Whether you are undergoing a highly contested divorce, or merely seeking to clarify the specifics of your parent-child relationship, child custody cases are among the most difficult and often most personal forms of legal representation many individuals experience during their lifetime. If you are, or about to be, pursuing your child custody claim in Round Rock, your custody suit will likely be governed by Williamson County Local Rules, the state’s Third Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, and various other authorities that can be difficult to follow without qualified attorneys guiding the way. In this article, you will be provided with a brief overview of how Round Rock custody cases are approached and what considerations are taken into account by Williamson County courts.
When a court is deciding on a child custody matter, their primary consideration will always be what is in the best interest of the child or children involved. This component of a divorce dispute will be solely influenced by which decision will place the child in the most favorable environment.
In Holley v. Adams, the Texas Supreme Court set nine factors into place that Round Rock courts will use as a checklist when determining what is in the child’s best interest. These factors are:
These factors may be extremely helpful in understanding what details of your case are the most relevant and how to properly tailor your arguments to what the Judge will likely be listening for.
As a sole managing conservator, you will typically have the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence, the right to consent to various medical and psychological treatments, the right to receive periodic child support payments, the right to make decisions about the child’s education, and more. This type of conservatorship is the most in control of any decision-making regarding the child while the other party has significantly less influence.
As a joint managing conservator, you share the rights and responsibilities of raising the child with the other party. This type of conservatorship is the most common of conservatorships granted by Round Rock courts and is usually presumed to be in the best interest of the child. However, although both parents may be joint managing conservators, their responsibilities may differ. For instance, one conservator may have the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence, or the parties may agree that the child’s primary residence will stay within a specified geographic area. Possession times for each parent can also vary, especially when based on the child’s daily routine. One parent may receive a greater period of possession by the Court if it is determined to be in the child’s best interest due to their familial structure.
As a possessory conservator, an individual who is not necessarily one of the child’s parents may have the right to possess the child during specified periods of time and under certain conditions. A possessory conservator is also provided with the same parental rights any other conservatorship would allow during that period of possession.
It is common for Round Rock courts to encourage an agreed parenting plan if the parents are appointed as joint managing conservators. However, an agreed parenting plan must meet the following requirements: