If you walk into Texas family court prepared for the questions you’ll be asked, it may greatly increase the chances that you will be granted custody. Getting out of paying child support should never be the goal of gaining custody of your children, and judges can easily see when this is the case.
Are you ready to seek custody?
Before starting the process of seeking custody of your children, you may want to go over your responsibilities and review the types of changes you’ll have to make to your lifestyle. It’s often helpful to expect the transition to be more challenging than you anticipate.
It’s a good idea to temper your expectations and make sure you’re being realistic. Try to set aside what you want and focus instead on what’s best for the children, regardless of how strong a connection you may have with them.
Consider the connections you have in their social life such as school, church, and extracurricular activities. Ask yourself if you have an active presence in their life and if so, how you can present it that way to the court. Judges will be looking for confirmation that you are present at home consistently and that the child has their own designated space.
If you have a parenting plan with your ex-partner, make sure it’s been officially filed submitted in court. It’s important to keep true to that agreement once it’s been filed.
Keep things civil
Peaceful relations with the other parent are also important for fathers seeking child custody. Being rude and adversarial looks bad in court and damages your case, reducing likelihood of being granted custody and getting what you want. Judges tend to favor the parent who is being more civil and reasonable.
Think about the details carefully and make sure you’ve taken an honest look at what you’ll be able to take on. Once you’re confident that you’re willing and able to take on this level of parenting duties, make sure you’re prepared to clearly state that to the judge.