Child Custody Attorneys

Southlake Child Custody Attorneys

Advocating for Your Parental Rights in South Texas

At The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, we are committed to protecting your parental rights and your child’s best interests no matter whether you are an unwed parent or are going through a divorce. Our child custody attorneys stay up to date with changes in laws and policies that can affect parental rights so we can effectively serve you at every step of your case.

We understand your concerns for your child’s well-being, and our team tailors recommendations and legal solutions to your specific situation. Each of our clients’ family dynamics is unique and we make sure to thoroughly assess your needs and goals to design an appropriate course of action.

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Do you need a compassionate child custody attorney in Southlake? Contact The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC , today at (817) 497-8148 to schedule a consultation. Se Habla Español.

How The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC Can Help

Our family law attorneys can help you with any child custody matters, including:

  • Joint custody
  • Sole custody
  • Relocation
  • Termination and adoption
  • Grandparents' rights
  • Paternity

Texas law can refer to child custody cases as conservatorship. Many factors play a role in this type of situation, and our family law attorneys understand their complexity. We also have experience working with parents who do not have traditional work hours, including those serving in the military or law enforcement. No matter your type of employment, we can help you determine what visitation and access schedule works for your family.

Texas’s Best Interests of the Child Standard

Under the Texas Status, the primary factor in a judge’s child custody ruling is the child’s best interest. While courts usually uphold co-parenting or joint managing conservators, their main concern is the child’s well-being.

Texas family courts consider the following factors in a child custody case:

  • The child’s wishes if they are at least 12 years old
  • The child’s health, safety, and welfare
  • The quality of the child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child and focus on their best interests

A judge may consider additional factors if necessary. If both parents have parents show active interest and capability to focus on their child’s best interests, a court usually supports continuous contact between the child and both parents.

Before getting to this stage, we recommend negotiations and mediation. It can be difficult for children to see their parents go through a contentious custody battle, especially when a resolution could potentially be reached another way. Our skilled and compassionate child custody attorneys in Fort Worth are prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect your rights and that of your child.

Joint vs Sole Custody

Joint custody involves both joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Legal custody affects your child’s upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religion. Physical custody concerns where your child resides, although joint physical custody does not require that your child evenly splits their time between your and your former spouse’s household.

If you and your spouse are considering joint custody, we recommend that you spend time carefully reviewing how to make a parenting schedule and other child custody details work for the long term. Our attorneys are available to give you advice and participate in negotiations with your co-parent

Texas courts rarely approve sole custody unless one parent is:

  • Physically or emotionally abusive
  • Serving jail time
  • Dealing with an uncontrolled substance abuse disorder

After your divorce, a Texas judge may only agree to modify a child custody order in specific cases, like a substantial change in the circumstances of the child’s or a parent’s life, or one parent voluntarily terminates their parental rights. If a child is 12 years old or older and desires a change to the current custody or visitation arrangements, a court may also review the case.

If a custodial parent wants to move out of state, the other parent must give their consent. The parent who is planning to move must give a notice period of 30 to 90 days to their co-parent Both parents must agree on a revised visitation schedule and seek approval from a judge. Texas courts usually consider the distance that the relocation may cause and whether this serves the child’s best interests.

Contact The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, PLLC, today at (817) 497-8148 to schedule an appointment to discuss your child custody situation in Southlake. Se Habla Español.

Southlake Child Custody FAQ

How can a parent modify a child custody arrangement in Texas?

A parent who wishes to modify a child custody arrangement must file a motion with the court and provide evidence as to why they should be granted a modification. The court will consider factors such as the child's best interests, changes in the parents' living situations, or changes in employment or education status that may have an impact on the custodial arrangement. The judge will ultimately decide whether to grant the requested modification. During the process, the other parent can present arguments as to why the modification should be denied or changed.

What are the rights of non-custodial parents in Texas?

Non-custodial parents in Texas have the right to reasonable access to their child and may be granted visitation rights depending on their specific circumstances. Visitation rights may include parenting time, phone calls, text messages, or other forms of communication. Additionally, any non-custodial parent in Texas has the right to request changes to a custody arrangement through the court if a significant change in circumstance can be demonstrated. Participation in medical and educational decisions is also often possible for non-custodial parents, depending on what type of legal arrangement is in place for the family.

What are the common mistakes parents make during child custody battles in Texas?

Common mistakes parents make during child custody battles in Texas include not being prepared for the hearing, failing to hire an experienced attorney, making personal attacks on the other parent in court or written documents, expecting an outcome that may not be realistic, refusing to compromise on certain aspects of the arrangement, and focusing too much on the past instead of considering the future needs of their child and their family. It is important for parents to remember that courts focus first and foremost on a child's best interests when determining custody arrangements.

How can a parent best prepare for a child custody battle in Texas?

Parents can best prepare for a child custody battle in Texas by planning ahead and gathering the necessary documents to support their case. Important documents can include any relevant medical records, school records, and police reports that could impact the outcome of the hearing. It is also important to hire an experienced attorney who can provide legal advice throughout the process. Additionally, it is beneficial to be emotionally prepared for the hearing and to remain open-minded when considering possible outcomes and arrangements. Finally, parents should try to maintain a civil relationship with the other parent to ensure the best interests of their child are represented during the proceedings.

What are the potential consequences of violating a child custody order in Texas?

Potential consequences of violating a child custody order in Texas could include fines, jail time, and a loss of custody rights. Any violation of the order may be taken into consideration during future hearings related to the arrangement, too. The court may determine that the parent who violated the order is unfit or unreliable, which could lead to an unfavorable outcome for them. As such, parents need to adhere to their court-approved custody plan to avoid potential repercussions.

What role do parenting plans play in child custody cases in Texas?

Parenting plans are comprehensive documents that outline the rights and responsibilities of each parent regarding the child's upbringing. In Texas, parenting plans are often required in child custody cases to detail custody schedules, decision-making authority, and procedures for resolving disputes. Creating a parenting plan can help parents establish clear expectations and minimize conflicts related to custody and visitation.

Can grandparents or other relatives seek custody in Texas?

Yes, under certain circumstances, grandparents or other relatives may seek custody in Texas. However, they must demonstrate that it is in the child's best interests to live with them rather than either parent. This often involves proving that both parents are unfit or that living with the relative would significantly benefit the child.

What role does mediation play in child custody cases in Texas?

Mediation is often required in child custody cases in Texas before going to trial. It allows parents to work with a neutral third party to reach a mutually agreeable custody arrangement. If parents cannot reach an agreement through mediation, the case will proceed to trial for a judge to make a final decision.

Can a parent relocate with a child after a custody order has been established in Texas?

If a parent wishes to relocate with a child after a custody order has been established in Texas, they must either obtain written consent from the other parent or seek court approval. The relocating parent must demonstrate that the move is in the child's best interests, taking into account factors such as the reason for the relocation, the impact on the child's relationship with the non-relocating parent, and the child's educational and social needs.

How does Texas handle cases involving military parents and child custody?

Texas has specific laws and provisions to address child custody cases involving military parents. These laws take into account the unique circumstances of military service, such as deployments and frequent relocations. Courts in Texas strive to ensure that military parents have meaningful and continuing contact with their children while balancing the best interests of the child.

How does Texas handle cases involving international child custody disputes?

Texas follows the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) when dealing with international child custody disputes. This act helps determine which state or country has jurisdiction over the case and provides mechanisms for enforcing custody orders across international borders.

The Opinions That Matter Most

  • 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.”

Why Choose Us For Your Family Matters?
  • 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. 

  • Transparency
    Honesty 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.
  • Team Oriented

    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 Approach
    Our team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.