Texas Family Law
If you are separated or will soon separate from your child’s other parent, then it is important to consult with a qualified Texas family law attorney. An attorney can help guide you through the process from the filing of a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship until a Final Order governing the rights and duties of the child’s parents is entered. An attorney, in addition to playing an important advisory and counseling role, will act as your advocate before the judge in order to help you to maximize your rights and your role in your child’s life.
Contact the Law Office of Pete Rowe for a consultation with a Dallas, Texas family law attorney experienced in areas including modification of child custody and child support orders, enforcement of child custody orders, other remedies for deprivation of child possession, enforcement of child support orders, protective orders, grandparents' rights and LGBT Family and Co-Habitation Issues.
Parental Rights in Texas
The Texas Family Code confers a number of rights and duties upon a child’s parents. These rights and duties include:
- The right to have physical possession of the child;
- The right to designate the child’s primary residence;
- The right to direct the moral and religious training of the child;
- The duty to support the child’s material, health, and education needs; and
- The duty to manage the child’s estate.
In Texas, when a child’s parents have separated, will separate, or have filed for divorce, a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) is generally filed. Following the institution of a SAPCR, the court may enter orders dividing the existing legal rights and duties between the child’s two parents. The court will appoint one or more managing conservators—generally, but not always, the child's parents—to make significant decisions on behalf of the child. The court, when rendering orders affecting the parent-child relationship and dividing legal rights and duties between the parents, is guided by what the court finds to be in the “best interests of the child.” What the court finds to be in the child’s best interests will determine how legal rights and duties are divided among the child’s parents, including which parent is allowed to determine the child’s primary residence and whether (a) both parents are appointed as joint managing conservators of the child or (b) one parent is appointed as the child’s sole managing conservator.
The Best Interests of the Child
There are a variety of factors that guide the court in its finding of what is in the child’s best interests. A non-exhaustive list of those factors include:
- The desires of the child;
- The child’s present and future physical and emotional needs;
- Whether the child is in physical or emotional danger either today or may be in danger in the future;
- The parenting skills of those seeking custody of the child; and
- The stability of the home of those seeking custody of the child.
These are but a few of the factors the court will consider in determining what is in the child’s best interests.
The court will use the “child’s best interest” standard to determine what role each parent or conservator plays in the child’s life, what rights and duties are apportioned to each parent, and whether the parents or appointed joint managing conservator or one parent or the other is appointed as sole managing conservator.
Contact a Dallas Family Law Attorney
Contact the Dallas Law Office of Pete Rowe if you need experienced legal representation in a family law matter. Read more below about the law firm's family law services or learn about why clients choose Pete Rowe.