W. Tyler Moore, PC

Houston Legal Blog

New study confirms shared physical custody is best

You may be steeling yourself as you prepare for custody negotiations in Texas, sure that, because you are a father, you will come out of the discussion with much less time with your child than you want. At W. Tyler Moore, PC, we encourage fathers to stand up for their rights to a fair co-parenting schedule; we understand that a healthy father/child relationship is in the best interests of the child, a fact that judges typically respect.

The best interests of the child is a standard that judges use, and it incorporates a number of factors. Emotional needs are among these, and according to Science Daily, the co-parenting schedule can have a direct effect on your child's stress levels and emotional health. 

Will I lose my business in my divorce?

If you are going through a divorce and you own a business, you may fear that in the end, you will not only lose your marriage but also your business. While this very well could happen, it is important that you protect yourself before you ever get to this point. According to NFIB, the ideal situation is that you protect your business through a prenuptial agreement. However, if you are already at the stage of divorce, then it is too late for that.

It really is important, though, to think ahead when it comes to your business. When you start your business, choose a protective form, such as a partnership or LLC. Having this protection enables you to create agreements or other documents that protect the business in the event that you get a divorce. Having partners allows you to create a partnership agreement that can specifically outline what would happen if a partner gets divorced.

2 people injured in apparent dispute over child custody

When two parents are divorcing each other in Texas, often one of the most difficult challenges they will face is deciding on a shared custody agreement that will best benefit them and their children. In many situations, parents are unable to make these decisions amicably and courts have to get involved to expedite the decision-making process. While many cases eventually reach a solution that benefits all parties, there are unfortunate incidents when certain people go to extreme measures to get what they want, but it is often at the expense of the wellbeing of themselves or their children and other family members. 

An example is a recent story out of Athens, Tennessee when a presumed custody dispute turned violent. Initial investigations revealed a woman arrived at the home of her in-laws to pick up the children she shared with her estranged husband. When he informed her that he would not allow her to take their children with her, she became angry and hit her mother-in-law with her vehicle. When she exited the vehicle and began approaching her husband, he shot her in the leg. 

3 tips for surviving the emotional turmoil of divorce

While divorce may be a legal process, it is often highly emotional. Leaving your spouse, dividing your assets and determining custody can be stressful and frustrating. Coping with the end of your marriage may be one of the hardest things you do in your life. 

Losing your marriage can feel like you are experiencing a sort of death. While you may go through a painful grieving process, surviving the emotional storm is possible. 

What are the requirements of a parent during visitation?

Many disagreements when it comes to children of divorce have to do with what happens when the child is visiting the other parent. The Texas Constitution and Statutes have set rules regarding what the requirements and responsibilities are of each parent when they have their child staying with them.  While you may not always like the specific things your child's other parent does when your child is with him or her, as long as that parent is following the law, there is little you can do.

For example, the law says your child's other parent must provide protection and care for your child. It is his or her responsibility to ensure your child eats well and has proper clothing. If your child gets sick or is injured, that parent must seek proper medical attention. In addition, your child's other parent has the right to take your child to church or to teach your child religion. Finally, the other parent can discipline the child as he or she sees fit. You also have these rights and responsibilities when your child is with you.

How are custody rulings made?

While Texas does have standards that say judges should always rule based on what is in the best interest of the child, a limited study from the National Family Law Policy Center, found that most rulings follow a minimum standard. This means that if you end up not getting custody of your child, you could have very limited time to actually spend with your child. This is something to become familiar with, especially if you are heading into a custody case.

The main discovery was that most judges are using something call the Standard Possession Order to make rulings. This order is the minimum guidelines for adjudicated custody. It offers only minimal time to non-custodial parents. The law does not say judges should use this standard just that it offers the minimal rulings a judge can make. Ideally, judges should make rulings on each case individually.

Can you give yourself a better chance at winning custody?

You and your spouse are working through the process of getting a divorce in Texas and you have been trying hard to break the news to your children on a level that they understand. Despite your best efforts to minimize negativity and sadness, there will inevitably be moments where you feel like nothing is going right. When it comes time to fight for custody, it is important that you understand what behaviors will help strengthen your case to give you the best chance at winning custody. 

If possible, it is in the best interest of your children to arrange custody amicably with your spouse. If feasible, both of you can sit down together and discuss the needs of your children before deciding how visitation will work. However, if you are unable to reason with your ex which is generally how it is for many people, you may need to battle your differences in a court setting. According to verywellfamily.com, some of the things that you can do to facilitate the process of winning custody include the following:

  • Awareness and involvement: Be aware of the needs of your children and be an involved parent. The more you can demonstrate your commitment to your children and their success, the better your chances are of winning custody. 
  • Flexibility and reasonability: When making requests, remember that your former spouse also has a schedule and may need to have certain days or times off. As a result, be reasonable in making requests and be flexible to account for sudden changes. 
  • Functionality: Your children will do best in an environment that is stable, supportive and consistent. If you are unable to provide such an environment, it is critical that you make the necessary changes asap to be considered for custody.

How to co-parent with a former spouse

Once your divorce has been finalized you may believe that the hard part is over. However, for divorced parents in Houston co-parenting is often far more challenging. Knowing how to work with your ex in a calm manner will help create a healthy environment for your children while also reducing stress related to child-rearing decisions.

Communicate effectively

How can I be a better father to my child?

If you’re a father in Houston, you’re likely concerned about providing the best care possible to your child. This can be difficult when divorce is an issue, especially when you don’t share custody with your ex. Despite the circumstances, being the best father possible will allow you to form a strong bond with your child, which can make all the difference. The National Fatherhood Initiative offers the following advice in this case.

Set a Good Example

Reasons to go through counseling during divorce

Many couples around Texas contend with divorce every year. It is particularly prevalent in Houston, which, according to a recent study, is the most stressed city in the state. While the study took into account numerous factors, it found Houston had one of the highest divorce rates in all of Texas. 

Divorce is usually stressful, but there are ways to make it more manageable. Every divorcing couple should seriously consider counseling. While they may have hired a counselor in an attempt to save a marriage, it does not always pan out that way. However, even during a divorce, having a counselor to discuss matters with can be a huge asset. 

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