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When non-custodial parents are served with court papers

When noncustodial parents receive notice of a court hearing, there are some important things that they should know about the process. By understanding the rules, Texas parents can avoid multiple potential problems.

People should not think that they can simply ignore the court documents that have been served on them. If people do not show up, the court may issue custody, paternity and child support orders against them anyway. If a person is unable to attend on the scheduled date, he or she should contact the court and try to get the date changed. The person should also make certain to ask about how to file his or her response to the document that he or she received.

Noncustodial parents should be aware that courts normally will not consider such things as purchasing diapers for children as a part of child support. Courts generally tend to view these types of direct payments as gifts to the children. When people go to court, they will have their cases heard by judges, and their hearings may last for a day. They have the right to retain lawyers to help them with the process. Parents should tell the courts what they'd like to see happen, and the judges will take that into account when they issue their orders.

Noncustodial parents may request visitation with their children from the courts as well. Family law attorneys may assist in this regard by filing a petition to establish custody and visitation. In many cases, it is possible for parents to come to an agreement through negotiations or mediation, helping them to save time and money.

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