Divorce with Children? A Qualified Divorce Attorney Can Help You Through the Divorce Process

divorce attorneyDivorce is painful for anyone, but it can be extremely difficult if children are involved in the dissolution of the family unit. And, understanding this, the Family Code of each state will help you in providing for the well-being of your children, as well as their “best interest,” which is considered by the Court during the divorce. It is vital, therefore, to contact a qualified divorce lawyer or divorce attorney prior to filing any Petition for Divorce with Children, so that you can ensure that you and your child(ren) are protected to the maximum extent of the law.

According to the Texas Family Code and the Arizona Marital and Domestic Relations Rules of Family Law Procedure, the Standard Possession Schedule, (which means that you have joint managing conservatorship but the other parent has the primary duty to raise the child(ren)), these codes outline concrete and specific terms for visitation and custody of children during the month, including holidays and special occasions. And, if an order is entered designating that you have standard possession of the child(ren), the other party, usually the primary parent, must adhere to the terms of the order, regardless of distance traveled by the standard possessor or both parents. What this means is that if you are the standard possessor and an order is entered, and you attempt to exercise your possession of the child(ren) during your periods of possession and custody and the primary parent attempts to keep you from seeing the child(ren), you can file a motion to hold the primary parent in contempt of court and the police can be called to enter a complaint “interference with child custody” against that parent not following the order. This is why it is important to make sure that you protect your custody rights by having a possession and custody order entered designating the specific times that you can exercise your visitation and custody rights with your child(ren).

To better understand the Standard Possession Schedule and your rights under the Texas Family Code and the Arizona Marital and Domestic Relations Rules of Family Law Procedure, it is important to contact a qualified child custody lawyer or Family Law attorney at the earliest stages of your case in order to prevent lengthy and costly custody issues and delays.

What is Conservatorship?

Unlike other states, Texas and Arizona do not have parental custodians. Instead, they have joint managing or sole managing conservators. Under a normal joint managing conservatorship, the children would live with the primary conservator parent and the non-primary parent would have regularly scheduled visitation as prescribed in the possession order schedule. Because visitation and custody are an essential element to raising child(ren), it is essential to have proper representation by a qualified custody attorney when determining and setting forth conservatorship (custody and visitation schedules) as those schedules will usually stay in place until the child(ren) graduates from high school. Without adequate representation from a family law lawyer who specializes in child custody such as Goldstein & Scopellite, PC, with offices in Texas and Arizona, you could unknowingly sign away your parental custody and visitation rights thus making it nearly impossible for you to be an active participant in your child’s life.

Holidays and Other Special Dates of Possession

Under the Standard Possession Schedule there are specifically seven breaks or holidays and special occasions (not including the summer schedule) for which a standard possession parent can see their child(ren). All other holidays are not included in the standard possession schedule and they must be addressed individually through either court order or through parental agreement. The holidays that a standard possession order allows that a parent can see his/her child(ren) are:

• Thanksgiving
• Christmas
• Mother’s Day
• Father’s Day
• The Child(ren)’s birthday
• Fall Break
• Spring Break

Visitation and/or custody during any other special occasion or holiday, such as Hanukah, Hijra, Yom Kippur, Dasara, Navarati, Rosh Hashanah, etc. must be either ordered by the court or agreed to by the parents.

Holiday Visitation

Regardless of the regular visitation schedule, the holiday schedule supersedes normal visitation. For example, if you were scheduled to visit with your children on the third weekend in November, but the holiday schedule provided for your ex-partner to visit with the children during Thanksgiving, then your ex-partner would have visitation due to the holiday schedule in Thanksgiving fell in that third week. Special consideration is taken into account for Thanksgiving, which is designated to parents by an even-odd schedule, and Christmas, which is divided into two halves to coincide with the academic calendar.

Summer Visitation

Unless otherwise stipulated, under the Texas Family Code and the Arizona Marital and Domestic Relations Rules of Family Law Procedure, July is seen as the default custody and/or visitation month for the noncustodial parent to exercise his/her possession of the Child(ren) during the summer. This date and time frame can be modified by having the non-primary parent send written notification to the primary parent usually by April 15th of that same year.

For more information and for assistance in your divorce with custody matter, please contact the law offices of Goldstein & Scopellite, PC, located in Dallas, Texas and Tucson, Arizona.

Goldstein & Scopellite, PC was established in the year 2002. For more information, see the Goldstein & Scopellite, PC local listing in D Magazine.

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