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Custody Laws

Houston Custody Laws

The Houston law firm of Robert Reid McInvale helps clients understand custody laws in order to better anticipate the outcome of their custodial situation. Child custody is a hot-button issue for divorcing parents and the law that governs who gets custody under what situations can be difficult to understand. A compassionate attorney can make it easier.

The official policy of Texas is intended to assure that the child has frequent contact with both parents (providing each has the ability to act in the best interests of the child), provide a safe, stable environment for the child, and encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child even after their marriage has ended.

Here are a few relevant legal terms you should know:

  • Possessory conservator — used to describe the parent with physical custody of a child
  • Joint managing conservator — refers to a parent who has equal, or joint, custody of the child
  • Standard possession order — the legal guideline used to determine visitation rights by the parent not awarded physical custody

The law states that the court will consider the qualifications of the parents for sole managing conservatorship, joint managing conservatorship, physical possession of the child, and associated terms and conditions without regard to the parent’s marital status, gender, or the gender of the child. It should be noted that Texas law permits a child twelve (12) years of age or older to file a written request to the court stating the name of the parent or person the child prefers to have the exclusive right to designate his or her primary residence. This request is then subject to the approval of the court.

In order to avoid a court battle, parents may enter into a jointly agreed-upon, written plan that lays out the provisions for possession of the child and for modification of the parenting plan, if required, including variations from the standard possession order. If that plan is determined by the court to be in the child’s best interest, an order will be issued in accordance with the parenting plan. However, if the court disagrees, the parents have to either submit a revised parenting plan or the court will outright issue an order for possession of the child.

These are only some of the laws and legal definitions associated with the child custody decision-making process. Attorney Robert Reid McInvale can guide you through the “legalese” and assist you in understanding the laws regarding child custody in Texas.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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