Establish or Modify Your Child Custody Agreement
The Best Interest of the Child
Parents always want what is best for their children, especially during a
divorce. As hard as separation is on the spouses, it is often the children who
bear the brunt of the anxiety. These days parents are encouraged to work
together to draw up an agreement that determines who will have custody
of the children and when. With each parent wanting to spend as much time
as possible with their child, time-sharing can sometimes turn into a hotly
In the state of Texas, it is public policy to encourage parents to share
the rights and responsibilities of raising a child. If you are going through
a divorce and there are children involved, you need to retain the services
of The Karenko Law Firm PLLC and learn what you can do to ensure that
your child is given the care he or she deserves. I, Attorney Karenko,
have served on the boards of several committees devoted to the rights
of children and have extensive experience with child custody cases.
Common Questions: Custody FAQ
What Is Child Custody?
Until a child turns eighteen years of age, they need a physical and legal
guardian to look over them and make important decisions on their behalf.
There are two aspects to child custody including legal custody and physical
custody. The legal custody is if reference to the parent or adult that
has been granted authority to make legal decisions in regards to the child's
future. The physical custody however, describes the parent with which
the child resides on a daily basis.
How Does the Judge Decide Who Should Have Custody?
In family court, the judge will base his custody decision on several different
factors including: the parent's wishes, both parents are "fit"
legal guardians, the child's wishes, the child's relationship
with each parent, the child's school and home environment, the mental
and physical health of each parent, which parent spends more time with
the child, which parent can better provide and further the child's
education, the parenting styles, and the geographical proximity between
parents. If both parents seem fit for the job and live relatively close,
then the judge will most likely grant joint physical and legal custody.
If one parent however, fails to meet up to the court's standards,
then the other parent will usually be granted physical custody and they
will be given visitation rights to the child.
What Are Different Possible Custody Arrangements?
There are two different types of custody agreements that can be implemented
in your case. There is
sole custody and Joint custody. Sole custody gives one parent the exclusive authority
to make major decisions for the child. This also means that that they
are the custodial parent, so the child will live with them on a regular
basis, and the other parent may or may not have visitation rights to the
child. In cases where
joint custody is granted to both parents, they much consult and agree on all legal decision
on the child's behalf. This also means that the parents will share
physical custody and take turns having continuous contact with their child.
The physical custody arrangement might not be 50/50 even, but the court
will arrange a certain schedule that best fits the best interests and
needs of the child.
How Does Visitation Work?
Visitation is typically granted for the non-custodial parent so they can
have frequent visits with their child and stay active and connected in
their life. The courts will set up a fixed
visitation agreement that gives the non-custodial parent time to spend with them
possibly including sleep overs, certain weekends, shared holidays, weekday
evenings, or on school vacations. Each case will be different and will
be specifically tailored to meet the child's needs and schedule. If
one parent has a history of domestic violence, them there may be cases
where supervised visitation is necessary if the safety of the child is
Helping You Keep Your Children Close to You
Divorces involve terms such as "child custody" and "
visitation", as well as more friendly terms such as "parenting plans"
and "time-sharing". Children are no longer considered property,
instead divorcing parents are told to work together and come up with a
parenting plan that works for them and is in the best interest of the
Even when parents want the best for their children, it can be hard to overcome
basic human nature. People are still people and sometimes they seek to
hurt one another by alienating their children from their ex-spouse. If
this happens, it is time to take quick action to guarantee that neither
parent is given less time with their child than they deserve. When tempers
flare and the situation gets complicated, an attorney can be the stable
person to turn to for help. Get in touch with me and I can help see to
it that everyone's side of the story is heard.
Contact me, Attorney Karenko, if you are going through a divorce and would like to
understand what the laws are when it comes to the right to see your children.