Complex Child-Custody Issues
When parents split, they typically must determine how they will share custody of their children. Developing a custody arrangement can be challenging under the best circumstances, but complex child-custody issues can make the process even more difficult and contentious. While some people may wish to avoid taking legal action to define custody, attempting to resolve complicated custody issues without the assistance of a lawyer may result in the unintentional waiver of important rights. If you have questions about a complex child-custody dispute, it is vital to consult an attorney as soon as possible. At McClure Law Group, our dedicated Dallas child-custody attorneys possess the skills and experience needed to help you fight to protect your rights and the interests of your child, and, if you engage our services, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf.The Standard Employed by Texas Courts in Child-Custody Matters
The Texas Family Code (the "Code") establishes the overarching concern in custody cases, regardless of what unique complications arise. The Code explains that Texas' public policy is to ensure that children have continuing and frequent contact with parents who have shown they have the ability to act in the child's best interest and to urge parents to share in the rights and obligations of rearing their child after they have ended their relationship or marriage. The State also aims to provide children with stable, safe, and nonviolent environments. The Code clarifies, however, that the primary factor weighed by courts tasked with resolving issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to a child is what is in the best interest of the child. In other words, what is best for each specific child will dictate the court's decision, regardless of any general policies or standards.Complex Child-Custody Issues
Texas law presumes that the standard possession order, which provides a set schedule for parents' possession of their child, is in the best interest of children who are three or older. Numerous issues can make a child-custody dispute complex, though, which renders the standard possession order inappropriate in many cases. For example, if the child lives with a disability, the court may find it appropriate to develop a defined custody schedule or grant the parent who can better meet the child's needs greater rights.
In some instances, the parents will live far apart, complicating matters. The Code sets forth guidelines for the right to possession when parents live more than 50 miles but less than 100 miles apart and for when they live over 100 miles away from one another. Specifically, when the possessory conservator lives 100 miles or less from the child's primary residence, they have the right to possession of the child on the first, third, and fifth weekend of the month, beginning on Fridays at 6:00 pm and ending on Sunday, on Thursdays each week during the school year, on certain holidays, and for 30 days during the summer. Possessory conservators that live more than 100 miles away from the child's residence also have the right to possession on the first, third, and fifth weekend of the month, during the child's spring vacation from school, and for 42 days in the summer.
If either parent or anyone living in their household has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence, that can also create concerns. In such instances, the courts will closely examine whether an existing or proposed custody order creates a risk of harm for the child. If either parent has engaged in behavior that could endanger the child, the court may restrict or sever their parental rights.Confer with a Knowledgeable Dallas Lawyer
While some custody cases are straightforward, others present challenges that make the case difficult to resolve. If you have concerns about protecting your parental rights, it is smart to confer with an attorney. The trusted Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group are adept at navigating the intricacies of complex child-custody issues, and, if you engage our services, we will work diligently to help you pursue the best legal result possible in your case. Our primary office is in Dallas, and we regularly meet clients for appointments at our Collin-County office in Plano. We represent parties in custody matters in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, and Garland. We also help people with family-law disputes in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can reach us through our online form or by calling 214.692.8200 to set up a confidential meeting.