Fighting For Custody Of Your Children
Child custody and support are some of the most significant issues that come out of divorce. As a parent, you want to ensure your child or children are happy, healthy and cared for. A divorce and potential custody battle can feel overwhelming. With your child’s future at stake, you need to work with a child custody attorney focused on helping you seek the most favorable outcome for you and your child or children.
At Rose Sanders Family Law, we understand how important it is to give your children everything they want and need. A single parent is not a failed parent but is a unique and close relationship between one parent and their child. we want to help you preserve your rights to parent and care for and see your child regularly. Our firm has helped numerous Houston and Harris County families come to agreeable custody arrangements that benefit the entire family.
Helping You With Your SAPCR Case In Texas
In Texas, a child custody case is often called a SAPCR, which is short for Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. In these cases, a judge will decide custody, visitation rights and child support orders. A SAPCR case is available when the other parent has signed an acknowledgment of paternity or the legal father is already named.
While you can make custody and support decisions independently, these agreements are not binding and enforceable under the law. A court order is a more secure option if anything goes wrong in your agreement. You can decide on an arrangement outside of court, file a SAPCR and bring it to the judge. If your plan is approved and in your child’s best interests, the judge will sign an order based on your decision.
Child Custody FAQ
Have questions about how child custody works in Texas? You are not alone. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions our family law attorneys hear from our clients.
Which parent is more likely to be awarded sole custody?
While some people believe that family law courts are prejudiced against fathers, nothing in Texas law requires judges to prefer one parental gender over the other when it comes to determining sole child custody. Every custody decision must follow the child’s best interests. This means the judge will consider factors like the child’s physical and emotional needs, each parent’s parental skills and their fitness to parent. The party who can provide the child with a more stable, safe and supportive home in line with the child’s particular needs will be awarded sole physical custody, if shared custody is not possible. In that case, the judge will usually create a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent to allow them and their children to continue spending regular time together.
Most of the time, parents share child custody, which is also called conservatorship. Texas law refers to joint custody as joint managing conservatorship. Meanwhile, both parents generally share legal custody, which empowers them to make decisions about how to raise the children, such as which religion they will practice and where they will go to school.
How does a judge decide custody disputes?
If the parents cannot work out an agreement and methods like mediation fail, the judge will schedule a hearing. Both parents and their attorneys will have the chance to present evidence and testify about why the judge should accept their proposed custody arrangement. The judge will then issue a ruling ordering a custody plan that they believe is in the child’s best interests.
What is considered being an ‘unfit parent’ in Texas?
The most common things that a court will look at when considering if a parent is unfit for child custody or parental rights entirely are a history of abusing or neglecting their children. Other signs of unfitness include drug or alcohol abuse, emotional abuse, maintaining unsafe living conditions or providing an unstable environment.
Can a child decide who they live with in Texas?
It depends on how old the child is. Starting at age 12, children can tell the court their preferred living arrangements. Theoretically, a 12-year-old is mature enough to have a say in where they will live. While it is not the sole factor, the judge will consider the child’s preference.
How do I file for child custody in Houston?
You must file a request for a child custody hearing with the Harris County District Clerk. Your attorney can handle this for you.
Let’s Work Together To Fight For Your Child’s Best Interests
Whether your custody case is contested or uncontested, our firm can help you with your filing and negotiations with the other parent. While you can file or respond to a SAPCR case without legal representation, working with the right child custody lawyer can make a massive difference in the outcome of your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your child custody options. Call the firm at 713-766-9082 or email the firm directly to get in touch.