Child Custody & Visitation

Texas Child Custody Attorneys Centering Your Family’s Needs—Every Step of the Way

If you’re going through a divorce, protecting your children’s best interests is probably high on your list of priorities. You’re not alone. Our clients often report that the impact that divorce will have on their children is one of their primary concerns.

Most mothers and fathers recognize that having a positive and nurturing relationship with both parents is an important part of a child’s self-esteem and well-being. However, the stress and negative emotions that accompany most family law disputes can, in the heat of the moment, interfere with a parent’s ability to recognize the harm caused by ongoing parental conflicts.

As with all of our family law services in Texas, we strive to avoid unnecessary emotional pain for your family. If we become aware that your child is struggling, we will discreetly bring it to your attention. We believe it is essential for parents to actively manage the emotional impact of custody litigation on themselves in order to better protect the child from collateral harm.

At Goranson Bain Ausley, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver sound legal advice while attempting to de-escalate contentious, emotional situations. There is no area of family law where this skill is more important than in child custody. Every Dallas, Plano or Austin child custody attorney in our team understands that the care of your child is your number one priority as a parent. While we always aggressively protect our clients’ rights, we also strive to keep the best interests of their children at the forefront by keeping them out of litigation.

Contact Our Child Custody Lawyers in Texas

If you’re at the beginning of the divorce process, it’s not abnormal to have a lot of questions—and even some anxiety about what the future looks like for you and for your family. 

You don’t have to go through it alone. We’re here to answer your questions, offer advice, and provide the support you need every step of the way. Contact us today to get started.

 

Our Child Custody Services

Relocation

Generally, when child custody terms are established in Texas, the details and limitations of relocation are included. This creates stability for the child, and ensures that both parents’ rights are protected. There are circumstances, however, that will allow a parent to move with their child out-of-state. If you or your former spouse are trying to relocate, it’s important to have an experienced family law attorney who can help.  

Visitation Rights

For the majority of parents, the visitation or possession schedule they will have with their children is the most important thing they will decide. Goranson Bain Ausley lawyers are there to help you hold productive discussions about what schedule is best for you and your children.

Conservatorship

Conservatorship is when an individual is granted court-ordered rights relating to a child. There are various types of conservatorships based on the situation and what is in the best interest of the child. A Goranson Bain Ausley attorney can help you navigate them all. 

LGBTQ+ Parenting Rights

Establishing parental rights can be a challenging process, especially for LGBTQ couples. Factors that go into establishing parental rights include marital status, who the biological parent is, and how the child was conceived. An experienced Goranson Bain Ausley attorney can walk you through this complex process. 

Paternity

For unmarried parents, there is value in establishing paternity, including establishing visitation and child support. With the introduction of blood and DNA tests, paternity can be determined with virtually 100 percent accuracy. While testing is easy, you’ll want an experienced attorney to help you through the process.      

Parenting Schedule

We listen carefully to you to get to know the ages and needs of your children, both parents’ work schedules and availability, and your ability to keep to certain schedules so that your children’s lives are minimally disrupted. We’ll make sure you understand the Standard Possession Order provided by the Texas Family Code and help you decide whether this schedule will work for your family. If not, we’ll help you craft a schedule that does.

Grandparents’ Rights

Grandparents can play a pivotal role in their grandchild’s life, which is why every state has some form of grandparent visitation. In Texas, a court will grant grandparent visitation if it’s in the best interest of the child and if specific circumstances exist. When it comes to grandparents gaining custody of their grandchildren, the situation gets even more complex. We can help you navigate the ins and outs of each process.

Texas Child Custody FAQs

At Goranson Bain Ausley, our family law attorneys are committed to guiding you through the custody determination process with compassion, knowledge, and purpose. Below are answers to common child custody questions. Please see our Child Custody FAQ resource for more answers about child custody questions in Texas.

How is Child Custody Determined in Texas?

Child custody matters can be stressful—but it’s important to remember that the custody determination process is designed to help protect the best interests of the children involved. 

A well-crafted parenting plan is also a critical foundation for a harmonious co-parenting relationship, and an experienced, compassionate child custody attorney can facilitate cooperation and help you create an agreement that’s focused on your child’s needs.

The process for establishing custody varies slightly depending on whether or not a divorce is involved, and, if so, on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. If you’re not party to a divorce, you’ll begin custody proceedings by filing a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). 

Either way, it’s wise to start by contacting a family law attorney who can advise you on the next steps. These will likely include collecting medical, employment, and financial records, and any other evidence applicable to your case.

What is Standard Child Custody in Texas?

Currently, Texas Family Code sets a standard possession order as follows: non-custodial parents who live within 100 miles of their children have the right to possession on the first, third, and fifth weekends of every month, on Thursday evenings during the school year, on alternating holidays, and for an extended period of time (up to 30 days) during summer vacation.

If the parents live further than 100 miles apart, the weekend schedule may be reduced to one weekend per month, the midweek visit is canceled, the summer break is extended to 42 days, and a spring break is added.

If the child/children’s safety is a concern, a judge can also issue a supervised possession order that requires visits with non-custodial parents to be supervised by a family member or other third party.

What is a Child Custody Evaluation?

The child custody evaluation is a tool used by the Court to investigate the circumstances of all parties and the children when parents are unable to agree to the conservatorship and/or the possession and access to the children. The evaluator will investigate and provide information regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each parent, the level of interparental conflict, parent-child relationships, and the children’s developmental, social emotional and educational needs.

If a custody evaluation is ordered, it’s important to have an experienced child custody attorney who understands the intricacies of custody proceedings on your team.

What Are Child Custody Modifications and Enforcement?

Modifications to conservatorship arrangements and possession orders are possible, but the process is neither quick nor simple. Parents seeking changes in their existing custody arrangements must prove that:

  • A child is twelve years of age or older and wishes to change their caregiving situation
  • The circumstances (medical, financial, employment, marital status, etc.) of either parent or the child have changed in a material and substantial way
  • The proposed changes are in the best interest of the child

Orders can also be changed if neglect, child abuse in all forms, violence, crime, or substance abuse become an issue for either parent. 

Retaining a child custody attorney will ensure that your rights (and the rights of your children) are vigorously protected.

Work with an Experienced Child Custody Attorney

At Goranson Bain Ausley, we understand that child custody decisions are some of the most emotionally charged decisions that you will make during a divorce. Our trusted attorneys are here to help support you with clear legal advice while also helping facilitate the collaborative, solution-oriented approach that will help you arrive at the best possible custody arrangement for your family. Reach out to our Austin, Plano, or Dallas office today.