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2703 Center Street, Deer Park, Texas 77536

Deer Park Parenting Time Attorney

Texas child custody lawyer helps to draft visitation schedules

Parents who live apart because of separation, divorce or the fact that they never married should make the well-being of their sons and daughters their top priority. At The Law Office of Shelly A. Merchant, we are Deer Park parenting time attorneys who take steps to establish a custody and visitation framework that maintains strong parent-child bonds. Our personalized approach to family law matters gives us the ability to create a schedule that fairly addresses residence, transportation, holidays, school vacations and other factors that affect parenting time.

Creating an effective parenting plan that works for you

Establishing a clear, comprehensive parenting plan is critical as children and parents go through a major life transition. An overall parenting plan includes terms relating to conservatorship and parenting time. Conservatorship, sometimes referred to as legal custody, is the authority that mothers and fathers have to make decisions regarding their son or daughter’s health, welfare and upbringing. Often, a joint managing conservatorship is established so that both parents can participate in important matters involving their children regardless of the living arrangements. The other part of a parenting plan refers to the time the youth spends with each parent. If one parent has primary residential custody, the other will usually have access and possession rights, which many people call visitation. Our Deer Park family law attorneys take great care to develop parenting time plans.

Factors influencing child custody decisions in Texas

Judges who are reviewing parenting time plans and other child custody matters must make their decisions based on what is in the youth’s best interests. Any pertinent information can be considered, but common factors in these cases include the following:

  • The parental abilities of each parent
  • The child’s physical and emotional needs
  • The child’s preference (if he or she is old enough to make a mature decision)
  • The stability of each home

Along with these standard factors, your parenting time matter might also require attention be paid to your work schedules, your child’s outside interests, the quality of schools where each parent lives and the transportation required to ferry your child between homes. By working closely with each client, our lawyers can propose parenting time arrangements that are tailored to your circumstances.

Types of custody arrangements in Texas and how they affect parenting time

Parents who live near each other might share physical custody, with the child spending substantial time in each home. In these situations, parenting time arrangements could involve frequent trips from one residence to the other based on the child’s school schedule and extracurricular activities, along with the parents’ workplace and family responsibilities. With greater distance, it is more likely that one parent will have physical custody with visitation for the noncustodial parent on weekends and during school breaks. No matter the specific details, the overall goal is to establish a reliable, fair schedule based on the unique needs of everyone involved.

Modifying parenting time agreements in Texas

After parents break up, life goes on for everyone, and changes in circumstances might justify modifications to the parenting time schedule that was originally created. Often, former partners who communicate well can work out a revision on their own and submit it to the court for approval and incorporation into the parenting plan. However, there are also instances when parents disagree as to whether a proposed adjustment is truly in their child’s best interests, so the decision must be made by a judge. Our firm prepares petitions for modification and also represents Texans who oppose changing their existing parenting time arrangements.

Enforcing parenting time orders in Texas

You should not hesitate to obtain legal counsel if your co-parent is violating the parenting time schedule. We advocate for clients in proceedings to enforce orders in Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship and also negotiate revisions to parenting plans if a party is no longer able to abide by the schedule due to unforeseen circumstances.

Contact a dedicated Texas parenting time lawyer for a consultation

The Law Office of Shelly A. Merchant represents Texas clients in negotiations and legal proceedings relating to parenting time. To schedule a consultation at our Deer Park office, please call 281-817-0998 or contact us online.