Category: Child Support Increase and Decrease

Win Custody in Your Divorce Case

Win Custody in Your Divorce Case

Are you a Houston parent that wants to win custody in your divorce case? Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you in your child custody battle. Our family law firm will work with you either through mediation to reach an agreement regarding your parenting plan or to help you gain full custody and child support in court.

Learn more about the different types of custody and factors that go into determining who will win child custody below.

Types of Custody Arrangements

There’s no one-size-fits-all custody arrangement; the terms of your final custody plan are supposed to be tailored to meet the needs of your family.

The final custody order should normally address both physical custody (which parent the child lives with) and legal custody (which parent has the right and obligation to make decisions about the child’s upbringing).

Most custody orders divvy up custody in one of the following ways:

  • sole legal custody and sole physical custody to one parent
  • sole physical custody and joint (shared) legal custody
  • joint physical custody and joint legal custody, or
  • sole legal custody and joint physical custody (rare).

When an order specifies that one parent has sole physical custody, the judge will typically create a visitation schedule to ensure the child has the opportunity to enjoy a meaningful relationship with the noncustodial parent.

Who Decides Custody?

As is the case with most family law issues, courts will give a lot of weight to any agreements that parents reach regarding child custody. If parents can work together to achieve a fair and proper custody arrangement, the judge will likely adopt it into a court order. Working together is the best opportunity for parents to control what happens to their families after a separation or divorce.

If you’ve tried talking with your spouse or participated in child custody mediation, but you still disagree on how to allocate custody and visitation, the court will decide for you. In most states, the judge must investigate and apply specific factors to every custody decision. Once the judge enters a child custody order, it is binding on and enforceable by both parents, even if one disagrees.

How Courts Make Custody Decisions

Almost all courts use a standard that gives the “best interests of the child” the highest priority when deciding custody issues. What a judge considers to be in the best interests of the child depends on many factors, including:

  • the child’s age, sex, and mental and physical health
  • each parent’s mental and physical health
  • each parent’s lifestyle and other social factors,
  • the emotional bond between each parent and child, as well as each parent’s ability to give the child guidance
  • each parent’s ability to provide the child with food, shelter, clothing, and medical care
  • the child’s established living pattern (school, home, community, religious institution)
  • the quality of the child’s education in the current situation
  • the impact on the child of changing the status quo, and
  • the child’s preference if the child is mature enough to express an opinion.

Assuming that none of these factors favors one parent over the other, most courts tend to focus on which parent is likely to provide the child with a stable environment and better foster the child’s relationship with the other parent. When the child is young, this might mean awarding custody to the parent who has been the child’s primary caregiver. With an older child, the court’s best interests evaluation might lean in favor of the parent who can foster continuity in education, neighborhood life, religious life, and peer relationships.

In tough child custody cases—such as those where one parent is claiming that the other is “unfit”—judges might order a child custody evaluation. Parents can request a custody evaluation even when a judge doesn’t. A child custody evaluator can provide information and recommendations that will help the judge decide what’s in the child’s best interests.

Are there special issues if a gay or lesbian parent is seeking custody or visitation rights?

Generally, the court will consider a parent’s sexual orientation only if it negatively impacts the child. For example, suppose a child’s parent enters into an abusive relationship with a same-sex partner, causing the child to experience domestic violence that requires frequent moves between homes, hospitalizations, or police intervention. In that case, the court is less likely to award custody to that parent. Instead, the court will allocate parental responsibility to the other parent if the judge finds that parent to be “fit” under the law.

However, lesbian, gay, or transgender parents might still experience discrimination from judges who can’t set aside their own prejudices when evaluating what’s in a child’s best interests. These judges might be motivated by their own or community prejudices and might try to conceal the true reasons for their decisions by citing issues other than the lesbian or gay parent’s sexual orientation to deny custody or appropriate visitation.

Attorney Renken can help you win custody in your divorce case. Reach out to us today to learn more about how to resolve your divorce issues.

Affordable Family Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
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How Can I Strengthen My Case For Custody

How Can I Strengthen My Case For Custody

One of the most common questions divorcing parents ask is: How Can I Strengthen My Case For Custody?

Child custody can be a very sensitive subject for families to take on. Not only are the emotions of both parents on the line, the welfare of any child involved is also.

You may feel frustrated and unsure of how to go about proving that you are the better suited parent for custody. It is important that you navigate this situation delicately, involving your children as minimally as possible.

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you to make a strong case for why you are the parent that should be awarded custody. Attorney Dawn Renken is familiar with child custody cases in Texas and can provide your with the information and guidance you will need to make the most informed choices for your child.

Understand the ‘Better Parent’ Standard

A lot of parents go into a child custody hearing with the intention of seeking sole custody. For some parents, this is because they believe that the other parent is “unfit” to raise their child. Others would prefer to have sole custody for other reasons.

However, any parent hoping to win child custody should realize that there is a higher burden of proof for the parent seeking sole custody. Factors that play a role in this decision:

Courts don’t want to interfere in parent/child relationships: Most judges are reluctant to prevent either parent from having a relationship with their child because the implication is that both parents, together, are best able to care for a child.

One parent must be established as a better parent: To award sole custody, the courts have to establish one parent as the ‘better parent,’ which can be difficult to do, particularly if both parents have been involved up until this point.

The burden of proof is on you: As a result, any parent seeking sole custody has to prove that he or she is best able to care for a child, with or without the assistance of the other parent.

From a judge’s standpoint, parents should not be “trashing” one another during a child custody hearing. Instead, the parent seeking sole custody should focus on proving that he or she is the better parent without attacking his or her counterpart.

Prove You’re the Better Parent

Parents seeking sole custody should focus on the following factors to support a sole custody petition:

  • The physical well-being of the child: For example, focus on your child’s routine, sleeping habits, eating schedule, and after-school activities. Judges tend to notice parents who encourage a healthy lifestyle.
  • The psychological well-being of the child: For example, making sure that the child has access to liberal visitation with the other parent. Judges tend to favor parents who openly support the child’s ongoing relationship with the other parent.

If you are still wondering, “How Can I Strengthen My Case For Custody?” Set up a consultation with our legal team. We will work with you to tackle your custody issue and support the best interests of the child.

 

Affordable Family Lawyer Serving Houston, TX

Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area, including but not limited to Brazos County, Cypress, Fort Bend County, Galveston, Houston Heights, Houston, Humble, Katy, Kingwood, Memorial Houston, Montgomery County, Montrose, Richmond, Rosenberg, Spring, The Woodlands. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #586
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
Google Business Listing

Coronavirus Related Layoffs Trigger Child Support Modifications

Coronavirus Related Layoffs Trigger Child Support Modifications

The impact the Coronavirus has had on our lives is unprecedented. Beyond the actual illness itself, the social response we have taken in attempts to prevent further spreading of the virus has left many without work. In these trying times, we are doing the best we can to pick up the pieces and continue living our lives. There is much uncertainty as we tread along towards the future, discovering how to maintain our obligations and care for ourselves and others. If you have experienced a change in your work schedule or have been laid off, due to Coronavirus, you may be wondering how you will be able to pay your bills, including child support. At Renken Law Firm, we are here to help those facing Coronavirus related layoffs that trigger the need for child support modifications.

 

The health and wellness of our clients is our top priority. We are offering all of our legal services through safe telecommunication in order to follow and respect all social distancing boundaries put in place by our government. Our services have been made convenient so that you are able to get the top legal services in Houston from the comfort of your home.Our team can help you sort through and negotiate the specifics of your child support obligations and work to find solutions for your current financial situation, without you needing to come into the office. If you are looking to make an amendment or modification to your current child support agreement, while also doing your part to stay home and limit your social contact, Renken Law Firm can help! Once regular social gatherings have resumed, online divorce legal services will still be available for those with busy lives looking to take care of their needs without changing their schedule. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get through this difficult time and make the changes needed to your child support agreement.

 

In legal cases involving a child, especially in modification of custody or child support cases, Texas Courts will always work to protect and promote the best interest of the child or children involved in the case, above all else. This is a broad guiding principle used to determine all orders with an impact on the children. Courts are much less concerned about what a parent wants or needs in their divorce or custody agreement, putting their primary focus on what benefits the children in the case. Do not face this difficult time on your own, instead contact Renken Law Firm today.

 

Child Support Legal Support in Texas

Renken Law Firm is here to help couples who wish to dissolve their marriage, whether that be through divorce or legal separation. We are here to help those who are ending marriages that have been contested, uncontested, or collaborative. We are fully prepared to help you navigate the specifics of your case. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Contact our law office to explore your options moving forward, and find out how we can help you.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC
11500 Northwest Fwy #618
Houston, TX 77092
(713) 956-6767
https://therenkenlawfirm.com
https://therenkenlawfirm.com/practice-areas/texas-family-law/child-support-increase-and-decrease/