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Pursuing Your Child's Best Interests

A suit affecting the parent-children relationship raises many vital questions. With whom will your child live? When will you have possession of your child? Who will get to decide how your child is raised? These questions need to be answered, and the answers may come through an agreement or, if necessary, after a trial. Sugar Land child custody and visitation attorney Chikeersha Puvvada will help you pursue a conservatorship and visitation order that creates a healthy environment for your child and preserves your role in your child's life, an order with the right answers.

Child Custody & Visitation FAQs

What is conservatorship?

For an explanation of the basics of conservatorship in Texas, read our article The Basics of Child Custody in Texas.

Can my child decide with which parent they will live?

Short answer is no. For a more detailed explanation, read our article What the Child Wants.

How do Courts decide who will get custody?

Courts will always look to the best interests of the child when deciding issues of conservatorship and possession. Courts have little limitation on what they can consider when determining the best interests of a child. Some usual factors Courts consider include: parenting ability and skills, parents' work schedules, physical and emotional needs of the child, home environments, safety of the child, each parent's plans for the child, each parent's history of involvement in the child's life, concerning behavior by a parent (criminal history, substance abuse, etc.), child's preference for children at least 12 years of age, and ability of parents to work together.

What is the standard visitation schedule in Texas?

Texas has a standard possession and visitation order that is presumed by law to be in the best interests of children. For the purpose of answering this frequently asked question, we're assuming both parents have been appointed as the conservators of the child. Also, when we use the term "non-custodial parent," we mean the parent with whom the child does not live.

Under the standard possession order, if the non-custodial parent lives within 100 miles of the primary residence of the child, the non-custodial parent has possession during: (1) the first, third and fifth weekends each month, starting Friday at 6pm and ending Sunday at 6pm, (2) from 6pm to 8pm every Thursday during the school year, (3) the child's spring vacation during even-numbered years, starting at 6pm on the day school is dismissed for vacation and ending at 6pm on the day before school resumes, and (4) 30 days in the summer.

If the non-custodial parent lives more than 100 miles from the primary residence of the child, the non-custodial parent has two options for possession under the standard possession order. Under the first option, the non-custodial parent has possession the first, third and fifth weekends each month, starting Friday at 6pm and ending Sunday at 6pm. Under the second alternative option, the non-custodial parent has possession one weekend per month, a weekend of the non-custodial parent's choice, provided the non-custodial parent notifies the custodial parent at least 14 days before the selected weekend. If the non-custodial parent prefers the second alternative option, then the non-custodial parent must select the alternative option by notifying the custodial parent within 90 days after the parents start living more than 100 miles from each other. The non-custodial parent also has possession during: (1) the child's spring vacation every year, starting at 6pm on the day school is dismissed for vacation and ending at 6pm on the day before school resumes, and (2) 42 days in the summer.

Under the standard possession order, there are certain holiday periods of possession that are unaffected by the distance between the non-custodial parent and the primary residence of the child. The non-custodial parent has possession of the child: (1) in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28; (2) in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after Christmas vacation; and (3) in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school before Thanksgiving and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday. Also, the parent not otherwise entitled under the standard possession order to possession of the child on the child's birthday gets possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. on that day, provided that the parent picks up the child from the residence of the parent entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place. The father has possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father's Day and ending on Father's Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if he is not otherwise entitled under the standard possession order to possession of the child, he picks up the child from the residence of the mother and returns the child to that same place. The mother has possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother's Day and ending on Mother's Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if she is not otherwise entitled under the standard possession order to possession of the child, she picks up the child from the residence of the father and returns the child to that same place.

How does visitation work in the summer?

For an explanation on how visitation works in the summer, read our article How Summer Possession Works.

Visit our FAQ section to learn more.

Our Top Articles on Child Custody & Visitation
What Not to Do in a Custody Case
October 14, 2016

child hiding under pillows
This article has a list of conduct that parents in a child custody case should avoid. Keep in mind that this list does not cover every type of conduct a parent should avoid in a child custody case. The common thread through this list is that these actions harm the child and are looked upon badly by most family court judges in Texas.

Read more...

Visitation for Children Three and Younger
February 20, 2015

Paper cut out of a family standing on yellow block letters that spell child custody
In this article, we discuss how Texas divorce courts draft visitation schedules for divorced parents when children under three years of age are involved.

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50/50 Possession Schedule
February 10, 2020

Paper cut out of a family standing on yellow block letters that spell child custody
While 50/50 possession schedules are not built into the Texas Family Code, they are still available to parents should a Court decide to adopt such a schedule and/or should the parents agree to such a schedule. This article reviews three common 50/50 possession schedules.

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"Chikeersha represented me and my son and did a wonderful job. Chikeersha communicates very well, is an honest hard worker, extremely courteous and professional, detail oriented. I value his advice."
-Jeffrey S. (client review)

If you need help with establishing child custody and visitation, contact child custody and visitation attorney Chikeersha Puvvada at 281-313-5300 or online today to schedule a consultation. Due to the "Stay Home to Save Lives" order issued in Fort Bend County on March 24, 2020, our office will only be available by phone and teleconference until April 4, 2020.

Main Office:

19855 Southwest Freeway
Suite 330
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Tel. (281) 313-5300
Fax (866) 561-5068
cpuvvada@puvvadalaw.com

The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer-client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Chikeersha Puvvada is responsible for the content of this site.

Chikeersha Puvvada is admitted to practice law in the following states only: Texas, New Jersey.

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