Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

What all is required to change my custody agreement? My 4 year old son's father and I have the standard visitation agreement that was given to us through the Texas Attorney General a few years back. Since he started paying me child support our relationship was on again off again but finally came to a quit almost 2 1/2 yearish ago (maybe more), he was arrested for domestic abuse towards me one night (one of the many nights that I called the police on him), and he spent a month in treatment for alcoholism. I KNOW he still drinks because my son tells me he does. He works at a car dealership so he works 6 days a week; including on the weeks that he is to have our son for the weekend which requires his parents to pick him up Friday and keep him until Saturday evening which I guess is when my son goes to his father's house for the night. I know that is completely legal and okay. As of late we have been getting along fine and he even agreed to do every other weekend instead of 1st 3rd and 5th weekend so that my 2 older children and my step son would always be together and my husband and I would be able to have our alone weekends. Our papers say that he has to pick him up and HE has to drop him off, but for the past few months he has been religiously asking me to either drive out to get our son from his house over an hour away or to meet him half way to get him. Which I don't mind doing sometimes but not every time he has our son, and you are not going to text me at 5pm asking if I am willing to do so. So when I confronted him about it he flipped out on me and said we were going back to 1st 3rd and 5th weekends and is now completely unwilling to work with me about anything. Our papers also state he is to be dropped off at 6pm, but I agreed to let him keep him until 7pm since he does see so little of him. This Sunday my daugther has a soccer game at 530 10 minutes from where he & I meet to get my son back, I told him TODAY so that he would have enough advanced notice so he would bring my son to where my daughter's game is, and he is completely unwilling to do so. He said if I'm not there where we usually meet he will assume I'm not picking him up and he will just keep him.... I know he cant do that and it just shows he is so unwilling to be a human being. My question is since he only sees our son 2 days a month, has the history he does, never calls him during the 2 weeks I have him, has never met his teacher, is not involved in his school stuff at all period-- basically if he gets paid at work just pays me child support and is a 2 day a month daddy and that is it... am I able to either get an agreement I want or set up some kind of supervised visitation for him? The last Sunday he had our son he had empty whiskey bottles in his vehicle on the floor by my son's feet. I know I have it good with how uninvolved he is in my life and my son's life due to the type of person he is its just aggravating that I do EVERYTHING for my son-- pay for insurance, take him to the doctor when he is sick, help him with school, etc everything a full time parent does... do I really have to be victim to do my life around his asshole ways?!?

Asked on 10/16/13, 6:09 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator

Wow! That is a long question.

Sounds like you need a modification.

You need to find an experienced family law attorney to help you in this matter. You can look on this website and on for help.

From you zip code it appears that you live in the Houston area. I would recommend attorney Patricia Bushman at 713-807-9405. I rent space in her office. Her first appointment is free. Our office is by Reliant Stadium close to Loop 610/Kirby.

Since your verbal agreement is not working then go back to the court order agreement. Follow it to the letter. Don't make any modifications from the court orders.

Keep a calendar/diary on what is going on.

The domestic violence was over 2 years ago so the judge is not going to take that very seriously. You have waited too long. If you were were concerned, then you should have filed a modification when the violence occurred. So that matter is pretty much closed.

All the "stuff" regarding your other kids and new family are also irrelevant. The two of you created this child together & you need to work together for this child. The judge is only going to deal with this child. The judge is not going to concern himself/herself with all these other people. The judge is going to be concerned ONLY ABOUT THIS MINOR CHILD & THE INTERESTS OF THIS MINOR CHILD.

If the two of you cannot work together, then the judge might appoint an attorney to represent the child's best interests and expect the two of you split the costs of this attorney. The judge does not have the time to investigate what is going on in this child's life but he is empowered to appoint someone to do research into what is happening & report back to him/her. This will cost thousands of dollars & the two of you will get to pay for it.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

Good luck!

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Answered on 10/17/13, 12:18 pm

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