When parents negotiate a divorce settlement, parenting time is one of the most important elements to consider. Too often, in my view, parents either go with the default standard order or seek a 50/50 schedule in the interest of "fairness" and "equal time."
I've recently been working on a child custody case in which testimony from the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) was central to our case. While involving an LPC isn't essential in all custody cases, it's crucial to have one involved if there are any allegations of abuse, neglect, or other factors critical to a child's welfare.
In most family law cases, I often have to remind myself of the importance of patience. As a family law attorney, we are always coming across the same issues, wherein the opposing party decides to thwart all efforts at our completing the discovery process. These efforts are particularly troublesome when our clients have concerns about the welfare of their children. It can become extremely difficult to move a case along, due to the opposing parties inaction, which only causes our client's concerns to grow by the day.
Legal proceedings involving Child Protective Services (CPS)--especially for cases in which the state is evaluating the termination of a person's parental rights--can be incredibly involved. Our firm provides legal services to parents, grandparents, and other relatives who find themselves involved with CPS cases. That's something we take great pride in, as it's one of the most complex areas of family law.
Child custody is arguably the single most important factor, both objectively and subjectively, in any divorce that involves children. In nearly every instance, maintaining a significant relationship with the child or children is of the utmost importance to both parents, and children want to see both of their parents often as well. It is also crucial to the healthy development and well-being of the child for both parents to come to an amicable agreement regarding child custody and the divorce in general.
Texas has two different types of custody arrangements available between divorcing parents: joint managing conservatorship and sole managing conservatorship. These two categories are extremely similar to standard joint custody arrangements and sole custody arrangements, with a joint managing conservatorship seeing parents share in making important decisions such as health care and religious upbringing, and a sole managing conservatorship ensuring that only one parent makes such decision. However, while it can be helpful to understand these different arrangements, it is perhaps more important to understand the factors that go into determining them.
When it comes to child custody, courts are often extremely specific regarding the custody orders that are given. More than simply determining which parent is granted primary or physical custody of the child, child custody often comes with visitation orders that detail specifically when and where physical custody of the child will change. For example, you may have a custody order that states you must meet your wife at the public library at noon to give her custody of the child.