Some of the most important cases that I work on involve child custody matters. I often provide legal support to women separated from their spouses and who are working through a divorce or are in the middle of a custody case. They often have questions about how to “win,” or be successful in a child custody case for mothers in Texas.
Having a decade of experience with child custody cases, I am extremely confident that I can help address your concerns and fight for your parental rights in the courts.
Although it might sometimes seem like a no-brainer, you aren’t always guaranteed to receive primary custody of your child as a mother. In Texas, many factors determine custody status. This is why it’s so very important to consult with a family law attorney before you take any action in a divorce proceeding involving child custody.
Let’s take a deeper look into how mothers can be the most successful with their child custody case in Texas.
How Child Custody Works in Texas
According to Texas Law, specifically Texas Family Code 151, the word “parent” is used as a neutral term, meaning that neither mother nor father is given any type of preference when it comes to custody.
Normally the state of Texas will presume that any child involved with a divorce or a custody matter will be co-parented. In other words, it is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of the child(ren) that both parents be named Joint Managing Conservators, and share in the rights and responsibilities of raising the child.
Even in a Joint Managing Conservatorship situation, the child will primarily live with one parent, who is considered to be the Custodial Parent or “primary” parent. The Non-Custodial Parent typically pays child support to the Custodial Parent to help care for the child and has regularly scheduled visitation periods with the child. This level of support is based on the income of the Non-Custodial Parent and the visitation can be customi.
You may also want to know whether you can gain sole custody of your child or remove the father/other parent from the equation. This requires further action, and the legal expertise needed to achieve that goal.
How a Mother Can Get Sole Custody of Their Child in Texas
It’s extremely important to keep in mind that being granted sole custody of a child in Texas is up to the discretion of the Family Court and judge. I understand that most mothers feel that it’s a given they’ll receive sole custody or be named as the primary parent automatically, but that is not the case.
Custody involving children in divorce and other family law proceedings ALWAYS rests on what the judge believes is in the child’s best interests. Even as the mother, you MUST make a case and have strong evidence of why you should be granted primary or sole custody.
It’s not advisable to attempt to do this without legal representation. That’s why I recommend consulting with me before taking any action. I will help you save time and unneeded stress while also ensuring that you do not unintentionally give up certain parental rights. Your legal rights, as well as the child’s, have to be considered when going for full custody.
Please be aware of the following:
– If your goal is to sever all ties with the father, that will likely mean giving up any claim to child support unless the father agrees to support the child after his rights are terminated. It would be rare for that to happen voluntarily. This would mean filing a Petition to Terminate the Parent-Child Relationship.
– If you are pursuing sole managing conservatorship, you can still ask the court to allow the father to have certain rights and visitation privileges as applicable to your situation.
Terminating Parental Rights vs. Sole Managing Conservatorship
Please keep in mind that being appointed Sole Managing Conservator is different from a permanent termination of parental rights. The courts will designate a parent the Sole Managing Conservator of a child or children when they feel it is in the best interests of the child due to some extreme or emergency circumstances, but those circumstances do not rise to the level of terminating the other parent’s parental rights.
Terminating parental rights is obviously a more severe and permanent solution to problems you may be having with the other parent. The Texas Family Code explains the grounds upon which the Court may grant an involuntary termination of parental rights. There are a variety of reasons a parent might have their parental rights removed, including:
- Child abandonment issues
- If the child was left in a place where there was a potential of harm or danger
- If the child lacked proper care and support
- If the child were subjected to abuse of any kind
- The parent signs a voluntary relinquishment of their parental rights.
While being appointed Sole Managing Conservator does not remove the other parent from the child’s life entirely, the sole managing conservator does enjoy exclusive rights and duties that the other parent does not, and that designation is often accompanied by special or more limited visitation schedules.
More About How to Succeed in Child Custody Cases For Mothers
I am here to help. I know this is an extremely stressful and difficult season thinking about your future as an individual and the future of your child(ren). Because I specialize in family law, I can help you navigate the court system to achieve your desired result.
You can count on me to protect your rights as a mother and represent you in court. I’ll be with you every step of the way through your divorce and child custody case. I have helped countless moms just like you in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County arrive at the best possible outcome.