If you are considering filing a child custody case in Texas, I would like to provide you with helpful hints on what behavior to avoid during your case. There is likely a situation going on in your home or in the home of an ex-spouse that has troubled you enough to want to proceed to court to address the situation.
While not all people will act and behave in the same ways during a case like this, at least a few of the following situations may relate to you. With that in mind, let’s get into our advice.
Do not stop co-parenting.
Co-parenting is a word that is utilized with a great deal of frequency in our world today. As the nuclear family of the 1950s further disintegrates, blended families are the new normal and with it comes parenting relationships that formerly could be classified as atypical.
Learning how to co-parent and raise a child with a partner with whom you are no longer in a relationship can be extremely difficult. However, the parents who have worked at this skill and been diligent about their co-parenting responsibilities often do the best in child custody cases.
Why is that? For starters, courts favorably view parents who co-parent or at least attempt to do so.
This is due in no small part because judges have streams of people coming into and out of their courtrooms each day, and many of them are there because they are not attempting to co-parent or are co-parenting poorly. It is a breath of fresh air to see a parent who has worked with their fellow parent to raise a child.
This isn’t to say that you have to be perfect, but showing a competent co-parenting history can be a huge advantage.
Bad mouthing the other parent
Unfortunately, this trait is ingrained into many parents I have encountered as a family law attorney in Texas. When a parent’s dislike, disdain, or anger towards their fellow parent is so strong that it becomes a part of their personality, it can be a real issue.
How do you define yourself? As a parent? A member of a particular religion? As a member of your particular profession? However you do, I bet you wouldn’t consider yourself a disparager (insert name of your child’s other parent).
Yet, if we were to break down each interaction that you had with another human being and kept track of every negative word that was said, I am again willing to bet that you would not be proud of how often the other parent’s name entered your vocabulary.
How you think about your child’s other parent and how you talk about him or her others will invariably affect how he or she is discussed with your children. No matter how cognizant we are of how we do a certain thing, it is difficult to stop without working.
If it is commonplace for you to talk negatively about the other parent, it will be commonplace for you to do so in front of your child. As children pick up on actions much more than anything else, the things you do and say will have a tremendous impact on your child, whether you acknowledge it or not.
If you persist in speaking negatively about your child’s mother or father, it may encourage your child to do so. You want to do everything you can to help your child foster a strong relationship with you and their other parent. Your personal feelings aside, your child will only have two parents, and he or she must have a good amount of respect for both you and their other parent.
Continually bad mouthing and talking negatively about the other parent will affect their relationship with the other parent. This too will not be viewed favorably by a court, as far as a short term concern. Long term, your child may require serious counseling or other therapies to have a healthier view of both their parents.
Failing to control yourself emotionally
A judge must act in your child’s best interest when making decisions in your child custody case. While he or she cannot follow you home and see how you behave away from the courthouse, it is possible to make a good impression on the judge by showing a little self-restraint.
How can you do this in the limited time that you will be in the courtroom? Treating the other party and their attorney with respect is at the top of that list.
If your case involves social workers, court-appointed witnesses, or people like this, how you respond to questions and requests can go a long way toward proving to a judge that you have the emotional stability to have an increased role in the life of your child.
The other major area where you can show the judge you are emotionally stable and mature is when you are on the witness stand testifying. In a trial or temporary orders hearing, it is easy to get frazzled and frustrated. Taking it out on the opposing party is not advisable. Being civil and polite, no matter what is being asked of you or how your hearing is going, can drastically improve your case.
Questions about how to avoid these mistakes in your child custody case? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
If you have any questions about these topics, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today. One of our licensed family law attorneys is standing by to take your call and discuss your situation. A free of charge consultation where your questions can be answered is only a phone call away.
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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.