Experienced Guidance In Child Custody Cases

As you and your spouse make the decision to take your lives in other directions through divorce, the lives of your children will also be affected. For every parent, the best interests of the children are paramount during this process.

At Fabio & Merrill, we help parents throughout Houston find solutions that will cause minimal disruption to their children's lives and allow them to continue healthy relationships with both the mother and father in the most appropriate manner possible. Our attorneys will provide a clear and realistic understanding of what you can expect and work toward achieving your goals through this process. We know that divorcing parents are required to deal with each other well into the future while working together to raise the children. It is our commitment to do everything possible to preserve that working relationship for the benefit of the children.

The Best Interests Of The Child

In Texas, there is no presumption that automatically places a child with a mother. The court looks at the best interests of the child and takes into account a fact-based analysis of who has taken on most of the responsibilities of raising and providing the emotional support and structure for the children. When entering into this area of family law, it is important to partner with a dedicated lawyer who will work with you toward the best interest of the child.

In our more than 35 years of practice, our approach to child custody issues has stayed the same: It is our foremost goal to ensure the health and well-being of our clients' children. We know the importance of parents in a child's life, and we are committed to working with your situation to assist you as you transition in these relationships.

What Will Child Custody Arrangements Look Like?

The child custody and visitation agreements are some of the most heavily negotiated components of a divorce decree. It has repeatedly been found that it is in the child's best interest to be allowed a relationship with both parents, whenever possible. One parent will be granted primary custody or conservatorship, acting as the child's primary residence. The other parent is generally granted joint managing conservatorship, which includes visitation rights and a share in the decision-making authority. This visitation will be set up on a routine basis that reflects the needs, schedules and location of the child and parent. Frequently, the actual possession times of parents can be near 50-50.

If a parent is found to be incapable of parenting, other arrangements may be petitioned for.

These matters can get particularly complex when child custody disputes cross state borders. Thankfully, our experience and familiarity with laws like the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) mean we are prepared to resolve these cases.

In addition to handling divorce with child custody, we also represent unwed parents in paternity actions and related child custody matters.

Modifications To Child Custody Agreements

Over time, changes may take place in both the parents' and the child's lives, requiring a modification to be made to the existing agreements. This can include a relocation, a change in job, medical developments, extracurricular activities of the child, remarriage of a parent or any other significant change. We will help to petition for changes in prior decrees that reflect current circumstances.

Stepparent Adoptions

After remarriage, if a stepparent wishes to establish legal parental rights with the child, he or she can do so through adoption. We will help you fully understand how this process can help your family, as well as how it may affect current dynamics.

Questions About Child Custody? Contact Us.

To learn more about how we can help you navigate all issues related to your relationship with your children, please contact our Houston law firm today at 713-568-3341 or toll free at 866-761-1513. You may also reach us by email. Our law office is centrally located in Greenway Plaza, just north of 59 inside the 610 loop.