For parents, going through a child custody dispute is stressful, frustrating and often overwhelming. Custody cases can be contentious and emotionally draining. The good news is you are not merely at the whims of the system — there are steps you can take to protect your parental rights. Here, our Dallas child custody lawyers offer four tips to help you increase your odds of getting custody in Texas.
1. Know the Law — Best Interests of the Child Come First
Under Texas law (Texas Family Code § 153.002), the best interest of the child will always be the primary consideration in custody and visitation proceedings — meaning the needs and wants of the parents are a secondary concern. To increase your chances of getting custody, your focus should be on demonstrating you can provide the best environment for your child’s health, safety, well-being, and overall development.
2. Emphasize Your Strengths as a Parent
One of the biggest mistakes a parent can make in a child custody dispute is aggressively attacking the other parent. Texas law is clear: It is the state’s official public policy to ensure children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have demonstrated an ability to act in their best interests. Parents who are overly focused on attacking their former partner are sometimes deemed to be frustrating the state’s fundamental goal of creating the best environment for the child.
To increase your odds of getting custody, you should stay cool, calm and collected. Be sure to focus on emphasizing your dedication and commitment as a parent. To be clear, this does not mean your former partner’s history is irrelevant. Quite the contrary; if your former partner has engaged in serious misconduct, such as abuse or neglect, those are very important facts. Let your attorney present that evidence in an appropriate manner.
3. Present a Well-Documented Case
Like other legal disputes, a strong child custody case must rest on a foundation of comprehensive and carefully documented evidence. Parents who want to maximize their odds of getting custody should document every aspect of their relationship with their child. Among other things, you should get character references, craft a workable schedule and parenting plan, show evidence of your history of parental involvement, set up your home for your child and explain your willingness to facilitate visitation and electronic communication.
4. Consult with a Top Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody cases are among the most complex, emotionally raw types of legal proceedings. To increase your chances of being awarded child custody, you need the best legal representation. Your child custody lawyer will be able to review the specific nature of your case, understand your objectives, gather all relevant evidence and take action to protect your parental interests.
Schedule Your Child Custody Consultation Today
At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, our Texas child custody attorneys are committed to providing the very best family law representation. We have more Top 100 Super Lawyers on our team than any other law firm in the state. To set up your confidential initial appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us at (214) 273-2400. With three offices in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex and a fourth office in San Antonio, we represent parents throughout Texas.