Tag Archives: child custody

Being a Good Parent, Even When You Can’t Always Be With Your Child

According to a 2019 research study, only about 60% of kids in the United States live with their married, biological parents. The rest live in many different situations—commonly residing with one biological parent with visitation from the second biological parent after a divorce. With this happening so frequently, it’s no wonder that many parents wonder how they can continue being good parents to their children, even when they can’t always be with them. Here are some tips.

Always Show Up When You Say You Will

Keeping your child’s trust is much, much easier than re-establishing if after you’ve lost it. So, it is critical to your relationship with your child that you don’t promise things you can’t deliver, and that you always show up when you say you will.

Of course, this is harder than it sounds. Modern-day parenting is complex, and most parents juggle heavy workloads and many competing responsibilities. But your children should always come first. Block off your visitation time on your calendar and make sure other people in your life understand that visitation time always take priority.

How to Be a Good Parent | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-755-1852 – After a divorce, there are actions you can take to stay connected with your child. Here are some tips from the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Arlington, TX.

Make Visitation Time a Special Time to Focus on Your Child 

During your visitation time, make sure your child is your primary focus. Set aside time to do something with your child, like making an art project, going to the park or just playing video games together. It’s easy to get caught up in using parenting time to take children to and from activities but try to resist it: quality time is important.

If possible, make a special place in your home for your child—like your child’s bedroom that you decorate together. If that’s not possible, make sure your child has his or her own bed, toy bins and artwork on display. No matter what, make sure your child feels welcome in your home.

Find Ways to Stay Connected

Even if you can’t see your child every day, finding ways to stay connected can keep you feeling close. Set aside time to call your child or to send texts regularly. Add your child’s special events to your calendar so you will be sure to remember, even if you’re not there. Sometimes a silly GIF and a heartfelt “hope you had a great day” can go a long way toward making your kid smile.

Contact Us for Help With Legal Issues That Affect Your Kids

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we understand just how important your relationship with your kids can be, and we work hard to protect it. If a legal issue affects your kids, our attorneys can help you take action and achieve the best possible outcome. For a confidential consultation, call our Arlington office at 817-799-7125.

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Child Custody for Holidays and Birthdays

Birthdays and holidays can be challenging enough when parents live together. When they live separately and co-parent, however, child custody can become especially complicated. 

In Texas, divorce agreements can accommodate many different parenting plans. In the absence of another agreement, Texas law offers some standard visitation guidelines.

General Visitation Guidelines in Texas

If you’re wondering if you and your child will spend a birthday or a holiday together, your divorce decree or child custody order is the first place to look. If you have questions about your custody order, calling your lawyer is a good idea. If the legal document does not outline specific dates, Texas’ standard visitation guidelines may apply.

Child Custody for Holidays and Birthdays | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-619735158
817-755-1852 – Child custody can get complicated when it comes to birthdays, holidays and special events. Our attorneys can help.

Those guidelines can be complicated, but generally, when distance isn’t an issue:

  • Mother’s Day: If the mother isn’t in possession of the child on Mother’s Day, she’s entitled to spend Mother’s Day weekend with the child, from 6 p.m. on Friday through 6 p.m. on Mother’s Day.
  • Father’s Day: If the father isn’t in possession of the child on Father’s Day, he’s entitled to spend Father’s Day weekend with the child, from 6 p.m. on Friday through 6 p.m. on Father’s Day.
  • Birthdays: If a parent isn’t in possession of the child on the child’s birthday, they are entitled to pick the child up for two hours between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. so they have some time to celebrate together.
  • Christmas: The parent the child lives with has possession of the child on even-numbered years. The other parent has possession of the child on odd-numbered years. Possession begins at 6 p.m. the day the child is dismissed from school for Christmas vacation. It ends at noon on December 28th.
  • Thanksgiving: The parent the child lives with has possession of the child on odd-numbered years. The other parent has possession of the child on even-numbered years. That way, a parent who spends Thanksgiving with the child will not spend Christmas with the child and vice versa.

How to Make Holidays and Birthdays Easier

Figuring out co-parenting can make a stressful event even more difficult. But, for all the heightened tensions parents feel, they should not forget that their words and actions can make a holiday stressful for the child, too. It’s important for them to take a step back and figure out the logistics calmly as adults. There are many other things you can do to make holidays easier for children, too, including asking kids what would make them happy that day and keeping the focus on them.

When Child Custody Gets Complicated, Get Legal Help

There are many child custody matters that a blog post can’t answer. When things are confusing and child custody arrangements get tense, it’s best to talk with a lawyer. At the Ft. Worth office of Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about child custody during birthdays and holidays. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.

 Source:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.153.htm

Your Temporary Orders Hearing: What to Expect

Ideally, a divorce will reach a resolution as quickly as possible. But that’s not always the case. Because divorces can take some time and life goes on, Texas courts often issue temporary orders that stay in place through the duration of the divorce. The temporary orders can protect your interests during the divorce process. Those orders are issued after a temporary orders hearing; here’s what to expect from them and the process.

The Temporary Orders Hearing Process

You may request a temporary orders hearing by having your lawyer file a “Petition for Temporary Orders” at the same time they file your other divorce documents with the court. The petition should outline the orders you are seeking, as well as the date and time of the hearing (your lawyer’s office will arrange this).

For most people, the temporary orders hearing is the first time they appear before the judge in the divorce process. It’s important to make a good impression at this hearing. 

Follow your attorney’s directions and allow them to do most of the speaking for you. The judge will likely ask questions of both parties’ lawyers so that he or she can come to a decision on the orders you’re seeking.

You probably won’t hear from the judge exactly what the temporary orders are at the hearing. Usually, the judge hears both parties’ sides. After the hearing, they deliberate on the best solution before issuing the order.

Your Temporary Orders Hearing | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-619735158
817-755-1852 – Here’s what to expect at your temporary orders hearing in Texas, including what orders the court may make.

Issues the Court May Decide Upon During This Process

There are many different issues that can come before a judge during a temporary orders hearing, including:

  • Temporary child custody, including possession and access
  • Child support
  • Possession of an item in dispute, like the family cars
  • Health insurance

Temporary Orders Can Lead to Permanent Ones

While these orders aren’t permanent, it’s important to note that they can have a huge impact on the final outcome of the divorce. In many cases, temporary orders become the arrangement that the family grows accustomed to. During the finalization of the divorce, it makes the most sense for the court to issue a final order that is similar to the temporary one. That’s why your attorney will take the temporary orders hearing seriously. 

Contact Us for Help With Your Divorce

If you’d like more information about temporary orders during a Texas divorce, you might also be interested in our Q&As about temporary orders. And if you’re considering a divorce, talking with a lawyer is a good way to get real information about things like temporary orders. For a confidential consultation, call our Ft. Worth office at 817-755-1852 .

Source:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.6.htm

Co-Parenting Babies and Toddlers

Every family is different. Parents must learn to co-parent together outside of marriage when their child is still very young. In those cases, it’s a good idea to talk with your lawyer about what’s best for your family. Babies and toddlers have needs and abilities different from those of an older child. 

Co-Parenting When a Child Is Under Three Years Old

In most cases involving children and divorce, courts believe that something called a Standard Possession Order is in the best interests of a child. A Standard Possession Order is intended to protect the best interests of children when determining how the non-custodial parent (the parent the children don’t live with) spends time with them. It generally lists what weekdays, weekends and holidays both parents can have with their children.

Texas law, however, says that Standard Possession Orders are not meant for children less than three years old. Instead, Texas courts consider a series of factors, including things like:

  • The physical, medical, behavioral and developmental needs of the child
  • The effect on the child of separation from either parent
  • The caregiving provided to the child before the current custody lawsuit
  • The child’s need for routine
  • The age of the child

Things to Consider When Co-Parenting a Very Young Child

When you and your ex break up or divorce while your child is very young, the child will never remember that you were ever together. What they will remember is that you and the other parent worked together to give your child the best life possible–that you loved him or her and treated each other with respect.

Respectful co-parenting means choosing to work together, even when you disagree. It means communicating about your baby’s needs or toddler’s needs and making sure to involve both parents as those needs change. This is especially important when caring for a young child who can’t effectively communicate their needs and who is growing quickly.

To make successful co-parenting happen, many experts recommend arranging short and frequent visits with the non-custodial parent. For young children, they’re less stressful than long, overnight visits. A schedule for a young child might plan for a few hours a few times a week. Time can and should be extended as the child grows older.

Co-Parenting Babies and Toddlers | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-619735158
817-799-7125 – When a child is under three, courts do not necessarily order visitation as they do for older children. Here are some things to consider when co-parenting a very young child.

Get Help With Child Custody. Contact an Attorney.

Of course, every family’s needs are different. It’s best to talk with a lawyer about yours. If you need legal help with co-parenting a baby or toddler, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. Our Texas divorce lawyers are here to support you.

Source:

http://www.txaccess.org/informal-out-court-agreements-children-birth-3-years-old

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

The Children’s Bill of Rights in Texas

In any legal matter that affects your child—whether it’s a divorce, a paternity proceeding or the modification of an existing court order—your child has the right to be a child, free from the fighting that can overwhelm adults’ lives.

Texas has created a “Bill of Rights” for children, helping them live their lives as kids without getting caught up in adults’ legal affairs. They encourage parents to share the Bill of Rights with all the adults in their child’s life, including babysitters, grandparents and stepparents. All adults in the child’s life are expected to conduct themselves accordingly.

What Is the Children’s Bill of Rights?

The Children’s Bill of Rights is a list of 31 bullet points. Each one outlines behavior that’s expected of the adults in a child’s life. Essentially, it’s a list of “do’s and don’ts.” It can really help things run smoothly in child custody matters, and following the Bill of Rights can help your kids stay happier throughout the divorce process.

What Are My Child’s Rights?

The Children’s Bill of Rights lists out many different rights that your child has, generally including things like:

  • Parties involved in the child’s life shouldn’t badmouth each other or say foul or abusive things in front of the child.
  • Parties shouldn’t let children overhear detailed legal arguments or negotiations.
  • Parties should let the child use the telephone to talk with the other parent.
  • Parties shouldn’t attempt to influence the child to like one parent over the other.
  • Parties should let the child hang pictures of the other parent or other family members in the child’s room.
  • Parties should not trivialize or deny the existence of the other parent to the child.
  • Parties should acknowledge that the child has two homes.
  • Parties shouldn’t communicate moral judgments about a parent’s lifestyle choices to the child.
The Children’s Bill of Rights in Texas | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-755-1852 – Texas has created a “Bill of Rights” for children, helping them live their lives as kids without getting caught up in adults’ legal affairs. Call our Ft. Worth law office for more info today.

Contact Us to Protect Your Child’s Rights

When we represent parents in divorces, we work hard to help minimize the impact of the legal matter and to resolve things as quickly and effectively as possible. That way, parents can move forward and successfully co-parent the people they love most in the world: their children.

If you have concerns about how a divorce may affect your child, talking with an attorney is the best way to get answers and protect their rights. For a confidential consultation, call our Ft. Worth law office at 817-755-1852.

Source:

https://newtools.cira.state.tx.us/upload/page/6803/docs/District%20Court/childrens_bill_of_rights.pdf

Divorce is Not the End of the World (Even Though it Can Feel Like It)

Divorce is Not the End of the World (Even Though it Can Feel Like It)

The psychological literature is clear: Divorce can be extremely stressful—for everyone involved, from the parents to the children. Psychology Today cites our unique ability to make up stories (as human beings) as a major factor in how we deal with stress. For many people, a difficult marriage headed toward divorce is a “story” about disappointment and failure. That story can cause significant stress—but it’s just that: a story. 

And we all have the power to change the stories that we tell ourselves.  

Seek Out an Objective Viewpoint

The old phrase “losing the forest for the trees” applies here. We are all at risk of losing the forest for the trees when we are muck-deep in our day-to-day reality, especially when we’re facing the particular stresses of divorce and its related concerns like talking with your kids about it. It can be hard to maintain your objectivity. 

In fact, it can feel like divorce is the end of the world. Your story then becomes a story about how your spouse wronged you, how your children will never recover, and so on. But nothing could be further from the truth.

An objective viewpoint—from a divorce lawyer, a family therapist, a psychologist—can give you the space you need to evaluate your situation with a level head, as well as a roadmap for moving forward. That’s one of the primary reasons you should see a trusted advisor.   

Changing the Story About Your Divorce

As divorce and family law attorneys, we help our clients evaluate their stories. Sometimes the stories are accurate. Often, only parts of the story are true, while other parts aren’t so true. Frankly, it is next-to-impossible to maintain an objective viewpoint on your own, and so it’s no surprise to find that your story isn’t entirely true. 

For example, you may say to yourself: “I’m going to lose my relationship with my kids.” Or: “I’ve never handled the finances and I stayed at home to raise the kids. I’m going to be out on the streets.” These are all valid concerns—but these concerns are exaggerated. 

While it’s true that divorce can strain family relationships, as one example, the key is to reflect on the fact that there is life after divorce. Divorce is not the end of the world. You and your family will continue to exist afterward. The question is: What steps will you take to ensure that you maintain a good relationship with your kids? Because that is more than possible.

Tell Us What Worries You

From our office in Ft. Worth, our role at Schneider Law Firm, P.C., is to provide the answers and insight that you need to maintain your objectivity and take solid steps for your future. Call 817-755-1852 today for a confidential consultation.

Source: Psychology Today: Where Are You On The Divorce Stress Scale?

Child Custody: What Texas Family Courts Consider

Child custody is often the most emotionally charged issue in a divorce. “How will this affect the kids?” is the first thing most parents wonder about divorce. And fear of losing time with a child can be devastating.
In Texas, there are several things that family courts consider when making decisions about child custody. Here’s an overview from the lawyers at our Ft. Worth law office.

Conservatorship, Possession and Access

Texas divides child custody into two categories: conservatorship and possession/access:

  • Conservatorship is the right to make important decisions about your child’s life. These include decisions about where your child will go to school, what medical treatment they will receive and what religious practices they will follow.
  • Possession and access are where the child spends his or her time. The court may decide which parent the child will live with most of the time, as well as how often the other parent spends time with the child.

The “Best Interests of the Child”

When deciding child custody matters, Texas courts use a “best interests of the child” standard, which was outlined in a case called Holley v. Adams. The case involved termination of parental rights, but courts have said that they should apply in all child custody cases.
There are many factors listed in Holley, including:

  1. The desires of the child
  2. The physical and emotional needs of the child now and in the future
  3. Any emotional or physical danger to the child
  4. The parental ability of the person seeking custody
  5. Programs available to help the parent and child
  6. Plans for the child by the parent seeking custody
  7. Acts of omission by the parent that might indicate the parent/child relationship is troubled

Each Case Is Different

Each child custody case is different. For example, when judges apply the “best interests of the child” standard to very young children, they often give the child’s preferences less weight than they would if the child was older. Older kids get more of a say in where they would like to live and who they would like to make their decisions.
Conversely, with babies, courts consider how well the parent is prepared to deal with the baby’s basic needs–like eating, sleeping and having diapers changed. These things naturally become less of a concern as the child grows older.

Questions About Your Child Custody Case? Ask a Lawyer.

Because each case is different, it’s important to talk with an attorney about the facts of your case. Don’t just rely on internet research. Instead, schedule a confidential consultation. You can get started by contacting the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 1-817-755-1852.

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