Custody Is Complicated (But You Have to Fight For It)

Posted by on Sep 13, 2018 in Family Law | 0 comments

Divorce is tough for any number of reasons, but perhaps the most heartbreaking part of it is the child custody battle. To be clear, there isn’t always a battle. Sometimes, parents reach an agreement that both think is fair. Even then, though, if there’s going to be custody of some sort for both parents, everyone loses some time with their kids, and if only one parent has custody, then the kids lose a lot of time with that other parent. It’s a no-win situation.

Added to this is the fact that custody isn’t really as simple as it’s made out to be. There are, in fact, two kinds of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is about where the kids live and spend their time, while legal custody is about who gets to make the major life decisions for the kids, like what schools they go to and what medical treatments they need.

Custody can be sole (just one parent) or joint (shared by both parents), with one parent having “primary” custody. So, even if it seems like an agreement can be reached between both parents, there’s still plenty of room for dispute.

This is why, even in friendly divorces, it is important to fight for as much custody as possible of children. This can seem like a bad idea in the moment. After all, the divorce is already painful, why make it acrimonious by trying to demand more than just every other weekend for your custody? Or, why demand you’re the primary custodian who gets the final say on any decisions? It’s easy to assume not rocking the boat (when so much is already rocking and crashing around you) is the best course.

But you may regret it, and changing that custody decision may be harder than you think down the road. If you don’t fight to have the kids every weekend now, you may find, a year or two from now, you wish you had been more obstinate at the time.

So, fight now to avoid future regrets. Get the best child custody lawyer you can so you can get the best child custody arrangement possible. While you by no means want to tear apart the relative peace you have with your former partner (if indeed there’s peace to be had), showing how important your kids are to you in this moment can be important for all parties. It reaffirms your commitment to your former partner and to your kids in a moment when they may feel some doubts, and it demonstrates to the judge how seriously you take your role as a parent. It also, once again, removes the need for regret later.

The truth is, child custody is complicated. It’s messy, and even if everyone seems happy in the moment, it’s likely no one will really be happy about the situation long term. It’s something a family has to grow around, but just make sure you’ve given yourself the room to grow with your kids with the best custody deal to keep you central to their lives.

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Factors that may Result to a Modification in a Child Custody Decision

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Family Law | 0 comments

Though states usually differ in some of the factors they consider in the determination of a child custody case, there is one constant principle that serves as a guide in every decision making: the child’s best interest. Child custody is one of the most sensitive divorce-related issues, not only because it concerns the future of another person, but also because many spouses never get to agree on the issue, necessitating a court proceeding wherein a The Woodlands divorce lawyer may argue your side of the story.

After determining who gets custody of the child/children, it is implied that the other parent, the non-custodial one, will have settle for visitation rights in order to be with his/her children (many courts, however, now consider awarding custody of the child to both parents, especially if this decision will be in the child’s best interest). Both custodial and non-custodial parents are expected by the court to abide by and respect all court decisions pertaining to the lives of the children and all court decisions shall be binding unless these are changed by the court itself due to a petition from either of the parents.

Request for change or modification in custody decisions may be honored by the court if the petitioning parent can prove (without doubt) that the current custodial parent fails to live up to the court’s expectations and/or fails in his/her obligation to recognize and respect the rights and personhood of the other parent.

Some of the more specific reasons why an original custody decision may be modified by the court, include: frustration of the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights; estrangement of the child’s affections from the non-custodial parent; change of residence without informing the non-custodial parent; material and substantial changes in the life of the custodial parent (such as his/her remarriage); child’s preference; unfavorable environment; and, relinquishment of custody.

Any parent will naturally do everything for the sake of his/her child, even if it means keeping the child away from his/her other parent, especially if such parent can be proven as unfit. This may not be an easy task though, as it will require legally acceptable and convincing arguments to make the family court judge recognize and accept any new evidences.

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