Going through a child custody or divorce case in Texas is no walk in the park. Even if you and your Co-parent have a good relationship and understand that what you are doing is for the best interests of your children it is still not easy to put your family through this type of case. It can take a significant amount of time for your family to adjust To the realities of shared parenting time, child support, visitation issues, and everything else that goes along with life after a family law case. Even if you can prepare your family for what you will soon encounter In the case there is a certain degree of adjustment that will be necessary but she cannot always prepare for it.
When it comes to family law cases one of the biggest problems that many people encounter in these types of cases is preparing their family for the changes that will be upcoming. Probably the most significant change is having your children visit you and you expose In different households period. sleeping in different beds, seeing both parents infrequently, having an adjustment to their routine are all factors related to divorce in Texas. This is also an adjustment for parents as they will see that their children are having to adjust to a different life that is partly caused by their actions.
When you are preparing your family for a contested child custody or divorce case it takes planning and forethought to be able to do so. Heading into one of these cases and not having a plan would be like trying to climb up Mount Everest without one. Two things will likely occur: you won’t accomplish what you set out to achieve in the fall will hurt. For that reason, I recommend having a plan and sticking to it as much as possible throughout the case. Doing this will ensure the success of your case and will serve the best interest of your children.
However, you may be wondering where you can learn the strategy that you need to develop plans such as these. After all: if you cannot learn about I family law case how can you prepare for one? With that said, there are several good resources for you to consider online. The first would be contacting the look cool family law attorney to help guide you through the process. These attorneys are skilled negotiators, advocates, and counselors. They can help you in your family to manage the trials and tribulations of a family lowercase and to develop a strategy about how to handle the challenges of a case.
In the meantime, you can conduct research online by accessing family law blogs like this one. Our attorneys spend a lot of time Detailing our experiences while helping you Think about strategies That may work well for your family. Part of the issue that you may encounter He’s trying to cycle through all the information you are provided in the case to arrive at the content that can be helpful to you. An attorney can help you to get through all the information that would not be helpful or pertinent to your case and then focus on that information which can help you and your family.
Children issues in a family law case
When children are involved in a family law case the number of issues that can be relevant is staggering. Depending upon your children and characteristics you may be facing down a long list of challenging topics that you need to be able to proceed through to complete your case. This is not to say that a family law case that does not involve children is not important Or does not present challenges. However, certainly, the number of issues in a typical family law case increased dramatically when children are involved.
For starters, you have topics related to how to divide Your child’s time between you and your other parent. Issues like the ages of your children, the school they attend, where you live relative to your Co-parent, your child’s medical needs and the list goes on and on are important for you to consider when creating a parenting schedule. Time is usually a subject that most parents in a custody case Place a lot of focus and emphasis on, understandably. For that reason, you can expect that creating a possession schedule for your child in their family law case will be one that takes on a great deal of importance.
Next, we must consider the subject of rights and duties. Having a right to your children means that you can make decisions on their behalf. This has always been the case even before the family law case but it is now going to be spelled out in black and white what rights you have about your children. The right to make decisions on behalf of their education and their health are the two primary rights that most parents are concerned the most about. Next, the duties that you have for your children include the duty to provide a home, clothing, education, and food to your children. The duties that you have for your children will likely be the same as your Co-parent after a divorce.
Having a duty about your children means that you have the responsibility to care for your child and to put forth their best interests in everything you do. The best interest standard is what the Texas family courts will utilize if you ever go into a courtroom for a case related to your kids. Ensuring their present physical and mental well-being as well as doing everything possible to prepare for their future is what it means to look out for the best interest of your children.
When it comes to the duties that you owe to your children these duties revolve around ensuring that your child has a safe place to live. A safe place to live means a physically safe structure. Free from defects, dangerous conditions, and what attorneys may call attractive nuisances- things that look enticing to a child but maybe extremely dangerous. You must keep your child’s home free of these kinds of conditions so that your child does not fall into physical danger.
As a side note, when people think about Child Protective Services becoming involved in their lives they will typically think of abuse or various kinds of neglect. However, a lesser considered reason why CPS could insert themselves into your life is due to conditions in your home not being safe for your child. Save conditions for your child mean paying attention to those factors that I listed in the prior paragraph. Accidents around the home Happen from time to time. These are things that you and your Co-parent cannot necessarily prevent despite due diligence. However, there are some conditions in the home that can otherwise lead to potentially harmful results for your child. This is a definition of neglect and in some circumstances can be just as neglectful as leaving your child home alone without supervision, for example. Do not forget about the importance of maintaining a safe household in terms of the structure of the home itself.
alongside the duty to maintain a safe household environment for your children you also need to consider the people that are living in the home with you and your child. Many families extend beyond a mother, father, and children. If your household has other adults, related or unrelated to your child, then you need to be very careful about making sure that those persons do not offer the potential risk of harm to your children. This can be a precarious situation to put your children in especially if one of those adults could offer a potential source of harm to your children.
Keep an eye on who lives in your house
An example that I would like to mention when talking about subjects like this is a situation that I ran into some years ago with a client of our office. Our office began representing a young father in a child custody case with his children’s mother. The exact circumstances of the case are not especially important for the example that I’m going to give you. Just know that This was a situation where a mother and father were attempting to win primary custody of a child in a custody case.
our client was dutifully performing his role as a dad to his children when the child’s mother filed a case with the family law court in their county. Our client had hired our office it became clear that his Co-parent was attempting to ask for primary custody of the children and child support. This came as a bit of a shock to him because the woman had always been sort of an absentee mother who was never there for the kids daily. He had performed the day-to-day care for the children over an extended period.
Typically, in a child custody case, there will be an opportunity for mediation to be held before a temporary order hearing. Unfortunately, the opposing attorney had set the case for a temporary order hearing before we could discuss ever attending mediation. When we appeared in court for the hearing the opposing lawyer notified me of an issue involving the home life of our client. What he revealed to me was something that we did not ask our client about but now remains something that we discuss with all new clients at the beginning of their case.
That subject matter relates to the person living in the household of our client. And uncle had moved in with our client who was the man’s nephew. Our client did not think much of this but what I found out from the other attorney changed the course of the case at least initially. This uncle was a convicted sex offender and had a history of sexual assault involving children who were the same age as our clients’ children. When I asked our client about this, he did state that his uncle had moved in a couple of months ago and that he thought nothing of it. However, no family judge in Texas or anywhere else would allow children to reside in the same household as a convicted sex offender if there were any other options available.
What we had to do was quickly consider the best course of action to take. We were able to negotiate a temporary custody order where the parents would share possession of the children on a nearly equal basis while our client worked to move the uncle out of the home. From that point forward, this became a question that our attorneys always asked clients in terms of what their living arrangements are and specifically asking about each person that lived in the household. Well, this has never been an issue since this case it will always stick out in my mind 22 its impact on the case at least at the beginning.
At the end of the day, our client ended up winning primary custody of his children for reasons unrelated to his uncle. However, the case could have gone much differently had the uncle not moved out as quickly or had our client not been the primary parent or the children, to begin with. My intent with sharing the story with you is to show that the condition of the house and those who live in the home can have serious impacts on your family and on whether your children will be able to remain with you in the home and whether or not you are meeting your duty to provide a safe environment to raise your children in.
What to consider if you have multiple children in a family law case
One of the initial concerns that I would look towards in a family law case with multiple children would be to make sure that you are advocating for the best interest of all your children. The more kids you have before a judge the more likely it is that some of the kids’ best interests may clash with the others. It is important to consider possession schedules, custody arrangements in child support that suits all of your kids as well as possible.
For example, if you have some older kids while other kids are preschool-aged it could be a difficult tightrope to walk as far as coming up with a possession schedule given that what works best for teenagers may not work as well for small children. I am not necessarily suggesting that you need to be the primary conservator of some of the children and your Co-parent needs to be the primary conservator of the others. What I am saying is that you and your attorney need to work with your Co-parent to see what kind of middle ground you can reach on coming up with position schedules that work well for everyone’s schedules.
To make these transition times easier it may behoove both you and your Co-parent to do what you can to live close to one another. Houston is a big city. Simply stating that both you and your Co-parent live in the same city does not mean all that much if he considers the distance between areas like Katy and The Woodlands or even spring and Pearland. They are just suburban communities in and around Houston that are upwards of 50 or 60 miles apart. If you have multiple children and those children have activities and interests, then living close together may need to be a compromise the two of you make after your family law case.
When it comes to issues related to conservatorships then being able to make decisions that are in the best interests of each child is critically important. Family court judges will usually not separate children and have kids live primarily with one parent and have the older children live primarily with the other. What this means is that you need to balance the best interests of all the children together and help them to adjust as well as possible to their new living arrangements. While children are resilient, they are not as resilient as you may think. As a result, you and your Co-parent need to focus on the living arrangements of your children and how each of them is adjusting. If you provide the personalized care to each child that he or she needs, you will have to work a little bit harder, but you will find that there is great benefit in being able to get to know the individual needs of each of your children.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as be well as how your family’s circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.