In many books, films, and television shows, the parent who falls behind on his or her child support obligations often gets used as shorthand to tell the audience quickly that this character is doing a lousy job as a parent and does not deserve sympathy or understanding. Considering just how many parents throughout the country face just this circumstance for completely legitimate reasons, it is a wonder that the writing convention of the so-called "bad" or "irresponsible" parent is still a powerful symbol, especially given the challenging reality of being a parent with child support obligations, especially when times get difficult.
When a child is born, the mother and father of that child generally have the opportunity to assign paternity voluntarily, without proving paternity with any kind of testing. This can create legal complications if the child's paternity is later called into question, and in many cases, another father may have strong grounds to challenge paternity and claim some forms of parental rights to a child.
Divorce is an innately messy process, even when both spouses approach the situation with level heads and a commitment to fair dealing. Of course, the reality of the matter is that very few couples are able to put their differences aside and think clearly and practically about dividing their assets and dissolving their marriage.
After the fog of divorce lifts and parents work on getting into the swing of sharing parenting privileges and responsibilities, maintaining a consistent and fair custody schedule often becomes a point of contention. For thousands of families throughout the country, one parent or the other may struggle to abide by the visitation schedule or custody plan, either intentionally or out of negligence. Not only does this place both parents in a difficult position, it almost always creates additional strain for the child at the center of the conflict.
A typical custody battle involves two parents fighting over how to divide their child's time and where to raise the child. However, in many cases, the parents are simply not the best option for meeting the child's needs. Instead, it is sometimes wise for grandparents to step up to the plate and seek legal custody of the child. In Texas, grandparents may seek custody, but only if the circumstances and the grandparents themselves meet a number of qualifications.
Preparing for divorce is never easy, but the time and energy that you put into getting your affairs in order and preparing a legal strategy may mean the difference between an ultimately satisfying or unsatisfying resolution.