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Austin Child Custody Lawyer

Retain a Board-Certified Family Law Attorney - Call (512) 271-2063

Family law matters are sensitive but when children are involved, they can become overwhelming and are often contested. Matters of child custody are among the most complex issues one can face in the realm of family law. Whether you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce or you and the other parent of your child are unmarried and arguing over custody, Attorney Melissa Williams can help. We handle contentious issues regarding child custody law in Austin and will work to find a solution that best suits your child's needs.

Attorney Williams Is A Certified Expert in Family Law

  • 23 Years of Divorce & Family Law Experience
  • Personalized Attention &  Tailored Strategies to Fit Your Case
  • Rated 10/10 Superb On Avvo
  • Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization - Since 2000

Our Austin child custody attorney is here to support you and protect your child's best interests. Contact us today and call at (512) 271-2063.

Understanding Legal & Physical Custody

With two decades of experience, our firm can be trusted to resolve even the most complex custody problems. Before stepping into negotiations or the courtroom, it is best to understand Texas law regarding conservatorship, possession, and support.


  • Conservatorship refers to making major decisions for the child regarding the child’s education, medical issues, etc.
  • Possession refers to how much time the child spends with each parent.

Joint Managing & Sole Managing Conservatorship in Texas

In Texas, “child custody” is technically called “conservatorship”. The two types of conservatorship are:

  • Joint managing conservatorship (JMC)
  • Sole managing conservatorship (SMC)

Just like the name implies, JMC means that both parties share parental rights and responsibilities. However, it does not mean that the rights will be shared equally. Since the court decides such matters based on the best interest of the child, it is possible for one parent to have exclusive rights to certain decisions even in joint managing conservatorship. In a JMC, specific responsibilities and possession conditions will be decided separately.

On the other hand, SMC is when only one parent is allowed the right to make certain decisions. These include matters such as:

  • Primary residence
  • Medical & dental treatment
  • Psychiatric & psychological treatment
  • Receiving child support
  • Child’s education

Some reasons why the court might grant one parent SMC and not the other include:

  • History of family violence or neglect
  • History of criminal activities include drugs and alcohol
  • Absence from the child’s life
  • History of extreme conflict regarding educational, medical, and religious values

How Is Custody Determined?

If you are going through a contested divorce, the decisions regarding conservatorship and possession will be in the judge's hands. The judge will take into account a number of factors to make a decision they believe is in the child's best interests. These factors may include which parent has historically cared for the child, any history of abuse, any existing criminal records, and more.

In a collaborative or uncontested divorce, you and the other parent of your child have the opportunity to come to a decision on your own. If both parties come to an agreement regarding custody, the proposal can then be given to the judge in family court for approval. You can work with an experienced Austin child custody lawyer from the office of Attorney Melissa Williams and amicably resolve your dispute.

To schedule a case evaluation or to learn how we can help, call us at (512) 271-2063.

“I am dedicated to representing my clients in a way that minimizes conflict and maximizes solutions.”

- Melissa M. Williams
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