Child Custody Lawyer in Houston, TX
Texas Conservatorship (Custody) Cases
Conservatorship is the legal word for custody in Texas. It deals with a person’s relationship with a child where there is a court order in place, which may apply after a divorce or when paternity is established. Grandparents or other relatives may also be able to seek conservatorship in certain circumstances. It is important to note that legal custody can only be created by a court order. Without a court order, there is nothing to enforce and either parent may seek to spend time with a child.
If you have questions about custody and want to find out what rights you have in regard to obtaining conservatorship, establishing an access (visitation) order, modifying custody, or enforcing custody, you will benefit from gaining the insight of a seasoned legal professional. Houston child custody attorney Kay Polk has 19 years of legal experience and worked as an amicus attorney for the courts, which means she was appointed to protect the best interests of children in family law proceedings. She is well-qualified to handle any custody case in Texas.
Call (713) 234-6260 to find out how our firm can help with your case.
Types of Conservators
A person with court-ordered custody of a child is a conservator. There are three types of conservators in Texas:
- In most custody cases, parents will be named as joint managing conservators, which means they share decision-making rights on most issues related to their child or children. The amount of time the child or children will spend with each parent will be decided separately by way of a possession order, although one parent will typically be named the custodial parent and the child or children will primarily live with this parent.
- A sole managing conservator may be named in certain circumstances, and this may be the parent or a non-parent if necessary. This person will have the sole right to make most decisions about the child. Child abuse, drug or alcohol use, or family violence may make the appointment of a sole managing conservator necessary.
- When one parent is named as a sole managing conservator, the other parent is typically named as the possessory conservator. When a non-parent is named as a sole managing conservator, both parents may be named as possessory conservators. A possessory conservator maintains parental rights but will not have the final authority on most decisions regarding the child or children.
Custodial vs. Noncustodial Parents
Because most parents are named joint managing conservators with one as the custodial parent and one as the noncustodial parent, it is important to look at the specific differences between these.
A custodial parent will typically:
- Share decision-making rights with the other noncustodial parent
- Receive child support from the noncustodial parent
- Have custody of the child most of the time
A noncustodial parent will typically:
- Share decision-making rights with the custodial parent
- Pay child support to the custodial parent
- Have possession of and access to the child (parenting time/visitation)
If you have questions about whether you will be a custodial parent or noncustodial parent, Houston custody lawyer Kay Polk can help you understand what may apply in your specific situation. This is one of the areas of primary concern to our clients, and we will take care to advise you and protect your parental rights.
Standard Possession Order (SPO) & the Best Interests of the Child
When establishing custody, the courts will make decisions based on the best interests of the child. This will apply in divorces, paternity cases, and cases involving domestic violence or child abuse. Most custody orders include a standard possession order (SPO) that establishes a set schedule for each parent’s time with a child, where the exchange of the child will take place, where the child will spend most holidays, and special rules if the parents live more than 100 miles apart. Courts do not need to follow the SPO if the child is under the age of three or if it would not be in the child’s best interests.
Contact Houston Child Custody Attorney Kay Polk Today
Conservatorship, custody, parenting time, possession, access, visitation – all of these describe and influence your relationship with your child. Make sure your rights are fully protected and that your goals are realized. From divorce and custody matters to grandparents’ rights or conservatorship for non-parents, Kay Polk can use her extensive experience as a Houston child custody attorney to guide and represent you.
For experienced custody help, contact Kay Polk, Attorney at Law today.