Board-Certified Family Lawyer
BY THE TEXAS BOARD OF LEGAL SPECIALIZATION
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Houston Family Law Blog

Considerations for granting Texas grandparents visitation rights

For one reason or another, some Texas grandparents are denied the right to see their grandchildren by the children's parents. It is possible to petition the court for the right to see them. Whether granting grandparents visitation rights is in the best interests of the child depends on many factors.

In general, the safety, welfare and emotional and physical health of the children are the most important factors in granting visitation to grandparents just as they are in custody decisions. The wishes of the adults involved may be taken into consideration, but only insofar as they do not interfere with the well-being of the children. In addition, the wishes of the children may be considered as long as each child is old enough to make his or own decisions.

Dealing with child custody arrangements for the school year

When Texas parents get divorced, one of the primary issues to resolve relates to the custody of the children. Child custody arrangements in the summertime can allow for time that is more equal with the children since they are not in school. However, children spend the bulk of the year in school, so any custody agreement needs to focus on how to work around the children's school schedule and any extracurricular activities.

Regardless of what terms are agreed to by the parties, consistency is paramount. When everyone knows where the children will be and when, not only is there something to which to look forward, but it limits confusion. This can be especially helpful during the school year.

When an older child wants to change a child custody agreement

Texas parents can spend a good deal of time and money negotiating a custody agreement during a divorce. As the children age, however, one of them may decide he or she wants to live with the other parent. If the parents are willing to discuss this option, it could require some changes to the family's child custody agreement.

Simply letting a child move in with the other parent is not enough. The current arrangement may not give the non-custodial parent the authority he or she needs in order to make decisions necessary to properly care for the child. If both parents agree that the child can move in with the current non-custodial parent, going to the court to modify the existing agreement may be necessary.

Announcing the desire for a divorce takes finesse

Some Texas couples come to the decision to end their marriage together. After they have tried everything they can think of to work out their problems, they realize they just are not meant to be together. In any other couples, however, one person is ready to get a divorce, and the other party may not be aware of it.

Broaching the subject of divorce can be tricky. If the news seems to come out of the blue for one party, that person's reaction could shape how the interactions will be moving forward. When one person does not have time to process the news, hurt, anger and resentment can drive how that person deals with the issues involved in the divorce.

What Texas children expect from the divorce process

Most Texas residents who have been through a divorce can attest to the fact that it can be a challenging experience. Sometimes, it can be even more difficult for children. They expect certain things from the divorce process, if it is clear that their parents are not going to stay married.

Children need to be reassured that both parents still love them, and they will often put additional demands on each parent's time. Even though parents tell their children that they both still love them, and it is only the marriage that is over, this can be hard to comprehend, depending on the age of the children. Therefore, as hard as it may feel at times, parents will want to make sure that they give their children a substantial amount of attention during the divorce -- especially if one parent has already moved out of the family home.

How is it decided where a family pet goes in a Texas divorce?

Beloved family pets exist in a legal limbo between being considered members of the family and pieces of property. When a Texas couple files for divorce, it is the rules of property division that apply. However, the situation is not as simple as that for the families to whom these pets belong.

The number of couples wanting custody agreements for their pets is on the rise, and many people are negotiating visitation schedules. For families with children, it seems that pet visitation is being coordinated with a parent's visitation with the children. This makes sense for many families due to the attachment formed between pets and children.

It is normal to feel unprepared when a spouse wants a divorce

Some Texas couples make the decision to end their marriage together. However, more often it is one spouse who has been contemplating divorce for some time before announcing his or her intention to the other spouse. The spouse who did not ask for the divorce may feel unprepared for the divorce process -- especially when compared to the spouse who had time to make a plan.

Fortunately, the divorce process takes time, and that could give the unprepared spouse time to formulate a plan. Hopefully, the other spouse has not already put plans in motion that could put the other party at a disadvantage. If that happens, however, the Texas courts are available to provide the party with the time needed to identify, assess and locate all of the marital assets.

The face of divorce is changing for many Texas couples

In the not too distant past, more women than men were the primary caregivers of the home and the children. In recent years, a shift in the family dynamic began, and husbands are taking on these duties in growing numbers. This is changing the way that the divorce process occurs for many couples, here in Texas and across the country.

The days of automatically assuming that the wife should receive full custody of the children and spousal support are all but gone. Men are giving up their careers to allow their wives to pursue a more lucrative career. While their wives are out working, the men are the ones providing the day-to-day care of the family.

Texas man's plight could further fathers' rights

Many Texas fathers understand the need to provide financially for their children after a divorce and work diligently to keep up with their child support payments. However, it is an unfortunate necessity that the child support enforcement systems in place are geared toward people who fail to make their payments. Sometimes, those consequences are thrust upon a father who believes he is complying with his child support order. The recent case of one father could help advance the plight of fathers' rights.

The Texas man believed that his employer was deducting the appropriate amount from his checks each payday. However, it was discovered that a clerical error resulted in the incorrect amounts being deducted from his checks. This garnered the attention of child support enforcement officials.

When should Texas couples consider divorce?

This may be one of the most frustrating and confusing questions many Texas couples have prior to making the decision to end their marriages. No one wants to make a mistake or stay in a marriage that should have ended sooner. Determining when it is time to divorce can be one of the biggest challenges of the entire process.

Some spouses begin to wonder if they should stay together when they no longer want to spend time with each other as a couple. Actively avoiding being in the same room with a person is a good indication that something is amiss. This could certainly be the case if a couple's time together involves more arguing than anything else.

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