What Should One Do To Improve Their Chances Of Winning A Custody Battle?
You always want to document things that are going on whether it is through written communication, email, text message or pictures if you ever hope to win a custody battle. You always want to try and observe and preserve any type of social media posts that may be going on that can be utilized to establish a claim that there is something inappropriate happening. Obviously, if your children come back with reports of any type of abuse or neglect, you always want to try to document those whether it is through video, photos or audio recordings.
You may want to have your children see a professional if they are suffering some sort of trauma. It is always advisable to get them to a therapist or professional who can counsel them and thereby validate some of these concerns. That can be very compelling evidence in court if it comes to that point. But those are all obvious steps that you would want to try and document before you rush into court.
At What Point Can Someone Request A Modification In A Custody Order Or Child Support Order?
The statute requires that you really cannot go back to court to modify the right to designate the residence of the child, which is the issue that we are talking about that parents typically fight over until at least one year has expired since the last time you were in court or the date of the last final order. You can get around that if there are extraordinary or compelling circumstances that would require the court to hear a case under a year from the date of the last court order. I would have to stress the words extraordinary circumstances, because the courts are very quick to dismiss proceedings filed under one year from the last order unless there are very compelling reasons why you are back in front of a judge.
What Are The Criteria That The Court Uses To Decide On Custody Matters?
The catch all or the net criteria in which the court is operating under is best interest. What is the best interest of the children and unfortunately there is no statutory bright line language that the courts have to follow to determine what best interest means. There is a series of cases that have been decided by the appellate court in Texas that goes through all types of situations and language in which they found supported a finding of best interest. I would say that common sense really dictates this area. It is hard to determine what clearly the best interest is and it is more of a common sense approach.
Continuing in frequent contact with both parents is of paramount importance to the courts when determining best interest of the child or children. Stability in a parent’s life, stability in their employment, in their living environment, and the children’s schooling. All of those issues are clearly factors that a court will look at or lean on when determining what the best interest of a child is. Obviously, the relationship that the child or the children have with the other parent is of great importance to the judge when determining what the best interests are.
There is not a set list of things that the court is going to follow. They have very broad discretion when either considering evidence or taking into account factors with which they use to decide what the best interests of the child are.
Do Grandparents Have Any Visitation Rights In Texas?
Grandparents or even aunts or uncles may have rights to a child or children given very specific circumstances. The general rule in Texas is that a biological parent’s right is paramount and in fact one of the protected rights in Texas. It is presumed that a biological parent acts in the best interest of the children if they decide to keep those children away from a grandparent or an aunt or uncle for that matter. A grandparent has a very high burden to meet or threshold to overcome if they are going to try and petition the courts for any type of rights or access to the children. This does not mean that it is not possible or impossible. It is possible to do so, but this is something that may be a good area to discuss later because there are some very specific circumstances and it is very difficult to do.
Is It True That Courts Generally Favor A Mother Over A Father In A Custody Case?
I think it would be very disingenuous of me to say no. Although, times have changed and society has changed quite a bit, I still think that it is fair to say that a court will generally favor a mother all things being equal. If all things are not equal and for whatever reason, the father is in a more favorable position to serve as the primary parent, the courts are very willing to appoint the father as the primary conservator. Right now, I do not think there is a gender bias so to speak, but when all things are equal, I still believe and in my experience, this has been inbred that a mother is still generally preferred by the courts as the primary managing conservator. This does not mean that it cannot be overcome by a skillful attorney, but my experience at least favors that conclusion.
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