HELPING YOU DEAL WITH CHILD CUSTODY AND SUPPORTBryan, Texas Child Custody Attorney
Our clients in Bryan and throughout the state often have strong, committed feelings about how their children should be raised, which can sometimes cause problems when it comes to divorce or separation.
At the end of the day, the most important consideration is what’s best for the child. But sometimes you and the child’s other parent may have differing opinions on what that is. That’s where we come in.
Our dedicated legal team draws on our decades of experience in Texas family law to protect you and your child’s rights, and obtain the best outcome for everyone. Read on to find out how.
How Child Custody is Decided in Bryan, Texas
We often use the phrase “the best interest of the child” when discussing child custody with our clients. We do this not only because it’s important, but also because it’s how the courts make decisions when it comes to child custody in Texas.
This means that when deciding which parent should have custody, visitation rights, etc., Bryan judges always prioritize what would be best for the child. They often take the child’s wishes into strong consideration when determining what that best interest is, especially when it comes to children older than 12.
Judges may also take other factors into consideration as well, including some of the following:
- The child’s physical and emotional needs
- Each parent’s ability to meet those needs
- How to best maintain the child’s stability (staying in the home, attending the same school, etc.)
- Each parent’s willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent
- The child’s relationships with siblings and other family members
Ideally, you and the other parent can come to an agreement on child custody, and a judge won’t have to make the decision for you. But when a legal order is necessary, the judge will take the above into consideration first and foremost.
Types of Child Custody in Texas
Texas law defines two types of child custody: managing conservatorship vs. possessory conservatorship.
These may seem like complicated terms, but they’re actually easy to understand. You may have heard the terms “physical custody” and “legal custody” before. The principle is basically the same. Managing conservatorship refers to care rights and access, while possessory conservatorship refers to who the child lives with.
Texas courts usually assume that both parents should have joint managing conservatorship. This means that both parents should be involved in making decisions about how their child will be raised. Here are a few examples of the kinds of decisions that need to be made:
- Primary residence
- Religious upbringing
However, there may be some cases in which the court orders that one parent has sole managing conservatorship. For example, if one parent struggles with alcohol or substance abuse, they might be deemed unfit to take care of their child.
In a joint possessory conservatorship, courts usually give only one parent the right to decide where the child lives. Alternatively, the court can designate the county in which the child will reside. Even though one parent is usually named the primary custodian, children can often spend as much as 45 percent of their time with the other parent (the non-custodial parent). Time spent with children can include vacations, holidays, weekends, overnights and hours after school.
Which parent is the primary custodian and how much time the non-custodial parent is able to spend with their child are the most common disputes when it comes to child custody cases. That’s why it’s vital to have an experienced child custody lawyer help you come up with a parenting plan so that everyone is satisfied with the arrangement.
The law in Bryan and throughout Texas requires non-custodial parents to pay child support and has guidelines for calculating payments. The basic formula for calculating child support payments is simple: the non-custodial parent’s net income multiplied by a percentage. The percentage is based on the number of children being supported.
To determine your net income, add up all of your gross monthly income, including all wages and salary, self-employment income, interest and dividends, rental income, etc. Then subtract the following:
- Federal income taxes
- Social Security taxes
- Union dues
- Health insurance premiums you pay for your child
Now that you have your net income, multiply it by one of the following percentages, based on how many children you’re supporting:
- 1 child: 20%
- 2 children: 25%
- 3 children: 30%
- 4 children: 35%
- 5 children: 40%
- 6 children: 40% or more
While calculating child support payments may seem simple, the details can sometimes get complicated. In addition, a judge may determine that an alternative payment plan may be necessary based on the circumstances of your case. For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to sit down with a lawyer to figure it out.
At C.E. Borman, we are committed to fighting for the best outcome for your child. We rely on decades of experience representing Texas clients in family law to fiercely represent your and your child’s interests both in and out of the courtroom.
Here’s how we do it:
- First we sit down with you and come up with a parenting plan that best suits your and your child’s needs.
- Then we present that plan to your child’s other parent and negotiate any contested issues.
- If we can’t get the results that you need through negotiation, we take the issue to court and argue your case before a judge.
Whether you need an attorney to help you fight to gain child custody or iron out problems involved with child support you can count on us to get results.