Strategies for Desired Custody in Texas

Navigating the complexities of child custody can be daunting, but with the guidance of an experienced lawyer, you can explore effective strategies to achieve the custody arrangement you desire. While there are no guarantees that the outcome will align precisely with your preferences, understanding the various custody proceedings available can significantly impact the final decision. Temporary orders serve as a crucial starting point in the custody process, allowing for immediate arrangements to be put in place while the case progresses. From there, a skilled attorney can help you navigate the legal landscape, advocating for your rights and the best interests of your child every step of the way.

Temporary Orders

First, either parent can initiate a motion requesting the court to issue temporary orders that establish interim custody, parenting time, and child support before scheduling a trial.

Temporary orders can sometimes influence permanent orders later on. When interim or temporary orders work well for a child, the court may be hesitant to upset the status quo when entering permanent orders.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

A few possible alternative dispute resolution tools can help parents resolve their conflicts before trial.

These options include mediation, the appointment of an amicus attorney, the assignment of parenting coordinators, and undergoing a child custody evaluation. Any combination of these methods may be incorporated into your custody case.

How Do Mediators Help?

Arriving at a custody agreement with the other parent and avoiding trial is always possible with the help of a professional mediator. In Texas, custody mediation, whether the court assigns the mediator or the parties agree, maintains confidentiality. The court later receives mediated settlement agreements.

These agreements later serve as the blueprint for drafting a court order to be signed by the judge. When mediation does not result in an agreement, a later court hearing will decide what is in the child’s best interest and dictate custody terms for both parents.

What Does an Amicus Attorney Do?

In situations where the parties require an extra push to reach a point where agreements might be feasible, the court may appoint an amicus attorney. Consequently, the amicus attorney’s role is to aid the court in determining what arrangements are in the child’s best interest.

The amicus attorney (as opposed to an ad litem attorney) does not represent the child or either party. In doing so, the amicus attorney looks out for the child’s best interest and acts as the eyes and ears of the judge for the time that the parties are not inside the courthouse. The amicus attorney will assist the court with making decisions regarding where the child should primarily reside, what rights and duties each parent should have, and other vital issues.

As a neutral party, the amicus attorney has the privilege of accessing each parent’s home life, which is typically off-limits to others. The amicus plays a crucial role in aiding the court to better understand each parent’s:

  1. Child-rearing style
  2. A personal relationship with the child
  3. Home environment

How Do Parenting Coordinators Help?

In high-conflict custody cases, the court may appoint a parenting coordinator to hold meetings with parents and address their concerns regarding the parenting plan. The coordinator does not advocate for either party’s position but facilitates negotiations by blending counseling, parent education, and dispute resolution techniques into the discussions.

As a facilitator, the coordinator assists parents in settling their differences to develop a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interest. If the parents cannot resolve their dispute and do not agree to a plan, the coordinator will recommend it.

How Do Child Custody Evaluators Help?

After thorough investigation and inquiry in a limited-scope psychological custody evaluation of the family, the child custody evaluator makes custody recommendations to the court. In determining what is in the child’s best interest, the evaluator interviews the parents, the child, and other family members and reviews documents and records regarding the child.

As a mental health professional, the evaluator submits a detailed report to the court with recommendations for legal decision-making and parenting time. When parents do not agree to a parenting plan, and a custody trial becomes necessary, the evaluator’s report will be very influential with the judge.

Tips for a Successful Relationship with Your Child

If custody is contested, your lawyer must present your parenting decisions and judgments in the light most favorable to you. The strategy is essential to getting the relationship you want with your child.

Even when parents agree today, a custody disagreement could arise anytime. Therefore, always be prepared to validate and substantiate your parenting decisions before, during, and after your custody case is complete.

In conclusion, employing effective child custody strategies with the guidance of an experienced lawyer can significantly influence the outcome of custody proceedings. While there are no guarantees of achieving the exact arrangement desired, proactive measures such as temporary orders can lay a solid foundation for future negotiations. Throughout the process, it’s essential to remain flexible and prioritize the well-being of the child. By leveraging strategic approaches tailored to your specific circumstances, you can navigate the complexities of child custody proceedings with confidence and advocate for the best interests of your family.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Custody Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it’s important to speak with one of our Houston, TX child custody lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child custody lawyers in Houston, TX, are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles child custody cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, and Waller County.

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