Child Custody

Visitation During a Child Protective Case in Texas
In a Child Protective Services case, one of the most important concerns is how soon a parent can see his or her child if the latter has been removed from the house of the former. If the Child Protective Services is granted temporary managing conservatorship, there are rules to be followed when it comes to the time they have to make the child available to see the parents. This article will discuss how the visitation process will be, when will it be, for how long the period of visitation should be, and tips on how to take advantage of the time granted to the parents for visitation in the best possible way. If Child Protective Services is granted temporary managing conservatorship rights because the parent has allegedly abused or neglected the child, the parent will be able to see the child not more than five days after the court grants the conservatorship rights to the services. At this point, the services should be coordinating with the parents, with the help of a CPS caseworker, to plan out a visitation schedule to have prearranged for their visitation.  The important factor considered in determining how often the parent can see the child is the individual circumstances surrounding the investigation. An instance is if the services has had the knowledge about an allegation of child abuse and their investigation obtains evidence that supports such allegation, it is possible that there may be no visitation unless the parent(s) undergoes counseling. The well-being and safety of the child is of paramount importance, and in this case, there would not be any difficulties in convincing a judge to order a limited or supervised visitation. If it is a limited visitation, the judge can decide on the place of visit as well as on the person who […]

Visitation During a CPS Case in Texas   Recently updated !

parent alienating child
When a divorce comes into play in the family, the day to day events and challenges will change not only for the spouses, but for the rest of the family as well. When the relationship of both parents come to an end, the law gives the spouses the opportunity to go through the whole process of a Divorce. While this is going on in the court, there are many instances that may arise between the couple. It may be a possibility that both individuals come to the realization that they actually do not need a Divorce and will work things out. However, on the other hand, things may get worse as the Divorce is processed over time. When the parents are not in good terms, it is most likely that one of the spouses commit Parent Alienation. Parent Alienation Syndrome It is a common problem that most families face while going through a divorce, although cases may differ. To give a background, Parent Alienation Syndrome has been evident in families since the 1980s. Parent Alienation is when one of the spouses make different kinds of attempts for the children to turn against the other spouse. This may be in the form of verbal comments, emotional manipulation, and the like. This usually arises from anger of one spouse at the other, which will then be passed on to the children. Since the children are still more vulnerable compared to adults, and are more likely to believe their parents, the angry spouse is then presented with the opportunity to shed a bad light on the other parent, which may result to the child wanting to spend less time with the other parent being accused. A usual objective of the spouse who alienates the other is so that the children and the other […]

Everything You Need to Know About Parental Alienation   Recently updated !

virtual communication
Generally, family courts do not like to issue orders that bars the communication of the child with the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent is not allowed to prevent communication between the noncustodial parent and the child. However, if there is neglect or abuse, the court must issue such orders. If the custodial parent does end up preventing the communication, the noncustodial parent can seek legal recourse. Schedules and rules for calling will be created by the family courts.  Right to Request Schedules Both the noncustodial and custodial parents have the right to request from the court specific schedules to electronically communicate with the child. This OAG form currently provides a reasonable time, but without specific time periods. Digital communication includes email, text messaging, instant messaging, and telephones. Now it also covers social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Skype. Electronic Communication Since we live in the age of Information and Technology, a majority of parents electronically communicate with their child. If the parents have an agreement to this, the same does not have to be included in the order. If there is no agreement, one of the parents can file a motion to add it to the order. Electronic communication by phone, e-mail, text messaging, video call and other kinds of technology are quite assistive in long‐distance parenting. Virtual parenting is not the best substitute for being hands-on with the children. Indirect Interference Interference with a noncustodial parent’s time in communicating with the child can be done indirectly. An example is when a custodial parent interferes with the rights of the noncustodial parent. The refusal of the custodial parent to permit the child to answer calls from a noncustodial parent is unacceptable interference. For extreme interference, a court may issue an order for the arrest and detention of the […]

What are the Non-custodial Parent’s Communication Rights With Children?   Recently updated !

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There has been a lot of discussion recently in regards the recently proposed House Bill 623. This bill essentially proposes to allow Texas to circumvent federal court decisions in regards to declaring gay marriage bans unconstitutional. However, rather than continue the discussion of whether gay marriage should or should not be legal, this bill poses some interesting questions in regards to a state’s ability to circumvent the federal courts. The Texas attorney general has already appealed the previous federal court decision from February of last year to the 5th circuit courts, and oral arguments on that issue will be taking place imminently. However, this bill appears to be proposed as a legislative mechanism to avoid the courts entirely. The strangest thing about this to me is that it is being proposed BEFORE the judicial avenues have been exhausted, which makes little sense, as it could be rendered effectively moot by a favorable outcome in the 5th circuit courts by the attorney general. As an attorney, from a procedural standpoint, this is a fairly troubling issue as the intent is clearly to strip power from the judiciary. Though the chances of success may be low, the intent is still there and still bothersome regardless. The methodology of this attack seems to hurt its own legitimacy as well, as the attack is based on protecting state sovereignty over the issue of marriage, however it is ignoring the legitimacy of the judiciary. The point of protecting state sovereignty I can completely get behind, however the better mechanism of doing this is through the courts, exactly as the attorney general is doing. Trying to protect sovereign powers by ignoring others is an inherently flawed plan, and only serves to give ammunition to those who choose to disrespect Texas as a whole. Perhaps this bill is […]

Gay Marriage and State Sovereignty

Families are the most important thing in the world; so, when something as ugly as drugs sneak into the picture, you want to do whatever you can to stop it. Drug addiction can as early as the teen years of a child. In some cases, even earlier. It can be terrifying, but for now, you need to be as calm as possible. 1. Talk to your partner Start off by talking with your partner. This is a problem that should be handled by a family. Communication is key and will become the most important tool you have to combat drugs. Having a long and hard talk with your spouse will help you work together and tackle this problem as partners. 2. Figure out how to talk to your child Now that you have a partner by your side, you need to think about how to talk to your child. Most drug users will likely deny any blame. You need to be prepared for that. While it may be difficult and painful to collect proof, you may need to do this. This might also be something your child will get angry about because you are invading his or her privacy. You will have to decide on how you want to collect the evidence or proceed without it. Whether you have evidence or not, your child will likely retort in anger or retreat into themselves and perhaps stay quiet for the entire discussion. You need to remain calm and not shout at them, you need to make it feel like it is a safe place to share and this will hopefully show them that you are here to help. There are times they will ask you if you never tried drugs before, whatever your answer is, this is not an absolution from […]

My Child Is Doing Drugs, What Now?   Recently updated !

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Domestic violence can have devastating effects on children. Batterers often use children to manipulate their partners. While the relationship continues, batterers may threaten to take custody of, kidnap or harm the children if the victim reports the abuse. After a battered woman leaves a relationship, batterers may use child custody disputes, visitation and joint custody arrangements as opportunities to threaten, intimidate, coerce and harm their former partners. From Kendall Segel-Evans, Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser (1989). For a long time, domestic violence was not considered relevant to custody and visitation determinations. As explained in more detail in the Toolkit to End Violence Against Women, created by the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women and the United States Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Office, available in PDF and text formats, judges making custody determinations “routinely concluded that violence toward the other parent had nothing to do with one’s ability to adequately parent, and most court decisions revealed that judges did not believe that domestic or sexual abuse of one parent by the other fundamentally compromised the interests of the children.” As the Toolkit explains further, because of the ways in which batterers can use child custody and visitation against their former partners, however, advocates argued that the laws governing custody and visitation determinations must account for the power and control dynamics in an abusive relationship. Some jurisdictions now require the judge to consider domestic violence in making a custody award. Others create a presumption against an award of custody to the abusive parent, or prohibit an award of joint custody to an abusive parent. Yet others require the judge to find that the batterer does not pose a threat of harm to the child before awarding that parent visitation rights. Other laws recognize that […]

Domestic Violence: Child Custody and Family Law

abandoned spouse
Two Types of Divorce in Texas The majority of divorce cases are “no-fault” divorces. In a no-fault divorce, the two parties simply have “irreconcilable differences” or could not get along. The other type of divorce is “fault-based” divorce, which means there is a shortcoming on one party or has aggrieved the other party, based on legal grounds. One example of those legal grounds is abandonment.  Definition of Abandonment in Texas Law Abandonment is being left alone to take care of the home and fulfill all parental duties of the child. Texas law has two conditions to constitute abandonment. First, the spouse must have been absent for a continuous period of one year. Second, the spouse made a willing and intentional decision to leave. This leaves off missing persons, or victims of abduction or kidnapping.  This ground of abandonment can be proven in court by presenting testimonies, documents, or letters. Abandonment Affects Child Custody The abandoned parent ends up having added responsibilities. He/she has to deal with the children’s needs: emotional, physical, mental and financial- alone. The main issue is the conservatorship of the children in a divorce on the grounds of abandonment. Conservatorship deals with the fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities of the children as opposed to possession. The parent charged with abandonment will usually lose custody. Abandonment Affects a Spouse’s Share in the Community Property The State of Texas upholds the concept of community property. Both spouses have an equal share of all property acquired during the marriage in a community property regime. However, in cases of abandonment, the court may deviate from the 50/50 arrangement. The innocent parent will naturally have a bigger share because of having custody of the child.

Divorce Due to Abandonment   Recently updated !

They say you get to know your partner more when you start living together under the same roof. Learn how to work with your partner to pay for bills and more importantly, do chores. A “traditional” marriage is letting the woman stay at home and do all the dirty work. This is obviously unfair treatment, especially when the husband isn’t doing anything to help. This might cause problems in the long run. Now, it’s different and more progressive: Couples work as a team to make their marriage work and last a long, long time. So, how do you split the housework between you and your spouse?  The first thing you need to do is sit down and discuss what needs to be done daily and weekly. Wash the dishes, do the laundry, take out the trash—all that stuff. Once you list all that down, ask each other which tasks are plausible to do considering your respective schedules.  One effective pattern you can follow is alternating tasks each day. Example: The wife can wash the dishes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday; husband does the same on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can also dedicate one day—we suggest Sunday—to do chores together. Do the laundry and vacuum the whole house every week. Go out and spend quality time after. What if one of you can’t do their assigned chores for a certain day? Just ask your spouse nicely to switch days with you. Make sure you don’t go back on your promise and you don’t skip chores all the time. You should always have a good reason for not doing your part. Another important thing to remember is help is always appreciated. If you’re having problems, ask help. If you see that your spouse is struggling, offer a hand. Splitting the housework may […]

How to Divide Chores at Home for a Lasting Marriage   Recently updated !