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What should parents expect after divorce?

Divorce is rarely a simple or easy process, but parents who choose to divorce face a potential crisis if they do not have a clear picture of what to expect after the divorce finalizes. This compromises the best interests of both the parents and the children.

If you are weighing your options and considering divorce, it is wise to have a clear understanding of what the process can and cannot do for you and your children. With reasonable understanding of these advantages and limitations, you can protect your priorities and rights more effectively and provide the best available life to your child.

With a poor understanding of divorce, you may give up important rights or misrepresent yourself to a family court. For your own sake and the sake of your child, you should take great care to build a strong divorce strategy that not only protects your interests in the moment, but accounts for your needs and expectations in the future.

Divorce and custody

After divorce, two parents usually share some form of custody, which the court approves and enforces. Some parents assume that obeying a custom order or parenting agreement is optional or that it is OK to work with the other parent to alter it. This is rarely a wise thing to do.

If one parent does not obey the terms of a custody agreement, the court may punish that parent in a number of ways, depending on the seriousness of the violation. This may occur if a parent refuses to transfer a child to another parent at an agreed upon time, or if a parent takes a child on a trip without informing the other parent. Courts take these violations seriously, and may even hand down criminal charges in extreme situations.

Still, many parents assume that it is fine to work together to circumvent a custody order. Parents who do this leave themselves open to significant consequences if one or the other grows dissatisfied and reports the other's violations to the court. While there are exceptions, it is generally wiser to modify custody orders properly, rather than take liberties that may cost you dearly.

The court's role

While family courts do wield a great deal of power, they cannot force parents to treat each other fairly. It is unwise to expect that a court can or will force your child's other parent to treat you nicely. Courts do object when parents subvert each other in front of children by speaking poorly of the other parent or asking the child to spy on the other parent, and may punish a parent respectively. However, as long as the other parent remains within the law and the terms of your parenting plan and custody agreement, your child's other parent may live however he or she wishes.

Courts may provide or demand spousal and child support, depending on your circumstances, and, in many cases, one parent benefits disproportionately. Make sure that you understand this process to protect your rights and future stability.

Courts generally make decisions by prioritizing the best interests of the child in a divorce, so it is wise to make sure that you align your strategies and priorities with creating the best life for your child. This way, a court is more likely to rule in your favor in many areas, both because your interests align with your child's and because the court sees you taking your role as a parent seriously.

You must protect your own interests and your child's interests with all the resources you have. Take great care to build a strong legal strategy to keep yourself and your child secure both now and in the future.

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Weinman & Associates, P.C.
8200 North MoPac Expressway
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Austin, TX 78759

Phone: 512-472-4040
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