W. Tyler Moore, PC

Houston Legal Blog

Asserting paternal rights for unmarried fathers

In the 1950s, it was rare for a child to be born to an unmarried woman in Texas or anywhere else in America. In fact, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, only 4% of children were born to unmarried couples in America.

By 2008, this increased to 40%. During this time, the role of fathers also changed, with men actively participating in the raising of their children more than ever.

Can you relearn how to communicate with your ex?

When the relief of finally being separated from your ex and on the road to divorce has begun to settle in, you may breathe a sigh of relief at the thought that you will not need to communicate much more. However, if the two of you have shared children together in Texas, it might be worth your while to reassess your initial thoughts. 

Co-parenting or sharing custody of your children with your ex, however that may look, will undoubtedly require you to communicate on a frequent basis with the person you have been determined to never talk to again. While it may be difficult to lay aside your dislike, understanding the tactics that can support you in this effort is imperative to your ability to relearn how to communicate with your ex in a manner that is cordial and respectful. Your efforts to do this will undoubtedly have many positive effects on the functionality and synergy of the custody relationship you have. 

How can you establish paternity?

Are you half of an unmarried couple with a child in Houston? Establishing paternity can be crucial for you if so. While state laws automatically assign paternity to the husband in a married couple, that is not the case for those who have decided against marriage at the time of the child's birth. This can potentially cause a lot of problems in the event of a separation.

According to FindLaw, the first and easiest way to establish paternity is by being present at the birth of your child. In doing so, you can sign a form that essentially gives you the same legal rights and responsibilities that a married couple would have. A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (or another similarly named document) can be signed even if you and your spouse never get married. If this is done at the time of the child's birth, the father's name can be included on your child's birth certificate.

Divorce involving closely held corporation

Occasionally, a marital estate will involve a successful closely held corporation.  The corporation may have extensive agreements with commercial lenders which require continued management by a key individual, continued ownership by a key individual, and continued control though voting rights by a key individual.  When that type divorce arises, you will need a family lawyer and likely a corporate type lawyer to familarize you with the lender's requirements.  After all, the goal is NOT to destroy the company by ruining its relationship with its bankers.  The goal is to protect the assets so they continue to exist and provide value to the divorcing spouses.

Do I need a guardianship for a mentally ill relative?

There are guardians of the person and guardians of the estate.  Both guardianships are legally complicated, time consuming, and potentially expensive. This blog discusses guardianship of the person.  

Are you struggling to agree with a co-parent?

As parents in Texas, you have more on your plate to worry about than a divorcing couple without children. One big decision you will make is the custody arrangement you want. While joint custody can be a great benefit to everyone, it also presents unique hurdles.

FindLaw defines joint custody as an arrangement in which both parents of the child get an equal say in raising them. This doesn't necessarily apply to physical custody alone, but is frequently used in reference to legal custody. In other words, you are both able to make equally weighted decisions in regard to your child's religion, education, extracurricular activities, and so on.

What is a Standard Possession Order?

If you and your spouse contemplate getting a Texas divorce, you should be aware that you will need to arrive at a parenting plan regarding your children. If you fail to construct one yourselves, the Texas Family Code provides a Standard Possession Order that the state will impose on you by default

Keep in mind that you and your spouse have every right to come up with your own parenting time schedule. The Standard Possession Order comes into play only if you cannot do so. The SPO contains two detailed parenting time schedules, one applicable if you and your former spouse will live fewer than 100 miles apart after your divorce and the other applicable if the two of you will live more than 100 miles apart.

What should I know about child support as a father?

If you’re the non-custodial parent in Houston, you may have concerns about paying child support. Having the right information is crucial in this case, both to avoid being penalized as well as to take the proper steps if you feel your parental rights aren’t being respected. Fatherly offers the following tips to help dads stay on the right track when it comes to child support and other issues.

Make payments on time

How can you make visitation go more smoothly?

For both children and parents, visitation is crucial to preserving a sense of connectedness both during and after divorce. However, for many Texas divorcees, it can take some time to get to the point where visitation is actually effective. In the immediate aftermath of divorce, visitation is a frequent source of conflict in which parents focus more on punishing each other than they do on the well-being of their children. If you and your spouse have recently parted ways, and if you want visitation to work, there are certain steps you can take to make visitation successful for everyone.

According to the Sixth Judicial Circuit Courts, parents need to work together to make visitation a positive experience for all parties. Though the path to a positive experience will vary for all families, the Courts provide general recommendations that may serve to help all families.

How your child's situation plays into the custody arrangement

Arranging a child custody agreement may quite possibly be the most challenging part of finalizing your divorce in Texas. Often, you may find that you are at odds when it comes to agreeing with your ex about who should assume the primary care of the children you share together. At W. Tyler Moore, PC, we understand the challenges that divorcees face in planning their future. 

When the courts get involved in negotiating your child custody agreement, you can anticipate several important factors to be weighed and compared in making a final decision that will work to the best benefit of all of the parties involved. Of everyone the agreement will affect, your children and their needs will take precedence in deciding specific factors of the agreement including where they will live, which parent will assume sole custody, how holidays will be spent and how much child support will be required of each you and your ex. 

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