W. Tyler Moore, PC

Houston Legal Blog

How are custody rulings made?

While Texas does have standards that say judges should always rule based on what is in the best interest of the child, a limited study from the National Family Law Policy Center, found that most rulings follow a minimum standard. This means that if you end up not getting custody of your child, you could have very limited time to actually spend with your child. This is something to become familiar with, especially if you are heading into a custody case.

The main discovery was that most judges are using something call the Standard Possession Order to make rulings. This order is the minimum guidelines for adjudicated custody. It offers only minimal time to non-custodial parents. The law does not say judges should use this standard just that it offers the minimal rulings a judge can make. Ideally, judges should make rulings on each case individually.

Can you give yourself a better chance at winning custody?

You and your spouse are working through the process of getting a divorce in Texas and you have been trying hard to break the news to your children on a level that they understand. Despite your best efforts to minimize negativity and sadness, there will inevitably be moments where you feel like nothing is going right. When it comes time to fight for custody, it is important that you understand what behaviors will help strengthen your case to give you the best chance at winning custody. 

If possible, it is in the best interest of your children to arrange custody amicably with your spouse. If feasible, both of you can sit down together and discuss the needs of your children before deciding how visitation will work. However, if you are unable to reason with your ex which is generally how it is for many people, you may need to battle your differences in a court setting. According to verywellfamily.com, some of the things that you can do to facilitate the process of winning custody include the following:

  • Awareness and involvement: Be aware of the needs of your children and be an involved parent. The more you can demonstrate your commitment to your children and their success, the better your chances are of winning custody. 
  • Flexibility and reasonability: When making requests, remember that your former spouse also has a schedule and may need to have certain days or times off. As a result, be reasonable in making requests and be flexible to account for sudden changes. 
  • Functionality: Your children will do best in an environment that is stable, supportive and consistent. If you are unable to provide such an environment, it is critical that you make the necessary changes asap to be considered for custody.

How to co-parent with a former spouse

Once your divorce has been finalized you may believe that the hard part is over. However, for divorced parents in Houston co-parenting is often far more challenging. Knowing how to work with your ex in a calm manner will help create a healthy environment for your children while also reducing stress related to child-rearing decisions.

Communicate effectively

How can I be a better father to my child?

If you’re a father in Houston, you’re likely concerned about providing the best care possible to your child. This can be difficult when divorce is an issue, especially when you don’t share custody with your ex. Despite the circumstances, being the best father possible will allow you to form a strong bond with your child, which can make all the difference. The National Fatherhood Initiative offers the following advice in this case.

Set a Good Example

Reasons to go through counseling during divorce

Many couples around Texas contend with divorce every year. It is particularly prevalent in Houston, which, according to a recent study, is the most stressed city in the state. While the study took into account numerous factors, it found Houston had one of the highest divorce rates in all of Texas. 

Divorce is usually stressful, but there are ways to make it more manageable. Every divorcing couple should seriously consider counseling. While they may have hired a counselor in an attempt to save a marriage, it does not always pan out that way. However, even during a divorce, having a counselor to discuss matters with can be a huge asset. 

How to remove emotion from a divorce

There are numerous ways divorce can affect all parties involved both emotionally and physically. A marital separation can lead to a drastic change in weight in addition to increased feelings of anxiety and depression

Part of the reason why divorce is so tough is due to the fact there are so many emotions involved. There is a lot you need to anticipate during a divorce, and you should be ready for a lot of emotional ups and downs. Anyone going through this tumultuous time should let go of certain emotions to make the process easier. It will make the separation go by faster, and you will be more likely to get through this time alright. 

Can a divorced father pass on assets to his children?

The dissolution of a marriage does not mean that a father loses his right to pass on an inheritance to his children. Divorced fathers retain the right to prepare for the future of their children through the normal methods of inheritance, such as through wills, trusts and other methods. It is important for any divorced father in Texas to make sure he uses whatever means available to pass on benefits and assets.

Fathers may possess pensions, retirement accounts, stocks, any kind of financial portfolio or account that can pay out cash benefits to a person the father designates as a beneficiary. According to the American Bar Association, divorced fathers can name their own children as beneficiaries. Should the father pass away, his children will receive the money from these assets. Additionally, a father can proactively set up a bank account that pays out its assets to his children after his death.

What is the best interest of the child?

When making decisions about child custody and related matters, Texas courts always base those decisions on what is in the best interest of the child. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, best interests is generally defined as what is best for the child's well-being and happiness. The court must follow specific guidelines when determining what the best interest of the child is.

Specifically, the court is looking for the safest environment and the parent who is most equipped and willing to provide such an environment for the child. The court considers the child, thinking about his or her age and any disabilities the child may have. It will look at the relationship between the child and each parent. It will also evaluate the home environment and parenting skills of each parent. Other things are also considered, such as domestic violence, abuse and substance abuse. The court will look at the willingness of each parent to undergo counseling or other services to benefit the child and the home environment.

What is a business tort?

If you own a Texas business, it likely represents your major, if not only, source of income. Consequently, running, managing and protecting that business is topmost on your priority list. The last thing you need is someone committing a business tort, that is, a wrongful act that injures your business.

Business torts come in a variety of forms, including the following:

  • Intentional interference with your business
  • Restraint of your trade
  • Theft of your trade secrets
  • Fraudulent misrepresentations
  • Unfair competition
  • Disparagement

Divorce, child support and travel

Bringing your marriage to an end may lead to many changes in your life, some of which you may not have expected. Some parents feel overwhelmed by custody disputes or the financial obligations they have taken on following a divorce (alimony, child support, etc.). It is crucial to be aware of the other ways in which divorce could affect your life. For example, you may find that your travel plans are adversely affected as a result of your divorce or child support, so it is important to plan ahead and know your rights and responsibilities.

For starters, divorce can be time-consuming and may prevent someone from traveling due to court and other obligations. Even once a divorce is finalized, however, someone may find that their travel plans are thrown off due to family law matters. For example, a non-custodial parent who cannot pay their child support may not be able to get a passport. If you are a father who is struggling with child support payments, it is important to know what your options are and you may be able to modify your child support order if your financial circumstances have changed considerably.

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