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When an ex files for custody

When parents in Texas divorce or separate, both parties are usually concerned about their children’s welfare. While many couples are able to negotiate custody issues before one spouse or partner moves out, this doesn’t always happen. In addition, some parents become unhappy about existing custody arrangements months or even years after an initial split.

A parent who learns that their ex plans to file for custody, or has done so already, may experience a range of emotions including shock, fear and anger. While these feelings are normal and understandable, they should not dictate the parent’s actions. The fact that one parent has filed for custody does not mean that the effort will be successful.

The family court system generally recognizes that children benefit from having a meaningful relationship with both parents. When both parents are committed to doing what is right for their children and are fit to provide care, courts generally seek to protect the rights of both parents.

When a parent receives word of a custody action by the other parent, he or she should take action. Any communications received from the court or the other party’s attorney should be read carefully: For example, if the parent receives word of a court hearing, he or she should respond to the notification and ensure that he or she is present at that hearing.

Individuals who are involved in complex child custody disputes may benefit from consulting with an experienced family law attorney. The attorney may be able to investigate the client’s circumstances and make recommendations regarding child custody hearings, modification orders and other related issues. An attorney might also opt to hire investigators and mental health professionals to provide testimony during child custody proceedings.

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