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State Bar of Texas

How to File for Child Custody in Texas

Jerry W. Tidwell, Jr.
Child custody Texas

Divorce is always a difficult process, but when children are involved the emotional stakes are much higher. One of the most common questions our divorce attorneys receive is how to file for child custody in Texas?

Obtaining custody of your child requires a knowledgeable divorce attorney and quick action to ensure that you remain a significant part of your child’s life.

Call or contact an experienced Texas child custody attorney at the Tidwell Law Office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and your legal options for filing for child custody.

Steps for Filing for Child Custody

The first step in filing for child custody is hiring an experienced divorce attorney for your case. A lawyer will ensure that the proper paperwork is filled out on time and correctly. If the other parent wants to fight the custody request, your attorney will be in the best position possible to make the argument for your case.

The second step is filling out a “Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship” form (SAPCR). One the form is filed and fees paid, the other parent will receive notice that the petition has been submitted to the court. The other parent will have an opportunity to file a response to the petition, counterpetition, or file a denial with the court.

The third step in filing for child custody is collecting evidence to support your case for custody. This includes any documentation that proves it is in the best physical, emotional, financial, and psychological interests of the child if you maintain custody. Texas law provides a list of factors that the judge will look at when determining custody of your child, and documents like medical records, employment and financial records, police reports, and any other evidence that validates your argument is helpful for the case. This may also include getting affidavits and expert testimony from social workers and child psychologists about the best interests of the child.

Keep a journal of your interactions with your child, including making their meals, taking them to and from school, attending extracurriculars for your child, taking your child to the doctor, and any other interactions that show why you should have custody.

Once the judge has all the evidence from both parents, she will review the arguments from both sides and made a decision. In Texas, the usual presumption is that the parents should share joint custody of a child unless shown otherwise. A parent can be awarded sole or joint custody that includes legal and physical custody of the child. The non-custodial parent may be awarded visitation rights, and depending on how much time the child will spend with that parent, some legal custody rights, as well.

Contact The Tidwell Law Firm Today

If you have additional questions about filing for child custody in Texas, our office is here to help.

Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled divorce attorneys to discuss your legal options in your case.

Client Reviews

I needed legal advice for a child custody dispute and had spoken with a few lawyers in order to gauge expenses and commitment requirements for legal action. Most of the lawyers I spoke with heard my situation and dismissed it going to be easy. One of the larger law groups not taking clients referred...

William C.

I used Jerry Tidwell as the representing lawyer for two family law cases: my divorce and subsequent modification to child possession schedule. In each situation, Jerry took the time to listen to my concerns, care-abouts, and the facts of the matter – helping me formulate a plan going into mediation...

Karl Y.

Having to deal with the complex world of criminal cases, you will need the best legal representation on your side. Attorney Jerry Tidwell Jr. is that lawyer who knows his craft and always on the side of truth, justice, and fair play. Our family is so blessed to have him as our counsel in the most...

Joseph B.

Jerry has been amazing to work with and fights for you in every legal way possible while being completely open and honest throughout the entire process. I highly recommend Jerry for any legal matter you may face. If Jerry feels your case may require additional council, he will tell you straight and...

Charles J.
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