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How Can I Establish Paternity if My Child’s Father Will Not Cooperate? 

 Posted on September 06, 2022 in Family Law

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. 

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How Do Parents Decide Custody of a Child During a Texas Divorce?

 Posted on August 26, 2022 in Family Law

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. 

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Do Parents of Disabled Children Pay Child Support Forever?

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Divorce

san antonio divorce lawyerParents of minor children in Texas generally stop paying child support when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, which comes last. This is based on the assumption that a legal adult is competent to provide for themselves and that, while a parent can still help the child if he or she wishes, there is no longer a legal obligation to send child support funds to the child’s other parent. 

Some children, however, are never able to become fully self-sufficient. Physical or mental disabilities can prevent an adult from functioning normally, often leaving them completely dependent on their parents for the rest of their lives. In cases like this, the Texas legislature makes an exception to the typical termination of child support payments. If you are getting divorced and have a disabled adult child, you are likely wondering what this law means for you. 

Adult Child Support

According to Texas law, if a child is over 18 and the following conditions exist, child support may be ordered indefinitely: 

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Do I Need An Attorney For My San Antonio Divorce? 

 Posted on July 29, 2022 in Divorce

san antonio divorce lawyerNo couple begins their marriage hoping that it will eventually end in divorce, but anticipating the potential for divorce is a practical perspective in today’s age. If you suspect that divorce may be in your future, you likely have a million questions. Do you want to go through with it? Do you have to go through with it if your spouse insists? Do you really need an attorney, or can you handle the divorce issues yourselves? 

The answers to these questions are complex and depend on your circumstances. However, one certainty is that you can get the answers to all your questions with the help of an attorney. Here are three more reasons that hiring an attorney for your Texas divorce could benefit you. 

Have an Advocate in Protecting Your Interests

Maintaining a perspective with an eye to your current and future interests is sometimes more complex than divorcees would believe. It is easy to accidentally give up long-term benefits for short-term compromise in a way that can seriously hurt you in the long run, especially when it comes to your finances. A divorce attorney with experience and perspective can help you plan your divorce in a way that benefits you now and in the future. 

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What if you and your ex disagree about medical care for the kids?

 Posted on July 15, 2022 in Child Custody

Decisions about the medical treatment that people receive are deeply personal. Your sense of ethics, your religion and personal history with medical professionals may all influence what care you choose to receive. Your preferences may also have an impact on what medical care you want your children to receive.

If you and your ex have differing ideas about the right treatment for your children or even what medical professionals should provide their care, how can you resolve those issues in a shared custody scenario in Texas?

Your parenting plan will talk about medical care

Whether the Texas family courts create a parenting plan or approve one created by the parents, there will typically be a section within the document discussing decision-making authority. It is common for parents to share such authority.

For example, either parent will have the authority to make choices about emergency medical care when a child needs treatment unexpectedly during their parenting time. In non-emergency situations, parents will typically have to communicate with one another and reach an agreement about what is best for the children.

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Are Parental Alienation Allegations Being Overused In Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on June 21, 2022 in Child Custody

Parental alienation is a very serious issue that does happen in divorce cases. It has been studied by experts and found to be a real phenomenon that has a detrimental impact on the child. Essentially, parental alienation has been defined as a situation in which “one parental figure has waged a psychological campaign to, baselessly, turn a child against the other parent.”

For instance, your spouse may have blamed you for the upcoming divorce and slowly tried to manipulate the child into thinking that everything was your fault or that you are fundamentally a bad person. What they’re trying to do is get the child to want to spend more time with them or to not want to spend any time with you. Parental alienation is so damaging because the child may not even realize it’s happening. This can cut them off from contact with their other parent, which can hinder their development as they grow up.

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Do you need to prove cheating to divorce over an affair?

 Posted on June 14, 2022 in Divorce

Couples in Texas get divorced for many kinds of reasons. For example, some people get divorced because of health issues. One spouse may not want responsibilty for the other’s medical bills. Other spouses grow apart over the years and separated to pursue what makes each of them happy.

A significant number of divorces in Texas occur because one spouse cheats on the other. Infidelity is among the leading causes of modern divorce, and it can lead to very emotional divorce proceedings. The spouse who discovered the affair often wants justice, and they may try to use the courts to seek it.

Will you need to prove that your ex was unfaithful to divorce over adultery in Texas?

Proof isn’t necessary just to get a divorce

In Texas, as in most other states, you can divorce in no-fault proceedings without proving anything about your marital circumstances. You don’t need evidence of adultery or other misconduct when you divorce based on claims that your relationship is beyond repair.

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Will marriage counseling help you prevent a divorce?

 Posted on May 09, 2022 in Divorce

Marriage vows require a lifetime commitment of fidelity and mutual support. It is easy to make such a promise at the peak of your romance with someone else. It can be a lot harder to fulfill those obligations week after week, year after year.

People sometimes find themselves struggling to maintain their marriages despite having entered into the union with the best of intentions. They may feel emotionally disconnected from their spouse or violated by something their partner recently did.

Many of these couples turn to marriage counseling or couples therapy to work on their issues. However, couples therapy has a somewhat negative reputation. There are those who say that it is better to file for divorce than to try to work through an issue in couples counseling.

Does couples therapy ever help those struggling to keep their marriages alive?

Research shows couples counseling often has a positive impact

According to a recent review of marriage counseling, almost half of all marriages in the United States will eventually require the help of a professional counselor. Despite the stigma attached to couples counseling and the common assumption that couples who need professional support are better off divorcing, statistics paint a different picture.

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When does a psychological evaluation occur in a child custody case?

 Posted on April 20, 2022 in Child Custody

It is common for divorcing parents to have a hard time agreeing on custody matters. Thankfully, Texas has laws in place to help navigate these predictable conflicts. The courts can help support parents trying to negotiate custody arrangements and can also apply state law to high-conflict scenarios where independent resolution between the parents is unlikely.

When the courts have to make those big decisions about custody arrangements, the goal is to set terms that reflect the best interests of the children. Sometimes, the courts will ask one or even both parents to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation as part of the custody proceedings.

When are such evaluations necessary?

When there are claims of domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, child abuse or child neglect

If your ex has claimed that your access to the children endangers them, the courts won’t just take them at their word. Instead, they will look into the situation and take action if they deem it necessary.

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Why people consider birdnesting arrangements for special needs kids

 Posted on April 12, 2022 in Divorce

Most divorcing parents in Texas can expect to share custody of their children. The parents will each establish their own household, and the children will spend time with both of them according to a pre-arranged schedule.

Unique family circumstances demand a more nuanced approach to child custody matters. If you and your spouse have a child with special needs, your custody arrangements may be significantly different than the arrangements that other families create.

Any child will struggle with the changes and perceived instability of the family unit after a divorce, but children with special needs may find the changes to their living situation and schedule particularly distressing and destabilizing. Birdnesting is a custody solution that could potentially help parents trying to make divorce easier for their child with special needs.

How does birdnesting work?

The home that you share with your spouse is probably where your child feels the safest. Needing to move to a new place can make a child feel insecure and require months of adjustment. Even if they spend some of their time in their home, leaving it to visit with the other parent can be very stressful. They may also have behavioral issues that crop up just before or after custody changes because transitions are difficult.

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