Determining child custody arrangements during a divorce can be a grueling and emotionally-difficult process. A Texas child custody lawyer could guide you through the process, including negotiating with the other parent or filing documents to prove your ability to care for your child or children emotionally, physically, and/or financially.
If you are going through a divorce and seek guidance on child custody matters, contact a compassionate family lawyer as soon as possible so that they can help you protect the rights and best interests of you and your children.
Obtaining or Modifying Child Custody with the Court
If parents cannot come to an agreement for their child custody plan, they will have to seek an arrangement from the court. This begins with filing a petition. After the petition is filed, the other parent has the option to file a response. Depending on the response, the case then moves to mediation or trial. Documents illustrating one or both parents’ ability to care for the child may need to be filed. These include financial and employment records, applicable police reports, medical records, and court-ordered studies of the family dynamic or child’s psychology.
The results of the court proceedings are binding and dictate the child custody situation. However, in the event of significant life changes or through agreement between spouses, the child custody arrangement can be modified later. For a child custody modification to be considered, certain parameters must be met.
The court can modify the arrangement if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child, if the child prefers a change in the arrangement and is over the age of 12, or if a serious change has occurred in the lives of one or both parents.
Child Custody for Unmarried Couples
The issue of child custody can arise between unmarried couples who have children and decide to no longer live together. Instead of being able to file a divorce action, these circumstances call for what is known in Texas as an “Original Suit” or “Paternal Suit.”
Because the legally binding contract of marriage is not in effect in these circumstances, the legal pathway to child custody can require difficult legal maneuvers. For this reason, it is strongly advised that unmarried couples contact a local child custody attorney for assistance.
Can Grandparents Obtain Custody?
In certain situations, grandparents may decide to sue for custody of their grandchildren. For this to be the case, however, there needs to be certain pressing circumstances. An example could be if the child is in direct physical or emotional harm when in the custody of one or both parents. The situations in which a grandparent can sue for custody are nuanced and contacting a Texas child custody lawyer could be beneficial for those involved.
Consult with a Texas Child Custody Attorney Today
If you live in or around Texas and need assistance in your custody matter, you may want to consult with a child custody lawyer as soon as possible.
The laws governing family issues are complicated and how they apply varies in each situation. A family lawyer could guide and support you through your legal issues to resolve them efficiently and with as minimal stress as possible. The sooner an attorney is on your case, the sooner they may be able to begin working to ensure that the best interests of you and your children are protected.