Divorce is never an easy matter. Dealing with the end of your marriage is difficult, but for parents, the battle has only begun once you’ve officially filed for divorce.
Determining custody of your children can be difficult even if you’ve had an amicable divorce. It’s always recommended that you get the help of a child custody attorney, or a divorce lawyer, even if you don’t think custody will be much of an issue. It’s just too important of a matter to handle on your own.
If you’re going through a custody battle in Houston, Texas, The Alsandor Law Firm is here to help. Here’s our guide on what to know about custody in Texas and what you can do to better your case.
What to Know About Child Custody in Houston, Texas
Overall, the state of Texas divides custody into two main categories: conservatorship and possession and access.
Conservatorship involves parents having the right to make certain decisions about the care and development of their child. This can involve medical decisions, schooling, and other important decisions. Conservatorship may be granted to one parent in sole managing conservatorship or may be split between both parents in joint managing conservatorship.
Possession and access deals with the time spent with a child, including a visitation schedule.
If you’re granted a standard possession order, non-custodial parents will be granted access to the children on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month that begins on Friday and ends on Sunday. This also includes visitation from 6 pm-8 pm on Thursday nights, when school is in session. People with expanded standard possession order can have their kids starting on Thursday at the time school is dismissed.
Overall, the court thinks about what would be best for the child when determining custody. This can depend on a variety of factors like schooling, income, and existing relationships.
How to Handle a Custody Battle in Houston, Texas
People that are trying to get full custody in Texas should know that it isn’t a simple task. Any child custody attorney will tell you that full custody, or sole managing conservatorship, usually is only granted in extreme cases where abandonment, abuse, and neglect are clearly caused by one parent.
Instead of trying to focus on how you can get full custody, spend your time thinking about how you can get the best outcome for you and your child. If you want to prepare yourself for a potential custody battle follow these tips.
Separate Marriage From Parenting
Your ex may have been an awful spouse. It’s possible that they may have cheated, been dishonest about finances, and could have mistreated you. Your ex may have been a terrible partner, but are they a bad parent?
Anyone that hopes to be the main custodial parent will need to prove that their spouse wouldn’t be able to provide the best care for the child. If your case ends up going to court, a judge won’t grant sole custody to a parent just because one party wasn’t a good spouse.
It’s time to judge your ex’s fitness for custody on how they are as a parent, and not how they are as a spouse. You may have some lingering resentments, and bringing them up when you’re fighting for custody won’t help you or your case.
If you have reason to believe that your ex would be an unfit or dangerous parent, the burden is on you to prove that to your lawyers and to the judge if it goes to court. That means that you’re going to need plenty of evidence to prove that your ex shouldn’t have custody or visitation with your child.
Have you ever had to call the police on your spouse? Make sure your lawyer gets an official police record of the incident. If your spouse has made abusive threats through text get a record of your phone logs through your service provider. Go through their social media profiles and screenshot any incriminating posts.
Some people have gone as far as secretly recording abusive incidents between themselves and their ex and their ex and their child. Luckily for you, Texas is a one-party consent state when it comes to audio recording and video recording. That means that, legally, only one party needs to consent to be recorded, and that party can be you.
Show Your Ability to Parent
Income, your ability to work, and have a stable living situation with plenty of room for your kids will be important during your custody case. These things may matter, but they aren’t the only things the court looks at.
When a judge thinks about what’s in the best interest of a child, your past behavior is going to come up. Now is the time to think about all of the ways you’ve been a caring and supportive parent.
Were you the parent that took your kids to the doctor? Don’t be afraid to bring up that you’ve been the primary parent for handling medical care. If you’re the one that takes kids to soccer practice and volunteers for school functions be sure to bring that up in court.
Find a Child Custody Attorney to Fight for You
It’s rare for child custody to be a simple matter, but you have to do what you can to ensure that your children are well cared for and protected. That’s why you need to find a child custody attorney that can fight for you and your kids.
Do you have questions about how to handle an ongoing case? Are you heading towards divorce and want to make sure you approach everything with the help of a skilled family law attorney?
Regardless of what you need, contact The Alsandor Law Firm today so we can talk about the best way to handle your case.