Going through a divorce in Texas is already a painful process, but it’s even more difficult when children are involved. One of the most crucial elements of a divorce involving children is custody and possession of the children between parents.
One mistake that many parents make is trying to figure out custody on their own. Even if you and your spouse are amicable, and the divorce is agreed upon, there are many pitfalls parents can create for themselves because they do not know or understand what they’re agreeing to.
Don’t unintentionally create more litigation for yourself by agreeing to something you don’t fully understand. Hiring a child custody lawyer is absolutely the best decision, even if you and your spouse are in agreement on how to handle your child issues.
When to Hire a Child Custody Lawyer
The short answer is ALWAYS! Obviously, the best situation is when both parents cooperate. It benefits both of them as co-parents and the children in the long run. However, there may come a time when you need an attorney to make sure you are doing what’s best for you and your children. Consider these five signs that an attorney is necessary.
1. Your Child is In Danger
The health and safety of your little ones is critical. It’s also important to note that danger can come in various forms. In some cases, one parent may try to harm the child physically. In other instances, the issue could be neglect. Depending on the age of the child, an absentee or emotionally abusive parent can be incredibly harmful.
Hiring a child custody lawyer is crucial because they will know exactly what to do in order to obtain a restraining order or protective order as quickly as possible. No matter the situation, if you or your child is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911.
2. The Other Parent Has Hired an Attorney
Because custody battles can be long and drawn-out, it helps to have a professional by your side to protect your rights to your children. If the other parent already has a lawyer, you need someone to represent your interests as well.
The child custody laws in Texas are extremely lengthy, complicated, and can be applied differently by each individual judge, so trying to tackle them on your own can be overwhelming and to your own detriment. You absolutely should hire a child custody lawyer to ensure that you can protect yourself and your child.
3. Your Case Has Special Circumstances
In many cases, family law litigation can become a bitter and complex legal battle. This is especially true regarding cases involving children, and every child’s circumstances are different.
You may have a disabled child that requires special care, or may even require lifetime care beyond the age of 18. Your child may be experiencing severe emotional issues that require counseling, diagnosis, and/or treatment. Perhaps your child is 12 or older and would like to speak to the judge to discuss their preferences for what happens in the case.
Whatever your special circumstance, a child custody lawyer is going to be your best asset. Plus, an experienced attorney can help expedite the process as necessary and make sure your child is protected.
4. The Case Crosses State Lines
If one parent attempts to or successfully moves out of state with the child, this can create many issues. Since each state has different rules regarding child custody, a divorce or child custody case can become even more complicated if one parent attempts to move away or has moved away.
In cases involving parents or parties living in different states — or where visitation with a child may take place across state lines — a child custody lawyer is going to become a valuable asset to help you deal with these issues.
5. The Other Parent is Trying to Deny Custody or Visitation
Until the court has created orders for custody and visitation, neither parent has a superior right of possession of the child. This lack of legal protection can lead to one parent withholding the child from the other parent.
If you are arguing with the other parent about when and where you can see your child and getting nowhere, it’s time to hire a child custody attorney. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can start seeing your child regularly and without interruption from the other parent.
Why a Child Custody Lawyer Is Always A Good Idea
Even when both parents are agreeable, it is still vitally important that you hire an attorney to make sure that your agreements are in you and your children’s best interests.
Hiring an attorney may seem like you’re making things more complicated and setting up to fight, but hiring the right attorney will never complicate matters. A lawyer can help you understand your rights as a parent and help guide you to the best decision for everyone involved. Essentially, a child custody attorney can create stability with your divorce proceedings and make the process even more smooth and efficient.
I have been practicing family law in Texas since 2011, so I understand the complicated nature of child custody situations. Because domestic litigation is my sole practice area, I am 100% committed to helping your family through any difficult situation in the Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, or Harris County court system.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss the specific details of your child custody situation. I look forward to assisting you and helping you find peace of mind with your family law issues.