Parenting


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  The holiday season may be almost over but it’s not a secret that it remains a challenge for divorced parents in Texas. Divorced parents also have to buy gifts, make and carry out plans for the holidays but it’s a period they have to deal with a little differently. To top that off, the holiday obligations all parents have to deal with can cause them to lose sight of what really counts during the holiday season. This season is still one that’s meant to be celebrated and enjoyed.   Stresses and Challenges of Divorced Parents in Texas   If you are a divorced parent, you must be already well-versed regarding the challenges and the struggles this holiday season brings. For sure you have your own holiday plans, and your spouse also has his or her own plans. Both of your expectations could be different, which poses as a potential risk for disappointments on either side during the holidays. Even if things go well between you and your ex-spouse for the rest of the year in terms of co-parenting, it is the holiday season at the end of the year that will really test your civility towards each other. There can be a stifling tension between you and your co-parent, which could stem from different plans and holiday ideas. Both of you will want to have the children with you for the holidays but since you’re living separately, it’s a difficult thing to accept the fact that one must spend the holiday without the children, as per court orders. Your children will be able to sense the stress and tension and it will hinder them from completely enjoying the holidays.   Civil for the Holidays   An obvious solution to this problem is for both parents to try to remain […]

A Holiday Reminder for Divorced Parents in Texas


If you have a kid and a pending divorce or child custody case, you will naturally have many questions about what will happen to the children. Co-parenting or shared custody is normally the set up, save for some special circumstances. During the times that your child is not with you, you might have a lot of worries. In my experience, it is one of the most helpless positions a parent is put in. I have heard from many past clients that when their children were with their ex-spouses, they later find out that their children were actually left under the care of strangers for an entire weekend without their knowledge and consent. It doesn’t seem right to leave your child to a baby sitter, for example, if you are available at that time. It could have been you spending time with your child when your ex-spouse is unavailable. Isn’t it that the very purpose of visitation is for a parent to spend time with his or her child? If that is not possible, then isn’t it just proper for the other spouse to personally look after the child? If you are not comfortable leaving your child under the care of someone else other than your soon ex-spouse, you might be interested to know more about the Right of First Refusal. What is the Right of First Refusal? This is your right, as a parent, to be informed by your ex-spouse that he or she is not available to look after your child during the time he or she is entitled to take possession of your child. Once informed, you then have the first opportunity to take possession of your child. You can also, of course, decline. It means that your child cannot be left with anyone else if you don’t […]

What is the “Right of Refusal” in Texas Parenting Plan?



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Divorce is difficult, but not all divorces are created equally.  Here in Austin and Greater Metro Area, more and more people are choosing to resolve their family law issues via the collaborative process.  Collaborative divorce is a method of dispute resolution where the spouses agree from the beginning that they are each going to retain attorneys who will work as settlement specialists and who will not engage in court battles. Here are the top 5 reasons any Texas couple considering a split should choose collaborative divorce:   Privacy Rather than have their dirty laundry aired in a public courthouse, spouses going through a collaborative divorce resolve all issues through privileged and confidential discussions in a private conference room. This can be especially important for business-owners, professionals, and high-profile Florida residents who are concerned about the public release of either financial details or embarrassing personal shortcomings.   Respect By its very nature, divorces that go through the court system are adversarial.  They pit husband versus wife, mother versus father, as each side tries to prove to a judge that he or she is a better parent or deserves more money.  In contrast, collaborative divorce is a team-based method of conflict resolution, where attorneys help the spouses attack the problem rather than attack one another.  The attorneys help foster an atmosphere of respect and dignity within discussions. Parents and their children (whether minor or adult) are the ones who benefit the most from this aspect of collaborative divorce, as though the marriage is ending, the relationship as co-parents will continue.   Efficiency Ninety percent or more of all divorce cases end up settling, whether before filing a petition for dissolution of their marriage or after the parties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years going through trial but right before a […]

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce


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  If you are getting a divorce, you won’t really need other people to tell you that it’s going to be tough for your child. You would feel it in your bones – children will usually have it worse. As children are growing, they thrive well if the environment is stable and consistent. If some areas of their lives are in turmoil, it could affect everything else and their outlook can change enormously. You can expect them to be one of those ‘troubled children’ pretty easily if they don’t get the help they need during chaotic times like your divorce. The worst thing is that they actually have nothing to do with the divorce – it’s mainly a thing between you and your spouse – and yet, the children are the ones who are affected the most. Your relationship with your spouse may be flawed beyond repair so you’ve decided to go with divorce, but if you are not careful, this can impact your children’s lives forever. When You Decide To Get a Divorce Since you have already decided to go through with the divorce, the best you can do is to keep it as ‘friendly’ as possible and helping your children deal with it the best you can. You and your spouse can also try to make the divorce as quick as possible so that your children won’t have to stay in an unstable period for too long. The quicker you can finalize your divorce, the faster they would be able to cope and move on. You too. The worst mistake you can make is believing that your children will be resilient enough to handle the divorce and that they will naturally bounce back. You and your spouse will probably receive encouragements from friends and colleagues to attend counseling […]

How To Help Your Child Cope With Your Divorce



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 !


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



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