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Child Custody Lawyer Serving Galveston County

In Texas, child custody is known as conservatorship. If you are trying to work out an arrangement between your former partner regarding parenting time, Goldsberry, Portz & Lutterbie, PLLC, can help. During the last 20 years, we have worked with thousands of families, and we can help you with your challenges.
Our founding attorney, Shari Goldsberry, is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This certification means we are more than qualified to handle complex cases.

Finding Unique Answers to Your Specific Child Custody Situation

Having a lawyer who can clearly express your concerns is the best way to advocate for yourself. Our team remains professional, even in difficult situations. What makes these cases especially complicated is that conservatorships are unique to the family.

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Conservatorship and Possession

There isn’t one solution that will work for everyone. In most cases, Texas presumes the parents should be joint managing conservators. This means that parents share decision-making responsibilities, as it is policy to keep both parents involved with the life of the child.

On the other hand, the custodial parent (primary conservator) is the parent the child may live with most of the time, and that parent may receive child support. The other parent is known as the possessory conservator and is entitled to visitation with the child. A possession order is used to determine how the child will physically split their time and is part of the parenting plan.

Conservatorship Types

Texas law differentiates between joint managing conservatorship (JMC) and sole managing conservatorship (SMC).


Joint Managing Conservatorship (JMC) is a legal arrangement in which both parents have equal rights and responsibilities in raising their child, such as making decisions regarding education, medical care, and moral and religious upbringing. This does not imply an equal division of physical custody or time spent with the child.


This stands for Sole Managing Conservatorship, where one parent has the sole authority to make specific decisions regarding the child. This is usually granted in cases involving a background of family violence, substance abuse, or the absence of one parent from the child’s life.

Determining Conservatorship and Possession

The court’s focus when deciding conservatorship and possession is the child’s best interest. Factors considered are:

  • If the child is 12 years old or older, they can sign a statement indicating their preference for which parent they want to live with
  • Each parent’s capacity to provide for the child
  • The well-being and protection of the child
  • Any record of domestic violence within the family

Other Factors Affecting Child Custody

Geographic Restrictions

Custody orders may contain geographic limitations to ensure the child stays nearby, enabling both parents to sustain a relationship with the child. These restrictions usually specify a particular area where the child's main residence must be situated.

Rights of Non-Parent Conservators

Under specific conditions, individuals who are not the biological parents, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, or close family friends, may pursue conservatorship or visitation rights. Under certain conditions, Texas law permits such actions, with a primary emphasis on the child's best interest.

Impact of Parental Relocation

If a parent wants to move to a new location that could affect the current custody and visitation agreement, they may have to request a modification of the custody order. The court will assess how the relocation will affect the child's relationship with both parents.

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Process for Modifying Child Custody Orders

To change an existing custody order, a parent must show a significant and substantial change in circumstances that has occurred since the last order was issued. This could involve alterations in employment, relocation, changes in the child’s requirements, or other important life occurrences. Filing a petition with the court that issued the original order is part of the process.

Enforcement of Custody and Visitation Orders

If a parent does not follow the terms of a custody or visitation order, the other parent can request enforcement from the court. Filing a motion with the court that issued the order, outlining the violations, may be necessary. The court has the authority to take different measures such as ordering additional visitation time, altering the current order, or, in severe instances, imposing fines or incarceration for contempt.

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Schedule a Consultation

After listening to your situation, our team will provide you with potential solutions. We aim to set clear expectations and communicate effectively. In doing so, we can work together to find a solution. Call our offices in Texas City today at 281-485-3500 to schedule a consultation. You can also fill out our contact form. We serve clients in Brazoria, Galveston and Fort Bend counties and throughout the Houston area.

Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is conservatorship considered unique to each family?

There isn't a cookie-cutter approach to conservatorships; rather, they vary from family to family. Because every family is different, our staff tailors our solutions to each case's unique dynamics and problems.

What is the difference between joint managing conservators and possessory conservators?

It is commonly assumed in Texas that parents should share decision-making duties as joint managing conservators. The parent who lives with the child most of the time and may be eligible for child support is known as the custodial parent or primary conservator. The possessory conservator, who is the other parent, has visitation rights.

What is a Standard Possession Order, and when does it apply?

The court has the authority to issue a Standard Possession Order in cases when the parents are unable to reach a custody agreement. The physical distribution of time between parents is defined by this sequence. You can get a Modified Possession Order with a modified timetable if the regular one doesn't work for your family.

How can parents create a possession order that works best for their child?

Parents have the option to tailor a possession order to their child's need and family dynamics if they can reach an agreement. Our legal team is here to help you craft unique strategies that satisfy the needs of everyone concerned.

What options are available for families seeking unique solutions?

To make custody arrangements that work for every family, our lawyers look at all their choices, including Modified Possession Orders. When our clients are going through a divorce or are fathers requesting more time with their children, we work closely with them to discover the best option.

How can I schedule a consultation with Goldsberry, Portz & Lutterbie, PLLC?

Fill out our contact form or give our Texas City office a call at 281-485-3500 to talk about your problem and how we can help. Our clientele includes people from all throughout the Houston area as well as the counties of Galveston, Fort Bend, and Brazoria. When it comes to child custody, our team is committed to being transparent about our expectations and working with you to reach a solution.

How it Works

The process for hiring Goldsberry, Portz & Lutterbie, PLLC begins with an in-depth consultation to discuss your specific legal needs and circumstances. During this consultation, our experienced attorneys will listen to your concerns, gather relevant information about your case, and provide you with tailored advice on how we can assist you.
Following the consultation and once you’ve decided to move forward with our firm, the next step is signing the contract. The contract will outline the terms of our representation, including the scope of services, legal fees, and any other relevant agreements. Our team will ensure that you fully understand the terms of the contract before signing and will be available to address any questions or concerns you may have.
Once the contract is signed, the final step in the hiring process is remitting payment of the retainer fee. The retainer fee is an upfront payment that secures our legal services and allows us to begin working on your case. This fee is typically based on the complexity of your case and the anticipated work involved.
Once these steps are completed, our team will officially begin representing you and advocating for your interests. Throughout the process, we are committed to providing you with personalized attention, effective communication, and zealous representation to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your family law matter.

During your initial consultation appointment with our family law firm, you can expect a comprehensive and personalized approach to understanding your situation and legal needs. We’ll start by discussing the details of your case, including your specific circumstances regarding divorce, child custody, child support, enforcement issues, or adoption.
We’ll provide you with an overview of the legal process relevant to your case, outlining the steps involved, potential challenges, and options available to you. This will give you a clear understanding of what to expect as we navigate through your legal matter together.
Additionally, we’ll discuss the anticipated timeline for your case, including key milestones and potential factors that could affect the duration of the process. Understanding the timeline can help manage expectations and provide you with a sense of control throughout the proceedings.
During the consultation, we encourage you to ask any questions you may have about your case or the legal process. We’re here to address your concerns and provide guidance every step of the way.
Overall, our goal during the initial consultation is to provide you with a thorough understanding of your legal options, the process ahead, and how we can assist you in achieving your desired outcome.

At Goldsberry Law, we prioritize timely and personalized attention to each client’s case. We understand that time is of the essence when dealing with legal matters. Typically, we aim to schedule in-depth consultations within one to two weeks of your initial contact with our law firm.
However, if your case requires urgent attention due to imminent hearings or time-sensitive issues, our attorneys will make every effort to accommodate your needs. We recognize the importance of addressing urgent matters promptly, and we will do our best to schedule an appointment before any upcoming hearings or deadlines.
In the rare instance that we are unable to schedule a consultation within your desired timeframe, we will refer you to a trusted attorney who may be able to see you sooner. Our priority is to ensure that you receive the legal assistance you need as quickly as possible, while also providing the highest level of service tailored to your specific case.

To schedule an appointment for an in-depth consultation with one of our attorneys at Goldsberry Law, you have a couple of convenient options. You can contact our law firm directly at 281-485-3500 and speak with one of our Client Relations Specialists. They will assist you in finding a suitable time for your consultation.
Alternatively, you can schedule a conference call with our Client Relations Manager by visiting our online scheduling page at This allows you to select a time that works best for you without having to make a phone call.
Whichever method you choose, we are dedicated to making the appointment scheduling process as easy and efficient as possible, ensuring that you receive the legal assistance you need in a timely manner.

At Goldsberry Law, we prioritize transparency regarding our rates. Our in-depth consultation fee is $75.00 for telephone or Zoom appointments and $250.00 for in-person consultations.
For ongoing legal representation, we provide tailored financial arrangements based on various factors such as the attorney chosen and the complexity of your legal matters.
Similarly, our attorneys’ rates vary, reflecting their respective experience and qualifications.
We understand the significance of financial considerations, and during your consultation, we’ll discuss payment options and work together to develop a suitable strategy.
Additionally, we offer convenient payment methods including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and eChecks, ensuring accessibility and ease of payment for our clients. If you have any questions or require assistance with payment arrangements, please reach out to us. We’re dedicated to ensuring a seamless and efficient experience with our firm.

At Goldsberry Law, we understand the importance of having a strong attorney-client relationship. During your initial call with one of our Client Relations Specialists, you will have the opportunity to discuss your preferences regarding legal representation. If you have a specific attorney in mind or if there are certain qualities you’re looking for in an attorney, we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.
If you do not have a particular attorney in mind, our Client Relations Specialists will gather information about the overall issues presented in your circumstances. Based on this information and your preferences, they will provide a recommendation for an attorney who is best suited to handle your case.
We believe in the importance of matching clients with attorneys who have the relevant skills and experience to effectively address their legal needs. Rest assured that whether you choose your own attorney or rely on our recommendation, we are committed to providing you with high-quality legal representation tailored to your specific case.