Houston Child Custody Lawyer
A child custody lawyer can help you with an array of custody and visitation issues. A child custody dispute may arise in the context of unmarried parents, or a divorce, paternity action, or if one party is seeking a modification to an existing order. Whether you are seeking custody of a child or want to defend your own custody rights, it is critical that you consult with an experienced child custody attorney in Houston who can protect your rights. At The Alsandor Law Firm, our attorney has extensive experience in handling child custody cases and can effectively assert your rights.
For strategic advocacy and counsel in a child custody matter, please contact The Alsandor Law Firm for a consultation. Call our skilled child custody lawyer at (713) 352-3506 today.
Why You Need a Child Custody Lawyer
Cheryl Alsandor is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and a former elementary school teacher. She understands the unique needs of children facing difficult family legal disputes and can help protect your rights and the best interests of your child throughout the process. For more information about our experience and service, please contact us directly.
Because attorney Alsandor has extensive experience working with child custody cases and with children directly, she can anticipate any issues that may arise in your case. She is familiar with local courts and knows what judges and another child custody lawyer might look for in a case. She can target the weaknesses of the other side’s claims and help you obtain a beneficial outcome for you and your children.
Types of Cases We Handle
Child custody cases often require an array of knowledge in family law. This type of law addresses the needs of parents, children, spouses, grandparents, and other family members. They often integrate other types of law as well, such as criminal law in domestic violence cases, or tax law for child support and alimony cases. The Alsandor Law Firm has worked with hundreds of clients who have dynamic legal needs related to their child custody cases.
We can help you with the following:
- Parental rights and duties
- Child support: enforcement and modifications
- Paternity and custody disputes
- Grandparents’ rights
Parental Rights and Child Custody
Child custody is referred to in Texas as conservatorship. Conservatorship refers to the ability to make decisions about a child’s health and well-being, including legal, educational, and medical decisions. Primary conservatorship is a term that describes who has the right to determine where the child will actually reside. Parents can be joint conservators (JMC) (with one being the primary conservator), or one can be a sole conservator (SMC), and the other a possessory conservator.
Common rights that are included in a conservatorship include:
- The right to information about your child’s health, education, and welfare;
- Access to records of the child, including medical, dental, psychological, and educational;
- The right to talk to your child’s medical providers and educators; and
- The right to consent to medical treatment, when possible.
It is possible that the court may choose a one-parent sole managing conservatorship. This is often done if the court feels one parent is not capable of making certain decisions or caring for their children. The court may consider the following:
- A history of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect;
- A history of drug use, alcohol addiction, or criminal activity;
- Absence from the child’s life for an extended period of time; and
- History of parental conflict regarding educational, medical, and religious values.
It is common for parents to make an agreement regarding parental rights outside of court. Parental rights may involve all the aforementioned rights and others. It can be beneficial to come to an agreement that benefits both parents and the children involved. In these situations, a child custody lawyer is important in negotiating and establishing an order that works for everyone involved.
Presenting the Child’s Best Interests to the Court
The court will make the final determination of the child’s custody arrangement based on input from the lawyers involved and outside professionals called upon by the court. Ultimately, the decision will be based on the best interests of the children. As your child custody lawyer, we will collect all necessary evidence to present your needs and the best interests of your children to the court.
When establishing what is in the best interest of the child, the court will consider the following, which are often called “Holley Factors”:
- The desire of the child to live with one parent instead of the other;
- Ability of one parent to provide for the emotional and physical needs of the child;
- Whether one parent has put the child in emotional and physical danger;
- The parenting skills and experience of both parents;
- Programs available to each parent to promote the best interests of the child;
- Plans for the children by both parents;
- Financial ability of both parents;
- Stability of the homes of both parents;
- Any existing parent-child relationship; and
- Excuses for acts and omissions of both parents.
The court will look at each of these factors for both parents. Even if one parent has primary custody, if there is a challenge to that custody, the court will re-evaluate these aspects of the lives of the children involved. The court takes a holistic approach to providing children with the best possible situation in which to thrive.
It is important to work with a child custody lawyer to prove that you have a beneficial situation for your children. If the court has questions about your ability to provide a positive environment for your children, then you may not get the outcome that you desire.
Parenting Time or Visitation
In addition to child custody arrangements, our child custody lawyer is also experienced in helping clients assert their rights to parenting time or visitation. Visitation refers to the time a non-custodial parent spends with the child. For more information or to learn more about parenting time and visitation, please contact us to schedule a consultation with our attorney.
All parents have a right to parenting time or visitation. The only situation where a parent may be denied visitation is when the court believes doing so would endanger the physical or emotional health of a child. If you are worried about your children while visiting their other parent or if your ex has claimed that you should not get visitation rights, you should contact a child custody lawyer right away.
The court typically establishes a visitation schedule that they feel is appropriate. However, both parents can have influence through a parenting time agreement. It’s well recognized that children benefit from interaction with both parents. However, determining how parenting time is allotted can be complex. Call a skilled child custody lawyer to evaluate your situation.
Child support in Texas is an obligation of each parent. Texas uses guidelines to calculate child support. However, there are situations in which the application of those guidelines is inappropriate. Our firm can discuss whether or not the application of the guidelines will be appropriate in your family’s specific situation.
Typically, the non-custodial parent pays the custodial parent an amount of child support that the court deems adequate. This amount is based on the income of both parents, number of children, and other needs of the children. However, if you want to seek a deviation from typical child support guidelines, a child custody lawyer can help.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today
Child custody can be a complex issue, involving financial concerns, health information, and expert opinions. The court will be focused on what is in the best interests of your children. Thus, it is important to work with an attorney who knows what the court wants to see. Contact The Alsandor Law Firm for a consultation with a child custody lawyer serving clients throughout the Greater Houston, Texas area. Call us at (713) 352-3506.