A compassionate child custody attorney Collin County TX families turn to understands that a child custody battle can be one of the most contentious and emotionally draining legal matters a parent may ever have to face. At Scroggins Law Group, we have advocated for children and parents for many years. We use our extensive legal knowledge and experience to fight for the wellbeing of our clients and their families.
A custody battle is rarely easy, but a child custody attorney Collin County TX relies on at Scroggins Law Group can make the process go as smoothly as possible. In fact, Mark Scroggins has several years of experience successfully handling custody cases. He has built a reputation for his professionalism, reliability, and aggressiveness in the courtroom. As a trusted child custody attorney in Collin County TX, Mark Scroggins stands out. Our legal support team is just as remarkable and has over 20 years of combined service. We understand the difficulties one faces when going through a divorce and we strive to be a legal advocate for each of our clients.
With more than one child custody attorney Collin County TX parents can choose from, it is hard to know which attorney might be the best in your situation. We invite you to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys at Scroggins Law Group to discover how we may be able to help you. If you need a seasoned child custody attorney in Collin County TX who understands the complexities of Texas family law statutes, contact Scroggins Law Group today.
What is the Best Interest of the Child Standard?
Above all else, Texas courts are concerned with the best interest of the child and should always give that primary consideration when determining issues of conservatorship, possession and access to the child. Incidents of domestic violence or sexual abuse are closely scrutinized by the court when it considers appointing a sole or joint managing conservator and whether one or both parents shall be given decision making ability regarding the children.
Texas courts have considered a variety of factors when determining what will be in the best in the best interest of a child, such as the childs desires, the emotional and physical needs of the child, whether there is any danger to the child, each parent’s abilities, programs available to the child, and generally their well-being and adjustment to life. Upon request, the court must consider the desires of a child age 12 or over regarding conservatorship, and with which parent they wish to live. Note that the court is not bound by the child’s desires, but they must consider them as a factor. There are also special rules the court uses when there is a child less than the age of three regarding possession and access time.
What is a Conservator?
The conservator or conservators are the parties that can make decisions regarding the children such as where the child goes to school, where they live and whether they need an invasive medical procedure. The court may appoint both parties as joint managing conservators or it may appoint one party a sole managing conservator, taking into consideration any history of family violence, child abuse or neglect, or whether a final protective order was issued against any of the parties. With histories of child neglect, physical or sexual abuse, the court recognizes a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of a sole managing conservator is in the best interests of the child.
There are certain general rights each parent conservator normally is awarded, unless limited by the court, including rights to access basic information, to attend school and related events and to consult with the other parent and healthcare professionals seen by the child.
What are the Rights and Duties of Parent Appointed as Conservator?
During periods of possession a parent appointed as a conservator has rights and duties regarding the care, control, protection and reasonable discipline of a child. As well, they have the duty to support the child and provide food, clothing and shelter.
One of the commonly litigated issues in custody cases is which parent shall have the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child. The courts now have the option of having the childs exclusive residence not be with one parent, but instead be within a certain geographical area. This more recent development has helped to lessen the litigation between parents.
What is a Standard Possession Order?
Once the court makes proper appointments of managing conservators and the rights and duties of each with the respect to the child and their best interests, the parties can make their agreement regarding possession schedules or use the Standard Possession Order found in the Texas Family Code. Child custody attorneys in Collin County TX use a variety of variations of the Standard Possession Order that best applies to the children and the parties and their respective schedules and living situations.
Types of Child Custody Arrangements
The goal of custody arrangements is to find a safe and schedule for the children to allow them to grow up in the best environment they can. Custody arrangements can be settled in numerous different ways as seen fit by the judge.
- Physical Custody — Physical custody is when a parent is granted permission to have the child live with them in their home. There is both joint and sole physical custody which pertains to the schedule of the child’s living arrangements. Joint physical custody is often awarded when the parents live close enough together that the child can remain in the same school. Sole physical custody is more common when parents live farther apart. This allows for one parent to have visitation rights while the child lives with the other, or for the child to alternate where they live on weekends. A child custody lawyer Collin County TX relies on can explain the intricacies of child custody law with an appointment scheduled today.
- Legal Custody — Legal custody, which can also be a sole or joint arrangement, covers decisions about the child’s upbringing. The parent with legal custody will have to make decisions concerning religious upbringing, school and medical decisions. There is also joint legal custody where parents will have to work together to make these decisions. If one parent takes away decision powers from the other, they can be taken to court to receive enforcement from the judge on their joint custody order. A child custody lawyer in Collin County TX will have experience and expertise in their area of law and will be able to help you explore you options when it comes to legal custody.
- Joint Custody — As a child custody lawyer Collin County TX relies on may tell you, one of the most common custody arrangements is joint custody. An arrangement between the two parents will be agreed upon based on the schedules of both parents and children as well as any specific needs of the child. The agreement will then be brought to the judge to be ratified. Often parents who live close together will alternate weeks or weekends so that the children can remain at the same school with a consistent schedule. Another common schedule is for children to spend the school week with a parent in the childhood home so that they can keep emotions attached to the family home and then spend weekends at the home of the other parent. A child custody lawyer Collins County TX trusts can advise you on how to best settle a scheduling arrangement to fit the needs of both you and your child.
- Sole Custody — A sole custody arrangement is when one parent is awarded full custody of the child. This is ruled when one of the parents is deemed unfit, often in the case of drug abuse or financial issues. There is a rise in the inclusion of visitation rights for the other parent even when sole custody is agreed upon which is something to be aware of. The pros and cons of sole custody can be explained to you by a child custody lawyer Collins County TX trust.
Child Custody Issues
When parents cannot come to an agreement on child custody arrangements, it may be necessary for a child custody attorney Collin County TX provides to step in. Here at Scroggins Law Group, we realize it can be a hard fight for a parent to win a fair child custody arrangement. From the onset, your Scroggins Law Group attorney will develop the strongest possible legal strategy to present in court. We will make every reasonable effort to protect your family’s rights.
A qualified child custody attorney Collin County TX clients recommend knows that when a family court judge makes the final custody decision, the judge makes that determination with the best interests of the child in mind. In the best-case scenario, the parents have agreed on a parenting plan that the judge will approve. However, all too often parents cannot agree and need a veteran child custody attorney Collin County TX residents rely on with solid negotiating skills to represent them.
Once you and your partner have made the difficult decision to end your marriage or domestic partnership, the next challenge is to determine what is best for your child or children in terms of who should have what percentage of custody. Mark Scroggins of Scroggins Law Group is a respected child custody attorney Collin County TX community members appreciate for his dedication to justice.
An important issue that needs to be considered in a child custody case is how physical and legal custody might be awarded. A physical custody decree specifies where the child will live. Legal custody determines which parent can make decisions regarding the child’s education, medical needs, and extracurricular activities. A judge could decide to:
- Award parents joint physical and joint legal custody
- Award one parent sole physical custody and both parents joint legal custody
- Award one parent sole physical and sole legal custody
- Award parents joint physical custody and one parent sole legal custody
When one parent receives primary custody of the child, the parenting plan must also address visitation rights for the non-custodial parent. Parents must also come up with a schedule for vacations and holidays. It’s often difficult for parents to agree on where the child will spend major holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Parents should also address special days such as the child’s birthday.
A Scroggins Law Group attorney can also help with arranging the finer details, such as the holidays mentioned above, and handoff agreements. As a skilled legal professional, Mark Scroggins is a child custody attorney Collin County TX provides who can offer calm and informed guidance when emotionally difficult decisions must be made.
How the Court Determines Custody
The number one question that is considered by the court when determining who will receive primary or sole custody is: What is in the best interest of the child? Factors that the court may consider include:
- The parents’ mental and physical health and medical history.
- The financial situation of each parent and their ability to provide for the child’s essential needs. This includes clothing, shelter, food, and medical care.
- The child’s gender and age. If the child is at least 12 years old, their wishes may be taken into consideration.
- Any habits that the parents have that could impact the child negatively. This may include excessive smoking, drinking, gambling, drug use, etc.
- What the parents are hoping for in the custody battle.
- If each parent is willing to support the child’s relations with the other parent.
- How much of an adjustment it would be if the child is moved to a different city, state, or school.
The courts do not make child custody decisions quickly or lightly. You deserve to have a team of child custody attorneys Collin County TX may offer who can work diligently to provide legal support for your situation.
Child Custody Modification
Once a child custody order has been issued by the court, that order stays in place unless both parents agree to a change or if circumstances change enough to warrant a custodial change. This often happens as a child grows older and decides they want to spend more time with the non-custodial parent than the existing child support order allows.
After an order has been issued determining the custody of a child, that order cannot be changed, unless:
- Both parents agree to modify the custodial rights.
- Circumstances change and warrant a custodial revision.
- The child has grown older and wishes to spend more time with one parent.
Benefits of Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer
During a child custody battle, it may be in your best interest to work with a child custody lawyer Collin County TX residents count on. Here are some of the benefits you may receive from hiring legal representation:
• Familiarity with family law: An experienced Collin County child custody lawyer has handled many child custody cases in the past and is prepared to tackle any issues that arise.
• Reduced stress: Going through a child custody battle can be very time-consuming and stressful. If you hire a child custody lawyer, he or she can do all of the legwork so that you can relax and take care of yourself.
• Confidence in the courtroom: If you have to go to court, a child custody lawyer Collin County TX residents depend on may know how to present your case effectively to the judge. He or she may use evidence to show the judge why you should be granted custody.
• Communicate with ex-spouse: If you and your ex-spouse are angry with each other, communicating during a child custody battle can be challenging. If you have a child custody lawyer by your side, he or she can speak to your ex-spouse on your behalf.
How To Help Children Be Happy Living In Two Homes
If during your divorce settlement, the court awarded both you and former spouse joint physical custody of your children, a child custody lawyer Collin County TX clients trust understands that you may be wondering how you can make this an easier process. Being able to see both parents on a regular and consistent basis can be beneficial to your children’s well-being.
However, the changes in routine and lifestyle can cause your children to feel stress, anxiety, sadness, and more. Here are some recommendations from a child custody lawyer in Collin County TX that can make this transition smoother for you, your former spouse, and children, too.
Encourage Your Children to Talk Openly with You
A child custody lawyer Collin County TX families rely on knows that child custody issues can leave children with so many different emotions to deal with. Due to those emotions, your children may experience, encourage expressing themselves by providing a secure and safe environment. By letting your children talk freely and ask questions about what is happening, it can make the transition feel less frightening.
Establish a Preferred Method of Contact
Depending on why the divorce happened, it may be painful and distressing having to talk with your former spouse. You both can agree to a certain route of communication that you each feel comfortable with. If talking on the phone is too much for either of you, a child custody lawyer Collin County TX parents depend on recommends text messaging or the internet (like emails or google calendars) to exchange information.
Agree to Not Bad-Mouth
Talking badly about the other parent in front of the children can be very damaging to their sense of the world. At some point, they likely saw you and their other parent being loving and kind to each other, and now the dynamic has drastically changed. This change can be equally heartbreaking for you and your children. Any lingering wounds you have about the separation should not be expressed through angry and resentful words about your former spouse with your children. As a child custody lawyer Collin County TX locals turn to can explain, bad-mouthing the other parent can actually be used against you if that parent brings you back to court.
Do Not Pin Your Children Against the Other Parent
Do not use your children as pawns to get back at your spouse. You may not even realize you are doing this, but is it incredibly harmful to your children. In order to work together successfully, you must find a way to put your personal feelings towards the other parent aside.
Consider Therapy for the Children
If you both find that your children are having an increasingly difficult time adjusting to their new routine and lives, agree to consider taking them to therapy. A health professional can help guide your children towards healing while providing an unbiased environment.
How to Ease Children into Frequent Changes
In joint physical custody, children are to live with both their parents. This means there may be frequent changes when having to go from one place to another weekly or monthly. Reassure your children that they both have two parents that love them unconditionally. Remind them a few days ahead of time when they are supposed to leave to spend time with the other parent. This can help your children anticipate changes and gives them a chance to adapt. Try to show enthusiasm when bringing your children to the other parent, so they do not feel pressured to choose sides. If there are issues during custody exchanges, let your Collin County child custody attorney know immediately.
If you have more questions or concerns regarding custody of your child, contact a child custody lawyer Collin County TX provides today.
Contact a Dedicated Child Custody Attorney Collin County TX Parents Trust
If you need to speak to a Collin County child custody attorney, look no further than Scroggins Law Group. Mark L. Scoggins is a board-certified* family law attorney who has been advocating for clients with all kinds of Texas family law matters, including:
- High asset divorces
- Child custody cases
- Child support cases
- Paternity issues
- Same sex and/or LGBT issues
- Cases involving Child Protective Service.
Mark Scroggins understands the nature of family law and child custody cases. Our firm as a whole realizes that custody battles can be extremely difficult and emotionally draining experiences for a parent to go through. As a Collin County child custody attorney, we understand the complexities of Texas family law decrees. We work hard to ensure our clients and their children are fully protected under the law.
Our goal at Scroggins Law Group is to protect the best interests of the child and their family, which is what we strive to do. We combine our years of experience with our passion for justice to help your family come to the best solution for the child(ren). We want you to see for yourself what we can do for your family. When considering your choices of a child custody attorney Collin County TX has to offer, trust our firm, Scroggins Law Group.
Call a child custody attorney Collin County TX provides today at 469-626-5220 to set up an appointment for your consultation