We understand that family comes first.
Family Law involves much more than is listed on our website. Feel free to contact us about your unique circumstances and receive a free consultation. This site is not intended to supplant legal advice. You have nothing to lose by reaching out to us and everything to gain.
Texas Law provides that the estate (i.e. assets and debts) should be divided in a “just and right” manner. §7.001. There are a list of factors the court can consider in making this division, ranging from who might be at fault for the divorce to the earning capabilities of each spouse. What is just and right varies on a case-by-case basis. Whether you have an uncontested divorce and just need help to complete the paperwork, or you have a disagreement over how the estate should be divided, we have the tools and experience to locate assets, allocate debts, and fight for your just and right division.
Child Custody & Visitation
When it comes to your children, their best interest comes first. It is the court’s role to look at each case to determine what is in each child’s best interest. §153.002. All parents have legal rights to their children unless the court limits those rights. §153.073. Texas law presumes parents should be named “joint managing conservators” of their children. §153.131.
The legal rights regarding your children include things like consenting to medical procedures, counseling, and enrolling them in school. These rights can be exercised independently by each parent, by joint agreement of the parents, or exclusively by one parent. §153.071.
The other side of this discussion is which parent has physical custody of the child. Meaning which parent determines where the child will live and which parent receives visitation rights. This is the “custody battle” as it’s often referred to. It doesn’t matter whether you are mom or dad; the court looks at a whole list of factors to determine which parent will best put the needs of the child first.
You need an experienced litigator to help you put forward your best case. We can also craft visitation schedules in unique ways depending on your schedule and your children’s activities. We do encourage mediation to amicably resolve all matters relating to your children. Mediation involves a neutral third party who goes between you and the other parent helping you achieve the best interests of the child. We will stay beside you through the entire process, whether that’s sitting by your side in mediation or next to you in the courtroom. Presumptions can be overcome, and having an experienced attorney who knows the law and how to fight for your children is paramount.
Do you need support for a child or are you defending an enforcement action? The Texas Family Code lays out the formula for how much child support should be paid each month. There are factors to consider such as how many children are in the family, children from other relationships, disabilities, and the cost of health insurance. Once a court orders support payments to be made, failure to make those payments can subject that person to jail time and, in some cases, revocation of their driver’s license.
It is presumed that parents should be named conservators of a child. Grandparents can seek to be named a managing conservator of a child, i.e. get custody, or petition for visitation rights. Grandparent suits involve a very technical analysis and have a heightened burden that must be met. Please call us for your free consultation.
There is a saying that court orders relating to children are final only in the sense that they may be modified until the children are emancipated. There are legal hurdles that must be met in order to modify child support, visitation, and custody provisions of a previous final order, and the focus is on a material change in circumstances. Every family experiences changes, but legally we have to determine if it meets the threshold requirement.
Enforcement & Writ of Habeas Corpus
If there is an underlying court order that someone is not following, a Motion to Enforce can be brought. If you are entitled to possession of a child and currently do not have the child, you can bring a Writ of Habeas Corpus. Defenses can be brought to both of these and, because contempt of court is involved, it’s best to have an attorney for these actions.
Termination & Adoption
We handle infant adoptions from the hospital to stepparent adoptions to contested involuntary termination of parental rights.
Do you or your children need protection? If family violence has occurred and is likely to occur again, you can ask the court for a protective order. Let us help you. Reach out for a free consultation.
Family law is incredibly complex, far more so than our website suggests. Please contact us about your unique circumstances and we can tell you about options you might not know you have.
The information in this site is for general advice only. Your best option is to have someone help you apply the law. The initial consultation with attorney John Choate, Jr. is absolutely free.