Family Law - Custody, Visitation, and Child Support Page - - The Selesky Law Firm, LLP


There is no doubt divorce affects the lives of scores of children in Austin, and throughout Texas. With very few exceptions, divorcing couples with the help of their Divorce Attorneys, can and should agree on the issues of custody and visitation. The agreement should ensure that the child or children maintain close and continuing contact with both parties after the divorce is final. If an agreement is reached, the child or children will be spared the unnecessary and destructive fighting between the parents. Almost any Divorce Lawyer in Austin will tell you that most parents rank the priority of their children ahead of all the other issues typically involved in a divorce.

When custody and visitation issues cannot be resolved by agreement, the court will have to decide these matters in the divorce proceeding. In determining custody of the children, the court looks at what is in the "best interests" of the child. Some factors Family Courts use in deciding what is best for the children include:

(1) Parenting skills of the parties.

(2) Emotional and physical needs and stability of the parents and children.

(3) The desires of the children.

(4) Planning and stability of individuals seeking custody.

(5) Programs available to assist the individuals.

(6) Acts or omissions of the parent.

(7) Any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.

The person who is granted custody of the minor child in a divorce is called the Managing Conservator. The person with visitation rights is called the Possessory Conservator. The court may also appoint joint conservators and does in many divorces where the parents are of similar skills. Where joint custody is granted in a divorce, the court will designate one parent who will have primary possession and control of the child and who will designate the child's domicile (or the court will designate the county of domicile for the child). A good Divorce Attorney in Austin will fight to ensure the non-designated parent will limit the domicile of the children to Williamson or contiguous counties.

The visitation schedule established depends on the circumstances of the parties and age of the children. It often includes alternating weekends, alternating 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 State of Texas follows a standard possession order detailed in the Texas Family Code and a large number of divorces in Austin and Williamson County follow this visitation schedule. For a detailed description of a standard possession order, you should consult with Carl J. Selesky, a Divorce Attorney in Austin.

The Managing Conservator is under a Court Order to make the children available to the Possessory Conservator at the beginning of each period of visitation. The Possessory Conservator should closely adhere to the visitation schedule and promptly notify the Managing Conservator when he or she is unable to keep a visitation date. Children's plans for the weekend can’t be used by the Managing Conservator as a reason for denying visitation. If conflicting plans are in the best interest of the children, parents and children should work out the problems together. Visitation should help children maintain a positive relationship with the visiting parent.

The Managing Conservator cannot deny visitation because child support has not been received. The Possessory Conservator cannot fail or refuse to pay child support because of visitation problems. At the end of each period of possession, 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. If there are continued problems with visitation or support, you should consult with Carl J. Selesky, or other Divorce Attorneys in Austin about your problem rather than using the children.

Both parents of the minor child are under obligation of support. Usually, the non-custodial parent pays child support for his or her children and is required to provide health insurance. 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, extraordinary 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. This formula many times is effective in reducing the fighting and friction associated in deciding what should be paid in a typical divorce.

Provisions for custody, visitation, and child support can be modified if circumstances dictate that the child's best interests would be served by such modification. Consequently, a court has the power to change custody, visitation, and support of minor children after a divorce is final. A modification should not be considered lightly. If there is a substantial reason you think a modification is beneficial to the children after the divorce is final, you should consult with Carl J. Selesky, or other Divorce Attorneys in Austin about your problem rather than using the children.

All information in this website is not legal advice, is not intended to be legal advice and is for informational purposes in order to help you in your decision to hire an attorney only. You should consult with as many attorneys as you feel necessary before you choose to hire one. The attorney-client relationship is only formed by written agreement and consent of both of the parties. Any and all medical bills or other costs are your responsibility regardless of the outcome of the case or any contingency fee arrangements with Carl J Selesky. All trademarks and copyrights are reserved. Carl J. Selesky is a licensed attorney in the State of Texas, in State and Federal Courts. Mr. Selesky is not licensed in any other State.
Carl J. Selesky is not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
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