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CHILD CUSTODY AUSTIN, TX

Helping You
Navigate Custody
In Austin

CHILD CUSTODY AUSTIN, TX

Helping You
Navigate Custody
In Austin

Child Custody in Austin

Austin custody cases, also known as conservatorship cases, are among the most difficult to navigate. This is because these cases involve the most important people in your life, your children. With emotions running high in Austin child custody cases, it is easy for our clients to make decisions that may not be best for their family’s future. Our compassionate attorneys understand this and will walk you through these challenges while keeping your children in mind as they work with you on what your future should look like. The more information we can provide about Austin child custody matters, the better prepared you are for making wise choices regarding how this will affect your children’s futures.

 

Custody cases reshape a family.  As our experienced Austin child custody attorneys work through what the future looks like for our clients, we keep the word “family” in mind to focus us on the children. Our attorneys are empathetic to the difficult nature of these cases and provide valuable information so that you can keep your children’s best interests at the forefront of your custody matter. It is our belief that the more we can educate about your child custody case, the better you will be able to deal with this stressful and emotional process. Speak with one of our Austin child custody attorneys today and start making informed decisions about your family’s future.

How Does Child Custody “Conservatorship”
Work In Austin?

In Austin, the legal term used to refer to child custody is conservatorship. There are three types of conservatorship designations in Austin, which can apply to both parents or be granted to one parent exclusively.  This is known as a joint managing conservatorship or a sole managing conservatorship. Within conservatorship there is are different rights and decision-making abilities conservators are given. Parents that are physical custodians maintain physical control over their children’s whereabouts while the legal custodian maintains decision-making power over all major aspects that affect them (religion, schooling, etc).

 

 We understand that the different responsibilities granted with each type of conservatorship can get confusing. Our experience child custody attorneys in Austin are well versed in these designations and would be happy to discuss them with you. Further explanations of each type of Austin conservatorship are provided below.

Under the Texas Family Code, joint managing conservators share the parental rights and responsibilities of their children. This type of conservatorship can either be agreed upon by both parties or be put in place by a court order.

 

In general, the law presumes that it is in the best interest of the children to have an ongoing relationship with both parents. Due to this, it is often the opinion of an Austin judge to lean towards ordering a joint managing conservatorship.

 

Once a joint managing conservatorship has been granted, it doesn’t mean the children will divide equal time with each parent. While the rights and responsibilities are shared, it may not necessarily mean that it is practical or best for the children to split equal time with both parents. For example, the responsible parties may decide to have the children spend most of their time in one household as transitioning back and forth causes too much instability and stress in the childrens lives.

In some instances, a  judge may decide that it isn’t in the children’s best interest for both parents to share conservatorship. When this scenario arises the judge will name one of the parents, or if both parents are deemed unfit a non-parent, as the sole managing conservator. 

 

There are several reasons that may be present in a family that could lead a judge to appoint a sole managing conservator. These include but are not limited to proof of violence by a parent, alcohol or drug abuse, and child abuse or neglect. When a sole managing conservator has been appointed that individual obtains the exclusive right to make most decisions about the children involved. 

In Austin, generally, if one parent is named the sole managing conservator the other parent is named a possessory conservator. The possessory conservator is granted the right to visitation with the child. The only instances where possessory conservatorship is withheld are in extenuating circumstances where a parent has exhibited a history of violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or child neglect.

 

There are several rights and duties that a possessory conservator will share with a child’s managing conservator. These rights include but are not limited to:

 

  • Obtain information regarding the child’s education, health, and welfare.
  • Attend the child’s schools activities, access educational information, and speak with school officials pertaining to the child’s academics.
  • Have access to medical records, consult with medical professionals, and be listed as an emergency contact for the child.

 

When the child is under the supervision of a possessory conservator it is the parent’s duty to support, care for, and protect the child. This support includes feeding, clothing, and providing the child with proper shelter.

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Child Custody in
Austin

Austin custody cases, also known as conservatorship cases, are among the most difficult to navigate. This is because these cases involve the most important people in your life, your children. With emotions running high in Austin child custody cases, it is easy for our clients to make decisions that may not be best for their family’s future. As our experienced Austin child custody attorneys work through what the future looks like for our clients, we keep the word “family” in mind to focus us on the children. Our attorneys are empathetic to the difficult nature of these cases and provide valuable information so that you can keep your children’s best interests at the forefront of your custody matter. It is our belief that the more we can educate you about your child custody case, the better you will be able to deal with this stressful and emotional process. Speak with one of our Austin child custody attorneys today and start making informed decisions about your family’s future.

How Does
Child Custody
“Conservatorship”
Work In Austin?

In Austin, the legal term used to refer to child custody is conservatorship. There are three types of conservatorship designations in Austin, which can apply to both parents or be granted to one parent exclusively.  This is known as a joint managing conservatorship or a sole managing conservatorship. Within conservatorship there is are different rights and decision-making abilities conservators are given. Parents that are physical custodians maintain physical control over their children’s whereabouts while the legal custodian maintains decision-making power over all major aspects that affect them (religion, schooling, etc).

 

 We understand that the different responsibilities granted with each type of conservatorship can get confusing. Our experience child custody attorneys in Austin are well versed in these designations and would be happy to discuss them with you. Further explanations of each type of Austin conservatorship are provided below.

Under the Texas Family Code, joint managing conservators share the parental rights and responsibilities of their children. This type of conservatorship can either be agreed upon by both parties or be put in place by a court order.

 

In general, the law presumes that it is in the best interest of the children to have an ongoing relationship with both parents. Due to this, it is often the opinion of an Austin judge to lean towards ordering a joint managing conservatorship.

 

Once a joint managing conservatorship has been granted, it doesn’t mean the children will divide equal time with each parent. While the rights and responsibilities are shared, it may not necessarily mean that it is practical or best for the children to split equal time with both parents. For example, the responsible parties may decide to have the children spend most of their time in one household as transitioning back and forth causes too much instability and stress in the children’s lives.

In some instances, a  judge may decide that it isn’t in the children’s best interest for both parents to share conservatorship. When this scenario arises the judge will name one of the parents, or if both parents are deemed unfit a non-parent, as the sole managing conservator. 

 

There are several reasons that may be present in a family that could lead a judge to appoint a sole managing conservator. These include but are not limited to proof of violence by a parent, alcohol or drug abuse, and child abuse or neglect. When a sole managing conservator has been appointed that individual obtains the exclusive right to make most decisions about the children involved. 

In Austin, generally, if one parent is named the sole managing conservator the other parent is named a possessory conservator. The possessory conservator is granted the right to visitation with the child. The only instances where possessory conservatorship is withheld are in extenuating circumstances where a parent has exhibited a history of violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or child neglect.

 

There are several rights and duties that a possessory conservator will share with a child’s managing conservator. These rights include but are not limited to:

 

  • Obtain information regarding the child’s education, health, and welfare.
  • Attend the child’s schools activities, access educational information, and speak with school officials pertaining to the child’s academics.
  • Have access to medical records, consult with medical professionals, and be listed as an emergency contact for the child.

 

When the child is under the supervision of a possessory conservator it is the parent’s duty to support, care for, and protect the child. This support includes feeding, clothing, and providing the child with proper shelter.

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Calculators



Our Attorneys Are Ready To Listen

Our experienced custody attorneys in Austin have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to prepare your case and protect your interests to find the best possible outcome.

Where Do I File for Child Custody in Austin?

In Austin, child custody cases are handled by the Travis County District Court. The Travis County Domestic Relations Office assists the court in matters pertaining to custody and parent/child relationships. They are available for consultations and can provide immediate intervention in complex family law matters. Their services include psychological evaluations, parent coordination, counseling, and cooperative parenting classes. Learn more about the Travis County Domestic Relations Office.

Information About The
Travis County District Court

District Court Address:

1000 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701

District Court Hours:

Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 5 PM

Important Forms Regarding
Child Custody in Austin

The below links provide useful free forms and guides pertaining to child custody in Travis County. These forms are a resource if you decide to approach your child custody case yourself. However, since every case is unique we cannot guarantee that these forms will meet the needs of your particular case. It is our recommendation that you speak to one of our experienced Austin custody lawyers prior to using or completing any of these documents.

Where Do I File for
Child Custody in Austin?

In Austin, child custody cases are handled by the Travis County District Court. The Travis County Domestic Relations Office assists the court in matters pertaining to custody and parent/child relationships. They are available for consultations and can provide immediate intervention in complex family law matters. Their services include psychological evaluations, parent coordination, counseling, and cooperative parenting classes. Learn more about the Travis County Domestic Relations Office.

Information About
Travis County District Court

District Court Address:

1000 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701

District Court Hours:

Monday – Friday: 8 AM – 5 PM

Important Forms Regarding
Child Custody in Austin

The below links provide useful free forms and guides pertaining to child custody in Bexar County. These forms are a resource if you decide to approach your child custody case yourself. However, since every case is unique we cannot guarantee that these forms will meet the needs of your particular case. It is our recommendation that you speak to one of our experienced Austin custody lawyers prior to using or completing any of these documents.

See What Our Customers Are Saying About Our Custody Attorney’s In Austin

John Mark Strahan (JM)John Mark Strahan (JM)
20:26 20 Jul 22
J. and Jessica were kind, compassionate, and caring. I was 100% comfortable discussing my situation and they made me feel safe. While I hope not many people have to go through the pain of a divorce, these folks are great if you have to!
Ikenna NwakanmaIkenna Nwakanma
17:52 19 Jun 22
Working with J. Riggs at Modern Family Law during my divorce was a blessing. We never met in person but that didn't prevent us from connecting in a way that made me feel that he was looking out for my interest and not just going along the process in a cookie cutter way. They explained the steps of what to expect before and as it was taking place and really made the divorce as stress free as you can get when going through a divorce. Thank you J!
Lisa RhodesLisa Rhodes
02:45 14 May 22
My Attorneys are like Family. They listen to me their Client. They make a challenging matter a little easier. They do understand. J and Jessica are very professional.
E RoseE Rose
16:25 12 May 22
Went through a messy divorce and Clare was able to get a good amount of my possessions back including my vital documents like birth certificate and SSN card which he had refused to give back. It wasn’t a fun process but I was very pleased with her help! Clare was very attentive to my needs, guided me through the court process, and helped me set realistic expectations for outcomes. Thank you again.
JD GipsonJD Gipson
16:35 02 May 22
J. and the team were really great to deal with! He was super responsive anytime I had any questions and easy to get a hold of. Dealing with lawyers is generally never a fun thing to do, but J. made the experience pleasant and I really felt like I was in good hands. Thank you again!
Ashley HernandezAshley Hernandez
17:02 18 Jan 22
Going through a divorce and custody was not fun but J. got me through it. The whole team was responsive and knowledgeable about how the custody process worked and what I needed to do to get custody of my children. My first attorney (different law firm) charged a low retainer, so I thought I was getting a deal, but they quit on me when a bigger case came along! Modern Family Law was experienced and they were up front with me about costs and what I should expect from them. For the experience they gave and how responsive they were, they were worth every penny!!
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How Do Austin Judges Make
Decisions Regarding Child Custody?

When presiding over matters concerning child custody, Austin judges use what is known as the “best interest of the child” standard to help guide their decisions. Texas Family Code Section 153.002 states:

The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.

San Antonio's best child custody attorneys

What Factors Into The Best Interest Of A Child?

A Texas Supreme Court decision set the legal precedent for the factors to consider in child custody cases as a result of the 1976 case, Holley v. Adams. The factors outlined in this case that are still taken into consideration today are as follows:

  • The desires of the child
  • The emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future
  • The emotional and physical danger (of one parent) to the child now and in the future
  • The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody
  • The programs available to assist the parents
  • The plans for the child by these individuals
  • The stability of both parties’ homes and any acts or omissions of a parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one
  • Any excuse for the acts or omissions of a parent.
Child custody in Austin, TX

While there are additional factors that a judge may consider, this list provides you with a solid idea of the types of considerations a judge will evaluate when making a custody determination.

How Do Austin Judges Make
Decisions Regarding Child Custody?

When presiding over matters concerning child custody, Austin judges use what is known as the “best interest of the child” standard to help guide their decisions. Texas Family Code Section 153.002 states:

The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.

What Factors Into
The Best Interest Of A Child?

A Texas Supreme Court decision set the legal precedent for the factors to consider in child custody cases as a result of the 1976 case, Holley v. Adams. The factors outlined in this case that are still taken into consideration today are as follows:

  • The desires of the child
  • The emotional and physical needs of the child now and in the future
  • The emotional and physical danger (of one parent) to the child now and in the future
  • The parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody
  • The programs available to assist the parents
  • The plans for the child by these individuals
  • The stability of both parties’ homes and any acts or omissions of a parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one
  • Any excuse for the acts or omissions of a parent.

While there are additional factors that a judge may consider, this list provides you with a solid idea of the types of considerations a judge will evaluate when making a custody determination.


Have Questions, Reach Out!

Our experienced custody attorneys in Austin understand how overwhelming the child custody process can be. They will listen to the specifics of your case while paying attention to your concerns and goals. They will provide you with expert advice to help you navigate this difficult time and make the best decisions for your family! 


Experienced Austin Custody Attorneys

Our team is experienced and can help with any family matter you have. At Modern Family Law, we work hard to make the legal process understandable for our clients. Understanding leads to smarter choices! We guide client expectations and create a partnership between client and lawyer for the best outcome.

 

Our Austin child custody attorneys understand how difficult family law matters are to navigate. They can empathize with your situation, provide you with counseling expert advice, to guide you to the best possible outcome for you and your family. We also understand the financial burden that family law matters can pose. As such, we have created our one-of-a-kind SimpleStart™ program to give clients an opportunity to reduce the amount of money needed to start their cases.

 

We understand how overwhelming and stressful a conservatorship case can be. Our professional Austin child custody lawyers will help you focus on what is most important in your particular matter to get the best outcome for you and your family. Browse our Austin child custody attorneys to learn more about them and to see if one would be a good fit for you. 

Our Austin Office Location

Additional Custody Practice Areas

Custody has many aspects and not every case is the same. Explore some of the other areas involved in child custody. While you don’t need to understand every nuance of custody, the more you do understand the easier the process will be.

Experienced
Austin
Custody Attorneys

Our team is experienced and can help with any family matter you have. At Modern Family Law, we work hard to make the legal process understandable for our clients. Understanding leads to smarter choices! We guide client expectations and create a partnership between client and lawyer for the best outcome.

 

Our Austin child custody attorneys understand how difficult family law matters are to navigate. They can empathize with your situation, provide you with counseling expert advice, to guide you to the best possible outcome for you and your family. We also understand the financial burden that family law matters can pose. As such, we have created our one-of-a-kind SimpleStart™ program to give clients an opportunity to reduce the amount of money needed to start their cases.

 

We understand how overwhelming and stressful a conservatorship case can be. Our professional Austin child custody lawyers will help you focus on what is most important in your particular matter to get the best outcome for you and your family. Browse our Austin child custody attorneys to learn more about them and to see if one would be a good fit for you. 

Our Austin
Office Location

Additional Custody
Practice Areas

Custody has many aspects and not every case is the same. Explore some of the other areas involved in custody. While you don’t need to understand every nuance of child custody, the more you do understand the easier the process will be.

Meet Our Team Of Experienced
Austin Custody Attorneys

Austin family lawyer

J. Riggs
Associate Attorney
Austin, TX

Austin family lawyer Clare Mattione

Clare Mattione
Associate Attorney
Austin, TX

Frequently Asked Questions About Custody in Austin

How much does a custody case cost in Austin?

Everyone wants to be careful with attorney fees, us included. Potential clients always ask our lawyers how much their case will cost. Unfortunately, we can’t provide much insight into their final bill, because there are too many factors at play. The most critical factor impacting the overall cost of a case is the degree of conflict. A client’s ability to control the degree of conflict in a family law dispute is sometimes limited. The amount of conflict is often unknown or underestimated.

 

Many other factors may also impact the cost of a case. Those include poor strategic planning and selecting an attorney based on factors not related to your goal. Since there are so many things impacting the cost of a case, it’s impossible for a good attorney to quote you an overall cost. We can, however, use our experience to provide you insight into how certain factors impact the average cost, as determined by the American Bar Association.

 

Click the following link to learn more about the cost of a custody attorney in Austin. You may also be interested in our calculators to help you determine costs.

Do Austin courts prefer mothers or fathers?

The courts are required to make a decision in favor of the children and their best interests when it comes to appointing either the mother or father as sole managing conservatorship. There is no presumption that children should be with their mothers or fathers. Each case is decided based on that family’s situation and what is in the best interest of the children involved.

If my spouse is being violent can I apply for a protective order in Austin?

Protective orders have very specific prerequisites under the Texas Family Code. Additionally, during the most recent legislative session in Texas, there were important changes that you should understand.   

Protective orders under the family code are granted based on family violence which is defined as: 

1. An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the family or household member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. 

2. Abuse by a member of the family or household against a child of the family or household; or 

3. Dating violence against a member of a dating relationship or a third party. 

For the purposes of the definition in the Texas Family Code: 

Family includes individuals related by consanguinity or affinity, former spouses, parents of the same child, a foster child and foster parent. 

Household means persons living together in the same dwelling even if not related and includes a person who previously lived in a household.  

Dating relationship means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature based on the length of the relationship; the nature of the relationship; and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Learn more about protective orders in Texas.

Frequently Asked Questions About
Custody In Austin

How much does a custody case cost in Austin?

Everyone wants to be careful with attorney fees, us included. Potential clients always ask our lawyers how much their case will cost. Unfortunately, we can’t provide much insight into their final bill, because there are too many factors at play. The most critical factor impacting the overall cost of a case is the degree of conflict. A client’s ability to control the degree of conflict in a family law dispute is sometimes limited. The amount of conflict is often unknown or underestimated.

 

Many other factors may also impact the cost of a case. Those include poor strategic planning and selecting an attorney based on factors not related to your goal. Since there are so many things impacting the cost of a case, it’s impossible for a good attorney to quote you an overall cost. We can, however, use our experience to provide you insight into how certain factors impact the average cost, as determined by the American Bar Association.

 

Click the following link to learn more about the cost of a custody attorney in Austin. You may also be interested in our calculators to help you determine costs.

Do Austin courts prefer mothers or fathers?

The courts are required to make a decision in favor of the children and their best interests when it comes to appointing either the mother or father as sole managing conservatorship. There is no presumption that children should be with their mothers or fathers. Each case is decided based on that family’s situation and what is in the best interest of the children involved.

If my spouse is being violent can I apply for a protective order in Austin?

Protective orders have very specific prerequisites under the Texas Family Code. Additionally, during the most recent legislative session in Texas, there were important changes that you should understand.   

Protective orders under the family code are granted based on family violence which is defined as: 

1. An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the family or household member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault. 

2. Abuse by a member of the family or household against a child of the family or household; or 

3. Dating violence against a member of a dating relationship or a third party. 

For the purposes of the definition in the Texas Family Code: 

Family includes individuals related by consanguinity or affinity, former spouses, parents of the same child, a foster child and foster parent. 

Household means persons living together in the same dwelling even if not related and includes a person who previously lived in a household.  

Dating relationship means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature based on the length of the relationship; the nature of the relationship; and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Learn more about protective orders in Texas.

Our Calculators

We’re not fans of surprises and we suspect you aren’t either. We built these calculators just for you, so you know what to expect every step of the way.

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