San Antonio Child Custody and Support
Whether you’re in a custody battle as an unmarried parent or going through a divorce, your right to have and maintain a stable and healthy relationship with your precious child is on the line. This is why you must discuss your specific situation as soon as possible with an attorney to help protect your parental rights.
At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, our compassionate and dedicated San Antonio child custody and support attorneys will guide you through all the legal steps of your case to ensure that you understand your rights and options.
Our skilled and committed attorneys have represented families from San Antonio and surrounding areas in various issues related to child support and custody. We also offer comprehensive and aggressive legal representation for child custody and support matters that overlap with criminal law.
Types of Cases Our San Antonio Child Custody and Support Attorneys Handle
Issues concerning child support and custody are usually emotionally charged for everyone involved. Our San Antonio child custody and support attorneys routinely work with parents involved in disputes to gain or maintain custody of their children, providing the necessary guidance and assistance at every stage of the case. At Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, we assist clients in resolving the following cases:
- Determining child custody
- Custody battles between unmarried parents, divorcing parents, and those looking to dissolve their domestic partnership
- Child support issues, such as modification
- Modifications to current child custody orders, such as changing the visitation schedule
- Enforcing child support and custody orders
- Child Protective Services (CPS) Defense
- Grandparents’ rights
- Military parents
- Family violence and other issues related to child abuse
- Incarcerated parents
Child Custody In Texas
In Texas, there are two categories of child custody issues. The first category is conservatorship or legal custody. The second category includes possession or physical custody and access or visitation. Conservatorship refers to the responsibilities and rights of the parents, such as making decisions for their child’s schooling, medical treatments, and psychiatric services, among others.
Conservatorship can be implemented in two ways, either by letting one parent make all the decisions or letting both parents make decisions jointly. When the court is determining the parent’s responsibilities and rights to decide whether to award sole or joint conservatorship, they will consider a wide variety of factors to determine which conservatorship option is in the child’s best interests.
For example, the court may award one parent sole custody if they determine that the decision-making ability of the other parent is compromised due to untreated drug or alcohol abuse or if there’s a history of child abuse or family violence.
Possession and access indicate when a parent can have physical custody of a child and when they can visit the child. The Texas Family Code provides two schedules for access and possession, which mandates the specific time a parent can spend with their child. These schedules are called standard and extended standards.
It’s important to note that the parents can agree on a different schedule, which the court must approve, or the court can create a possession and access schedule order based on the child’s best interests.
Child Support in Texas
Whether or not you may receive or pay child support will depend on what the court decides to be in your child’s best interests. When determining your child’s best interests, it will review evidence related to a broad range of factors, such as:
- Stability of the home environment
- Plans for the child
- Emotional and physical needs
- Emotional and physical danger
- The parents’ relationship and willingness to co-parent amicably
- Parenting skills
- The primary caregiver of the child
- If siblings are involved, their geographic proximity to each other
- Any history or report of family violence, whether proven or falsely reported
- Each parent’s physical and emotional health
In most cases, the court awards child support to the parent who has physical custody of the child, which is usually the child’s main caregiver. This is especially true in cases where the child is younger, disabled, or requires special accommodations.
What You Should Know About The Link Between Criminal Law and Family Law
Sadly, divorce, the breakdown of relationships between parents, and disagreements about custody or support orders, sometimes require the application of criminal law to child custody and support cases. When you find yourself in the family law and criminal law systems, it adds an extra layer of pressure and complexity to your case.
Allegations of family violence and child abuse must be taken seriously. The child must be swiftly taken out of the custody of a parent who’s been accused of neglect, abuse, or any kind of maltreatment. The same applies to cases involving substance abuse, whether in the non-custodial or custodial home. If your child’s other parent is accusing you of abuse, our San Antonio child custody and support attorneys can fight for your right to be heard and maintain your parental rights.
Ultimately, when faced with any family law issue that involves criminal charges, you need to work with an attorney with ample experience in both areas. Not every attorney is proficient in both types of cases, but our San Antonio custody lawyers know what it takes to uphold your rights and clear your name.
Child Custody and Support FAQs
How do I get a child custody order?
Conservatorship or custody can be agreed upon by both parents and approved by the court. The court can also create a custody order during a divorce case, paternity case, or suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) case or as part of a protective order case.
What is a SAPCR case?
A SAPCR case involves requesting the court to make an order for child custody, support, visitation, or dental and medical support for the child.
How much is child support in Texas?
Texas courts utilize a standard formula for calculating child support amounts. They take the income of the noncustodial parent and deduct Social Security taxes and other payments that go toward the child’s health insurance premiums. They then take a specific percentage of the income that’s left according to the number of children that require child support, such as:
- 20% for one child
- 25% for two children
- 30% for three children
- 35% for four children
- 40% for five children
If six or more kids need support, the amount will exceed 40%. In addition, parents required to pay child support for multiple households will be subject to additional regulations.
How do I modify an existing order for custody, support, visitation, or medical support?
You can file a modification case to request the court to modify any of these orders. However, it’s crucial to note that you must continue following an existing order until the court modifies it, and the new order takes effect. Or else, you will be in violation of the court’s orders and may be held in contempt. Likewise, unless you meet particular legal requirements, you must wait for at least one year before you can go back to court and ask for the modification of a custody order.
Can my child decide which parent they want to live with?
While family courts will always consider the child’s best interests when determining child custody matters, a child’s wishes, or preferences can’t be the main deciding factor. But if the child is 12 years old or older, they will hear the child’s wishes regarding which parent they want to live with.
How should I deal with the CPS?
Whenever the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) is involved, talk to an attorney right away. The CPS investigates the charges and allegations of child neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and unfortunately, CPS investigations typically result in devastating outcomes for many families. Our Sans Antonio child custody and support attorney can review your case and advise you on the most appropriate actions moving forward.
How long do child support payments last?
Child support payments normally last until the child graduates from high school or turns 18, whichever happens later. But if the child has a physical or mental disability, support payments will continue for as long as the child needs them. Also, back payments must be paid in full.
It’s also important to note that child support payments may impact a child’s eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits. An attorney can help you create a special needs trust instead of child support, depending on your circumstances.
Find Out What Our Seasoned San Antonio Child Custody and Support Attorneys Can Do For You
When it comes to child custody, support, and visitation rights, you deserve to be represented by an attorney that will champion your interests and legal rights. The San Antonio child custody and support attorneys of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, are committed to providing legal advice and services that will safeguard and ensure you and your family’s best interests.
We will also continue working with your family to modify and enforce existing court orders relating to custody, support, and visitation, so your parental responsibilities and rights will always reflect your family’s current circumstances.
You can call our office at 210-222-9132 or fill out our online contact form to set up an appointment and discuss your case with our San Antonio child custody and support attorneys today.