Evidence in Child Custody Cases
Although they are generally more emotionally complicated than most lawsuits, child custody matters bear many similarities to other civil cases. For example, like parties in other legal matters, parents in custody disputes must consider what evidence will best support their argument that the custody arrangement they seek is in the best interest of their child, as well as what evidence may be used against them at trial. The evidence presented to a court will often determine the outcome of a custody dispute and, as such, choosing the right evidence in child custody cases is critical. If you and your co-parent are in a custody dispute, it is advisable to consult an attorney to discuss your options. The dedicated Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group are proficient at handling contentious custody disputes, and if you hire us, we can gather the facts and evidence needed to help you seek a positive outcome.Factors Weighed in Child Custody Cases in Texas
In Texas, custody is divided into conservatorship, which is the right to make important decisions regarding the care and upbringing of a child, and possession and access, which is the right to spend time with a child. Texas allows parents to develop an agreed-upon parenting plan, but if they do not, the court will render an order determining conservatorship and possession and access. The court may issue an order appointing the parents as joint managing conservators, but only if it is in the best interest of the child.
Factors the court may consider in developing a parenting plan include whether appointing parents as joint conservators will benefit the child’s emotional, physical, and psychological needs. The court will also consider the ability of the parents to make mutual decisions regarding what is in the child’s best interest and to place the child’s interest above their own. Similarly, the court may examine whether each parent can encourage the child to have a positive and healthy relationship with the other parent. The court will also consider whether both parents historically took part in caring for the child.
In addition to determining conservatorship, the court will determine possession rights. Usually, the court will issue the Texas Family Code’s Standard Possession Order but may vary from it under certain circumstances. The court may consider the child’s age, developmental status, and needs, as well as the circumstances of each parent in determining whether to issue a non-standard order.Evidence in Child Custody Cases
Evidence that demonstrates either parent’s fitness or unsuitability to care for a child may be evaluated in a Texas custody case. For example, to determine whether a parent can provide a child with a safe and stable environment the court may weigh evidence showing that a parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse issues or lives with someone with such a history, which can be demonstrated through court or medical records.
If there is evidence in child custody cases that one parent is trying to alienate the child from the other parent or denies the other parent access or possession, that may weigh into the court’s consideration as to how custody should be allocated as well. For example, text messages, emails, voicemails, and social media posts may be introduced as evidence of a parent’s attempt to hinder the child’s relationship with a co-parent. If a child has unique needs, testimony from medical or educational experts may be used to support the argument that certain care is needed and that one parent is more willing and able to provide such care.Speak With a Trusted Dallas Attorney
Obtaining and producing compelling evidence is key to obtaining a positive ruling for your child(ren). If you are engaged in a custody dispute, the trusted family law lawyers of McClure Law Group can advise you of your rights and assist you in pursuing an arrangement that is beneficial to you and your child. We have an office in Dallas, and we are available for consultations at our Collin County office in Plano. We often represent parties in custody cases in Dallas, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Richardson, Garland, McKinney, Irving, and Frisco. We also help people with family law disputes in cities throughout Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, Grayson, Collin, and Tarrant Counties. You can contact us via our form online or by calling us at 214.692.8200 to set up a conference.