Let Us Help You Protect Your Family
If you are a parent going through a child custody matter, you are aware of how emotionally challenging and stressful it can be. You may be extremely worried about your child’s safety and future or you may be worried you are losing valuable time with your children. Attorney Kris Balekian Hayes been through the process herself and now help others navigate the often difficult and overwhelming process. At Balekian Hayes, PLLC, we have not forgotten that the most important thing we do is protect your family. We care about our clients, and we aggressively represent their wishes. We are a Dallas family law firm you can actually trust!
Your Children Are Our First Priority
As parents, that is what we will always put first in our lives. When you come in for your consultation, you will find that we listen closely to the details of the situation and will discuss what is in your child’s best interest. We will stay focused on what it is that you would like to accomplish and advise you based on the circumstances. We will help you through this chapter of your life and will work to make this process as smooth as it can be.
Child Custody Law In Texas
A child custody order, which can be in a Final Decree of Divorce or a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, can dictate when you spend time with your children (defined as possession and access). Since custody arrangements cannot generally be modified without showing a significant and material change in circumstances, it is imperative to get the arrangements right the first time.
Possession of your child means you can see the child in person and have the child in your care. Access means that you can interact with your child by some means.
In the state of Texas, it is presumed to be in the best interest of the child that the parents are named joint managing conservators. This does not dictate how much time you spend with the child but what are your rights and responsibilities as it pertains to your children. Usually, but not always, one parent has the right to designate the primary residence of the children, oftentimes referred to as the “primary parent.”
Your Rights And Duties As A Parent
Your parenting agreement should give you answers to critical questions and ensure your rights as a parent to contribute to your child’s health and participate in their medical decisions, your rights to teach your child about your faith and religion and your right to partake in your child’s education. It will also establish each parent’s duties with the child’s care, financial support, housing and more.
While in today’s day, courts are more often supporting a 50/50 possession schedule, the Texas Family Code presumes it is in the best interest of the children to have a primary parent and the nonprimary parent has a standard possession order (SPO). The standard possession order states as follows:
- Friday at 6:00 p.m. – Sunday at 6:00 p.m. (or your order may state from after school Friday until the child returns to school the following Monday)
- Thursdays 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. during school year or when the child’s school is regularly dismissed (elected by nonprimary parent)
- Designated Summer and Holidays schedules
- Weekends beginning on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Fridays of each month