Divorce and other legal proceedings that involve children can often be contentious. At the Vaught Law Firm, we encourage parents to always put the needs of children first when involved in a divorce, paternity proceeding or other contested family law matter.

Parents who are no longer together often have difficulties agreeing about who should have custody of their children. When parents cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements, the court must step in and decide. Parents should be aware of some mistakes that may harm their chances when seeking custody of their children and how the Texas courts decide child custody cases.

Determining Child Custody in Texas

The court’s primary concern in child custody matters is the best interest of the child. The court has great discretion when making custody determinations, but case law has laid out the specific factors judges should consider when making custody determinations in Texas, including:

  • The child’s wishes
  • The current and future emotional and physical needs of the child
  • Any current or future emotional and physical danger to the child
  • The parenting abilities of each parent
  • The programs available to assist each parent to promote the best interest of the child
  • The plans for the child by each parent
  • The stability of the proposed home
  • The acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate parental unfitness, and any explanations for such acts or omissions

Custody battles are often contentious and can be complex because the court considers so many factors when making decisions in these cases. If you are having issues with child custody, consult an experienced child custody attorney who can advise you of your options.

Helping Your Family Work Through Child Custody

Through communication, mediation, collaborative law and other creative means of dispute resolution, we have helped many clients protect their parental rights, while resolving divorce and family law cases amicably. When disputes are not resolved by agreement, attorneys Jimmy Vaught, Leigh de la Reza and Lisa Stewart have the trial experience necessary to act as powerful advocates in the courtroom.

We Advocate for Your Family

Jimmy Vaught — a board-certified* attorney with decades of legal experience — his partner Leigh de la Reza — also board-certified** with a decade of experience — and their associate Lisa Stewart with 15 years of legal practice represent clients in a wide range of family law matters that affect parental rights and financial support for children, including:

Losing Custody Battles

Some parents make mistakes that end up costing them dearly in custody battles. Some of the more common things that parents do, or fail to do, that have a detrimental impact on their chances of gaining custody of their children include:

Not being a child’s primary caretaker
When a parent does not prepare meals for the child, help the child dress and bathe, help the child with homework and attend to other daily caretaking activities, it tells a judge that the parent may not want to care for the child.

Not being involved in the child’s schooling and activities
When a person does not attend school conferences, supervise play dates or attend sporting events, it suggests that the other parent is the child’s primary caretaker.

Not seeking help for chemical dependency or other parental fitness issues
Having a mental health issue or chemical dependency problem is not a total barrier to child custody, but the court will not consider a parent capable of caring for a child if he or she is not addressing the problems.

Denigrating the other parent
The court often considers how well each parent will foster the parent-child relationship between the other parent and the child when making custody decisions, and parents who deprecate the other parent show the judge they will not do so.

You can rely on the Vaught Law Firm to provide the experienced representation you require. We handle contested and uncontested divorces as well as collaborative law divorces. When disputes arise after a divorce, we can provide experienced representation in a modification proceeding.

Let’s Discuss Your Parental Rights

Call us at 512-342-9980 or contact us by e-mail to schedule a confidential consultation with a lawyer in our Austin office.