Father’s Rights


summer visitation
Many divorced parents have already come up with summer plans to spend with their children during that time. Exciting as it may, schedules for summer visitation tend to be confusing. The Texas Family Code provides some regulations. This article will talk about things to keep in mind when formulating a summer possession schedule.  Written Notice A written notice must be provided by the possessory conservator indicating their chosen vacation days by April 1st. This date may be changed by final orders. It is important to refer to their Divorce Decree, Final Order in Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship,  or Final Order in Suit to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship. The notice can be in the form of a letter, or other electronic communication such as e-mail. Make sure that the notice is in writing. Keep any proof of the sent notice. Never send the notice with the child to the other parent. The possessory conservator cannot select the days of visitation if the deadline has lapsed. However, if the managing conservator agrees to it, the possessory conservator may still choose the days of visitation. If there is no agreement on the dates, statue provides a schedule which will be the entire month of July. It starts at 6:00 PM on July 1st and ends at 6:00 PM on July 31st. An extension of summer designations is permitted as long as the possessory conservator gives notice in advance. Choosing the Dates The freedom to choose visitation dates has limitations. The day before the last day of school and a week before it starts cannot be chosen. The possessory conservator can choose to have up to 30 consecutive days for summer vacation. The managing conservator can select any weekend from Friday to Sunday. He or she will personally pick up at 6:00 PM […]

Summer Visitation for a Divorced Parent in Texas   Recently updated !


child's last name
The obvious answer to the title of this article is yes! Your child is not required to take the last name of your former spouse. As you know, you are also not required to still use it after the divorce. This still needs to go through the proper court process. And of course, the child’s best interest is still the standard to be followed when the court makes its decision.  If you wish to change the names of your children, it is an easier process if the other parent consents. If the other parent disagrees, keep reading this article to know how to change your child’s name after divorce. Changing Your Child’s Name After Divorce Normally, if the father actively does his parental duties after divorce, courts rule that their right to have his children to use his surname is an automatic right. Although there is an evident partiality in this rule, however, this is no longer the case. This is because the standard to follow is the best interest of the child. The last name of the child is changed through a court petition. This petition is filed by the parent of the child, legal guardian or managing conservator. It is filed at the office of the district clerk in the county where the child resides. The filing fee is waived if the parent, legal guardian or managing conservator has a low income, provided they complete and file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs at the district clerk’s office as well. The parent who wishes to have the child’s name change must let the other parent know about this unless the parental rights of the other parent have been terminated. If the other parent consents to this, both of the parents can file the petition […]

Can I Change My Child’s Last Name After a Divorce?



Knowing What’s In Your Child’s Best Interests
Your child’s best interests will always be a key point in your divorce and child custody cases. As you are well aware, your child feels the impact of the divorce even more than you do. It’s really a sad reality that you have to accept and deal with properly. You and your spouse can have some control over the circumstances that affect your divorce, but your child is completely helpless. It is quite common for children to feel confused and misplaced when their parents are undergoing a divorce. As a parent, you obviously would want to protect your children. The divorce probably happened because you want to protect your children from your spouse’s wrongdoings or abusive behavior. Knowing what’s in your child’s best interests would definitely help in ensuring that they can have a normal life during and after the divorce. The conflicts and the many issues that you will have to deal with throughout the duration of your divorce could take its toll on you. You might lose sight of the fact that your children are your priority. You could be blinded by things that you will fail to recognize what’s in your child’s best interests. How can you play your divorce according to your child’s best interests? 1. Avoid the Courthouse It might come as a surprise to many that a lot of divorce cases don’t get into the courtroom. Contrary to what movies and television depict, most divorces actually end in settlement, hence, there’s no need to pay a visit to the judge. The only problem with this option is that you might find it difficult to deal with your spouse when you are still at the peak of your anger. If your spouse has terribly wronged you, it can be quite uncomfortable to work together to […]

Focusing on Your Child’s Best Interests


sperm donor
Being a sperm donor can be a pretty rewarding thing. As a sperm donor, you can help a couple that is unable to have a child on their own. You can help give them something they want but can’t have, and that’s a pretty noble thing to do. But what happens if things get complicated and suddenly, you’re being asked to pay for child support? The US Law on Sperm Donors As a general law, the United States protects sperm donors from paying child support. If you donate your sperm for artificial insemination, chances are you won’t have to worry about paying child support. In some states, it is a requirement that this insemination is done with the help of a medical professional. If the insemination wasn’t done through a medical professional, you may have to pay for child support. In other states, a medical professional does not need to be present for the insemination to take place. There should be an agreement stating that you will not have to pay for child support before the insemination. If the child was conceived through intercourse, some states may still require you to pay child support if needed. This is because you will be treated as the child’s biological father. It would be best to check what laws your state follows regarding these matters. Texas Law on Sperm Donors In the state of Texas, sperm donors are not required to have a medical professional present when donating sperm. Donors who would also like to be anonymous and choose not to get involved with the life of the child are not required to pay for child support. They will only have to pay for child support should they claim paternity over the child or if they happen to still be present and involved […]

Is a Sperm Donor Father Required to Pay Child Support?



getty rr photo of father and baby in bed
When a married couple has a child, even without properly establishing paternity, people will automatically assume that the husband is the father. In order for that thought to be legally changed at court, ample evidence is necessary. It’s different when an unmarried couple has a child, it is often necessary for one parent to establish the identity of the father of the child. This is very important because this is the fact that the child will have to grow up with. This also matters because the child will need support from the father, such as financial support. Usually, despite being unmarried, the father would assume that his rights to the child are guaranteed even at the face of separation from the child’s mother. Acknowledging Paternity Usually, the acknowledgment of paternity is done at the hospital, after the child’s birth. There is an Acknowledgement of Paternity document that both parents can sign before it is submitted to the government office. When the father signs the documents, all doubts about paternity is put to rest, and the father’s name is added to the birth certificate, usually. If the couple is not married, the father is informed of the rights and duties of a father before he signs the Acknowledgement of Paternity. Once he signs the document, only then can his name be added to the child’s birth certificate. The acknowledgment document is then submitted to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Once they accept this document, the father’s name can be officially added to the birth certificate. Other Ways of Establishing Paternity Another way to establish paternity is through the Child Support Division of the Texas Attorney general. This happens when the mother doesn’t really know who the father of the child is, or if either of the two refuses to sign the […]

How to Establish Paternity in Texas


non custodial father
You recently got divorced. Your ex-partner has custody over your kids. Now, you’re living on your own or at least living apart from them. Does this sound familiar? If it does, chances are you might be worrying about how you can still be a father to your children. Well, as much as this is a rather scary thought, this really shouldn’t worry you so much. Just because you don’t have custody over your children doesn’t mean being a father to them is impossible.  There are still some things you can do to work around it. Keep in Touch The first thing you can do to help work around this situation would be to do your best to keep in touch with them. With the advent of technology, keeping in touch with people is relatively easy now. There is absolutely no excuse for you to not contact them. Whether it be through phone calls or video calls, messaging apps, or anything like that, checking in on your kids nowadays is practically one button-touch away. Check on them and ask them how they are, how their day was, what they’ve been up to, and the like. Let them know you still care and that you’re still there. Just because you’re not around physically doesn’t mean you still aren’t there for them at all. Just think of it as a long-distance relationship of sorts. Talk to Your Ex Just because you two are now divorced doesn’t mean you can be good co-parents with one another, especially if you two aren’t on bad terms. Work together with your ex to at least be great parents to your children. Working together helps make it less confusing for your kids when they still see that mom and dad, though they aren’t together anymore, are still working […]

How to Keep Your Role as a Father to Your Kids After Divorce When You Are a Non-Custodial Parent



illegitimate child
Single parenthood, in recent years, has been increasing dramatically. Every year, there are more than a million children who were born to unmarried parents. This is becoming an issue when talking about a child’s mental and emotional development. Especially in cases involving the child’s legal rights and legitimacy, proving the paternity has been very crucial. If the child’s parents cannot establish paternity, their child will grow up not having a legitimate father. This will, later on, raise concerns of discrimination between non-marital children and those children who were born to married parents particularly in the issue of inheritance. The Texas Family Code enumerated the instances where paternity is already presumed. When the child was born during the marriage, paternity has already been established between the father and child. All the conditions stated provide that the parents should be or has been married. One should go through a legal proceeding in order to establish the paternity of the alleged father of a child born out of wedlock. How to Prove Paternity The most common way to test paternity is through DNA testing. This is done by obtaining a tissue or blood sample from the child and from the alleged biological father. Physical characteristics say a lot in identifying that a man could be the father of a child. However, DNA testing is the most plausible method in establishing paternity. Although it may be costly, the results would be reliable. The court acknowledges this as solid evidence. Producing legal documents can also help to prove paternity. An example is a birth certificate which provides the name of the man who is allegedly the father. Another possibility that could be used as proof is to show that the alleged father claims the child as his dependent. This is usually proven in payment of […]

Establishing the Paternity of a Deceased Father


cyber visitation
Virtual Visitation has been successfully incorporated into laws of some states that that are concerned with custody and visitation. Texas is one of these states. Definition The use of any kind of technology to communicate with the child when physical visitation is impossible. Any application or software that allows video chatting and any similar technology are all considered as virtual visitation platforms.  Pros and Cons Virtual visitation is important especially to a parent who works far away from the place of residence of the child. A prime example of this situation is those working overseas such as those serving in the military. Virtual visitation gives the parents who are away from their children a chance to communicate with the child. It also promotes a long-lasting relationship between the parent and child despite the absence of normal visitation.  The upside of virtual visitation is giving parents who are far to continue building a good relationship with their child. Simply being present in important events of your child such as holidays, school events or just having a good conversation with them at the end of the day, in some real way or manner, can really make a huge impact in the life of their child.  On the other hand, a downside of this kind of visitation is the fact that it cannot successfully replace normal physical visitation because this includes intimacy which is not present in virtual visitation. As a parent, no technology can replace holding your loved ones especially a parent being able to hug their young child. In addition to Physical Visits Some parents are concerned about virtual visitation becoming the new normal visitation in this day and age of technology. Hence, they think that courts will have virtual visitation as an option for the latter to order. An important […]

The Importance of Virtual Visitation for Separated Parents