Sometimes, what might appear to be the simplest part of a family law dispute can be the most complicated. This is why Dallas residents who are in the midst of a child support or custody dispute with a spouse, former spouse or family member should have a grasp on the foundational aspects of the situation. One of the most basic is understanding the variables of going to court.
A person who has received court papers should plan to appear in court at the scheduled time. Not appearing can result in severe consequences because the court can make decisions without the presence of the participants. For example, the court could order child support or make paternity findings even if one of the parents don't appear in court. Thus, if that person wants to be heard, it is essential that they show up to present their side of the case.
When going to court, the hearing will be held in front of a judge or associate judge. The hearing might take the entire day, so it is important for participants to plan their schedule accordingly. As with any other type of legal proceeding, for family law issues, a party may want to be represented by a lawyer, and should follow the advice of their lawyer while in court.
The court must take the parents' desires into account when the case is heard, so parents must let the court know how they feel. For example, alleged fathers can request DNA testing to determine paternity. Only after this has been determined will the court move onto ordering child support.
These are important points to remember when preparing for court. Failing to adhere to or understand them can lead to a negative outcome in the case. Speaking to an attorney and having help when preparing for court can help people avoid mistakes related to a lack of knowledge or understanding.
Source: texasattorneygeneral.gov, "Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents -- Going to Court," accessed on March 8, 2016