Working with one of the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can provide you with many advantages over your Co-parent when it comes to a modification of a child custody case. Most people don't anticipate having to come back to court after having gone through an initial child custody or divorce case. However, it sometimes does happen whereas a result of changing circumstances in the life of you, your child, or your Co-parent that this becomes necessary. At that point, it is up to you as far as how you proceed and what level of consideration you give the case.
Let's suppose that you are the party that has filed the modification case. In that case, you probably have a well-thought goal when it comes to getting your child custody orders modified. Otherwise, you probably would not have filed a child custody modification, to begin with. From this vantage point, you have an advantage in being able to plan and develop a strategy for accomplishing your goal. Keep in mind that a child custody modification is not like a divorce case where if you file for divorce, you can get divorced. Rather, in a child custody modification case it must be shown that a material and substantial change has occurred. Otherwise, a judge cannot grant your modification request even if it is in the best interest of your child.
On the other hand, you may be approaching this modification case as the respondent or party who is not seeking the modification. In circumstances like that, you can be sure that you're coherent has a relatively significant advantage over you from the standpoint that he or she has developed a plan, strategy, or set of goals that he or she would like to accomplish in the case. He or she has been able to lay the groundwork to accomplish those goals by planning and likely hiring an attorney. There is nothing wrong with being caught flat-footed regarding a modification case, but you need to be sure that you have a plan of action in mind once you are served with modification papers.
Whether you are the party filing the modification case or are the party who is responding to the filing, you can stand to benefit a great deal from being represented by an experienced family law attorney. Just as no two families are created equal no two attorneys are created equal. Being able to work with an attorney who understands what you are going through and can walk with you through the difficulties and changing dynamics of a modification case is important. As a result, I cannot overstate how important it is for you to be able to work with an experienced attorney in this type of case specifically.
Therefore the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan would like to take the time in this blog post to discuss with you the merits of hiring a lawyer from our office. Specifically, I would like to spell out for you just how important it can be to hire an experienced attorney such as one of our senior-level family lawyers. We can walk with you through the circumstances you are facing and help you to identify goals that are designed to benefit you and your child. However, it takes you reaching out to us first for our lawyers to be able to help you and whatever life is throwing at you currently.
What can you get out of a free-of-charge consultation with one of our senior attorneys?
Ultimately, I understand that what you need to know is the benefit or benefits of hiring not only an attorney, not only a family law attorney but one of the senior attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. When it comes to being able to prepare for a child custody modification case, we have already walked through the two scenarios that you may find yourself in. No matter if you are the party who is interested in filing the modification case or are the party who is defending yourself in the modification there are benefits that you can derive from working with one of our experienced senior attorneys.
Put yourself in the position of a parent who is going to file a modification case. In that circumstance, you have probably thought thoroughly about whether to file the modification case at all. You are likely dealing with a scenario or set of scenarios involving your child that led you to believe that your child would stand to benefit from some change in their child custody orders. Maybe your child needs a new visitation schedule with their father because you all have moved or the child's father has moved closer to him or her period or, maybe you want to ask the court to be named as your child's primary conservator.
If this is the case, then you probably have thought about bringing a modification for some time. In sitting down with one of our experienced senior attorneys, you can learn more about the specific laws that are going to impact your case. You may have a general understanding of what a modification is and what laws pertain to it but meeting with one of our attorneys will give you the specifics about what to expect as far as the standard a judge will approach your case from in terms of whether or not a modification will be allowed. This is important because you can learn the likelihood of success in filing a case. After all: you do not want to file a modification only to quickly realize that you have no chance of being successful. One of our attorneys can counsel you to ask for the likelihood of success that you will find in the case so that you can determine whether you even want to go through with the modification.
Next, our senior staff attorney will be able to spell out for you exactly what a case would look like a period, of course, no attorney can accurately predict the future with 100% certainty. There are very likely to be bumps in the road or changes to a strategy as your case goes along. This much really cannot be helped. However, an attorney can be able to help you understand what it means to file a modification case, serve notice with the case to your Co-parent and eventually bring the case to mediation or a hearing. Again, having some basis of knowledge for what your case will look like moving forward is very important and can be the difference between Struggling through a family law case and having a well-defined plan.
Next, one of our attorneys can prepare you for what it means to hire a lawyer as far as the potential benefits to you on an individual level. The thing about hiring a lawyer is that the lawyer can ensure that your case he's not only filed promptly but also completed promptly. Do not underestimate just how important it is to your family and your pocketbook as far as how and why your case proceeds down the path towards a resolution. Your attorney will understand how to avoid hang-ups and other mistakes that made delay the processing of your case. The last thing you want is to see your resources dwindle as your case takes longer and longer To conclude. Certain aspects of a family law case will be beyond your control period however, the length of time that a relatively straightforward modification case takes to complete is not necessarily one of them. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you not only to get your case off the ground but also to get the case moving towards a resolution.
At that stage of a case, nothing is stopping you and your Co-parent from completing the case beyond merely not keeping your eyes on the prize, so to speak. Your attorney knows how to jumpstart a case and get hearings and mediation dates scheduled efficiently so that you are not bogged down by the minutiae of your case. You can instead focus on what the case means for you and your family as well as how to minimize expenses and keep the focus of the case on your child.
If you are facing down a child custody modification case as the responding party, then you may have had little indication that your Co-parent was ever going to file a modification. In my experience, most parents in a post-divorce or post-child custody scenario do not have a working relationship such that they share their concerns outwardly with one another. This does not mean that you two don't talk about anything related to your child, but it is unlikely that the two of you discuss higher-level concerns at least consistently. Therefore, it may come as a surprise that your Co-parent has filed a modification case and wishes to change some aspects of the child custody orders that you all had agreed on two years ago in your divorce or child custody case.
Let's assume that you are a well-meaning parent who was leaving work one day only to find that a process server was waiting by your vehicle. The process server simply handed you paperwork that looked official and then walked away. In that case, it would be normal to meet that experience with frustration and a little fear. Why would a person be waiting for you after work with documents to hand you? Did you do something wrong? Opening the paperwork would reveal that your co-parent had filed a petition to modify your child custody orders. This may be a complete surprise to you, or you may have seen this coming. Either way: you need to get a plan and develop a strategy to approach this modification case.
You didn't ask for this fight, but the fight asked for you. As a result, when it comes to this modification case you will want to be able to find out what your Co-parent is asking for, why he or she is asking for it, and what your thoughts are on the subject. You may find that you agree with your Co-parent on some of what he or she is asking for. In that case, you may be able to negotiate through some of these issues either informally or in mediation. Or it may be the case that what your Co-parent is asking for is well beyond what you are willing to discuss and as a result, a contested modification hearing may need to be the result.
Probably one of the first things that you considered after receiving the paperwork from your co-parent is what you need to do as far as responding to the lawsuit. What is the paperwork that you need to file? How soon do you need to file it? Can you get an extension on that if you are looking for a lawyer? All of these are relevant questions to ask and ones that you may be able to find the answer to simply by going online. Or your initial reaction to this may be to try to find a lawyer to sit down with and ask these questions. In the approximately 20 days that you have from the time you are served with modification paperwork until the time you need to file an answer, you should be able to reach out to an attorney to gain some level of understanding on these issues. Otherwise, you may be operating under mistaken assumptions or beliefs about the law. This does not stand a benefit to your child and could potentially hurt your relationship with your child significantly.
In this situation, you could stand to benefit from working with and consulting with one of our senior attorneys. The simple truth is that as a responding party you have less time to make decisions and get caught up on the paperwork, filing, and strategy creation that is associated with a modification case. One of the senior attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan would be able to help you separate fiction from fact and begin to help you learn about the law and how it can be impacted by the facts and circumstances of your case.
Your senior attorney will guide you but not make decisions for you
A lawyer does not make decisions for you in a modification case. By hiring a lawyer with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan you are gaining an opportunity to gain knowledge about your case, the law, and how the circumstances of your life could be impacted by a modification. There are many outcomes associated with a family law case, especially a modification, that could change things for your family. As a result, you will want to understand what you are about to encounter by being involved in this sort of case.
Many people assume that an attorney will spend the entire case making decisions for you based on their assumptions about what you want or what is in your best interest. I have had conversations with people who are hesitant to hire a lawyer because of concerns related to not having autonomy over various parts of their case. However, this is not a concern that you should have period the reason for this is that your attorney will be there to guide you and make recommendations but will not be making decisions for you.
Think about your case like a race car driver. You are driving the race car (AKA your case). Even if you hire a lawyer, one of our senior attorneys will not jump into the driver's seat and start steering the car. Rather, the attorney will sit in the passenger seat and help you to avoid potholes, and distractions and let you know when your gas meter is about to read "E." Basically, the attorney is someone who has driven that racecourse before and can help you avoid mistakes and accomplish your goal. You may not be able to say that you "won" a family case like you "won" a race, but success can be based on your circumstances and goals.
Otherwise, understand that simply sitting down with one of our senior attorneys to discuss the costs, benefits and other issues associated with a modification does not mean that you have to sign up to be a client, either. We want to show you what we can offer you as an attorney. The decision to move forward to allow us to serve you and your family is up to you.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today's blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.