Secure Your Relationship With Your Child
Your parent/child relationship is one of the most important in your life, and it is worth protecting. Whether you are going through a divorce, need to modify an existing agreement or trying to establish paternity, you need reliable, compassionate legal advice from a trusted attorney.
At Vela & Del Fierro, PLLC, Attorneys at Law, we understand how important this issue is to you and your entire family. Vela & Del Fierro, PLLC, has been serving divorce clients throughout Texas since 2005 with over 35 years of combined legal experience. Integrity and trust are the hallmarks of our approach to client service. We will be there for you through every step of this emotional time.
Benefits Of A Collaborative Approach
Texas law refers to custody and visitation as “possession” and “access.” Often, parents are granted joint custody, but the child spends more time physically with one parent over the other. Courts recognize that parents know their children best and are in a better position to decide on a child custody arrangement than the judge. They encourage couples to collaborate to create a custody and visitation schedule that works for their family and is best for their child.
We agree that creating your own arrangements is best for a number of reasons:
- You know your child and family situation best.
- An agreement gives you more control over the situation.
- An agreement saves time, money and the stress of a contested custody battle in court.
For example, you may agree that one parent should act as the custodial parent, and the noncustodial parent will have weekend and holiday visitation, with a longer summer visitation. Even if you and the other parent come to an agreement regarding custody, the judge must approve the agreement. If you cannot agree, the judge will have to make the decision for you. The judge has a lot of leeway under the law. In addition, you can ask the court to change the agreement in the future if your family’s situation changes.
What Does Best Interest Of The Child Mean?
When a Texas court decides a custody matter, the judge applies a “best interest of the child” standard. That means the judge makes his or her decision based on what is most beneficial to the child. Some of the factors considered include:
- The child’s preference, depending on age
- Each individual’s abilities to parent
- The child’s physical and emotional needs
- The stability of each home
- Any actions or inactions that may affect a parent’s suitability for custody
Our job is to persuade the court to apply these factors in your favor and protect the relationship you have with your child. Our extensive negotiation and courtroom experience mean we will fight for your rights at every turn.