Putting Children First

We practice child-focused advocacy at our firm. We put kids first and demand that our clients do the same. Regardless of the pain and bitterness of a divorce or child custody case, we hold ourselves and our clients to a higher standard when children are involved.

Texas family law revolves around doing what is in the best interest of the child, and that is the legal standard by which the court will resolve your child custody issues. Unfortunately, because of the bitter emotions of a divorce, parents often forget that what they want is not always what their children need. Our lawyers do everything in their power to insulate children as much as possible from the negative effects of litigation and work with our clients to develop strategies to that end.

According to the Texas Family Code, it is the public policy of the state to assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of their children and to provide a safe, stable and nonviolent environment for their children and to encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their children after separation or divorce. At our law firm, we embrace this policy and practice law to achieve these ends.

What Will Child Custody And Visitation Arrangements Look Like?

The fact of the matter is that parents may have dramatically different ideas about what is in their child's best interest. We have ample experience with high-conflict child custody cases. It is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to advocate for your position and protect your relationship with your child by pursuing proper parenting plans.

At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, in San Antonio, our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience. We are prepared to resolve even the most complex child custody cases, including those that involve children with special needs or international and interstate custody issues.

Understanding The Legal Terminology

Child custody cases involve many legal terms, some of which have become obsolete, but are still used by the general public. We will educate you about the legal terminology so you are empowered to discuss your position and your ideas.

For example, what is commonly referred to as primary custody is actually called managing conservatorship under Texas statutes. Custodians are called conservators. Visitation is called parenting time. In almost all custody cases, the courts favor children having quality contact with both parents and award a joint managing conservatorship whenever possible.

Child custody generally addresses two main areas: the right to make legal decisions regarding children, including the right to determine the children's primary residence, and possession of and access to children. Legal aspects of custody involve decisions about the child's education, health care, religious upbringing and social activities. The legal and physical care of the child are custodial duties handled by the parent or parents who act as the managing conservators. When the court does not appoint a parent as a managing conservator, that parent will generally be designated a possessory conservator. A possessory conservator has access to the child for visitation (parenting time) with minimal decision-making rights.

Factors That Influence Child Custody Arrangements

Courts evaluate and determine whether to appoint both parents managing conservators or only one parent after considering a multitude of factors, including a parent's ability to provide for the child's physical and emotional needs, stability, a parent's emotional bond and ability to provide appropriate guidance, substance abuse, and any history of domestic violence. If children are 12 or older, they are able to speak with the judge privately regarding their preferences. As with all other issues involving children, the best interest of the child is the legal standard used by the court to determine conservatorship.

Generally, couples can resolve disputed issues outside of court and develop a parenting plan that they believe is in their child's best interest. With the approval of the court, an agreement will be incorporated into a child custody order. While settlement is encouraged when possible, our attorneys are also comfortable in the courtroom and well-versed in handling contested child custody hearings.

Free Child Custody Consultation

Call 210-764-3468 or send an email to schedule a meeting with an experienced lawyer.