Divorce is always a difficult process, but when children are involved the emotional stakes are much higher. One of the most common questions our divorce attorneys receive is how to file for child custody in Texas?
Obtaining custody of your child requires a knowledgeable divorce attorney and quick action to ensure that you remain a significant part of your child’s life.
Call or contact an experienced Texas child custody attorney at the Tidwell Law Office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and your legal options for filing for child custody.
Steps for Filing for Child Custody
The first step in filing for child custody is hiring an experienced divorce attorney for your case. A lawyer will ensure that the proper paperwork is filled out on time and correctly. If the other parent wants to fight the custody request, your attorney will be in the best position possible to make the argument for your case.
The second step is filling out a “Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship” form (SAPCR). One the form is filed and fees paid, the other parent will receive notice that the petition has been submitted to the court. The other parent will have an opportunity to file a response to the petition, counterpetition, or file a denial with the court.
The third step in filing for child custody is collecting evidence to support your case for custody. This includes any documentation that proves it is in the best physical, emotional, financial, and psychological interests of the child if you maintain custody. Texas law provides a list of factors that the judge will look at when determining custody of your child, and documents like medical records, employment and financial records, police reports, and any other evidence that validates your argument is helpful for the case. This may also include getting affidavits and expert testimony from social workers and child psychologists about the best interests of the child.
Keep a journal of your interactions with your child, including making their meals, taking them to and from school, attending extracurriculars for your child, taking your child to the doctor, and any other interactions that show why you should have custody.
Once the judge has all the evidence from both parents, she will review the arguments from both sides and made a decision. In Texas, the usual presumption is that the parents should share joint custody of a child unless shown otherwise. A parent can be awarded sole or joint custody that includes legal and physical custody of the child. The non-custodial parent may be awarded visitation rights, and depending on how much time the child will spend with that parent, some legal custody rights, as well.
Contact The Tidwell Law Firm Today
If you have additional questions about filing for child custody in Texas, our office is here to help.
Call or contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled divorce attorneys to discuss your legal options in your case.