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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