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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody lawsSummertime is one of the best opportunities to go on vacation with the kids, as parents may have time off from work and children do not have to miss school. Unfortunately, these types of family vacations can become difficult to plan after a divorce, especially when a couple’s schedules and living arrangements have changed. Texas law helps simplify these problems by outlining procedures regarding vacations for parents who share custody of their children. However, navigating the state’s sometimes complex statutes can be frustrating, so if you have planned a vacation with your children and have questions about your legal rights and obligations, it is important to speak with an experienced complex child custody attorney who can advise you.

Summer Vacation

Under Texas law, parents have specific rights of possession during the summer months. For example, according to state law, a possessory conservator can take a child on an extended summer vacation if he or she first:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyThe presence of extended family members can play an important role in the life of a young child. In most cases, parents are only too happy to involve their own parents in the lives of their children. When parents restrict visitation, however, some grandparents may attempt to obtain a court order allowing visitation. Obtaining this type of court order can be an uphill battle, which makes it especially important to retain the services of an experienced child custody attorney.

Filing a Lawsuit

To request possession of or access to a grandchild, a biological or adoptive grandparent must file either:

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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child cutody laws, Texas complex custody attorneySince 2005, all couples involved in custody proceedings are required to submit a parenting plan setting out the duties and rights of both parties. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to come to an agreement regarding access to the child or which parent will provide the primary residence. Judges are then required to modify or create the plan themselves, meaning that the couple has little control over the outcome of the custody proceedings. If you or a loved one are involved in custody negotiations, it is important to contact an experienced child custody lawyer who can help you successfully navigate the process while protecting your interests.

Parenting Plan Basics

In order to be approved by a judge, a parenting plan must:

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Posted on in Paternity

Texas paternity attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, Texas paternity laws,A Harris County judge ordered the father of Beyoncé Knowles to pay over $120,000 in past-due child support and attorneys' fees, after a paternity test showed that he sired an out-of-wedlock child in 2010.

According to a ruling by state District Judge David D. Farr, Mr. Knowles knew of the pregnancy several years ago and gave $250,000 in "hush money" to the mother in exchange for her discretion. "Mr. Knowles has zero interest, and in this court's consideration on the evidence, zero capability of being a positive role model in the child's life," the judge added. The award represents $1,500 per month in past-due child support and $50,000 towards the mother's attorneys' fees; Judge Farr awarded full custody of the child to the mother.

Paternity

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Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex child custody lawyer, In a development that placed the spotlight back on parental alienation syndrome in complex child custody cases, two missing teenage siblings were recently reunited with their divorced father whom they claimed was physically abusive.

The saga began when a Minnesota court granted the girls' father sole custody in a divorce proceeding. Shortly thereafter, the 16- and 17-year-old girls ran away from home and were sheltered by a woman who is a vocal supporter of the "Protective Parent" movement. Members of this group shelter children who claim to be fleeing from abusive parents when a court has ordered them to remain in the home. The girls' mother, who accused her husband of physical abuse and whom authorities suspect of aiding in her daughters' disappearance, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony interference with child custody and one count of involvement in a kidnapping.

A court-appointed psychologist concluded that the mother had brainwashed her daughters; the father has consistently denied any abuse.

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Texas paternity lawyer, Texas child custody attorney, Texas family law attorney,It appears that the United States Navy may be the latest organization to jump on the bandwagon of extended paternity leave for new fathers.

During a recent visit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Admiral John Richardson presided over an impromptu meeting that included himself, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Mike Stevens, and ten sailors who had become new fathers within the past year. Currently, the Navy provides ten days of paid paternity leave, and Admiral Richardson asked the sailors what they believed a reasonable leave policy would be. After a brief conference, they proposed 30 days of paid leave. Admiral Richardson told the group that "it's great to get a sense for what your input will be," and he promised to pass the recommendation along to his superiors in Washington.

The meeting comes shortly after the Navy tripled paid maternity leave to 18 weeks. In the last several months, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, and other large companies have all expanded their paternity leave plans, or at least are considering such action.

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Texas child custody attorney, Texas divorce lawyer, Texas complex litigation lawyer, The Texas Family Code states that all visitation and custody orders must be in the best interests of the children, but the law gives little direction in terms of making that determination. Thirty years ago, the Texas Supreme Court released its landmark decision in Holly v. Adams. Parents, practitioners, and judges still rely on this opinion to legally determine the best interests of the children in a variety of complex child custody situations.

This case involved the involuntary termination of parental rights, one of the rarest family law matters. Mother essentially abandoned Husband and their young son. In the ensuing years, she spent some time in a mental hospital, lived as a gypsy with three other men, got re-married and re-divorced, and eventually settled near Seattle.

Father sought to terminate Mother's parental rights on the basis that she provided almost no financial support ($100 in five years, according to records) and had no contact with the boy, other than two or three visits or letters per year. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court ruled that termination was not in the child's best interest.

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