Parents often encounter challenges as they raise their children to be successful young adults. Perhaps your family has hit a few roadblocks along the way, but with the support of family and friends, you overcame the obstacles, found solutions to your problems and got things back on track. If you're currently navigating divorce, things may not be fully back on track yet but you can be hopeful that you will achieve a fair and agreeable settlement.
Your children's best interests are no doubt your highest priority as you make plans to build a new lifestyle. If you intend to seek custody of your children, there are several things to keep in mind to help you accomplish your goals. One of the most useful tools you can have is knowing an experienced Board-certified family law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton Count, etc., to whom you can turn to for support if a legal problem arises.
Things you don't want to do
Sometimes part of knowing what to do includes knowing what not to do. The following list provides information regarding things that may hurt your chances of obtaining custody:
- Speaking negatively about your ex: Not only is this likely to sadden, confuse or upset your children, the court may take it as a sign that you are not willing to cooperate in co-parenting for your children's sake. You may also give the impression that you're combative, which probably won't win the court's favor for custody issues.
- Not showing up or showing up late: If you've agreed to meet your former spouse at a certain time and place to transport your children, lack of effort to do so may have negative implications on your custody case. Especially, if there is a court order in place that requires your presence at a specific location at certain times.
- Doing drugs or abusing alcohol: Such habits almost always have negative consequences in life. Concerning your petition for child custody, a substance abuse problem will definitely not help you win.
Avoiding these issues may help you convince the court that your children would be best off living with you. If your ex exhibits these behaviors, it would also be prudent to bring it to the court's attention.
Being proactive is beneficial
Child custody issues can be complex and difficult to resolve if you and your co-parent disagree. If you want to convince the court that you should have full custody of your kids, the following proactive actions might help:
- Learn about the family justice system ahead of time: Texas and all other states have presumptive child custody and child support guidelines. The more you know about such issues before heading to court, the better.
- Invite a home evaluator: If you request an evaluation of your home, it stops your ex from trying to paint your household in a bad light before the court. If the court sees that you are willing to open your home to evaluators without a court order to do so, it may help you win your case.
- Come to court prepared: If there is any documentation that you know is pertinent to your case, it is always best to provide it to your attorney before you decide to bring it with you to court.
Like most good Texas parents, you have high hopes for your kids and do not want your divorce to impede their chances for success in life. While it's not uncommon to run into trouble when a legal issue arises or your co-parent refuses to follow a court order, if you know your rights and how to protect them, chances are you will find a swift and successful solution to your problem.