Child Custody Attorneys in Denton
Acting in the Best Interests of Your Child
Child custody is frequently one of the most contentious areas of law – and sometimes it can get ugly. Even if the procedure is relatively harmonious, Texas family law is complex and the assistance of an experienced Denton child custody lawyer who understands the nuances of the local legal system can make the difference between success and failure.
Some of Our Other Practice Areas
In addition to support modification, our team also handles the following types of cases:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where do I file a child support modification petition?
If the child still lives in Texas, you are expected to file the modification case with the court that issued the original custody order, even if the child now lives elsewhere in Texas. If the child has been living elsewhere for at least six months, however, you can petition the court to transfer the case to a new court in the child’s current jurisdiction so that future proceedings will take place in the child’s new location. If the child no longer lives in Texas, the situation can get complicated. Hiring a highly knowledgeable Denton Child Custody Lawyer that understand the laws in this area is very important.
What is the process for modifying a custody order?
- You must file a modification petition with the court that issued the original order. The petition must assert legal grounds for modifying the original order.
- You must pay a filing fee and perhaps a service fee unless you are indigent.
- A hearing will be held on your petition, which the other parent is entitled to attend.
How long does a custody modification case take?
If everyone agrees, the case could be over in a few days. If your case is contested, however, the process could take considerably longer than that. And even if both parents agree, the judge will still apply the “best interests of the child” standard, and he is entitled to reject the custody modification petition.
What are some of the reasons that judges approve child custody modification petitions?
Some of the most common reasons are:
- One of the parents has relocated to a distant area
- The work responsibilities of one of the parents have changed
- Abuse or domestic violence is suspected
Will the child’s own preferences be taken into account?
It depends on the age and maturity of the child. The older the child is, the more likely it is that his preferences will be considered. Even the preferences of an older child might be ignored if, for example, the court believes that one of the parents has been trying to bribe the child. Ultimately, the standard is based on the child’s best interests, including but not limited to the child’s preferences.
If the other parent and I agree to modify custody arrangements, can we do it on our own without going to court?
Parents can and are encouraged to agree to any custody modifications if both parents believe such modification is in the best interest of the child(ren). However, in order for these agreements to be enforceable, the parents must get the Judge to approve the new custody modification arrangement and have a new order signed.
Who can seek to modify a custody order?
Normally a custody modification case is filed by a parent. If you are not the child’s parent, you can file a modification case under certain conditions if you have been caring for the child or living with the child for at least six months, or if you are a close relative of the child. Applications filed by non-parents are usually reserved for situations where a parent has recently died or where the child’s current circumstances place him in danger.
The Sooner You Act, the Better
Modifying a custody order in Texas requires appropriate reasons, and it requires a hearing before the court that issued the original custody order. These proceedings are often contested, and they can get complicated even if they are not contested.
This is no time to go it alone – you need an experienced and professional child custody attorney in Denton from The Law Office of Gregory C. Goline. Call (940) 400-0475 now to get started.
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