Top 4 Things You Should Know About Child Custody

Top 4 Things You Should Know About Child Custody

Deciding on a strategy for child custody is one of the hardest things many people will ever go through. 

When you and the other parent or guardian of your child(ren) disagree on a custody arrangement, it can be stressful for you. However, it’s important to remember the situation can also be very hard on children in the middle of a custody dispute. 

There are several things you should know about child custody in Texas. An experienced family law attorney on your side can help you through the entire process so you can do what’s right for yourself and your child(ren).

What You Should Expect In A Child Custody Case

It’s suggested that you hire and talk to an attorney with transparency. Doing so will help them have all of the information they need to offer a more effective strategy for your case. Read the following to get an idea of what else you can expect.

Don’t be blindsided by the stress and time commitment of a child custody dispute. Reach out to the Daniels Law Firm to better assure an effective strategy with trusted legal counsel in your corner. 

1. Parenting Courses Can Help

Not all counties require parenting classes for those going through the child custody process. That doesn’t mean you should write it off until learning that it is a requirement.

Your child custody case can be an opportunity to prove that you act in your child(ren)’s best interests. Rather than waiting to hear your requirements, take the initiative and start checking the boxes. When you take that parenting class of your own volition, it may strengthen your case if it goes in front of a judge. 

Moreover, it’s important to remember that the parenting class isn’t just about clout and which parent took it first. Parenting courses can be extremely helpful for you and your child. It may even help you co-parent with the other parent or guardian of your child(ren).

2. Mediation Is Most Likely In Your Future

When custody is an issue and an agreement can’t be reached, a judge might require that all parties attend mediation. Mediation isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can save you money, time, and stress because mediation can resolve many cases. To put it simply, mediation is a negotiation between you and the other parent or gaurdian. The goal is to find a solution that both parties can agree on that places the interests of the children first.

If you find yourself in mediation, it will be conducted by a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party chosen by both parties. Often, a family law practitioner or retired judge, the mediator facilitates child custody discussions to find a settlement. 

Because going to trial can drastically increase the time and cost of a divorce, resolving in mediation is most often recommended. 

Keep in mind that mediation is not the same thing as modification. A modification for child custody related issues typically refers to making changes to an agreement previously made about the same child or children in question. Making changes to child custody agreements after a divorce requires the legal expertise of an a family law attorney.

3. Disclosure Shouldn’t Wait For A Discovery Request

As mentioned above, transparency is important in a child custody case. And that includes disclosing documents and information that are pertinent to the case. There are several items you may need to disclose to your lawyer. 

For example, before any decisions can be made, the court may require every party involved to show:

  • Financial Information Statement
  • 2 years’ worth of income tax returns
  • 2 most recent payroll stubs

Cases involving child or spousal support may require each party to disclose specific information. Required information may include medical and health insurance coverage. If this is one of your requirements, you’ll likely need to submit all policies, statements, and benefit descriptions that are or will be available to the child(ren).

Furthermore, if there were no temporary orders, you may still need to submit the Financial Information Statement, 2 years of income tax returns, and your 2 most recent payroll stubs. 

Have trusted legal counsel by your side to increase the chances of success in your child custody agreement. Contact the Daniels Law Firm today.

4. A Guardian Ad Litem May Be Appointed

If you and the other party can’t agree on the best course of action in a custody dispute, the judge may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem – an attorney or other official whose duties include securing the child(ren)’s best interest. 

The Ad Litem uses their expertise to investigate and make recommendations. Of course, the Ad Litem will share their findings with the judge to help them determine the best course of action.

The Guardian Ad Litem is a person chosen to represent the best interests of the child. The term includes:

(A) A volunteer advocate from a charitable organization described by Subchapter C  1 who is appointed by the court as the child’s guardian ad litem;

(B) a professional, other than an attorney, who holds a relevant professional license and whose training relates to the determination of a child’s best interests;

(C) an adult having the competence, training, and expertise determined by the court to be sufficient to represent the best interests of the child;  or

(D) an attorney ad litem appointed to serve in the dual role.

It’s important for both parties in a child custody proceeding to understand and respect the role of the Guardian Ad Litem. Their opinion carries weight throughout your case if this is your situation.

Prepare For Your Child Custody Case With The Expertise Of The Daniels Law Firm

If you are preparing for a child custody dispute, put informed expertise on your side. Cases concerning child custody can be time-consuming, complex, and extremely stressful for the parties involved. An attorney who knows family laws in Texas will help you make necessary decisions to move forward with your case.

Cassandra Daniels’s knowledge, professional experience, and dedicated character are why her client’s choose her for their child custody cases. Attempting to go at it alone can feel isolating, frustrating, and discouraging. You can, however, have a partner throughout your child custody case with the Daniels Law Firm.

Contact the Daniels Law Firm today to learn how we can help with your divorce and child custody.

The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Daniels Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.