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Austin Child Custody Attorneys

Protecting Your Parental Rights & Your Child’s Best Interests

One of the most sensitive subjects to deal with is how the end of your relationship will impact your children. Where will they live? How often will you see them? There are many questions surrounding child custody, and our firm is able to help you find answers that work best for you and your children.

Stinson Moyle, PLLC is an experienced family law firm. Our Austin child custody attorneys are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and are prepared to advise you on every aspect of your custody case.

For a confidential consultation, give us a call at (512) 948-3688. We can offer you honest, accurate insight on this crucial issue.

Texas Child Custody Arrangements

Generally, Texas courts presume that it is in the children's best interests for both parents to be involved in their lives. This leads to many parents being named Joint Managing Conservators. In this arrangement, major parenting decisions may be shared, but one parent maybe given authority by the court to determine a child's primary residence.

The Managing Conservator's right to determine primary residence is usually limited by a geographic restriction specified in court orders. Usually, courts prefer children to remain in the county of Texas where they lived before the lawsuit or in the surrounding counties.

In certain cases, one parent might be appointed as the Sole Managing Conservator. A Sole Managing Conservator would have the sole right to make major parenting decisions for the children. Depending upon the circumstances, there would still be visitation (possibly supervised) with the other parent, who is still referred to as the Possessory Conservator.

Court orders regarding child custody typically govern until the children turn 18 years of age. However, if a child has any physical or mental disability, the court's jurisdiction may be extended.

Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

The wishes of the child will always be heard, but the weight of the wishes is determined by the child’s maturity and age. Children 12 years and older have historically been given more leeway when it comes to their living preferences. Still, the court must hear sound reason for the child’s wish to come to fruition.

The Standard Possession Order in Texas

In regard to visitation in Texas, parents are typically free to agree upon virtually any visitation arrangement, but a Standard Possession Order (SPO) is usually presumed to be in the best interest of the child. The SPO sets out specific days and times when each parent has possession of and access to their child.

There are other visitation arrangements that may be established, such as:

  • Expanded SPOs, which allows a parent to elect alternate possession times to expand those periods of visitation to coordinate with the child's school day (rather than using the SPO's 6 p.m. beginning and ending time).
  • Split possession, where one or more children live with one parent and the other child or children live with the other parent.
  • 50/50 possession schedules, where the children live with one parent for a block of time, and then live with the other parent.

No matter your child custody and visitation goals, our Austin custody lawyers can provide strong advocacy to assist you in all aspects of child custody cases and will provide you with the legal guidance that your family needs.

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Contact us at (512) 948-3688 regarding your situation and how our representation can help you with your custody case.