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Common custody hearing issues

When parents in Texas separate, child custody is often a primary concern. In many cases, exes can negotiate a parenting plan between themselves. However, there are some instances in which issues regarding child custody must go before a judge. Unfortunately, custody hearings are sometimes scheduled at a time that is inconvenient for a parent.

When a parent learns that a custody hearing has been scheduled, he or she is often very motivated to attend the hearing, even if it means taking time off work or canceling an appointment. Hearings, in general, normally do not take long -- maybe 15 or 30 minutes -- so it should be possible for many parents to arrange their schedules so that they can be present for the proceedings. However, there are some situations in which it is difficult, if not impossible, for a parent to make the custody hearing.

Parents should not ignore a hearing notification. Failing to attend could result in significant legal repercussions that could affect the parent's ability to spend time with their child or children. In some cases, a court may be willing to reschedule the hearing or, in some limited cases, change the venue so that both parents can attend. Another option is for a parent to attend the hearing via a phone call or video.

It might also be advisable for someone who receives notice of a child custody hearing to get in touch with a family law attorney. The lawyer could review the client's case and make recommendations regarding ongoing child custody and support issues. Legal counsel may also be able to work with the other parent's attorney, as well as the court, to arrange for appropriate representation at hearing dates.

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