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New Braunfels Child Custody Attorney

Child Custody Disputes Lawyer in Comal County, Seguin, and South Central Texas

All good parents put the best interests of their children before their own, and they are willing to make sacrifices in this area. But although they may share an overall vision, parents may disagree as to what makes up their children's best interest and what sacrifices they are willing, or able, to make. When important questions regarding child custody and child support need to be addressed in a divorce or family law case, it is critical that you have an attorney who will fight for your legal and financial rights.

The skilled, experienced, attorney at The Bettersworth Law Firm will start working for you from day one. Our approach is to seize the initiative as soon as possible, beginning at a hearing to establish temporary child custody orders while a case is ongoing. We will maintain that aggressive approach through discovery and during settlement negotiations. If your case proceeds to trial, we are fully prepared to do battle on your behalf. We will make sure you understand your rights and options at all times, and we will advocate on your behalf, working to find solutions that will provide for your children's best interests.

What to Expect in a Custody Case

Although every case is different, most family law matters have a distinctive rhythm, especially when it comes to child custody matters. The steps followed in a divorce or child custody case will typically include:

  • Temporary hearing: At this initial hearing, which usually takes place about two weeks after a divorce petition or a petition to establish child custody arrangements is filed, the judge will issue orders concerning custody and support. While these are referred to as temporary orders, they often serve as the blueprint for the final orders.
  • Discovery: Our strategy is to learn as much as possible while protecting your rights, and we are more than willing to go to court to defend your interests. We will make sure you have all the financial information you need to address issues related to child support, as well as any other information that could affect decisions about child custody.
  • Mediation: Most judges order the parties in contested cases to participate in structured negotiation sessions. It is important to bargain from a position of strength during these meetings. We can advise you on how to reach agreements that will meet your family's needs going forward.
  • Settlement or litigation: If you are able to reach agreements with the other parent through mediation or other forms of negotiation, your agreement may be entered in court and approved by the judge. If you cannot reach an agreement, your case may proceed to trial, and after hearing arguments and evidence presented by both sides, the judge will make a final decision about how child custody issues will be handled.

In many cases, the judge will appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the children, and they may order a social worker to make a report. The opinions of these experts will inform the decisions made about child custody.

After the Gavel Falls

Orders put in place at the conclusion of a family court case are "final," but that is a relative term. As long as there are children under 18, there will always be custody disputes. These disagreements often become more pronounced as the children get older. In the months and years after the judge's decision, parents may return to court for:

  • Modification: Changes may be made to child custody orders to address new issues that have arisen, or child support may be adjusted based on changes to the parents' incomes. Sometimes, these modifications are based on an informal understanding between the parents, and in other cases, the judge must directly intervene to determine the best interests of the children.
  • Enforcement: If either parent fails to meet their obligations, the other parent may ask the court to step in and compel them to do so. Enforcement actions may address unpaid child support, refusal to follow visitation schedules, or other issues.

While there is technically no limit to the number of modification and enforcement actions that can be filed, most judges do not hesitate to assess penalties against those who bring these cases to court in bad faith.

Contact Our New Braunfels, Texas Child Custody Dispute Lawyer

Once child custody decisions are made, it is rather difficult to undo them. By working with an attorney from the beginning of your case, you can ensure that the decisions made in court will protect your children's best interests. For a free consultation with a hard-working attorney who gets to work quickly, contact The Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-606-0404. We offer the resources of a big firm and the environment of a small law office.

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