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Handling issues related to the Right of First Refusal in Texas family law cases

Handling issues related to the Right of First Refusal in Texas family law cases

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

The right of first refusal is an issue that comes up in family law cases that can cause even the most creative and experienced family law attorney to scratch their heads on how to proceed. Essentially, the right of first refusal allows a parent who is not entitled to possession for a specified period of possession to be able to take possession of the child if the other parent is not able to do so. Allow me to provide you with an example of how this situation could arise in real life.

Suppose that your ex-husband is scheduled for a visitation period with your son beginning at 6:00 p.m. on this Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday. In the morning on Thursday, he receives a phone call that alerts him to the fact that he will need to work this weekend. Since your divorce decree contains a right of first refusal, he must contact you as soon as he becomes aware of this scheduling conflict and provide you with your right to refuse visitation that is offered to you. You have the option to take possession of your son this weekend even though the divorce decree states this is your ex-husband’s weekend for possession of him.

We also see issues that arise when parents like yourself begin dating again after a divorce has concluded. If you are not able to take possession of your child for a weekend visit, you may want your girlfriend to be able to pick your child up from his mothers’ home and then drop him off the following Sunday. Since you are able to designate an adult to pick your child up in the event that you are unable to, what’s the harm in having that same adult care for your child during a weekend that you’re not able to see him? Your girlfriend may really want to see your child, and after all- it’s your weekend so it should be your call, right?

How is the right of the first refusal defined in your custody orders?

This is the first question that we need to ask ourselves in relation to your particular circumstances. If you are considering whether or not to include a right of first refusal in your child custody orders, you and your attorney need to first think about how that term is going to be defined and applied as it pertains to your family. What is the specific period of time that a parent cannot be with the child that will cause the right of first refusal to be triggered?

You may be able to negotiate that if you or your new spouse is unable to be present with your child during a period of possession (sometimes lasting between four and eight hours), then you must contact your ex-spouse and allow him or her to come and pick up your child for that certain period of time. Whenever the predetermined/agreed to amount of time is over, your ex-spouse would then return your child to your home and allow you to complete your period of possession as scheduled.

Even when you get specifics as this handled, you need to consider the effects of including that kind of language in your order. If your ex-spouse gets home from work at 12:00 a.m. do you have to get your son dressed and over to the other parent’s house within the hour? That would seem impractical and not necessarily in your child’s best interests, but strict language regarding the right of first refusal could theoretically make this a necessity. A compromise could be that if the parent were to become available to possess the child at a time after 9:00 p.m., the parent in possession of the child on a temporary basis could wait until 9:00 a.m. the following day to drop the child back off at the other parent’s home.

The other issue that we need to discuss is what your child would be comfortable with as far as a substitute adult to possess him or her when you or the other parent is not available. It sounds ok enough for you to have your mother, father, aunt or girlfriend available to watch your child for half a day when you have to work unexpectedly. However, if your son doesn’t get along with any of those people then it would not seem like it would be in his best interests to leave him with any of those folks. Unless you and your child’s other parent have a group of people that are able to care for your child in these situations then a right of first refusal may not be a wise thing to include in your orders.

How will extracurricular activities be handled?

In this day and age, there are camps, classes, training sessions, and other activities for any sport or extra-curricular event under the sun. Odds are decent that you and your ex-spouse may not see eye to eye on your child’s potential or the role of these activities in the life of your child. For instance, you may believe that your child should only be involved in extracurricular activities to the extent that they can make friends and build their self-confidence. However, your ex-spouse may believe that these additional activities are essential for the development of your child and that he or she has the potential to become a professional ball-player, musician or dancer. How can this fundamental disagreement be solved?

I have seen some families achieve success when each parent is allowed to select one activity for their child to participate in each semester of school. The costs for activities would then need to be divided up in some manner between parents. Additional activities (camps, classes, etc.) would be paid for by the parent who selected that activity. Transportation to and from activities would also need to be determined. If you and your ex-spouse earn similar incomes the costs could be split evenly. Otherwise, a proportionate split may be more appropriate.

Another issue that may be relevant to discuss for your family is whether or not both parents may attend practices or rehearsals. If you and the other parent can be around one another without issue then this is not a problem. However, if you all have shown an inability to be in close proximity to one another you may have to limit attendance to the parent who paid for the camp or activity. Both parents in most cases can attend performances and games, no matter what parent is in possession of the child on that particular day.

How will you be reimbursed for uninsured medical costs?

As a part of any child custody order, you or your child’s other parent will be made to be responsible for providing health insurance for your child. Whether it is insurance provided for by one of your employers, insurance through the private marketplace, Obamacare or Medicaid, your child will need to be covered. One of you will pay for that insurance or will reimburse the one who pays for medical coverage.

However, not every cost that your child will incur for medical treatment will be covered by insurance. These are called uninsured medical costs. Suppose that you take your child to a pediatrician appointment and he orders a test for your child that is not covered by insurance. Once you receive a bill for that test you would need to submit the bill to your child’s other parent so that he can pay you back for the test you paid for (in the event that it is his responsibility to pay uninsured medical expenses).

What I will advise clients to do is to negotiate to include a deadline by which medical bills have to be submitted for reimbursement purposes. For instance, a provision in the order that specifies how much each parent has to pay towards uninsured medical costs, as well as a deadline to submit the relevant bill to the other parent, is a good idea.

I would tell you that it is common to have parents agree to split 50/50 uninsured medical costs. Since it is usually the primary conservator who takes the child to the doctor or for unscheduled visits to hospitals and such, it will be that parent who has to pay the bill upfront. What I tell parents in this position to do is to set up a reminder on their phone to submit bills by the end of the month to the other parent to be reimbursed, However, a good practice is to simply scan and email the bill to the other parent as quickly as you can. That way you have a record that the bill was submitted and you can be paid back as quickly as possible.

Issues related to military parents

If you are the primary conservator of your child and have been deployed overseas as a member of our military, you have the ability to designate an adult to exercise your possession and conservatorship rights while you are overseas.

The law in Texas is there is an order of preference as far as assigning that right. For example, you should first give preference to the other parent. That other parent would not normally have the right to determine the primary residence of your child, but you could allow him or her to act in that capacity for as long as you are overseas and unable to do so yourself. However, if selecting the other parent to take these rights on a temporary basis were not in the best interests of your child, then a nonparent may be chosen instead.

Special provisions for special needs children

When you are involved in a case with a special needs child then you and your attorney will need to pay especially close attention to the rights and duties that you and your opposing parent have in relation to that child. There are likely aspects of your special needs child’s life that are extremely important to spell out in the order. Unfortunately, a “typical” child custody order will not do so. You all need to take the extra step and include provisions to protect that child’s interests and well-being.

Both you and your child’s other parent will need to be able to provide to one another more detailed information regarding the child’s educational, medical and psychological needs. Trading information and updates may be difficult for you all if communication is not your strong suit. As a result, it may be necessary to have some special orders included in the parenting plan that requires you to share updated medical information with the other parent on an as-needed or regular basis.

You would need to come to terms with what your child’s specific needs are and then determine how frequently updates need to be provided to each other. If your child sees the doctor on a weekly basis, and you are the parent who always goes to the appointment, it may be necessary for you to provide a weekly update to your ex-spouse on your child’s condition via email or another electronic means.

More information on special needs children to be provided in tomorrow’s blog post

The issue of special needs children is an important one. As such, we will continue today’s discussion in tomorrow’s blog post. We will introduce additional topics related to special needs children that we have observed in our years of practicing family law in southeast Texas. If this is a topic that is relevant to you or your child, it is a good idea to head back to our blog tomorrow to read more.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the material that we covered in today’s blog post please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys are available six days a week to meet with you at no cost. These consultations are a great opportunity to ask questions and receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.

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



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blended family life

4 Tips For Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life

blended family life

 

According to statistics, there are many more stepfamilies today than there were a decade ago. And the number is projected to grow steadily. It is, therefore, essential for you as the mom in a blended family to help the children make necessary adjustments because such situations hit kids the hardest.

Below are a few ways you can help the kids make the adjustments required for their new, blended way of life.

Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life

Explain the unique situation to the kids

As mentioned earlier, kids are the most affected when their parents either die or get divorced. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you as the mom to make ample time and talk to the kids involved. Acknowledge the difficulties they are going through and give them a pat on the back for being so brave. Then assure them by promising to be with them every step of the way.

Knowing that they have a strong and understanding mom who is ready to help will make the adjustment much easier for the kids, whether they’re yours or not.

Acknowledge their losses and help them through it

Blended families come as a result of deaths, divorces, or nasty breakups. Once again, the kids are usually hit the hardest when they lose a parent (or both their parents). The latter explains why kids are often very reluctant to accept blended families. As a caring mother, or stepmother, acknowledging their pain and at the same time helping them through it will make the transition much easier for the kids.

Helping kids through their pain is easier said than done. Some kids will outright disrespect you or throwing nasty tantrums in the name of coping with their new situation. If the latter happens, then it would be in your best interest to seek professional help. Once you’ve helped the kids overcome their pain, they’ll gradually start warming up to the idea of a blended family.

Nurture existing relationships

Just because you’ve forged a new, complicated relationship doesn’t mean death to the old ties that existed before the blended family. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you and your children to keep your old family traditions. If you used to watch movies or go bike riding once a month, stick to doing that because it will only make the transition gradual and as natural as possible.

You can also encourage your new man to do the same with his kids since they need help as well. Afterward, you can slowly create and introduce new family traditions with the blended family without getting rid of the old ones. Feel free to set your nice alarm panel to remind you of the times you and your kids ought to be doing your usual activities.

Encourage respect

Respect is the glue that holds together all kinds of relationships. And since blended families happen to be complex relationship structures, the more you have to emphasize respect since everything can fall apart so easily. You can start by letting the kids know the importance of respecting each other’s boundaries as well as privacy. There should be consequences if anyone doesn’t recognize anyone in the new family setting.

A final word

Being a member of a blended family can be challenging, especially if there are more kids involved. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to try and approach the situation with a lot of care. Try listening to the kids and letting them know you’ll be there for them every step of the way. If it gets a bit difficult, then don’t hesitate to seek outside help.

Lastly, it’s essential to always remember it gets worse before getting better. Once the children know that the new blended system is meant for them to thrive, they’ll gradually warm up to the idea.

The post 4 Tips For Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Want to resolve your Texas family law case outside of court? Remember these rules of engagement

Want to resolve your Texas family law case outside of court? Remember these rules of engagement

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

Going to court to resolve a family law case is not a fun experience for anyone involved. You probably didn’t need me to tell you that, but it is the absolute truth. There is nothing glamorous about it. You will not have the moment in time where you get to call out your ex-spouse for the bad behavior he engaged into the delight of your family watching in the audience and the shock of the judge. If you are after truth, justice, and the American Way, then a family court is not the place to go.

What you are more likely to experience is a judge who is engaged but not sympathetic and an opposing party who is slinging mud at you based on issues that may or may not have ever occurred. Do not expect your ex-spouse to be contrite in response to any of the accusations that you hurl at him. I’ve seen enough men and women who have done bad things go on the offensive against a “victim” ex-spouse enough times to know that family court doesn’t deliver results in the way that you may anticipate.

With all of that said, it would make some sense to attempt to appeal to your spouse’s reasonable side and attempt to settle any family case outside of the courtroom. Mediation is a great resource for parties and attorneys alike when it comes to attempting to reach a middle ground on the important issues of your case. The nice part is that the judge in your case will likely require that you mediate your case at least once before you get anywhere near a courtroom. Odds are good that your case will settle and a potential courtroom drama can be averted.

What happens from the beginning part of your case until you get into mediation can have a lasting impact on the chances of your case settling. When it comes to co-parenting with a person who you may not see eye to eye with, getting along may not be an option. In these high conflict family court cases can you do anything to avoid disagreement and disaster?

Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan will seek to answer that question. We actually took up the issue at the conclusion of yesterday’s blog post and we will continue to run with it in today’s blog. This is an important subject that you need to know about sooner rather than later. Learn what will work when it comes to co-parenting and avoid problems before they occur.

Be accountable to your co-parent

Whether you were married to your child’s other parent or not, you now have a sizeable amount of history with that person. You should feel some degree of responsibility to be held to your word. Basically, you should do the things that you say that you’re going to do. Just as importantly, you should avoid doing the things that you have said that you will not do. That shows that you take seriously the responsibility you have in raising a child with this person.

Even if you couldn’t care less how your child’s other parent views you, remember that everything you do in this case should be done to benefit the life of your child. Do not put your child in a bad position because you cannot be trusted or because you think it’s unimportant to be held to account for your actions. Taking the easy way out may seem better at the time (especially if doing so could harm your ex-spouse) but remember that in a co-parenting relationship you will often find yourself facing similar circumstances down the road.

Although you cannot control what your child’s other parent will do in response to your actions in the future, you have complete control over how you act at the moment. If you say that you are going to do something- do it. It’s as simple as that. Even if it means going out of your way or doing something that doesn’t seem like much fun if you said something your actions need to back those words up.

Keep a journal of interactions with your ex-spouse

If you are not a big fan of organization you may want to pay particular attention to this section of our blog post. Keeping notes of what you say and what your ex-spouse says in relation to your child is an important trait to pick up. For one, it will help you to remember better what was said so that you do not operate under mistaken assumptions and memories of things that did not occur. We’ve all been there- absolutely sure something happened, but as it turns out nothing close to that having occurred.

Before you consider filing a family lawsuit- whether that is a modification or enforcement lawsuit- I would recommend that you review those notes to determine how your memories line up with the reality of the situation. You may find that your emotions are not justified by past events as they actually occurred. It is a good practice to be able to check yourself by keeping notes of your meetings, interactions, phone calls, etc. Better to know exactly what took place than to run off to an attorney for no good reason.

Mediate, and mediate again (if necessary)

As I noted at the outset of today’s blog post, your case will very likely be decided in mediation rather than in a courtroom. Family court judges in most courts will mandate that you mediate your case at least once before stepping foot into their courtroom. When you and your ex-spouse find yourself facing a situation that is too big for you to resolve on your own, it is a good idea to push your attorneys to schedule a mediation early in your case.

Many times I will encourage clients to mediate their case even if an agreement is in place before the case is filed. Let me explain. Suppose that you and your spouse are getting a divorce. You know that you are getting a divorce- there is no chance to reconcile with your husband and divorce is the only alternative that you can seek at this point. You feel good that you all sat at the kitchen table and hammered out an agreement that will allow you to avoid having to go to court.

The next thing one of you does is walk into our office and tell one of our attorneys that you have an agreement for your divorce. All you are looking to do is have a lawyer draft order based on the agreement and you will be on your way. This sounds reasonable and in many ways is exactly what you should have done before coming to see a lawyer. However, I will add one thing to this discussion that should encourage you to seek advice from an attorney and mediator.

Here is that information- even if you have an agreement with your spouse in place for a divorce settlement, there is nothing guaranteeing that your spouse will stick to their word and honor that agreement. A lot can happen in between the time you all agreed to something at the kitchen table and the time where a judge can sign an order. An order has to be drafted, both sides must review the draft and signatures from you and your spouse must be collected. We’re talking at least a couple of weeks.

In the event that you or your spouse change your mind on the terms of your agreement, there is nothing to protect you. You could come up with an agreement only to see your spouse change their mind at the last minute. As long as he hasn’t signed the divorce decree he can turn his back on the process. This is completely legal and happens all the time. Before you start to worry, here is where mediation can solve this problem.

By going to mediation and resolving your issues there, you assure yourself of two things. For one, any agreements that you reach are going to be memorialized by a Mediated Settlement Agreement (MSA). You, your spouse and your attorneys will sign the MSA along with the mediator. This is significant because once it is signed there is no going back. I will tell clients that you cannot call me the next morning in a panic and tell me that the MSA needs to be tossed out because you realized you made a mistake of some sort. The final decree of divorce will be drafted off of that MSA.

Next, not only will you have an agreement in place that is unbreakable, but you also will ensure that you have accounted for all of the areas that are necessary for a divorce. Divorces can be complicated and touch on a range of issues. By coming up with your own settlement you are possibly missing out on a number of subjects that you had failed to account for. By having multiple attorneys and an experienced mediator look at the MSA you are almost guaranteed of having an agreement that takes into account all the areas you needed to account for.

What happens if you cannot agree on compromises after an order is established?

Once all the parties and the judge have signed off on an order it is set in stone. In the future, if there are any disagreements between you and your ex-spouse you can go back and refer to the order to see what your responsibilities are. That is reassuring to have a guidepost like that, but it can also be frustrating due to the fact that your family may “outgrow” the order.

In the future, you and your ex-spouse are free to resolve issues on your own without even filing a lawsuit. This is what judges assume will happen- the two of you will work together and resolve problems on your own without too much difficulty. You will save money and time by not filing a lawsuit and in the end, you will reach conclusions that are better tailored for your family than anything a family court judge could have come up with.

In the event that you have a problem that cannot be solved by negotiation and compromise, remember that the order is what controls the situation. Think of the order as your fall back provisions. Whatever you cannot agree upon means that your order takes center stage. As long as have a mutually agreed upon solution to a problem, you can go off of that solution. However, once one of you no longer agrees to abide by the compromise you must go off of what the order has to say.

This is important for you to know since you cannot be assured that you will always be able to come up with solutions to your problems on the fly. So, what you should take away from this discussion is that your orders had better be workable for your family- both now and in the future.

Questions about visitation problems? Come back to our blog tomorrow to find out more

As children age, and as your own circumstances evolve it may become apparent to you and your child’s other parent that your visitation orders need to be re-worked. What can you do in situations like this? If you find yourself in this sort of position, I would recommend that you return to our blog tomorrow. We will spend some time discussing this subject and how you can work around problems like this.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about today’s blog post or anything another subject in family law please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys can schedule you for a free of charge consultation six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity to ask questions of our experienced attorneys and to receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.

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



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Contra Costa Protests Catch More CPS and Family Court Staffers in Child Abuse and Trafficking Rings

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A former member of the Contra Costa County Grand Jury has leaked information that indicates  2018 parent protests  and new laws  mandating the termination of privately run foster homes resulted in an investigation of staff employed in the county’s CPS and family court services.  That investigation found that CPS workers were not following the law when they acted to remove children from their family homes. 

A recall effort that had wiped Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky off the bench was threatened by parents in Contra Costa, which caused an immediate investigation of three of the county’s judges.

Turns out, parents were right.  The investigation revealed Judge Hardie and Judge Fannin had direct ties to money laundering operations that take children from loving parents and sell those children into sex trafficking rings, while non- profits collect fees for the children placed into foster care. 

” It was the parents protesting in the streets that was very embarrassing to the upscale Walnut Creek community, that protest launched not only a criminal investigation by the FBI. but also the local grand jury.’ said the former grand juror who asked to speak off records. 

The juror also expressed frustration in the lack of media coverage on the topic. ” We never saw this coming because mainstream media never covers what is really going on in the county’s family courts,

Judges in the county appeared rattled over the investigation, which is leading to supervised visitation  and reunification camps where judges hold financial interests through their spouses and family members to avoid disclosure. 

Of the $153 million budgeted for foster kids. less than 1 percent was determined to be going to benefit foster youth. Worse were the judges who ignored the law and took children from their parents for no legal reason. 

SANTA CRUZ – Judge Hell

A Santa Cruz mother described the year  a CPS worker took her 2 year old, causing the mother to pay $40,000 she paid to get her child back.  

” The payment felt like a ransom” , explained the young mother, “we had to pay to defend  CPS worker’s allegations’: 

The Grand Jury didn’t investigate the use of supervised visitation, where several judges have a financial interest. 

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Make Your Divorce Easier

8 Smart Family Lawyer Tips to Make Your Divorce Easier

Make Your Divorce Easier

 

When I started as a family lawyer over 13 years ago, I was as new to the divorce process as anyone else. Having now been involved with hundreds of cases, some more difficult than others, I’ve learned some sage advice to give my clients. Divorce is by no means an easy thing to go through, but there are some things that you can do to make the process a little bit simpler and easier for you.

Here Are 8 Smart Lawyer Tips to Make Your Divorce Easier:

Observe Proper Timing

Divorce is as important as a couple’s decision as getting married is. You can’t force someone to get married the same way as you can’t just force a divorce on your spouse (setting aside special circumstances). It is best to talk things through before filing for a divorce so your partner won’t drag the process just to get back at you.

Open Your Own Bank Account

Ideally speaking, you should have your own bank account even when you are married but if that is not the case, then you should get one; whether you are getting divorced or not. Know that in cases of joint accounts, your spouse can drain your account without your consent so it is better to avoid this situation, to begin with, by having your own.

Ensure That You Have Time for a Divorce

Getting a divorce can eat up your time and the changes will be hard for you, your ex, and the children. By making sure that you have the time to devote to a divorce, not only will it make the process easier and faster but you will also have time to allow yourself and loved ones to transition into your new life. I’ve seen many cases where, although a divorce is needed, the timing causes havoc far beyond the existing marital issues.

Your Divorce Rationale Letter Should be Lawyer-Reviewed

If you are the one filing the divorce, you might be compelled to explain why to your spouse in writing. Because of guilt, raw emotions and history with your spouse, you might say things that can hurt you later on so it is better to have your lawyer review your letter to ensure it doesn’t contain anything that can be used against you.

Begin with a Lawyer and Lawyer Meeting

Most divorce cases are negotiation proceedings so having your lawyers meet in the beginning makes sense to minimize communication issues later. A lawyer to lawyer meeting like this often results in a win-win divorce with no need for dramatics.

A Second Opinion Won’t Hurt

A divorce is a one-time thing so it follows that you cannot make mistakes with it and end up with an even bigger problem. This is why a second opinion matters. Your lawyer will also usually welcome a second opinion from a respected colleague.

Ask for Relief When You Have Multiple Reasons to Do So

Filing a motion for every little thing and for the smallest of things will just annoy the judge, your spouse, your spouse’s lawyer, and your lawyer too. It is best to wait until you have a few things to address.

Expect that the reason for the Divorce Won’t Affect Who Gets Child Custody

It doesn’t matter if you are divorcing because your spouse used up all your money or you caught your partner cheating. Know that child custody goes to which parent has better means and ability to take care of any child from the marriage.

Going through a divorce will forever change your life, your ex’s and your children’s lives. How you go about it, can play a large role in how you persevere throughout the process and how you manage to turn the page and live your best life moving forward. From my experience, following these tips, the divorce process will be smoother and you’ll be better for it.

The post 8 Smart Family Lawyer Tips to Make Your Divorce Easier appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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What does being a joint managing conservator mean in a Texas family law case?

What does being a joint managing conservator mean in a Texas family law case?

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

If you are involved in a
family law case in Texas then you are likely interested in knowing what you need
to do in order to best position yourself within the case. Certainly your
concerns lie mainly in being able to spend as much of your time with your
child as possible and to have a hand in making important decisions in
your child’s life. The rest, as they say, is just details.

The reality is that you need to know how to prepare yourself within your
case in order to be able to make credible arguments regarding your future
role in your child’s life. Although there is a presumption in place
under Texas law that both parents of a child should be named as joint
managing conservators of that child you will still want to have the evidence
available in your case point towards you becoming the primary managing
conservator if your case were to go to a trial.

Let’s take that assumption one step further: assuming that you and
your child’s other parent are going to be named as
joint managing conservators of your child, what are the biggest areas of disagreement that you can
expect to encounter in a negotiation or trial? In today’s blog post
from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC we will discuss the subject of what
questions really matter in a Texas child custody case.

Designating the primary residence of your child

This is the big one that parents in child custody and divorce cases alike
get up in arms about- with good reason. Being able to designate the primary
residence of your child means three things. The first is that you are
able to live with your child during the week when school is in session
and for most of the summer. As a result you are awarded more time with
your child. Under a Standard Possession Order (SPO) this means that you
will likely be able to spend 55% of the year with your child, if not more.

Next, you have the right receive
child support from your child’s other parent. If you have one child at issue in
the custody/divorce case this means that 20% of your child’s other
parent’s income is on the hook for child support. Child support
is intended to even the scales a bit since the other parent does not see
your child as often and will not be responsible for much of the day to
day costs associated with raising the child. Keep in mind that child support
is not intended to allow your child to live the lifestyle that he has
become accustomed to or anything like this. It is meant to care for the
base essentials of daily life.

Third, being named as conservator with the right to designate the primary
residence of your child means that you are able to also be awarded superior
rights as to your child as well. It is typical that the parent with the
right to designate the primary residence of the child also is able to
have superior rights to being able to make educational and health care
related decisions as well. This is not always the case but it is often
times the case.

What about a geographic restriction on where your child can reside?

Even after the conclusion of your child custody case the court will retain
jurisdiction over the case so that a judge will be able to issue additional
orders in the future if the need arises. A typical restriction that is
put on families after a child custody case is that of a geographic restriction
on where a child can reside. While you are no longer subject to the jurisdiction
of a court, your child will be until he or she turns 18 or graduates from
high school. As such a court can regulate where your child lives until them.

The purpose of a
geographic restriction is to allow both parents of a child to develop and maintain a relationship
with their child after a child custody case. The thought is that if there
would be no geographic restriction that is put into place a mother or
father who is the primary conservator of a child could move away from
Texas after a case ends causing the other parent to need to move as well
in order to keep up. A geographic restriction states that you as the primary
conservator of the child must live within a certain geographic area. It
could be Harris County and any county that borders Harris. It could be
within a certain zip code. Or it could be within the boundaries of a certain
school district.

A geographic restriction is usually lifted in the event that the non-primary
parent moves out of the geographic area where the parties are restricted
to living. For example if your child is restricted to living in either
Harris or Montgomery County and after two years you decide to move to
Waller County then the geographic restricted is automatically lifted.
Your ex-spouse can move with your child wherever he or she wants. The
reasoning behind this is that the geographic restriction is intended to
benefit you, and if you decide to make a decision that does not coincide
with the order then you should not expect your ex-spouse to have to live
by the order either.

How is time with your child going to be divided up when your case concludes?

A Standard Possession Order (SPO), as its name implies, is the most typical possession schedule that is
handed out in a family law case in Texas. Its details can be found in
the Texas Family Code, but it basically involves the non primary parent
being awarded possession on the first, third and fifth weekends of each
month as well as a Thursday night during the school week. Holidays are
alternated on a yearly basis with the other parent. Summer vacation means
extended time to spend with the non primary parent as well.

If your case makes it all the way to a trial then a judge would likely
award the non primary parent a SPO barring evidence showing that it would
not be appropriate. Things like family violence, drug or alcohol abuse
are examples of situations that could lead to a SPO award not being made
by a judge.

If you are a parent to a young child under the age of three then you should
be aware that a SPO does not apply to you or your child. A judge would
need to take your specific situation into consideration when handing out
an order for possession. Obviously the needs of a child under the age
of three are considerably different from older children. What typically
happens is that a “stair step” order goes into place which
allows the non primary parent to be awarded more time with your child
the older the child gets.

If your family has a unique circumstance involving a child with a disability
or a factor that we have not covered today the best advice that I can
provide you with is to contact an experienced family law attorney in order
to discuss your circumstances in greater detail. There is no substitute
for being able to get practical advice from someone who has dealt with
cases like yours before. While you can receive advice from anyone, the
advice isn’t worth much until the advice giver has seen and experienced
what you are going through in particular.

Questions about family law matters in Texas? Contact the Law Office of
Bryan Fagan

The attorneys with the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC appreciate your time and interest in today’s blog topic. If you
have any questions or seek clarification on anything that you’ve
read today please do not hesitate to
contact our office. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week in our office.
A licensed family law attorney would be honored to meet with you and answer
your questions and concerns in a pressure free environment.

We post to our blog every day of the wee and we hope to see you back here
tomorrow as we continue our discussion into relevant and important family
law topics.

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



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Divorce Attorney Elise Mitchell's Private Files Document Blow Jobs to Judges

Women District Attorneys  (Diana Becton  and Nancy O'Malley) – Take on Family Court Judges, CPAs  and Divorce Attorneys

​As newly elected district attorney Todd Spitzer investigates family court clerks, custody evaluators and private judges involved in custody and divorce cases in Orange County, California’s two most powerful female district attorneys began to look at family court cases that have been ignored by male their male counterparts for decades. 

CONTRA COSTA DA  DIANA BECTON &
IRS INVESTIGATE CPAs USED IN DIVORCE CASES 

Diana Becton became Contra Costa County DA following the exposure of criminal activity involving Mark Peterson. Peterson was indicted, blasted in the news and disbarred by 2017 in large part based on  public outrage that a DA had corrupted the cozy East Bay communities  and allowed family courts to run amok for the past two decades. 

Becton is reportedly mindful that family court reformers have managed to get the Grand Jury to investigate the county’s CPS and Family Court Services staff investigated and now Becton has an opportunity to investigate CPAs including Jack Peth, Charles Burak, Sally White, Michael Thompson, James Butera and others who are known for not adding properly when it comes to the fair division of community property in divorce cases.

A small group of accountants have been regularly acting in appointed or retained capacities in family law cases, and many of these CPAs have been cooking the books, concealing corporate profits and helping law enforcement officers, tech executives, and even judges engage in tax fraud and tax evasion for decades.  Criminal IRS investigators are also reportedly conducting an investigation of several CPAs who acted in high profile divorce cases in a manner that concealed income from the government. 

Ms. Becton was recently named to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Judicial Selection Committee. It  is reported she is mindful of the public outrage that led to an audit of the CJP, the agency that disciplines the state’s judges. Many in California’s  court reform movement come from family court experiences and were largely responsible  for getting the audit, and recalling Judge Persky in Santa Clara County in June of 2018. 

ALAMEDA  DA  NANCY E. O’ MALLEY ASKED TO INVESTIGATE LAWYER PERJURY

District Attorneys across the state are asked on a daily basis to investigate perjury and filing of false documents in family court cases. 

” We have divorcing couples send  transcripts of their former spouse testifying in family court and ask us to investigate perjury related to that testimony.  Sadly, while the general public may believe perjury is clear cut, it is not. It is very difficult to prove and frankly we don’t have near enough  resources to investigate these crimes, ” described public corruption investigator John Chase of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office after a perjury charge involving attorney Bradford Baugh was brought to his attention in 2015. 

What Mr. Chase refused to investigate in 2015 has now landed on the desk of Ms. O” Malley where Mr. Baugh appears to have committed perjury in a video deposition conducted by a former client. Mr. Baugh has been appointed to represent children in San Mateo and Santa Clara county divorce and custody cases for over two decades. 

As many lawyers express they aren’t worried Ms. O’Malley will actually start prosecuting perjury in family law cases, a few admit that the perjury of divorce attorney Bradford Baugh would be significant given Baugh’s involvement  in hundreds of Silicon Valley’s high profile cases, including cases before Judge Persky, where Mr. Baugh represented he served in Vietnam. 

One lawyer regularly  appointed to represent children in San Mateo and Alameda County noted he has been aware Mr. Baugh has been court appointed to represent children in addition to typically representing high asset earners in Silicon Valley’s tech and social media industries. 

” I thought Baugh served in Vietnam as I heard him discuss it in court before Judges on a regular basis. Pretty sure Judge Persky, Judge Swope , Judge Hill ,and Judge Towery believed he was in the military as well. Certainly doesn’t seem that anyone should be appointed to represent children if they spend decades lying about having served in the Vietnam war”, the attorney said asking to remain off the record. 

Bill Dok, Baugh’s former partner claimed to be embarrassed he had been partners with Baugh when Baugh was lying to the family law community. But Mr. Dok may have more than embarrassment to worry about if Mr. Baugh was earning money that paid law firm expenses as Baugh committed perjury in a deposition with a former client. 

BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN 

In the name of the best interest of children, family court judges have issued orders that have resulted in billions of dollars being spent on lawyers, custody evaluations  and sham therapists. These judges have done little for children and more for a crony network that has highjacked California’s legal system. 

Lawyers willing to lie, judges willing to cheat and Rule of Law that has been abandoned in family court has inflicted more harm on children than at any other time in California’s history. 

WHAT IF INJUSTICE HITS YOUR HOME? 

Due process is not alive and well in California’s Courts. Q has been dedicated to matching families with like issues and regional areas. If you have suffered injustice in California’s Family Courts, Email us with your case number, judge, lawyers and experts. Post comments naming the judges and lawyers under anonymous name to prevent retaliation. 

All contacts will be carefully vetted and audited before connected to others. Judges and lawyers have been known to read this website and act in a retaliatory manner when the get caught. 

Read More –>

Divorce Attorney Elise Mitchell's Private Files Document Blow Jobs to Judges

Moms, Dads  and Women District Attorneys  (Diana Becton  and Nancy O'Malley) – Take on Family Court Judges, CPAs  and Divorce Attorneys

​As newly elected district attorney Todd Spitzer investigates family court clerks, custody evaluators and private judges involved in custody and divorce cases in Orange County, California’s two most powerful female district attorneys began to look at family court cases that have been ignored by male their male counterparts for decades. 

CONTRA COSTA DA  DIANA BECTON &
IRS INVESTIGATE CPAs USED IN DIVORCE CASES 

Diana Becton became Contra Costa County DA following the exposure of criminal activity involving Mark Peterson. Peterson was indicted, blasted in the news and disbarred by 2017 in large part based on  public outrage that a DA had corrupted the cozy East Bay communities  and allowed family courts to run amok for the past two decades. 

Becton is reportedly mindful that family court reformers have managed to get the Grand Jury to investigate the county’s CPS and Family Court Services staff investigated and now Becton has an opportunity to investigate CPAs including Jack Peth, Charles Burak, Sally White, Michael Thompson, James Butera and others who are known for not adding properly when it comes to the fair division of community property in divorce cases.

A small group of accountants have been regularly acting in appointed or retained capacities in family law cases, and many of these CPAs have been cooking the books, concealing corporate profits and helping law enforcement officers, tech executives, and even judges engage in tax fraud and tax evasion for decades.  Criminal IRS investigators are also reportedly conducting an investigation of several CPAs who acted in high profile divorce cases in a manner that concealed income from the government. 

Ms. Becton was recently named to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Judicial Selection Committee. It  is reported she is mindful of the public outrage that led to an audit of the CJP, the agency that disciplines the state’s judges. Many in California’s  court reform movement come from family court experiences and were largely responsible  for getting the audit, and recalling Judge Persky in Santa Clara County in June of 2018. 

ALAMEDA  DA  NANCY E. O’ MALLEY ASKED TO INVESTIGATE LAWYER PERJURY

District Attorneys across the state are asked on a daily basis to investigate perjury and filing of false documents in family court cases. 

” We have divorcing couples send  transcripts of their former spouse testifying in family court and ask us to investigate perjury related to that testimony.  Sadly, while the general public may believe perjury is clear cut, it is not. It is very difficult to prove and frankly we don’t have near enough  resources to investigate these crimes, ” described public corruption investigator John Chase of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office after a perjury charge involving attorney Bradford Baugh was brought to his attention in 2015. 

What Mr. Chase refused to investigate in 2015 has now landed on the desk of Ms. O” Malley where Mr. Baugh appears to have committed perjury in a video deposition conducted by a former client. Mr. Baugh has been appointed to represent children in San Mateo and Santa Clara county divorce and custody cases for over two decades. 

As many lawyers express they aren’t worried Ms. O’Malley will actually start prosecuting perjury in family law cases, a few admit that the perjury of divorce attorney Bradford Baugh would be significant given Baugh’s involvement  in hundreds of Silicon Valley’s high profile cases, including cases before Judge Persky, where Mr. Baugh represented he served in Vietnam. 

One lawyer regularly  appointed to represent children in San Mateo and Alameda County noted he has been aware Mr. Baugh has been court appointed to represent children in addition to typically representing high asset earners in Silicon Valley’s tech and social media industries. 

” I thought Baugh served in Vietnam as I heard him discuss it in court before Judges on a regular basis. Pretty sure Judge Persky, Judge Swope , Judge Hill ,and Judge Towery believed he was in the military as well. Certainly doesn’t seem that anyone should be appointed to represent children if they spend decades lying about having served in the Vietnam war”, the attorney said asking to remain off the record. 

Bill Dok, Baugh’s former partner claimed to be embarrassed he had been partners with Baugh when Baugh was lying to the family law community. But Mr. Dok may have more than embarrassment to worry about if Mr. Baugh was earning money that paid law firm expenses as Baugh committed perjury in a deposition with a former client. 

BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN 

In the name of the best interest of children, family court judges have issued orders that have resulted in billions of dollars being spent on lawyers, custody evaluations  and sham therapists. These judges have done little for children and more for a crony network that has highjacked California’s legal system. 

Lawyers willing to lie, judges willing to cheat and Rule of Law that has been abandoned in family court has inflicted more harm on children than at any other time in California’s history. 

WHAT IF INJUSTICE HITS YOUR HOME? 

Due process is not alive and well in California’s Courts. Q has been dedicated to matching families with like issues and regional areas. If you have suffered injustice in California’s Family Courts, Email us with your case number, judge, lawyers and experts. Post comments naming the judges and lawyers under anonymous name to prevent retaliation. 

All contacts will be carefully vetted and audited before connected to others. Judges and lawyers have been known to read this website and act in a retaliatory manner when the get caught. 

Read More –>

Picture

Orange County DA Todd Spitzer to Break Up Family Court Corruption

According to a source connected with  newly elected Orange County DA Todd Spitzer, the FBI has been called in to investigate  several court clerks, judges and divorce attorneys  for obstructing justice in CPS, divorce and custody cases following the transfer of court executive David Yamasaki from Santa Clara County in early 2017. 

Orange County  has been fraught with jailhouse snitches and federal investigations of the county’s traffic court cases, Recent emails leaked from the DA’s office indicate family courts are being investigated for covering up money laundering, drug enterprises and sex trafficking rings. 

RECRUITMENT

Ambulance chasing is to personal injury lawyers as case rigging is to  California’s family law attorneys. These lawyers chase divorces involving private businesses with crimes to conceal and family homes with millions of dollars in equity. 

Divorce can put companies at risk. Inflated expenses, cash funds, and tax evasion secreted away from shareholders can be exposed when an ex spouse’s lawyers and accountants dive in to determine the value of community property. 

According to sources involved with the investigation, since 2000 ,  small groups of lawyers have been rigging cases to get before certain elected judges or appointed private judges. 

Emails discovered in a private email account of Mr. Yamasaki and  a Silicon Valley divorce lawyer known as “Black Tulip”  indicate large payments flowing to lawyers, family court services and experts who are handsomely paid for court appointments. 

Cases appear to be  rigged when court clerks assign a case to a judge during an exparte request, or when cases are originally assigned. Clerks investigated during the 2015 traffic case scandal who were not indicted, appear to have moved either to divorce cases, or into private businesses benefiting from the criminal activity.  These individuals troll new divorce filings and in some cases work with lawyers before the case is filed to get it before a corrupt judge. The ” clients ” have no idea this is occurring such that a disqualifying 170.6 challenge can be lodged. 

SILENCE THE SPOUSE 

A critical component of this enterprise involves the emotional, financial and physical abuse of former spouses who may know too much .  Secret surveillance, personal computer hacking and cell phone Stingrays are regularly  used to discover what a spouse knows. If that spouse is determined to be a threat based on an ability to expose a former spouse’s secrets, the enterprise moves in to have reports issued to a judge that  that  claim a former spouse is ” crazy” . ” abusive ” or mentally unfit to parent children, or to remain in the family home. Stripping women in particular of their home and their children is so destabilizing, it changes the game for the enterprise.

Staffers in Family Court Services, or CPS,  appear to issue reports favorable to the enterprise such that the report can be rubberstamped by a judge, which helps the enterprise avoid detection.

Spouses busy fighting move out or supervised visitation orders are too fragile to challenge the financial aspect of a divorce case.  

Before mandatory JCC,  or emergency screening hearings occur, the enterprise has already rigged the outcome of custody decisions  with judges working for the enterprise in return for future employment in private judging, mediation and arbitration once they leave the bench 

 The FBI investigation has focused on Dr. Rebecca Bailey, and her reunification camp following news reports by NBC Bay Area.  Parents scouring the courthouses for other victims of the enterprise have also become investigators best sources, as few DA offices are prepared to properly investigate family courts and related cases. 

SECRET AGREEMENTS- FLEAs (Family Law Elite Attorneys)  

Divorce lawyers calling themselves ” Elite” Family Law Attorneys  (FLEAs)  have been known to law enforcement, and the courts since 2000. Little has been done to stop these lawyers, whose work  and misdeeds remain largely underground. 

FLEAs operate regular legal practices in the area of family law, where 80% of cases are quickly resolved or settled. For the other 20% , FLEAs identify a spouse with secrets to hide and focus on destroying the other spouse in a divorce case in order to protect secrets could result in criminal charges. This conduct serves to protect clients who are  vulnerable to a criminal enterprise orchestrated to protect the secrets from the IRS, the DOJ and the FBI. 

Businesses in the  marijuana  industry, transportation, professional sports organizations and tech are the main flow of cash to the FLEAs. Bad cops collecting cash and turning away from drug and sex traffickers act as a freeway for cash payments and bribes to elected politicians, judges and private divorce lawyers. Above board these lawyers are paid with the sale of the family home, or rental properties, but behind the scene far more money is moving in illegal payments. 

Well paid lawyers are loyal and protective of the criminal enterprise. 

In Orange County, as designed first in Santa Clara County, lawyers, minor’s counsel and private judges are assuring payments of cash to pay off loans on the properties and investments of the judges whose disclosures are carefully monitored by the press. 

CALIFORNIA’S REAL ESTATE HOLDS THE KEY

Divorcing spouses are often surprised to learn a former spouse is willing to sell real estate to pay legal costs in effort to drag out cases. And many spouses are surprised to learn courts willing to sell these houses to pay the enterprise, rather than preserve community property as the law provides. 

Victims of the criminal enterprise report high conflict custody disputes left them ill prepared to recognize the scheme to sell the family home. 

Most alarming has been the discovery that elected judges in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Diego, San Francisco, LA and Orange County regularly fail to disclose their real properties on the required From 700. Worse are cases involving private judges with real estate holdings that are not required to be disclosed.

Emails between Black Tulip and Court CEO David Yamasaki indicate Rebecca Bailey has been one of bad actors assisting the enterprise in laundering money, abusing children and silencing the parents who dare to speak up. It is estimated that Mr. Yamasaki has orchestrated the illegal transfer of billons of dollars of California home equity in the state’s family court cases caught up the web of a criminal activity designed to separate children from their families, and sell off the family home in order to operate.   

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Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family

Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family Roles

Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family

 

Roles within a family and the early relationships we craft will impact us emotionally through the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, the relationship between two parents and divorce specifically can negatively affect the people that you both care about most, your children.

Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family Roles

Typical family roles are changing, even without considering divorce as a primary factor in most relationships. The American Community Survey found in a 2009 study that only about 45.8% of children would make it to 17-years-old with their biological parents still married. That means that about half of children will live through the divorce of their parents.

Impacts of Divorce on Children

The driving concern for everyone involved in a divorce is the impact on the children. But, there’s more at play than who spends more time with whom. The emotional impact of children can vary wildly based on three aspects.

First, the relationship with each of the parents. If one child was always closer with their mother, then they may immediately, and completely of their own accord, see the other partner as the “bad guy.”

Second is the extent of the conflict. Have you and your partner reached a consensus that the marriage isn’t worth salvaging or that the damage is irreparable? Or, have you gone through months of screaming matches, cursing, throwing objects across the home and worse? The extent of the conflict can either show children that through emotional intelligence, you can end a bad relationship civilly or that a relationship must go through levels of toxicity before anyone can leave.

Third, the parent’s ability to focus on the child. Emotional intelligence goes through waves of development, but younger children are much more self-centered than grown adults. Without someone addressing their needs regularly, they’ll carry resentment for undelivered attention through their lives.

Considering the Situation

Emotional impact may vary based on the specifics of the divorce and the parent’s situation, but the need for emotional development doesn’t differ.

Major emotional milestones include:

  • Experiencing embarrassment between ages 5 and 6.
  • Awareness of others’ perceptions between ages 7 and 8.
  • Identity development starting at age 9.
  • Become introspective at age 11.

It’s easy to see how a generally uncomfortable or strained environment can impact all of these milestones. Emotionally, there are two consistent behaviors that children of divorce exhibit.

Both boys and girls express anger non-verbally and internalize distress. Usually, a child with parents going through a divorce will choose one of these patterns and stick with it. Children that regress to the non-verbal expression of anger will vandalize, fight, or start generally destructive habits. Children who internalize distress will often experience depression, poor gut health (from worry) and have severe changes to their eating and sleeping habits.

There are instances when a child removed from an emotionally neglectful or harmful situation will do better after the divorce.

The best way to reduce emotional distress is to help the child develop security in their relationship with any involved parent. That means the parents must uphold preset duties, make good on promises, and act civilly with the other parent.

Impacts of Divorce on Mothers

When evaluating family roles, much attention goes to the mother. However, it’s worth noting that women instigate the divorce more than twice as often as men do.  When it comes to divorce handling, the role of the mother often changes.

Times have significantly impacted what people expect to deliver as the mother-role in a partnership. But, as the person likely to have started the divorce, and likely to be seeking full custody, they are often taking on a new and more authoritative role. Often when a divorce starts, they no longer seek approval of their spouse or discuss major decisions with them.

Mothers may realize that they now have to rely on the social system, child care, or child support and will have less anxiety over asking for help. Emotionally, mothers may thrive after a divorce finding relief from marital problems they may have lived with for years.

Impacts of Divorce on Fathers

In 2016 a study found that about 55% of divorce instigators blamed the other person, and if women are twice as likely to file for divorce that means that men are almost always stuck with the blame.

There are many negative physical effects that divorced dads are more likely to experience, but they also have emotional setbacks to face as well. Men are more likely to experience depression and anxiety after a divorce as their roles are often essentially removed. Their role as a father is most often confined to weekends where a father will often lose both respect and authority.

Time Spent Between Family Members

When you look at the typical family roles, of the parents and children, there’s a balance between child independent time, child time individually with parents and child time with both parents. These are all essential for a child’s development and can help define your role within the family unit. When a divorce happens, the time spent between family members skews. Often the child’s time spent independently and with an individual parent will increase significantly.

If a parent withdraws from a child’s life either intentionally or through court-ordered child custody, there is an emotional loss. However, it’s critical to consider that child custody cases often evaluate the whole of the child’s best interest and staving off harmful interactions can create the opportunity for better emotional and physical help.

Standard visitation may not provide the interaction that your child needs to maintain a quality relationship with the parent. It’s important to seek the help of a lawyer if you have concerns regarding the time that you’ll spend with your child.

As part of a custody arrangement, a judge will often consider the emotional ties between the parent and child during the decision making. A just will, of course, determine custody and visitation if the parents cannot reach an amicable resolution with a mediator.

The time spent between family members even as roles may change and ties may dissolve is vital for each person in this equation. Divorced parents can co-parent civilly in some situations; in others, it is best to involve an attorney rather than continuing any struggle at home.

The post Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family Roles appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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