Montgomery County, Texas Custody and Visitation Law Firm
Child custody, visitation and relocation in The Woodlands and Conroe
Courts in Texas operate on the presumption that frequent contact with both divorced parents serves the best interests of the children, and that this contact is best accomplished through a joint custody arrangement. But that’s just the starting point for a discussion that can quickly grow contentious. To ensure that your final child custody order reflects what’s best for you and your children, you need the advice of an experienced child custody attorney. For more than 12 years, Bradford L. Atkinson has helped parents through challenging child custody disputes with firm, principled negotiation and litigation.
Joint and sole child custody in Conroe and The Woodlands, Texas
Legal custody gives a parent (or parents) the right to make the major decisions about the child’s education, health and welfare. Physical custody, on the other hand, determines which parent the child will live with. In making custody decisions, the court weighs a number of factors, including the ability of the parents to put their own feelings aside and make their child’s welfare the first priority. The court also considers whether each parent will encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. Other considerations include the extent to which a parent participated in childrearing over the years as well as the proximity of the parents’residences. If the child is 12 or older, the court may consider the child’s preferences. The greater the ability of the parents to communicate and reach cooperative decisions, the greater their chance for success as joint custodians, or what Texas calls joint managing conservators.
In cases where allegations of violence, drug use or child abuse can be proved, the court may award sole custody to one parent and restrict the other parent’s access to the child. As a family attorney, Mr. Atkinson has successfully represented parents on both sides of this issue: parents with legitimate fears that their spouse may endanger their child, as well as parents defending against unfounded accusations made to damage their image before the court. Your divorce lawyer must be prepared to answer allegations against your character, because they may also affect orders for spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support.
Post-divorce relocation and its impact on child custody in Texas
During and after divorce, disputes about the custodial parent’s ability to relocate are common. A custodial parent gets a job opportunity hundreds or thousands of miles away, and wants to revise the custody order to move the children away from the other parent. In some cases, a noncustodial parent may file motions to prevent a move out of state or beyond a certain radius. The custodial parent then must come up with a compelling reason for the relocation. Mr. Atkinson has fought and won cases for both custodial and noncustodial parents in the Conroe and Woodlands areas.
Contact a knowledgeable child custody attorney in The Woodlands and Conroe, Texas
There are many common misconceptions about child custody. Bradford L. Atkinson can dispel the myths and provide you with the clear advice you need to negotiate the best outcomes for your family. To schedule an initial consultation, call 936-230-5462 or contact his office online.