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North Texas Family Law AttorneyWhen parents need to address issues related to their children in family law cases, they may encounter some unfamiliar legal terminology. While a parent may expect to address issues related to child custody, they may be confused by terms such as “joint managing conservatorship” or “possession and access,” and they may worry that failure to address these issues properly could affect their ability to maintain relationships with their children following a divorce or a breakup with an unmarried partner. By working with an attorney who has a strong knowledge of Texas law and experience representing clients in family court, a parent can protect their rights and resolve matters in a way that will provide for the best interests of their children.

Addressing Issues Related to Legal and Physical Custody of Children

In family law cases, custody of children is typically divided into two categories: legal custody and physical custody. In Texas, legal custody is referred to as conservatorship. A person who is named as a child’s conservator by a family court will have a number of rights and obligations, including the right to be involved in decisions about children’s health and education, the right to access children’s school or medical records, and the duty to provide children with the necessary care, protection, and discipline.

Courts will usually presume that it is in children’s best interests for parents to share joint managing conservatorship. This will give both parents the right to consult with each other as they make decisions about how their children will be raised. However, in certain situations, sole managing conservatorship may be appropriate, such as when one parent is incarcerated or absent.

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Frisco Family Law AttorneyGetting divorced when you have children is already stressful enough. You are trying to make sure that you get a fair deal out of the divorce while also trying to put your children’s needs first. It can be terrifying when you find out that someone–most likely your spouse–has gotten Children Protective Services involved and accused you of abusing or neglecting your children. You have probably heard horror stories of parents having their children torn away from them in the blink of an eye. Being the subject of a CPS investigation can be alarming and panic-inducing under any circumstances, but if you are in the middle of a child custody case, it can be particularly frightening–and potentially risky. 

If this is happening to you, it is important that you immediately contact an attorney who has experience with abuse allegations during divorce. 

What Should I Do if My Spouse Calls CPS During Our Divorce?

First off, do not panic. If you handle the situation correctly, it is likely that nothing will come of it. However, you may want an attorney to manage the response to a CPS investigation. You do not want to make any mistakes. A few things you should know in this situation include: 

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North Texas Parentage LawyerMany unmarried women get pregnant accidentally or before finding out that the child’s father is not a man they want to raise a child with. They may then wonder if establishing paternity would be in their or the child’s best interests. After all, if the child’s father is abusive, unavailable, or a philanderer, many women may reason that there is simply no reason to inform him of the pregnancy. 

While some women ultimately do decide to never establish parentage in Texas, there are good reasons for doing so even if you do not like your child’s father. Before you decide whether you want to establish paternity, here are some things to consider. 

Will Not Establishing Paternity Hurt My Child? 

An abundance of research suggests that children do best by almost every metric when they have fathers in their lives. Fatherless children are more likely to drop out of school, abuse drugs and alcohol, engage in criminal activity, have trouble regulating their emotions, and become pregnant as a teenager. 

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North Texas Divorce LawyerDivorce requires a family to restructure major aspects of their lives: their living arrangements, their relationships, their finances, and more. While the quality of the relationship between a parent and her child can and should be the most important concern following a divorce, financial arrangements are also very important. Understanding how child support is handled in Texas is essential for moving on with a steady and predictable budget after a divorce is finalized. If you are a divorcing parent in Collin County, TX, this information may be useful to you. 

Important Factors in Child Support Payments 

Texas courts use a special formula to estimate ideal monthly child support payments. Both parents’ income from all sources is taken into consideration. This includes salary, hourly, and overtime pay, as well as bonuses, tips, commissions, and other monetary benefits.

Additional factors that courts take into consideration include the age and needs of each child, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the cost of child care, and the cost of moving a child between households. Most parents do not make exactly the same amount of money and spend exactly the same amount of time with their children, so one parent almost always ends up paying the other parent-child support. 

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North Texas Family Law AttorneyEvery year, more children in the United States are the product of divorced or never-married parents. Over time, Texas law has been updated to reflect the realities of modern family life, becoming more flexible and allowing unmarried co-parents to make arrangements that work for their family. One common consequence of having unmarried parents is the likelihood that one parent will want to move away from the other and take their child with them. But when a parent wants to move and he or she shares custody of a child with another adult, Texas law has certain requirements to protect the best interests of the child. 

What Are the Best Interests of a Child? 

Whenever Texas courts make decisions about a child, including how time spent with each parent and important decision-making responsibilities are allocated, it makes these decisions with the child’s best interests in mind. Although several other factors are taken into consideration, the ultimate standard that must be met is whether an arrangement would be the best for a child, given the circumstances. 

Moving, especially long distances, can be very stressful for young children. When a child is well-integrated into her community, school, and friend group, moving may not be in their best interests - even if it would be good for the parent. When co-parents share custody in a Joint Managing Conservatorship, their court-approved parenting agreement controls many aspects of their lives, often including where they live. Deviating from this plan requires court approval from the same court that granted the divorce. 

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