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.
During a divorce one of the most important issues to be decided is how to divide the community estate, or more precisely defined as, the property acquired during the marriage that is not separate property. (Complex issues can sometimes arise when deciding if something is community or separate property and you should enlist the help of a qualified Houston divorce attorney if you are facing this task). The question of how to characterize property as community or separate can be difficult when the parties are clearly married but can be even more dicey if the marriage is void under Texas law. Sometimes certain marriages are void, and for that reason no property is "acquired during the marriage" because there was no marriage. Where does that leave an innocent spouse upon divorce in such a circumstance? Read on for some insight.
Many people are familiar with the term "common law marriage", in Texas this idea is called an informal marriage. Not all states recognize informal marriage, but fortunately for some, Texas recognizes the informal marriage to the same degree as a formal one. So if you are a part of an informal marriage then you cannot dissolve it merely by pretending it never happened. To dissolve an informal marriage you either need to get a divorce, annulment, or one of the parties must have died. To actually dissolve an informal marriage it is wise to seek the counsel of a Houston divorce lawyer, but read on to learn more.
The situation sometimes arises when one party to a divorce or other family law matter is a non-resident of Texas who resides in another country and it is imperative that you hire an attorney who has experience in this area if you are in such a situation. It is important to follow the procedures for service overseas so as to avoid any judgment that you may obtain at the trial court level from being declared void.
Chad Zubi Houston Family and Criminal Law Attorney.