All parents who are going through the divorce and child custody process in Texas share a common goal — to obtain the best possible outcome for their children. To most parents, this means getting to spend as much time as they are able to with their child post-divorce. Unfortunately, many parents hurt their own chances because they are unaware of what courts will weigh when finalizing custody/visitation agreements.
How To Protect Your Parental Rights
Please review these child custody and visitation tips below. These are provided by Dallas attorney Paula Lock Smyth, who is happy to discuss your child custody and visitation needs during a free initial consultation:
- Do work hard to collaborate with your ex-spouse — Courts strongly believe that children benefit most when both mothers and fathers can maintain relationships with them post-divorce. You can do more harm than good, however, by demonstrating an unwillingness to work with your former partner.
- Do put your child's needs above your own desires — All custody and visitation plans are set up for the best interests of the child. By putting your own needs or desires above the needs of your child, you risk coming off in a less than favorable light.
- Do request an in-home evaluation — An in-home evaluation allows a neutral third party to observe you and your child in your home environment. This can be beneficial if your ex-spouse tries to argue that your home is not a positive environment for your child.
- Do not try to turn your child against your ex — Inevitably, any discussion you have with your child will become known, and courts highly disfavor those who try to use children as leverage or evidence against another parent.
- Do not sign anything before carefully reading the document — Once signed, your divorce and child custody agreement becomes a binding order by which you must abide. An experienced lawyer can help ensure that all documents reflect the true wishes of the parties.
- Do spend time being a parent — Rather than reward your child with trips, presents and treats whenever you spend time with each other, take the time to be the parent your child needs. Being a "fun" parent offers less of a reward than being a strong, positive influence as your child grows up.
- Do not forget the importance of extended family — Work hard to help your child maintain relationships with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more. These are important relationships to cultivate as well.
These are just a few of the many tricks and tips to help as you and attorney Paula Lock Smyth navigate child custody negotiations. Please speak with her today to learn more about her services and how she can help you cultivate and maintain a strong relationship with your child.
Contact A Dallas Parental Rights Lawyer
Attorney Smyth offers free consultations in a comfortable, confidential environment. Please call her Dallas law firm today at 214-646-1485 or contact her family law office online.