Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4600 Post Oak Place, Suite 301 • Houston, Texas 77027-9705

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Archive for the 'Child Custody' Category

Increasing Numbers of Fathers Winning Sole Custody

Fathers have come a long way in Texas. In the past, child custody almost invariably went to mothers. Mothers still are more likely to receive custody of children in a divorce case, but Texas courts do not consider the parent’s sex – they are to consider only what is in the best interests of the child. The fact that mothers are more frequently given custody of children may simply reflect the reality that even in modern times, mothers are more likely to have acted as the primary caretakers of children prior to the divorce. However, over the past decade, the number of fathers awarded sole custody has doubled, according to one source. How does child custody work? Custody divides into two categories: legal custody and physical custody. In Texas, legal custody is called “managing conservatorship.” Each parent is a “conservator,” and the law generally presumes and awards joint managing conservatorship, meaning that each parent has the right to make decisions affecting their child’s health and education and to manage their child’s finances and school activities, amongst other rights. Physical custody, on the other hand, is rarely joint. The preference is for one parent to be the sole physical conservator of the child. The phrase…
Read More »

Read More..>>

No Paternity Acknowledgement, No Legal Father

With Father’s Day this past Sunday, we will be taking a look at the family law issues that impact fathers this week. Today we start at the beginning – paternity. Paternity is an extremely important matter that new mothers and fathers need to take care of as soon as possible after the birth of their children. If a newborn’s parents are not married, Texas law considers the baby as having no legal father. Paternity for unmarried parents The simplest way for a mother and father to ensure that the baby has a legal father is to sign an acknowledgement of paternity (“AOP”) either before the mother gives birth (both parents can sign an AOP form, and the mother can bring it to the hospital) or just afterwards. The hospital can take care of everything at that time and send off the AOP to the Bureau of Vital Statistics to make it official. Why is acknowledging important for unmarried parents? If the baby does not have a legal father, the biological father does not exist in the eyes of the law. This hurts both the mother and the father. Mothers and their babies may not be eligible for certain government assistance…
Read More »

Read More..>>

How Can I Respond to Action by Child Protective Services?

Texas Child Protective Services (“CPS”) can take custody of your child through an emergency order or through a court order, but even in the event of an emergency, CPS can only take custody for a day or a weekend. CPS must eventually go before a Texas judge, meaning that you will have the right to present your case eventually. The weeks and months following CPS action will be filled with court hearings during which you can show to the court that you deserve to keep your children. We always recommend appearing with a family law attorney at these hearings given how important they are. If you fail to present a convincing case, the final ruling could end your rights as a parent, meaning that a judge or jury can determine that your child is no longer yours. How can I contest an action by Child Protective Services? If CPS takes your child away through an emergency order, you will typically have as many as five opportunities to plead your case. During the next business day after an emergency CPS action, there will be an emergency hearing to determine whether the action was reasonable Within 14 days of CPS taking custody…
Read More »

Read More..>>

Child Protective Services Central Registry Casts a Wide Net

Monday’s post discussed aggressive actions taken by Texas Child Protective Services (“CPS”) that resulted in a judge’s sanctioning the agency. Today we discuss another problem that often arises in dealing with CPS in Texas – its central registry that operates outside of the law. The Texas CPS central registry is a list of some 500,000 Texans whom CPS considers have sexually abused or physically harmed a child. Child welfare workers and employment agencies use the list when deciding whether a person can work in a position that involves children. The central registry is not for convicted criminals, though. About 6,000 on the list are children themselves between the ages of 10 and 17. It is the Texas CPS that determines who goes on the list, but the process is less than thorough. As of now, there is no appeals process or evidentiary hearing to evaluate whether someone deserves to be placed the registry. And, as some Texans have found out, if you find yourself illegitimately on the registry, getting off the list is easier said than done. It takes at least five years for your name to “expire” from the registry on its own. If you wish to fight your…
Read More »

Read More..>>

« Previous PageNext Page »