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stepparent adoption in texas

The Basics for Stepparent Adoption in Texas

Stepparent adoption cases are not exactly the most common type of cases a family law attorney encounters. When it does happen, the other parent of the child is usually deceased or at least not actively involved with the child. This is usually the part of the case which is conflicted. The thing is, in order for a stepparent to legally adopt a child, the parental rights of the other parent should be terminated first. Some families are not too happy with this fact. In case you are a stepparent who is interested in starting the process of a stepparent adoption, you need a lot of information to help you through the tough parts. You might even need the assistance of an expert family lawyer. In family law, there are always steps to follow – just like in any aspect of the legal system. You will really need to complete each step and requirement if you want to have a successful adoption later on. There are also issues that are better off foreseen so load yourself up with information as early as possible to avoid facing difficulties later on your stepparent adoption case. Stepparents Gaining Rights and Duties Parental rights can […]

Typical child visitation schedule in Texas

An Overview of the Standard Visitation Schedule in Texas

Most of the time, parents undergoing a divorce find their child visitation schedule one of the most difficult things thing to deal with.  Child custody and divorce is challenging enough, but dealing with the changes where you’d have to visit your child while following a tight schedule is pretty tough. Parents facing this scenario tend to disagree on who gets to spend time with the child on which days of the week. They can also argue on who gets the child on each holiday and other special events. Even if the parents are pretty amicable with each other, it’s not always easy to come up with a flexible visitation schedule. The court often encourages a visitation schedule that fairly divides the child’s time between the two parents. It’s basically the essence of conservatorship in Texas. The Texas Family Code actually has a guideline when it comes to child visitation schedules. This guideline includes the daily schedule of the child, such as weekends, vacations and holidays. The guidelines apply to all but since each family situation is different, it doesn’t always have a positive effect on all families affected. For some, it has a positive effect. For others, it can be negative, depending on the circumstances […]

post-nuptial agreement

What a Post-Nuptial Agreement Can Do For Your Family

In case you’re wondering what a post-nuptial agreement is, it’s basically just like a pre-marital agreement. The only difference is that pre-marital ones are signed before the marriage and post-nuptial ones are signed after the wedding. Usually, the motivation between a prenup agreement and a post-nuptial agreement are not the same. In Texas, you are allowed to sign a post-nuptial agreement that includes part or all of your community property. The separation of one spouse’s income or both spouse’s income is commonly a part of such agreements as well. This means that when you sign the agreement, you agree that your spouse’s income will be his or her separate property and your income will be yours as well. Furthermore, this means that if a divorce were to occur, your spouse will not be able to claim any part of that income. If you sign a prenup or a post-nuptial agreement, the court will not try to ‘meddle’ in your affairs at the time of your divorce, if you were to divorce. Turning Separate Property Into Community Estate If you want your separate property to be a part of your community property, you can also specify this condition in your pre-nuptial […]

Paternity and DNA testing

Paternity and DNA Testing in Texas: What You Need to Know

It can be pretty horrible when you’re just minding your own business and you suddenly receive a letter from the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division, demanding that you pay thousands of dollars in child support. It would feel as if your world has turned upside down in a matter of seconds. To make it worse, the letter informs you that you have been delinquent in paying child support. It’s a sticky situation, especially when you know in your soul and conscience that you are not a father – you are certain that you do not have a child. Does this shocking situation sound familiar? No, it’s not a plot of a movie, this really happens in real life. Of course, cases that require paternity determination do not always unfold like this, but you get the point: it’s pretty complicated. If you are in a similar situation, or if you know someone who is in a situation similar to the one we mentioned above, you need to understand that the  situation calls for a family law attorney. Legal advice would certainly be necessary to sort out the case. In cases such as the one mentioned in our scenario above, the […]

parenting after your divorce

A Comprehensive Guide to Parenting After Your Divorce

Parenting after your divorce can undoubtedly be stressful. There are changes that you’ve never dreamed you’d ever have to deal with but now you are expected to deal with them one by one. Life after divorce without kids is difficult enough but the adjustments you’d have to face when you have kids is even worse. You will have to help the kids cope with the changes while fighting to cope yourself. Your rights, duties, and responsibilities will undergo a massive change. It’s natural for a parent to be somewhat afraid and worried about what life may hold after your divorce. Parenting after your divorce requires a lot of courage, determination, and patience. It will also require you to cooperate with your ex-spouse even when you don’t want to face him or her ever again. Basically, parenting after your divorce requires you to deal with conservatorship, child support, adjusting to the changes in your rights and duties as parents, and dealing with your child’s school. There’s a possibility that your child will have to change schools or deal with the changes while staying at the same school. There’s also a chance that you will have to deal with CPS if you’re […]

Texas State capitol

Gay Marriage and State Sovereignty

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 […]

Family Law: First Client Interview

There are a lot of things that I like to cover in a first client interview. As a board stroke, the first thing I like to go over with clients is determining what the current status quo is. This is important for a number of reasons, but primarily because a judge’s predisposition at a temporary order hearing is typically to maintain permanency for children and not to rock the boat. The other reason is to discuss what with my client what things are good about the status quo, and what things we will be looking to see if we can modify, either via agreement or via judicial intervention. I typically try to get a feel for my client as a person as well. Is this a person who is motivated by rationality and finances? Are they motivated by emotion? Some combination? This determination has relevance as to what stance is taken with opposing counsel and the bench, as I try to tailor my own persona to how my client would wish to be perceived to a certain extent. It also has relevance to things I would ask for, as well as my own personal dealings with my client. Do they […]

Texas Judicial Appointments Are Extremely Odd!

So, there was recently a judicial election in Tarrant County. But most of the voters probably had no idea. And even if they did, they wouldn’t get to cast a ballot. Why is that, you might ask? Well, that’s because only Republican precinct chairs have any say regarding the candidates for two state district court seats. Ironically, the event in which the chairs will choose someone to put on the ballot is open to the public, the public simply doesn’t get to vote on it. If you think that this system is highly susceptible to cronyism and potential corruption, you are probably right, but that’s just part of the quirks of the Texas judicial system. Admittedly, even in situations where the public CAN vote on judges, the turnout and overall education level of the voters in regards to the candidates is poor at best. That said, I am not sure removing the public entirely from the equation is the best solution. Voters often underestimate the effect that judges have on the day to day life in society, at least until they are before one themselves. Texas is an extremely large state, with a large number of counties, many of which […]

Welcome to the Texas Family Law Blog!

This is just a quick introductory post to let everyone know what I intend to do with this blog. There are a couple purposes, one of which is occasionally I see an issue that intrigues me, or that I simply want to rant a bit about. Another reason is that I see a lot of people confused about various family law issues that could be easily answered in a few minutes. Many of these people don’t even really need an attorney, and hopefully this blog might help them be better educated about some topics. Additionally, some people think they know more than they do, and this blog might help them question that belief and either do more research on their own, or consult an attorney. Things may change as time goes on, but hopefully this will be a good source of information for the public. If anyone sees information they disagree with or think is wrong, please write a comment about it or send me a message. I will read it, I promise! I am also not infallible by any stretch of the imagination, and the quicker I correct my mistakes the better. Just to note, this blog is designed […]