Divorces rarely bring out the best behavior in people. When you're feeling hurt and angry, you may do things that are otherwise out of character. It can be hard to work through the complex feelings caused by a divorce, but you shouldn't let your emotions damage your chances of obtaining custody of your children.
Especially if your former spouse has temporary custody during divorce proceedings, you need to take steps to be on your best behavior. Regardless of how your former spouse is behaving, you need to put your children's needs, and your desire for full or shared custody, first when making decisions.
One of the best ways to increase the odds of a favorable custody arrangement is to work with an experienced Texas divorce attorney. He or she can help you build a case for shared or full custody of your children and give you advice about how to behave during the divorce proceedings to avoid making the wrong impression on the court.
One of the most important things you can do to help build a case for custody is to pay your child support in full and on time. No matter what else happens, paying your child support can help establish you as a responsible parent.
Not paying child support can hurt your custody case
The courts issue child support via a court order. That means that failing to pay your child support may be considered contempt of court. There are serious consequences for failing to pay child support. These include garnishing your pay checks, seizing your tax refund or any lottery winnings, filing a lien against your property, suspending state issued licenses (such as your driver's license, sporting licenses or professional licenses), filing a lawsuit or even sending you to jail for non-payment. In addition to consequences, failing to pay child support makes it look like you are unable to care for your children.
No matter how your former spouse is behaving, paying your child support in full and on time is critical to your custody case. A lawyer can help you document misbehavior on the part of your former spouse for during court.
If the amount of support ordered is too high for some reason, you will have help in the process of having child support levels adjusted. This requires several steps, but you will be guided through this complicated process. In the meantime, you should continue to make every effort to pay your child support in full until your modification hearing.
An attorney can help during a custody battle
From arguing your position in court to helping your have support levels adjusted, the advice and advocacy of an experienced Texas divorce attorney is invaluable during a divorce. You shouldn't risk losing custody of your children by going through a divorce without adequate legal representation.