FAMILY & DIVORCE LAWYER

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Sugar Land Child Custody Lawyer

Resolving Disputes with Care & Compassion in Texas

Determining child custody is one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce where children are involved. Disputes over who will get custody can be emotionally charged and difficult to resolve without the help of a skilled lawyer. Sugar Land child custody attorney Kara Egwuatu has over 10 years of experience helping Texans find favorable resolutions to child custody matters. At The Law Office of Kara K. Egwuatu, PLLC, we understand the hardship you are facing – we can stand by your side, fighting for you and your child’s best interests.

Contact us online or call (281) 606-5188 to get started on your case with a free initial consultation.

Types of Custody

There are two types of custody a parent can be granted: Physical and legal.

Legal Custody

This is when a parent has the responsibility to make important life decisions on behalf of the child. Decisions such as education, medical, religious activities, extracurricular activities fall under the realm of legal custody.

Physical Custody

On the other hand, physical custody refers to who the child or children will live with.

Custody can either be shared by the two parents or held solely by one, otherwise known as joint custody and sole custody. If one parent has sole physical custody, then the other parent will often be granted visitation rights.

Child custody may be awarded:

  • Through a custody proceeding
  • During filings for divorce or legal separation
  • In paternity or domestic abuse actions
  • When the child lives with a third party such as a grandparent or legal guardian

Regardless of your situation, our Fort Bend County child custody attorney can assess your situation and determine the best strategy moving forward. Our priority is to find a solution that protects your rights and ensures a safe, loving environment for your children. Whether we can come to this solution through negotiations outside of the courtroom or have to bring your case to a family law court, we are prepared to stick by your side from start to finish.

Child Custody Modifications

Should you or your child’s situation or needs change in some capacity, it may be possible to amend your existing child custody agreement. Though you and your partner can come to an agreement outside of court, you will need court approval to put any changes into place.

You may be granted a modification if:

  • One parent’s income changes (such as job loss or a promotion)
  • One parent needs to relocate
  • The child’s health or education needs dictate a need for custody changes

Third-Party Custody

In some cases, third-party custody may be granted. Third-party custody could be held by a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or some other person who is committed to protecting the health and future of the child. If you are seeking custody of a grandchild or any minor who is not your own child, The Law Office of Kara K. Egwuatu, PLLC can help.

We look forward to helping you resolve your child custody dispute. Contact us at (281) 606-5188 today to request a free consultation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers To Your Most Commonly Asked Questions

The right place where you cand find the answers to your questions regarding family law

When you are separated and not divorcing, when you are divorcing or when a paternity or legitimation suit has been filed.

Except in the extreme circumstances (which must be discussed with an attorney), each party will have certain legal rights as a parent. The legal rights of each parent do not determine how much time that the parent will have with the child. Some legal rights may belong to both parents at all times (such as the right to consult with the child’s schools or doctors); some legal rights may belong to both parents and apply when the child is with them (such as the right to discipline the child or provide routine medical care); and some legal rights will be given to only one parent (such as the right to say where the child will live or to consent to surgery that is not an emergency.) In some cases the Court may determine where the child will live (i.e., Harris County) or what school the child will attend. Aside from the legal rights, each parent will have specific time either agreed upon or set out by the Court when the child will be with them.

Not necessarily. Joint Managing Conservatorship (the Texas legal term for powers with regard to children) is about legal rights, duties, powers, privileges. The possession of the children is a matter that should be discussed at length with an attorney.

Yes. It is now the preference in Texas. However there can also be orders naming a sole managing conservator and a possessory conservator instead of Joint Managing Conservators. The specifics should be discussed with an attorney.

More than likely, your child will live the majority of the time with the parent who is given the legal right to determine where the child lives. That person is called the Joint Managing Conservator with the rights to determine the residence of the child. The other parent is also called the Joint Managing Conservator, or, in some circumstances, the Possessory Conservator.

Child-support will be discussed later on in this section, but generally answer is “no.”

Generally, “not”. No matter what the custody arrangement is called, the Court’s goal is to keep the child in a stable environment while encouraging a relationship with both parents. There are guidelines for visitation between each parent and the child which make provisions for weekends, spring break, Father’s day, Mother’s day, summer, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The times with the child are shared, especially during the holidays. There are guidelines for visitation if the parties live within 100 miles of each other and another set of guidelines if the parties live over 100 miles from each other. The second set of guidelines is sometimes called “long distance visitation” and give extra time at spring break and in the summer for the parent receiving visitation. These parties can always make their own agreement about visitation. The Court will order specific times in case the parties cannot agree. The Court will make provisions for visitation if the parent visiting and the child lives within 100 miles or outside 100 miles from one another. The basic difference is that, outside of 100 miles, the visiting parent gets every spring break and more time in the summer and special provisions are made for weekends. The specifics should be discussed with an attorney.

If the Court has restricted the area where the child can live and you have to move outside that area, you must receive permission from the Court first or reach an agreement with the other parent. If the Court has not restricted where the child can live, you may move after giving notice to the other parent. If you move more that 100 miles away, the “long distance” visitation may take effect. If you are the “primary” parent and you move outside the area where you lived at the time of the order, you will be required to pick up the child at the end of each visitation period at the other parent’s home. If it is too far to drive, you will be required to pay for the airline or bus ticket for the child. If the child is under a certain age, you may also be required to pay for the cost of the transportation of the adult who will have to accompany the child.

Child support is generally set out according to a formula. The specifics should be discussed with an attorney. Under Texas law, child support is presumed to be proper if set at the following percentages:

20% of net resources for 1 child;
25% of net resources for 2 children;
30% of net resources for 3 children;
35% of net resources for 4 children;
40% of net resources for 5 children;
Not less than 40% for 6 or more children.

Net resources include salary, commission, overtime, tips, bonuses, dividend income, self-employment income, net rental income, severance pay, retirement benefits, pensions, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, unemployment benefits, interest income, gifts, prizes, spousal maintenance, and alimony. In determining net resources, the Court shall take the total amount of the money received from the sources set out above and deduct social security taxes, federal taxes using only one deduction, state income tax, union dues, and the cost of the child’s health insurance. The Court will consider if the person paying the support has other children to support and may consider other factors, which should be discussed with an attorney. The person paying the child support will also probably be ordered to provide health insurance and pay some portion of the medical costs that are not paid by the insurance company. Net resources in excess of $6,000 may be excluded from consideration.

It will be ordered to be paid monthly according to the payment schedule of the payor. Unless the parties agree or the Court finds a good reason not to, the child support will be deducted from the salary of the person paying support.

You can ask the Court for help in enforcing the order. That will be discussed in another section of this FAQ section.

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