If you get divorced or split up with your children’s mom or dad, you’ll have to deal with child custody issues. These are probably the hardest issues Houston family attorney contend with. It can be hard to balance the best interests with the children with the reality of your situation.
The only thing the Courts are concerned with is the best interests of the children. Sometimes, this means parents don’t get exactly what they want. For example, if your ex has primary custody of the kids and gets a great job offer clear across the country, the court may let them move and take your kids with them.
It doesn’t always make sense to parents how judges make the decisions they do. Houston family law attorneys have clients come in all the time upset with their custody arrangement. They don’t think their ex is a fit parent. Or, they believe they deserve full custody.
Child custody lawyer work hard to make their clients happy. But, sometimes there’s only so much to do. If you discover your ex has a substance abuse issue, you may want full custody of your kids. You don’t think your children are safe when they’re with the other parent. However, judges very rarely will strip someone of their parental rights.
Your Houston family lawyer will do his best to protect your children. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to primary custody.
What Factors Will a Judge Consider When Determining Child Custody?
Judges will always ask one question when it comes to child custody: what’s in the best interests of the children? This doesn’t mean they’ll ask the kids what they want. Judges don’t like to put children in that position.
The judge is going to do what they think is best for the kids. Sometimes, this means they have to make unpopular decisions. The judges take certain factors into account when determining child custody, including:
- The ages of the children – For younger children, judges seem to prefer the mother to be the primary custodial parent.
- The housing situation for each parent – For example, do you have enough bedrooms for all of the children to sleep comfortably?
- Employment status – If one parent works all the time, the judge will be less likely to award that parent primary custody. This may not seem fair. However, the judge wants to make sure someone is there for the kids when they get up in the morning and get home from school in the afternoon.
- History of Domestic Violence – if one parent has a history of child abuse or domestic violence, they will have a hard time getting more than mere visitation with their kids.
- Alcohol and drug addiction – Although a judge may take this into consideration, it takes a lot for a judge to remove children from a home simply because the parent is an addict.
Your Houston family attorney will work hard to show the judge that the children aren’t safe while with your ex. However, there is little chance that this will be enough to convince a judge to grant you full custody.
How Can You Prove Your Ex has an Addiction Issue?
You don’t want to make allegations that your ex has substance abuse or alcohol issues unless you have concrete proof. First, these are serious allegations. If they’re not true, you don’t want to disparage your children’s other parent. Second, the court takes these allegations seriously. If the judge thinks you’re slinging mud in order to get custody, they’ll call you out on it.
Some of the things that may help prove your ex has an issue with drugs or alcohol include:
- Recent arrests for DUI or drug possession
- Admittance to a drug and alcohol treatment center
- Employment issues due to their addiction
- Statements made directly by your ex concerning their addiction
- Videos or pictures proving they have a problem with drugs or alcohol
- A court sentence that involves involuntary participation in drug or recovery court
Your family law attorney in Houston, Texas can submit evidence to demonstrate that your children aren’t safe with your ex.
Contact a Houston Family Attorney Today
If you think your ex has an issue with drugs or alcohol, you may want to contact a Houston family attorney. Your lawyer can file a motion with the court limiting custody and visitation. They can request that your ex not have custody of the kids until they can prove they are clean.
Call Eddington & Worley today and schedule your consultation with an experienced family lawyer in Houston, Texas.