Family Law: Divorce and Child Custody


Divorce or separation can have a devastating emotional and financial impact on everyone involved. Stress can quickly bring out unpleasant and bitter emotions, complicating the process. You should always have an experienced lawyer like Jack on your side to protect your and your children’s best interests and rights. Don’t wait, call a helpful family attorney today.

Jack Robinson provides his client with the best service when they need a divorce and family law attorney in Rockwall Texas. He also assists client who need a divorce or family law attorney in Dallas, Kaufman, Hunt and Collin Counties.

We do not charge for the initial consultation. Call today!

866-566-9529 or 972-772-6100


Divorce Petitions

To obtain a divorce, the husband or wife must petition a court for a judgment of divorce. Divorce Attorneys usually draw up these documents for the Petitioner.

The initial petition often demands much more than the Petitioner expects. Do not worry if your wife claims that she cannot support herself and therefore wants you to pay all attorney fees. Divorce Attorneys often use the initial petition as a wish list.

The Respondent has a limited time to file an answer. The Respondent’s answer is usually brief, admitting or denying each assertion and asking the court to deny the Petitioner’s request.

With the Answer, the Respondent often files a Cross-Petition or Counter-Claim to set forth his position on the basic facts and the relief he seeks. It is always a good idea to file a Cross-Petition; without it, the Respondent could easily find himself at trial facing an agenda set by his wife’s inflated wish list.

Temporary Motions

Early in the process, the divorce attorney on behalf of the parties may file motions for temporary orders to address any pressing issue that cannot wait until the end of the divorce.

But most parties make serious efforts to arrive at an acceptable temporary arrangement without going to court. Avoiding temporary orders will help keep down attorneys fees and possibly create a more favorable impression on the judge.


Discovery is the process of gathering information that will build and strengthen your case at trial. During discovery, you will gather favorable information about yourself for your divorce attorney to present to the court.

But equally important is anticipating your opponent’s case. Winning a favorable judgment means you have to be prepared to deal with your spouse’s allegations.


It is common for cases to settle on the day of the trial and in some cases even during the trial. The settlement agreement has important advantages. A reasonable settlement agreement may allow you and your spouse more control over your judgment. Many clients prefer to avoid the anxiety of wagering their lives on a judge’s decision.

Additionally, time and money considerations may lead to a settlement. You may wait one to two years for your trial, but meanwhile, both you, and your spouse’s attorneys fees will continue to climb. These fees normally increase dramatically as the trial date approaches.

Finally, as tempting as it is, it is almost always a mistake to negotiate directly with your spouse, even when your attorney is in the loop. Any deals that you cut can create unrealistic expectations that will calcify into intractable positions. The litigation fallout from the miscommunication can easily double your divorce attorney fees.

Download Jack’s Divorce and Separation Checklist:

Follow these steps to minimize the length of your case:

  1. Engage an attorney immediately.
  2. In case of domestic violence, call the police and get to safety.
  3. If you have children, get a temporary injunction against taking the children out of the state.
  4. Do not allow your spouse to take the children and leave.
  5. Move your personal papers and records to a safe location, such as a safe deposit box.
  6. Cancel all jointly-owned credit cards and safeguard all jointly-owned bank accounts.
  7. Make a record of all marital property, take pictures where possible and store in a safe location.
  8. Secure your valuable personal property; inventory and safeguard all stored property.
  9. Cut unnecessary expenses immediately.
  10. Keep a daily journal, noting all abuse (emotional and physical)

Child Custody

The child custody objective is the most difficult juncture in the divorce process: do you go for primary custody, 50-50 custody or temporary custody? These are essentially your three options. In most cases a child will live primarily with one parent at one residence with routine time with the other parent. The courts deem that parents have custody of children. There are two kinds of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody is further divided into sole physical custody and joint physical custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is a parent’s legal right and responsibility to make decisions for a minor child pertaining to items such as health and education. In the majority of cases both parents retain legal custody unless there is a compelling reason. Even if a parent is not awarded physical custody, many times he or she will retain legal custody.

Physical Custody

Physical custody can be the most divisive, heated and contested part of any divorce. The decision of where the children live often limits one parent’s time with the children. The party that retains custody will likely receive child support. This is true even in joint custody.

Factors Determining Outcome Of Custody

If you have ever been involved in a child custody case or you are about to begin one you most likely have heard the phrase best interests of the child.  In Texas, determination of custody and visitation issues based on the best interests of the child standard. What constitutes the analysis of what is in the best interest of the child is an examination of certain common sense factors and themes. The list of factors fall into four categories: the historical picture examining each parent’s role in nurturing the child since birth; the prospective picture considering the parents situations going into the future; status concerns referring to the personality or behavioral traits of each party; and depending on the age of the child, the preference of the child.

Custody Strategies

Jack Robinson provides his client with the best service as a child custody attorney in Rockwall Texas and Hunt, Kaufman, Dallas & Collin Counties. The best advice anyone could give a dad preparing for a custody battle is to become as active as possible in the lives of his children and to document everything. Throughout the divorce process, realize that the court will evaluate your behavior in its entirety, taking into account not only the facts of the case, but also your demeanor. Irrational and aggressive behavior may have a profoundly detrimental effect on your case, so be mindful of your actions throughout the proceedings.

Other helpful family law topics you may find helpful include information on spousal support, child support, divorce, and property & debt division issues in divorce.

We do not charge for the initial consultation. Call today!

866-566-9529 or 972-772-6100