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Child Custody Lawyer Near You – Austin, TX

The Law Office of Willie & Dasher provides clients located in the Austin, Texas and surrounding areas with legal counsel, advice and representation in child custody and visitation matters. Our main focus is to help you come up with a fair and amicable solution to child support and visitation issues.

In any divorce proceeding, there are numerous issues that must be decided. Child custody and visitation are among the most important issues that arise in the context of a divorce proceeding.

The Law Office of Willie & Dasher provides clients located in the Austin, Texas and surrounding areas with legal counsel, advice and representation in child custody and visitation matters. Our main focus is to help you come up with a fair and amicable solution to child support and visitation issues.

It is an extremely emotional and sensitive issue to consider your child’s needs-both now and in the future. Many things must be considered such as each parent’s economic ability to care for the child and the current and future earning potential of each parent. Other more practical issues like a parent’s ability to take care of the child, the parent’s availability and who the child may bond with are also important to consider.

Other factors that must be decided are how parental responsibilities will be shared. Issues to be decided include:

  • Where the child will live and whom the child will live with
  • Can one parent move out of state with the child
  • How frequently will the other parent see the child
  • Does the other parent even have rights to the child
  • What type of visitation schedule makes sense to everyone
  • Which parent pays child support and how much
  • Who will pay for the child’s health insurance

In this Guide

  1. Legal Custody and Physical Custody in Texas
  2. How Is Child Custody Determined in Texas?
  3. Modifying a Child Custody Order in Texas

Legal Custody and Physical Custody in Texas

Child custody in Texas has two elements – legal and physical.

How Does Legal Custody Work?

Legal custody or managing conservatorship refers to the rights you and your spouse have as parents to make important decisions regarding your children’s educational, medical, and social needs.

Divorced couples in Texas are generally granted joint legal custody, which means they both can play an equally important role in their children’s lives and contribute to their well-being.

However, there are some circumstances under which the court might decide to grant sole legal custody to one parent. These include:

  • If the other parent is neglectful.
  • If they are abusive (towards the other parent and/or towards the children).
  • If they are uninterested or unwilling to play an active role in their children’s lives.
  • If they are not of sound mind.
  • If they have a history of alcohol or substance abuse.

Whether you are granted sole legal custody or joint legal custody, it is important to consult with an experienced Austin child custody lawyer so that you can understand what your rights are as a parent and what you are allowed to do and not allowed to do as per the court order.

How Does Physical Custody Work?

Physical custody or possessory conservatorship refers to the physical care and supervision of your children. It’s about where your children will primarily reside and who is responsible for taking care of them on a daily basis.

Depending on the circumstances, the court might grant joint or shared custody or grant sole physical custody to you or your spouse.

If you and your spouse have a cordial relationship, you can work together to come up with a custody plan with the help of your child custody lawyer and get it approved by the court. If you are unable to do so, the court will issue what is called a standard possession order, which will specify the amount of time you and your spouse can spend with your children.

It should be noted that joint or shared physical custody does not necessarily mean that you and your spouse will get to spend an equal amount of time with your children. If you and your spouse live close to each other, a 50/50 parenting plan might be possible.

If you live far away from each other, the court might decide to change the terms of the possession plan – depending on where you and your spouse live, where your children go to school, the medical and social needs of your children, and several other factors.

On the other hand, if you are granted sole physical custody, your children will live with you for the most part and you will be responsible for taking care of their day-to-day needs. Your spouse can spend time with your children at regularly set times – as specified in the visitation order. Similarly, if your spouse is granted sole physical custody, you can spend time with your children as per the terms of the visitation order.

How Is Child Custody Determined in Texas?

Child custody in Texas is generally determined based on the best interest of the children in question. The factors taken into account by the court while determining child custody include:

  • The children’s physical and emotional needs.
  • The children’s educational, medical, and social needs.
  • The kind of plans that each parent has for their children.
  • Parenting abilities of each parent.
  • The ability of each parent to provide a safe, stable, and loving home for the children.
  • The ability of each parent to meet the children’s needs (financial and otherwise).
  • The kind of relationship that each parent enjoys with the children.
  • Whether there is a threat of physical or emotional harm to the children at a parent’s residence.

Apart from this, if the children in question are 12 years of age or older, their wishes and preferences will also be taken into consideration by the court.

While family courts in Texas have a great deal of discretion in deciding who gets custody of the children, an experienced child custody lawyer can make a strong case for you and significantly increase your chances of getting sole custody or joint custody with very favorable terms.

Modifying a Child Custody Order in Texas

One major issue that can arise is what happens when a parent wants to modify the agreement. Maybe they want to move out of state with your child. Or perhaps they just want to move out of the county. What arrangements need to be made to ensure that you still get the visitation rights to which you are entitled? We can help.

It can all be overwhelming, but we are here to help. If you need to come to an agreement or litigate issues regarding child custody or visitation or if you are interested in modifying an existing court order related to child custody or visitation, we are happy to help.

Contact us online or call us today at 512-478-0834  to set up a consultation to learn more about your child custody and visitation options.

Ending your marriage can be an incredibly difficult and emotionally exhausting process in and of itself. When children are involved, things can get way more complicated than you can imagine.

Deciding who gets custody of the children is not easy, especially in contested divorces where couples tend to not see eye to eye on most issues. Due to the emotionally-charged nature of the issue, even the slightest of disagreements can turn into a full-blown rift and exacerbate the differences between you and your spouse.

The family law attorneys at Willie & Dasher have more than two decades of experience in handling uncontested as well as contested divorces in Texas. Led by Eric M. Willie – one of the most accomplished and highest-rated child custody attorneys in Texas – our legal team can protect your rights as a parent and fight hard to achieve a positive outcome that is in the best interest of your children.

In order to modify your child custody order, you need to file a motion with the court with the help of your child custody lawyer. The motion can only be filed in the court which issued the original order.

It should be noted that the court will modify the order only if there is a legitimate reason for your request and if the modification is in the best interest of your children. The most common circumstances under which the court might decide to modify a child custody order include:

  • If the custodial parent has lost their job or suffered financial losses and is no longer able to take care of the children.
  • If the custodial parent is suffering from a physical or mental ailment which severely affects their parenting abilities.
  • If the custodial parent is suffering from an addiction problem and might pose a threat to the physical and emotional well-being of the children.
  • If the custodial parent is neglectful or abusive towards the children.
  • If the custodial parent needs to move to a different state or go abroad for employment or other reasons.
  • If the children (if they are 12 years of age or older) no longer want to live with the custodial parent.

If one parent wants to modify the order and the other parent does not agree to it, things can get complicated. It is important to consult an experienced Texas child custody lawyer who can file a motion with the court, make compelling arguments about the need for modifying the order, and help you get custody of your children.

Legal Help Is Here From a Leading Texas Child Custody Lawyer

If you are planning to file for divorce or if you are embroiled in a child custody battle with your spouse, experienced Texas family law attorney Eric M. Willie can help you. With over 20 years of experience and extensive knowledge of Texas family law, Eric M. Willie is best placed to handle all your family law cases.

To discuss your child custody or visitation case with a seasoned Texas child custody lawyer near you, call us today at 512-478-0834 or contact us online and schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Client Reviews

“Eric Willie and his staff are amazing. We have been involved in a 3+year custody battle for a child that we attempted to adopt. The father contested the adoption and we were awarded temp joint conservator. We stayed that way for 3+ years until 2 weeks ago. We had a jury trial upon dad’s request and after a hard 3 days we were awarded sole managing conservator. During those 3 days Eric remained calm he was organized, and professional. Eric was very honest the entire way through. Anytime we called the office he and his staff was always very nice and honest. They helped us remain calm throughout the entire process. We have not only found a great attorney but several friends!!! I would highly recommend Eric Willie.” – Kristin Witcher, Rating: 5/5

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