Law Office of Mary D. McKnight


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Child Custody

CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES – North Texas Child Custody Lawyer

Dallas child custody lawyer

Notable Results in Contested Custody

Today’s courts do not automatically favor the mother or the parent who makes more money in determining child custody. The yardstick is which parent is better able to “be there” to provide daily care, attention and stability. When it boils down to why the other parent isn’t best suited for custody, things can get nasty.

The Law Office of Mary D. McKnight has earned a reputation as one of the most effective child custody firms in Dallas. We are known among our peers as a formidable trial lawyer who takes tough cases and turns them around. We are known to clients as a compassionate advocate who gives them a voice and a fair chance in court.

Whether you are seeking primary custody, sole custody or maximum visitation, the Law Office of Mary D. McKnight will fiercely fight for you and the best interests of your child. We represent mothers or fathers in contested custody proceedings in Dallas County and surrounding jurisdictions of the DFW metroplex. Arrange a consultation today.

Proven Representation in Complex Child Custody Disputes

Hard Family Law are board certified specialists in family law and bring a wealth of knowledge from nearly two decades of experience in contested custody. We welcome challenging cases in which the odds seem stacked against our clients, such as:

  • Parents with “black marks” such as drug or alcohol addiction, family violence or mental illness
  • Fathers fighting for primary custody
  • Spouses of professionals and high earners
  • Parents with odd schedules or frequent travel
  • Petitions for sole custody
  • Grandparents who are caretakers

We start by analyzing our client through the eyes of the opposing counsel. Even a “plus” such as a good-paying job can be used against you: Do you work too much to be actively involved in your child’s life?
Hard Family Law will identify your weaknesses and outline steps to convince the judge that your child comes first: moving closer to the school, cutting back on work, ditching the abusive boyfriend or entering treatment.

We will also help you articulate a clear plan regarding day care arrangements, transportation to school and other facets of child-rearing and co-parenting.

If you are arguing that the other parent is not fit for sharing custody, we will help you document specific incidents and how they endanger your child or violate your rights: drinking and driving, physical abuse, drug use or parental alienation.

Custody Disputes Beyond Texas

The Law Office of Mary D. McKnight have also handled interstate and international child custody disputes. We have helped clients recover children who were taken out of Texas by the other parent without the court’s permission, including kidnapping to other states or the Middle East. They have litigated under the Hague Convention, the UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) and other laws pertaining to these scenarios. We also handle step-parent adoption and third party custody.

The Best Interests of the Child

Children are hurt and confused by a custody tug-of-war. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for custody, but there is a right way and a wrong way. The court will not tolerate false allegations or bad-mouthing of the other parent. Hard Family Law helps you keep the focus on what is healthy for your child and conducive to peaceful co-parenting. We aim for a workable out-of-court arrangement, but we will have you well prepared if you do go to trial.

Call today for a initial consultation with an experienced Dallas County child custody attorney.

* Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the area of family law


When my ex- husband filed for divorce and filed for sole custody I felt lost in the legal world. Thanks to the Lord, I found Mary. She fought for me every day. It was a painful and difficult process to divorce and fight for custody but Mary made it easier. She told me exactly what to do and never gave up when things got hard. I love this woman, she's simply the best. Legal Services
5 / 5
Throughout a 2yr custody battle for primary residence of my stepdaughter, Mary was very prompt, precise and patient in working with us even through the loss of her husband. She was very much involved in every step of the way, even helping us see positive when we'd hear so much negative. Mary stands for what she believes is the best interest and fights even harder. I would most definitely recommend Mary to anyone else needing help, she will stick with you and fight it out. Legal Services
5 / 5
When your hope is fading, but you still feel righteous and ready to stand up for yourself and your family, Mary McKnight is the one who will be by your side no matter what. Mary McKnight is superb in all areas you can wish for your attorney to be. She is exceptionally knowledgeable, outstanding in the courtroom with her quick and pointed responses, very sensible, wise, and, most importantly, brave. Nobody can intimidate her in the courtroom! Legal Services
5 / 5