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Abilene TX Divorce Law Blog

This child custody dispute led to jail time for one father

Going through a custody fight is stressful. It's easy for Texas parents to let emotion overwhelm reason during child custody cases. That said, parents must set their emotions aside and follow the rules of the court if they are unable to work things out and reach a settlement on their own. As one man found, failure to follow the rules can come with serious punitive measures. 

The man was at his county courthouse to attend a custody conference with his former wife. He decided to use his cell phone to record that meeting. Unfortunately, there were signs posted throughout the building advising visitors that the use of cell phones was prohibited. 

Child custody case centers on medical child abuse

An unusual custody case has resulted in a Texas father being reunited with his son and a mother facing criminal charges connected to the boy's medical issues. The child custody resolution is a welcome relief for the father, who has been fighting for years to have the courts and child protective services intervene in the matter. The father and son were reunited in time to spend Christmas together, and the mother now faces serious criminal charges. 

At the heart of the case is the mother's claims that her son suffered from various medical conditions, including a rare genetic disorder and a type of cancer. For years, she told friends, family and community members that the child was dying. At one point, she even had hospice workers come into their home to provide care. 

The role of paternity in child custody disputes

There are many cases where a custody battle is waged between Texas parties where only one person has a biological link to a child. The flip side of those child custody arguments is when a man has been subjected to paternity fraud and led to believe that he is the father of a child that is not his. Those cases are challenging, both for the individuals involved and the courts who hear such matters. 

The issue often arises when a couple breaks up and the mother files for financial assistance from the state. This often triggers a paternity test, as the state has an interest in compelling fathers to help support their children. When those tests reveal that the named father shares no biological link to the child, the courts are faced with a difficult decision. 

Same-sex parent seeks child custody rights

Another custody battle between same-sex parents is making headlines in Texas and across the nation. In this case, two women were legally married and decided to bring a child into the world using a sperm donor. When the relationship deteriorated, the parties began arguing over parental rights in a child custody case.

As is so often the case, the woman who gave birth to the child is making the legal argument that she meets the definition of parent while her partner should be afforded a less formal position. The case also involves the man who donated sperm, and who has been granted parental status. That leaves the child's second mother in a tenuous legal position.

How addiction can impact a child custody dispute

Far too many Texas families struggle with addiction. Coming to terms with a friend or family member's drug or alcohol problems can be difficult, especially when there are children involved. For some parents, addiction plays a central role in a child custody dispute. It's important to understand how addiction is likely to impact the child custody process.

Many parents believe that, when their former partner struggles with drug or alcohol addiction, child custody will be a simple procedure. In reality, however, things are never quite so simple. The courts are tasked with making a custody determination that is in line with the best interests of the child. That includes maintaining a close relationship with both parents.

Collaborative divorce could improve child custody outcomes

For certain Texas families, a less contentious divorce is beneficial to all family members. This is especially true in the case of parents who share one or more children. Instead of traditional child custody litigation, collaborative divorce offers a far less fraught path to ending a marriage. This can be a relief to everyone involved. 

Parents must remember that, no matter how the divorce plays out, they will continue to be linked for the remainder of their lives through their child or children. Keeping that concept at the forefront of the divorce and child custody negotiation process can make it easier to find solutions rather than fight over minute details. Collaborative divorce can help de-escalate many child custody negotiations.

Child custody outcome leads to public outrage

Some Texas readers may be aware of a current case in a different state in which a rape victim was forced into a custody case with the man who assaulted her. While the parties were not involved in a traditional child custody standoff, many people are shocked that the court system allowed such a case to move forward. The judge and other officials involved in the matter are scrambling to rectify the situation.

A 21-year-old mother was required to file a paternity and child support action against her child's father after she sought financial assistance from her state Department of Health and Human Services. Such actions are common when one parent seeks financial support, as the state has an interest in securing the financial assistance of the absent parent. However, in this case, there were unsettling details that appear to have been overlooked.

Child custody case centers on vaccination issue

Many Texas parents are concerned about the safety of childhood immunizations. Some even choose to avoid vaccinations altogether, a choice that is supported by law. An unusual child custody case recently placed a mother in the unusual position of having to choose between her deeply held beliefs and compliance with a court order. 

The mother was in court to determine child custody issues. The judge in the case awarded primary custody to the mother. However, the father raised concerns over the fact that their 9-year-old son was not up-to-date on his vaccinations. The judge, without giving the mother a chance to argue her position, ordered the mother to have her son vaccinated within a very short period of time. 

One state's approach to unmarried child custody issues

Texas readers may be surprised to learn how another state approaches custody disputes between unmarried parties. The matter has made headlines across the nation, and sparked debate concerning how unmarried child custody issues should be handled. After growing community pressure and multiple legal challenges, the state in question changed the manner in which these types of cases are heard.

Until recently, unmarried parents who were unable to reach an agreement on child custody matters had their cases heard in a courtroom that was specifically designated for unwed parents. That courtroom was located in the basement of a large urban court complex. In fact, the "courtroom" was actually converted storage space.

How to select the best possible military divorce attorney

For Texas residents who have never gone through a divorce, the process may seem confusing, and at times overwhelming. That is especially true for families facing military divorce, where the division of assets is somewhat unique. The best way to move through this process is to select a family law attorney who is experienced in the area of military divorce.

That process begins by meeting with multiple attorneys to discuss one's particular set of needs, as well as any concerns surrounding the divorce. Pay attention to the demeanor, communication style and overall personality of each attorney, and choose one who seems easy to work with and is receptive to input and suggestions. This is a professional with whom a spouse will work closely for a period of several months, and it is important to feel comfortable throughout that process.

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