W. Tyler Moore, PC

child custody & visitation Archives

Holiday Visitation Schedules

Holiday visitation schedules are a problem for many people.  I get phone calls from people looking for a quick answer to their problems with child custody and visitation issues.  Without looking at the actual possession order it's impossible to answer the questions. Although Texas has a "Standard Possession Order", it is often tailored to specific situations.  The Standard Possession Order is like a "rack suit", i.e. a generalized outline which may be tailored to specific circumstances if need be.  Asking a lawyer to opine on your possession of your children when the lawyer doesn't have the actual possession order before him is futile.

Holiday Visitation

Holiday visitation questions in child custody are starting to arise.  When they do, there are two factors to keep in mind.  The first is "the best interest of the child" which was discussed in an earlier blog a few weeks ago.  The second is the part of the Standard Possession Order dealing with "mutual agreement or specified terms for possession".  

child custody & visitation- enforcement

Enforcement of child custody and visitation should be handled by a lawyer in family court. The police will generally refuse to get involved by saying this is a civil matter not criminal.  What do you do if a parent or third party wrongfully withholds a child from the parent with custody or keeps a child beyond the time allotted for visitation?

How do you modify a child custody order in Texas?

Sometimes, especially after a divorce, a person's life can change dramatically. Parents in Texas with child custody orders might find that these orders work well for a while, but, as time marches on, the original order may no longer suit the actualities of the parent's and child's lives.

Side agreements in child custody cases

Side agreements don't work in custody cases in Texas.  What is a "side agreement"?  it is a letter signed by the parents and often notarized which they believe resolves any issues concerning child custody, rights and duties, child support, or possession.  These letters do not confer any judicially enforceable rights if one party decides not to go along with the terms set forth in the letter. 

Seek legal help with parental relocation after divorce

When parents in Harris County divorce, a child custody order will be put into place that allows the child to have a meaningful relationship with each parent. As time marches on, however, one parent or the other may find that the original child custody order is no longer feasible. This may be especially true if the custodial parent wants to relocate to a different part of the state or country. After all, sometimes a person is presented with a great job opportunity or wants to live closer to family, necessitating a move. However, often, their child custody order will have restrictions on how far away the custodial parent can live from the child's other parent. Does this mean that a custodial parent cannot relocate beyond those geographic limits?

Perils of DIY Texas child custody & visitation

Perils of DIY Texas child custody & visitation-- I had an inquiry from a poor sole who asked if once his rights were terminated, could he get them back--he was unprepared at trial. Child custody and visitation is not a Do It Yourself task.  Once a judgment of termination of parental rights becomes final, generally 30 days after it's signed, that judgment is nearly impossible to undo.  Termination of parental rights is permanent and can't be undone.  Without adopting your own children, there is no way to recreate those parental rights.  If you don't understand the lawsuit papers when you receive them, take them to a lawyer.  Even if you do understand the lawsuit papers, take them to a lawyer if you care at all about your children.  There are family law attorneys who can help you with this. Don't take the passive-agressive route. You can get easily burned.

Child custody and visitation inTexas

Child custody and visitation in Texas is governed by the "best interest" of the child.  The Texas Family Code says "the best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child."

Misconceptions in child custody & visitation

Misconceptions in child custody & visitation are more common than you think. I often get inquiries from individuals who want "sole custody" of their children.  Texas family law doesn't really provide for "sole custody" of children. It gives parents titles like Sole or Joint Managing Conservator and Possessory Conservator.  With such a title, parents then receive rights and duties to their children under a court order.  The most important rights are the right to establish the primary residence of the child, the right to receive child support and the right to primary possession of the child subject to the rights of the other parent under a possession order whether it's a Standard Possession Order or a custom possession order.   If you need clarification about these misconceptions in child custody & visitation cases. talk to an experienced family law attorney.

Don't buy into the child support threat

Don't buy into the child support threat. I spoke to a young mother today who had a three year old child whose father was not paying child support. She said he wasn't paying child support and I asked why.  She told me that he threatened to file for custody and take the child away from her if she "tried to put child support" on him.  This fellow had three other children by two other women.  He did not have custody of any of the three.

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