Divorce can often lead to a protracted legal process to determine how and when each spouse has custody of the children. At Adams Law Firm, we understand that this can be a very difficult time for you and your family. If you are fighting for custody of your children in Katy or the Greater Houston area, we are here to help.
Child custody cases are often called child custody “battles” because they are usually very emotionally draining and can cause a great deal of stress to the children involved. We can work to help you and your family through this challenging time and help you to make a case for custody of your child. Contact the Houston child custody lawyers of Adams Law Firm today at (281) 391-9237 or online to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with a member of our team.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Child Custody Case?
If you find yourself fighting for custody of your children, a qualified and experienced Houston area child custody lawyer can make the difference in achieving a positive outcome for you and your child. Child custody lawyers will be able to provide a great deal of support in building your case and helping you to understand your legal options at each step of the process. Many factors can affect a court’s custody decisions, and Adams Law Firm will explain how a court might view your case so that you know what to expect.
Ideally, a knowledgeable child custody lawyer can help you to understand what actions you should and should not be taking in order to increase your chances of winning in a child custody case. In court, judges can be very sensitive to whether or not you are paying child support, what you are doing with your children, and how you conduct yourself around your former spouse. Child custody lawyers know what you need to do to put yourself in the best possible position for a favorable outcome.
Why Choose Adams Law Firm to Handle My Case?
Adams Law Firm is a dedicated family law practice serving the Katy area and Greater Houston since 1977. Our firm has won numerous accolades and awards, including achieving an AV Preeminent Rating on Martindale-Hubbell, a leading lawyer-rating service. We have also been included in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Texas, and we have won awards from the Katy Chamber of Commerce and the Katy Sun.
We strive to separate ourselves from the competition by treating you and your case as unique, listening to your needs, and taking note of your feedback. We understand that divorce, child support, and child custody can be difficult topics for you and your family and that you are going through a range of emotions. We are here to provide legal support and advice, acting as a guiding hand to help you achieve the optimal outcome in your child custody case.
Types of Child Custody Cases We Handle
Child custody cases can be highly complex. Experienced child custody lawyers can be immensely helpful in guiding you through the facets of child custody cases. In general, there are a number of factors that a judge considers in awarding sole custody to one parent or awarding joint or shared custody, which include:
- Financial situation, solvency
- Prior criminal record
- Any special needs that a child might have
- General physical and mental health of each parent
- Interactions with each parent
In Texas, there are two main types of legal custody — sole managing conservatorship and joint managing conservatorship — which refer to sole custody and joint custody of the child, respectively.
A parent with sole managing conservatorship generally has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child in the following areas:
- Medical Decisions and Treatment: This grants the parent who is granted custody the ability to make medical decisions on behalf of the child, including general health, dental decisions, and psychiatric treatment decisions, when necessary.
- Residency of the Child: A parent who has been awarded sole managing conservatorship can determine where the child will live. This is referred to as physical custody.
- The Child’s Education: The custodial parent will have the right to send the child either to a school located within their school district or to private school if they so choose.
- Religious Practices: The custodial parent will be able to express and reinforce their religious views and practices to their children.
- Sports and Other Extracurricular Activities: The custodial parent can determine the types of extracurricular activities the child can participate in as part of their educational experience.
The amount of child support the noncustodial parent has to pay may or may not be a part of the general custody agreement, but it will be a factor in your case.
When joint managing conservatorship is awarded, the child is part of a shared custody arrangement. In this case, the parents must make decisions on health, education, and residency together. If the parents in a joint custody arrangement cannot reach an agreement, there may be another custody case where a judge would determine who the primary caretaker is while giving the other parent access to the child. In this case, the nonprimary caretaker would have to pay child support to the primary caretaker under most circumstances, as the cost of housing and feeding the child full time is much higher for the custodial parent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Child custody agreements are complicated and stressful. We have provided the answers to some common questions we hear at our firm below, but please do not hesitate to call us at (281) 391-9237 for answers to any specific questions you have about your claim.
What should I do during a custody case?
Child custody cases can evoke strong emotions and reignite old conflicts. However, when a child custody case goes to court, it is essential to present yourself in the best possible light so that you are more likely to retain custody of your children. Several ways to make sure that your image remains positive include:
- Show a willingness to work with your former spouse: This can help demonstrate to a court that you are willing to be flexible and work toward an agreement.
- Document everything: If you believe that your spouse would be a poor fit for custody, you should document your interactions with them, as well as your former spouse’s interactions with your children.
- Be on your best behavior: For the court, perception is reality. Ensure that you refrain using drugs or abusing alcohol, always tell the truth to the court, and do not refuse to do anything the court requests of you without first consulting a child custody lawyer.
If you follow these steps, you will set yourself up for success in your case.
What shouldn’t I do during a child custody case?
Just as there are certain actions you should take to improve your chance of a satisfactory outcome, there are also certain behaviors you should avoid, including:
- Do not act aggressively toward your ex: If you threaten or otherwise lose your temper with your former spouse, this gives them leverage to obtain temporary emergency custody. It also severely weakens your argument that you are the more fit parent to raise the child.
- Do not fall out of compliance with any existing agreements: If there is a current child support agreement, continue to make child support payments, even if you want to modify that agreement. You could end up in trouble if you fail to make payments, and your image will be damaged in court.
- Do not involve your children or make them pawns in the custody case: Do not move or take an unplanned vacation, and try to involve your children in the case as little as possible. Your behavior could violate an existing agreement or end up giving your spouse a reason to make an argument that you are putting your own interests above your children’s.
Avoiding these actions can help your claim.
Can a custody order be modified?
Custody orders can be modified, and Adams Law Firm has the knowledge and experience to help with modifications to custody agreements. These situations may happen if you or your ex-spouse lose a job, get a raise, get remarried, move, or agree to new terms out of court and would like to formalize the agreement. Speaking with a qualified child custody lawyer can help you navigate this process as smoothly as possible.
Contact Adams Law Firm Today
Child custody cases can be emotionally overwhelming and complex. The family law practice of Adams Law Firm understands this and is prepared to work with you through a custody case to emerge with the best possible solution. The experienced and knowledgeable Houston area child support and custody lawyers of Adams Law Firm can help by assessing your case, giving you your legal options and guidance during a custody case, and helping you to win custody of your children.
Never go a child custody case alone; the stakes are simply too high. Call the Katy child custody lawyers of Adams Law Firm today at (281) 391-9237 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your child custody case.