Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, especially when children are involved. As a parent, you want to ensure that your child's best interests are protected during this time. In Texas, child custody and support are two critical aspects of the divorce process that you need to understand. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and resources to help you navigate child custody and support during your Texas divorce.
Understanding Child Custody in Texas
In Texas, child custody is referred to as "conservatorship." There are two types of conservatorship: joint managing conservatorship (JMC) and sole managing conservatorship (SMC). JMC is when both parents share the rights and responsibilities of raising their child, while SMC is when one parent has the primary responsibility for the child.
The Texas Attorney General's Office provides resources and information on child custody and support. They recommend that parents work together to create a parenting plan that outlines their rights and responsibilities. This plan should include details on decision-making, visitation schedules, and communication methods.
Tip #1: Be Prepared for Mediation or Court
If you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, you may need to attend mediation or go to court. It's essential to be prepared for these situations by gathering relevant documentation and evidence to support your case. This may include:
- Records of your child's medical, dental, and educational history
- Documentation of your involvement in your child's activities and school events
- Any evidence of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse by the other parent
Understanding Child Support in Texas
Child support is a financial obligation paid by one parent to the other to help cover the costs of raising a child. In Texas, child support is calculated using a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income, based on the Texas Child Support Guidelines.
Tip #2: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
It's crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to child support. The TexasLawHelp.org website offers a wealth of information on child support, including how to calculate payments, enforce orders, and modify existing support agreements. Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to ensure that you are fully informed about your rights and obligations.
Tip #3: Keep Detailed Records
Whether you are the payer or the recipient of child support, it's essential to keep detailed records of all payments made or received. This includes:
- Payment dates and amounts
- Method of payment (check, cash, direct deposit, etc.)
- Any missed or partial payments
These records can be critical in the event of a dispute or if you need to request a modification of the support order.
Let Coontz Cochran Guide You Through the Texas Divorce Process
At Coontz Cochran, our experienced family law attorneys understand the complexities of the Texas divorce process, including child custody and support. We are committed to providing personalized and compassionate legal representation to help you navigate this challenging time. Our Guide Through the Texas Divorce Process offers valuable information and resources to assist you in making informed decisions about your case.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you protect your rights and the best interests of your child during your Texas divorce.