While the end of a marriage can be hard for parents and their children, a fresh start is often in the best interests of everyone involved. A compassionate family law attorney could help ensure that your rights as a parent are respected during the divorce process.
You do not have to go through the marriage dissolution process on your own. If your ex is the only party represented by legal counsel, you could be putting yourself in unnecessary legal jeopardy. Let a Pearland divorce lawyer serve as an advocate for you and your children during this important process.
For anyone that has never gone through a divorce before, the process can seem complex and overwhelming. One of the benefits of hiring an attorney in Pearland is that we could provide a thorough understanding of what to expect throughout the divorce process.
The marriage dissolution process typically starts with filing a petition. The petition for divorce must be filed with the court and served on the non-filing spouse. Sometimes when both parties agree to the divorce, the service requirement could be waived by one of the parties.
Once filings are complete, parents can request information, such as bank statements and other financial documentation, from each other during discovery. Once an exchange of documents is complete, both sides will typically work to reach a mutual settlement. Although the court has the final say on most issues, including custody and child support, a judge often does take into account the fact that both parties came to an agreement. For instance, if both parents signed off on a parenting schedule, a judge is likely to accept this plan as long as it aligns with the child’s best interests.
If settlement is not possible, the court will send the matter trial. Often, the court will require parents to attempt to resolve the case through mediation before a trial occurs. If mediation fails, the court will hear the arguments from both sides and resolve all of the outstanding issues between the parents.
Central to many divorces are custody and visitation rights related to a minor child. While it is true that parents have certain rights under the law, they do not have the unilateral right to determine custody of a child during or after a divorce. Instead, a judge makes the final determination regarding issues of custody and visitation.
A family law judge uses a legal standard known as the best interests of the child to determine issues of visitation or custody. The court consider all of the factors available at the time of the trial to determine what parenting arrangement will be in their best interests. These factors could include parents sharing time equally with the child or one parenting have sole custody rights.
The decision made by the court is a final, enforceable order. That does not mean that it is the last word on custody, however. The court retains the right to determine custody of a minor child, and either party could file a motion to modify the terms of the original order. A Pearland lawyer could help a parent fight for fair custody of their child during a divorce.
If you are a parent of a minor child facing the possibility of divorce, the best way to protect your parental rights is with strong legal counsel. Let your attorney review your case and take steps to protect your child and your parental rights at the end of your marriage. There is no time to delay. Reach out to a Pearland divorce lawyer as soon as possible.