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Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Multi-cultural families often encounter unusual custody issues

Technology has made the world a smaller place. People from different countries meet online, fall in love and marry. Many learn to live with the cultural differences they now share and work together to provide their children with a multi-cultural upbringing, which may include visiting friends and family in your spouse's country of origin.

All of this makes sense and provides joy to the whole family as long as things are good between you and your spouse. If your relationship ends, the fact that your spouse is from another country could pose some unique custody issues.

Top reasons to mediate your divorce

Divorce is confusing, stressful and can be very difficult to deal with. One of the toughest parts of divorce is deciding with your ex how you will divorce. Some people will attempt to do it on their own; others will enlist help in the form of litigation and/or mediation.

Fighting for custody? Don't make these common mistakes

Custody battles can be messy and stir up a lot of emotions. While deciding to split with your partner, it became apparent to you that your soon-to-be-ex is not in a position to handle physical custody of the children. Unfortunately, they disagree and now it's up to a judge to decide how custody should be awarded.

The struggle of co-parenting with an addict

Maybe you smell it on their breath or see it in their eyes. Maybe you have known for years. Either way co-parenting with someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol might be the hardest thing you will have to do. You will try to convince, beg and bargain for them to get clean but they won't change until they are ready. At some point the frustration turns into concern for your kids.

Don't turn a blind eye

A true addict will jump through hoops to justify their behavior. They might tell you they are clean one day and the next day completely forget to pick the kids up from school. Don't go on ignoring the problem. It is important to address their substance abuse issue and tell them that you do not condone the behavior. If you worry about your child's wellbeing then you will need to take further measures.

How does child custody work when unmarried parents separate?

When parents separate, whether married or not, the best interest of the children will always be the most important factor when deciding on custody and visitation. Not all splits are amicable, which can make it difficult to come to an agreement. Getting along or finding a way to be civil with your ex, will be the best gift you could ever give your children. Don't put them in the middle of your relationship problems; it's not their fault you & your ex couldn't make it work.

After The Election: Common Concerns About International Child Custody

The recent presidential election is a cause of concern to many U.S. residents of different citizenship statuses. Some of these residents worry about custody of their children; single, divorced and remarried parents, in particular, wonder what would happen if they had to return to their country of birth.

The field of international family law addresses some of these important issues. If you are unsure about your custody rights as a non-citizen, or you or concerned about custody with regard to your child's other parent, get your questions answered.

Pastor and his wife fighting for grandparents' rights

Texas grandparents who are fighting to gain custody of their grandchildren may be interested in a case in another state that involves a family who is denied access to their grandchildren. The family blames their dilemma on the alleged mishandling of the case by the Department of Child Care Services. There is a definite move nationwide toward putting children in the care of family members rather than foster parents, this couple is fighting for grandparents' rights.

A pastor -- who has ministered in his community for 23 years -- and his wife are desperately trying to take care of their grandchildren. They explained that their son became very ill in August 2015, and DCS called them to take the two children immediately. Unfortunately, the grandparents were out of town to attend a funeral at the time, and DCS placed the children with a foster family within three days. The father of the kids -- a 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl -- subsequently passed away, and the children remain with the foster family.

Joint child custody recommended but what about split custody?

One of the most antagonistic issues when a marriage between parents ends, whether it is in Texas or any other state, involves matters concerning the children and who will raise them. While parents typically want what is best for their children, coming to mutual agreements can be tough. In most divorce cases, the courts avoid excluding one parent from child custody except when there is evidence of physical, drug or alcohol abuse by a parent. However, the preferences of parents will be considered by the court. Before parents negotiate child custody, it may help to understand the different options.

Although joint custody is a popular choice, there is also the option of split custody. This is often frowned upon, but under certain circumstances, it may be in the best for siblings to be split. Before a court allows one child to live with one parent and a sibling to live with the other parent, it will consider the relationships between the individual parents and each child. The parents' work schedules, the areas where they will live and the proximity to the children's schools will be considered. Only when the court is satisfied that it will be in the best interests of the children will it consider split (divided) child custody.

Angelina Jolie wants sole child custody, Brad wants joint custody

After many months of rumors about splitting up, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt called it quits. Jolie recently filed for divorce, and the world is waiting to see how the couple will settle child custody and support issues. Even in a divorce of an ordinary Texas couple, making decisions that will be in the best interests of each of six children will be tough.

Three of their children are adopted. Reportedly, Jolie wants sole custody of all the children, but Pitt will do what is possible to obtain joint custody. It was reported that although Pitt is actively involved in the lives of the children, Jolie claims his anger issues due to his alcohol and marijuana use pose a threat to the children.

Grandparents' rights: Children of opioid users left vulnerable

The National Center on Adoption and Permanency reports that more and more children are put in the care of family members rather that foster parents. Reportedly, this trend is nationwide and includes Texas. In many of these cases, children are taken in by their grandparents because the parents develop dependencies on drugs or alcohol. However, without establishing legal custody of the children, they will have no grandparents' rights.

It is said that the national epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction leaves many children without proper care. Some children are then removed from the care of their parents by concerned family members. It is also not uncommon for parents to leave the kids with grandparents and not return. However, for grandparents to get custody of the children may not be easy, especially when more than one state is involved.

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