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What Kind of Protections Are Available to Victims of Domestic Violence in Texas?

 Posted on August 25, 2022 in Divorce

Hurst Domestic Violence LawyerDomestic violence is a serious problem in Texas. Around 200,000 incidents of family violence are reported every year, but the estimates of incidents that are not reported are much higher and experts suggest one in three Texans will suffer from domestic violence in their lives. Texas has strong laws to protect victims of domestic violence, but for these laws to be helpful, victims must come forward to hold an abuser responsible. While this is not easy, an experienced Texas domestic violence attorney can help. 

How Can I Get an Order of Protection in Texas? 

While it may feel deeply unfair and frightening, the burden of proof falls on victims of domestic violence. If you make a claim that your partner or ex is abusing you, you need to support this claim with evidence. There are three types of protective orders available in Texas; two of them must be applied for and supported with evidence. The third is issued by a criminal court after an abuser has already been arrested. These protective orders are: 

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My Spouse Says If I Leave, He Will Hurt Me. What Can I Do? 

 Posted on August 17, 2022 in Divorce

Hurst Orders of Protection LawyerPeople who have never been in an abusive relationship often wonder why a victim of domestic abuse does not simply leave. After all, it is easy to judge when someone does not have access to the full picture of a relationship. An abusive spouse may have times when he is charming or supportive or apologetic and repentant, making it difficult to walk away. Other times, an abusive spouse may keep a partner around through manipulation or threats of violence. 

Whatever the case, leaving an abusive relationship is clearly not easy, or everyone would do it. Nevertheless, doing so is important–especially if you have young children–and moreover, it is possible. There are resources available to victims of domestic violence to help them get divorced safely while protecting their family. A Texas divorce attorney can help you explore your options and create a plan for leaving. 

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How Do I Know Whether A Divorce Attorney is Good?

 Posted on July 18, 2022 in Divorce

Tarrant County Divorce LawyerSo you have decided to get a Texas divorce - but what comes next? How do you find the right information, negotiate a fair divorce decree, and make sure all your forms are submitted to the right place without any mistakes? Fortunately, you do not have to do all this work alone - divorce attorneys can make the process much easier. But finding and choosing a great divorce attorney can sometimes feel like yet another chore. Here are a few things to look for in your divorce attorney before signing a representation agreement. 

Problem-Solving Mindset

Some divorce attorneys will tell you right away that certain things cannot be done. Instead, go with a divorce attorney who is willing to tackle issues from many angles and pursue unconventional approaches to get results. An attorney should consider possible solutions while taking your preferences seriously. At the same time, a great attorney will be honest and let you know what is or is not legal or practical. 

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How Can I File for Divorce in Tarrant County, Texas? 

 Posted on July 08, 2022 in Divorce

Hurst Divorce AttorneyMaking the decision to get a divorce is one of the hardest things you may ever do. Even if you have not made up your mind yet and are still wondering whether divorce is right for you, it is wise to be prepared so you know what to expect in case you decide to move forward. Filing for divorce in Texas is fairly straightforward; actually negotiating the terms of a divorce can be substantially more difficult. In this blog, we will discuss how to file for divorce in Texas and discuss the benefits of having an attorney to help guide you through the divorce process. 

Where Do I File For Divorce in Texas? 

Once you decide you are ready to move forward with the process, you need to fill out the Original Petition for Divorce. You are the petitioner, and your spouse is the respondent. If you need help paying for your divorce, fill out the Affidavit of Indigency as well. Take these forms, as well as a Civil Case Information Sheet, to your local courthouse and turn them in to the clerk. The fee for filing for divorce with children in Tarrant Count is $401. 

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Can I Take Care of My Kids When My Ex Has to Travel Out of Town? 

 Posted on June 22, 2022 in Child custody

Tarrant County Right of First Refusal LawyerWhen Texas parents of a minor child share custody of the child, they must create and abide by a legally enforceable parenting agreement. Although courts can set the terms of the parenting agreement (technically known as a “possession agreement” in Texas legal terms), most co-parents find they can create a better, more satisfactory parenting agreement when they work together outside of court. 

One possible option many parents take advantage of in a customized parenting agreement is an idea called the “right of first refusal.” In this blog, we will explore the basics of the right of first refusal and how, under the right circumstances, it can benefit both a child and her parents. 

The Right of First Refusal in Texas

The right of first refusal is a clause that states one or both parents will rely on each other for childcare when they would otherwise hire a babysitter or ask a family member for help. The right of first refusal does not have set terms, but rather can be customized to suit the needs and schedule of the parents. Ideally, it allows both parents to maximize their time with a child whenever possible. 

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How Will I Know How Much I Need to Pay in Alimony? 

 Posted on June 15, 2022 in Divorce

Tarrant County Spousal Support LawyerAlimony is a complex subject in any divorce. Few spouses want to pay it, and few spouses who receive it feel as though they are getting enough. When neither side is likely to be satisfied with the outcome of a particular issue in a divorce, it is especially important to understand the law so you know your options and have some idea of what to expect. In this blog, we will give a brief overview of the basics of alimony in Texas; keep in mind that this is not legal advice and that the best source for answers to your questions is an experienced Hurst divorce attorney. 

First Things First: What is Alimony? 

Alimony in Texas is technically known as “spousal maintenance.” The “obligee” is the person who receives spousal maintenance, and the “obligor” is the person who pays it. Spousal maintenance is money given from the obligor to the obligee after a divorce to give the obligee time to become financially self-sustaining after a marriage ends. Alimony is most common in marriages in which one spouse forfeited their career or educational potential to care for children or support their spouse’s career. Spousal support payments today tend not to last as long nor be as large as they have in the past. 

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How Can I Get Custody in a Texas Divorce? 

 Posted on May 17, 2022 in Child custody

texas child custody lawyerFor parents who are getting divorced, figuring out how custody and visitation work in Texas can feel overwhelming. Fathers especially may worry that they will lose access to their children once the divorce is finalized. Fortunately, the trend in Texas is moving towards making it easier for both parents to exercise their parental rights equally and maintain a loving relationship with their children. If one of your goals in your Texas divorce is getting custody of your children, read on. 

How Does Child Custody Work in Texas?  

Child custody in Texas is divided into two important areas: conservatorship, or the ability to make important decisions on behalf of a child, and access and possession, or the ability to spend time with a child as their caregiver (also known as visitation). Texas usually names both parents “joint managing conservators,” meaning parents will both participate in the decision-making process no matter how possession and access are allocated. 

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What makes an asset division agreement enforceable in Texas?

 Posted on May 11, 2022 in Divorce

For many couples who are preparing for a divorce, a high conflict, contentious legal battle is the last thing that they want. You and your spouse may prefer to hire attorneys, a mediator, or both, and privately negotiate an agreement that covers things such as asset division and spousal support, in order to leave as little as possible for the court to decide for you.

This approach can be effective, especially when you have complex assets and you want a greater degree of control over negotiations. As such, you may be wondering what you can do to minimize the possibility of a judge modifying or even throwing out your carefully negotiated agreement.

Challenges to an agreement.

In Texas, if there is a challenge to a divorce agreement, the court has the sole discretion to decide whether a couple’s proposed divorce agreement is enforceable in light of the evidence presented. Out of respect for the parties’ right to contract, judges will typically approve any agreement you bring to them, unless a challenge occurs and the challenger is able to prove that the agreement is unconscionable.

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Should grandparents fight for visitation rights?

 Posted on March 09, 2022 in Divorce

While the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is often recognized as crucial in a child’s growth and maturity, grandparents do not often enjoy a legal right of access. During a divorce, the parents often ignore the grandparents while discussing custody, visitation and the parenting plan. This results in the eradication of a loving segment of the child’s life. Fortunately, grandparents can fight to retain visitation rights during and after the divorce process concludes.

Even though the court is hesitant to grant custody rights outside of severe circumstances, the courts often find it more reasonable to grant visitation rights. These are not automatic rights, however, and the grandparent must seek to legally establish these rights. Without legal rights established, one of the divorced parents could argue against visitation on numerous grounds, including:

  • Alienation in which the parent argues that the grandparent is turning the child against him or her.

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The road to stepparent adoption

 Posted on January 11, 2022 in Divorce

You married your wife who had a young son from a previous relationship. The three of you made a family. You helped raise the boy and participated in family outings at campgrounds, amusement parks and other fun and enlightening activities.

He is your son, and you treat him that way. But after several months of pondering, you want to make it official by adopting him. Understand that not only will the family dynamic change a bit, but so will your responsibilities.

Understand your legal responsibilities

Here are some guidelines to remember when considering a stepparent adoption:

  • Prepare for a significant change: This affects you, the family and, especially, the child who now has a new identity and name to go with it. Take things slowly and consider seeking family counseling to get accustomed to the adjustments.
  • Embrace and understand the legal responsibilities: As the legal parent, you remain financially responsible for your child. Other areas of responsibility include housing, education, medical care and emotional needs. Remember, if you and your spouse divorce, you must pay child support.

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