Child Custody

Arlington attorney provides personalized services in child custody, visitation, and support

Determining Child Custody

The court seeks to limit the trauma and distress children experience because of their parents’ separation and divorce. In determining custody, the court looks carefully at a family’s circumstances and strives to rule in the children’s best interest. If the parents are at odds over custody, the court may ask them to undergo a social study in which a psychologist or professional counselor examines conditions in their home. The court also may require parents to undergo mental health exams that would suggest which parent is best suited to be the main caregiver or “managing conservator” of the children. A judge could also order parents to take a class to learn about their responsibilities as divorced parents. The judge will use all of the information collected to determine whether one or both parents will have custody of the children. If you are in a custody dispute now, or foresee that such a battle may occur once you file for divorce, you should seek a knowledgeable attorney to advise you. Stephanie Foster has represented clients in Tarrant County Family Courts for more than 17 years.

Drafting a visitation plan: Access Facilitation/Parenting Time

In a typical divorce, the standard possession order is presumed to be in the best interest of the child. However, the Foster Law Firm also can help parents who would like to negotiate an agreement that deviates from the norm. Stephanie Foster is an experienced negotiator who helps her clients in reaching agreements that facilitate their parenting time and access to the children. For example, in cases where a parent works an unusual shift or travels long distances to pick up or drop off their children, the attorney drafts an agreement that is workable for both parties. The existence of a well-crafted, personalized visitation and access plan can potentially ease the stress felt by both adults and children who follow a visitation schedule. Such a plan for access facilitation and parenting time helps eliminate misunderstandings and miscommunication by the parents and improves the quality time a parent is able to spend with their children.

Meeting parental obligations: Child Support

State law dictates the amount of child support a non-custodial parent provides to meet the needs of his or her children. That amount usually is a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. If special circumstances exist, however, a judge might deviate from the child support guidelines written in the Texas Family Code. As a party in such a case, you likely would benefit from the advice of an attorney. Child support payments typically last until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever date is later. As the agency charged with enforcing child support orders, the Texas Attorney General’s Office has the power to garnish the wages of a non-custodial parent and forward those payments to the custodial parent.

The Law Offices of Stephanie A. Foster, P.C. assists residents of Arlington, Bedford, Southlake, Keller and Mansfield in obtaining child custody, child support and child visitation orders that meet their specific family needs. Stephanie Foster helps families draft workable plans for access facilitation and parenting time. If you have any questions regarding custody issues that are often associated with divorce, contact the skilled child custody attorney in Arlington, Texas at the Foster Law Firm at 817-277-2805.