Child Custody & Visitation

Child custody disputes are generally one of the most contentious areas of family law. For both parents, the question of custody and possession (visitation) of their children is usually paramount. Parents are typically willing to do anything to obtain primary custody of their children. James P. Sadler is an experienced attorney in custody matters ranging from the simple to the complex.

Texas courts will make decisions regarding children that are deemed in the best interest of the child. The determination of best interest governs everything from who is named the primary conservator to visitation rights and where the child primarily resides.

At Sadler Family Law, we understand and share your concern for your child’s future. We are committed to helping you protect your child, your relationship with them, and your peace of mind throughout the Texas custody process.

Understanding Child Custody in Texas

Texas law presumes that both parents will be appointed as joint managing conservators, meaning that they will each generally have the same rights, duties and obligations to their child. One parent is typically given the exclusive right to designate the residence of the child, making that parent the primary custodial parent. The other parent would be deemed the non-custodial parent and have possession (visitation) on certain days and at certain times.

The non-custodial parent will also pay child support and be responsible for the cost of medical and dental insurance coverage for the child. Some cases may involve disputes about the right of the custodial parent to change the residence of the child outside a designated geographical area. Texas law supports involved parents remaining close to one another so as to foster the parent-child relationship; however, courts also understand that a parent may need to relocate due to a new job or other reasons. Balancing the need for consistent parent contact and the rights of a parent to move can be tricky and may require an experienced attorney to navigate.

Sometimes, it is not in the best interest of the child for both parents to be named joint managing conservators of a child. If evidence shows that one parent is abusive, neglectful or is unable to make decisions in the best interest of the child, a court may appoint the parent sole managing conservator, which gives that parent the exclusive right to make certain decisions for the child. The other parent may have the right to visitation and to be kept informed of the child’s wellbeing.

In preparing a custody case, gathering evidence of the actions and activities of the parents and children is vital. Witnesses to the family dynamic are frequently important in establishing the behavior of one or both parents and the children.

Courts must decide what is in the child’s best interest, taking into account the following factors:

  • The desires of the child;
  • The emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future;
  • The emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future;
  • The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody;
  • The programs available to assist these individuals to promote the best interest of the child;
  • The plans for the child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody;
  • The stability of the home or proposed placement;
  • The acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and
  • Any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.

An experienced Texas child custody attorney understands what evidence should be presented to help the court reach a conclusion that truly is best for the child and the family.

How We Help in Texas Custody Matters

At Sadler Family Law, we understand that a favorable result in a custody case requires a specific and focused investigation of your family circumstances. Our firm is staffed and equipped to investigate and organize the evidence necessary for your case. James P. Sadler is skilled at advocating for your interests without causing needless conflict and hostility. He is an accomplished litigator, equally at home in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. He calmly and capably negotiates for clients in custody and visitation matters, knowing that he is equipped to go to court on their behalf if needed.

Few aspects of family law matters are as stressful for parents as those involving their children. The team at Sadler Family Law works to not only achieve the result you want, but to guide you through the challenging custody and visitation process. We offer clear-headed advice and responsive service so that you feel supported and empowered to navigate the challenges ahead.

Family law attorney James P. Sadler represents people involved in divorces, child custody disputes, and other family law matters in San Angelo and throughout West Texas. He advocates for his clients’ rights and interests both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. We invite you to contact Sadler Family Law online or at (325) 227-6738 to schedule a confidential office consultation.