Step parent adoption

Whats involved with a step parent adoption in Texas?

 

Montgomery county adoption atttorney
Montgomery county adoption lawyer
 
A step child adoption can be a unique circumstance, in many ways it’s a positive experience for a child as normally the young one has already had to overcome rejection or abandonment from one parent.
 
In our experience, there exist no better way to bring a new family together than a legal step parent adoption. The legalities are, that certain procedures must be followed, so the assistance of an experienced adoption attorney who has successfully completed a step parent adoption is a wise. 
 
 

What Is Step-parent Adoption?

 

The spouse of the parent petitions the court to obtain legal parental rights and responsibilities to the children through the adoption process. Most attorneys who handle these types of cases agree that its similar to a traditional adoption, with a few exceptions, namely that step parent adoptions are only permissible under certain circumstances.

Step parent adoptions, must meet one of the following criteria- absent parent, deceased parent, unknown parent, or indifferent parent not involved in the child’s life.  The child must be in the custody of the parent to whom the petitioning stepparent is now married. If these conditions are applicable, it is possible to petition for a stepparent adoption.

Stepchild Adoption Process in Texas

  • Petition Filing – As with any adoption process, stepparent adoption begins with filing a petition to adopt with the local family court. This is generally done through the guidance of capable adoption attorneys who can assist the parties through the entire process.

  • Termination of Parental Rights – Once an adoption request has been filed, the adoption attorney can move on to the next step that involves obtaining a termination of parental rights from the absent parent, if one is known and alive. It is a formal request asking that other parent to sign an agreement to terminate their parental rights so the stepparent adoption can be done. If the absent parent refuses, the case moves to the court. There a judge will determine if it is in the best interest of the children involved for the parental rights of the other parent to be terminated.

  • Social Study – If the above action is determined to be in the best interest of the children, the petition can progress to the next step. It involves a social study of the prospective family that includes: visiting the home; evaluation of employment and financial records; observations, and and an initial screening with the parents and children. All of this is used to help judge the situation and determine the fitness of a stepparent to adopt stepchildren.

  • Amicus Attorney – After the social study, an Amicus Attorney is appointed. The role of the Amicus Attorney is to serve as a non-biased lawyer appointed by the court who will repeat some of the previous evaluations, especially interviews and observations, to determine if the specific situation is best for the individual child or children and the family. Their opinion, along with the results of the social study, is then presented to the court with a recommendation of whether or not to allow the adoption to be finalized.

The court will carefully review so even in step parent   adoption petitions, a committed attorney  attorney can help a petitioning stepparent prepare a favorable petition and offer legal advice on how to negotiate the legal system.
 
The process can be time consuming and expensive, but the end result is a complete and legal family unit.

Concealed carry reciprocity: H.B. 38

On December 6th, 2017, the US House of Representatives passed HB 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

2017 was the heaviest year for mass shootings in the great United States’s long history, coming in at 307 gun deaths for the year, So it’s great news that our legislature has taken steps to allow Concealed Carry permits from one state to be honored in another state.  Make sure you know the state you are traveling to has similar laws respecting Texas’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity.

It is a bit of a mystifying problem. Honestly, we want states’ rights. but would it be a tad ridiculous to apply for a new drivers’ license at every state you entered? Since the Constitution protects gun possession, this is a Federal issue. For those liberties of Concealed Carry, we are waving and chanting  “bon voyage” as this bill enters the Senate.

Our assessment of H.B. 38 is that is that it exists largely to ensure that every state will honor any Concealed Carry permit or right from any other state, creating a clean set of governance that is easy to comply with and enforce.  It standardizes whether states must accept the validity of carrying permits from another state. Currently, a confusing patchwork of laws exists that confuse gun owners and police, creating situations that turn law-abiding citizens into accidental criminals.

The bill’s net result will ensure that states are required to recognize the right to carry a firearm concealed by any person who possesses any Concealed Carry permit from any state or by any person who resides in a state where one can carry a concealed firearm legally without a permit.

Contact us if you have any questions 936-441-2999 Montgomery County criminal attorney

Is 2018 the year of the sword?

2018  is upon us, and Texas is in for some interesting news: Swords!

That’s right, you can carry knives and swords longer than 5.5″.  The Texas legislature saw fit to extend this freedom to the people of Texas.

We’re still scratching our heads a little about how the bill made it to law. But, after all, it’s Texas, Y’all.  The right to carry swords and the like is really fundamental to who we are.

When we think about the impact of this law, none of us are really getting the most out of it. I haven’t changed my life at all, and but I’m considering it. Think of the options we now have! Which saber goes well with black trousers? Does one bring a katana or gladiolus to brunch? As you can see, it really does pose socially awkward questions, but we will all learn together and extend the proper grace as I’m sure sword faux pas will abound.

What does that say about us to the other states? That we are a people who so value the freedom that we give people the liberty to potentially behave…well, stupidly.

In camp one, the general population can’t be trusted with anything, because people are stupid and we need to keep sharp objects out of their hands. In the other, we give people the power to mess things up. It goes back to the Constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Some days, in Texas, those rights include a sword.

These rights are not carte blanche: You still can’t take the sword into bars, school sporting events etc., but we’re still excited about this simply because we like empowered people.

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Contact us if you have any questions 936-441-2999 Montgomery County criminal attorney