Child Custody Attorney in Humble, Texas
When it comes to the well-being and future of your child, determining custody arrangements can feel stressful or even completely overwhelming. Whether you and your ex-spouse are in agreement on things, or whether discussions have reached a standstill, a family law attorney can offer invaluable support. The services of a lawyer can bring you peace of mind when you need it the most.
At Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC, we understand that child custody matters can be emotionally charged and complex. We're here to help navigate these challenging waters, offering guidance and legal assistance in Humble, Texas, and throughout Harris County, Montgomery County, and Liberty County. No matter your specific situation, set up a one-on-one consultation with our team as soon as you’re ready to move forward.
Establishing a Child Custody Arrangement in Texas
Establishing an effective child custody arrangement typically involves two main avenues.
The first, and often the most straightforward, is an agreement between the parents themselves. This option allows you to collaboratively determine the terms of the custody agreement and then present them to the court for approval. This approach is usually quicker, more cost-effective, and less emotionally draining. Engaging an experienced attorney during this process can ensure the discussions remain fruitful and focused.
A second path comes into play when an agreement cannot be reached between the parents. In such cases, the custody dispute is taken to the family court. Here, the judge will use their discretion to establish a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. In this scenario, having a skilled attorney represent your case is crucial. A lawyer can champion the child custody arrangement that you believe will best serve your family.
Types of Child Custody
When dealing with child custody, or "conservatorship" as it's referred to in Texas, there are three types you should be aware of:
Joint Managing Conservatorship (JMC): Both parents share the rights and responsibilities of making decisions for the child, although one parent may have the exclusive right to determine the child's primary residence. Joint managing conservatorship is presumed to be in the best interests of the child.
Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC): In this scenario, one parent has the legal right to make decisions concerning the child's upbringing and is the primary custodial parent.
Possessory Conservatorship: This is typically granted to the non-custodial parent and includes visitation rights and access to the child.
Speak to your attorney about each of these, and she can help you make more informed decisions about what could be best for your child and family. Whether you're aiming for joint managing conservatorship or sole and possessory managing conservatorship, our team at Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC, is here to guide you through every step of the process.
Factors Considered in Determining Custody
In Texas, the court considers several factors when determining child custody:
The child's best interests, which is always the primary consideration.
The child's desires
The child's immediate and future physical and emotional needs.
Any immediate and future physical and emotional danger to the child.
The parental abilities of each parent.
The programs available to assist parents in promoting the child's best interests.
The stability of the home or proposed home.
Any actions or failures to act that may indicate a lack of a proper parent-child relationship.
Any excuses the parents may have for those actions or failures to act.
Remember, these aspects are all considered with the child's best interest in mind. But what if, after the court has decided on a child custody arrangement that meets your child’s needs, this arrangement needs to be changed down the road?
Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement
In Texas, an existing child custody arrangement can be modified under certain circumstances:
If there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the previous order.
If the child is at least 12 years old and expresses a preference for a different primary residence.
If the current conservator voluntarily relinquishes primary care and possession of the child to another person for at least six months.
Modifying a custody order can be a complicated process with many moving parts. Consult with a family law attorney for guidance. The earlier in the process you reach out to an attorney, the better—but a skilled attorney can help at any stage, including when you need to update or enforce the terms of your agreement.
Child Custody Attorney in Humble, Texas
No one should have to go through these complex issues alone. At Elizabeth S. Pagel, PLLC, we're here to help you understand your rights and options, providing professional, empathetic, and informative legal assistance when you need us the most. No matter where you live in the state of Texas—including anywhere in Harris County, Montgomery County, and Liberty County—contact our attorney in Humble to set up a consultation.