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Child Custody and Visitation In Texas

When custody of children is an issue, parents experience difficult emotions that are hard to come to terms with. That is why it is important to hire a family law attorney who understands what you are going through and can look at the situation objectively to help you sort through your situation.

The Texas Family Code presumes a standard possession schedule is in the child's best interest. For a Court to order a possession schedule contrary to the standard schedule, a parent has to prove it is not in the child's best interest to have that standard schedule.

Deciding custody, possession, and visitation is a fact-specific decision. Who is the primary care giver of the child? Who gets your child up in the morning and ready for school? Who feeds your child? Who takes your child to school and who picks him up from school? Who gets your child ready for bed at night? Who takes him to the doctor? Who attends parent-teacher conferences?

In the past, it was highly probable the mom would receive primary custody of the children and the father would get a possession schedule. Today, the Texas Family Code is clear that the sex of the parent or the child will not be taken into account when determining primary custody of the child. The Court must look at the facts to determine who primarily cares for the child and what is in the best interest of the child. It also doesn't matter if one parent has a greater income than the other. It all boils down to what is in the best interest of the child; the overarching requirement pursuant to the Texas Family Code. Every judge must rule in the best interest of the child.

Sometimes parents try to tie visitation with a child to the payment of child support. The Texas Family Code says a parent cannot deny visitation because the other parent does not pay child support. Further, a parent cannot legally refrain from paying child support because the other parent will not allow visitation.

The remedy for denial of visitation is an enforcement of visitation. The enforcement of visitation is similar to the enforcement of child support in that it is a highly technical procedure. In fact, it is probably more difficult to prove the denial of visitation. But with the guidance of an experienced Texas family law lawyer, you can effectively win an enforcement of visitation and recoup the time you have missed with your child and possibly, depending on the court and how egregious the denial of visitation is, get jail time for the other parent.

The family law attorneys at The Decker Law Firm are able to step back from your situation, analyze your desires and your child's welfare, factor how Dallas/Fort Worth area (D/FW) courts react in child custody cases, and work with you toward crafting the proper custody and possession solution.

Because every legal matter is unique, please contact us for an initial consultation to help ensure you have the information you need to make the appropriate decisions for your specific circumstances.