In Texas, family law has a personal and profound impact on people’s lives, probably more so than most other areas of the legal system. While it primarily affects parents and children, some family law situations involve siblings, grandparents, extended family such as aunts and uncles, and even friends and neighbors.
Learn more about our family law practice areas below.
When you and your spouse file for divorce, Texas law has specific requirements governing the way that property is divided, and if you have minor children, some jurisdictions require you to complete a mandatory parenting class before the court will grant you a divorce.
While some divorces are uncontested, meaning that both parties agree on all important elements involved in ending the marriage, while others are contested, meaning that you and your spouse disagree on some or all of these factors, which must then be resolved through mediation or litigation.
In Texas, there are two primary types of child custody, or conservatorship, granted in a divorce:
- Managing conservatorship gives the parent or parents the legal ability to make medical, financial, and lifestyle decisions for the child.
- Possessory conservatorship gives a noncustodial parent the right to access the child and visit them but not necessarily make legal decisions for them.
Texas family courts prefer that parents share conservatorship, as equally as possible. One common arrangement is joint managing conservatorship, where the child predominantly lives with one parent but both parents have the legal ability to make legal decisions for them.
International/Multi-State Custody Issues
An increasing number of Texas family law cases involve multi-state and even international custody issues. For example, the parent with managing conservatorship intends to move to a different state or country for work or personal reasons, leaving the other parent concerned about losing access to their children.
Laws that may apply in such a situation include:
- The international Hague Convention
- The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
- The Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act (PPKA)
When a parent is out of state or even out of the country, resolving a custody matter is difficult, given the state-level and international rules that need to be observed, but a Texas family law attorney with experience in cross-border custody issues will help their client achieve the best possible outcome.
Child support is typically paid by the noncustodial parent to provide for the needs of the child in Texas. The Texas Family Code contains support guidelines, although parents may deviate from them when doing so is in the best interests of the child. In most cases, a noncustodial parent will be ordered to pay 20% of their net income for one child and 25% for two children, with a presumed amount of $8550 net per month as per the Texas Family Code.
Child Protective Services
Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) was established to protect and promote child welfare in cases involving:
- Child abuse
- Child neglect and abandonment
- Parental unfitness
Unfortunately, this is not always what happens when the agency takes certain steps. Having your relationship with your children placed in jeopardy is one of the most devastating experiences a loving parent can face. Any family subjected to this type of injustice should immediately contact a Texas child protective services lawyer.
Adoption is a rewarding way to grow your family. It helps you fulfill your dreams of parenthood while providing a loving home to a child who needs and deserves it. Common types of adoption include:
- Stepparent adoption
- International adoption
- Private adoption cases handled outside an agency
Although rewarding, the process can be legally complex, making it advisable that you work with an experienced adoption law attorney to bring your case to a successful conclusion.
Family Law Mediation
Mediation is a non-adversarial dispute resolution process that allows the parties in a family law matter to settle their case outside of court. Not only does this spare you the cost of litigation, but it also gives you greater control over the outcome of your case.
During a typical mediation session, everyone involved works with their attorneys and an impartial mediator to negotiate the terms of their divorce or other family law matter. The goal is to create a practical solution that works for all affected parties.
How Do You Choose the Right Family Law Attorney?
Working with the right family law attorney can make a true difference in the outcome of your case. Whether you’re considering a separation or divorce, trying to resolve custody and support challenges, planning to adopt or dealing with a frightening CPS investigation, you want a trusting professional relationship with an attorney who is committed to your case and listens to your needs.
The Wright Firm, LLP is Here to Help
At the Wright Firm, LLP, we advocate for the families and futures of every client, no matter what their background or financial standing. Our attorneys understand the enormous responsibilities that come with most family law cases and will use their excellent skills in settlement negotiation, mediation, and trial advocacy to resolve your concerns. The moment you retain our firm, we become your partner in the process and strive to achieve the outcome you need. Contact us by filling out our online form or calling 877-353-4600 to schedule a consultation.
Texas Family Law Resources
You can also find links to resources and our guide, which is available to existing clients. Remember, however, that these are just some of the fundamentals and are NOT substitutes for detailed discussions with your attorney and his or her staff. If you have any questions about your particular case, speak to your attorney.