Finding the Best Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements

During a divorce or a separation, family law issues can be complex and emotionally overwhelming. In cases where there are children involved, it is especially important for parents to be prepared for what their options may be and understand the process of working out custody and visitation arrangements. Often, a Fort Worth child custody lawyer can help to alleviate stress and ensure that your rights are protected throughout this process.

Custody arrangements are generally decided by the courts, based on a judge’s evaluation of the circumstances. The court’s primary consideration will be the best interests of the child. In order to determine what that means in your specific case, the judge will consider many different factors, including:

One of the most significant concerns that Fort Worth courts take into account is a parent’s history of domestic violence. They will carefully evaluate all claims and evidence in order to ensure the safety of all parties involved, particularly for any children that may be affected. They will also be mindful of any other relevant concerns, such as whether there is a history of drug or alcohol abuse and the presence of any criminal activity.

Educational and healthcare needs will also play a key role in determining conservatorship (custody) arrangements. In particular, courts will look at whether a parent has the necessary resources to provide a high-quality education and medical care for their child. In some cases, a judge may even appoint an expert witness to assist in the evaluation process.

Another critical consideration for Fort Worth courts is a parent’s financial stability. This is because the noncustodial parent will typically be expected to contribute financially to a child’s upbringing through the payment of child support. A judge will consider each parent’s income and any extraordinary expenses that a child may have in order to arrive at an appropriate child support amount.

Lastly, a judge will consider the child’s preference. While this is not necessarily a major factor, the court will listen to any expressed wishes that a child has regarding their conservatorship arrangement and attempt to create an arrangement that is consistent with those preferences.

While it is always preferable to work out a custody agreement with the other parent, this may not always be possible. If a custody arrangement cannot be reached through mediation, then the court will hold a hearing to decide on a final parenting plan.

If you are facing a child custody battle or need to modify an existing agreement, a Fort Worth child custody attorney can provide you with valuable guidance and zealous advocacy. Contact our team to schedule a consultation today.

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