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children of divorce

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

children of divorce

Question:

Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over?

Answer:

I practice law in the state of South Carolina. Unless you live there, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state, but I can give you some general observations on family law issues and how they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

The answer is yes, and it highly is encouraged that parents be reasonable in attaining such an agreement. It is inevitable that both parties will experience some roadblock that renders their rights short of what is court ordered. Both parents should expect to make concessions for the other to abide by the spirit of the agreement as much as possible. A family court judge undoubtedly will respect the parties and their decisions considering the circumstances.

If you are the parent being asked to make a change in the parenting plan, then you should consider these requests. Keep in mind that your conduct can be scrutinized by a judge if the facts show that you were not being reasonable under the circumstances. It also is important that you make clear to the other parent that the change strictly is intended until such times as things get back to normal. You should be careful in not allowing the other party to misconstrue the change as a new agreement, but rather a temporary agreement.

If you are the parent requesting for a change in the parenting plan, then you should memorialize these communications whether the changes are consented to or not. Memorialized communications can be recorded through text message, email, or any other form of written communication wherein you can justify the other party’s intent. If the changes are not consented to by the other party, then these communications will come in handy when illustrating to a family court judge the conduct of the other parent should you need to go to court in the future. Similarly, these memorialized communications will protect the requesting parent should the other party claim some violation of the Agreement in the future. The bottom line is that written communication is key when communicating with the other parent.

Due to the fact-specific nature of this situation, I would strongly suggest you contact an attorney who handles family law matters in your jurisdiction to see how your state’s laws specifically can help you with this serious situation. This type of attorney should be helpful in providing you specific assistance for your matter. Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they particularly impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including South Carolina divorce attorney Chris Jacobcontact Cordell & Cordell.

The post Can we temporarily change our parenting plan by verbal agreement until quarantine is over? appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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Texas Court Orders Child’s Name Change to Include His Father’s Surname

Texas Court Orders Child’s Name Change to Include His Father’s Surname

Originally published by Robert Epstein.

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Under Texas family law, a court may order a child’s name be changed if doing so is in the child’s best interest.  Neither parent is specifically granted the right to name the child under Texas law, but generally a child’s name will not be changed unless the party seeking the change shows a good reason for it.  In a recent case, a mother challenged a court’s order to change the child’s name to include the father’s last name.

The parties appeared to have a good co-parenting relationship.  According to the appeals court’s opinion, the child lived with the mother, but the father had always been a part of his life and assisted financially with his living expenses.  The father’s family was also significantly involved in the child’s life, helping the mother financially and with child care.

The mother had been adopted as a young child.  She grew up in Virginia and moved to Texas when she was 18.  She did not have any family other than her son in Texas.  Due to the distance, the child did not have the same amount of interaction with his mother’s family that he had with his father’s family.

 

The mother testified her surname was her adoptive family’s name.  She also testified it was important for her son to have her surname because he was the only biological relative she knew.  She also said it could help him be connected to “different pieces of himself and his history.” She did not believe having her surname instead of his father’s would have a negative effect on the child.

The father testified he thought a name change would help avoid confusion at places like doctor’s offices.  He also hoped the child would play sports and wanted the child to use the father’s name.

Both parents agreed the child was too young to know his name.  Each also said they would not change their surnames.

The father testified the mother did not give him a choice regarding the child’s name.  He also indicated he believed he did not have a choice with regard to signing the acknowledgement of paternity.  He testified he thought the child would have trouble when he got older if he did not have his father’s last name.  He said he did not know any children who did not use their father’s last name, though the children he knew had parents who were married to each other.

The father’s father testified to what he and his wife had done for the child and his mother.  He also testified that he was very close to the child.  He testified that they did things for the child and his mother because they loved them both.

The trial court found it was in the child’s best interest to change his name to include his father’s last name.  The mother appealed, arguing the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the finding.

In considering whether a name change would be in a child’s best interest, the court considers various nonexclusive factors, including whether it would avoid embarrassment, inconvenience, or confusion for the custodial parent or child, whether the present or potential changed name would be more convenient, how long the current name has been used, how the change affects the child’s bond with the parent or other family members, and whether the parent is trying to alienate the other parent by seeking the change.  Courts do not have to weight each factor equally.

The appeals court found there was little or no evidence that changing the child’s name would have a negative effect on the mother or child.  The appeals court found there was legally and factually sufficient evidence to support a finding the change would be in the child’s best interest.  The child was only 14 months old and therefore did not have meaningful attachment to his mother’s name.  He had not started school or been involved in extracurricular activities under his mother’s name.  The child was on the father’s health insurance, so the court found it could be beneficial for medical appointments and billing for the child to have his father’s name.

The appeals court acknowledged the mother was the primary caretaker, but also noted the father and his family were an important part of the child’s life.  The mother’s family was less involved in the child’s daily life due to distance. The appeals court found the father’s last name would better help identify the child with a family unit.  The mother and her family were not from the area and did not have the type of ties to the local community that the father’s family had.  The appeals court found having the father’s name would strengthen the child’s relationship with the community.

Finally, the appeals court found the father was not seeking the change to alienate the mother from the child. There was evidence that the father and his family cared for the mother and expected to continue doing so.

The appeals court found no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s finding that changing the child’s name to include his father’s surname was in the child’s best interest.  The appeals court affirmed the trial court’s judgment.

Sometimes unusual disputes arise in matters relating to children, even if both parents care for each other and want to work together.  If you are facing a dispute involving child custody or other matters relating to your children, an experienced Texas family law attorney can help.  Call McClure Law Group at 214.692.8200.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Texas parents falsely accused of child abuse seek legislative change in 2021

Texas parents falsely accused of child abuse seek legislative change in 2021

The committee is discussing the system of checks and balances between DFPS, the judicial system and medical professionals when abuse reports are submitted.

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#MiracelsofFaith

Can A Narcissist Change In A New Relationship?

Can A Narcissist Change In A New Relationship?

 

Narcissists habitually move very quickly on to new partners. They seem SO loved up and happy with this new person!

Is it possible that your ex-narcissist can change and be different with someone else?  And what is it about, when your ex seems to LAST with another partner for years or even decades?

Is your prior partner CAPABLE of having a healthy and loving relationship with SOMEONE ELSE?

If these questions burn you up inside with the terror that perhaps another person is GETTING the man or woman that you wished you did… Please read this article.  I KNOW how much PEACE it will give you.

So many of you have asked, ‘Can a narcissist change in a new relationship?

I promise you this burning question used to be my own, too.

And understandably so, because when narcissists get into new relationships we believe they are totally loved up and everything is completely wonderful for them with the new partner.

But is this real?

Will the narcissist’s behaviour change and they become the wonderful partner who you missed out on?

In today’s article I am thrilled to be able to give you the REAL truths, in a way that can really help, about the question ‘Can a narcissist change In a new relationship?’

Let’s get started.

 

The Dichotomy of the Question ‘Can a Narcissist Change In a New Relationship?’

The answer to this question is both YES and NO.

The reason it is a YES is because narcissists can be distinctly ‘different’ from relationship to relationship.

The reason it is a NO is because happy, healthy, solid and durably loving relationships aren’t possible for a narcissist.

You will understand more about this soon!

 

Narcissists Being Completely Different With Different Partners

Let’s check out this example…

When Mandy joined the Thriver Community, I discovered she had married Sam three years prior and the poor lady had barely crawled away alive.

Sam, in his relationship with Mandy, was controlling, insecure and extremely jealous.

When Mandy went deeply inside to heal her trauma with Sam using the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP), she discovered many fractures from her childhood that were to do with her being controlled; having her boundaries violated; not being believed or trusted, and being continually questioned.

Growing up, Mandy had felt like she was constantly trying to prove her innocence, explain herself and reassure others in order to be awarded any freedom or rights.

When Sam, the narcissist, came into her life, he quickly worked out that she had been engulfed and distrusted, not just by her parents but also by other love partners. Knowing this, he professed he would trust her, give her space and never question her integrity.

Mandy thought she had finally hit the jackpot with Sam. She fell madly in love.

They got married within months, after a whirlwind romance, but before long the cracks appeared. Exactly what Sam had professed to be, became the exact opposite. He started hurting her with accusations, distrust and intense jealousy.

Mandy was devastated. At the time, she didn’t realise her original traumas were being ripped open yet again, with full ferocity. Mandy was trauma-bonded to Sam, fighting desperately not only for her sanity, but to get this ‘wonderful’ man, who had originally seemed to be the saviour of her traumas, back.

Of course, initially this was all deeply unconscious for Mandy. She just knew she was panicked and emotionally terrorised.

She felt like she would die, even after she did get away from him – which is how our big, unhealed traumas FEEL once activated by narcissists.

Holding ‘No Contact’ was originally very difficult for her, like it is for many of us when we still have trapped trauma within our subconscious programs.

Anyway, thank goodness Mandy started working with NARP. She found, released and healed herself from the exact traumas that needed healing, stayed away from Sam, and completely rebuilt her life.

Predictably, life her life was better than ever, and she never again was attracted to men like Sam. The men that she started to meet and date, were not love-bombing her and Mandy was VERY clear that any signs of possessiveness and control were not something that she would ever have in her life again. Mandy started a committed relationship with a beautiful man who DID genuinely allow her space and grant her trust.

Two years later a woman named Corrine contacted Mandy, telling her that she was Sam’s partner after Mandy and that she had recently been discarded by Sam.

Corrine shared with Mandy how he was detached from her in their relationship, was never home, played up on her, and even threw other women in her face.

Mandy was shocked that Corrine said this about Sam’s behaviour. She couldn’t understand how he had changed so much – from being so possessive with her, always monitoring her, to not being around or giving a crap about what Corrine was up to!

I told Mandy this was normal; that narcissists commonly behave completely differently with different people, and that Corrine’s wounds would have most likely been from an absent father, a man who probably played up on her mother and who was completely unavailable and disinterested in Corrine as well.

Mandy checked in with Corrine and this was the truth. Corrine told Mandy that Sam had initially appeared in Corrine’s life as attentive, granting her love and devotion, which was what she had desperately been craving for.

He had worked out EXACTLY what was necessary to hook her in.

Then, of course, over time, he started HURTING her with the exact wounds that he had said he would HEAL for her.

Narcissists do this with every relationship.

Narcissists are not real, solid people with their own energy and identity. They are whoever they need to be to get people to trust them enough to gain narcissistic supply from them. Identifying and then carefully granting the missing piece to someone, is the fastest and most sure-fire way for a narcissist to get their fix.

Then, when that person inevitably falls from grace as a result of not supplying enough A-grade narcissistic supply, the narcissists turns on them. They have worked out the weak spot to hit – their partner’s greatest unmet, unhealed wounds.

 

Why the New Relationship Seems SO Loved Up

Narcissists usually love-bomb their targets in new relationships.

They ‘seem’ to have the same interests, values and want the same lifestyle as you.

They will say and do what pleases you to make you fall in love with them and trust them. They appear as your soul-mate; the life-partner who you have always dreamed of. This is so that they can quickly get into your bed, body and life.

All the while, they are being this delightful person only so they can identify your inner wounds and appear to be your saviour.

Narcissists, like fishermen with not much bait, have to hook a fish for a meal quickly. Otherwise, they starve.

Narcissists can’t manufacture their own emotional energy. They have No Self on the inside, which means the energy they expend quickly requires a payoff. This is a precarious balancing act. Narcissists will go over and beyond to do all that it takes to get their next love partner hooked. Champagne, flowers, trips, exotic experiences and expensive effort are extremely seductive to new potential partners.

And it doesn’t stop there.

When a drug addict secures a drug – they often binge on it. And it’s no different for a narcissist. He or she can get totally carried away with the high, the drug – you supply them with. But what this is really is self-medication for an inner tormented reality that the narcissist (drug user) doesn’t want to face – their true feelings about themselves and their unresolved trauma.

For the narcissist, narcissistic supply is their escape from the inner annihilating feelings of being defective, empty and self-loathing.

New partners are an excellent source of heady and high narcissistic supply, and a narcissist initially milks it for all it is worth.

If a narcissist has secured you as their next target, then they will be telling themselves that you are the BEST thing since sliced bread. You will be idolised to the point of the ridiculous, and the narcissist will tell you gushingly, and everyone else too, how you are the best sex, the most attractive, the smartest, the most successful – whatever it is that the narcissist is getting off on.

Of course, you are going to fall off this lofty pedestal – get thrown off, actually. It’s only a matter of time. A narcissist’s False Self is NEVER appeased for long.

This happens to all new sources … eventually.

 

But WHY Have They Lasted So Long?

You may think, because a narcissist was, or is in a long-term relationship, that they must have been successful in the relationship and maybe they really loved or love this person.

Please know, as I know, how wrong this is!

I know of so many people in this community who had been with narcissists for up to thirty plus years and had a horrific time much of the time.

The length of a relationship is absolutely no indication of its success. In fact, many Thrivers have had to dig very deep to heal the long years of abuse and painful programming.

Generally, the ending was terrible in these longterm relationships.  Because of being discarded, often brutally, by the narcissist for new and fresher supply, or they became so sick, including serious illness and emotional and financial devastation, that they had to get out to save their lives.

That is nothing to be envious of.

And I know that if they had stayed in the relationship, their lifeforce would have continued to be sucked out of them.

Okay, enough about the narcissist and the ‘what’ and ‘why’ – let’s now take your power back by talking about what YOU can do.

I hope I can help inspire you by sharing with you what I NEEDED to do.

 

Your Necessary Focus and Healing

Most of us have been through the agonising feelings of being replaced and someone else getting the life we were having or thought we should have.

This used to be VERY big for me – just the thought of it threw me into a panic both before and after narcissistic abuse. I had to dig deep and really focus on healing the parts of me that were:

  • Stalking exes on social media to see who they would hook up with next.
  • Trying to dissect the new partners to see what they had that I didn’t.
  • Obsessing painfully, and even having nightmares, about new partners and the wonderful life they were having with ‘my man’.

‘Can a narcissist change in a new relationship?’ used to be such a loaded and distressing question for me.

I KNOW, how many times I previously hung onto bad relationships because of the utter TERROR of being replaced by someone else.

And yes, ‘being replaced’ happened to me.

The first time it did, I felt like I was going to DIE, the grief and trauma was so bad.

I had to go inside and FACE these fractures and HEAL them. (As well as the ones that had led me into narcissistic relationships in the first place!)

Like many women, I carried deep in my DNA the fractures of my female forebears. Fractures that were primarily based around: ‘Without a man, I can’t survive.’

Supporting these deep fractures was the fact that my mother and her female relatives had NEVER not been in a relationship. And it was the same for the females on my father’s side.

Every time a relationship had ended in my life, narcissistic or non-narcissistic, my terror of being alone or replaced was off the Richter scale – no matter how successful, financially sound and capable I was.

Thank god I healed from THIS!

When you heal your fear of being replaced and alone, as myself and other Thrivers have, you will know THIS following truth:

Your ex-narcissist’s new partner is doing a soul contract dance with the narcissist just as you did – to have their unconscious wounds become conscious so that they can heal them.

And you will deeply bless his or her journey with the ex-narcissist, and hope for their soul’s sake that they awaken – just as you have – to not only relief from trauma with that person, but also to no longer needing to play out your same unhealed patterns with other people in their future.

For you, the relief that this relationship is NOT WITH YOU any more is indescribable! And you can become INCREDIBLY grateful that finally you can go inside, heal what has been limiting you and generating terrible trauma in relationships (just as Mandy did in our example today) and get free into a whole new Love Code that is healthy and happy for you.

Are you ready to heal and get out of the agony of being replaced?

It’s wonderful on this side, let me tell you! I and SO many Thrivers are here, and we want nothing less for YOU than to help you get here too!

If you are ready to heal, please sign up to my free Course where you will learn how to release yourself from the agony and how to attract and sustain relationships that are filled with love, truth and honesty instead.

And as always, I look forward to answering your comments and questions below.

 

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Texas Court May Not Make Substantive Change When Clarifying a Custody Order

Texas Court May Not Make Substantive Change When Clarifying a Custody Order

Originally published by McClure Law Group.

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Most Texas custody cases are between a child’s parents, but in some cases other family members may be involved.  In a recent case, an uncle challenged a modification of the access and possession terms of a court order related to his brother’s child.  Although the trial court expressed an intention to clarify the original order, the appeals court found it had improperly made a substantive change.

The child’s father is deceased.  In 2016, the father’s brother filed suit to be named as the child’s primary conservator.  The uncle and the mother ultimately reached an agreement, which was incorporated by the court’s order.  The order gave primary possession to the uncle and periodic possession to the mother.  The uncle had the right to request the mother undergo drug testing once a month.  She was required to appear for drug testing at a designated location within 24 hours of the uncle sending notice.  The uncle was prohibited from sending notice Friday through Sunday at 9:00 a.m. If the mother failed to appear within 24 hours, the results would be deemed positive.  If the drug test results were positive or deemed positive, the mother’s periods of possession would be suspended until there was a further court order.

The mother moved to enforce the order a month after it was entered.  She alleged the uncle did not make the child available to her during her time.  She sought criminal and civil contempt, additional periods of possession, and attorney’s fees.  She also asked the court to clarify the original order if it found any part of it was insufficiently specific to be enforced through contempt.

 

The trial court found the terms of the order were not sufficiently specific to be enforced by contempt.  The court added language requiring the uncle provide notice of the drug test “at a reasonable time” and give the mother 24 hours notice to comply. The court found the uncle in violation of the original order by failing to give the child to the mother on two occasions.  It also ordered him to pay $1,500 in attorney’s fees to the mother’s attorney.

The uncle moved for review of the attorney’s fees.  The judge confirmed the award but also specified it would be enforceable as both a debt and as child support.  The uncle appealed, arguing the court had not merely clarified the order but had made substantive changes to the terms.

A court may clarify a previous custody order, but may not generally modify a previous order unless certain conditions are met and the modification is in the child’s best interest.  A clarification cannot make substantive changes to the order.  Although a clarification can correct an error in the original judgment, it can only correct a clerical error, not a judicial error.  The clarification, therefore, cannot correct an error resulting from judicial reasoning.

The appeals court found the original order’s “possession and access terms were specific, non-ambiguous, and could be enforced by contempt.” The order allowed the uncle to request a drug test once a month.  It provided the method of the request and limited the times when he could request it.  The appeals court found the trial court had used judicial reasoning to add the requirement that the uncle send the request within reasonable time that gives the mother 24 hours notice.  The appeals court found the original text was unambiguous so the trial court did not have the authority to clarify.

The original order provided that a level of marijuana higher than 3.66 picograms would be deemed positive, but the modification added language limiting this provision to ingested marijuana. The appeals court found this was a substantive change.  The original order was unambiguous.

The appeals court struck the language purporting to clarify the previous order.

The uncle also argued there was no evidence that the enforcement of the order was necessary for the child’s physical or emotional safety or welfare, which would be required to enforce the attorneys fee award as child support.  The trial court did not find the uncle in contempt or enter a finding that enforcement of the original order was necessary to ensure the child’s health or welfare.  There was no evidence supporting characterizing the fee award as child support so the appeals court struck that portion of the order.

This case serves as a reminder that a Texas trial court’s ability to change a custody order is limited.  The court may not clarify an order by making a substantive change to its provisions, even if those provisions seem unfair.  An experienced Texas custody attorney can help you seek or oppose a clarification or modification of a custody order.  Call McClure Law Group at 214-692-8200 to schedule a consultation.

 

 

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Getting a Name Change Before Divorce: How to Become “Yourself” Again

Getting a Name Change Before Divorce: How to Become “Yourself” Again

Going through the multistep process of reclaiming your original name will be challenging if you don’t have a divorce decree in hand.

The post Getting a Name Change Before Divorce: How to Become “Yourself” Again appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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