Houston Child Custody Lawyer
When parents are divorcing, they want to look out for the best interests of their children. However, it may be that each parent has different ideas about what this looks like and compromise and agreement are impossible to achieve. If divorcing parents find themselves in this situation, they may depend on the court to for a fair and impartial decision that is best for their children.
Custody issues are often one of the most contentious parts of divorces where children are involved. Each parent is concerned that they will lose their rights to their children or their rights regarding their children will be severely curtailed.
The danger of losing custody of your children is real, and the proceedings should never be taken lightly. How can you be completely certain your children’s best interests are protected if you only get to see them every other weekend?
If you are fighting for the custody of your children, either during a divorce, or after a divorce, Houston child custody attorneys of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler are dedicated to fighting for you. We are protective of the rights and interests of our clients as they work through complicated and, sometimes, emotionally-charged child custody issues, including child support and visitation rights. Contact our offices at (713) 802-1777 to discuss your situation with a lawyer who is prepared to take on the unique challenges of your case.
Why Hire an Attorney for Your Child Custody Case
Custody disputes can be hard and emotionally draining for all family members involved. A lawyer can help you during a custody dispute by communicating objectively and impartially on your behalf.
This can help take a bit of the stress and emotion out of these disputes. A lawyer will always be calm while assertedly advocating for you. A lawyer can communicate effectively with the court and other involved parties as.
Since lawyers have detailed and specific knowledge child custody laws, as well as extensive experience with the legal system, they have the qualifications to vigorously defend your rights as a parent.
Child custody agreements can everyone involved for many years to come. You should have a lawyer you trust if you have legal concerns regarding your child’s custody arrangements.
Why Choose Holmes, Diggs & Sadler to Handle Your Child Custody Case
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we have a well-known reputation for comprehensive experience and specialization in family law. We can effectively handle a wide variety of legal matters regarding child custody. Our lawyers will not shy away from taking on complex and challenging cases. We are prepared to advocate for you in hearings, negotiations, and in court.
We are prepared to take on cases involving family violence, substance abuse, high conflict situations, international matters, LGBT families, and more. Since we have experience dealing with high-profile cases, we ensure our clients’ privacy in all family matters.
Throughout our firm’s history, we have established a reputation for excellence. Our attorneys have received numerous accolades. Some of our team members have been named Texas and Houston Magazine’s top lawyers, super lawyers and rising stars by Texas Super Lawyers, and have been listed among Texas Monthly’s top lawyers.
We have dealt with so many different types of child custody situations that we are confident we can serve you well in meeting your goals. We can also work with grandparents to secure visitation or custody rights, as well as work with parents to modify custody agreements, child support, and visitation. We always put goals of our clients above all else.
Types of Custody
The way a child custody case may play out will depend on your unique circumstances. This is why the Houston child custody lawyers of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler work to tailor unique strategies that take advantage of the specific realities of our clients’ cases. However, the result of a child custody contest will typically end with one of these general outcomes:
Joint Custody – Generally, the court will try to appoint joint custody to both parents, who will both have some degree of access to the child. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you and your spouse will have to share physical custody, but it could mean that you both have a say in certain decisions on behalf of the child.
Sole Custody – There are a number of reasons the court may grant sole conservatorship to a parent, who will then have final say in all decisions regarding the child. These reasons can include the other parent’s absenteeism, violent behavior, or history of drug or alcohol abuse.
If a child custody proceeding isn’t favorable to you, you can appeal the court’s decision. In some cases, you may be able to regain custody or visitation rights to children after demonstrating to the court that you have made positive adjustments to your life. In certain circumstances, our attorneys can help you work to modify custody, visitation, and support agreements.
Our Child Custody Practice Areas
There many types of legal issues associated with child custody. Our knowledgeable, qualified Houston child custody attorneys are well-versed in each of these kinds of cases, including those that are associated with the following:
- Enforcement actions
- Supervised visitation
- Paternity cases
- Child support
- Grandparents’ rights
- The Hague Convention
- International kidnapping
- Telephone access to children
- Internet access to children
- Temporary restraining orders
- Interstate property and custody
- Habeas corpus
- Enforcement of visitation
- Enforcement of child support
- Modifications of custody
- Modification of child support
- Modification of visitation
- Parental kidnapping
Because the team at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler has many years of experience with child custody and family law issues, we are confident that we will be able to address any questions you or your family has during this time. It is an important goal of our firm to become a trusted resource for individuals who are often experiencing a stressful, emotional time in their lives.
How to Talk to Your Child About Divorce
Going through a divorce is never easy, but when you and your spouse share children, the divorce process can become even more complicated and stressful. Discussing divorce with your child can be daunting, but it is necessary to always keep your child informed. The age of the child will greatly affect how you approach conversations about divorce and how much you can truly share. The most important things to always keep in mind when talking to your child about divorce are honesty, patience, and reassurance. Every child will react differently divorce, but if you are honest and patient with your child, all while reassuring their feelings in order to make sure they feel heard and understood, then the conversation will be much easier.
When speaking to your child about to divorce, it is best to be on the same page as your spouse. The last thing you want to do is confuse your child further by providing different information or expressing different feelings than your spouse. On the same note, never speak poorly about your spouse. It is important for your child to know that this will always be their family and that their parents will still have a civil relationship after the divorce.
Lastly, encourage your child to share their feelings. Many children tend to shut down and close off emotionally towards their parents when a divorce is announced. Express to your child that you care about their concerns and you want to know how they’re feeling without forcing them to share. Make sure your child knows that they are loved and that the divorce is not their fault. Remind your child that you are always there for them and that you are willing to answer any questions they may have.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Custody
Who Determines How Much Visitation is Fair and Reasonable?
When a court awards primary custody to one parent, the parent with rights over the child will decide fair and reasonable visitation. Usually, both parents can communicate and work out a proper schedule together that allows for a significant amount of time with the child. This arrangement works in the best interest of the child and allows them to have both parents present in their life.
However, there may be situations where the parent with primary custody grants very little visitation to the non-custodial parent. This can have a negative impact on everyone, including the children.
Many courts now prefer for the parents to work together to create a parenting plan. These agreements usually include a visitation schedule and details about how to handle decisions regarding the child.
Parenting agreements are a great way to avoid putting the noncustodial parent at the mercy of the other. Such agreements typically include custody arrangements, how medical decisions should be made, visitation plans, child support payment plans, if the child will be raised religiously, and more. Our attorneys can help parents craft parenting agreements that will be legally sound and hold up in court.
What is “The Best Interest of the Child” Standard When Awarding Custody?
The best interest of the child is an objective test that uses facts to determine child custody. There is a balancing of interests between what favors and opposes custody for each parent. The standard is applied on a case-by-case basis, because the best interest of the child differs in every situation.
There are no binding rules a court will follow. Instead, a court will determine child custody based on the facts at hand for that particular case. Because of this lack of mechanical evaluation, courts have wide discretion in concluding what is in the best interest of the child. The courts do have some limitations, however. The state sets out statutory factors the court can consider, and stipulates that the court cannot put too much weight on one specific factor nor concern itself with factors irrelevant to the case.
Can Only One Parent Receive Custody?
Not always. In fact, it is rather common for courts to award joint custody (i.e., each parent has partial custody). There are two types of joint custody: joint legal and physical custody or joint legal custody.
Joint legal and physical custody means that the parents will share equal rights, physically and legally, over the child. Each parent is entitled to equal participation in decisions regarding the child. This type of custody is rare because of practicality and difficulty.
Joint legal custody is most often the result of a joint custody arrangement. This type of custody allows both parents to participate equally in deciding the child’s upbringing with regard to life decisions rather than day-to-day decisions. In joint legal custody situations, only one parent will receive physical custody of the child.
Child custody cases can be both emotionally trying and legally complex. They can have a lasting impact on you and your loved ones. That is why it is imperative for you to have a Houston divorce attorney on your side. For more information about our services, to tell us about your situation, or to schedule an appointment with our legal team, contact Holmes, Diggs & Sadler at (713) 802-1777 today.