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In the state of Texas, what constitutes mothers losing custody

of her children in a...
In the state of Texas, what constitutes mothers losing custody of her children in a divorce? What are they "looking" for in a social study? I have been a stay at home for fourteen years. Recently my husband decided he wanted a divorce, later I found out about an affair and Im sure you have heard it all... However, in the time of our marriage he never complained, stayed home from work in fear of the kids, or critisized my mothering..... except for not disciplining enough. He has retained a highly priced attorney, and im using legal aid. A plus for me however, I am now enrolled full time in college, and returning to unfinished business. For brief overview, I will say in a nut shell, he seldom got angry nor did we fight much, but when we did he was explosive and holds grudges from years ago....and it is he that was controlling ie: my knowledge of finances being limited etc. Now he is camping out on my ability to mother, and has started a social study for custody. Im shocked and scared!
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
9/5/2009
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Thank you for your question.

 

In Texas, there is a rebutable presumption that parents should serve as the Joint Managing Conservators of their children. In Texas, "Conservatorship" is "Custody" of the children, and the entire regime about the child(ren) is now called a "Parenting Plan."

 

Joint Managing Conservatorship does not mean that each party will have the children one-half of the time. It also does not mean that child support will not be awarded to one parent. Joint Managing Conservatorship does mean that the parents will either share, allocate, or apportion parental rights and duties. These are the same parental rights and duties that the parents have prior to a divorce being filed; they just may be allocated differently in the divorce -instead of parenting together, each parent will eventually have their own residence.

 

A social study will involve the completion of informational data, gathering of references, and an interview in their offices and/or home. A recommendation on conservatorship will be made to the Court at the conclusion of their investigation. The Court may also order psychological evaluations of one or both parties and/or the children. Additionally, a party may wish to retain psychiatrists, psychologists, or private custody evaluators.

If 12 years of age or older, a child can sign an affidavit stating whom the child would prefer to live with. If requested by a party, the Court will interview a child 10 years of age or older. Neither the affidavit nor the information from the interview is binding on the court, and the court will always use tlook to do what is in the "best interest" of the children in making any decisions.

 

Obviously, I do not know your situation, however, it is highly unlikely that you would lose custody of your children, at least entirely. The court does not want to cut a child off from either parent, and does so only in the most extreme cases. Now, a study can say that the children would be better off with the father being the primary custodial parent, and the children can even say they want to live with him, but none of this is binding; all of it is evidence that the court will consider, ultimately doing what it feels is best for the children.

 

It also sounds like you have a lot of positive factors going for you -you have been the primary caregiver for more than a decade, and a court will be reluctant to change that. You have returned to college and are looking to better yourself and to get a career that will support you and your children. And of course, your husband had an affair, and what impact did that have on the marriage and the children?

 

Ideally, since custody battles can be long and drawn out, it is best if the parties can reach an agreement on custody and visitation, but if they can't, rest assured that you need not panic at the thought of a social study.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

 

RobertJDFL
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Your information was helpful, thank you! I only want to know if you read my additional information, and does that hold anymore bearing on your above statements?

Ah-your additional information just came up now. This site does that sometimes -we can't always see the additional information until you reply.

 

I feel your frustration with Legal Aid. All I can tell you is they are competent attorneys, but they have a tremendous caseload. So, they will always be at a disadvantage versus a private attorney in that sense, because a private attorney can pick and choose their cases. Believe me when I say when there are custody issues at stake, you are better off having some representation versus none.

 

I don't see the depression as much of factor either, UNLESS he can show that it affects how you care for the children and that they are at risk as a result. I also don't know how old you are now, but an episode from when you were a teenager, before you had kids, is hardly relevant to the case now.

 

As for the social study, from my research, it appears that these are becoming routine in Texas now? I can't speak to that, as I practice in Florida. I would agree with you that even if the person doing the study quit over money, if she felt you were a danger to yourself or the children, at the very least as a professional, if not also as a person, she would be obligated to report that to someone. I don't think she would just quit because she couldn't find the information she was looking for -she's supposed to be impartial in her reporting to the court, but perhaps your husband's attorney didn't like what she was telling him. It's hard to even guess with knowing only a small piece of the story.

 

One other thought, if the court didn't order the study done, and your husband hired this person on their own, then yes, I agree there too, that you aren't obligated to pay for it or pay for half of it.

 

Hope this helps. I wish you well.

 

 

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for "Legal Informational" purposes only and should not be confused with "Legal Advice" and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Please don't charge me for this, Im quite confused! I thought I did pay when I accepted. But there is something stating 1 question, 1answer/ waiting for you. Your help has given me better perspective, that I don't feel I get from my aid. While mentioning aid, you are aware I am living on quite meager amounts of money. I read your terms, still feel unclear. OUCH! Everytime I accept I pay? I presumed the follow up was part of first question. Not looking for special treatment, seriously confused. I have my food stamps as of now, and my small amount left from my fafsa (pell grant for school). My church kept electricity for us, and we are living with out common luxuries such as TV. Please instruct me how to be done. I do not intend on being a return customer, though helpful. What am I doing wrong? Everytime I hit accept is it charging me? Yikes......now very afraid. Again Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX information. Best regards!

I'm only showing the one accept, so you accepted the one time as far as I can tell (and thank you, XXXXX XXXXX much appreciated). You don't have to accept each reply answer if you don't want to -I just put that standard language along with my disclaimer in everything.

 

Did you open another question, however? It says you have an open question. If you did, and you put a deposit down, then it charged you for the deposit -but I will look for that question now, and see if I can have a moderator close it out and refund your money.

 

Sending this answer through, but do not accept the answer or reply further.

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Nope, I take that back -looks like you only had this one question open, and you only accepted once. You're good!
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