Child Custody & Visitation
Child Custody & Visitation
Agreeing on a satisfactory child custody arrangement can be an arduous process; and that conflict can do an enormous amount of damage to the feelings of safety and security your child feels as he or she goes through it with you. It’s important to get this right if you decide that divorce is the best option available. The state of Texas makes it a priority to give both parents access to their children ensuing divorce, but that can happen in one of two ways. A parent can be given sole custody, also known as sole managing conservatorship, or custody can be shared through a joint managing conservatorship. The significance of these arrangements has more to do with decision-making responsibilities than living arrangements, which is why the state generally prefers naming each parent a managing conservator.
At Davis, Ermis & Roberts, P.C., we try to help parents reach agreements best suited to them, and we try to do it with as little conflict as possible. But to understand how we get there, you first have to understand what’s entailed with the processes of child custody and visitation.
Child Custody vs. Child Visitation: How They Differ
Child custody, or “conservatorship” as it is referred to in Texas, is a role reserved for one of the parents going through a divorce. This can be determined in one of two ways — you reach an agreement together on what is acceptable and you have a judge sign off on it; or, you leave it in the hands of the court to decide.
The latter option is the most common, and it also creates the most potential for conflict. This especially is true when each parent has a heavy desire to be the child’s conservator. Whoever is named the conservator will hold the primary day-to-day responsibilities of providing for the child’s emotional and physical needs. However, that doesn’t mean he or she is on their own.
The Other Parent
The other parent will typically be obligated to pay child support (about 25 percent of their post-divorce net income for one child). They also have some degree of parental decision-making rights, though this varies depending on the extent of the custodial arrangement.
If you are not the custodial parent, you will likely receive visitation rights. Those rights are judged on a case-by-case basis depending on the living arrangements involved. Obviously, if you move to another state, it will affect the amount of time you get to spend with your child. But it won’t cut you off from the child altogether.
Most responsible parents still receive opportunities to spend one-on-one time with their child. Example: summers and holidays or every other weekend. But again, this all depends on the parent’s willingness to be involved and their record of personal responsibility (i.e., no criminal activity or history of impaired behaviors).
At Davis, Ermis & Roberts, PC, our mission is to help you understand your rights from every angle and work toward the outcome best-suited for your situation and for the well-being of your child. We also are happy to work with grandparents to understand their rights regarding visitation and custody.
WHAT’S BEST FOR your Child?
At the end of the day, we want to be your partner in determining the best interests of your child from both a custodial and visitation perspective. Most would agree their children are the most important people in their world. They keep one motivated to live a good life, even if the decision regarding child custody and visitation doesn’t seem fair.
You want to do right by them, and that means keeping their best interests at the forefront through every step of the process. At Davis, Ermis & Roberts, P.C., we’ve been helping parents do just that for many years. Contact us today for help with your custody or visitation dispute.