San Antonio Legal Custody Lawyers
Legal custody is the term courts use in reference to the parent or guardian who can make decisions about the child (or children) in common, everyday matters such as: education, receipt of child support, receipt of disability as payee for the child, and healthcare, to name a few. Legal custody is usually one half of the coin in custody arrangements, where physical custody is the other half. While it is possible for one parent or guardian to have both, it is often the case that one parent/guardian is given legal custody and the other is granted physical custody. The rare occasion a parent or guardian is granted with both is usually when a co-parent’s rights are terminated. This is relatively rare, as many courts do not wish to break up families or terminate parental rights without good cause. Given that termination of parental rights is rare, it is important for parents or co-guardians to distinguish between the types of custody and attempt agreement on who is best for each role.
If parents cannot decide or reach an agreement, then the court will make these decisions on a case by case basis and with consideration toward the best interests of the child. This is a broad standard and, as such, can involve many variables. Preparing a custody case without a San Antonio legal custody attorney can be detrimental to your family. Many self-represented litigants lack adequate knowledge of custody laws, court procedures, and judges’ preferences, which ultimately leads to undesirable results. These result then lead to future, costly litigation to modify orders to obtain the type of custody originally desired.
Why Choose Us?
Because of the many variables presented in this area of law, it is important to have someone on your side who knows how to balance the interests of the client and the child (or children) to achieve the best result possible for every party involved. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. we are committed to using our expertise and skilled case-handling to address your concerns and obtain the right type of custody arrangement for you and your family. Our history of successfully serving our clients and their needs while also navigating the complex court system and legal issues addressed in custody cases makes Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. the best choice in the San Antonio and South Texas region to handle your custody issues.
What Rights Come With Legal Custody?
Legal custody comes with many responsibilities and rights that physical custody does not. The following are usually the rights the parent granted legal custody are afforded:
- The ability to determine the primary residence of the child.
- The capacity to receive child support and any earnings for the child or children, whether the earnings are income from a job, disability, gifts from other family members, etc.
- The right to designate the education of the child or children.
- The ability to make decisions regarding medical services including, but not limited to, dental work, surgeries – invasive and noninvasive, psychiatric care, and annual check-ups.
- The ability to serve as a representative and agent for the child in legal matters as well as any action involving the child’s estate.
- The right to consent to marriage and enlistment into the armed forces of the child or children.
Courts weigh many characteristics of each parent when determining which parent should be granted legal custody. Given the many responsibilities that come with legal custody, it is of the utmost importance to make sure you represent yourself well in and out of court and that you can demonstrate the level of responsibility needed to effectuate legal custody rights. An attorney can help you with this and with determining whether legal custody is right for you and your child. Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. has the talent and know-how to assist you in these big issues and one of our skilled attorneys would love to talk with you about your case by calling (210) 349-9933.
How Do I Change My Current Orders to Be Granted Legal Custody?
Sometimes parents go to court too soon, sign orders without understanding them, or follow whatever possession order comes with their child support orders, not thinking twice about who was given what rights, what that means, and how long those rights last. If you received physical custody of your child, but want more rights, it is possible to change your orders and have the custody rights you feel are right for your family.
Often a court will not change orders that have not been in effect for two or more years unless a showing of a substantial material change in circumstances is made. This can be anything from a move across the state to allegations of abuse, bad habits, or reckless behavior of the other parent. Even if your orders have been in place for two or more years, the court will still want to see evidence and reasoning for changing the status quo of the custody arrangement. This can be very difficult if you do not know what to expect in court or what variables to consider and address in court to obtain the desired result. This is where having an attorney in your corner is an asset in navigating the murky waters of child custody suits.
Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. has the experience you need to effectively represent your interests and help you achieve a family dynamic that is in the best interests of your child (or children). While many people try to represent themselves in family court or work things out with their co-parent in an informal way, many aspects of law get overlooked when this happens. People do not often hold up their end of the bargain when an informal agreement is made and self-represented individuals do not always know the intricacies of the law well enough to achieve their intended goals. Choosing an attorney is a big step, but in the long run will reward you with the best results for you and your family. The attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. have experience working with various families and family dynamics, achieving the best results for each family possible. Call (210) 349-9933 today to schedule a consultation and talk about your case. From the most of difficult family dynamics to the most amenable, Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. is here for you to protect and preserve you and your child or children’s best interests.