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Men’s Divorce Podcast: How COVID-19 Impacts Child Custody

Men’s Divorce Podcast: How COVID-19 Impacts Child Custody

In the latest episode of the Men’s Divorce Podcast, Cordell & Cordell CEO Scott Trout and divorce attorney Charles Hatley discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting child custody issues.

Cordell & Cordell is currently hosting a series of free weekly webinars covering how the Coronavirus is affecting divorce cases. Men and fathers across the country are facing uncertainties like never before. To help answer some of the most frequently asked questions, Cordell & Cordell is producing a series of podcasts that take a deeper dive into some of the issues covered in the weekly webinars.

In this episode, Mr. Trout and Mr. Hatley look at how the pandemic is affecting a number of issues related to child custody such as how to arrange custody drop-offs when a shelter-in-place order is in effect.

Click the link below to listen to the full episode. Also make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or whichever podcast app you prefer.

The post Men’s Divorce Podcast: How COVID-19 Impacts Child Custody appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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Custody in a Time of Crisis: Custody and COVID-19

Custody in a Time of Crisis: Custody and COVID-19

When you’re a divorced parent, being separated from your child when your former spouse takes custody is difficult enough. But doing it during a pandemic can be downright unbearable.

The post Custody in a Time of Crisis: Custody and COVID-19 appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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co-parenting during COVID-19

Coronavirus and child custody: Co-parenting during the pandemic

co-parenting during COVID-19

As a parent, you want to spend as much time with your children as humanly possible. You want to watch them learn and grow, as the years pass. Even after a divorce, you still are able to enjoy precious moments with them during your parenting time.

However, with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic that has swept the country, your parenting time may become part of the uncertainty.

While you want to maintain the World Health Organization recommendations regarding social distancing, hygiene, and sanitation, you still should be able to observe regular parenting time during this difficult time. However, your co-parent may be making that more difficult.

From a safety standpoint, it is understandable that your
co-parent is concerned over the prospect that your shared children may catch
the virus, or that you may while they are in your care. Additionally, many
areas of the country have shelter-in-place orders that prevent unnecessary
travel.

However, that does not extend to child custody drop-offs or
pick-ups.

Issues with shelter-in-place
and custody travel

According to Cordell & Cordell family law attorney Charles Hatley, residents are required to stay indoors except to perform certain necessary activities. These activities include buying food, seeking medical treatment, banking, and laundromat services. This also includes any travel necessary to enforce a court order and for purposes of caring for a child or family member.

Therefore, the shelter-in-place orders, or stay-at-home
orders, do not impact your right to parenting time, whether there is actually a
custody and parenting time order. However, that does not mean the other parent
will not misconstrue or try to abuse these orders in an attempt to block your
access to your child.

You may be like many parents during this coronavirus crisis who
are being forced to miss scheduled parenting time because of a co-parent who
feels honoring the court order is unsafe.

Facing parenting
time denial

During a recent webinar, Cordell & Cordell CEO, Executive/Managing Partner Scott Trout and Partner Dan Cuneo discussed how the coronavirus has been impacting regularly scheduled parenting time, and they spoke about the challenges that fathers have been facing as they deal with the ramifications of existing and legally-binding custody schedules no longer being upheld.

“If you are being denied time, there still may be remedies
available to you,” Mr. Cuneo said. “We want you to reach out and contact an
attorney and discuss what are your options, what do we need to do. It could
depend upon the jurisdiction that you’re in. There are essential remedies
available to you, and we want to make sure that you’re not being taken
advantage of and that you’re not sitting back and missing out on time.”

Additionally, this webinar detailed how this type of situation is being handled in several areas of the country. For example, in California, where the shelter-in-place order has been in effect since March 19, family courts are emphasizing the use of common sense, according to Cordell & Cordell Lead Litigator Jason Hopper.

“The standing order from almost all of our courts are that
the existing orders are to be followed,” Mr. Hopper said. “Parenting time and
is deemed essential travel. It’s not within the confines of the shelter in
place rules.”

Filing with family
court still possible

While there may be logistical issues involved in the family
court process during this shutdown associated with the coronavirus pandemic, you
and your family law attorney still are able to file in your state.

“In-person court is banned, so if you have a case, where you are supposed to be seeing your children and your ex-wife has cut you off, we can’t run full throttle into court to file anything and get in front of a judge immediately,” said Cordell & Cordell Litigation Partner Kristin Zurek. “But our courts are still open for filings, so it’s important to know that if something is going on and you want to bring it to the judge’s attention, go talk to your lawyer. You have the ability to upload pleadings to the court.”

While the court may be receiving filings, you may need more,
in order to incite action from the family courts under these circumstances. You
may need to illustrate that this is an emergency situation.

“The judge’s determination needs to be whether or not this
is an emergency that requires a phone conference or a video conference to deal
with it or if it’s something that’s going to have to wait until court reopens,”
Ms. Zurek said.

While the courts may find that the situation is not deemed
to be an emergency, it still is worthwhile to file, offering the court
documented evidence of how much you care about your children.

“It’s still important to get that on file as soon as possible, because you don’t want strategically, the court saying when court is back in session ‘Well, you must have not thought it was that important, because you didn’t file anything,’” said Cordell & Cordell Litigation Partner Kelly Burris. “It’s important to get things on file and see what options you have.”

Child support
challenges

Additionally, issues surrounding child support may arise
during the coronavirus pandemic that may require legal attention. Much of the
population is experiencing financial hardship, and many are expected to lose
their employment. If you do lose your job or find yourself with some sort of
wage reduction, how will you support your children and pay the court-ordered
child support during this challenging time?

“If you are facing a job loss or a wage reduction, one of
the first, most practical things you can do without involving an attorney is to
approach your employer and ask if they will be providing any qualified disaster
relief payments,” Mr. Hopper said. “Typically, when an employer provides any
type of compensation or benefit to an employee, that’s going to be a taxable
event. However, there are provisions within federal code and Internal Revenue
code, as well as in many states’ revenue codes that allow for employers to
provide to employees when there is a disaster declaration, like there is
currently nationwide, qualified disaster relief payments.”

While this may partially assist your financial situation,
you still must deal with the child support order itself. Given the
circumstance, seeking legal assistance may be the only way of navigating these
complex waters and avoiding the piling up of payments that you can no longer
afford.

“Consult with an attorney,” Mr. Hopper said. “You likely
have modification rights available to you.”

If you do not pursue modification, the child support
payments do not go away, just because you no longer have a job or because of
the coronavirus pandemic. You still can find yourself facing hefty child
support payments that if ignored, can become overwhelming, especially with your
children caught in the crossfires.

“You have to file your modification immediately,” said Cordell & Cordell Litigation Partner Rick Julius. “If things change and you don’t find it to be financially beneficial to you once the courts get open, you at least, have that decision down the road. Pennsylvania courts [Mr. Julius’ licensed state] are only going to go back as that modification filing date, in order to do that. It may end up that when it gets heard, that the financial situation has corrected itself and you may be entitled to retroactive modification of that time period.”

Parent, co-parent,
and monitor the situation

With all of the health and economic uncertainty caused by
the coronavirus pandemic, it is necessary for you to learn as much as possible
regarding your state’s family court system and how they handle emergency
situations. That way, if you find yourself facing unemployment with a large
monthly child support payment, or a co-parent who refuses to adhere to the
parenting time issued by the court, you know how to react.

It also is important to understand the perspective of your
children during this pandemic. They may be confused or scared, and as a parent,
it is necessary for you to take time for them, explaining to them the situation
in terms that they understand and monitor their wellness as much as possible.

If it is possible to remain amicable with your co-parent
during this time, do so. Communication and cooperation are necessary components
to co-parenting during normal situations, but with the coronavirus pandemic, it
becomes even more crucial that you put the needs of your children first, before
any animosity.

While this may be an instance of uncertainty, it is necessary for you to monitor the situation from a legal perspective and contact your family law attorney if you feel that changes need to be made.

Related coronavirus coverage:

Free Webinar: Can the Coronavirus Affect Custodial Rights? How Divorces and Parenting Time May Be Impacted

Can I make up lost parenting time due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Does a Shelter-in-Place Order Limit my Right to Parenting Time?

The post Coronavirus and child custody: Co-parenting during the pandemic appeared first on Dads Divorce.

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The Effects of COVID-19 on Child Custody Matters

The Effects of COVID-19 on Child Custody Matters

Originally published by Francesca Blackard.

By

As cases of COVID-19 are continually popping up in the North Texas region (currently 155 confirmed cases in Dallas County and growing) and with the recent “Stay Home Stay Safe” Order that went into effect at 11:59 PM on March 23, 2020, parents are scrambling to find reliable answers to their questions regarding possession schedules and quarantine, as well as concerns about child support. These are questions that are relatively unprecedented in today’s world, and with the courts recently ruling on several of these topics, this blog seeks to provide helpful updates during this difficult time.

In its March 17, 2020 emergency order, the Supreme Court of Texas, ordered that court-ordered possession schedules remain in accordance with any original published school calendar regardless of the newly extended Spring Breaks or school closures. This order is effective until May 8, 2020 or until further notice. However, as the situation continues to ramp up, and fears about this pandemic are at an all-time high, many parents want to take precautionary measures to keep their family safe.

Various concerns have arisen regarding possession schedules when one parent is quarantined for possible contraction of COVID-19. The Dallas County family courts have recently released a statement encouraging parents to keep open lines of communication with and one another and to make all decisions with the well-being and health of the child as the primary concern. This communication should include notifying the other parent of any exposure to or a positive diagnosis of COVID-19, as well as discussing any actions necessary to ensure the child’s safety. Unfortunately, disagreements regarding the custody or possession of a child may arise, and it is imperative that you consult with your attorney to discuss questions about establishing alternative schedules before making any decisions with your co-parent or ex-spouse
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Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Shared Custody In The Midst Of Coronavirus

When It Comes To Joint Custody In The Midst Of Coronavirus Be ‘Flexible’

Shared Custody In The Midst Of Coronavirus

 

Tensions have never run higher when it comes to contentious relations between divorced parents with joint custody because many are now arguing about where the children would be most safe in order to ensure their safety.

While the “physical custody” parent may insist the child(ren) should remain with him/her while the country waits out the dangers of Covid-19, that may prove to be narrow thinking because it is possible that the residence where the child(ren) lives most often could be the home that leaves the child(ren) most susceptible to contracting or transmitting the disease.

Couple that with the reality that most courts are temporarily shutting down, squabbles and all-out divorce wars, are escalating with little or no intervention from the court system, unless the argument rises to the level of domestic violence.

With that in mind, my plea (and others in my field of family law) is to be flexible with your ex.

Shared Custody In The Midst Of Coronavirus

The following are some tips to help divorced parents weather this uncertain crisis:

  1. If you and your ex can’t agree on a new temporary arrangement, ask for intervention from your attorney, therapist, clergy or trusted advisor. The courts may not be available for seeking a remedy for a significant amount of time. Only in highly critical situations will the courts get involved.
  2. As you formulate your side of the argument with your ex, take a pause and remember that what is best for your child(ren) at this time must be your number one priority.
  3. Start any conversations with a new mindset: the intention of being flexible about changing the routine from that which you have been used to.
  4. Be practical in your decision making. For instance, if you have physical custody, and your ex lives alone where he/she can easily isolate your child(ren) from exposure to others, might it be prudent to agree to leave the (child)ren in the care of that parent for this period of time?
  5. When creating any new schedule, make certain the kid(s) aren’t subject to “subtle parental alienation.” Make sure you facilitate both verbal and visual communication. Fortunately, today, we have social media platforms; we have Facebook, Zoom, Join.me, Skype, group texts, and smartphone communication like Facetime. Instagram provides near real-time sharing of photos. This is yet another way for the “self-distancing” parent to keep in touch with their child(ren) throughout the day and evening. There are apps for many face-to-face communication opportunities. Download them now. That way you can connect your child(ren) 24/7, being careful not to disturb the other parent at inappropriate times.
  6. Address the trauma your child(ren) are experiencing. Does he/she/they need immediate therapy as they try to face their fear and uncertainty? If so, reach out. Get help.
  7. Both parents need to work together to keep the child(ren’s) schedule(s) as regular as possible based on what they have been used to.
  8. Lastly, engender a peaceful vibe in front of your child(ren), especially in the presence of your ex. The current situation is stressful enough without adding more tension to the situation. Circling back to my core message in this article: Be flexible!

The post When It Comes To Joint Custody In The Midst Of Coronavirus Be ‘Flexible’ appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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common mistakes in child custody cases

5 Common Mistakes Made In Child Custody Cases

common mistakes in child custody cases

 

Getting a divorce can be a taxing and tenuous task for all parties involved but can be even more so when your child is involved. When the couple split up in a divorce with a child, the issue of child custody comes up.

Child custody cases resolve who will take care, custody, and control of the child. This can be assigned to one or both parents. A parent with custody of a child takes care of their upbringing, education, place of living, and even scheduling time with the other parent if necessary.

However, no matter how your divorce case plays out, there are many mistakes you can make that can affect your custody case over your child. If you are dealing with a divorce or custody case and need a divorce lawyer, contact us at Simonetti & Associates to help represent you.

Common Mistakes in Custody Cases:

When in a custody case, you would want to do everything you can to achieve a favorable outcome. However, there are some mistakes that you can make that will sabotage your chances of a good outcome from your child custody case.

If you are looking for quality representation to help you in your custody case, finding the right divorce lawyer can make or break your case. Some critical mistakes made in custody cases include:

  • Getting too emotional– Losing your cool, yelling, threatening, or any other signs of violence can be used in the case against you and ruin custody rights you may have been able to get otherwise.
  • Abusing Social Media– Openly criticizing your spouse or bad-mouthing them on social media platforms will reflect poorly on yourself, and can be used against your case in court.
  • Forgetting to put your child first– The court will always prioritize what is best for the child over everything else, and you should do the same. Even if you do not like the other parent, if it would be best for your child to get some time with them then you should consider the options. Or if you want to move to another area, but doing so would harm the child’s life in some way, you may want to reconsider.
  • Manipulating the child– manipulating your children against the other parent will only make it more difficult for them to cope with the situation, which will impact your chances of a beneficial custody case.
  • Not working with a former spouse where you can– Divorces aren’t always easy or pleasant, but outright refusing to work with a spouse can reflect negatively on your abilities as a parent. No matter how you feel about your former spouse, you should try to be open about working with them to create the best possible solution for your child.

Why a Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Divorce cases can become complicated and emotional and can be very taxing on your day to day life while in one. But to get favorable custody, you should try to be calm, reasonable, and responsible. Working to assure the best possible future for your child is the goal of custody court, and should be yours as well.

A divorce is never an easy circumstance to face in life. Not only are you parting ways with someone who you once loved deeply, but you must face an assortment of issues that go along with divorce, such as custody battles.

During this deeply stressful time, it can be difficult to make important decisions with a clear head. That is why the help of a divorce lawyer is critical in helping you win your case and facilitate all important matters regarding your divorce. Take the time to find the best representation for your case so that you can walk away knowing that you did everything you could to reach a proper settlement.

The post 5 Common Mistakes Made In Child Custody Cases appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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mothers have an advantage in custody disputes

Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes?

mothers have an advantage in custody disputes

 

If you are going through a divorce, a primary concern is often your children and your child custody arrangements. It’s difficult for any parent to contemplate not having their children living with them all of the time, but it can be even more difficult for mothers who have a close bond with their children.

If you and your husband cannot come to custody terms that you both can sign off on, the court will need to decide the matter for you. While many people think that mothers have a natural advantage in such disputes, the truth is far more complicated. Understanding the basics related to child custody can help you navigate the process while standing up for your own parental rights.

Legal Custody

Custody is divided into two major concerns that include physical custody (related to with whom the children reside at any given time) and legal custody. It’s important to recognize that in the vast majority of divorces, both parents share legal custody, which refers to a parent’s rights to make important decisions on behalf of their children. These decisions include:

  • Matters related to your children’s health and well-being, such as medical care
  • Matters related to your children’s education
  • Matters related to your children’s religious upbringing

These are fundamental issues that shape your children’s lives, and it’s very likely that you and your divorced spouse will continue to make these important decisions together, although one parent is sometimes given tie-breaking authority.

Physical Custody

Physical custody relates to with whom your children reside primarily and to their visitation schedule with the other parent. While many people believe that mothers have an advantage when it comes to physical custody, this really isn’t an accurate assessment in many cases.

Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes?

The Court’s Stance

If you and your divorcing spouse cannot come to mutually acceptable terms regarding your children’s custody arrangements, the court will intervene and make a determination of how you will split custody rights.

The court will always favor what is in the best interest of your children, but this is obviously open to interpretation, and it’s important to remember that the court has considerable discretion in the matter. You obviously know your children in a way that the judge never can, and you know what’s best for them.

Courts often favor the status quo when making child custody decisions. In other words, if the mother has been the primary caregiver and she and the children are living in the family home while the case is pending, the judge may be hesitant to upset the balance and may be more inclined to award the mother primary custody.

This is generally more a function of how things are commonly arranged than it is a function of favoring the mother or of the mother having an advantage in the matter.

The Considerations at Hand

In determining child custody arrangements, the court is guided by the children’s best interests, but in the process, it takes a wide range of variables into consideration, including:

  • The emotional connections between each parent and the children
  • Each parent’s ability to provide the children with a loving home and a healthy life
  • Any criminal history
  • Any history of domestic abuse – either physical, emotional, or sexual
  • Any substance abuse issues
  • Any pertinent parental considerations that could affect the decision, such as age or disability
  • The location of each parent’s residence (who lives closer to the children’s school, for example)

None of these issues are gender-specific and, as such, the court’s decision cannot favor the mother. Many mothers, however, are already providing primary custodial care, and courts are not fond of dramatically disrupting children’s lives when they’re already going through the emotional challenge of divorce. After all, divorce is hard on everyone, but children are especially vulnerable.

Your Children’s Voices

Many parents wonder if their children’s preferences will guide – or should guide – the court’s custody decisions. The fact is that many judges will speak to your children privately (especially older children) and will take their preferences into careful consideration, but the decision is simply not up to your children.

The court is making determinations related to your children’s custody exactly because they are children who need custodial care. When your children are adults, they’ll make their own important decisions, but for now, those decisions must be made for them. Your children’s voices, nevertheless, may help guide the court’s ruling.

Reaching a Resolution

If you’re going through a divorce, emotions are inevitably running high. The stress and heartache of divorce leave many couples unable to reach mutually agreeable terms on many important issues. Both of you, however, naturally put your children first, and if you can find a way to hammer out custody arrangements that you can both live with, the court and its considerable discretion won’t need to be involved in the process.

Reaching a compromise with your children’s father can come in many forms. If you aren’t able to work together personally (which isn’t uncommon), your attorneys can attempt to negotiate an arrangement, and you can also address the issue via mediation – with the legal guidance of your respective divorce attorneys.

The post Do Mothers Have an Advantage in Custody Disputes? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Child Custody Attorney

Child Custody in Texas: Who Can Claim a Child on Their Taxes?

Originally published by stark.

Child Custody AttorneyFollowing a divorce or separation, parents need to determine who will claim their children on their taxes. As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explains, only one parent can claim a child on their taxes. If both parents try to claim a child, it will cause problems. In this article, our Texas child custody lawyers explain the most important things separated parents need to know about the rules for who can claim a child.

The Parent Who Has Primary Physical Custody Has the Right to Claim the Child

Under IRS rules, the parent who has primary custody of a child has the first right to claim that child on their tax return. For example, if your child spends 75 percent of their time with you and 25 percent of their time with the other parent, then you have the right to claim your child on your taxes. When primary custody is clear, there is little dispute over who has the right to claim the child.

Tiebreaker: Parent with Higher Income Should Claim the Child

In some cases, parents have a genuine 50-50 custody arrangement in place. The IRS has developed a basic tiebreaker rule to deal with this: The parent who has a higher income for the tax year in question should claim the child. Often, the parent with the higher income will gain a larger tax benefit from claiming a child. This can free up some extra money in tax savings, which can be used to support the family as a whole.                                                                

It May Be Financially Advantageous to Allow the Non-Custodial Parent to Claim a Child

To be clear, a parent with primary custody does not necessarily have to claim their child on their taxes. In some cases, it will be advantageous for both parties to have the non-custodial parent claim the kids. For example, if the custodial parent has relatively little taxable income — at least in comparison to the non-custodial parent — they may not be able to fully utilize the benefits of child tax deduction and child tax credits.

In this situation, both parents can attach Form 8332 to their tax return. By doing so, they will be able to seamlessly allow the non-custodial parent to claim the child. Transferring the right to claim a child will sometimes free up some additional tax savings — which can be split between the parties or used to directly support the child. You do not want to leave money on the table: Make sure you and your former spouse/partner are using tax child deductions/credits in the most effective manner.

Get Help from Our Texas Family Lawyers Today

At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, our Texas family law attorneys are committed to protecting the financial interests of our clients. Our lawyers are consistently ranked among the best divorce and custody attorneys in the state. To arrange a strictly confidential initial consultation, please contact our legal team at (214) 273-2400. With offices in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, our family law practice serves clients throughout Texas.

The post Child Custody in Texas: Who Can Claim a Child on Their Taxes? appeared first on ONDA Family Law.

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

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Custody Issues that Can Arise during the Holidays

3 Custody Issues That Can Arise During the Holidays

Custody Issues that Can Arise during the Holidays

 

For many people, the holiday season is a time to relax, spend time with friends and family, and engage in various religious or secular traditions. If you are a mother that shares custody of her children with their father, however, it is important that you consider the fact that the holidays can present a virtual minefield of custody issues that can be difficult to navigate.

Fortunately, by recognizing these issues and planning ahead, you can usually avoid them and have a holiday season free from any conflicts or fights related to child custody and parenting time.

Here are some of the most common issues that mothers who share custody should consider as the holidays approach.

3 Custody Issues that Can Arise During the Holidays

1. Not Having a Plan

One of the worst things you can do as the holiday’s approach is failing to make a plan as to how the kids will spend them. This is a recipe for disaster and a ruined holiday season. If your current custody order does not specify how custody is to be divided over the holidays, you should address the matter immediately, either informally or by requesting a modification to the order.

Some of your options include assigning fixed holidays to each parent (for example, you get Thanksgiving and their dad gets Christmas), alternating holidays, or splitting a holiday in half. The arrangement that works best for you will depend largely on the specifics of your living arrangements and the things most important to you.

2. Traveling Out of State

If you are considering traveling out of state this holiday season to see friends or family, it’s critical that you ensure that you check the terms of your custody arrangement prior to making firm plans. In some cases, your child custody arrangement may require you to obtain permission from your kids’ father in order to travel out of state – but it also may not.

Even if your child custody order does not require you to obtain their father’s permission to travel out of state, it’s not a bad idea to discuss the matter with him anyhow. First of all, it’s a show of good faith that you are willing to engage in open communication and co-parenting; secondly, it can work in your favor should a dispute arise in the future.

3. Unusual Custody Schedules During Winter Break

Unfortunately, an existing holiday custody schedule does not always make things go smoothly during this often hectic time of year. First of all, a departure from normal schedules can be hard on children, so it’s important to keep them aware of what’s going on and why. Furthermore, there are often logistical issues regarding holiday custody schedules.

For example, if your arrangements involve your children spending more consecutive nights with their father than they normally do, make sure that you pack enough clothes and discuss any issues that may arise with their other parent. Similarly, your normal schedule for dropping off or picking up the kids may not work because of holiday commitments, so make sure that these potential problems are discussed ahead of time.

Avoiding Custody Issues Now and in the Future

Fortunately, these and other issues related to child custody can usually be avoided with some simple planning and communication. If you and your child’s father have an amicable relationship and are able to talk, it’s not a bad idea to try and work out a holiday custody schedule yourself. In the event that your relationship is not so good, it may be necessary to petition the court to modify your custody schedule and assign holidays to each of you. In either case, it’s highly advisable to discuss your custody goals with a family law attorney in your jurisdiction.

Making New Traditions

One regular concern for mothers – especially those who are newly divorced – is how to maintain the family’s regular traditions for the holidays. The reality is that you might not be able to keep all of the same traditions, but the good news is that you can make new traditions with your children.

While you might normally have a special breakfast you make for Christmas morning after your kid’s open presents, you might be switching off Christmas morning with your ex-spouse. This means that you might miss the morning tradition, but maybe you can make a new special-breakfast-for dinner tradition for Christmas Eve.

That being said, if you have a special tradition with your family that your ex-spouse does not have with his family, you might want to negotiate to ensure you can continue that tradition since it means more to you.

Find Support with Family and Friends

No matter how well you plan ahead for custody issues, the holidays can still be difficult when you are not always with your children. It can be difficult to adjust, so you want to make sure that you have the support you need emotionally. When you do this, you can ensure you are in the best possible position to celebrate the holidays when your children are with you. If you need to adjust custody for the future, never hesitate to seek legal support from a trusted attorney, as well.

The post 3 Custody Issues That Can Arise During the Holidays appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Do Stepparents Have Child Custody Rights or Child Visitation Rights After a Texas Divorce?

Do Stepparents Have Child Custody Rights or Child Visitation Rights After a Texas Divorce?

Originally published by stark.

Stepparents play a very important role in a child’s life. According to the most recent report from The Step Family Foundation, over 50 percent of U.S. families are recoupled. As blended families are becoming more and more common, this raises an important question: Do stepparents have any custody or visitation rights to their stepchildren after a divorce? The answer: “sometimes”—but those rights are limited and they are not automatic. Here, our Dallas child custody attorneys provide an overview of the key things that you need to know about step-parent rights after a divorce.

Texas Law: Step-Parents are ‘Interested Third Parties’

 Stepparents are not granted any automatic child custody or child visitation rights. Unlike a child’s biological parents, there is no assumption of parental rights. Instead, state law views stepparents as being “interested third parties.” Practically speaking, this means that a stepparent’s custody or visitation rights are similar to a child’s aunt, uncle, or another semi-close relative.

To be clear, stepparents have the right to petition for visitation with their stepchildren after a divorce. While it is often difficult to get court-ordered visitation rights over the objections of the child’s parent(s), it is legally possible. Should a dispute arise over step-parent visitation/custody, Texas courts will resolve issues under the state’s ‘best interests of the child’ standard (Texas Family Code § 153.002).

 How Our Child Custody Attorneys Can Help

 Stepparent custody and visitation cases are especially complicated. At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, we have the unique skills, experience, and training needed to help guide parents and stepparents through the legal process. With more than 100,000 attorneys practicing in Texas, there is no other law firm that has as many Top 100 Super Lawyers as we do. When you reach out to our firm, you will get a top-rated Texas child custody lawyer who will:

  • Conduct a confidential, in-depth review of your stepparent custody/visitation case;
  • Listen to your story, answer your questions, and devise a sensible strategy;
  • Look for mutually agreeable solutions that resolve conflict at the lowest possible level; and
  • Take whatever legal action is necessary to protect your rights and your family.

We know that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in family law—especially when children are involved. Our custody & visitation lawyers provide each and every parent with the fully personalized legal assistance that they deserve. Our goal is to help you find an effective and low conflict resolution that works for you and your family. At the same time, we are trial-tested family law litigators. Our lawyers are always prepared to take aggressive action to protect your parental rights.

 Discuss Your Case with Our Texas Child Custody Lawyers Today

At Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, LLP, our compassionate Texas child custody lawyers are experienced, effective advocates for parents. If you have any questions about stepparent rights, we can help. To schedule a strictly confidential initial consultation, please call us at (214) 273-2400 or contact us directly online. From our offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Frisco, we represent parents throughout North Texas.

The post Do Stepparents Have Child Custody Rights or Child Visitation Rights After a Texas Divorce? appeared first on ONDA Family Law.

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

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