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san antonio paternity lawyerWhile establishing paternity is not always easy or straightforward, doing so is important for a number of reasons. Every child deserves to know his or her father, and extensive research on the subject is very clear that children do better by every measurable outcome when fathers are involved in their lives. Furthermore, a mother deserves help from a child’s father, even if it is only in the form of child support. Finally, fathers deserve to be given a chance to uphold the responsibility they share for bringing a life into the world. 

Despite many good reasons to establish paternity, some men resist cooperating. They may hope that the mother will eventually give up or that, by dodging DNA testing or court dates, they will not be saddled with child support payments. Fortunately for mothers, Texas courts give them options as they seek to establish paternity, even when a child’s father is trying to avoid responsibility. To learn more about proving paternity, read on and then contact a Texas paternity lawyer for help with your case. 

How Can I Prove Paternity? 

Texas law allows paternity to be established in one of three ways. The most common way is through marriage - when married couple has a baby together, the father is automatically assumed to be the child’s legal parent. 

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san antonio divorce lawyerMaking decisions about your children during divorce can be a confusing, frustrating, and stressful process. You may recognize and appreciate that your children need to maintain their relationship with your soon-to-be ex, but the thought of giving up time with them can feel heartbreaking. You may find that their best interests are difficult to disentangle from your own preferences. Yet a final parenting agreement must be created, and Texas law will expect both parents to play a major role in the life of each child unless there is a provable reason to do otherwise. Here is how child custody cases are typically decided in Texas. 

Four Things to Know About Texas Child Custody Decisions

The first thing to know about child custody in Texas is that it is split into two separate but overlapping areas: conservatorship, which is the authority to make important decisions regarding education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities; and possession and access, which determines the visitation schedule. 

The second thing to know is that parents are encouraged to create a parenting plan together, rather than relying on the courts for help. While cases of partner violence, child abuse, or extreme hostility between parents may make it impossible for parents to work together, generally speaking, parents are expected to handle the matter themselves, using the help of a mediator if necessary. 

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You may have spent months or longer trying to work on your marriage or build up the courage to talk to your spouse about the situation. You’ve been unhappy for years or have known that your spouse isn’t faithful to you.

Now, you’re finally ready to make a change. However, when you sit down to talk about divorce, your spouse tells you no. They insist that they will not allow a divorce and that they intend to stay married to you. Can your spouse really deny you a divorce in modern Texas?

Only one spouse needs to want a divorce

Marriage requires the consent of both parties. When one spouse no longer wants to stay married, the other cannot force them to remain in the relationship.

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Many men feel blindsided when their wives tell them they want a divorce. After all, you promised to spend the rest of your lives together, for better or worse. Realizing that she does not take that commitment as seriously as you do can be a real shock.

Rather than letting denial run the show and continuing to do nothing, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself if the end of your marriage is potentially on the horizon.

Listen to what she has to say

Someone asking for divorce will usually give you an explanation as to why. Understanding the logic behind the decision can help you emotionally process this unexpected change. Rather than arguing with her about the idea, you may simply need to hear her out and then consider the issue.

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Divorce is typically about you and the relationship that you have with your spouse. You have hit a rough patch, have grown apart or have experienced some relationship-shattering trauma like infidelity.

It’s easy to get sucked into your personal narrative during a divorce and keep the focus entirely on you and your ex. Unfortunately, your kids will also struggle during a divorce, even though they aren’t the ones going through the end of a marriage. For children, parental divorce is very difficult.

If you can take steps to put your children first, you can reduce how hard it is for them to adjust to your new family situations. There are five practical ways for you to make your children your top priority in the divorce.

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