Compassionate Advocacy for You and Your Children

Whether as part of a divorce or the separation of non-married parents, a child custody dispute is difficult for everyone involved. The stakes of a custody dispute can be far-reaching and can affect you, your children, and their other parent for decades.

As a child custody attorney in Tyler, TX, David Chilek has helped dozens of parents negotiate or litigate a successful possession schedule. Each situation is unique, and David takes a crafted approach to each case, accounting for each parent and the children who the agreement affects.

Ensuring an equitable custody arrangement is fundamental to your child’s growth. You want an experienced family law attorney helping you negotiate the best agreement.

Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation with David to discuss you, your child, and their other parent.

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Defining Custody in Texas

In the state of Texas, there are two factors to consider when determining custody of a minor child. The combination of these factors forms the basis for a custody agreement.

  • Conservatorship

    In a custody arrangement, conservatorship determines who the decision-maker is in regard to the child. This means that this person is responsible for making medical, educational, religious instruction, and other aspects of the child’s life.

    In instances where both parents are present, courts traditionally award what’s known as “Joint Managing Conservatorship.” Both parents are part of the decision-making process, and the court expects them to discuss and agree on how best to raise the child.

  • Access & Possession

    Access & possession is what people typically think of when they think about “child custody.” It constitutes when and in what circumstances a parent is with the child. This aspect of custody can be wildly different from couple to couple. Everything depends on their unique situation.

    Common possession schedules include a 50/50 arrangement, where the child is with each parent half the time on a set schedule or otherwise. Others include the custodial parents having the child during the week, with the non-custodial parent getting visitation on some or all weekends.

  • How the Courts Determine Custody in Texas

    In order to determine custody, Texas courts are required to determine what’s in the best interest of the child. What this means can vary from judge to judge, however.

    Generally speaking, judges will consider:

    • The child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs
    • The child’s safety and situation at the caregiver’s home
    • Cooperation between the two parents
    • Who the primary caregiver has been in the past
    • Keeping siblings together
    • The child’s preferred caregiver if they are over 12 years of age

    Courts may use other factors to determine the best interest of the child. In hotly contested custody cases, the court may appoint an amicus attorney to represent the child’s interests and find the best custody arrangement for them.

  • How Custody & Child Support are Related

    Child support and child custody are two sides of the same coin. They’re both related to each other, and when you determine one, you’ll likely determine the other.

    Increasingly, courts are opting for parents to split custody 50/50. This means that paying or receiving child support is no longer a given during a breakup or divorce.

    If one parent has the child less than 50% of the time, that parent will most likely be ordered to pay child support. The amount is based on income and assets.

    If the parents have a single child together, the non-custodial parent will pay 20% of the income to the custodial parent as child support until that child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever happens last.

    If the two share more children, the percentage goes up and slowly decreases over time as children graduate or turn 18 years old.

Dedicated to Advocating for Your Child’s Welfare

As your child custody lawyer, David Chilek is dedicated to providing you with the best possible outcome for your case–and your child. If you’re trying to hammer out custody, an experienced mediator and litigator like David can help.

Contact our offices to schedule an in-depth child custody consultation. You know what’s best for your child, and our team can help ensure that you get that.