San Benito Child Custody & Support Attorney
Helping Clients Facing Custody, Visitation, and Support Issues in San Benito County and the Greater Brownsville Area
Depending on the circumstances, three issues can arise in any Texas divorce: child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support (also known as alimony). These issues are subject to Texas family law and can be hotly disputed, requiring family court judges to make final determinations based on the evidence that is presented.
If you need help resolving any or all of these divorce issues, call Gustavo D. Elizondo, III Attorney at Law for experienced and dedicated legal help. Our San Benito child custody and support lawyer helps individuals and couples resolve such challenging issues both, in and out of family law courtrooms. With three generations of legal practice, we have a strong track record of successful case outcomes.
Do you need help handling a custody or support issue in your divorce? Call Gustavo D. Elizondo III, Attorney at Law today at (956) 275-9191 or contact us online to meet with our child custody & support lawyer in San Benito.
Texas Divorce Laws With Child Custody
Under Texas law, child custody is referred to as “conservatorship.” Two types of conservatorship can occur in a custody case: Joint managing conservatorship and Sole managing conservatorship.
What is Joint Managing Conservatorship?
In which both parents share custody and responsibility for the health, education, religious upbringing, and other important life matters for the child; one parent may have “primary” conservatorship where the child mainly resides (with the other parent having visitation rights)
What is Sole Managing Conservatorship?
In which only one parent has exclusive right to make decisions regarding the health, education, religious upbringing, and other vital life matters for the child while the other parent may or may not have visitation rights
Texas public policy favors children having a frequent and ongoing relationship with both parents. However, even in joint managing conservatorship, it is not a requirement that parenting time be equal or even close to equal.
Time with both parents is the preferred arrangement in Texas unless specific factors would make it unworkable, such as an unfit parent or one who has demonstrated an inability to act in a child’s best interests. If you and your spouse can agree on a parenting plan, it can be submitted to the court for approval. If you cannot, the court will decide custody arrangements based on what it deems to be in the child’s best interests.
Determining an Unfit Parent in Texas
When a Texas court is asked to award child custody, the first and foremost consideration is always what is in the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, there are times when one or both parents may be deemed unfit to have custody of their child or children. In these cases, the court will take a number of factors into account in order to make its determination.
The most important factor that the court will consider is the safety of the child. If there is any evidence that the child would be unsafe in the care of either parent, then that parent will likely be found to be unfit. This could include evidence of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.
The court will also consider whether either parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse. If there is evidence that either parent has a substance abuse problem, then the court may find that they are unfit to have custody of their child.
Finally, the court will also consider the mental health of both parents. If either parent suffers from a mental illness or disorder that could potentially impact their ability to care for their child, then the court may find them to be unfit.
In some cases, a parent may be found to be partially unfit. This means that while there are some concerns about their ability to care for their child, the court believes that they can still provide a safe and stable home environment. In these cases, the court may award joint custody to both parents with specific provisions in place in order to ensure the safety of the child.
If you are concerned that the other parent of your child may be unfit, you should speak to an experienced child custody attorney in San Benito, TX. They can help you gather the evidence you need to present to the court and fight for custody on behalf of your child.
What are the Child Support Laws in Texas?
Under Texas law, child support is paid to the primary conservator (parent) by the other parent, known as the “obligor.” How much you will pay in child support is a percentage determined by your net income/resources and the number of children being supported. The percentage will change if you have children in another household.
For example, in a one-household scenario, the obligor would pay 20 percent of his or her net income to the other parent for one child, 25 percent for two children, and 30 percent for three children. Child support usually continues until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. Support may be increased or decreased based on specific circumstances presented to the court.
Understanding Alimony in Texas
Temporary and permanent alimony for spouses is an issue that is decided on a case-by-case basis. Temporary spousal support may be granted in situations where one spouse earns significantly less than the other or has no other means of financial support.
Permanent spousal support for up to three years or for an indefinite period of time may be granted under certain circumstances. These circumstances include cases of domestic violence and cases where the marriage lasted 10 years or longer and other specific conditions exist.
Contact Our Child Custody & Support Lawyer Today
Understanding how your divorce case fits in under Texas law can be confusing and complicated. Ensuring that your voice is heard in any custody or support issue is essential. At Gustavo D. Elizondo, III Attorney at Law, you can work with a compassionate and competent legal professional who will work diligently to ensure that you have the strong voice you need throughout any family court hearings or procedures or at the negotiation table to resolve these matters.
Gustavo D. Elizondo III, Attorney at Law today to schedule a FREE consultation!