Tag Archives: child custody attorney

What You Need to Know About Long-Distance Custody Arrangements

What You Need to Know About Long-Distance Custody Arrangements

One of the most important assets created during a divorce is the child custody agreement. After all, it’s critical that your children have adequate parenting time with you and your ex-spouse in most cases. Yet, what happens if you or your spouse must move away?

Distance doesn’t stop you from having a relationship with your children. Long-distance custody arrangements are a great way to ensure you and your spouse co-parent effectively.

Potential Scheduling Ideas for Long-Distance Arrangements

During your divorce, you and your attorney will work together to create and propose an arrangement that fits you and your child’s needs. There are many ways a long-distance arrangement can work, depending on where you must live, travel requirements and finances.

Some schedules include children staying with the distanced parent during summer breaks as well as spring break every year. Some allow the child to visit the distanced parent every other Christmas for a week or more. Other options include:

  • A visit every other week, depending on travel requirements
  • A visit every other month for a week or more
  • A visit for one weekend each month

Long-Distance Co-Parenting Tips

Long-distance co-parenting, although challenging, is far from impossible. You and your ex-spouse must continue to communicate and work together to parent your children. Here are some other quick tips that can help:

  • Use your tech tools: Technology makes it easy to remain in your child’s day-to-day life no matter where you are. You can use tools such as Skype to video chat. If you have an older child, text messaging and apps can help keep you in touch.
  • Respect your ex-spouse’s parenting time: Both parents need to have dedicated time with their children. While your child is with your ex-spouse, respect their time and give them space.
  • Revisit your plan when appropriate: Long-distance arrangements may need revising as you and your ex work out the kinks. Remain open to revisiting your plan and making changes to improve it over time.

Need Help With Your Custody Arrangement? Reach Out to Our Legal Team!

In most cases, it’s in your child’s best interest for you and your ex-spouse to share parenting time. Although long-distance custody can be difficult at first, an attorney can help you create a plan that works best for your family. To learn more about child custody, give our Fort Worth office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

 

 

What Is an Ad Litem?

When child custody matters become complex, the court sometimes appoints a professional called an ad litem to protect the interests of that child. Although they’re most commonly appointed in cases involving children, ad litems also represent adults who cannot represent themselves due to physical, mental or behavioral health issues.

Ad litems can also be appointed to represent missing or unknown parties who should have representation in a legal matter where they cannot be physically present. If your case involves complex matters—such as allegations of child abuse or neglect—here’s what you should know.

The Types of Ad Litems

There are three different types of ad litems. The ad litem’s duties depend on the type of ad litem and the role they are playing in your case. These include:

  • Attorney ad litems: Attorney ad litems are required to be attorneys.
  • Attorney/guardian ad litem (dual role): This person is appointed to act as both an attorney ad litem and a guardian ad litem.
  • Guardian ad litem: Guardian ad litems do not need to be attorneys, but they often are. Courts appoint them to represent the best interests of the child.
  • Amicus attorney: “Amicus” means “friend of the court”. An amicus attorney is appointed by the court to help the judge make decisions about a child’s best interests. The judge appoints the amicus attorney to help the judge be more effective. The amicus attorney does not provide legal services directly to a child.

What Are an Ad Litem’s Duties?

The Texas Family Code sets forth 27 specific duties of an ad litem. The first duty of an ad litem is to investigate to determine the best interests of the child. This can mean different things, depending on the case.

Your ad litem will likely conduct interviews with each parent. They may also interview relevant parties, including your child’s teacher and therapist.  They may also obtain copies of your child’s relevant medical records, psychological records and school records. If your child is four years old or older, the ad litem will also interview the child in a developmentally appropriate way.

The ad litem will then attend mediation related to the child and may attend relevant hearings and trials. The ad litem can testify to represent the child’s best interests effectively.

To get a full understanding of the role the ad litem is playing in your case, you’ll want to talk with an attorney.

If You Need Help With Child Custody Matters, Call an Attorney.

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about the role of an ad litem and help protect your children no matter what challenges you are experiencing. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.107.htm

2019-2020 Houston Family Law Handbook

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.

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.

When to Consider Modifying Your Child Custody Order | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-598689282
817-755-1852 – Change is inevitable. You may need to consider modifying your child custody order if it’s in your child’s best interests. To learn more, visit us today.

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.

Child Custody Agreements and Summer Vacation Planning

Summer is the perfect time for a family vacation. Yet, as a divorced parent, how do you plan the perfect summer vacay around your child custody agreement? Here are a few necessary steps you should take.

First Things First: Check Your Custody Agreement

Before you start planning, check your child custody agreement. Do both you and your ex-spouse have specific dates each year for vacations? Or, do you have unspecified vacation time to use any time throughout the year? Understanding your agreement will help you decide how to move forward.

If you have unspecified vacations, give your ex-spouse at least a few weeks’ notice before your vacation. If there are scheduling conflicts, it’s best to work them out in advance.

Communicate With Your Ex-Spouse

For all vacations, make sure you communicate specifics with your ex-spouse. You’ll want clear ground rules in place to ensure the safety of your children. 

Some questions you and your ex-spouse should discuss include:

  • Are you able to leave the state or the country? 
  • Do you need to provide a travel itinerary to your ex-spouse?
  • Are there certain activities your child shouldn’t take part in?
  • What should be done in case of an emergency?
  • Will the other spouse receive additional days with the child to make up for the vacation?

Once you have this initial discussion, it’s best to create a plan to use for next time you decide to take a trip. Your family law attorney can help you modify your child custody agreement to include these specifics.

Remember to Be Reasonable

It’s best to be open and reasonable with your ex-spouse when vacation planning. Try your best to not schedule vacations during important events such as holidays, especially if it’s your spouse’s time with the children. Remember to keep your child’s best interests in mind at all times.

Call Schneider Law Firm, P.C. for Custody Help

Are you struggling with balancing a child custody agreement with vacation planning? Our team of family law attorneys can help. To learn more about child custody or to speak with an attorney, give our Ft. Worth law firm a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.