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500 S. Taylor Suite 720  Amarillo, Texas 79101

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Amarillo Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
Many children's lived are effected by Divorce. In almost all cases, divorcing couples can and should agree on the issues of custody and visitation. The State of Texas law has a stated mandate that children maintain close and continuing contact with both parties after the divorce is final. If an agreement is reached, children not have to go through the unnecessary and harmful effects of parents fighting.

When custody isn't resolved by agreement, the court decides those matters. In determining custody of the children, the court looks at what is in the "best interests" of the child. Some factors used in deciding what is best for the children include:

  • Parental abilities.
  • Emotional and physical danger to the child.
  • Emotional and physical needs of the child, now and in the future.
  • The desires of the child.
  • Plans of individuals seeking custody.
  • Stability of the home of the individual seeking custody.
  • Programs available to assist the individuals.
  • Acts or omissions of the parent.
  • Any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.

The Managing Conservator is the person that is granted the primary custody of the children. The Possessory Conservator is person with the visitation rights. The court may also appoint joint conservators. When joint custody is granted, the court will appoint one parent who will have primary possession and control of the child and who will designate where the child lives.

The visitation schedule established depends on the age of the children and the circumstances involved. It often includes alternating weekends,  holidays, and 30 days in the summer. If the parties live more than 100 miles apart, the court may set a different visitation schedule. 

The Managing Conservator should make the children available to the other parent at the beginning of each period of visitation. The Possessory Conservator should closely follow the visitation schedule and quickly notify the other parent if they unable to keep a visitation date. Remember, missing a visit without notifying the other parent may be seen by the children as rejection.

Children's plans for the weekend shouldn't be used by the Managing Conservator as a reason for denying visitation. If conflicting plans are best for the children, parents and children should work out the problems together. Visitation should help children maintain a positive relationship with both parents.  Do not use visitation as a way to "check on" the other parent. The Managing Conservator cannot deny visitation because child support has not been paid. The Possessory Conservator cannot fail or refuse to pay child support because of visitation problems.

At the end of each possession period, the Possessory Conservator should return the children to the Managing Conservator or make the children available for pick up by the Managing Conservator, depending on the terms of the divorce decree.

Both parents of the minor child have to support the child. Usually, the noncustodial parent pays child support.  The amount of the child support depends primarily on the financial resources available to the Possessory Conservator, however, other factors are considered such as financial resources available to the Managing Conservator, expenses, exceptional needs of the children, and the number of children the Possessory Conservator is legally obligated to support. The Texas Family Code provides a formula for setting child support which is presumed to be in the best interest of the children. Further, child support orders include provisions for payment of health insurance for the benefit of the child and 50% of the uninsured health expenses of the children.

Provisions for custody, visitation, and child support can be changed if it would be in the child's best interests. Therefore, a court has the power to change custody, visitation, and support of minor children after a divorce is final.

The following guidelines are recommended to divorcing parents:
  • Remember the best parts of the marriage. Share those with your children and use the memories constructively.
  • Make sure the children do not feel that they are not to blame for the divorce nor are they being rejected or abandoned.
  • Anger toward a former spouse can injure children far more than the divorce itself. children notice the feelings shown are more than the words used.
  • Do not be critical of the other parent. While it may be hard, it is absolutely necessary for a child's healthy development.
  • Do not  encourage the children to take sides. This creates frustration, hurt, guilt, and resentment.
  • Try not to upset the child's routine too much. Children need a sense of continuity and cannot deal with too many changes all at once.
  • Do not try to hush things up and make a child feel he must not talk or even think about what he feels is going on. Be direct and simple in telling the children what is happening and why.
  • Children need what is expected of them. They need leadership and sometimes authority. Be ready to say "no" when necessary.
  • Divorcing parents should accept the fact that they are human and admit it. There is no such thing as a perfect parent.

With over 20 years experience David Enos understands how painful and traumatic a custody can be. Contact our office at (806)372-7307 and schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you throughout your divorce and related legal matters.



DISCLAIMER
Information on this website is based on general principles of law. They may not apply to your situation. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice and no reliance should be placed on the legal principles set forth in this website. This is why you should personally consult with attorney David Enos about your case.
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