It probably took you some time to decide just how to break the news of your impending divorce to your children. However, once you explained the situation, you may have been surprised at how resilient your children are and how supportive they could be. You then turned your attention toward child custody matters, knowing that a contentious situation could arise.
One of the best ways to prevent courtroom drama and major legal obstacles where child-related issues, such as visitation and support, are concerned, is to learn as much as you can ahead of time. It helps to have a basic understanding of the Texas laws that govern such matters.
Are you aware of your conservator responsibilities?
Texas law uses a specific term to describe the legal rights and responsibilities of parents in divorce. The word is conservatorship. You, as a divorced parent, are a conservator in the eyes of the law, and the specifications listed in your particular plan may vary from another person’s in the same state. Knowing the following basic facts regarding the issue may help you avoid problems as your divorce process unfolds:
- Parents themselves have a right to negotiate a post-divorce parenting plan, in which case the court need only approve it to make it stick.
- If you and your former spouse cannot agree on conservator plans, the court will ultimately make decisions to which you and your children’s other parent are obligated to adhere.
- Whether you have a joint or sole conservatorship management plan depends on various factors particular to your own situation, as well as state guidelines.
- Typically, a Texas court presumes that joint conservator plans are in children’s best interests unless extenuating circumstances suggest otherwise.
If there’s a history of violence, criminal convictions, or drug and alcohol abuse in one parent’s life, or your co-parent has disengaged from your children’s lives, the court may decide against sole conservatorship for that person. However, one can never predict how the court will rule on any given issue.
How can I improve my chances of a positive outcome?
Often, a litigation outcome depends on the type of representation a person has. Many divorcing parents hire experienced family law attorneys to increase their chances of obtaining positive results.
As far as your children are concerned, as long as they know they’re loved and are given opportunities to express their emotions (which may greatly fluctuate throughout the divorce process), chances are, they’ll be just fine. In order to expedite court proceedings so you and your children can get on with your lives, you may want to act with skilled support from an experienced Texas attorney.