Child Custody Lawyers in Austin
Consult with Peek and Toland Regarding Child Custody Laws
Child custody is an important matter when dealing with divorce. It is a sensitive subject and there can be varying opinions when it comes to custody as well as visitation schedules.
You have your child’s best interests in mind, and so do we. An Austin family attorney at Peek and Toland has years of experience aiding clients with child custody cases. Contact us to learn exactly what we have to offer you, and hear from others who have benefited from our dedicated representation.
Many things are taken into consideration during a child custody case: what is the parent’s availability? How old are the children (do you consult them)? Is domestic violence involved? Who has been the primary caretaker up to this point? We promise to work relentlessly to find the best custody solution for you and your children.
We’re sure you have many questions regarding your child custody situation. We’re here to help. Contact one of our skilled attorneys today.
Custody Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of custody?
Most individuals involved in a custody matter are familiar with the two most common forms of custody: sole custody and joint custody. However, there are two more forms of custody that can be used to provide certain rights and decision making responsibilities on each parent: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody and physical custody are closely related to sole and joint custody, so we will define those two forms of custody first.
The parent who retains legal custody over a child will have the decision making power regarding the needs of the child, but is responsible for consulting the other parent regarding these decisions. A parent with legal custody has the power to make all decisions regarding education, health care and religion. It is common for courts to award joint legal custody to both parents, thus allowing both parents to make decisions regarding the education, health care and religion of the child.
In contrast to legal custody, physical custody determines where the child primarily lives. In this instance, one parent will have physical custody of the child, while the other parent retains visitation with the child. In some rare cases, the Court will grant both parents joint physical custody of the child. However, the Courts in Texas prefer to grant sole physical custody to one parent and visitation to the non-custodial parent. It is important to note that sole physical custody does not grant the custodial parent the right to make decisions on behalf of the child without consulting the non-custodial parent. Where sole physical custody is ordered, both the non-custodial and custodial parent share equally in any decisions made regarding the child’s needs.
Sole custody is a bit misleading, because it can include sole legal custody, sole physical custody or both. If one parent retains sole custody, as in sole legal and physical custody, that parent has the full benefits and responsibilities that a parent with sole legal and physical custody would retain. For example, a parent with sole custody has the right to make all decisions regarding the child’s needs, including education, health care and religion, as well as the parent with sole custody may collect child support from the non-custodial parent. Even if the Court grants one parent sole custody, the non-custodial parent may still retain visitation with the child.
In a joint custody situation, the Court awards custody to both parents. Similar to sole custody, joint custody can be joint legal custody, joint physical custody or both. In Texas, joint legal custody is called joint managing conservatorship. Joint managing conservatorship allows both parents to make decisions as to the child’s needs, including education, health care and religion. In contrast, joint physical custody allows both parents to have physical custody of the child, meaning the child physically lives with both parents, even though they may live in separate households.