Angleton Child Custody and Visitation Attorney
Professional and Serious Representation with 30 Years of Experience
The most difficult decisions in a divorce proceeding often center on child custody and visitation. As a parent, you want what is best for your children and to play a meaningful role in their growth and development. Working out an arrangement in which you get quality time with them without having them shuttled back and forth between you and the other parent can be challenging. To navigate the custody and visitation negotiations process, you’ll want an experienced legal professional to guide you.
At The Law Office of Mark B. Jones, in Angleton, we have worked closely with individuals in divorce-related matters since 1993. We understand the emotional challenges that come with divorce, particularly when minor children are involved, and we work hard to be compassionate and find ways to cooperatively resolve differences between parents so that the children don’t feel caught in the middle of your conflict with your ex-spouse. Attorney Mark B. Jones is a certified family law mediator and can help you work together with your ex-spouse to find mutually beneficial solutions in or out of court.
Texas Child Custody Laws
Texas child custody law aims to:
- assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child;
- provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child; and
- encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.
Note that when parents are separated or getting divorced, the law refers to “custody” as “conservatorship,” where “managing conservatorship” is legal custody and “possessory conservatorship” is physical custody. Managing conservatorship refers to a parent’s role in making critical decisions about the child’s life, such as the child’s medical needs, and educational, cultural, and religious upbringing. Texas family law presumes that parents should have joint managing conservatorship, but if the court believes joint managing conservatorship isn’t in the child’s best interest, it can appoint one parent as the “sole” managing conservator. This is common in situations where one of the parent’s decision-making ability has been compromised, such as by untreated alcohol or drug abuse, or where there’s a history of domestic violence or child abuse.
Possessory conservatorship addresses where the child will reside and when a parent will have “access” to the child (visitation). With possessory conservatorship, the parents should agree on a visitation schedule. If they can’t agree, the law provides a “standard possession order” which lays out for them the times when each parent will spend with the child. Be aware that if the court feels the standard possession order isn’t appropriate, it can instead place restrictions on possession orders if it’s necessary to protect a child’s or parent’s safety or well-being. For instance, a judge may determine that a parent shouldn’t be left alone with a child, in which case the judge can order a “supervised possession order,” which allows access to the child only in the presence of a third party.
Note that any parent’s wrongful denial of access to a child in violation of a court’s order can result in serious consequences for that parent enforced by the court.
The Best Interests of the Child
Texas law specifically states that the best interest of the child must be the court’s primary consideration in determining issues of conservatorship and possession of and visitation with the child.
Factors assisting judges in reaching a decision include:
- the child’s desires;
- the child’s immediate and future physical and emotional needs;
- any immediate and future physical and emotional danger to the child;
- the parental abilities of each parent;
- the programs available to assist parents who want to promote the best interests of their child;
- the plans each parent has for the child;
- the stability of the home or proposed home;
- any actions or failures to act that may indicate that the parents don’t have a proper parent-child relationship; and
- any excuse the parents may have for those actions and failures to act.
Our Custody and Visitation Practices
At The Law Office of Mark B. Jones, we work with individuals at any stage of a child custody or visitation dispute, whether they are just filing for divorce and need to put a temporary order in place, or they seek representation in proceedings to modify or enforce a court order. In all cases, our firm will help you develop and implement custody and visitation arrangements that are in the best interests of your minor children while protecting your rights as a parent. When determining what your custody and visitation agreements will be, we will factor in your children’s needs and best interests as mentioned above, such as educational, health, or religious concerns.
Our firm will carefully educate you regarding the different types of custody, including physical and legal custody, and will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of joint or sole custody. If your children are old enough, we will also seek their input when developing custody and visitation plans.
Call (979) 849-8077 for Legal Help Today
The Law Office of Mark B. Jones will prioritize your concerns as we map out your custody and visitation case in Texas, and you can rest assured that we will provide you the professional and zealous representation you deserve to negotiate your rights as a parent. Attorney Mark B. Jones is a BV-rated attorney certified by the Martindale-Hubbell ratings, which attests to a lawyer’s legal ability and general ethical standards. Our office is located two blocks south of the courthouse in Angleton, TX in the historic W.D. Evans building. Work with our firm to resolve your custody negotiation today.