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Child Custody

San Marcos Child Custody Lawyers 

Utilizing Every Resource to Help You and Your Child

Deciding how to delegate child custody, also known as conservatorship, is an important task. A child’s well-being is often impacted greatly by their living situation and their parents’ level of care. An unstable custody plan can be extremely detrimental to a child’s development. Children need a solid routine and a care plan that meets each of their specific needs.

A child custody lawyer will work with you to help develop a plan that works best, and provides an individualized approach to your case. Your child custody attorney will assess the current facts of your situation and help advocate on your behalf to demonstrate your aptitude as a parent.

Suppose you are concerned about your co-parent’s ability to care for your child properly. In that case, a child custody lawyer will help compile evidence and the necessary documentation to demonstrate your concerns. The right lawyer will stop at nothing to advocate for your child’s best interest and aggressively fight for your rights as a parent with compassion for your situation.

What Factors Dictate Child Custody Determination?

There are various criteria that need to be addressed in order to determine the stipulations of custody. This criteria includes, but is not limited to:
Each parent’s ability to provide adequate care: This is a factor that applies to parenting aptitude in general. Parents have some primary responsibilities such as sheltering, clothing, and feeding their children. If these obligations are unstable, the ability to take care of their child may be questioned.

  • The mental and physical well-being of each parent: For parents who suffer from mental or physical issues, providing an adequate standard of care could possibly be difficult. For parents with exceptionally debilitating conditions that impede their child’s well-being, custody has to be carefully considered.
  • Both parents’ work and lifestyle schedules: When determining child custody, a commonly overlooked factor is that both parents’ lifestyles and work schedules will often conflict. A lawyer will assess these conditions and help you decide what type of custody will work best for you and your child.
  • The parents’ ability to work with one another and solve disputes independently: If parents cannot agree on issues surrounding the care of their children, this may affect child custody proceedings. If co-parents are disagreeable or refuse to cooperate regarding a child’s best interest, a child custody lawyer will be even more necessary to the process.

What’s the Difference Between Sole and Joint Custody?

Shared custody, also known as joint managing conservatorship, means parents share the responsibility of determining lifestyle and financial choices for their children. In most joint conservatorship orders, however, one parent usually decides on where the children live; this parent is considered the “custodial parent”. In some instances, neither parent has the exclusive right to decide where the children live, and it will typically depend on certain circumstances, or restricted to a certain geographic area, like a school attendance zone or county.

Sole custody, or sole managing conservatorship, is a term that typically refers to one parent having the exclusive authority on all lifestyle and financial decisions. Sole managing conservatorship is a relatively extreme step usually only used as an option when a parent’s fitness is in question or if a parent is significantly absent from a child’s life. Most of the time, sole physical custody means that the child lives in the sole manager’s home, and the sole managing parent likely has the right to make most decisions, although, often, the other parent has the right to consult. Sometimes in this case, one parent will have less visitation and possibly supervised visits.

What are the Basic Guidelines for Child Support?

Guidelines for determining child support are applied based on Net Monthly Income. When looking at Net Monthly Income one of two standards will be applied: the first standard applies if net monthly income is less than $7,500.00, and the second standard applies if net monthly income is greater than $7,500.00.

In cases where net monthly income is less than $7,500.00, the court will look at the number of children in a household.

Texas child support laws provide the following guidelines: one child = 20% of Net Monthly Income; two children = 25% of Net Monthly Income; three children = 30% of Net Monthly Income; four children = 35% of Net Monthly Income; five children = 40% of Net Monthly Income; and six children = no less than 40% of Net Monthly Income.

If net monthly income of the obligated parent is more than $7,500.00, then the court will apply the same calculations as above to the first $7,500.00 of net monthly income. Then, if it can be proven that the child has needs or is in a situation warranting that more child support is required, then the court may order more child support. These circumstances can possibly include tuition or school fees, costs associated with medical care, and extracurricular activities, as well as others.

There is a potential limit on the amount of child support that can be awarded in cases like these, however. The court may limit the amount to be paid over the guidelines to the proven requirements of the child. For instance, if proven needs are $500 more than what is minimum, then the court may only order $500 more than the guidelines minimum.

What About Medical Support?

As well as ensuring that a child is financially cared for, the court will likely also order either of the parties to provide health insurance to the child. Considerations will be made as to which parent is responsible for bearing the cost of health insurance for the child or children. 

The court may consider the cost of one insurance option over the other, the quality and availability of health insurance provided, or even the accessibility of one parent’s employee benefits in regards to insurance coverage versus the other. There are several possible determining factors for addressing the responsibility of medical support and each case is different, so consulting with an experienced attorney is the wisest option when looking for answers about any and all types of support. 

Why Should I Work With a Child Custody Lawyer?

It’s not a good idea to try and settle a child custody situation without a lawyer. Even two amicable parents who want the best for their child should have a legally binding agreement in place to determine child custody. A child custody attorney understands the law as it applies to your unique situation and can help you to determine a plan that ensures your child’s happiness and wellbeing. 

Contact The Law Offices of David C. Hardaway in San Marcos for an individualized consultation and skilled legal advice for negotiating your child custody plan. Only a family law attorney is experienced in assessing unique conservatorship situations to provide a fair and promising outcome.

At The Law Offices of David C. Hardaway, we understand that your child’s well-being is the most important factor of your legal case. We care deeply about the challenges and concerns that may accompany the process of filing for child custody.

Call us at (512) 846-9966. We’re here to help secure the best possible future for you and your child.