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FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, AND CHILD CUSTODY ISSUES IN TEXAS



Are you planning a divorce? Have you been served papers in a divorce petition?  Do you have children that will become subject to a divorce proceeding?


Going through divorce can be a highly traumatic and emotional experience. If you find yourself in this situation, you will be forced to make numerous complex decisions that will affect you, your children, and your spouse. It is exceedingly difficult under these circumstances to make critical judgments without the assistance of an experienced attorney who has handled family law matters.


The experienced attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese have handled and litigated family law matters ranging from divorces to annulments, & modifications. We can also assist with issues regarding Alimony, Child Custody, Child Support, Child Visitation, Adoption Proceedings, and Name Changes, if necessary.


Have questions about a divorce or family law matter?  Call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese can set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding family law matters or divorces.



The Difference between Annulment and Divorce


An annulment action essentially asks a court to “null” or void a marriage.   A petitioner must prove one or more of the following elements for a court to consider an annulment:

Spouses are close biological relatives 

Party lacked mental capacity to enter marriage – drunk, intoxicated by drugs, or other mental incapacity

Lacked legal age of consent

Duress, threat of force, fraud (Permanent impotence, criminal history, bigamy, etc.)


Annulments are not commonly granted, especially if a married couple has children. Annulments may limit ability of party to share in marital estate or spousal support that may have been possible in divorce proceeding.


If you have questions about an annulment or divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The attorneys and lawyers will answer your questions regarding annulments or divorces.


Grounds for Divorce


A: No Fault State


Texas is a “no fault” state. This means that a party to a divorce proceeding does not have to prove “fault” of the other spouse to be granted a divorce. Typically, Texas courts will grant a divorce if it finds that the marriage relationship has broken down to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed, and no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. 


If you have questions about “fault issues” in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The attorneys and lawyers will answer your questions about “no fault” requirements for divorces in Texas.



B: Residency Requirement


Texas requires that a person live in state for 6 months and in the county for 90 days in order to file for divorce in that county. In addition, a divorce must be on file for 60 days as a minimum waiting period before the court may grant the divorce. 


If you have questions about a divorce proceeding or residency requirements, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The attorneys and lawyers will answer your questions regarding residency requirements for divorces in Texas.



Child Custody Issues


It is best for the parties to a divorce to agree to a parenting plan and child custody issues.   If the parties cannot agree, then a court decides who gets to be the primary parent and what the visitation arrangements will be. 


If you have questions about child custody issues in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experienced attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding child custody and family law matters in divorces in Texas.



A Parenting Plan



A Parenting Plan is a temporary or final court order that sets out the rights and duties of parents in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship and includes provisions relating to conservatorship, possession of and access to a child, and child support, and a dispute resolution process to minimize future disputes.



Requirements of Agreed Parenting Plan


 

If a written agreed parenting plan is filed with the court, the court shall render an order appointing the parents as joint managing conservators only if the parenting plans:

 

Is voluntarily and knowingly made by each parent and has not been rejected by either parent by the time the order is rendered;

Designates the parent who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child;

Establishes a domicile restriction or states that there is no domicile restriction;

Includes provisions to minimize disruptions of the child’s education, daily routine, and association with friends;

Specifies the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child’s physical care, support, and education;

Allocates between the parents, either jointly, independently, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a parent.


If you have questions about temporary orders, temporary or permanent parenting plans, child custody issues in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experienced attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding parenting plans and child custody and family law matters in divorces in Texas.


Factors in Primary Parent Determination by Texas Courts


Under Texas law, courts are inclined to grant joint custody to both parents of the child as that is considered to be in the best interest of the child. On the issue of evidence to prove which parent should be the primary parent, a court will inquire into who has been the primary caretaker of the child, what the living arrangements are, who has been putting the child to bed, taking him to the doctor, making dinner, involving the child with appropriate people, bad decisions made by either or both parents, the existence of a pattern of family violence (if any), the work schedules of the parents, earning capacity of the parents and so on.

A court may order a social study into the specific circumstances of the parents' homes, which would be performed by a social worker or psychological professional. Additionally, a psychological evaluation of either or both parents may be ordered. A court may also involve other professionals such as psychologists, counselors, social workers, psychiatrists or lawyers in the custody evaluation. An attorney may also be appointed to represent the interests of the child, if the court has a concern that the child's interest are not adequately represented.


If you have questions about child custody issues in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experience attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding parenting plans and child custody and family law matters in divorces in Texas.


Child Support Issues In Texas


Like the issue of child custody, parties can agree voluntarily to terms of child support. If the parties don’t agree, legal formulas allow for the calculation of child support based on the parent’s income. 

If you have questions about child support in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experienced attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding family law and child support issues in divorces in Texas.



Alimony Issues in Texas


Texas allows alimony under limited circumstances. Alimony can be available by agreement between the parties. Generally, a marriage must be at least 10 years in length, the spouse seeking alimony has insufficient property to provide for the spouse's minimum reasonable needs, and the spouse seeking alimony can't support himself or herself because of physical or mental disability. Alimony typically cannot be more than 3 years.

If you have questions about alimony or spousal support in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experienced attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding family law matters, alimony or spousal support issues in divorces in Texas.


Name Change Issues Pursuant to Divorce


A name change is available as long as you have not been convicted of a felony, are not now under indictment, not seeking to avoid creditors and the change will benefit you and is in the interest of the public. If you have a felony conviction, you may still ask for a name change, but must show in addition that your probation is completed, not less than two years have passed from your discharge or you were pardoned. It is then only at the discretion of the court.

If you have questions about name changes in a divorce proceeding, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experienced attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding name change issues in divorces and family law matters in Texas.



Adoption Proceedings Pursuant to Divorce


If a step parent wishes to adopt a child of the new spouse, Kane | Varghese attorneys and lawyers can help.  The process is much smoother if the parents of the child agree to the adoption and the ex-spouse in this scenario signs an affidavit agreeing to the adoption of the child by the new spouse.  If no agreement is reached, a judge may appoint an ad litem attorney for the child and then a final decision will have to be made based on all the facts and circumstances. 


If you have questions about adoption issues pursuant to a divorce proceeding or otherwise, call the attorneys and lawyers at Kane | Varghese.  The experienced attorneys and lawyers will set up an appointment to answer your questions regarding adoption issues and in divorces and family law matters in Texas.


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