Legal proceedings that concern the safety and welfare of your child are among the most emotional and difficult times a parent will ever experience. Every action, agreement, or court order made in a child custody matter impacts a child’s future, and that is a responsibility we do not take for granted. In Texas, it is public policy for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. The court has wide discretion in determining what is in a child’s best interest. Since this is a subjective decision to be made by a court, it is important for your attorney to know what a judge wants to hear in order to determine its ruling concerning your child. The court may rule that each parent have almost equal parenting time with their children, or that one parent have a great deal more time with the child than the other parent. That could mean determining with whom a child will live and in what geographic location. Courts will also decide whether your child’s educational and medical needs will be joint decisions between you and the other parent or made independently by both parents.
At Zahn Family Law, it is important to us to be thoroughly prepared for each case involving child custody. We take our time to research and learn the background of each case as well as the needs of a client’s children so we can be confident that we are proceeding with a child’s best interest in mind.
In the majority of cases, the court will order one parent to pay child support to the parent with whom the child is living for the majority of the time, as well as maintaining health insurance coverage for the child. The amount of child support ordered depends exclusively on the paying parent’s net resources. Many factors are considered to determine a parent’s net resources. However, the receiving parent’s resources are not taken into consideration in assessing the amount of child support to be paid. After a divorce or order concerning a child has been made, circumstances often change so much that the original child support amount may need to be increased or decreased by seeking an order of modification from the court.
Our goal is to present the information necessary to the court so that your judge is well equipped to make child support orders which benefit your child in the future, and which also accurately calculate the child support a parent should be paying or receiving. We believe it is important for us to fully inform each client of the possible, realistic outcomes.
Paternity cases usually involve the paternity of children born outside of marriage. In most instances, these cases arise when one parent or another seeks a court order to establish their rights, powers and duties as parents, child support to be paid and parenting time for both parents. Without such an order, one parent, usually the father, is left without having any set times he may spend time with his child. In most cases where there is not family violence or substance abuse, this is a situation that is ultimately harmful to both parents and the child. When there is not a predetermined parenting time schedule in place and one parent experiences great difficulty in providing for her child, it is the child who suffers. He or she feels her parents’ tension and animosity towards each other and is deprived of the best that each parent truly has to offer. Whatever the reasoning behind a paternity case, Zahn Family Law strives to work hard and fight to ensure the best outcome for their clients and their clients’ children.
When certain circumstances exist in which a biological parent has abandoned a child, exposed a child to sexual abuse, substance abuse, violence, or not paid child support for a period of time, it may be an appropriate case for that biological parent’s rights to be terminated and a stepparent to adopt a child. Many factors are considered by the court in granting a termination and stepparent adoption, including how long a stepparent has lived with a child and the nature of their relationship.
These cases can be tricky for both sides and it is our goal to help find a solution that gives a child the best future possible. At Zahn Family Law, our number one priority is to look out for the best interest of a child.
For many children, their grandparents have been acting as parents for one reason or another. Due to a parent’s substance abuse, mental illness, neglect, child abuse or abandonment, to name a few, grandparents are stepping up more and more often to take the place of a parent to support and raise their grandchildren. In such cases, the court may order that grandparents have rights superior to a parent’s when doing so is in the best interest of a child.