Child custody and divorce varies from state to state. What makes divorce unique in Texas? What are some child custody issues that are handled differently in Texas? Fred Campos, @FullCustodyDad explains three unique characteristics of custody battles in Texas.
Child Custody Tips Category
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I’ve been involved in child custody cases for 19 years. I have been on the road teaching classes in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston and have been talking, helping and coaching clients through this blog. I’m aligned and in constant communications with custody attorneys from coast to coast. If I had to boil the success of parents in their pursuit of primary custody, winning custody comes down to one simple question…
I don’t know if you know this or not, but in addition to this blog I am trying to put together a list of quick video tips that will aid you in winning custody. Fred aka FullCustodyDad PS. Starting next week, I’ll get back on the band wagon and make video tips a major part of this blog.
Cooperation: the Key to a Successful Custody Evaluation. Cooperate. If you are looking for one word that will prepare you for your child custody evaluation, and give you the best chance of gaining custody of Johnny, that’s it. Cooperate. Do you want to be there? No. Do you have to be there? No. Only if you want custody of your child. And that means cooperate under every circumstance.
Therapists, lawyers, psychologists, and psychiatrists—they all will give you a different definition about what parental alienation is about. But to put in it’s most crude form: **it has to do with everything that a custodial parent does like using estrangement to create a division between the victimized parent and child, being hostile, nudging and conspiring, etc.
A child custody evaluation usually begins with a court-appointed psychologist to conduct a family assessment. Depending on the situation, this evaluation could involve a step-parent, fiancé, or live-in partner. The questioning should include questioning the parents together or separate, and perhaps the more mature children. If interrogated separately, parents should be asked the similar questions covering the same topics/concerns and should address the well-being of the children.
A court-appointed child custody evaluator should act as an independent expert and not as a parental advocate. The evaluator should conduct a comprehensive interview that provides the court with an accurate, balanced picture of the family situation. This is tremendously stressful for all family members. Most parents are understandably concerned about undergoing a child custody evaluation.
Five Strategies that Will NOT Gain Child Custody. Do Not…arrive late for visits or pick-ups of your children. Being an adult (parent) means you honor commitments. That includes not just ‘doing’ but ‘doing on time.’ That multiplies when dealing with your children. If you claim they are a priority, then you will show that you want to spend time with them.
One of our favorite topics at DGC is giving Dads tips on how you can gain child custody of your children, either jointly, or (our preference in most cases) sole custody. Following them will not only give you an advantage in court, but provide you a confidence, insight, and maturity in dealing with your children. We understand you can’t incorporate all these recommendations, and maybe you shouldn’t but following even a few of them will reap you big benefits.
While working to gain child custody, you will make mistakes, probably more than your share. Some seem worse than they are, you can recover. But too many custody-seeking dads sabotage their custody case, and just one negative comment, one moment of a lost temper, and your efforts can be torpedoed.
The courts do not want to report to a judge that you lost your temper in a court, especially in front of your family, even if you were a victim in the particular situation. In the 1992 movie, *”A Few Good Men”* Jack Nicholson’s character totally and completely loses his case based on losing his temper. It not only happens in movies, it happens frequently in real life!
If your children live with your Ex, talking to the neighbors can provide you some valuable information, and possibly give you an ally in your quest to keep your child. Brandon’s dad knew something was up when Brandon’s stepbrother cut short his summer stay at the home of his dad and Brandon’s mother.
Your divorce left you mentally and emotionally battered, poorer, even humiliated. But the months (years?) of fighting doesn’t stop with ending the relationship with your now-Ex. You’re still facing a child custody case. And get ready for more humiliation. She will likely extend her vitriol by painting you as a bad parent, maybe even more vociferously than she did as a spouse. You will want to lash out, and via your attorney, you will.
Dads who are unfamiliar with the court system often don’t realize that even in family court, there are a lot of procedures in place to expedite the process of settling child custody matters. Because of this, a court will often make a number of assumptions about how much time Dad spends with his kids, and will default to standard visitation.
If you are an extraordinary parent, asking for sole custody doesn’t make you a bad guy. Would Susie’s life be better off with her spending the majority of time with you? Are you capable of being the primary parent? If you answer those questions honestly and are not the better parent, then I think joint custody is absolutely fine to walk into. Just understand exactly what you are signing up for.