Common Law Marriage & Child Custody

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Common Law Marriage and Child Custody in Texas

Protect Your Parental Rights After a Divorce

If a common law marriage has been established, Texas law will treat the couple, legally, just as any other married couple. Because of this, when a couple married through common law decides to divorce or separate, child custody is negotiated in much the same way as in any other divorce case.

Should your common law marriage end, you need to create a legally binding child custody to protect yourself and your child. I, Attorney Juliann Karenko, can help you and your family establish a custody agreement and deal with any residual legal issues associated with your common law marriage.

For help with your child custody case, contact my firm using the online form or call (409) 515-7063
 to schedule your consultation.

Why Establish a Custody Agreement?

Failing to establish a formal custody arrangement with your child’s other parent can result in difficulties over time, affecting both you and your child. It is in your best interest, and theirs, to establish a lawful agreement.

Without a legally binding contract to designate legal obligations, your ex-spouse may try to prevent you from seeing your children, or rearrange the agreement without your consent. A custody arrangement will help to protect your parental rights and will create a more stable schedule for your child.

Who Has Parental Rights?

As with most child custody cases, if both parents were living together as a married couple and raised the child together, they will have equal parenting rights. In Texas, the courts tend to favor awarding shared custody and will do so whenever possible so that the child can benefit from the presence of both parents.

The court will consider other factors, such as financial stability, emotional support, and connection to the child, who is the child’s primary caretaker, as well as other aspects, when determining how custody will be shared. If the child has special physical or mental needs, the court will also factor in who would be best equipped to meet the child’s requirements.

In some instances, one parent may receive sole custody if the other parent is deemed unfit. The courts will always consider the best interest of the child as a first priority when establishing a custody arrangement between parents.

Although the court will listen to the wishes of each parent, either could be deemed unfit if there is a record of domestic violence, incapable financial status, or other issues that may prevent a person from being a suitable parent. In these situations, the other parent will likely be awarded sole custody. The other parent would then be granted partial custody or visitation rights on weekends, school breaks, and holidays.

As with most family law cases, there are always unique cases, and no two situations are ever completely alike. If you had a common law marriage and are now struggling to negotiate child custody arrangements with your ex-spouse, contact a family law attorney, immediately.

Contact me at The Karenko Law Firm PLLC to learn more about negotiating child custody after a common law marriage.

Tried & True Legal Counsel You Can Trust

  • Unparalleled Experience

    I have been serving clients for over 30 years and have extensive experience in the litigation of family law, divorce and custody matters.

  • Consultations Available

    A 1-hour phone or video consultation is available upon request. All consultations are $100 and that fee will be credited towards client retainers upon hiring me. 

  • From Start to Finish

    Every client that retains me gets me. I handle every case from start to finish and never hand my clients over to an assistant.

  • Treats Clients Like Family

    At Karenko Law Firm, I  treat every client as an extension of my family. I understand that they are going through a rough time and it is important for me to provide a calm, safe and welcoming environment.

  • Licensed in 3 States

    I currently hold active licenses in the following 3 states, Florida, Michigan, and Texas.

You Will Be 
At My Firm.

  • “Mrs. Karenko is more than an attorney, she is a mentor, mediator, and sometimes a mom to her clients. She really works her best to find the best solutions to some of the most complex and sensitive family issues.”

    - Kingsey
  • “Ms. Karenko is an outstanding lawyer. I had a very difficult and complex divorce and she was wonderful. She is caring and has an excellent reputation with other lawyers and Judges.”

    - Previous Client
  • “The Karenko law firm really helped me through a rough time in my life; they are extremely professional and helped to keep me clam/relaxed through the entire process. They are honest and will fight to make sure you get out of the situation as quick as possi”

    - Wyatt
  • “Her advice and encouragement have gotten me through this-the WORST CHAPTER in my life. Juliann is a family law genius and I am so lucky to have had her on my side! She cares deeply about her clients and works hard for a positive outcome.”

    - Sarah
  • “MY FIGHT IS FINALLY OVER!!! She was amazing! I highly recommend her! She spoke to me like a friend, explaining every question I had in detail. I always felt confident every time I walked into the court room with her & never had a doubt that we would no”

    - Traci

    Treating Clients 
    Like Family

    Contact Us

    Fill out our easy to use contact form or give us a call at 
    (409) 515-7063 to schedule a  consultation. 

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