We all know parenting is complex, and the divorce process doesn’t simplify it at all. But when you separate from your spouse, you might not realize that you must go through a court battle to get sole custody of your children.
Parental rights are a crucial part of a divorce. Read on to find out what you need to do if you want to claim sole custody of your children.
Sole Custody in Dallas, Texas
In Texas, family courts use the term ‘conservatorships’ to refer to parties with the right to make significant decisions about a child’s life, whether educational or medical. These decisions range from where they’ll live to their moral and religious upbringing.
Child custody lawyers and the courts discuss three conservators: joint managing conservators, sole managing conservators, and possessory conservators.
- A joint managing conservator is named when both parents share responsibility for the child.
- On the other hand, a sole managing conservator is the only person who can make significant decisions.
- If neither parent has sole managing conservatorship, then the court will appoint a third party.
- A possessory conservatorship allows access to a child or visitation rights.
How to Get Sole Custody in Dallas, Texas
You can choose physical custody or legal custody when you file for divorce. Physical custody means that you will get to raise your children yourself. In contrast, legal custody of your children is when you can decide the issues regarding their upbringing.
Once you’ve determined what type of custody you’re looking for, you’ll need to figure out the best way to file.
How is child custody determined in Dallas?
In Dallas, courts generally prefer parents to be involved in their child’s life. Therefore, the child’s welfare is how the court decides on a custody agreement. To make this decision, judges consider these factors:
- The relationship parents have with their children
- Each child’s physical, mental, and emotional health and safety
- The health of the parents
- Where the parents live
- How close they live to each other
Filing for sole custody in Texas
You can use either file to get sole custody of your child or to end the parent’s rights. If you file for sole custody, you will get primary custody of your child. If you file to terminate the parent’s rights, you will still get sole custody, and the other parent won’t be able to see your child unless you agree to visitation.
Gather information you possibly can about the case. Next, you will need to gather evidence and documents. Witnesses and experts are required for interviews and reports. A Dallas family child custody lawyer is a valuable resource to advise you on what evidence you need and how to get the required information.
How to Fight for Sole Custody in Dallas, Texas
You must prove that your ex is unfit to care for your child, and judges consider several factors when deciding on custody.
What makes a parent unfit in Texas?
Some reasons why a judge might rule someone unfit to be a parent include the following:
- They have a criminal record.
- They have a history of domestic violence.
- They have failed to comply with previous orders of the court.
Physical or mental health is also assessed. Courts may declare a parent unfit if:
- They have lapsed in taking medication.
- They have a physical disability or are mentally ill.
- They are reluctant to accept responsibility for their actions.
- They are unable to provide adequate housing or financial support.
- They are the cause of the child’s emotional damage.
The financial status of the parents is another deciding factor. Parents must be able to provide physically and emotionally for their children, so a parent may be declared unfit if:
- They are unwilling or unable to maintain consistent contact with the child.
- They have a pattern of behavior that endangers the child.
- They can’t or won’t protect the child from danger.
- They cannot keep a safe environment for the child.
- They engage in conduct that jeopardizes the child’s safety or wellbeing.
- They are unable/unwilling to meet the needs of the child.
- They pose a risk of severe bodily injury to the child.
- They are currently using drugs.
A child needs a safe place to stay while their parents go through a divorce or other family conflict, and a court will appoint someone as a temporary custodian until the court decides what happens next. This person will usually be a close relative or a trusted adult, if not the biological parent.
In many cases, the other parent will not be allowed to see their children unless there is an agreement between both parents. If there is no agreement, the courts will determine whether the other parent should be granted visitation rights. If the other parent receives visitation rights, they must follow specific guidelines.
Custody cases are complex and often involve many different parties. An experienced lawyer who understands the law can help you navigate all the legal intricacies of the child custody dispute.
Fighting for Sole Custody
To get sole custody, you must show that it’s in your child’s interests. You’ll probably also need to show that the other parent isn’t fit to raise the child.
For example, if you’re worried about domestic abuse, you may need to provide evidence that shows your partner has abused you in the past. You can also ask the judge to consider any relevant history of abusive behavior on your or the other parent’s part.
Speak to an Attorney
When your child’s wellbeing is at stake, action is required. We understand what winning child custody in a court of law entails. From interviewing witnesses to preparing our clients for cross-examination, our experienced team can help you navigate this complex process.
Contact The Texas Divorce Lawyer for the assistance you need to secure your children’s future.