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Category Archives: Custody

Reasons to Modify a Child Custody Order

Reasons to Modify a Child Custody Order

Putting a divorce behind you can feel liberating. Instead of being tied up in the emotions that came with your divorce, you begin to focus on moving forward. This can be complicated—especially when child custody is involved. Your children have changing needs and schedules that may make it necessary to return to court to modify an existing court order.

Relocation: Changing Child Custody When Moving Somewhere Else

Relocation is a common reason for modification of child custody. When one parent moves, a child custody and visitation schedule that used to meet the family’s needs may no longer work. Parents and courts can amend the schedule to be a better fit.

It’s important to know that a law called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) protects non-custodial spouses in Texas. The law says that custodial parents can’t move more than 100 miles away without getting prior approval from the court. If you’re considering moving with your child, you will want to get the court’s permission before you make the change.

Remarriage: Child Custody After a Parent Remarries

New marriages often mean changes to existing child custody agreements. That’s because they often come with changes in living arrangements and schools, new siblings and financial changes that can all affect the time parents can spend with their children. They also affect the decisions that need to be made for them. We often hear from parents who need to modify an existing agreement after remarriage.

Change in a Work Schedule That Affects Child Custody

When there’s been a significant change in circumstances, like long-term changes to a parent’s work schedule, it’s possible to ask the court to change the child custody and visitation agreement. You’ll probably need to provide the court with evidence of the change. Official documents that list your new work schedule are usually sufficient evidence.

Change in Ability to Provide Childcare

Significant, long-term changes in one parent’s ability to provide childcare can also be the reason for child custody order modifications. Often, parents create a plan that takes their schedules and finances into account. But changes to those schedules and finances can mean they need to make different childcare plans.

Change in the Child’s Needs or Health

Courts aim to consider the best interests of the child in parenting matters. When a child’s needs change significantly, this can impact the court’s assessments. A medical diagnosis—like a learning disability or a chronic illness—or an accident that requires rehabilitation can be reasons to modify an existing court order.

Get Help With Child Custody Modification. Contact an Attorney.

Matters of child custody can be stressful because they affect the people who are most important to you. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced attorney on your side.

If you need legal help with modifying a child custody order, get started by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 or send us a message. Our Texas child custody lawyers are here to support you.

Overcoming Common Co-Parenting Issues After a Divorce

Divorce is an emotional and confusing time for your children. After your divorce, effective co-parenting is critical for their wellbeing. You and your ex-spouse will need to use patience and problem-solving to ensure you’re able to work together.

Common Co-Parenting Issues & How to Overcome Them

There’s bound to be some growing pains while you and your ex-spouse figure out what life looks like after divorce. After all, you’ll both need to coordinate schedules and make decisions regarding your children. This is where some of the most common co-parenting issues arise.

1. Negative Talk

Divorce is stressful, which often results in anger and heightened emotion. Some parents may be shocked to hear their child relay that their ex-spouse has been speaking negatively about them when they’re not around.

This type of behavior confuses your child and may leave them to feel at-fault. They may also feel the need to choose between their parents.

It’s important to keep the issues you have with your ex between the two of you. Don’t use your children as a buffer or expect them to relay messages on your behalf.

2. Schedule Changes

Two different schedules will need to entwine to meet the needs of your children. And when changes occur, it could result in less parenting time and frustration. It’s best to communicate schedule changes with your ex-spouse as far in advance as possible.

For example, if you wish to take your child on an extended vacation, discuss it with your ex first. If your work schedule changes, tell your ex as soon as possible. You can then work together to come up with a plan.

Some changes, such as work schedule changes, may necessitate a custody modification. Reach out to your attorney if you feel your custody or parenting plan needs to change.

3. Lack of Cooperation

Unfortunately, some couples find it difficult to co-parent. One ex-spouse may be completely uncooperative when it comes to communication and the parenting plan. If this is the case for you, it’s important to remember that you can’t control your ex’s actions—you can only control your own.

Disagreements will happen, especially at first. You should expect to work through them together by communicating and sharing your concerns. If your ex refuses to co-parent, we recommend reaching out to an attorney for help.

Call Schneider Law Firm, P.C. in Ft. Worth Today

The attorneys at Schneider Law Firm, P.C. have years of experience supporting clients going through divorce and co-parenting. To learn more about effective co-parenting or for support with custody modifications, give our Ft. Worth office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

Virtual Visitation: Parenting Time in the Digital Age

Now more than ever, parents and kids use technology to keep in touch. Advances including Zoom, FaceTime, email, and text have made it possible for parents and their children to forge close connections through a virtual visitation—even when one parent lives far away.

Texas law has changed over time, as well. Texas is one of several states that allow virtual visitation. The law is codified in Texas Family Code Section 153.015. Also called “e-visitation” or “e-access,” virtual visitation helps parents stay close to their children by having regularly scheduled online visits. 

It’s most often used in certain situations:  

  • When one parent lives far away, like in a different state or country
  • When frequent contact between the parent and child is required
  • When a family’s schedule or special needs make virtual visitation in the child’s best interests

Virtual Visitation Rules

Virtual visitation is allowed by Texas courts only when it’s in the best interests of the child. Courts weigh a series of factors to determine this, including the child’s needs and the parent’s capacity. Courts also make sure that the family has access to the technology necessary to make this work smoothly. It may seem like this is a given, but many people still struggle with access to technology.

Generally, courts order virtual visitation to supplement in-person visitation—not to replace it. A typical schedule may involve some virtual visitation in between periods of regular in-person visitation. For example, maybe Dad’s regular days are Tuesday and Thursday, but he likes to attend his kids’ soccer games virtually or help with homework on the days he’s not there in person.

There are some situations—like when a parent is an abuser or has substance abuse issues—that virtual visitation may not be appropriate. Courts look to protect children from their abusers, and virtual visitation is not adequate protection.

Parents must also promise not to interfere in the virtual visitation. It works best in situations in which a parent lets the child talk freely with the other parent without the conversation being monitored or interfered with.

Get the Support You Need To Bring You and Your Kids Closer

If you’re thinking that virtual visitation might be an option for you and your family, talk with the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm. At our Ft. Worth law office, our attorneys can represent you in the child custody matters you face. Call 817-755-1852 or send us a message to discuss your situation and how we can get the best possible outcome for you.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Sometimes, one parent actively tries to undermine a child’s relationship with the other parent. A parent may do this by talking badly about the other parent in front of the child or by taking steps to prevent the other parent from having visitation. This is called parental alienation.

Signs of Parental Alienation

Courts often deal with divorces and child custody disputes that involve allegations of parental alienation. Typically, one side takes action that limits the other side’s parenting time or affects the child’s views of the other parent. The court must assess the situation and determine if the behavior rises to the level of parental alienation.

There can be many signs that parental alienation is affecting your relationship with your child, including:

  • Making negative comments about the other parent to the child
  • Allowing others around the child to make negative comments about the other parent
  • Unnecessarily involving the child in divorce details
  • Making the child unavailable during scheduled visits with the other parent
  • Concealing important information about the child’s schedule and activities from the other parent
  • Monitoring and preventing communications between the child and the other parent

How Parental Alienation Can Affect Your Divorce or Child Custody Case

The State of Texas doesn’t provide legal standards for evaluating parental alienation. However, Texas courts have started to act when they suspect parental alienation, and they’ve been taking matters seriously.

In divorces or child custody cases involving parental alienation, a judge may order that the child receives therapy or that the child may spend more time with the alienated parent. In extreme and serious cases, the parent who is causing the alienation may lose custody of the child.

What To Do if Parental Alienation Is Affecting Your Relationship With Your Child

If you believe that parental alienation is a factor in your divorce or child custody dispute, it’s important to get help. If the situation is left to go on too long, it may permanently damage your relationship with your child. It’s not unheard of for parents to lose months—or even years—of time with their children, just because the other parent shared nasty rumors and false information.

Talk With Our Lawyers About Child Custody

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we work to protect your relationship with your child. For a confidential consultation, call our Ft. Worth office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message. We can answer your questions about child custody and what a judge may consider if parental alienation is involved

Am I Eligible for an Uncontested Divorce?

Many couples know they wish to end their marriage yet fear the emotional pain of fighting in court. For those couples who wish to finish proceedings quickly and with cost in mind, there’s the option of uncontested divorce.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?

An uncontested divorce is the simplest form of divorce. There is no “contest” which means both you and your spouse agree on all terms. Uncontested divorces are often resolved faster than contested divorces. It’s also common for these divorces to be less expensive due to reduced court costs.

Who Is Eligible for an Uncontested Divorce?

Those who wish to move forward with an uncontested divorce must meet specific requirements. First, you and your spouse must agree on all aspects of your divorce, including the grounds or reason for the divorce. Other aspects include:

  • Property division: You and your spouse must have a property settlement that fairly divides all of your marital assets and debts. This includes bank accounts, mortgages, vehicles, property, personal items and more.
  • Spousal maintenance: If you or your spouse will receive maintenance or alimony, you must have a plan that explains the amount of the maintenance and how long you or your spouse plans to pay.
  • Child custody and visitation: You must know who will have custody of your children and whether it’s joint or sole custody. You must also agree how much visitation each of you will have and when visitation will occur.
  • Child support: You must agree on the amount of child support you or your spouse will receive and when.

Divorce Mediation

Do you and your spouse disagree on the aspects of divorce? If so, your divorce is considered to be contested. Yet, you do have the option to try mediation. If you and your spouse are able to work together amicably, an attorney can help you negotiate and reach an agreement outside of court. Like uncontested divorce, mediation can also save you time and money in court costs.

Reach Out to Schneider Law Firm Today

Whether your divorce is uncontested or contested, we recommend reaching out to an attorney. We’re here to support you. To learn more about divorce or to discuss your options, give our Fort Worth office a call at

Military divorce requires a unique approach. The experienced military divorce lawyers at Schneider Law Firm are here to support you. To learn more about your divorce, give our Fort Worth office a call at 817-799-1852 or send us a message.

Understanding Grandparent Rights in Texas

As a grandparent, your grandchildren are an important part of your life. And when divorce occurs, it can be devastating to face losing your time with them. Although grandparents don’t have a Constitutional right to visit their grandchildren, there are some basic rights you can exert to gain visitation or custody, depending on specific circumstances.

Grandparent Visitation Rights

If a child’s parent approves, you can visit your grandchildren any time you desire. Yet, parents can also restrict your visitation rights. If this happens, you’ll need to ask the court for help. According to Texas law, the court may grant visitation if it’s in the child’s best interests and if one of the following conditions exist:

  • The parents are divorced
  • A parent abused or neglected the children
  • A parent has been incarcerated or found incompetent
  • A court order terminated the parent-child relationship
  • The child has lived with you for at least six months

If the child has since been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent, you’re unable to request visitation.

Understanding Grandparent Rights in Texas | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-1162298071
817-799-7125 – As a Texas grandparent, you have the right to ask the court for help in acquiring visitation or custody. To learn more, visit us today.

Can a Grandparent Gain Custody of Their Grandchildren?

The short answer is yes. In some situations, a child’s parent may decide it’s in the child’s best interest to live with you. If that’s the case, the parent can simply sign all rights over to you. This gives you the ability to make critical decisions on behalf of the child.

If the parent won’t consent to signing over the child’s rights, you have the right to sue for custody, also known as conservatorship. There are many reasons why you may choose to seek custody in this manner. For example, the child’s parents may have substance abuse issues or be unable to provide adequate care.

If you wish to seek custody of your grandchildren, we recommend reaching out to a family law attorney who can help. The custody process is often challenging, especially for grandparents.

Reach Out to Us for Help Understanding Your Rights 

Schneider Law Firm, P.C. offers years of qualified experience to grandparents in Texas who wish to establish visitation or obtain custody. To learn more about grandparent rights, give our Arlington office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody & Visitation

During a divorce with children, you and your ex-spouse must reach a custody agreement. If you and your ex cannot create an agreement on your own, the court will decide what type of child custody is best for your child, as well as any applicable visitation arrangements. 

Understanding Child Custody

There are two parts to child custody: include legal custody and physical custody. Let’s dive a bit deeper into both.

Legal Custody

Legal custody gives you the ability to make critical decisions on your child’s behalf. These decisions can include, for example, where your child will attend school and what doctor they’ll see. Legal custody can be given to one parent (sole) or both parents (joint). 

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where your child lives. For example, you may have sole physical custody, which means the child lives primarily with you and your ex-spouse has visitation rights. Or, you might share physical custody, which means the child lives with you part of the time and your ex-spouse part of the time. 

In some cases, custody arrangements include one parent with legal and physical custody. In other cases, both parents will share legal custody with one parent having physical custody. It all depends on what the court decides is best for your child.

What Types of Visitation Are Available?

If sole custody is included in your custody agreement, you or your ex-spouse will be awarded visitation, so that you may be with your child on a regular basis. There are two common visitation methods used frequently by the court:

  • Unsupervised visitation: In unsupervised visitation, the parent can take the child to their own home or on any outing without supervision.
  • Supervised visitation: Courts will sometimes order supervised visitation, which means the parent must visit their child while another adult is present. This adult may be someone appointed by the custodial parent or a social worker designated by the court.

Call the Team at Schneider Law Firm Today for Custody Help

Child custody can be difficult to understand on your own. If you’re considering a divorce, reach out for help. For answers to your questions or to speak with a divorce attorney today, give our Arlington law office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

When to Consider Modifying Your Child Custody Order

A child custody order explains the custody arrangement for your children and is often created during a divorce or legal separation. If your order no longer works for you and your family, you can request a child custody modification in court.

When Should You Consider Modifying Your Child Custody Order?

Here are common reasons why a parent may seek to modify an existing custody order.

  • A parent is relocating: If you or your ex-spouse decides to relocate to a distant location, the court will consider changing the custody order. 
  • A child is in immediate danger: If abuse is suspected in the current household, the court will consider a modification.
  • A parent’s work schedule changes: If either spouse’s work schedule changes, a modification may be required to ensure a child can attend school and other activities.
  • A parent’s health changes: If a parent receives a diagnosis requiring medical attention, the order may need to be modified to ensure a child’s life isn’t interrupted due to medical care.

Other reasons for modifications may include the death of a parent, custody order violations, remarriage and a parent’s inability to provide childcare.

The court may not consider changing a child custody order if it appears to work. After all, they’re most concerned about what’s in the best interests of your children. If a modification will disrupt your child’s life, the court will want solid reasons why it’s a must.

The Child Custody Modification Process

If you believe you have a solid reason for modification, you must file a petition or motion to modify child custody in court. Once filed, the other parent will receive notice of the motion. The case will then reopen and follow a similar process as the original case. If you can prove your case for modification, you and your ex-spouse will receive a new custody order reflecting the changes.

We recommend reaching out to an attorney who can help you determine your options and how to best proceed.

Reach Out to Schneider Law Firm in Ft. Worth Today

Do you believe you need a child custody order modification? If so, we’re here to help. To learn more about custody modifications, call our Ft. Worth office today at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

Visitation During COVID-19

When co-parents plan for the time they’ll spend with their children, they typically don’t think of the unexpected. Sometimes global events beyond our control change things very quickly, and it leaves parents wondering: What does Texas family law say about visitation during coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Being With Your Child Is an Essential Activity

Many Texas shelter-in-place orders specifically allow traveling to exchange your children. It’s an essential activity. You’re not violating an order to stay at home if you’re dropping off or picking up your child following a court order related to possession of and access (often called visitation).

Generally, you and your co-parent should stick with your schedule. But, what if you’re worried the other parent may have been exposed to COVID-19? Like anything else, keeping a child from the other parent comes with risks. You could get in trouble with the court for doing it without a valid reason.

If you choose to keep a child with you instead of sending him or her to spend time with the other parent, it’s a good idea to document your reasoning and keep any evidence that could be applicable, just in case. Each situation is different, so talk with your lawyer about what’s best for you.

Co-Parenting Is Key During Difficult Times

As long as your court orders say it’s okay, you and the other parent are free to agree to the possession and exchange methods that work best for your family. So, if you and your co-parent are willing to work together, it could be a good idea to plan for what to do:

  • Agree to follow social distancing guidelines and CDC recommendations
  • Talk specifically about what behaviors to enforce, like washing hands or wiping down the outsides of takeout boxes and groceries before bringing them into the home
  • Decide what to do if a parent knows they have been exposed to coronavirus
  • Decide what to do if one parent or both parents get sick
  • Discuss how to protect other people in the child’s life, like the elderly and people who are immunocompromised
  • Discuss what do to in the event of school activity and summer camp cancellations

If you both respectfully agree to follow the same behaviors in your homes, and if you have a plan in place, you’ll be well prepared to work together to be the best parents you can be during a difficult time. 

Talk With an Attorney About Visitation and Your Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Courts, families and their attorneys have to make decisions based on the law, common sense and a shared goal of protecting families. 

If you’re worried about your access to your child or your child’s safety, talk with the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., by calling 817-799-7125 or send us a message. Consultations with our attorneys are confidential. 

Source: https://texaslawhelp.org/article/coronavirus-and-child-visitation

Supervised Visitation in Texas

Texas courts want both parents to have a fulfilling relationship with their children, whether married or divorced. But there are some times when protecting parental visitation rights can be difficult—like when allegations of emotional or physical abuse are present, when a parent struggles with mental health or substance use issues, or when there is a likelihood of child abduction by a parent.

In those cases, Texas courts may order something called “supervised visitation.” During supervised visitation, the parent is not allowed to be alone with the child. Instead of meeting alone at the parent’s home, for example, the parent and child may spend time together at another location where someone else is present. That person may be:

  • A neutral third party, like a neighbor or relative
  • The other parent
  • A paid professional at an agency
Supervised Visitation in Texas
817-799-7125 – In some situations, like when allegations of abuse are present, Texas courts order supervised visitation to protect the best interests of the child.

How It Works: Supervised Possession Orders

If there are concerns about a child’s safety, a judge may issue a Supervised Possession Order. The Supervised Possession Order attaches to a divorce decree or child custody order and states that both parents must follow it.

Typically, it will list the names of both parents and say that restrictions or limitations on a specific parent’s custody are required to protect the best interests of the child. The order then lays out the terms of visitation, including where the visitation will take place.

Supervised Visitation Centers

Many co-parents choose to have supervised visitation take place at a supervised visitation center. In Tarrant County, there are many options to choose from. The Texas Attorney General keeps a directory of access and visitation locations to choose from, and we can make a recommendation for your family based on our experience, too.

Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with using a supervised visitation center. Usually, the parent requiring supervised visitation must pay the fee. Although the fee can be a deterrent for some families, most parents find they would do anything to protect their relationships with their children while keeping them safe and secure.

Talk With an Attorney About Supervised Visitation

The law on supervised visitation and child custody is very complicated. The best way to get answers about your situation is to talk with a lawyer. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Consultations with our attorneys are confidential. We can answer your questions and take action to protect your children and your relationship with them.

Source:

https://texaslawhelp.org/article/child-visitation-possession-orders#toc-5