It is always a good idea to have a qualified family lawyer complete your divorce, but if you intend on doing your own, this guide is meant for people who want a divorce and don't have any children or community assets other than personal effects.
Why change a court order?
There are many people who have gone through a divorce or child custody lawsuit and have consequently, whether through agreement or otherwise, obtained orders from a court outlining the rights and duties of parents, child support, and visitation with children. You may think that these orders are forever set in stone, that is not always the case. It is true, however, that child custody orders can have a long lasting effect because they usually don't change until further order of the court or the child or children turn 18. That being said, in the modern era where people are increasingly mobile, and electronically connected, life can change in an instant making following a previous custody order difficult or impractical. There are innumerable ways in which lives can change and sometimes this change can make following a current custody order impossible or even dangerous for the children. Simply put, a court order that was workable at one time may not be later. But even though child custody orders can be modified when there is a change in circumstances (more on this below) a court will not change a child custody order unless it is in the best interests of the child.
Child custody laws in Texas can be confusing and going through a child custody court case can be an extremely taxing experience. If you have a basic understanding of the laws in Texas regarding child custody then you can help yourself in minimizing the stress. Read on to learn about some of the major points in a child custody case.
A Texas divorce is an extremely stressful experience for all involved and dealing with a pregnancy can make it more so, it can also increase the complexity of the divorce process. It is very important not to go through a Texas divorce alone, if you are pregnant and interested in obtaining a divorce, or if you want a divorce and you are the husband, then you should talk to a qualified divorce attorney to help you. The focus of this article is on how Texas courts handle the situation when there is a question about the identity of the biological father of the unborn child during the divorce. If you are interested in learning about the life cycle of a divorce, or what you need to know regarding child custody lawsuits in general, then the following two blog posts may be of interest: The Life Cycle of a Texas Divorce and Child Custody in Texas, What you Need to Know.
Sometimes people near or at retirement age come into my office and would like to know about what will happen to the assets that they have worked much of their lives to amass upon divorce. The answer to this question is of importance to more and more people in Texas and I thought this would be a good time to shed some light on the subject.
If you are contemplating divorce, or your spouse has filed for divorce, then you very likely have at least a few questions about the process in Texas regarding how a divorce proceeds. The following post should shed some light. Although I do strongly suggest that you hire an attorney, if you are planning on proceeding alone then the following blog post "How to Start and Complete an Uncontested Texas Divorce with No Kids or Property" may be of interest to you.
There are a number of reasons why a court may order that a non-custodial parent's visitation with their child or children be supervised. Some of the most common reasons, but not all, include alcohol and drug problems, the previous commission of physical or verbal abuse by the non-custodial parent against the child or a family member, or mental illness that results in unsafe behavior around the children. A court can also order supervised visitation if they think that the non-custodial parent may take the child and not return them as ordered. Courts generally order supervised visitation when they believe that the behavior of the supervised parent could affect the safety or security of the child. The court places utmost importance on what is in the best interests of the child. There are certain instances when the court could consider the child's preferences.
It happens sometimes that an anonymous person makes a phone call to Child Protective Services and says that someone they know about has been neglecting or abusing a child, has been arrested for a drug related crime, or is using illegal drugs, or they may bring up any number of things. If that happens to you then it is almost sure that a Child Protective Services investigator will show up at your home and ask you questions, including asking you to take a drug test.
Why Would Courts Order a Drug Test?
In child custody cases the best interest of the child is the standard in which a court of law in Texas abides in deciding rights and duties, visitation, and possession and access to a child. This "best interest" of the child standard can be illustrated for a court in a vast multitude of ways. For example, a party to a child custody case may argue that their house is better for the child than the other parent's house because it's roomier, or a parent could argue that the school district in which one parent is zoned is much better and higher ranked than schools in the other parent's school zone. Litigants may argue that one parent smokes cigarettes indoors and the air is cleaner at the nonsmoking parent's house, there are so many possibilities. One issue that commonly arises in this argument of persuasion is that one parent uses drugs and it is not in the best interest of the child to live with, or be around a drug user without supervision, or at all. It could be any type of drug, including marijuana. (If you would like to read more about child custody in general then you can do so by clicking here), or click the read more to continue learning about court ordered drug tests.
Sometimes I get a call from someone who has an issue with the amount of child support they are paying or the amount that they may have to pay in the future, or someone who needs to get paid child support to help alleviate the cost of child rearing. In Texas there is something known as guideline child support and it is presumed by the Texas legislature to be in the child's or children's best interest. A court can vary from these guidelines in certain circumstances.
Chad Zubi Houston Family and Criminal Law Attorney.