Mom and daughter in a social worker’s office

What Happens at a Custody Hearing in Fort Bend County?

We understand that child custody legal matters are very personal, as the outcome can affect the relationship between you, your child, and the other parent. That’s why we focus on providing exceptional legal support for our clients in Fort Bend County, Texas.

Because we are local to Fort Bend, we have a deep understanding of what happens at a child child custody hearing in the county. Specifically, we have experience with each of the judges who may oversee your custody case in the Family Law Division.

Let’s review what you need to know about custody cases in Fort Bend so that you are prepared for your hearing. Also, learn why it’s important to work with a local family law attorney to help you arrive at the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Inside the Custody Hearing Process in Fort Bend County, Texas

Custody cases in Fort Bend County can be straightforward with the support of an expert family law attorney. The key is to know your judge because there are currently three district court judges who decide on custody cases.

Each judge has their own track record of how they make final decisions within the parameters of the Texas Family Code, so it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can help understand each judge’s decision-making process.

An additional factor that may impact your case is the role of virtual hearings. Fort Bend utilizes virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom to streamline the legal process. You may be asked to participate in a virtual meeting, as well as an in-person hearing, during your case. Our attorneys can help you excel in each setting.

Preparing for Child Custody Hearings in Fort Bend County

One of the keys to success in child custody proceedings is to take ownership of your case. Our attorneys will certainly handle legal arguments and follow the rules and procedures during hearings. However, we recommend that our clients take an active part in their litigation.

When you are involved in the legal process, it helps us present a stronger argument on your behalf. You can take part by gathering as many important facts and evidence that pertain to your case. The more evidence you gather, the more compelling your argument.

Additionally, when you provide us with ample evidence, we can streamline the process of organizing your evidence and creating exhibits to make clear arguments to the judge. Because there are many Zoom meetings in Fort Bend, this helps us follow local rules when submitting evidence, sharing testimony, and conducting arguments.

Ultimately, the benefit of taking ownership of your case is that it will save you a fair amount of time and money. You’ll arrive at a result faster, and you’ll keep more money in your pocket by participating in the process.

The Decision-Making Process: When Judges Decide vs. Delay

Because every case is different, a decision on custody could be made at various stages of the process:

  • Some custody cases are cut and dry to where a judge is prepared to make a decision.
  • Some cases are more complex, causing the judge to hold off on making a decision.

What Happens at a Custody Hearing When Judges Make a Final Decision?

Judges in Fort Bend County know what they’re looking for in a custody hearing. When they see typical legal issues to resolve, they may be able to make a ruling on the same day as the custody hearing.

How this works is that each party will be able to submit evidence and call on witnesses to support their arguments. Once this process is complete, the judge will make a ruling based on the evidence presented in family court.

Legal orders will be issued, and each party will be required to comply with the terms outlined in the custody arrangement. Some of the information contained in the order will include:

  • Who is assigned as the custodial parent vs. non-custodial parent
  • The visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
  • The parenting plan for each divorced parent
  • Additional roles and responsibilities pertaining to your case

A decision on child support may also be included in the orders.

However, if the custody case is not straightforward, each judge has the discretion to delay a decision in determining custody.

What Would Cause a Judge to Delay a Custody Decision?

Sometimes, a judge will take the legal matter under advisement if they need to request additional evidence, listen to transcripts, and review testimonies to ensure they make a fair ruling that is in the child’s best interest.

Usually, this happens during long trials where there are many layers to unravel. Or, there could be a very specific or complex situation that will require more time to review.

In these situations, the judge may need more time to pull case logs or ask each attorney to write a legal brief explaining a specific matter in the case. Once the judge has had time to review the evidence and additional information, they will be prepared to make a ruling.

Why Work with a Local Family Law Attorney in Fort Bend County?

We recommend working with a local family law attorney who can give your case the proper attention. What we have observed in Fort Bend is that many attorneys have a primary office in Harris County. They try cases in Fort Bend, but their primary focus is Harris County.

Working with the team at Parker & Aguilar ensures that your case receives the full attention it deserves. We have a deep understanding of the rules and procedures in custody cases in the county, and we know the judges.

Custody disputes can be an overwhelming process for everyone involved, so our attorneys are available to take some of the burden off your shoulders. By trusting our expert team now, you can ensure your case is handled right the first time.

We currently support parents throughout Fort Bend County. You can reach our Sugar Land office at 281-944-5485 to speak with one of our helpful child custody lawyers about what happens at a custody hearing. We are ready to support your child custody case.