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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody attorneyAlthough most people have heard of Child Protective Services (CPS), not everyone is aware of their function. CPS is a part of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which is a state agency put in place to ensure that children in Texas are kept safe from neglect and abuse. When someone reports a parent or guardian to CPS, the agency is required by law to investigate the allegations. Unfortunately, many parents are falsely accused of neglecting their children, which can have a traumatizing effect on minors who are then forced to leave their home. If your child has been removed from your home by CPS, you should contact an experienced complex child custody lawyer who can explain your next steps.

Investigations and Court Hearings

When a person has been reported by CPS, they will be assigned a caseworker who will explain the allegations made against them and create a service plan. Eventually, the child’s parents will be required to attend a series of hearings at a Child Protection Court, where they will have the opportunity to refute the allegations made against them. In some cases, the judge will order that a case be sent to mediation or a family group conference instead of resolving the issues at trial. In either case, within two weeks of the date of the child’s removal, the court will hold an adversary hearing, after which the judge will return the child to their parents or place them with a family member.

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Texas divorce lawyerAlthough going through a divorce usually tends to be an emotional and complex process regardless of a couple’s finances, those with significant assets are faced with unique problems. For instance, many high assets couples have multiple sources of income, including investments, stocks and bonds, and stakes in businesses, as well as a wide variety of valuable assets ranging from paintings and antiques to automobiles and real estate. In these situations, recording and inventorying all of a couple’s assets can be difficult, especially if one of the spouses is attempting to hide assets. In high asset divorces, it is much easier for a spouse to get away with this type of conduct, so if you are considering divorce and are concerned that your spouse has begun to hide assets, please contact a Round Rock high asset divorce attorney who can assess your financial situation and ensure that your interests are protected.

Distributing Assets

Texas is a community property state, which means that assets acquired by a couple during their marriage must be divided equitably upon divorce. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which apply in cases where one party received an inheritance or gift during the marriage. However, even in these situations, the parties could be required to divide the assets if they were later commingled with marital property owned by both parties. Furthermore, each party is permitted to retain sole ownership over all assets obtained prior to the marriage.

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody attorneyIn Texas, non-custodial parents have the right to interact with their child at certain times. Although there are several types of visitation orders in Texas, one of the most common is the Standard Possession Order (SPO), which is usually utilized when parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule. Although the SPO was specifically designed to be fair and workable to both parents, this type of schedule is not always in a child’s best interests, so if you are going through a divorce and are unable to reach an out-of-court agreement with your spouse regarding custody and visitation, you should consider speaking with an experienced complex child custody lawyer who can help you find a solution that is best for your family.

SPO Schedules

When couples are unable to come to a custody arrangement, the court steps in and creates an agreement that is in the child’s best interests. In many cases, this takes the form of the Standard Possession Order, which generally provides that the possessory, or non-custodial parent has the right to visitation with their child starting at 6:00 p.m. on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month. This period of visitation ends at 6:00 p.m. the following Sunday. Additionally, the non-custodial parent is granted visitation with the child every Thursday evening for two hours.

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Texas family lawyerIn Texas, family law courts use the term conservatorship to describe the responsibilities, duties, and rights of parents towards their children. Essentially, the term is used to describe what many other states refer to as custody. There are two types of conservatorship in Texas: sole managing conservatorships and joint managing conservatorships. The type chosen by the courts depends on the specific circumstances of each case, so if you are considering divorce and have questions about your legal rights or duties as a parent and how they could be affected by the dissolution of your marriage, it is important to contact a complex child custody attorney who can address your concerns.

Sole Managing Conservatorships

Parents who are appointed as sole managing conservators are given primary responsibility for raising their child. For example, sole managing conservators can decide where their child will live, can consent to medical treatments, have the right to receive child support payments, and can make decisions regarding their child’s education and employment. Texas courts presume that joint managing conservatorships are in the best interests of a child, so sole managing conservatorships are rare. In most cases, courts will only award one parent sole conservatorship if:

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Texas custody attorneyMany grandparents play a crucial role in their grandchildren’s lives and in some situations, they can continue to do so even after the child’s parents have dissolved their marriage. However, this is not always true, in which case, children may be prevented by one parent from seeing their grandparents. In Texas, it is possible for grandparents to receive a court order allowing them to visit their grandchildren, although obtaining such an order can be a difficult process, especially if one of the child’s parents vehemently opposes visitation, so if you are seeking visitation with your grandchild, it is critical to contact a complex child custody lawyer who has the experience and resources to assist you.

Establishing Standing

Grandparents must have standing before visitation will be granted, which means that they must be able to prove the following:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody attorneyThe approaching holiday season can be a joyous time for family and friends to reunite and celebrate together. Unfortunately, these festive occasions can become contentious when ex-spouses are unable to come to an agreement about holiday visitation with their children. To help avoid this type of stressful situation, you should consider speaking with an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help you find a solution that is in the best interests of all parties.

Court-Ordered Visitation Schedules

When a couple is unable to come to an out-of-court agreement regarding custody matters, courts are required to step in and create a parenting agreement. In these cases, visitation schedules take the form of either standard possession or expanded standard possession arrangements. Under a standard possession order, the holiday visitation schedule will be set in stone, regardless of the distance between the parents’ residences.

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Texas divorce attorneyThe type of parenting schedule that is best for a family depends on the specific circumstances of each case. For example, the division of parenting time and responsibilities for a family where both parents work full-time may look very different from the arrangement made by another couple, where one of the parents stays home with the kids. Often, finding the correct arrangement is difficult, especially if the children involved are very young.

In recent years, more and more couples with young children are implementing what is commonly referred to as a bird's nest arrangement. Under this model, the couple’s children continue to live in the marital home while the parents take turns sharing it with them according to a predetermined schedule. While the bird's nest arrangement has proven successful for many parents, it is not right for every family, so if you are going through a divorce and are considering implementing this type of custody arrangement, it is critical to first speak with an experienced complex child custody lawyer who can explain the potential advantages and drawbacks of this type of plan.

The Advantages

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Posted on in Child Support

Texas child support attorneyWhen some people think about child support expenses, they only consider the costs related to providing food, clothing, and insurance. However, the reality is that child support awards cover not only a child’s basic needs, but also additional expenses. To learn more about what you could be required to pay in child support, please contact one of our experienced child support lawyers for advice.

Calculating Child Support

When deciding how much a parent will be required to pay in child support, courts look at both parties’ incomes, the number of children involved, and all child-related expenses. This includes estimates of the cost of basic necessities, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical care. However, there are usually a number of other expenses associated with raising a child. For example, education-related expenses alone can quickly become overwhelming and could include: private school tuition, uniforms, school supplies, tutors, and fees for after school clubs. These types of costs are usually included in a court’s child support calculation, although other expenses related to recreation, are not always covered. Texas law also does not mandate coverage for a variety of other childcare costs, including expenses for:

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8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759