If your divorce or child custody case involves two financially and emotionally stable parents making orderly arrangements for the benefit of a well-adjusted child, then you may count yourself lucky, no matter how painful the situation inherently is for all concerned. That’s because there are all too many situations in Travis and Williamson County where those conditions simply do not apply. Many factors play into the domestic rifts that tear families apart, and some of them involve high degrees of conflict or extraordinarily difficult circumstances. These may include:
• Mental health issues
• Substance abuse issues
• Parental alienation
• Physical or emotional abuse
These circumstances lead to tremendously tense, complex court cases where the child’s safety may depend on who can take that child in and provide a nurturing, positive environment. In such cases, the court will often appoint a guardian. A guardian is a social worker or other licensed clinical professional with the specialized skills and experience necessary to represent the child’s best interests in the eyes of the court; at least until a final custody determination can be made. We can make this request to the judge on your behalf. If you have feared for your little ones’ well-being under the other parent’s roof, this step can bring immense peace of mind for both you and the child.
Once the guardian has been appointed, you and the other parent will each meet with this professional separately. You’ll bring a completed questionnaire to this meeting that explains your side of things in detail. You may also need to provide mental health documentation, CPS records and other helpful information. It is absolutely critical that the court and the appointed guardian see you take the situation seriously and cooperate 100 percent throughout this process.
To ensure a smooth collaborative effort and the best outcome for your child, we want to make sure that the choice of guardian is a good fit for your particular case, both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, finding such a guardian can prove challenging — especially in Williamson County, where there are relatively few experienced high-conflict experts to choose from. Evans Family Law Group can advise you as to which guardians best suit this description, and then help you work with the court-appointed guardian in the most productive manner possible. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you through a high-conflict case.