|SCOTT M. BROUSSARD||
610 SOUTH 11TH STREET
Scott M. Broussard
Attorney at Law
Richmond, Texas 77469
Sugar Land Office
CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION
Texas Child Custody Issues
The non-primary conservator will most likely be given possession and access to the children pursuant to the Standard Possession order. That parent will most likely be order to pay child support directly to the other parent and maintain health insurance for the children. Uninsured expenses are generally split 50/50 between the conservators, however this is not automatic and factors like disparage earnings, health and earning potentials can be factors in determining what percentage of uninsured expenses each conservator must pay.
Texas Court’s favor residency restrictions. Several years ago extensive study of children from divorce parents was conducting and the conclusions showed overwhelming that children wanted the parents living close together. Concerns voiced by the children were inability for parents to attend school, sporting and extracurricular activities. Extended periods in summer break away from their friends. As a result many Texas Court’s and specifically Fort Bend County routinely restrict the residence of the children. The typical restriction is Fort Bend and Contiguous counties, but Fort Bend Judges will consider other counties or radius restrictions as long as they believe that the restriction serves the best interest of the children.
These are one difficult issue that comes up either at the time of a divorce or later is the relocation of the parent who desires to be awarded or is awarded primary physical custody of the child. This issue is decided by weighing a multitude of facts and factors to make an appropriate order that insures a quality relationship of both parents with the child, whether it is here or there.
Obviously, there are going to be situations where a custody fight is the only option. The Court will usually also order mediation prior to any hearing, temporary or otherwise. As a general rule, mediation proceedings are confidential and privileged.
In those cases where an agreement cannot be reached, professional services will ordinarily be required to assist the Court in making a decision. Most likely an amicus attorney will be appointed to the case. This attorney is appointed to represent the interest of the child and not the best interest of the parent, i.e. A social study might be ordered. The Social Study will involve the completion of informational data, gathering of references, and an interview in their offices and/or home. The Court may also order psychological evaluations of one or both parties and/or the children. Additionally, a party may wish to retain psychiatrists, psychologists, or private custody evaluators.
If 12 years of age or older, a child can sign an affidavit stating whom the child would prefer to live with. If requested by a party, the Court will interview a child 10 years of age or older. Neither the affidavit nor the information from the interview is binding on the court. It is some evidence, just like all the other evidence. However, the court realizes the problems in ordering a sixteen year old child to stay with a parent with whom he does not want to reside. If younger than 10, the child might have the opportunity to speak with the judge. There is no guarantee of this.
Relocation or Move Away Custody Cases
In long distance, move away type of cases, establishing the parenting time, telephone contact, and traveling arrangements (as well as funding the long distance travel) are all factors that must be addressed. There is even a new Texas statute that specifically allows for long distance electronic visitation.
|FORT BEND DIVORCE ATTORNEY||
SCOTT M. BROUSSARD SUGAR LAND FAMILY LAWYER