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Round Rock Child Custody Lawyers

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.

The Best Interest of the Child

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:

  • The child’s desires.
  • The child’s emotional and physical needs at the time and in the future.
  • The emotional and physical danger to the child at the time and in the future.
  • The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody.
  • The programs available to assist these individuals to promote the child’s best interest.
  • The plans for the child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody.
  • The stability of the home or proposed placement.
  • The parent’s acts or omissions that may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one.
  • Any excuses for the parents’ acts or omissions.

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.

Types of Child Custody

Sole Managing Conservator

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.

Joint Managing Conservator

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.

Possessory Conservator

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.

Agreed Parenting Plan

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:

  • Either designate the conservator who has the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence; or provide that the child’s primary residence will be within a specified geographic area;
  • If one conservator is given the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence, the parenting plan must either (1) establish the geographic area within which the conservator must maintain the child’s primary residence; or (2) specify that the conservator may determine the child’s primary residence without regard to geographic location;
  • Expressly state the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child’s present and future physical care, support, and education;
  • Contain provisions to minimize disruption of the child’s schooling, daily routine, and association with friends;
  • Assign and apportion between the parents, solely, concurrently, or jointly, all the remaining rights and duties of a parent as provided by the Texas Family Code.
  • Have been entered into voluntarily and knowingly by each parent and must not have been repudiated by either parent at the time the order is rendered; and
  • As always, be in the child’s best interest.
Contact a Round Rock Child Custody Attorney Today

If you would like more information regarding child custody, or any other family law related matter, contact Kirker | Davis LLP to schedule a meeting with a lawyer today.

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