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Preparing for a child custody hearing

Texas parents who are going through a divorce might have to go to court if they cannot come to an agreement about custody and visitation, also known as "possession" and "access." Before going to court, a parent must send a written submission to the judge that explains their position and what they're asking for. The parent should also include copies of any documentation that will be presented in court so the judge will have the opportunity to review it beforehand.

One type of document a parent may want to submit is a record of visitation with the child. A parent who is seeking custody can submit this to demonstrate a close ongoing relationship with the child. A parent who is seeking to prevent the other parent from getting custody might submit this to demonstrate that the child and the other parent rarely see one another and there is not an ongoing relationship.

Along similar lines, a parent may also want to submit records of phone calls or other contact. If they are seeking to show a lack of a relationship, however, the other parent might claim to have been prevented access to the child.

A judge reviewing this information will aim to make a decision about possession and access that is in the child's best interests. It's also possible for some parents to work past conflict and reach an agreement without going to court. This may be less expensive and stressful than going before a judge. Legal counsel could help a parent negotiate fair terms with the other party.

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