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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody attorneyIn Texas, non-custodial parents have the right to interact with their child at certain times. Although there are several types of visitation orders in Texas, one of the most common is the Standard Possession Order (SPO), which is usually utilized when parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule. Although the SPO was specifically designed to be fair and workable to both parents, this type of schedule is not always in a child’s best interests, so if you are going through a divorce and are unable to reach an out-of-court agreement with your spouse regarding custody and visitation, you should consider speaking with an experienced complex child custody lawyer who can help you find a solution that is best for your family.

SPO Schedules

When couples are unable to come to a custody arrangement, the court steps in and creates an agreement that is in the child’s best interests. In many cases, this takes the form of the Standard Possession Order, which generally provides that the possessory, or non-custodial parent has the right to visitation with their child starting at 6:00 p.m. on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month. This period of visitation ends at 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday. Additionally, the non-custodial parent is granted visitation with the child every Thursday evening for two hours.

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Texas divorce attorneyThe type of parenting schedule that is best for a family depends on the specific circumstances of each case. For example, the division of parenting time and responsibilities for a family where both parents work full-time may look very different from the arrangement made by another couple, where one of the parents stays home with the kids. Often, finding the correct arrangement is difficult, especially if the children involved are very young.

In recent years, more and more couples with young children are implementing what is commonly referred to as a bird's nest arrangement. Under this model, the couple’s children continue to live in the marital home while the parents take turns sharing it with them according to a predetermined schedule. While the bird's nest arrangement has proven successful for many parents, it is not right for every family, so if you are going through a divorce and are considering implementing this type of custody arrangement, it is critical to first speak with an experienced complex child custody lawyer who can explain the potential advantages and drawbacks of this type of plan.

The Advantages

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody lawsSummertime is one of the best opportunities to go on vacation with the kids, as parents may have time off from work and children do not have to miss school. Unfortunately, these types of family vacations can become difficult to plan after a divorce, especially when a couple’s schedules and living arrangements have changed. Texas law helps simplify these problems by outlining procedures regarding vacations for parents who share custody of their children. However, navigating the state’s sometimes complex statutes can be frustrating, so if you have planned a vacation with your children and have questions about your legal rights and obligations, it is important to speak with an experienced complex child custody attorney who can advise you.

Summer Vacation

Under Texas law, parents have specific rights of possession during the summer months. For example, according to state law, a possessory conservator can take a child on an extended summer vacation if he or she first:

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Texas divorce lawyer, Texas family attorneyLast month, a new law was enacted that will change how child custody evaluations are undertaken in the state, while also providing protection from liability to third party evaluators. These evaluations are often necessary before courts make child custody determinations and so can have serious implications on a court’s decision. To learn more about what child custody evaluations entail, please contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can address your concerns.

Ordering a Child Custody Evaluation

Under the new law, the court can order a child custody evaluation regarding:

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Texas divorce attorney, Texas custody lawyerIn Texas, couples who make the decision to file for divorce have the option of coming to an out of court agreement about child custody and visitation issues. Although all parenting plans must be approved by the court prior to the conclusion of the proceedings, this still allows parents to create a schedule that meets the needs of all parties, especially the children. When the parties are unable to come to an agreement, however, visitation matters will be decided by the court, which can leave everyone dissatisfied. Having the advice of an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference in whether parents are able to reach an agreement outside of court, so if you are considering a divorce and have questions about visitation rights, it is necessary that you reach out to an experienced complex child custody attorney who can assist you in protecting the interests of both you and your children.

Why Do I Need a Unique Schedule?

When a court decides visitation issues, it often abides by a predetermined schedule. While these schedules are appropriate for many families, they are not always workable. This is because different careers and parenting styles can make it extremely difficult for a family to comply with a Standard Possession Order (SPO). For example, if one parent is a pilot or is required to go on regular business trips, he or she may not only not be able to comply with the custody order, but will miss out on valuable time with his or her children. Alternatively, a parent who is a doctor and is on call may be required to leave unexpectedly to attend a patient at the hospital. This can leave parents attempting to make last minute child care arrangements or missing visitation with their children altogether. In these types of situations, a standard possession order is not always in the best interests of either the parents or the children.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas family law attorney, Texas custody attorneyIt is not uncommon for a child’s extended family to step in when the parents are unable to provide adequate care. Under the Kinship Care program offered by Child Protective Services (CPS), relatives are granted custody of children who cannot remain with their parents. Unfortunately, these individuals are often not compensated to the same degree as foster parents and so may struggle with the financial aspects of child rearing. However, a recently introduced bill could change this by increasing the financial aid available to Kinship Care guardians.

The Benefits of Kinship Care

There are a number of benefits to allowing children to remain with relatives in the event that their parents are unable to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of parenthood. For instance, the Kinship Care program allows children to remain in a familiar setting, which can be far less traumatic than if they were uprooted and placed in foster care. This program also helps:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas family law attorney, Texas child custody attorneyIn Texas, family courts have specific rules regarding custody decisions when the children involved are under the age of three years old. Keeping track of the numerous court rules and procedures can be difficult, so if you or a loved one are considering a divorce and have a young child, it is critical to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help protect the interests of both you and your child.

Necessary Factors

When determining which parent will have primary physical custody of a child under the age of three years old, courts are required to consider specific factors, including:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyThe primary concern of family court judges when creating a custody agreement is that the arrangement be in the child’s best interest. In some cases, this requires courts to modify an existing custody agreement due to changed circumstances. Establishing that a modification is in the best interest of a child can be difficult, so if you live in Texas and believe that a modification of your custody arrangement is necessary, it is vital to speak with an experienced child custody attorney who can explain your legal options.

Requirements

Either parent can petition the court for the modification of an existing custody arrangement as long as they can provide evidence that modification would be in the best interest of the child and:

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