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.
If you live in Texas, are a parent and are going through a separation or divorce, one of your first orders of business should be to work with your former partner to establish a parenting plan that creates a sense of stability for your child. At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., we have a firm understanding of the types of matters that are important to hash out in a parenting plan, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances find resolutions that meet their needs.
One issue that often arises when Houston area couples are getting ready to divorce involves their living arrangements. Many people find it challenging to be around their partners, let alone live with them. If you are not sure if you and your spouse can and should continue living together before the courts finalize your divorce, you might want to hold off on moving out right away.