Child Custody Evaluation: Changes to Texas Family Law

Texas Family Law Changes in the 85th Texas Legislature The Texas Legislature closed its biannual session for 2017. Although a Special Session may be called by Governor Abbott, it will not affect any Family Law issues. The Legislature did pass several bills that impact Texas Family Law. Here is one. Child Custody Evaluation The statute dealing with Child Custody Evaluations was revised this year. A significant change now offers more protection to child custody evaluators from being liable for civil damages arising out of the evaluator’s actions, recommendations made or opinion given in their capacity as a child custody evaluator. These protections have been in place for a guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, and amicus attorneys for some time now. Finally those protections have been extended to evaluators. As anyone who has ever been involved in a child custody case knows, someone is always unhappy with the conclusions in a child custody evaluation. Many [...]

By | June 26, 2017|Children & Family, Family Law Updates|

Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Under Texas Family Law

Texas Family Law and parental rights In Texas Family Law, the most common grounds for termination of parental rights in a step-parent adoption are: Natural parent is deceased; Abandonment of a child or children; Failure to provide support (emotional as well as financial); Imprisonment; or Abuse. To make the step-parent adoption process go as smoothly as possible under Texas Family Law, every effort should be made to gain consent of the absent parent. There many remedies that we can pursue in helping you to achieve this and to make other preparations, including achieving a court order terminating the former parent, if necessary. Provisions in Texas Family Law Some of the provisions outlined in Texas Family Code § 161.001 that can support a termination of the parent-child relationship, if found to be in the best interest of the child, are: Some form of abandonment of the child for a specified period of time where [...]

By | October 22, 2012|Children & Family|

Court Ordered Parenting Classes in Montgomery County

Helping children cope with divorce through family court ordered parenting classes Montgomery County parenting classes are court ordered in connection with a divorce under the rules set forth by the 418th District Court, Judge Tracy Gilbert. As provided for in the Texas Family Code § 105.009 parents are mandated to attend and complete a parenting course in divorces where the parent-child relationship is affected. We encourage parents to attend court ordered parenting classes as early as possible to avoid delay of your divorce being finalized, or having sanctions imposed or custody removed until the course is completed. Also, it is a good idea to confirm that the course of your choice will be accepted by the court before registering. To help our clients and community, a Parenting Classes Resource List of courses is posted on the Spofford Law website. Parenting Classes in Montgomery County Read these course contents carefully to ensure that you select a [...]

By | August 28, 2012|Children & Family, Navigating Family Courts|

Court Ordered Parenting Classes in Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County

Parenting classes for families to help children cope with divorce Court ordered parenting classes are required in connection with a divorce in Harris County under the local rules for each district, as provided for in the Texas Family Code § 105.009. In Harris County, Local Rule 12 mandates that parents attend and complete a parenting course in divorces joined with suits that affect the parent-child relationship.  In Fort Bend County, Local Rule 11 mandates that parents or other individuals requesting appointment as a conservator of a child attend a parenting class, whether in an original suit or in a modification.  In Montgomery County, Local Rule 4.6 mandates parents attend a parenting course in suits affecting a parent child relationship (which would include a divorce involving children). We encourage parents to attend court ordered parenting classes as early as possible to avoid delay of your divorce being finalized, or having sanctions imposed or custody removed until the course [...]

By | June 29, 2012|Children & Family, Navigating Family Courts|

Children and Texas Family Law: What is Reasonable?

Child Custody and Time The term “reasonable” appears at least once in virtually every order involving children in a Texas Family Law divorce or child custody matter. So what does “reasonable” mean? In Texas Family Law, “reasonable” is considered to be what an ordinary person would think it means, without considering the emotional motivation of a parent involved in a Texas Family Law divorce matter. This is a delicate situation that arises with child custody and we offer this article to help parents understand how Texas family courts operate so parents can be better prepared to make decisions in their best interest and in the best interest of their children. Here are two areas where the question, “What is reasonable?” often arises. Reasonable telephone access to your child while he or she is with the other parent  tends to be considered about one time per day and, to some, it could mean less frequently. Why [...]

By | May 18, 2012|Children & Family|