatorship, which refers to a parent’s ability to make life decisions for their child. This is further broken down into sole managing conservatorship (SMC) and joint managing conservatorship (JMC).
When the court appoints both parents as joint managing conservators, this typically means that they will share decision-making authority regarding the child’s health, education, welfare, and general upbringing. Conversely, when the court appoints one parent as the sole managing conservator, that parent will typically have the exclusive right to make these sorts of decisions about the child’s upbringing.
Courts typically prefer to allow both parents the right to participate in making life decisions for their children. However, in some instances—as when the parents have a violent or tumultuous relationship where they cannot communicate effectively—the court might conclude that the child’s best interests are better served with one parent making these decisions alone.
Possession and Access Rights
In addition to appointing one or more managing conservators, the court may also appoint possessory conservators. A possessory conservator is a parent who, although they may not be the one making decisions for the child, still has legal rights to possession and access to the child. In other words, regardless of who is making the decisions for the child, both parents usually have the right to see and spend time with their child. The court would only take this right away in extreme circumstances—usually when seeing one parent could endanger the child.
The Best Interest of the Child Standard
The “best interest of the child” standard is a pivotal concept in child custody matters. This standard states that the primary consideration when making determinations in custody matters is what is in the best interest of the child. In other words, the court will not put parental interests before the interests of the child or childrenchild’s best interests.
Speak with an Experienced Cypress Child Custody Attorney Today
Child custody matters are never easy. However, having the right team of professionals in your corner can make all the difference. We hope we can be that team for you.
At the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, we focus 100% of our efforts on the practice of family law. But don’t just take our word for it—take a look at the many high-quality reviews from our past clients.
Contact us today to discuss your case and see how our team can help fight for your family and your rights moving forward.
Can Only the Parents of the Child Pursue Custody and Visitation Rights?
No, custody and visitation rights are not solely limited to a child’s parents. For example, under Tex. Fam. Code. § 153.431, if both parents have passed away, the courts may appoint a child’s grandparent, aunt, or uncle as conservator. However, Tex. Fam. Code § 153.372 tells us that even if both parents are alive, in certain circumstances, nonparents may be appointed as conservators. And under Tex. Fam Code § 153.432, a grandparent may file a lawsuit seeking possession or access to the child, even if they are denied or are not seeking conservatorship of the child.
Is the Child’s Mother Always More Likely to Be Granted Sole Custody?
No, a mother will not always be appointed sole managing conservator of the child. In fact, Tex. Fam. Code section 153.131(b) specifies that appointing both parents as joint managing conservators is presumed to be in the child’s best interest. Unless there is evidence indicating that doing so would be improper, joint custody between both parents will generally be the default.
Do I Have to Hire a Child Custody Attorney to Win My Custody Case?
No. Hiring an attorney is not required in a Texas child custody case. However, an experienced Texas family law and child custody attorney can provide valuable legal guidance and assistance. They know what issues have the most legal influence and which arguments to emphasize to the court to get the outcome you believe is best for your kids. Therefore, a lawyer can significantly improve your chances of success and alleviate much of the stress of navigating a custody dispute.