Some divorce cases are relatively smooth. The couple agrees how to divide their assets and debts, pursues an uncontested divorce, and the whole matter is over relatively quickly.
But unfortunately that’s not always the case. Children, for example, can have a major effect on a divorce case. When this is the case, Dallas couples must figure out (and may argue over) a litany of issues like child custody, child support, and other aspects of the parenting plan.
Impact of Child Custody Laws When Filing for Divorce
Child custody can be an especially hot topic and can have a major effect on the divorce case. In general, the goal is for both parents to be allowed access to their children. But couples may not agree on the terms of that access.
In the state of Texas, custody is referred to as conservatorship. There are two types that the parents may agree upon or the courts may order: sole managing conservatorship (SMC) or joint managing conservatorship (JMC). Most cases involve JMC, but that doesn’t mean both parents spend an equal amount of time with the child.
Parents who have conservatorship have the right to make decisions for the child and be involved in the child’s life. But one parent is still designated as primary managing conservator, which is the parent with whom the child primarily lives. The other parent in this case will have a right to see the child on a pre-determined schedule, which may include weekends, holidays, the summer, and more.
If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan that establishes when each parent will have the kids, the court may have to make a final ruling. Failure to agree on these matters can prolong the divorce case.
Child Support’s Impact on a Divorce Case
Another common issue in divorce cases that involve children is child support. Texas has certain guidelines for determining support payments made by the non-custodial parent to the primary managing conservator. This includes a standard percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income that changes depending on the number of children.
But this doesn’t mean that parents don’t argue over their ability to make payments or request additional support in certain circumstances. In such cases, the courts may have to get involved to determine if additional support is warranted or if the non-custodial parent can modify payments.
Resolving Child-Related Disputes in Divorce Cases
Parents who are unable to agree on a parenting plan or any other aspect of their divorce will find themselves in a contested divorce case which can be a drawn-out process for some Dallas parents. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the case will end up in front of a judge, though that’s certainly a possibility.
Child custody cases in Dallas are handled through Family Court Services. They can provide assistance with mediation for families who are involved in contested litigation. It also provides assessments of the family’s situation and the children’s needs, which the court may use to help decide the case.
The goal of any case is to resolve quickly, even if children complicate the divorce process. Warren & Migliaccio helps Dallas parents who are going through a divorce resolve complicated issues and protect their rights and those of their children. Call us at (888) 584-9614 to set up an appointment.