Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful. When children are involved, the stress factor can go through the roof. There are some serious matters to be ironed out, including who will be awarded primary custody of the child, visitation rights, and more.
Once the matter is resolved in court, and custodial and non-custodial parent roles are decided, there could be changes in circumstances that affect your view of the situation.
What happens if a custodial parent does not or cannot properly look after the child? What if some form of abuse is going on in the custodial home — or worse? If you are the non-custodial parent, this is when you’ll need to decide whether to pursue custody of your child to make sure they are in a safe environment. If you feel that the custodial parent’s rights need to be terminated, then it’s time to act.
As a family law attorney in Texas, I address these and many other legal situations on a daily basis. I encourage you to find out more about how a non-custodial parent can get custody of their child in Texas. Please also contact my office for immediate assistance in building your case.
How Does a Court Determine Non-Custodial Parent?
Let’s start with a review. In Texas, a non-custodial parent is typically determined by the court if the parents cannot or will not agree to decide things like who the child will live with or who will pay for certain expenses.
Around 90% of the non-custodial parents in Texas are fathers. It is commonly the parent that has taken on the primary caregiving role who will be named the custodial parent.
There are other factors involved in determining custodial vs. non-custodial status, such as living conditions and employment status. The original court ruling may have been influenced by these factors. Now, though, if circumstances have changed, you can take legal steps to gain custody of your child.
Can the Original Custodial Court Order Be Modified?
Under Texas law, the original court order for custody can be changed if there are significant life changes, such as:
- Death of a parent
- A child becoming a teenager and wants to live with another parent
- A parent experiencing employment issues
- Domestic or drug abuse from the parent
The burden remains with the non-custodial parent to make a compelling case for why you should now be granted custody of the child. There are specific legal responsibilities.
Specifically, to request a formal change to the child custody orders, you’ll need to petition the court. Be aware that any changes made by the court will be viewed through the lens of what’s in the child’s best interest and not the parents. There must be a valid reason for making such a petition, not just because of an argument with the custodial parent.
Special Situations Involving Custodial vs. Non-Custodial Parents
At times, a non-custodial parent will need to contact the court when they feel their child’s interests are not being taken care of. In some cases, the non-custodial parent may experience things such as coercion, extortion, and psychological abuse at the hands of the custodial parent.
This happens more than people think, due to the custodial parent threatening non-visitation or any contact with the child whatsoever if they don’t get what they want.
These situations need to be handled very carefully. Petitioning the court is not a game, especially when it comes to custodial rights. It needs to be done right the first time to avoid unnecessary legal fees and valuable time wasted. Experience from a knowledgeable family law attorney is the key to handling these matters.
What about those times when it’s suspected that the custodial parent is unfit due to health or mental reasons? How do you prove this to the court without inciting another war of words?
This is why a consultation with an experienced attorney is so critical. I can help you plan out your custody petition to help set you on the right path to arriving at your desired outcome.
Keep in mind that if you are successful in being granted custody of your child, the possible legal responsibilities can include:
- Showing proof of income, bank statements, and other financial documents
- Providing the child with a suitable place to live
- Being able to provide the child with adequate necessities such as food, clothing, etc
- Medical, dental, and health provisions
Find Guidance in Texas Family Law Courts
Being a non-custodial parent doesn’t mean playing “second fiddle” as a mother or father. You have more rights than you may think when it comes to making sure you are involved in your child’s life. Never take a thing like custodial rights for granted.
For many years I have proudly represented those who need to have their rights protected under Texas law. I can help to guide you through one of the roughest periods resulting from divorce. We’ll come up with a plan together to make sure your rights are preserved, and your child is protected if you need to pursue legal custody.
Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your case. I help non-custodial parents with their child custody situation in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County. Let’s get started building your legal argument.