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Negotiating child custody and support after a divorce

Texas parents who decide to divorce may wrestle with difficult issues about how to handle possession and access to their children. In many cases, they are able to negotiate an amicable division of parenting time and present it in family court. However, when they have a more difficult or fraught relationship, the situation can easily devolve into a battle over time with the children. Once a judge is forced to rule, both parents may feel as if they are treated unfairly.

In particular, fathers may be concerned about gender bias in child custody disputes. After all, across the country, the vast majority of decisions result in a mother obtaining full or primary custody of the children. However, in most of these cases, fathers were content with access time and did not seek additional possession; when dads actively seek custody, they are likely to achieve greater success. In addition, joint custody is increasingly a standard favored across the country, even though fathers may still face judges whose decisions are tainted by bias or traditional views of parenthood.

Child support can also be a difficult issue, especially when financial circumstances change after the divorce. Support orders are issued according to state guidelines that reflect, among other things, parental income and possession time with the child. When a paying parent later suffers financial hardship like a job loss or disability, it can be easy for child support debt to rack up. Parents may even face jail time for contempt of court.

However, parents in this situation can take action to protect themselves. A family law attorney can go back to family court to pursue a child support modification based on the current financial situation. A modified support order can reflect a parent's current income, avoiding a situation of mounting debt and damaging penalties.

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