Custody


Possible Child Custody Arrangements After Your Divorce
 Child custody arrangements are one of the most nerve-wracking court decisions you’d ever have to anticipate as a parent in a Texas Family Court. Most of the parents who approach Texas family law attorneys have this as their biggest concern regarding their divorce. Parents are also aware that the divorce can have a huge impact on their child’s life. In fact, the impact could be greater on the children. Child custody is one of the subjects parents have the most questions about. Possession Vs. Custody Despite this being, not a legal term, parents usually refer to their ‘possession’ issues as ‘custody’ concerns. Parents, who approach family law attorneys in Texas usually ask along the lines of ‘Can I get sole custody of my child?’ Most parents who ask this question do not trust their spouse to be a good parent to their children after the divorce. They also tend to ask more questions and seek more information about split child custody. A lot of parents get shocked at the fact that in the legal world, ‘child custody’ doesn’t exist. Child custody arrangements are in fact conservatorship arrangements in the state of Texas. Conservatorship is governed by Texas state laws regarding relationships between parents and children. Conservatorship also covers the rights and duties that parents have over their child. How are all these related to or affected by your divorce?   The Impact of Conservatorship to You and Your Children   As a conservator, you must be able to make sound decisions for your child until he or she is no longer a minor. This includes decisions regarding where your child will primarily live until adulthood, the school where your child will be attending, decisions regarding healthcare, psychiatric and other medical procedures. These are basically the core of your parental duties […]

Custody vs. Conservatorship in Your Divorce   Recently updated !


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A divorce in Texas or anywhere else, is definitely life-changing. It could be a major turning point in your life. The result of the divorce might make you feel like you’ve won or lost, but regardless of that, you will have to cope along with your family members. There are many legalities you and your family will have to deal with before you can properly start a new life after your divorce. You will have to discuss these things with your family members too. Changing your Name Even before you started the process of your divorce in Texas, you might have thought about keeping or discarding your last name. Of course, this typically only applies when you’re a woman. Your decision about changing your name should be included in the documents that your attorney will submit for the divorce. The request to revert back to your maiden name is usually included in the Original Petition for Divorce. Even if you’re not the one who initially filed for divorce, you can always file a counter-petition to request for the name change. It’s also possible to request for a name change for children who are minors but it is not a common practice. Change of Address This is another change that you’d have to deal with after your divorce. You or your spouse will have to leave your marital home or both of you will have to leave to live separately (in case you sell your home). This is a huge change that you will have to adjust to – but it’s even more challenging for the children to deal with. It is also important that your children get the support that they need. They should feel secure despite having to move to another house. What you can do is to talk […]

Coping Successfully and Facing a New Life after Your Divorce in Texas



When Grandparents Are Involved In a CPS Case
  A CPS case can be one of the toughest family law case an attorney has to handle. It can be really heartbreaking, at the same time frustrating. From the point of view of the child, it is alleged that he or she is a victim of neglect or abuse at the hands of people whom he or she needs to trust the most. After all, most CPS cases involve people who are legally tasked to care for the best interests of the alleged victims. On the other hand, from the parents’ point of view, the story can be different. Whether or not true abuse or neglect has been committed, their life will be turned upside down with the CPS case. Their parental rights will also be questioned, and they will be at risk of being permanently separated from their child. It does not matter if neglect or abuse has been committed or not, CPS will conduct a full investigation once they are involved. There can be other sides to the case too. Other family members can also feel the extent of the impact of the CPS case. Some of the most commonly affected other members of the family are the grandparents.   How Grandparents Are Affected By A CPS Case   When the parents are informed by the court that they cannot raise their child, the other family members have to step up. Usually, it is the grandparents who are given the responsibility to protect the child. Unfortunately, this usually happens without any form of support for the grandparents, which can put them in a difficult position. It is quite common even from decades ago for grandparents to the primary caretakers of their grandchildren. When parents have it tough, grandparents usually step up to fill that void. Divorce, change […]

Grandparent Involvement in a CPS Case


Violence
Domestic violence is cancer in a marriage and it does not choose victims based on race, age or background. This is an unfortunate and unpleasant to talk about but it does exist. Victims always have a hard time surviving and getting over the experience despite resources made available to help and support the victims. The worst thing about domestic violence is that the abuser is someone who knows you more than anyone else so it hurts more. Often, domestic violence leads to divorce. You will need a divorce attorney if you intend to pursue a divorce to get out of a marriage where domestic violence occurs on a regular basis. Domestic Violence and Divorce A divorce is originally stressful and with an abusive spouse, it can get even more complicated. Most abusers always resort to violence to maintain over you. It is common for victims of domestic abuse to feel trapped as if there’s no way to seek help. The mental hold of the abuser towards the victim usually blinds them and keeps them from seeking help. If you are a victim of domestic violence and are reading this right now, you are making a significant step towards breaking free from your misery. Getting a divorce is an important step to protect yourself from domestic violence once and for all. It does not provide a cure overnight, but it will slowly and surely bring about recovery. Filing for divorce does result in instant advantages. In some instances, victims of domestic violence need a safe place to get away from the abuser. The Texas divorce attorney helping out with the case would be able to request for a temporary restraining order for the abuser which would keep the client safe from more violence. Children and Domestic Violence Domestic violence in a marriage […]

How to Deal with Domestic Violence and Divorce in Texas



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


Habeas Corpus in a Child Custody Case in Texas
  What do you need to know about Habeas Corpus in a Child Custody Case? If you and your spouse have been divorced for quite a while, you are likely to enjoy split custody privileges and have been co-parenting your child equally. If you haven’t encountered any problems, it is safe to say that you and your ex-spouse have probably followed the court’s final decree to the letter. Since you have not encountered any issues, it would be unimaginable for your spouse to not return your child as scheduled, out of the blue.   However, it can happen. Let’s say it happened, and your spouse is refusing to drop off your child as scheduled. You communicate with him or her and it turns out that your spouse isn’t planning to return your child for a couple of days. Of course, you’re angry about it, but more than that, you’re worried about your child. What about your child’s clothes? What about his or her schoolwork? Will your child’s medications be given properly?   Even under the very best environment, co-parenting can be tough. You and your spouse might want to follow the final divorce decree properly, but you could also want to have more time with your child than what is decided by the court. However, a parent just cannot do what he or she wants when there is a court order that regulates your time with your child.   When to Use Habeas Corpus in a Child Custody Case   Habeas Corpus is an option available to you if the other parent refuses to return your child back to you. This is an option that can be taken after taking look at your divorce decree and child custody order. These court orders are the guidelines for you and your co-parent […]

Understanding Habeas Corpus in a Child Custody Case in Texas



CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover 1
Parents Who Are Undocumented Immigrants   The most important thing to remember is the CPS (child protective services) does not deport parents or their children. CPS is not an immigration agency of the United States. Children and their families are given the benefits, protection, and care of CPS whether or not they are here legally.   However, if a child who is not a U.S. citizen is brought into CPS custody, and is here illegally (undocumented), then the home country will be notified. This is a legal requirement and does not apply only when the child is a citizen of another country AND a U.S. citizen.   Be sure to always give accurate statements, as well as to cooperate with CPS as much as possible, in order to obtain all the benefits and protections that you are rightfully entitled to as an undocumented immigrant with CPS. Finally, remember that the CPS is not an immigration agency and cannot deport you or your child. Parents With Native American/Indian Heritage   The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that protects the best interests of Indian children. If you know or think your child has some Native American/Indian heritage, tell your caseworker or the judge at your first hearing because Indian Child and Custody Proceedings have specific definitions under federal law. The ICWA exists to preserve Native American culture and families.   Once a case has been made, the tribe can choose to get involved in the state court case or ask for the case to be transferred to a tribal court. You always have the right to be notified of any proceeding that involved your child in tribal court. Additionally, you have the right to object to a transfer to tribal court, however, the tribe’s decision to transfer the […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Special Topics Part 3


CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover
Part 1 and 2 of this section will handle those particular CPS issues, which include special topics. Special topics are but are not limited to: parents who have special physical or intellectual needs or who live with a mental illness; Fathers, especially fathers who don’t see their children, teenage parents, or parents who are in prison may also have questions specific to their situation. This section includes information to address these more individual issues. A. Parents with Disabilities or Special Needs It is important to be aware of whether you are a parent with a disability or special need because The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to CPS cases. Temporary conditions, such as a broken leg, usually are not covered. Additionally, any condition relating from the abuse of drugs or alcohol is not covered. The ADA defines a disability as a condition that “substantially limits a major life activity.” The ADA does not give a list of all the possible disabilities or special needs. Instead, the law covers “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” If you know (or think) you have a disability or special need, then you need to tell your lawyer so she can tell CPS and the court. Examples of disabilities that may be protected by the ADA are: psychiatric or mental impairments such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, Back or spinal injury, migraine headaches, epilepsy, diabetes, vision and hearing impairments. What Does it Mean for Your Case? It is true that CPS is more likely to get involved with parents with disabilities or special needs since CPS workers must take reasonable steps to make sure that parents understand what is going on in their case. This is especially true for parents with special needs who may require “accommodations.” […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 13: Disability and Inability to Care