Child Custody

25 posts

Father

Shared Parenting After A Divorce

Shared Parenting After A Divorce Is The Healthiest Option Divorce is difficult for anyone and everyone involved in the process. Even if the divorce is amicable, that doesn’t make it easy.  Deciding what party gets custody of the children and parenting powers is difficult.  Despite being difficult, it is a decision that needs to be made. In the past, it was tradition to award only one parent parenting powers.  This parent would often be the mothers because it was believed that mothering instinct was powerful and that it was a requirement for anyone growing up.  For the most part, this notion is being dismissed as outdated and inaccurate. A more modern but still outdated approach is to assign visitation hours to a parent, most often the father.  The term visitation implies that the parent is something less than they are.  It also is demoralizing. The best approach to parenting after a divorce is to split the parenting as equally as possible.  While the best approach is to have the parenting split 50/50, the minimal amount that a parent should be with their child(children) is 35%.  This allows for a connection between the parent and the child, it also allows for […]

No fault divorce courtroom

No-Fault Divorces In Texas May Become Harder After New Bill

In Texas, a no-fault divorce is the default mechanism to request a divorce.  Officially by Texas law, a no-fault divorce is when there are conflicts between two parties that could not reasonably be overcome.  In reality, it is simply the type of divorce two people seek when they are looking to get out of a marriage, and serves as a mechanism to ending a marriage with the least amount of drama. It also provides an avenue for victims of abuse to leave a marriage without a burden of proving anything beyond that the marriage itself is unsustainable. State Representative Matt Krause is attempting to pass two bills in 2017.  The first bill increases the amount of time that two people must wait before a divorce is finalized.  This is in an attempt to get a couple to work out of their problems, instead of a divorce. The second bill that Rep. Matt Krause is putting forward will make it hard for all people to get a divorce.  This bill would make divorce only possible for criminal reasons such as abuse and adultery.  While Mr. Krause states he isn’t trying to deter people from getting divorces, he also says he hopes […]

Child Abuse

Child Abuse in Texas

A closet with a deadbolt, regular wood paddling, nowhere to urinate, and not much room, fed only rice and beans.  These were the conditions that Child Protective Services and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputies found seven children in a Richmond, Texas home.  Needless to say, all seven of the special needs children had not been to school, otherwise, the child abuse in Texas would have been caught sooner. In early December, on the 3rd, Paula Sinclair (54) and Allen Richardson (78) were arrested by the Fort Bend County Sheriff.  This came after Child Protective services took a complaint about the adopted children from the home of Sinclair and Richardson.  The charges: aggravated kidnapping and bodily injury to a child.  Both charges are felonies, first and third degree.  The couple is now in the Fort Bend County jail without bond. Allegations of child abuse in Texas had been made and CPS as such launched an inquiry.  This inquiry was to determine if abuse did exist among the seven adopted children in the Sinclair/Richardson home. The children, between the ages of 13 and 16, had been struck with a wooden paddle multiple times, causing injuries that needed treatment.  Each kid was a […]

Texas Primary Custody

The Importance of Youth Voice in Court Proceedings

The Texas Family Code is clear that children and youth must attend permanency review hearings, and places additional duties on attorneys ad litem, judges, and the child welfare agency to meet with children in advance of court hearings.  Despite many improvements over the past several years, Texas courts still do not consistently engage youth in meaningful participation in the court process. Ensuring that youth voice is heard and considered continues to be a challenge.  This lack of youth involvement results in foster youth feeling disconnected from the process, and judges not reaping the benefit of their input. Q:  What does the law require? A:  Chapter 263 of the Texas Family Code mandates that all children who are in the conservatorship of DFPS attend all permanency hearings.  Specifically, Section 263.302 states that the child shall attend each permanency hearing, unless the court specifically excuses the child’s attendance, and that the court shall consult with the child in a developmentally appropriate manner regarding the child’s permanency plan, if the child is four years of age or older and the court determines it is in the best interest of the child. Q:  Are there any exceptions to 263.302? A:  Yes, the judge can […]

A Quick Guide to Divorce

Divorce, Custody, and Visitation in Texas

Divorce, Custody, and Visitation in Texas: What You Need To Know Going through a divorce is hard business.  People from all around Texas and the rest of the country would agree with you on this.  It is easier though if you know what to expect.  Hopefully this can provide some information so that you can better know what to expect from a divorce, and what you need to know about custody and visitation in Texas. Divorce in Texas Divorce is the legal separation of a marriage.  In Texas divorce is also commonly referred to as the dissolution of marriage.  There are two different types of divorce: fault divorce and no-fault divorce.  Both of these types of divorce are fairly explanatory.  A fault divorce implies that one or both parties did something that would cause them to no longer want to be together.  A no-fault divorce is when both parties mutually decide that they no longer want to be together. The process of a divorce is one that is done through the court system.  In Texas, one of the parties seeking divorce will file a petition for divorce.  Typically, both parties hire lawyers and negotiated either in a courtroom or through arbitration.  […]

Texas Paternity FAQ

Texas Paternity FAQ

Frequently Asked Legal Questions About Paternity in Texas There are a lot of questions about paternity in Texas that get asked regularly.  We wanted to save people a little bit of googling and try answer as few of the most common ones in one place.  This guide to the frequently asked legal questions about paternity in Texas is meant to aid you but not to replace the role of an attorney. Define Paternity For Me? When a baby is born and there are questions about the father, you seek to establish paternity.  Paternity is, therefore, the legal identification of who the father of a child is.  This process is typically done through genetic matching of the child’s DNA to the father’s DNA. Is Paternity Testing Only Performed On Babies? While paternity testing is typically performed on babies it has been used to test kids of any age.  This helps to establish who the father is no matter what the situation is. Can You Force A Paternity Test? The short answer is yes, you can force a paternity test.  To do this you need to petition the court for a court ordered paternity test.  This order can also include conditions for what […]

Texas Primary Custody

Deciphering Texas Primary Custody

Does Primary Custody Exist? Usually a misnomer due to its frequency in popular culture, “primary custody” is not an actual legal term recognized in Texas. Texas courts will typically appoint both parents as “joint managing conservators” or “JMCs” for their children, and what people commonly refer to as “primary custody” tracks most closely with the party who is granted an exlusive right to determine “primary residency” of the child. To better understand this concept, I find it helpful to think about all the different rights and duties of a parent as strands of a rope. Prior to court involvement, all those rights and duties are “together” unified with both parents. Both parents have the full complement of rights and duties at all times, and neither parent has any authority to stop the other from exercising those rights, or conversely the obligation to take any particular action in regards to the child. There are pros and cons to this situation, but the main downside, and the one that the court most specifically tries to address, is that in the event of a disagreement there is no clear way to make a decision or to break a tie. If parents are on […]

A Quick Guide to Divorce

Texas Divorce Overview

  Texas Divorce Overview   Everyone іѕ fаmіlіаr wіth the wоrd dіvоrсе but dоеѕ not know thе technicalities about it. It is іmроrtаnt thаt wе should bе able tо knоw things about dіvоrсе аnd whаt are thе thіngѕ thаt wе ѕhоuld соnѕіdеr about when people аrоund us or ѕресіfісаllу uѕ іnѕtеаd are planning tо еngаgе into thіѕ kіnd оf situation. Yоu ѕhоuld fіrѕt know whаt rеаllу dіvоrсе іѕ tо have a dеереr perception about this dіѕеаѕе іn thе community that іѕ not only ruіnіng thе lives оf the husband and wіfе but аlѕо thе реорlе thаt аrе іnvоlvеd in thе marriage, tоо. Aссоrdіng tо Wikipedia, “Dіvоrсе (оr the dіѕѕоlutіоn оf mаrrіаgе) іѕ the fіnаl termination of a mаrіtаl union, саnсеllіng the lеgаl dutіеѕ аnd responsibilities оf mаrrіаgе аnd dissolving the bonds оf mаtrіmоnу bеtwееn thе раrtіеѕ.” It is іmроrtаnt that we ѕhоuld bе able tо know thаt dіvоrсе іѕ not just mеrе breaking up but also hаvіng a permanent separation with the person thаt уоu have married. A divorce fоllоwѕ a ѕеt of court hеаrіng іn which they would dіѕсuѕѕ all thе thіngѕ thаt a mаrrіаgе controls, from thе kids to the fіnаnсеѕ would bе a ѕubjесt mаttеr in a […]

Divorce Prevention: Premarital Education Course

Divorce Prevention: Premarital Education Course

Divorce can be a very painful and expensive process for everyone involved, and often the best solutions come before the time that people are looking for divorce lawyers, and in fact, often before the marriage itself. Everyone knows the statistics in regards to divorce, but always seem to think that it is something that only happens to other people, not themselves. The reality is that divorce is much more pervasive than people expect, and it is important to lay the proper foundation in your relationship to make sure that divorce is never on the table. Before you and your partner say “I do,” the State of Texas encourages couples to attend a free premarital education course. One of the benefits of attending a premarital education course is that the 72-hour waiting period that is typically mandatory between the marriage ceremony and the actually issuing of the marriage license is waived.  Additionally, couples who take the premarital counseling course receive the additional benefit of having a portion of their the marriage license fee waived.  Communication skills, conflict management, and the key components of a successful marriage are all common topics facing new couples, and not so coincidentally are also common topics […]

Co-Parenting for the School Year

As the new school year is about to begin, I’d like to offer some tips for the newly-divorced or new members of a blended family to ease the transition and try to avoid unnecessary conflict. First, get ahead of your anticipated disputes by designing, implementing, and complying with a detailed and customized Parenting Plan (easier said than done, right?) This document is your roadmap, and provides all parents (biological and step parents) the specific terms and conditions under which they are to operate, leaving no room for “innocent” confusion or misunderstanding. Second, set expectations relating to school work. Who will be responsible for making sure that classroom assignments are properly completed and handed-in? Who is available to work on research projects that span across multiple weeks? Perhaps design this by subject matter (Mom helps with Math, Dad helps with English). Or maybe Mom will work with one child, while Dad works with the other. There is no “correct” answer but a well-designed Parenting Plan identifies roles and responsibilities so that academic performances don’t suffer. Third, discuss what you are willing (or, aren’t willing) to agree to relating to after-school activities and sports. And please, DO NOT engage your child(ren) in […]