Landmark Texas case may change the rules of divorce mediation

On behalf of Loughmiller Higgins, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Custody on Friday, June 8, 2012.

Child custody can always be a challenging decision for all parents facing divorce. This is especially true since many times the child custody arrangements that parents agree on in court is considered legally binding, and there are very few circumstances that can change this agreement if both parents are not on board for this change. However, a landmark Texas case might significantly change the way that child custody cases might be modified, even if they have been formerly legally agreed on in divorce mediation.

This case first started out when a father came to a Texas judge, saying that he no longer felt comfortable with the child custody agreement that he and his ex-wife had agreed upon in divorce mediation. After the divorce, he claims that his ex-wife married a registered sex offender. While he knew that this man was a registered sex offender during mediation, he did not realize that the man’s probation that forbid him from being around children was going to end. Furthermore, he claims that his 7-year-old daughter had slept in between the naked sex offender and her mother.

Because of this, the father wants to change the conditions of custody with his ex-wife. However, the mother of the child argues that the conditions of the custody arrangement were legally binding upon signing. Her lawyer added that upending this ruling could cause many other divorces that were settled through mediation to suddenly be up for debate. Furthermore, in the visitation agreement, the mother’s new husband cannot be around during the girl’s visits.

This is a complicated case that underscores the complexity of family law in the cases of child custody. It is not known how this case will turn out, and there is no deadline for a ruling. However, for those who are planning child custody, it is always important to make sure that the best interests of the child is preserved.

Source: American-Statesman, “Child safety case could affect disputed Texas divorces,” Chuck Lindell, May 28, 2012

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