CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover
The right to visit with your child will be one of the most important rights you have during a CPS (child protective services) case, and it is important to take advantage of the visitation that is allowed/ordered both from a bonding perspective as well as a legal one. Under current Texas law, CPS must arrange for you to visit with your child no later than five days after CPS is granted TMC. CPS should work with you to create a visitation schedule. This right can be limited if the court or the DFPS does not think it is in your child’s best interest to visit with you or if allowing visitation conflicts with another court order, such as a protective order. Visitation is important so your child can see you and it will also 1) help you become a better parent, and 2) Visitation can show CPS that you are working your services and making the changes needed to help you become a safer parent!   Supervised vs. Unsupervised Visitation   A judge can order visitation to be either supervised or unsupervised and order other limits as needed. For example, the judge may order where the visits will occur, who will supervise, or who may be there during them. The rules about visitation should always take into account what is in your child’s best interest at that time.   Supervised: someone will be watching while you and your child spend time together. CPS is present because they want to make sure the child is safe during the visit. In most cases, your first visits will be supervised. If visitation goes well for a long time and you have shown that your child can be with you safely, the judge or CPS may decide that visits can be unsupervised.   Unsupervised: […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 12: Visitation


gray divorce
Gray Divorces take place between spouses who are over 50 years old. Dissolution of the marriage of couples who are 50 years old and above is increasing in the country. There will be difficulties and challenges. A common issue is when a spouse is very financially dependent on the other. After the divorce, the financially-dependent spouse will have to deal with a drastic lifestyle change. Issues regarding properties will arise. There’s also the issues of support and alimony among other things. Family Home The parties have to decide who is better capable of refinancing a mortgage of family homes not yet paid off. The more capable spouse will then be the one who will remain in the family home.  Retirement A divorcing couple who are over fifty needs to be aware of how divorce can affect the accounts dedicated to retirement. A spouse is entitled to a 50% share of the other spouse’s account. Anything contributed prior to the date of marriage is a separate property of the account owning spouse. You should help your lawyer trace what’s community property and what’s not. Social Security Benefits are also considered in dividing community property. For many clients over 50, retirement accounts may be their most significant asset. Retirement accounts’ value may be less than their balance. Spousal Support & Alimony Spousal support is a material issue in gray divorces. The party asking for post-divorce spousal support will be required: To have been married to the other spouse for at least 10 years or longer; To demonstrate they are not able to earn sufficient income to meet their minimal needs; and To show they have made a diligent effort to earn sufficient income or develop skills to do so. Debts Debts are not limited to credit cards. It can also mean mortgage […]

What is a Gray Divorce?



Co Parenting Tips
Summertime Co-Parenting Tips for divorced and separated parents by Gary Payton After getting over with the painful process of separation it is time to put a few things in order and organize them so that life becomes a bit less stressed. A number of divorces involve kids who are sent into the custody of one of the parents. Once a divorce has been processed via a divorce attorney the parents need to make sure that they bring up the kids in a way where they get the love and care of both the parents. Providing for the kids is the responsibility of both the parents. It is not only regarding the finances but also the emotional aspects of the kids need to be taken care. The kid should not feel an absence of one of the parent in his or her upbringing. Divorced parents need to keep their differences behind them especially when the vacations and social dos of their kids are involved. For this the divorced individuals need to keep coordinating among themselves to run things smoothly. Keep your communication alive and healthy Although you have been divorced still make sure to keep the communication channels open between both of you. This can be a big advantage to both of you in terms of any joint accounts you guys still hold together. For the sake of your kids you need to keep that communication up and running to ensure proper planning whenever your kids need your presence. It is important for kids to get the love and affection of both parents together. Being the biological parent it is your responsibility to make sure that you dedicate a few days to your kid who is living with your ex-spouse. Planning is the key to a beautiful summertime with your kids […]

Summertime Co-Parenting Tips


budget at home
If there’s one thing that ruins relationships, it’s money. That’s simply one of the first things couples—whether married or not—talk about when they start living together. It’s always a case of “who will pay for what,” and finding the right balance for the both of you. Are you moving in with your partner soon? Then you should start taking notes on how you can divide the expenses—for the sake of your future home and your relationship. Split your accounts and work out the percentage you’ll give Keeping your accounts separate is still the best option in any relationship. This will make it easier for couples to control their own earnings and avoid conflicts that come with having a joint account. What you need to do and agree to a certain percentage to allot to your housing needs while, of course, being considerate of how much you make individually. But let’s say you decide to put aside 30 percent of your salary for bills and necessities. Once that’s set, you have to commit to that. Recognize who makes more and who makes less This is in relation to the previous point. One should acknowledge if they are making more or lesser than their significant other. That way, you can pinpoint which expenses will fit your salary—whether it’s paying for the electricity, water, Wi-Fi, or buying groceries. That said, you still have to follow the allotment percentage you’ve agreed on. Again, it’s all about finding a balance in taking care of your home. Save, save, save When you’re done dividing tasks and expenses, you have to get along in this category. Saving money is key to living together. If you are spending too much on unnecessary things and not keeping your part of the agreement, this will cause problems in the long […]

How to Divide Expenses at Home when Both of You are Working



couples counseling
Is it still worth it or is it time to let go and get a divorce? Here are some signs that maybe it’s a good idea to go counseling first.  You can usually talk it out If you and your partner rarely argues and can usually fix things with a conversation, it’s probably a good idea to talk about things before making a big decision. After all, there will be a lot to talk about. Remember that your children are also affected among other things. It’s best to have a smooth divorce.  You’ve never had a proper conversation for a long time I know that this may seem like the antithesis of the first one, but, if you haven’t had a good talk with your partner for a long time, maybe it’s time to do so. Maybe a conversation is all you need to smooth things out and counseling can definitely help. In counseling, experts will be there to mediate so you really drive at the important issues. There’s been cheating If infidelity is the reason of the break-up, it’s best to go to counseling first. Cheating can stir up all sorts of emotions. This betrayal can bring up emotions that cloud judgment. A professional mediator would know best how to navigate the issues.  You are just angry You and your partner may be angry at each other for reasons other than infidelity. It’s not good to make decisions when angry. Making big decisions such as a divorce must be made with a clear mind. Anger is such a strong emotion that can push us to make drastic decisions. Couple therapists are trained in dealing with relationship issues. They are trained in listening, observing, assessing, and intervening. If you are already determined to break it off, counseling can still help […]

Considering Couples Counseling


A Quick Guide to Divorce
  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. Yоu ѕее, іt wоuld rеаllу bесоmе ѕо complicated for you and уоur fаmіlу tо ѕіnk іn to this “solution”, if іt іѕ a ѕоlutіоn аftеr all or mау trigger to ruin аll the реrѕоn’ѕ lіvеѕ thаt аrе іnvоlvеd in the ѕіtuаtіоn.   Whаt аrе thе common grоundѕ fоr having a dіvоrсе?   First of аll, іt would bе hаvіng аn extra mаrіtаl аffаіr. Thіѕ іѕ very соmmоn because аlmоѕt 1/4 оf a 100 оf those who dіvоrсе thеіr ѕроuѕеѕ hаvе this рrоblеm аnd they cannot take anymore whаt іѕ hарреnіng so thеу decide to have thеіr marriage divorced. Second […]

Texas Divorce Overview



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


lawyers
Before you call a lawyer, it’s important to be clear in your expectations. A lawyer can do a lot on your behalf, but he also has limitations.  Here are some of the things your lawyer can do for you: 1. Listen to you Your lawyer is someone who you can expect to listen. You can absolutely tell your lawyer anything. Actually it’s very important for you to open up to your lawyer and be completely honest. That is a good foundation of a great attorney-client relationship.  A lawyer should be open minded and non-judgmental so you don’t have to worry about anything. If your lawyer is disrespectful, you can actually file a complaint. Lawyers have a very high ethical responsibility. No lawyer should ever make you feel bad about your case. Of course, what you should talk about should be relevant. Your lawyer may ask questions to steer the conversation to the right direction. However, you don’t have to be careful and curate what you say. Feel free to tell him anything. It’s up to the lawyer to guide you. 2. Give you legal advice A lawyer is trained to dissect information and issues in order to give you the proper legal advice. Lawyers have the legal knowledge, training, and experience to tell you what is the best course of action to take. You can rely on the competence of a member of the Bar. Lawyers have spent many years studying and training. You can file a complaint against the lawyer if it is proved that he did not exercise due diligence or is grossly incompetent.  3. Expedite the process Filing paperwork and all that mumbo-jumbo can be very daunting for a layman. You can actually leave everything up to your lawyer from start to finish. Of course, the client’s […]

What a Lawyer Can and Cannot Do