Your Old Order Isn’t Kid-Focused.
Let’s Fix That.
Do you have an old custody order that just isn’t working anymore? Has your life changed so much that what worked before just gets in the way now? Or has the other parent made such a mess that you need new rules?
Whatever your reason, you need a court to change your order. And that court wants to know you’re a KidFirst Parent.
What Is A KidFirst Custody Order?
Every custody order sets out rules and responsibilities for co-parents. But many orders don’t prioritize the children over everything else. Once you began parenting under that old order, you may have realized that it’s as much of a pain as a help.
Did you get your old order from an Attorney General hearing? Those are designed for child support calculation and barely consider how to care for your unique child.
Did you rush to an agreed divorce decree because you just wanted out of a bad marriage? That often puts the kid issues in the backseat, but those eventually become the only thing still connecting you and your former spouse.
Did you use an online form to get a cheap solution? You’re seeing now the cost of orders that weren’t crafted by experts who create custom solutions.
Your new, modified order will be different, because you know better now. You have the perspective and experience to know what matters: your children’s health and security. Your order will be for them.
You Need A Different Kind of Guide
Lawyers are not all the same. We’re human beings. We bring our personalities, perspectives, and priorities to the job. Even good lawyers disagree about what matters in a modification case.
Our priority is clear: we protect your kids.
That may sound obvious, but it isn’t. Our ethical responsibilities require us to put our clients first. Your children will not be our clients, you will. But we never work with parents who won’t put their children first. With that standard, we know that protecting your children means we are also protecting you.
Our method is simple: KidFirst Decision Making.
Using KidFirst Decision Making, we obsessively work to reduce drama. That leads to reduced costs, reasonable timeframes, and – most importantly – healthier children.
If you are a KidFirst parent, you can feel confident that you’ve found the right firm to help guide your family through this difficult time.
It Begins With Our Founding Attorney
Angela Faye Brown is definitely a unique lawyer. Long before considering law school, Angela cared about how law and policy impact kids.
She earned two public policy degrees from the University of Texas at Austin before returning to law school at U.T. During law school, she took up children’s issues as student counsel in the Children’s Rights Clinic.
Under the supervision of such legal luminaries as Jack Sampson (he literally wrote the book on Texas family law), Angela represented children who’d been removed from their homes in Child Protective Services cases. These children showed Angela the courage, confusion, and concern found inside every child in trouble.
Now, as a new mother herself, Angela appreciates the importance of the parent child relationship in a special way. It’s natural for a parent to shield children from unnecessary harm, and she gets why you want that so much. Angela’s experience and priorities make her a uniquely qualified guide for you and your family.
The Path You’re On
Order modification is often the most expensive family law process. That’s because people have already gone in for solutions, tried something that didn’t work, and now want to rework an order. To save money, time, and headaches, you and your attorney need to employ KidFirst Decision Making. Here’s a simple outline of the KidFirst modification process:
- KidFirst Modification Strategy Session: Every new client receives a Strategy Session with the firm. These are more than just meet and greets with your attorney. You’ll walk out with a plan, a look into potential responses from the other side and the best answers, and a budget. You’ll get the information needed to make good choices.
- New Client Welcome: All new clients will receive in-depth instruction from the firm on what to expect as your case moves forward. We will educate you on the issues you’ll face, the decisions you’ll need to make, and roadblocks to look out for. We’ll also help you identify which issues are best solved through the law and which require specialized expertise outside the firm. We’ll connect you with qualified providers to help you on this journey.
- Expert Drafting: Modification cases begin with a Motion to Modify, but this is no form letter. We need to prove a “significant and substantial change” in the child’s circumstances, and we need to show why it matters. A properly crafted motion to modify begins a narrative that will unfold throughout your case. It is a document that protects you and puts the other party on notice.
- Temporary Orders: Most custody modification cases require a temporary orders hearing. This is a contested court visit, a sort of mini trial. It sets the rules for the litigation and orders the parties to reveal certain information. If things were going well, you wouldn’t be filing for a modification, so a temporary orders hearing is a great way to take control early and not let the other party dictate terms.
- Discovery: If you’ve ever seen a lawyer show, you’ve seen someone drop a big box of papers on a courthouse table. Those documents come through a process called discovery. It’s a tool that allows the parties to see the other side’s hand, and begin to formulate a plan. Not every case requires full discovery, which can become quite expensive, so we use only the levels of discovery needed to make informed decisions.
- Settlement Conference/Negotiations: During this phase, we engage in informal negotiations for you. We exchange proposals with the other side in an attempt to focus the issues. As mentioned before, modification cases are usually the most expensive as lawyers stir up trouble by overcomplicating the negotiation process. We’ve handled so many agreements that we know how to get you what you want without letting the fog of war throw us off track.
- Mediation: A mediation is a way for parties to negotiate more formally. They often take a full day, but can cover every issue that remains after informal negotiations. We will prepare for mediation with an eye to resolution. If a case closes at mediation with an agreement, you could avoid significant litigation fees. Studies show that mediation participants are also more likely to follow a court’s order, helping you avoid years of drama in the future.
- Agreed Modified Order: If informal negotiations or the mediation work, we’ll have the outline of an agreement. Your lawyer team will then turn those few pages into an effective, modified order with a long-term view. We don’t want you coming back for another fight in a couple of years, and a properly drafted modified order helps you do that.
Nearly every custody modification case follows this 8-step path. Because we know how that path will generally look, we can give you helpful estimates of timeframes and budgets. If things don’t go as planned, however, our billing structure will allow you to move forward with more intense litigation. We’ll have gathered the information needed to tell your story well before the court.
- Litigation Phase: Some cases require a court to finish. We cannot fully control whether this happens because we can’t control the other side, but the steps we’ll have taken before in drafting, discovery, and negotiations will help limit the drama. Be assured that KidFirst Decision Making will continue to inform how we work during the Litigation Phase. We won’t push you into more fight than you need to take care of your children.
Always Choose For Your Children (We Do)
Now, you have to make a decision. You have to trust someone. You have to invest that trust, which has both personal and financial implications, into a guide.
What will you choose?
If you believe you can be a KidFirst parent, we’d like to talk to you. We can’t tell you that contacting us means you qualify for our services. We don’t take every prospective client who wishes to hire us. We take only KidFirst parents. Is that you?
Avoid The Drama, Win For Your Kids
We don’t know yet what “winning” means for you. It could be a matter of custody, child support, property division, or just freedom. Whatever your reason to stand up for yourself before a court, we want to stand up with you.
The KidFirst Modification Strategy Session is your next step, but it’s not your final step. At the end of this journey, you will know your definition of success and you will be closer to it. You’ll have more independence, personal power, and peace for your children.
If these things motivate you – if you are ready to discover what KidFirst Decision Making means for you – schedule a session with us now.
(Before you go, check out the form on the right side of this page. It’s for people who aren’t yet ready to talk to an attorney about their custody modification roadmap. We’ll give you a list of 5 simple tips to keep your kids safe and protected RIGHT NOW. So go get that list, and we’ll talk more later.)