Which Colleyville TX child custody lawyers near me should I choose? If you’re wondering the same, we’re here to answer that and any other questions you may have.

Child custody cases can be very complex and stressful. The Fetty Firm has years of experience dealing with legal issues in this area of family law. We understand the toll these cases can have on the whole family, and we want to work together to find the best solution out there.

These matters are very much complicated and require the most knowledgeable lawyers to handle them. Here is some information about child custody in Texas.

What Does Custody Mean?

Conservatorship is the legal term for custody in Texas. This term means that legal custody is only attainable with a court order. Without a court order, each parent is free to spend time with the child as they please, with no set timeframes.

A conservator is a legal guardian or protector. There are three types of conservators: joint managing conservator, sole managing conservator, and possessory conservator.

Joint Managing Conservator

Parents are usually named joint managing conservators. Joint conservatorship means decisions on most issues are shared between parents. This does not mean that the time spent with the child will be equal. The allocated time spent with the child is determined by a possession order.

Most joint conservatorship orders will grant one parent the exclusive right to decide where the child lives. The parent with this right is called the custodial parent and is usually the one the child lives with. Parents without the exclusive right are non-custodial parents.

In some cases, neither parent will receive exclusive rights to decide the child’s residency. The child’s residence is then restricted to a particular geographic area, like a school attendance zone or county. Texas law states that parents should not be appointed joint conservators if a history of violence between the parents is present.

Sole Managing Conservator

If the circumstances point to the need, one parent can be named sole managing conservator. The sole managing conservator has the exclusive right to make most decisions regarding the child. The are several reasons why a judge might appoint someone a sole managing conservator. Here are a few

  • Violent behavior.
  • Child abuse or neglect.
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Absence of the other parent in the child’s life

Possessory Conservator

This term applies when naming the parent that isn’t the sole managing conservator. Both parents will be the possessory conservators in the case that a nonparent is appointed the sole managing conservator. Possessory conservators have the rights of a parent, but will not have the final say on most decisions.

How to get a custody order?

If a parent wants to petition for a custody order, the parent has the right to file a lawsuit. The two lawsuit names for this scenario are suits affecting the parent-child relationship or a suit to establish the parent-child relationship. The lawsuit will deal with issues of conservatorship, visitation, parentage and child support.

There are several different situations for filing for custody. Here are a few examples.

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Married Parents

Married parents have equal rights to the child.  Parents can take matters into their own hands as long as no court order is put in place. This remains true until a judge mandates a court order that establishes the rights and duties of each parent. The order will determine who the child will primarily reside with, as well as the timeframes that each parent will have with the child.

A divorce case or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship would also determine custody rights.

Not Married Parents

Under Texas law, if an unmarried couple bears a child, the father has to prove he is the father to have parental rights legally. The mother can file a suit to establish parentage and child support which would establish the father’s legal rights.

Establishing parental rights for both parents will require an acknowledgment of paternity filed with the registry for paternity in the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Austin, Texas.  The father has to register before the child is born or no later than 31 days after birth. If the father fails to complete this requirement, he may be denied any parental rights to the child in the future.

The father does have the option of filing a separate lawsuit establishing him as the father to the child. There may be a requirement for genetic testing to prove biological relation.  An acknowledgment of paternity signed by both parents can also determine parental rights. In both cases, the father becomes a parent under Texas law.

Mother Married to Someone Else

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The husband has the rights and duties to the child. The man thinking he is the father still has the responsibility of registering with the paternity registry. The other man has up until the child’s fourth birthday to file a lawsuit objecting the legitimacy of the husband’s fatherhood.

Genetic testing will be ordered to prove which man is the father. The man claiming to be the father will have the rights and duties of a parent if proven correct. The father will then have the same right to ask for custody as the mother.

Other Possible Issues

A court will employ investigators when a child’s primary home is in dispute. When needed, the court may choose to impose requirements or limitations on both parents for the child’s best interest. Custody cases can vary, which is why you should choose The Fetty Firm. Our confident promise of excellent service, in short, comes from years of experience.

You may believe you can represent yourself in these cases; however, having experienced representation is critical in these situations. Accordingly, we pride ourselves in ensuring your satisfaction.

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Colleyville TX Child Custody Lawyers Near Me

Still wondering “which Colleyville, TX child custody lawyers near me is best for me“? For questions or more information, contact us here. For more on our firm visit our website. Colleyville is a city with an estimated population of 25,487, located 5 miles from D/FW Airport. Learn more here.