A Top Child Custody Lawyer in Houston
Talk to an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Houston
A parent should fight for custody when it is in the child’s best interest that they do so. A parent’s selfish needs or desires to hurt the other spouse should not be a factor, nor should a parent’s desires to collect child support. Keep in mind that fighting for custody can often be expensive, time-consuming, and may even be harmful to the child emotionally.
If you do fight for custody, it is best to hire a child custody lawyer in Houston to help you through the process.
Can a Child Decide Who They Wish to Live With?
While children cannot make a final decision on who to live with, a child who is 12 years or older can execute an affidavit through a child custody lawyer stating who he or she wants to be his or her managing conservator. The purpose of this affidavit is to inform the judge of the child’s election and is not binding on the judge. Additionally, a child older than 12 may be allowed to speak with the judge about his or her preferences regarding living arrangements going forward.
How do I Decide Whether to Seek Sole or Joint Custody?
One of the experienced child custody lawyers in Houston at Ramos Law Group can help you decide whether to file sole custody or joint custody. Texas law presumes that all parents will be granted the title of joint managing conservators. The presumption may not apply when issues such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or domestic violence affect the children. In those instances, one parent may be named the sole managing conservator and the other parent will be named the possessory conservator.
The title given does not necessarily affect the other issues pertaining to the children. Regardless of the title, both parents will be awarded certain rights and duties to the children, and both parents will be awarded periods of possession with the children. It is important to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced child custody attorney in Houston prior to making this decision. Suits affecting the parent-child relationship are our specialty.
Divorce – Think of the children
Work on being flexible with the other parent.
The importance of gathering information.
Tip – Filing your original petition
There are several things to gather and consider.
Getting Legal Custody if a Child is Living with You, but Your Spouse has Court-Ordered Custody
If the person with custody of the child under the last court order voluntarily leaves the child in the possession of another person for a period of more than 6 months, and the court finds that this arrangement is in the best interest of the child, the court may modify custody upon the filing of the proper motion with the court. Additionally, the court can always modify a previous order if a material and substantial change has occurred. One of the child custody lawyers at Ramos Law Group will provide details on any potential modifications of decrees as they review your case.
What Sort of Visitation is Usually Awarded?
Texas law presumes that a standard visitation schedule will be followed in most cases for children age 3 and older. A judge can deviate from the standard schedule with good cause, and special allowances can be made for religious holidays.
Of course, parents can agree on custody arrangements that differ from the standard visitation schedule, and judges frequently approve their agreement. Even if you and your spouse are in agreement on a schedule, it is still advised to hire a child custody lawyer in Houston to comb through legalities. Possession orders are made by judges to provide a definite visitation schedule in case parents cannot agree.
What is a Standard Possession Order?
The Texas Family Code provides a standard possession order for parents who live within 100 miles of each other or further than 100 miles from each other.
For parents residing within 100 miles of each other, the rules for standard possession include:
- Holidays evenly divided between both parents.
- The parent with visitation gets at least two weekends a month.
- The parent with visitation gets at least two hours on Thursdays, during weeks not in possession.
- The parent with visitation gets at least 30 days during the summer.
- School holidays can extend a parent’s visitation by one day before or after the scheduled visit days.
The child custody lawyers of Houston at Ramos Law Group will ensure your time is divided fairly.
For parents who live more than 100 miles apart, one parent will have visitation on the following schedule:
- The parent may choose the first, third, or fifth weekend of the month throughout the year.
- They get to choose one weekend per month with at least two weeks notice.
- The one weekend per month must be made in writing within 90 days after the parties begin to live more than 100 miles apart.
Talk to a child custody attorney in Houston at Ramos Law Group to learn more.
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- Weekends starting at 6:00 p.m. on the first, third and fifth Friday of each month and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday.
- Thursdays during the school year starting at 6:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 p.m.
- From 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the child’s birthday.
- Fathers have possession for Father’s Day from 6:00 p.m. on the Friday before Father’s Day until 6:00 p.m. on Father’s Day. Mothers have the same period for Mother’s Day.
- On even-numbered years: Parent A has the child during Spring Break and Christmas (until Dec. 28) and Parent B has the child for Thanksgiving.
- In odd-numbered years, the holiday schedule is reversed.
- The parent with visitation has the child for 30 days during the summer. If they give notice before May 1, they can designate the 30 days during the summer when they have possession in up to two separate periods of at least seven days. If no notice is given, they have possession from July 1 until July 31.
Under the expanded option, child custody lawyers in Houston can ensure that any visitation period begins when school ends and/or ends when school resumes the following morning.
What is the Expanded Standard Possession Order?
The Texas Family Code states that an expanded standard possession order shall be granted if a parent with visitation rights requests it and it is in the best interest of the child. Your child custody attorney in Houston will study your case and suggest this order if it is advisable. In most courts in the greater Houston area, an expanded standard possession order will always be granted upon request.
An expanded possession allows the parent to pick up for weekend possession at the time school is regularly dismissed, instead of at 6:00 p.m. The weekend ends when the child is dropped off at school on Monday, instead of at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Instead of two hours every Thursday, there is an overnight visitation every Thursday.
Grandparents can also file suit for possession of their biological grandchildren under certain conditions.
Differences in Standard Possession for Less Than 100 miles and More Than 100 Miles?
The possessory parent has visitation every spring break when the parents live farther apart, instead of every other spring break when the parents live near each other. Similarly, summer visitation is expanded to 42 days, instead of 30 days. Finally, if a parent is unable to visit on the first, third, and fifth weekend due to distance, the possessory parent may choose any one weekend per month for visits.
Team up with one of the child custody lawyers of Houston at Ramos Law Group to learn more about which child custody options are best for you.
Are Parenting Classes Required in Custody Cases?
Many courts require parents to take parenting classes when custody is an issue. There are many court-approved courses online and in person. However, Ramos Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Houston recommend that all clients verify that the preferred course is acceptable to the court in question.
Please keep in mind that some courts do not accept online classes and/or have a few select providers they prefer. As a rule, call the court and verify before registering.
The link below provides a list of court-approved courses:
Child Custody Houston – Court Approved Parenting Classes
Contact Ramos Law Group
Get in touch with a child custody attorney in Houston today to learn more about your rights as a parent, and the various options available to you. Contact Ramos Law Group.
Our Client Testimonials
The decision to end my 25-year marriage was not an easy one, but hiring the Ramos Law Group was. From the initial consultation to the execution of the Divorce Decree everyone at the firm displayed the utmost professionalism and I was treated as if I was their only client. My attorney Lindsey, always provided precise legal guidance, was usually one step ahead of the opposing counsel, and had a superb understanding of how things would play out in the court room. Additionally, whenever my case needed a little extra horsepower, Mary provided that "surge" to keep things on track.
"Ms. Ramos and her entire staff worked with professionalism and compassion to guide me through the most difficult time of my life and to an outcome that was best for my family and myself. Ramos Law is incredible and I highly, highly recommend their services."
"I was recommended to see Mary Ramos for my on coming custody case,it was the best thing I could've done honestly.The Ramos law group was quick with emailed responses and telephone calls,informative with ANY questions I had and they also took action with what they thought would work,which it did,I had money troubles and they were still willing to help they sent me with a younger lawyer Lindsey Lewis to help save some money and she was the best!She knew what she was doing and Mary was still on my case to make sure things went smoothly and to catch any details Lindsey and I might have missed.All in all I am a very satisfied client and if I ever needed a family lawyer again I would come back.My case was won as I received primary for my daughter which is exactly what I asked for.If you're willing to listen to what they have to say and follow their guidance they're definitely worth hiring.I thought I wanted sole custody for my daughter and they explained that wasn't in the best interest for her and honestly they were right,they speak to you on a professional level and also a real level of how things are actually going to work and what could happen if you take a certain action.They definitely care about their clients and make their own bond with you,you're not just money in their pockets you turn into family. "
"I received excellent advice and representation from Ms. Lindsey Lewis. She kept me updated at every step of the process, and I never felt as if my case was set aside. I would hire The Ramos Law Group in the future. "
"I started my divorce with a lawyer who was not very responsive. My divorce case was complicated and needed more laborious scrutiny. Since the case was not moving forward I had to switch lawyers. Made the switch to Ramos Law group. Since the very first day Mary and her team have been very efficient and meticulous. Since the case was complicated the team had to go through myriads of pages in discovery. I was pleased with the legal team that helped us handle the paperwork in a very timely manner. All my questions were answered very promptly. The relay of information was easy with their software system. We finally had a law firm that we could trust. My divorce was finalized and I only have Mary and her team to thank for going through a difficult divorce. I would highly recommend the Ramos law group for their help and support for getting my life back on track. "