Let an experienced attorney from the Ardoin Law Firm P.C. handle the agreement process for the sake of your children.
Custody of your children is the most emotional issue related to families making a transition. If you and your spouse can agree on child custody, the court will almost always approve your written agreement. If you and your spouse cannot work out an agreement, the court will decide custody. It may be best to let an experienced attorney from the Ardoin Law Firm P.C. handle the agreement process for the sake of your children. Common situations in family law cases:
A Conservatorship or "custody" order determines the rights and duties of each parent. The Order explains which parent will make particular decisions concerning the child, such as education decisions and where the child will live.
The Court WILL appoint both parents as "joint managing conservators" in most circumstances because it is in the best interest of the child to have a close, on-going relationship with both parents.
In order for one parent to have "sole managing conservatorship," there must be severe reasons negatively affecting the physical health or emotional development of the child.
The first line of the Standard Possession Order advises that parents are able to allow different visitation so long as they are in agreement.
Parents rely on the Standard Possession Order when they are not in agreement. The parties can also agree to some variations of the Standard Possession Order to meet their specific needs. In that case, they would have a "Modified Possession Order."
Normally, the Court will require a geographic restriction of, for example, "Harris and contiguous counties." This means that if the parties are living in Harris County at the time they divorce, that the person with whom the child lives must continue to live in Harris County – or any county, which shares a border with Harris County.
This is usually imposed when there are issues of family violence, or drug or alcohol use by the visiting parent causing a concern for the safety and well-being of the child.
Visitation, in this case, may not be allowed except in a specific time and place, and with another adult present. Visitation may be ordered to occur through a special program called SAFE.
The Court may consider the desire of the child, but will make its decision based on a "best interest of the child" standard.
The Court may appoint an "amicus attorney" to assist in determining the parent with whom the children should live. This attorney represents the children. Both parties are responsible for the fees of the amicus attorney.
The amicus attorney talks to the parties and the children and visits their homes; and may talk to teachers, doctors, counselors and other family members. The purpose is to gain enough information to be able to make an informed recommendation to the Court on the conservator ship and visitation issues.