Questions And Answers About Child Custody In Texas
Issues involving children are always emotional when parents split up. Whether through divorce or ending a long-term domestic relationship, it is often the child who is left to pick up the emotional pieces.
Backed by years of experience as a Texas family law attorney, I answer questions every day from parents who are naturally worried about their child’s welfare, as well as their parenting rights. The following questions are some of the most frequent I answer. Each case is different, so please contact me to set up a time to meet in my Fort Worth office.
Q. The divorce was my fault. Will that affect custody and visitation rights with my child?
A. Under Texas law, custody does equal ownership of the child. Both parents will be expected to participate in raising their child and will be granted parenting time unless there are circumstances that make it unsafe for the child. In some circumstances when you or your spouse are not acting in the children’s best interest in terms of their safety, the division of possession time of the children may be affected.
Q. Will the courts be fair about child support?
A. The typical answer is that child support is almost always determined by the guidelines put in place by the Texas legislature regarding the calculation of child support. Support is calculated upon the paying parent’s income. There is not a lot of wiggle room for subjective considerations of other factors. Sometimes, however, other factors, including the earnings of both parents and the amount of parenting time the parents spend with their child will affect the amount of support ordered. My years of experience and full understanding of details that impact the support calculation are a big help to my clients.
Q. I’m behind on child support payments. Will I lose parenting time with my child?
A. No. Under Texas law, remaining current on child support payments does not have a bearing on parenting time.
Q. My child is a teenager. Will she/he be allowed to say which parent should have custody?
A. The court will rely on input from child welfare specialists and other professionals to make the final decision. However, after the age of 12, the Court will listen to a child’s preference between parents as to where the child will live most of the time. allowed to let the court know who The court may — or may not — agree with the child’s choice into consideration. I am able to advise on the circumstances in which the court gives more or less weight to a child’s preference.
Q. What about my visitation rights as a grandparent?
A. For the most part, Courts assume that parents will make the best about the people to include in the child’s life. Under rare circumstances when parents are not acting in the child’s best interest with respect to safety or health, a grandparent may be awarded custody or visitation rights by the Court.