No matter why you lost legal custody of your child, it is imperative to act quickly if you want to get legal custody back. If you lost your legal custody rights, you might no longer care for your child or make any decisions related to your child’s upbringing.
Fortunately, just because you lost legal custody of your child does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to get it back. Below, we will discuss what steps you should take to get your custody rights back in Texas.
Schedule a free consultation with our Copperas Cove child custody attorney at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to navigate the legal process and discuss the steps you should take to get legal custody of your child back.
How Can You Lose Legal Custody of Your Child?
Previously, we discussed the circumstances under which a parent may lose legal custody of their children. Some of the situations in which you may lose custody of your child include:
You are deemed an unfit parent;
A court finds evidence of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment; and
You violated a court order.
Contact an attorney as soon as you learn that you have lost custody rights of your child. A lawyer on your side will protect your best interests and ensure that you can get legal custody of your child back.
What is Termination of Parental Rights?
Termination of parental rights is a legal process during which a Texas court ends a parent-child relationship. Under Texas law, parental rights can be terminated through a court order.
In Texas, a parent can sign an affidavit to relinquish parental rights or waive their interest in the child:
An affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights is used when the parent agrees with the court’s decision to terminate their parental rights.
An affidavit of waiver of interest in the child is used when the parent agrees to give up their interest in the child.
Even if a parent signs any of these two affidavits, the parent’s interest in the child or parental rights will not be terminated until after the judge approves the court order terminating the rights. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you are at risk of losing your legal custody rights to your child.
How to Get Legal Custody of Your Child Back?
The process of getting legal custody of your child back is rather straightforward:
1. Prepare your case and gather evidence
In order to get custody of your child back, you will need to collect evidence to prove that granting you custody is in the child’s best interests. The evidence will be used to support your petition asking the court to modify the existing order. You may also need to obtain witness statements to strengthen your case and ensure that the judge rules in your favor and approves your request to get your legal custody rights back.
2. File a petition with the court
If you want to get legal custody of your child back, you will need to initiate the legal process by filing a petition with the court. To have your petition to modify the existing custody arrangement approved, you will need to present solid evidence to prove that granting you legal custody would be in the best interests of the child/
It is vital to seek the legal counsel of a knowledgeable attorney to help you convince the judge that you should get legal custody of your child back.
3. Wait for the other parent’s response, if any
After you file a petition requesting a modification of the existing custody order, the other parent will have a right to respond to your petition. If the other parent of your child agrees to share legal custody, their response may help you get your custody rights back. However, if the other parent challenges your petition and does not want you to be granted custody rights, you may have a hard time getting legal custody of your child back. Either way, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to understand your options.
4. Conduct and participate in discovery
Discovery is a fundamental part of the legal process of getting legal custody rights back. It is advisable to be represented by a knowledgeable attorney to assist you during the discovery process. During the discovery process, you and the opposing party will answer questions and submit the necessary documentation.
5. Try mediation
If you and the child’s other parent cannot reach an agreement regarding the modification of the custody arrangement, you may be required to try mediation to resolve your dispute. Many Texas courts require parties to try mediation before allowing them to litigate their dispute in court.
6. Prepare for the trial
If no agreement is reached through mediation or mediation is not mandatory in your case, you may be able to take your case to trial to get your legal custody rights back. When your case goes to court, you and the other parent will have an opportunity to present evidence, have your witnesses present their testimony, and cross-examine the opposing party’s evidence and witness statements. The judge will review each party’s case to render a proper decision.
If you petitioned the court to regain your legal custody rights, it is highly advised to contact an attorney to help you prepare for the trial and succeed in your case. At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our custody attorneys have represented thousands of clients in custody modification cases throughout Texas.
Consult with a Copperas Cove Child Custody Attorney During a Free Consultation
Each case is unique, which is why it is a good idea to consult with an experienced child custody attorney if you want to get legal custody of your child back. Our skilled and results-driven lawyers at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard are committed to helping you advocate for your best interests in your custody modification case.
Our knowledgeable attorneys are prepared to help you gather the necessary evidence and prepare a strong case to convince the judge to grant you your custody rights. Schedule a free consultation with our Waco child custody attorneys by calling (254) 220-4225.