Dripping Springs Child Custody Lawyer

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Child custody is a critical but tension-filled part of family law. Almost every parent desires to maximize the time and opportunities that they have with their children. They also want the best outcome for their children. This means that emotions can often be intense when child custody concerns are being addressed. A Dripping Springs child custody lawyer can often be critical to helping you through the process.

Our team at Vaught Law Firm has experience working with the most challenging of child custody situations. We’re prepared to help with any number of issues that could arise during the process, and our board-certified family law attorneys have not only the legal skills but also the compassion that you need through the process. We are prepared to help you fight for what’s most important for your child.

Child Custody in Texas

Child custody is one of the most complex aspects of family law, and the courts are very careful about the decisions that they make with regard to children. According to the law, the judge in a child custody case must make a ruling that they believe will serve the best interests of the child involved. However, that does mean that they have broad discretion regarding the decisions that they make.

Custody will consider both the physical issue of where the child will live and spend their time and what kind of visitation there may be if one parent has sole custody. It will also consider the aspect of decision-making authority regarding the important aspects of the child’s life, such as educational options, medicinal decisions, and where the children will primarily reside.

There may be some situations where the decision-making is granted entirely to one parent, and there also may be some times when both of the parents share that responsibility jointly. In fact, decision-making authority may often be jointly held even when the physical custody is primarily given to one parent.

In determining child custody, a judge will need to look at a variety of different factors that impact the health and safety of a child. Some of the issues that have come up in case law as being important to consider include:

  • Each parent’s ability to parent the child and support the relationship between the child and the other parent
  • What the child desires
  • The stability of the home in each option for the child
  • The child’s physical and emotional needs
  • The child’s risk of emotional and physical danger
  • The plans of each parent for the child
  • Any omissions regarding a parent’s fitness to parent the child and the reason for those omissions
  • How a parent may be assisted by any programs that can promote the interest of the child

Modifying Child Custody

It is possible to modify a child custody decision after it’s been issued. However, it must meet particular requirements. Generally, there will need to have been some sort of material and substantial change in circumstances that impacts the child’s interests. Whoever is seeking the change will need to petition the court first to get the changes considered.

At a hearing, the court will listen to both sides and make a decision based on the same best interest factors considered in the original decision. Some of the possible reasons for changes to child custody include:

  • Changes in a parent’s work arrangements, including getting a new job, leaving a job, or having to travel more or less for work
  • One parent moving further or nearer in a way that impacts the current custody arrangement
  • Something impacting a parent’s fitness, such as the discovery of substance abuse by the parent, neglect of the child, some kind of abuse, or even criminal activity
  • Safety concerns for the child
  • The development of a medical condition changing the needs of the child or the ability of the parent
  • Violations of the existing custody orders, such as not allowing the ordered visitation, which are taken very seriously and can lead to significant custody changes
  • One parent attempting to alienate the child from the other parent and harm their relationship is another serious issue that can create a need for changes

How a Dripping Springs Child Custody Lawyer Can Help

There are a number of different ways that a child custody lawyer can help with child custody issues, but their primary role is to act as your representative and advocate throughout the process. Remember that all child custody decisions will be made based on the child’s best interests, which means that in advocating for your interests, we will need to show how they align with the child’s interests.

In terms of coming to a child custody agreement, there is the possibility for parents to reach an agreement themselves. This is often a part of a broader divorce agreement, but it’s important to remember that whatever the parents decide will still need to be approved by a judge who will ensure that it meets the requirements of the law. A certified family law specialist can be helpful in working through the negotiations to come to an agreement, as well as drafting a new order that should be acceptable to the courts.

If it’s necessary to make your case before the courts, then a lawyer can help you do so. This may be in the original custody decision, or it could be when attempting to modify that original decision.