A Compassionate, Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
Divorce is always difficult, especially so when children are involved. If you are in the process of or are considering a divorce, child custody lawyer Ryan Dougay in Austin, TX, has experience resolving even the most complex of child custody and support cases. He can also achieve optimal outcomes when modifications to existing arrangements become necessary. Choosing the right attorney can make all the difference in your case. Contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Dougay today by email or calling (512) 469-0811. During a consultation, you can learn more about how he can help you and your children look forward to a more secure future.
Joint vs. Sole Custody
Texas courts strive for joint child custody between the parents, an arrangement that makes them joint conservators. Ultimately, the court seeks to make custody determinations that are in the best interest of the child, and this may result in the court granting one parent physical and legal custody as a sole conservator. A conservator is granted oversight regarding the minor’s medical care, legal needs, schooling, extracurricular activities, and more. A sole conservator would make these decisions alone, while as joint conservators, the parents must make these decisions together.
Determining Child Custody
To determine which living and visiting arrangements are in the child’s best interests, the court will evaluate factors such as:
- The child’s emotional and physical requirements
- Each parent's ability to care for the child
- The stability of each parent's home
- Each parent's future plans for the child
- If the parents have or may harm or abuse the child
- For children over 12, the court may consider their living arrangement preferences
After he has gathered all the necessary background information to aid in the discovery process, Mr. Dougay can assist with filing a lawsuit. Hearings will then be held to determine a temporary custody and visitation plan, and finalized details such as where the child will live during the week, weekends, holidays, and school breaks. Once in place, a custody and visitation order is usually not modified unless both parents agree, or if a significant change in parental circumstances arises, such as long-term illness or job loss.
Arriving at Child Support Arrangements
The amount of child support one parent has to pay the other can vary considerably. The state of Texas has developed laws and certain guidelines for making this determination. To calculate child support amounts, the judge may take into account:
- The income of both parents
- Work-related child care costs
- Health insurance costs
- Custody arrangements
- Pre-existing child support obligations
- The child's requirements
Attorney Dougay is dedicated to helping families achieve the best possible outcome for their children and future.
Settling Matters Through Mediation
Attorney Dougay prefers methods of alternative dispute resolution whenever possible. Mediation or arbitration, as opposed to litigation, is highly preferential not only to the court but more importantly, to the parents. Litigation is costly, sometimes amounting to as much as $50,000. Mediation or arbitration in child custody cases requires considerably less time and money than a trial entails. Yet coming to arrangements that appease both parents’ preferences and schedules can be extremely challenging, so Mr. Dougay will never hesitate to go to trial if it becomes necessary.
Learn More About Child Custody & Support
Child custody and support issues are understandably some of the most delicate and emotionally fraught in family law. Attorney Dougay is dedicated to helping families achieve the best possible outcome for their children and future. Find out why so many other families have trusted our firm by calling (512) 469-0811 or emailing The Law Office of Ryan S. Dougay today.
"Ryan helped me through my divorce and complicated property division. He was great at explaining the process to me and explaining anything that I did not understand. He and his staff were always very helpful and understanding and I couldn’t have chosen a more qualified, competent lawyer to handle my case."Amanda - Satisfied Client