Travis County Child Custody Lawyer

Helping Clients Handle Child Custody Issues in Austin, Texas

When parents divorce or separate, they will need to make important decisions about their children’s lives. This includes where the children will live, what they will do, and how they will be raised. These issues are often contested and can become quite complex. Our attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC understand the importance of these issues and are here to help you through this difficult time.

Our team has over two decades of combined experience and is highly skilled in child custody matters. We will work with you to understand your goals and develop a custody agreement that is best for your family. We are also here to represent you in court if your case goes to trial.

Call us at (512) 991-0576 or contact us online to learn more about how we can assist you with your child custody matter.

What is Child Custody?

Child custody in Texas refers to the legal arrangement regarding the care, control, and decision-making authority over a child when parents divorce or separate. It involves determining where the child will live and who will make important decisions about their upbringing. Texas courts aim to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child.

Legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions about the child's upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody, also known as residential custody, refers to where the child lives on a day-to-day basis.

Common types of child custody arrangements in Texas include:

  • Sole Custody: One parent has primary physical custody of the child, and the other parent may have visitation rights. The parent with sole custody also typically has sole decision-making authority.
  • Joint Custody: Both parents share physical custody and decision-making responsibilities for the child. This can be joint managing conservatorship (JMC), where both parents have equal rights and duties regarding the child, or it can be joint managing conservatorship with one parent having the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child.
  • Split Custody: In cases where there are multiple children, each parent may be awarded primary custody of one or more children. This arrangement is less common and is usually avoided due to its potential impact on sibling relationships.
  • Bird's Nest Custody: This arrangement involves the child remaining in the family home while the parents take turns living there and caring for the child according to a set schedule. This is less common but can provide stability for the child by minimizing disruption.
  • Temporary Custody: Temporary custody arrangements are put in place while the divorce or custody proceedings are ongoing. They may be modified or replaced by a permanent custody order once the legal process is complete.

How Do Courts Determine Custody in Texas?

When making custody decisions, courts in Texas are required to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child. This means that the courts will consider a number of factors when deciding custody matters. This includes the child’s physical, emotional, and mental needs, as well as the ability of each parent to meet those needs. The courts will also consider the stability of each parent’s home, the child’s preferences, and the presence of any domestic violence or substance abuse issues.

Do Mothers Have More Rights Than Fathers in Texas?

Under Texas law, both parents are considered to have equal rights to their children. This means that neither parent has more rights than the other when it comes to making decisions about the child or spending time with the child. However, the courts will consider the child’s best interests when making custody decisions and will not automatically favor one parent over the other.

How Can a Child's Custody Agreement Be Modified in Texas?

Once a child custody agreement is in place, it can be difficult to modify. However, if there has been a significant change in the child’s life or circumstances, you can ask the court to modify the agreement. This includes changes in the child’s needs, changes in the parent’s work schedule, or changes in the parent’s ability to care for the child. You will need to show that the modification is in the child’s best interests and that the child’s needs have changed since the last agreement was put in place. A modification of orders can be a complex process, so you must have an experienced attorney on your side.

Can I Move Out of State with My Child?

If you have a child custody agreement in place, you may not be able to move out of state with your child. In Texas, a parent cannot move more than 100 miles away from their current residence without the other parent’s consent or the court’s permission. If you do need to move, you will need to provide the other parent with written notice of your intent to move and the new address where you and the child will be living. The other parent will then have the opportunity to object to the move. If the other parent does object, the court will need to hold a hearing to determine whether the move is in the child’s best interests.

Why Do I Need a Child Custody Lawyer?

If you are involved in a child custody dispute, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and can guide you through the process. They can also help you gather the evidence you need to support your case and can represent you in court. They can also help you file any necessary paperwork and ensure that your rights are protected. Having an attorney on your side can give you the best chance of achieving your goals and can help you get through this difficult time.

Compassionate Legal Guidance You Can Rely On

Our attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC understand the challenges that parents face when dealing with child custody issues. We are here to help you every step of the way and will work hard to get you the results you need. Our team is skilled in mediation and will work to help you and your ex-spouse come to an agreement on your own. However, if you cannot agree, we are also prepared to represent you in court and fight for your rights.

Call us at (512) 991-0576 to schedule a consultation with our experienced team.

  • "Excellent all around. Highly recommend."
    W. N.
  • "I am eternally grateful for all of the efforts they put in to go above and beyond for everyone they help."
    Former Client
  • "They really listen to and care about their client's needs and consistently fight for the best outcome! I am eternally grateful for all of the effort they put in to go above and beyond for everyone they help."
  • 103 Years of Experience
  • 32,000 Cases
  • 357 Trials

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