Arlington Child Custody Lawyers
Protecting the Best Interests of Your Child
Custody disputes are often the most contentious issue during a divorce case. If you are seeking custody of your child, you need the help of an experienced child custody lawyer who can help you navigate the complicated Texas family law system.
At the Law Office of Mark M. Childress, P.C., we are well-versed in the Texas family law system and can help you protect your child's best interests and rights. We understand what you are going through and will take the time to understand your specific situation and needs.
Here are several ways our firm can help you in your child custody case in Arlington, TX:
- Child Custody Agreements: We help parents establish child custody agreements that are in the best interests of the child. Our goal is to ensure that both parents have the opportunity to maintain a strong and meaningful relationship with their children.
- Modification of Child Custody Orders: Life is constantly changing, and so are your child's needs. If you need to modify your existing child custody order due to a significant change in circumstances, we can help you through the process.
- Enforcement of Child Custody Orders: When the other parent fails to adhere to the court-ordered custody arrangement, we can take legal action to ensure that your rights are protected and your child's well-being is prioritized.
- Relocation Issues: If one parent is considering moving away with the child, it can create complex legal challenges. Our team can assist you in navigating these challenges and ensuring the best interests of the child are upheld.
- Grandparents' Rights: In some cases, grandparents may seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren. We can help grandparents assert their rights in these circumstances.
What is Child Custody?
Custody or conservatorship in Texas refers to the arrangement under which a child will live after a divorce. There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the arrangement under which a child will reside. Physical custody refers to the arrangement under which the child will spend time with a parent or parents.
In Texas, there are several types of conservatorship:
- Sole Managing Conservatorship: In this arrangement, one parent (the sole managing conservator) is granted the exclusive right to make significant decisions about the child's life. These decisions can include matters related to education, medical care, and religious upbringing. The other parent (the possessory conservator) typically has limited rights, such as visitation. Sole managing conservatorship is usually awarded when the court determines that it is in the child's best interests to limit one parent's decision-making authority significantly.
- Joint Managing Conservatorship: Joint managing conservatorship is the most common type of conservatorship in Texas. It allows both parents (the joint managing conservators) to share the responsibility of making important decisions about the child's life. While this arrangement encourages cooperation between parents, it does not necessarily mean equal parenting time or access. The court may still designate one parent as the primary residence, affecting the visitation schedule for the other parent.
- Possessory Conservatorship: The possessory conservator, often referred to as the noncustodial parent, has the right to spend time with the child according to a court-ordered visitation schedule. This parent does not have decision-making authority and must adhere to the orders set forth in the custody agreement. The possessory conservator's rights and visitation schedule may vary based on the specific circumstances of the case.
Texas has a standard possession order (SPO), which outlines the visitation schedule for the possessory conservator. This schedule typically includes weekend visitation, holiday visitation, and extended summer visitation, allowing the noncustodial parent to have meaningful time with the child.
Some families may choose or be granted an expanded standard possession order, which provides additional visitation time for the possessory conservator. This can include extended weekends or more extended summer visitation.
Parents involved in child custody disputes are encouraged to work together to create a parenting plan that reflects the unique needs of their family. If parents cannot agree, the court will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney in Texas is essential to understand the legal processes and to advocate for your rights and your child's well-being.
How Does the Court Determine Child Custody?
Custody and visitation (visitation is the arrangement under which the noncustodial parent spends time with the child) are determined by the court. It is important to remember that the court's main concern is the best interests of the child.
When determining custody and visitation, the court will consider:
- The age and health of the parent and child
- The child's mental and physical health
- The child's age and developmental needs
- The distance between the parents' residences
- The ability of each parent to provide the child with a stable, moral, and healthy environment
- The child's preference, if the child is old enough to express a preference
- The child's relationships with siblings, grandparents, other relatives, and friends
- The ability of each parent to provide the child with financial support
- The parents' ability to provide a stable and moral environment
- If either parent has a history of family violence
- If either parent is unfit or incompetent
- If either parent is or is about to relocate
- If either parent is or is about to remarry or cohabitate
- If the child is handicapped or disabled
- If either parent is responsible for the child's education
- If either parent is responsible for the child's medical care
- Any other factor the court deems relevant
Why Choose Us?
Navigating child custody matters can be overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone. If you're in need of a skilled Arlington child custody lawyer to represent your interests and safeguard your child's future, don't hesitate to reach out to the Law Office of Mark M. Childress.
The following are several reasons why you should choose our firm:
- Experience: Our team has extensive experience in family law, including child custody cases. He has successfully represented countless clients in Arlington and throughout Texas.
- Compassion: We understand the emotional strain that child custody cases can put on parents and children. We approach each case with the compassion and sensitivity it deserves.
- Client-Centered Approach: Our firm prioritizes open communication with our clients. We'll take the time to understand your unique situation and tailor our legal strategies to best serve your needs.
- Legal Expertise: Our team keeps up-to-date with the ever-evolving family law landscape in Texas. We are well-versed in the local laws and regulations that govern child custody cases in Arlington.
- Strategic Advocacy: We pride ourselves on our meticulous preparation and strategic advocacy. We will fight tirelessly for your rights, both inside and outside the courtroom.
My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice.
“Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”
Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.
“I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”
I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care.
“I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”
This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.
“This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”
Direct Access To Your Attorney
Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need.
TransparencyHonesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.
Personalized ApproachOur team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.