Nothing is more important than your child. When a couple with a child decides to split up, often the most gut wrenching issue is: who will have custody of the child?
Child custody litigation is the area of family law where a well chosen child custody attorney can make a big difference. It can be the most complex, difficult and vicious part of a divorce case. Not all attorneys are prepared or willing to go to the lengths necessary to maximize your chances of victory. Make sure you choose one of the few who are. Contact the Hacker Law Firm for a free consultation.
At the Hacker Law Firm, San Antonio, Texas child custody attorney Steve Hacker works to find custody dispute solutions in the forms of joint custody, sole custody and shared physical custody on behalf off clients and their children.
Child Custody/Support overview
Courts award parents a variety of rights. The most important one, and what most people mean when they refer to “custody” is the right to establish the primary residence of the child. Next in importance is the amount of time each parent gets with the children. Also important is the right to make medical, educational and other decisions. Lastly, one parent usually ends up having the right to collect child support from the other parent.
There is no preference under Texas family law for the woman (or man) to get custody. As a practical matter, most of the time the mother will end up with primary custody. Why? Because most families organize their lives this way, and Courts like to preserve the status quo.
In Texas you can choose between having a Judge or Jury make the custody decision. Most people opt to have a Judge make this decision, usually because a Jury trial is much more expensive.
If you choose to have a Jury trial, the Jury will likely consist of 12 jurors. In a Jury trial, the jurors often decide key issues, but other issues are usually reserved for the Court. Jurors typically decide child custody, while the judge decides issues of visitation and child support. Jurors typically value the community assets, decide which assets are separate property (i.e., which assets were owned by each party before the marriage) and decide which assets are community property (i.e., which assets were acquired by the parties
These are the “game changers” that can shift custody from one parent to the other. Substance abuse is a common game changer. Family violence is typically the most heavily punished under the law. Mental disorders are the most complex. All require an exceptionally tough and intelligent attorney on your side to take full advantage of, or to defend.
The most effective component of a case is the testimony of witnesses. They vary greatly in value, but generally the most effective ones are those that are neutral (such as a neighbor) and are reluctant to testify.
Children are sometimes, but rarely, split up. This is disfavored, but not forbidden. Usually this occurs when the children are older.
With compassion, understanding, and sensitivity, a San Antonio Family Law Attorney can help you along this very difficult process. Whether you face a contested, or uncontested divorce, the experienced attorney at Hacker Law Firm will be a strong advocate on your behalf, while protecting your interests.
Aside from child custody issues, property division is often the most stressful part of a divorce. The division of property and other valuable assets during a divorce can be a complex matter. Whether you and your spouse are arguing over the division of multiple homes or a single piece of furniture, having an experienced San Antonio family law attorney on your side can help you ensure that your rights are protected.