When you find yourself involved in a Texas child custody case, you will likely hear the term, “best interests of the child” thrown around quite a bit. Ultimately, “the best interests of the child” is what a judge will consider before making any determinations about who should have custodial rights, but there are many different areas that come into play when assessing a child’s best interests. At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., we are well-versed in the many factors a judge will typically consider when making custody-related decisions, and we have helped many people embroiled in child custody cases pursue solutions that meet their needs.
As a Texas parent who receives child support money from your child’s other parent, you may have heard all kinds of rumors about what you can and cannot spend that money on. Unfortunately, many parents like you labor under the misconception that they must spend child support money only on their child’s basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. As FindLaw points out, however, such is not the case. In fact, you will be happy to know that you have enormous flexibility in the kinds of things you can legitimately spend this money on.
Going through a divorce or legal separation in Texas, or anywhere in the United States, can be difficult and often overwhelming. This is especially true if there are children involved. Parents who have spent a good portion of their lives taking care of their children must suddenly split their time with the other spouse, which can be hard in certain situations. Traditionally, mothers have been awarded primary custody of the children, as they were generally the ones who stayed at home and cared for the children.
If your foreign-born ex-spouse wants to take your child(ren) to his or her country of origin for a visit, you may fear that (s)he will not return them to you in Texas at the end of the visit. Unfortunately, parental abduction is a far too frequent occurrence and can pose a significant problem when parents abduct their child(ren) to a foreign country.
People who co-parent with one another to take care of their children as directed in a divorce decree usually find themselves paying child support and following a parenting plan. Often times, the parent responsible for paying child support has other added financial responsibilities, including paying half of child care expenses, educational fees and medical expenses. In 2015, the Texas legislature passed a bill involving these medical financial expenses. However, it is only now that these regulations are taking effect.
According to KXAN News, in 2017, Texas lawmakers considered Bill HB453, one that "would have allowed the court to grant equal parenting unless it was against the best interest of the child." The bill did not survive the legislative process, which understandably disappointed its proponents.
If you and your spouse contemplate a Texas divorce and are the parents of a disabled child over the age of 18, can you seek child support for that child even if (s)he no longer lives with you? This was the issue the Supreme Court of Texas addressed in the 2018 case of In the Interest of C.J.N.-S. and J.C.N.-S.
One of the most difficult issues to resolve when going through a divorce is that of child custody. When your marriage does not work out and you make the hard decision to end the relationship, children are often caught in the crossfire. If you decide to undergo a traditional court divorce, the judge presiding over the case will often consider several factors before determining the type of custody arrangement will work best for the situation.
There is no question that both fathers and mothers are extremely important in a child's life. While mothers often act as the caretakers and nurturers, fathers give children a sense of safety and encourage children to explore their environment. Fathers may act as a protector, disciplinarian and confidants as well.
If you, like many parents across Texas, are currently learning to adjust to a joint-custody arrangement, you may be dealing with your own emotions about how your family transitions might impact your shared child. While you may find yourself struggling every time your son or daughter leaves your home to spend time in your former partner’s, it may comfort you to know that children whose parents have shared custody tend to fare better than those who live exclusively with one parent or the other.