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Issues That Can Lead to Complex Child Custody Disputes in Texas

Posted on in Child Custody

TX custodyWhen a couple chooses to end their relationship, they will usually need to address a variety of issues as they decide how they will proceed with the process of separating their lives from each other. While any type of breakup can be difficult, a situation can become much more complicated when children are involved. Married parents who are planning to get a divorce or unmarried couples who wish to establish their parental roles and responsibilities going forward will need to consider multiple different legal issues. While this is true for all couples, there are some cases that involve complex child custody disputes, and parents in these situations will want to be sure to understand their rights and the steps they can take to protect their children’s best interests.

Situations That May Involve Complex Child Custody Concerns

Texas child custody cases typically involve two separate issues: conservatorship and visitation. Conservatorship, which is also known as legal custody, refers to the right to make decisions about how a child will be raised. In most divorce cases, courts prefer to name parents as “joint managing conservators,” meaning they will share in the responsibility of making decisions for their child. Parents will usually also share physical custody, meaning that they will both have reasonable amounts of visitation time with the child.

During a child custody case, a parenting plan will be created that specifies how conservatorship and visitation will be handled. While parents may be able to reach an agreement on a parenting plan, there are some cases where disputes over child custody must be resolved in court. Some situations that may lead to complex child custody disputes include:

  • Paternity disputes - When a child is born while a couple is married, the spouses will be presumed to be the child’s parents. However, if a different person is a child’s biological father, or if the identity of the father is uncertain, this can lead to disagreements about how to handle custody if the couple breaks up. In these cases, or in situations where a child is born to unmarried parents, DNA testing may need to be performed, and steps may need to be taken to legally establish paternity.
  • Pregnancy and infants - In many cases, decisions about legal and physical custody will be based on the parents’ history of caring for the child and making child-related decisions. However, if a mother is pregnant at the time of divorce, or if the child was born recently, the parents may not have established routines or responsibilities. In these cases, decisions about child custody will usually be based on each parent’s ability and willingness to care for the child and provide for their needs.
  • Children with special needs - In some cases, children may have physical or mental conditions that require extraordinary care, and a parent may be concerned about whether the other parent will be able to meet the child’s needs, as well as how decisions will be made about the appropriate treatments or special education for a child. In all child custody cases, decisions will be based on the child’s best interests, and a court will want to ensure that each parent has the ability to care for the child. Parents will also need to be aware that the obligation to provide child support for a special needs child may continue after the child reaches adulthood, ensuring that the child will have the financial resources they need throughout their lifetime.

Contact Our Austin, TX Complex Child Custody Lawyers

If you need to address complex child custody issues during your divorce or breakup, the attorneys at Powers and Kerr, PLLC can provide the legal help you need. We will fight to make sure your children’s best interests are protected at all times. Contact our Austin family law attorneys by calling 512-610-6199.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.151.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.153.htm#153.073

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