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Child Custody FAQ

Parents who need to address issues related to child custody may have many questions about the legal process, the ways they can protect their rights, and their options for resolving disputes. At Brandon Wong & Associates, we strive to make sure our clients are fully informed about the laws that apply to them and the steps they can take to address matters related to their children. However, each situation is unique, and multiple different factors may affect the outcome of a case. We are happy to give you personalized insight into the best ways to approach your child custody issues. Some answers to common questions that we receive are detailed below:

What Is the Main Determining Factor in Child Custody Cases?

When addressing issues related to children in divorce and family law cases, the law prioritizes the child's best interests. Courts will focus on making decisions that will allow a child to grow up in a positive and supportive environment while encouraging parents to be closely involved in the child's life. In general, this means that any agreement or order should help maintain a stable situation for the child, provide for their educational needs, and meet their physical and emotional needs as well. While parents may disagree about what is best for their child, where the child should live, or other issues, they will need to demonstrate that they are willing to put the child's needs and interests before their own, and they will usually be encouraged to cooperate with each other as much as possible to raise their child successfully.

What Types of Child Custody Arrangements Are Possible?

Since each family has unique needs, there are as many possible arrangements as there are families. In some cases, parents may share 50/50 custody where children will stay with each parent on specific days of the week. In others, weekend or part-time custody may be appropriate, and one parent may be the primary caregiver, while the other will spend time with children on certain weekends or holidays. The decisions about child custody may be based on each parent's level of involvement in raising their children in the past, their ability to work together, the distance between their homes, their work schedules, and other factors that affect them and their children.

What Is a Standard Possession Order?

The Texas Family Code details an arrangement for possession and access (visitation) that is presumed to provide a non-custodial parent with a minimum reasonable amount of time with their child, as long as the child is at least three years old. In cases where parents live within 100 miles of each other, the standard possession order states that children will spend time with the non-custodial parent every other weekend from Friday evening to Sunday evening, as well as on Thursday evenings each week. While this represents the minimum amount of time that a non-custodial parent should be able to spend with their children, parents can agree on other arrangements as necessary, or a family court judge may make decisions about how to divide physical custody in a way that will provide for children's best interests.

Can a Child Be Involved in Decisions About Child Custody?

If a child is at least 12 years old, a family court may consider their wishes when making decisions about how child custody or visitation will be handled going forward. While a child's desires regarding custody will not be the sole or primary factor, they may play a role in the final outcome of a case.

How Is Child Custody Related to Child Support?

Child support is meant to help parents split the responsibility of addressing their child's monetary needs. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent, and the amount that will be paid will be determined by calculating a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income and financial resources. Parents may also need to address educational and medical expenses for their children, and these may be added to a child support order.

Can Child Custody Agreements Be Changed?

Yes. Adjustments may need to be made based on changes in parents' and children's lives in the years after a child custody order is issued. When requesting a child custody modification, a parent will need to show that they, the other parent, or their children have experienced substantial changes in their circumstances. Depending on what would be in a child's best interests, modifications may be made to conservatorship or the visitation time that children spend with each parent. Parents may also need to request modifications related to parental relocation.

Contact Our Bexar County Child Custody Lawyers

If you have any other questions about matters related to child custody or other child-related family law issues, please call us at 210-201-3832 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.

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