Disputes related to the custody of a minor child can be one of the most contentious issues during a divorce. These arguments could also arise between unmarried parents who cannot reach an agreement regarding custody on their own. In either case, a skilled family law attorney might be able to help.

If you are dealing with a custody disagreement, having the right legal counsel could make a tremendous difference in your case. You have rights as a parent, but you could lose them if you fail to properly protect them during the legal process. A Wells Branch child custody lawyer at Angela Faye Brown & Associates could help ensure those rights are protected and enforced in court.

Understanding Child Custody Terms in Wells Branch

Unlike many other jurisdictions, the courts rely on different terminology for child custody in Wells Branch. According to the local law, the courts instead refer to legal classifications known as “conservatorship” and “possession and access.” A Wells Branch child custody attorney could help explain the distinctions between these classifications.

Conservatorship

The term “conservatorship” refers to a parent’s right to make important legal decisions on behalf of the child. This involves decisions regarding a child’s medical care, educational options, and religious upbringing. This is known as managing conservatorship.

There is a second type of conservatorship known as possessory conservatorship. Known as physical custody in other jurisdictions, this type of conservatorship involves where the minor child will live.

Possession and Access

Possession and access describe what is normally referred to as visitation. Under the law, a parent could have access to their minor child even if they are not granted conservatorship by the court.

Do Children Get a Say in Custody Disputes?

Children often have a lot to say about the prospect of their conservatorship. Many children even have strong preferences on which parent they wish to live with. In some cases, the court could give weight to the child’s preference on these matters. However, the judge is not required to give deference to a minor child when deciding issues of conservatorship, possession, and access. A child custody lawyer in Wells Branch could answer further questions about the role a child can play in this process.

It is important to note that not every child will be heard on matters of custody. The court is only obligated to consider the wishes of a child when they reach the age of 12. At that age, a child may give their opinion regarding their living arrangement, but the judge retains the final say in the matter. Children under the age of 12 do not have a right to be heard, and children 18 and over are adults and can decide where to live on their own.

When a judge chooses to hear from a minor child, the law requires that they do so alone. This is intended to allow the child to give their honest opinion without facing pressure from either parent.

Learn How a Wells Branch Child Custody Attorney Could Help

Issues of child custody can be emotional for all parties involved. If you find yourself facing a custody dispute, it is vital that you discuss your options with knowledgeable legal counsel right away.

A Wells Branch child custody lawyer at Angela Faye Brown & Associates could review the circumstances of your case and help you understand what to expect moving forward. Call for a private consultation today.