Child Custody Lawyer Serving Lewisville, Carrollton, The Colony, Denton, and Flower Mound
Having to fight for custody of your children is never easy. Whether you are seeking custody for the first time in a divorce or paternity dispute, seeking enhanced custody rights, or seeking to enforce an existing custody order, we understand what you are going through. As an experienced Lewisville child custody lawyer, Ms. Parker also understands what it takes to win custody rights or enforce existing custody orders in Texas courts.
About Texas Child Custody (Conservatorship) Orders
In Texas, child custody is referred to as “conservatorship.” The Texas Legislature created this term to mean "decision-making" and provides a laundry list of decision-making rights in the Texas Family Code. In granting conservatorship or decision-making rights, the courts want to hear evidence pertaining to the best interests of the child, and grant custody based on this standard. This is true even when the child is of the appropriate age (twelve years or older) to express his or her wishes to the court.
A conservatorship order will typically either:
- Grant sole custody to one parent or another suitable family member, giving that person exclusive custody and decision-making rights with regard to the child;
- Grant joint custody, giving the parents equal custody and decision-making rights; or,
- Grant joint custody, but give one parent greater custody and decision-making rights than the other.
Seeking Modification of Texas Child Custody (Conservatorship) Orders
When circumstances change in a parent's life or in the child's life, such that the best interests of the child are no longer being served, concerned parents – and in appropriate cases, other relatives – may seek modification of the court's conservatorship order. A modification proceeding can either be consensual (if both parents agree that the child's best interests would be served under an alternate arrangement), or adversarial (if only one parent seeks modification). Common bases for seeking modification of Texas conservatorship orders include:
- Mutual consent and acknowledgement of changed financial or other circumstances
- Allegations of mental or physical abuse
- The child's living environment has become dangerous
- The primary conservator has relinquished custody for at least six months
- A significant change in circumstance to warrant a modification
Importantly, parents and relatives should not seek to “modify custody” by simply altering the child's living arrangement and doing it without a court order. Changing the child's primary place of residence could likely be a violation of the court's conservatorship order, and may make it much more difficult to obtain legal custody. Lewisville child custody lawyer, Ms. Parker is experienced in representing parents seeking modification of Texas conservatorship orders, and can help you establish evidence of changed circumstances and present your case for modification to the court.
Seeking Enforcement of Texas Child Custody (Conservatorship) Orders
If your former spouse or partner is refusing to honor the terms of your conservatorship order, Helene Parker & Associates, L.L.C. can represent you in court to seek enforcement of your custody and decision-making rights. From relatively simple disputes to cases involving international parental kidnapping, you can rely on our experience to help you protect your child. In many cases, our petition for enforcement of custody rights will also include a request for modification.
Visitation and Child Support
Visitation rights and child support rights are addressed separately from conservatorship (child custody). In other words, they are not linked. If your custody rights are being violated, you must still respect any visitation and child support orders as they currently exist. Failure to do so could result in a finding of contempt by the court, making it more difficult for you to obtain modification of custody.
Speak with Lewisville Child Custody Lawyer Helene Parker
Contact Helene Parker & Associates, L.L.C. today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation with Lewisville child custody attorney Helene Parker about seeking modification or enforcement of your conservatorship (child custody) order. We serve clients in Denton, Carrollton, Lewisville, The Colony, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas.