Child Custody And SupportBuilding a Bridge to Your Future
When the relationship between two parents is ending, a parent may be worried about how the end of that relationship will impact their day-to-day contact and involvement with their child.
How Will Decisions About Custody Be Made?
Under Texas Family Code Section 153.002, the best interest of the child is the court’s primary consideration in deciding issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to a child. The Texas Supreme Court has identified some factors a court can consider when deciding what is in the child’s best interest. These factors fall within three broad categories: (1) caring for the child, (2) maintaining family relationships, and (3) parental fitness.
Determining how the facts of your case align with the best interest factors the court will be weighing is where the advice of an experience family law attorney is crucial to the success of your case. Before your meeting with Kathryn to discuss your custody case, you should be prepared to discuss the following:
- The physical and emotional needs of your child
- Whether either parent poses a physical or emotional danger
- The stability of each parent’s home
- Each parent’s plans for the child
- The amount of cooperation between parents
- The parenting skills of each parent
- The child’s primary caregiver before the relationship ended
- The child’s preference
- Where the parents reside in relation to each other
- The interest of keeping siblings together
- Whether each parent would promote the relationship between the child and the other parent
- The fitness of each parent (is there drug or alcohol abuse or has the child been exposed to sexual conduct by a parent)
Some factors that the court is not permitted to consider in making decisions regarding conservatorship and possession of and access to a child are a parent’s marital status, gender, race or religion (with the exception of illegal, immoral or harmful religious beliefs).
The foregoing does not constitute legal advice. Each custody case depends upon the particular facts of that case. For a confidential evaluation of your child custody matter, please call Kathryn at 469-366-3311 or submit the form on this page to schedule a consultation.
Determining Child Support
Generally speaking, child support is payable for a child until the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. Exceptions to this rule include events which remove the disabilities of minority, such as marriage, enlistment in the armed forces, death of the child, or court order removing the disabilities of minority. In addition, child support may be ordered beyond a child’s 18th birthday if the child requires substantial care and supervision because of a physical or mental disability.
Child support is typically paid monthly by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent through the state child support disbursement unit. In most cases, the amount of child support to be paid is based on guidelines set forth in the Texas Family Code that consider the income of the non-custodial parent after deductions for social security taxes, federal income tax, state income tax (if applicable), union dues, and the amount of the health insurance premium to insure the parties’ child. In certain circumstances the court may order monthly child support payments above the amount established by the guidelines.
The foregoing does not constitute legal advice. Each child support case depends upon the particular facts of that case. To determine how the Texas child support guidelines apply to your case and to determine whether you may be eligible to pay or receive above-guideline child support, please call Kathryn at 469-366-3311 or submit the form on this page to schedule a confidential consultation.
Collin and Denton County Child Custody Lawyer
When you work with family law attorney Kathryn Lanigan Pruitt, your child custody and support case is in caring, skilled hands. Kathryn has been a lawyer for more than 25 years and has devoted herself fully to family law since 2004. Kathryn commits to helping her clients negotiate a workable solution to their custody and child support matters whenever possible. She believes that the parents are often in a better position than the judge to determine what is in their child’s best interest and what will be mutually beneficial.
Of course, not all custody and child support disputes can be settled outside of court. If you and your child’s other parent cannot reach an agreement through negotiation or mediation, Kathryn is an accomplished litigator who will zealously advocate for your rights and your child’s rights in court.
Whether you plan to pay child support or receive it, Kathryn Lanigan Pruitt is passionate about protecting her clients’ rights. Call 469-366-3311 or submit the form on this page to schedule a consultation. She is conveniently located in Plano and works with clients in Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Little Elm, Lewisville, Denton, McKinney, Allen, Dallas and throughout the Metroplex.
To schedule a consultation with Kathryn in her Plano office please click the link on this page.
Kathryn Lanigan Pruitt