Child Custody And Support in Denton & Surrounding Areas
The terms pertaining to child custody and child support must be established in a variety of family law cases, including divorce, original custody suits, often referred to as suits affecting parent-child relationship, modifications, paternity suits and even Child Protective Services cases. When those terms are confirmed in a final order of the court, they create a precedence that may be difficult to overturn in future legal disputes. For this reason, it is extremely important that you ensure all of the information and evidence that supports your rights and requests are presented in the most effective manner possible to the court in these cases.
As an experienced courtroom attorney who is a member of the Family Law Sections of the Denton and Collin County Bar Associations, Brandi proudly serves those in need of child support and child custody legal services in North Texas.
Child Custody Attorney
When the case involves the custody of a child between parents in a divorce, there are two major issues that need to be addressed:
- “Primary” Physical Custody: Physical custody determines where the child lives the majority of the time which school they will attend. The parent who is granted the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence is referred to as the custodial parent or primary custodian of the child.
Once the parties or the Court has selected a custodial parent, a possession schedule must be established for the non-custodial parent.
In the majority of cases, a Standard Possession Order is agreed upon by the parents or ordered by the court. Under a Standard Possession Order the child would reside primarily with one parent and visit with the other at times outlined in the Texas Family Code. Specifically, that schedule provides for the non-custodial parent to visit with the child on the first, third and fifth weekends of each month, for two hours on one evening per week, on every other holiday and for thirty days in the summer.
Parents can also elect or agree upon variations of the Standard Possession Order.
In some cases, custody may be split equally between the parents, according to a set schedule awarding each parent with 50% of the time with the child. Parents also have the option of reaching an agreement for a custom possession order.
In specific circumstances, the court may provide a parent with only restricted access to the child, to be supervised by the other parent or someone they designate or even by supervising agency. Typically, this restricted possession order would occur in cases where one parent has issues with drugs or alcohol, a history of engaging in risky behavior, an unstable or unsafe residence, a spouse or paramour who is deemed to be a danger to the child, or has failed to maintain a consistent relationship with the child.
- Legal Custody: The legal custody of the child refers to which parent has the right to make decisions about healthcare, education, psychological treatment, management of earnings and other day-to-day decisions. These rights are typically split equally between parents during their periods of possession of the child. However, in some circumstances, a judge may rule to grant sole legal custody to one parent or the other.
Child Support Attorney
In the state of Texas, once the party who is appointed as the custodial parent or primary custodial of the child is almost always awarded child support to assist them in supporting the children.
The child support amount ordered is calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s adjusted gross income. Adjusted gross income is essentially a person’s gross income reduced by the mandatory withholding items, including federal income taxes and social security deductions. Additional deductions or credits may also be considered depending on the specific circumstances of each family.
In the event that you are able to settle your case through mediation or some other alternative dispute resolution outside of court, then you have the ability to reach an agreement establishing a child support amount which you and the other parent deem appropriate for your family.
You will want to secure an experienced and dedicated lawyer who knows the local courts and judges involved and can help evaluate your case to ensure you make the best decisions about the support needed for the children.
Proudly Serving North Texas
If you need representation or services concerning child custody and child support in North Texas, contact Brandi Underwood for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. With more than fourteen years of experience serving clients in Denton, Aubrey, Pilot Point, Sanger, Krum, Carrollton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Anna, McKinney, Allen, Little Elm, The Colony, and the surrounding areas, Brandi Underwood has the compassion, legal expertise, and dedication to fight for your children and the rights you deserve as a parent.