Going through a divorce in Texas with a child can be an extremely stressful and volatile situation — but that doesn’t mean it has to be. With some basic education and the right legal guidance in your back pocket, divorce proceedings and child custody arrangements can be a relatively smooth process.
Let’s take a few moments to cover some general facts about divorce in Texas with a child that can help you decide the next best steps for your family.
The best interests of the child is the priority
There are a variety of issues that will be considered during a divorce in Texas with a child. These issues can expand to include everything from living situations and criminal history to emotional and physical needs.
Everything that occurred during your marriage will ultimately play a factor in deciding child custody rights, visitation schedules, and child support rulings. However, any decisions regarding who gets custody of a child in divorce in Texas will be made according to the best interests of the child — that is Texas Family Code.
“The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.” — Sec. 153.002. Best Interest Of Child
Child custody is decided alongside your divorce
When you file for divorce, all child custody arrangements will be determined simultaneously. In other words, separate court proceedings are not necessary. Anything relevant to child support, visitation, medical insurance, and more will be handled along your divorce proceedings.
Child custody can be determined outside of court
If you’re able to successfully come to an agreement with the other parent, your divorce can be handled and settled outside of a court proceeding — this includes everything related to the children. While the court is required to approve the final settlement, this situation is typically ideal for both parties since it can be a quicker, less expensive process. However, if an agreement cannot be made outside of court, a judge will decide for you.
Temporary orders can control child custody during divorce
Tempers and emotions can run high during a divorce. Unfortunately, this can often negatively impact a family’s ability to navigate living arrangements for the children. If this is the case, you can ask the court to provide temporary orders for conservatorship and visitation. While it is ideal to decide this outside of court, this is a critical component of the divorce process for those parents struggling to communicate effectively.
Temporary orders go beyond living arrangements
It’s important to understand that temporary orders don’t just decide who the child lives with during the divorce proceedings. Temporary orders will also decide factors such as what each parent is responsible for and what financial obligations each parent has. In regards to finances, it’s important to be openly honest about your financial situation, like your net income, with the judge. For example, if you’re caught lying about your income to reduce child support, this can strengthen your ex-spouse’s case and jeopardize your credibility with the judge.
It’s important to keep in mind that if a hearing is required in order to decide temporary orders, then each parent may need to testify in court. It is also common for temporary orders to become permanent (unless something unexpected happens while the divorce is ongoing).
Speaking with an attorney is always recommended
Divorce in Texas with a child doesn’t always necessitate the assistance of a lawyer. However, it is always recommended to at least consult with a family law lawyer before heading to court.
A lawyer can give you guidance on your rights and options as a parent. This is especially helpful if you’re a father. If this is the case, you’ll want to seek out qualified child custody lawyers for fathers, so you can have the best possible chance of getting a truly fair outcome.
However, there are some situations that call for a lawyer more than others. You may want to consider investing in a lawyer:
- If the other parent has a lawyer and is seeking custody rights you don’t agree to
- If you’re seeking financial support outside of child support
- If the other parent has other financial obligations (like bankruptcy or property)
- If there are other elements at play such as disabilities, safety concerns, or adoption
Have more questions? Contact Thiessen Law Firm today.
If you want to learn more about the child custody process and more specifically, how to win child custody in Texas, we’ve got you covered. At Thiessen Law Firm, we have experience handling all types of child custody situations, including those dealing with joint custody in Texas and no-fault divorce in Texas.
To get started, give us a call at 713-864-9000 or request a consultation today.
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