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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:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody attorneyAlthough most people have heard of Child Protective Services (CPS), not everyone is aware of their function. CPS is a part of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which is a state agency put in place to ensure that children in Texas are kept safe from neglect and abuse. When someone reports a parent or guardian to CPS, the agency is required by law to investigate the allegations. Unfortunately, many parents are falsely accused of neglecting their children, which can have a traumatizing effect on minors who are then forced to leave their home. If your child has been removed from your home by CPS, you should contact an experienced complex child custody lawyer who can explain your next steps.

Investigations and Court Hearings

When a person has been reported by CPS, they will be assigned a caseworker who will explain the allegations made against them and create a service plan. Eventually, the child’s parents will be required to attend a series of hearings at a Child Protection Court, where they will have the opportunity to refute the allegations made against them. In some cases, the judge will order that a case be sent to mediation or a family group conference instead of resolving the issues at trial. In either case, within two weeks of the date of the child’s removal, the court will hold an adversary hearing, after which the judge will return the child to their parents or place them with a family member.

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