At Coldwell Bowes, we hold firm to the philosophy that the best interest of the children should — and must — dictate the strategy when resolving custody disputes in divorce and paternity matters. Our attorneys have built an excellent reputation for integrity among family therapists, custody evaluators, social service professionals and judges in matters related to possession of and access to children under Texas law.
If your pending divorce or paternity matter in Central Texas will include disputes regarding custody and parenting time, talk to a member of our legal team at Coldwell Bowes, in Austin. We have decades of experience putting our clients in the best position to achieve the best resolution for their family.
In addition to establishing parenting time and child support obligations, our firm has extensive experience handling other child-related issues such as:
No matter if you contact us pre-divorce or post, we will explain what you need to know about the custody process in Texas and provide thorough, honest answers to all of your child custody questions. You can count on our firm to put your children’s best interests first.
Custodial parents do not have the right to speak words or take actions with the intent to alienate their child from the other parent. Likewise, parenting time with a child should not be an occasion to drive a wedge between your child and his or her custodial parent.
If you feel your ex-spouse or other parent of your child is engaging in parental alienation tactics during or after your divorce or custody resolution, you have the right to seek legal help from the courts. Contact us to arrange a consultation about your options.
If you are a mother seeking to prove a man’s paternity to obtain child support or a father seeking access to your parenting rights under Texas law, turn to Coldwell Bowes for help. We will advise you of your rights and options to help you through the legal process and effectively represent your interests.
We are happy to meet with you in our office in downtown Austin, which is just one block south of the Texas State Capitol. Appointments may be scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Going through the most difficult time of my life, I had the tremendous good fortune of being represented by Micah Royer. Micah invested himself in my case, my situation, and my life. His integrity, expertise, and compassion eased the stress and brought clarity where I had none. Through his efforts, I was able to get through the proceedings and begin the healing process much more smoothly and with confidence that the future was full of hope.”
“There is no way to put into words how wonderful my experience was with Micah and Kim. Divorce was the most difficult life experience I’ve ever had to navigate. The thoughtful and caring guidance I received helped me maintain my sanity throughout the process. My case was settled efficiently and ethically. They say only lawyers win in court, but everyone involved knows I won this one.”
“After dealing with several attorneys through a painful divorce, Attorney Micah Royer at Coldwell Bowes did an amazing job representing, advising, and supporting me after my ex-wife filed a lawsuit against me. His calm and steady presence very successfully steered me through depositions, appearances before the court, mediation, and arbitration over a thirteen-month period, and because of his hard work, I have more time with my kids. I'm beyond thankful to Micah and his team, and would highly recommend him and his firm.”
Most parents dread the custody process most of all when it comes to divorce. With Coldwell Bowes, they don’t have to. We put a premium on providing the personalized and dedicated advocacy parents need during this often tough time. Our Austin attorneys will guide you through each step of the process, answering your custody questions honestly and putting in the hours to achieve the best possible outcome.
To that end, here are three things you should know about how divorce with kids works in Texas.
Most counties in Texas, including Travis County, require parents to attempt resolution through mediation before taking the matter to court. Mediation offers parents the chance to negotiate a workable parenting plan with a certified neutral mediator. The mediator facilitates discussions, but represents neither parent. Our firm has two mediators who regularly assist clients in this capacity.
Many parents do not realize that child support is their child’s right, not theirs. By law, parents are obligated to financially support their children if they are able until the children come of age. They cannot waive child support obligations through a prenuptial, postnuptial or other agreement.
Most parents use Texas’s child support guidelines to determine what they will pay. The guidelines use a standard formula that takes each parent’s income, the number of children and a few other factors into account to determine the final monthly amount. You can negotiate child support payments with your spouse that deviate from the guidelines, but any agreement should be consistent with the guidelines and be enough to support your children’s basic needs, like housing, food and clothing.
Your parenting plan is a legally binding agreement, so in general, it must be followed to the letter. However, real life is rarely so rigid. You may need to modify your plan occasionally for specific situations or to accommodate your family’s needs in the future. The court recognizes this, and making modest, temporary changes to the plan is fine — as long as you discuss changes in advance with your co-parent and he or she agrees to them.
Whatever you do, do not make changes without the other parent’s consent or withhold visitation without seeking court approval. Doing so could result in being held in contempt of court or even having your custody revoked.
If you need to modify your parenting plan more long term — say, for relocation purposes or suspected child abuse — talk with our lawyers today. We will help you take the appropriate next steps to safeguard your child’s interests.
At Coldwell Bowes, we know that custody matters strike at the heart of most parents. What does Texas law say about parents’ rights to custody and financial support? Our attorneys provide honest answers and dedicated representation to protect your children’s best interests during divorce or parental separation.
Below are answers to some of the questions we frequently receive.
In most cases, this means that, absent any allegations of domestic violence, both parents will be granted equitable parenting time. Note that equitable does not mean “equal” under the law. It’s rare that parenting time is split exactly 50/50. Instead, parents receive equivalent amounts of time with the children according to a schedule set forth in their parenting plan.
Shared parenting, or co-parenting as it is often called, refers to the way parents work together in raising their children even after they have split up. Children thrive when supported by both parents. For this reason, the court prefers that parents adopt a shared parenting model for child custody, if feasible.
Being able to cooperate in raising the children after a divorce or breakup is a skill that most parents must develop over time. Sometimes, divorced parents can take co-parenting classes to help them work on communication skills, flexibility and how to resolve conflict in healthy ways.
In Texas, children may voice their preferred living situation from age 12 onward through a guardian ad litem (children cannot represent themselves in court). However, their preference will not be the sole deciding factor when it comes to determining physical custody. The judge must still weigh the other factors outlined above when making a final decision.
Unmarried parents have the same rights as divorcing parents. The only difference is they may need to go through a few extra steps to establish parenting time and child support. If the child’s parentage is in question, for example, the court will order a paternity test before proceeding with custody and support orders. In Texas, mothers are automatically granted legal and physical custody of their newborn infants, but an unwed father may petition the court to establish his paternity and seek parenting time.
Quite simply, child support is not a parent’s individual choice. By Texas law, children have the right to be financially supported by both parents until they come of age. Divorced and unmarried parents alike can use Texas child support guidelines to determine how much they must pay. Single parents can also enforce child support obligations by petitioning the court.
In a word, no. If you have court-ordered visitation (through a parenting plan), refusing visitation is breaking the law. You yourself could be held in contempt of court. If your children are not receiving the court-ordered support they deserve, however, you can ask the court to take action. This usually means wage garnishment or, in extreme cases, criminal arrest for nonpayment of child support.
If you have further questions this page does not answer, call our office in downtown Austin at 512-472-2040 or send us an email to arrange a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.
Family law is all we do, and we do it well. For more than a decade, we have counseled and represented families in Austin and throughout Central Texas in a variety of family law matters. We know the state court system in counties throughout the Greater Austin area and Central Texas intimately and have the experience to handle your case in the professional, conscientious manner that it requires.
Our track record speaks for itself. We’ve accumulated a number of awards and accolades for our firm’s history of delivering exceptional results for our clients.
From our offices in downtown Austin, our attorneys represent clients in family law matters in Travis County, Williamson County and Hays County and courts throughout Central Texas.
Our firm includes attorneys and paralegals with a broad range of experience. Every case receives the guidance and supervision of our senior partners.
Our office hours in downtown Austin are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Call (737) 227-0591 or use our convenient email contact form to request a return call to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer.
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