Now is the time to start working on your Holiday 2014 Schedule for visitation with your children during this wonderful time of year! We would suggest that you review your individual order to see if you have specific provisions concerning visitation. Because many families have specific situations that occur during this special time, this visitation time is the most modified area in the Standard Possession Order. The Holiday schedule will always override the Thursday or Weekend schedules.
Here is a reminder of the current Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Possession Order for the Holidays.
- 153.314. Holiday Possession Unaffected by Distance Parents Reside Apart.
The following provisions govern possession of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without regard to the distance the parents reside apart. The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows:
Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Christmas Break:
(1) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years;
(2) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;
Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Thanksgiving:
(3) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school before Thanksgiving and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;
Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Child’s Birthday:
(4) the parent not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession of a child on the child’s birthday shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. on that day, provided that the parent picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place;
Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Father’s Day:
(5) if a conservator, the father shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s Day and ending on Father’s Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if he is not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession of the child, he picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place;
Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Mother’s Day:
(6) if a conservator, the mother shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending on Mother’s Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if she is not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession of the child, she picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place.
Texas child visitation orders may differ from the norm to accommodate family situations so you should always check your decree first! If in doubt about your holiday visitation time, contact a family law attorney who can help you to make sure nothing happens to affect this special season with your children. ‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly’!
Every day in the news on the internet, TV, and newspapers, we read how Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence affects women, men and children lives in very tragic ways. Many professional athletes have been exposed and many celebrities have professed their life changing experiences.
What is Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence ( IPV ) ? It is the willful intimidation, physical and sexual assault & battery or serious mental and verbal abuse perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically and may include physical or sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The violence is often accompanied by irrational and controlling behavior and is intended to result in total dominance and control over the other intimate partner or the other family members.
Current Domestic/ Intimate Partner Violence Statistics:
Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Everyday more than 3 women are murdered by their intimate partners.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic/intimate partner violence in her lifetime. Women ages 18 to 24 are the greatest risk of being victims of domestic/intimate partner violence.
Every year, over 3 million children witness domestic violence in the home.
Children who live in domestic violence homes suffer high rates of abuse and neglect (30-60%)
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
The Worse Fact: Most of all Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence Incidents Are Never Reported! These Abusers are getting away with this abuse and can murder their loved ones at any time!
Legally, the abuser may be deterred from continuing this degrading, hurting behavior against his intimate partner and other family members. But these victims need help. Many times, the domestic violence victims are so weak and beaten down mentally and physically that they cannot help themselves.
Look for warning signs of abuse in relatives, friends and neighbors. Remember: if you are a friend, be their friend. Do something to disclose the abuse and danger in their lives! You may save a life!
Would you know if your good friend from the office or your aunt that lives in Dallas is involved in a domestic / intimate partner violence relationship? Probably not. Many times the abuse starts slowly, is concealed, and accelerates over time.
Domestic violence takes many forms, which include emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. It occurs in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Husband, wife, children, partners. The most important goal of domestic violence and abuse is to gain and maintain total and unyielding control over the victim.
How do you know if you may be in a domestic / intimate partner violence relationship with your partner?
Does your partner have a bad or unpredictable temper? Call you horrible names, insult you or put you down?
Does your partner limit your access to money, the phone, or the car? Are you constantly checked on about your whereabouts?
Are you discouraged from seeing family members and friends? Does your partner act excessively jealous and possessive without cause or reason?
Does your partner see you as property or a sex object and force you to have sex at times or in ways against your will?
Does your partner threaten to take your children away and harm them or to commit suicide if you leave him/her?
Does your partner blame you for his/her abusive behavior or destroy your belongings?
If you are already in an abusive situation, are your currently living in a hostile environment and:
Is your abusive partner threating violence
Has your abuser attacked you with aggressive, belittling, profane, or violent behavior so you know “Who the Boss is”?
After the abuse, does your partner feel concocted or temporary remorse, guilt and does he/she repeatedly promise to change?
Your abuser comes up with excuses and blames “you” as the abuser. Does your relationship periodically go back into a” Normal Phase”?
Is all well until your abuser sets up his/her next situation when he/she can justify abusing you again?
If you are in a relationship with a Domestic / Intimate Partner who is exposing this behavior or you are already having abusive situations, seek help now! Abusive relationships will destroy your self-worth and lead to anxiety and depression. Break free from this relationship by recognizing that such conduct is dangerous, that you are valuable and that you do not have to suffer this emotional pain!
If you are currently in a relationship or marriage with an abusive partner and need legal help, contact a knowledgeable attorney, other shelter or enforcement agency to obtain help.
In Texas, Prenuptial Agreements are becoming a very important tool for prospective spouses in the event of future marital problems. With the rise in divorce rates and more boomer/senior remarriages, many people with assets are turning to a marital contract to sidestep a potentially difficult and very expense divorce.
A prenuptial agreement allows prospective spouses to, legally in advance, specifically define rights and obligations to each other and further allows spouses to decide their future marital property rights with relativity minimal judicial actions. A prenuptial agreement, in Texas, can cover any matter except:
Violate public policy or a statute imposing criminal penalties
Adversely affect a child’s right to support
Defraud a creditor
Texas Family Code 4.003(a)(8), (b),4.106(a).
Among the permissible provisions that parties can list in a prenuptial agreement are the following:
Rights and obligations of any interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property.
Right to manage, control and dispose, by agreement, property upon separation of the married parties, dissolution of the marriage, death of either party, or other agreed event.
Modify or eliminate spousal support.
Specific matters related to prospective spouses, including personal rights and obligations that are not in violation of state laws.
Choice of a state or country law that will govern the prenuptial agreement.
Creation of a Will or Trust.
Disposing of the Estate upon the death of one of the spouses. Also ownership rights and disposition of benefits from a life insurance policy upon the death.
Waive one party’s right to occupy the family homestead after the other party dies.
Paternity is defined as the quality or state of being a father. Many issues arise in the face of a father being denied access to his child or wondering if he is truly the child’s father. Where paternity of a child is in question, a mother or alleged father may ask the court to determine paternity of one or several possible fathers.
Most paternity actions involve a child born out of wedlock. However, paternity actions also occur between married persons where someone other than the husband is the father of the child, or where the husband has fathered a child outside of the marriage. There is a presumption that a child born to a married woman is the child of the husband. However, this presumption can be overcome by DNA or other valid evidence.
If you are questioning paternity, think about when the child could have been conceived. Consider when you had relevant or timely intercourse. Understand that paternity is determined by testing DNA from the father and the mother through the use of genetic fingerprinting. DNA testing is done by drawing blood or by taking a buccal swab, when cells are wiped from the inside of the mouth with a cotton swab. These tests can determine the father of a child with up to 99% accuracy. DNA testing is currently the most advanced and accurate technology to determine parentage. Generally paternity testing is paid for by the father.
If you file a paternity suit, you can request the court order DNA testing. A court may order the mother, father and the child to submit to testing. Paternity testing can be done during pregnancy or when the child is as young as one day old.
Paternity proceedings can be filed by the alleged father, mother, child or child support division of a state. A private action for paternity is usually prosecuted to secure child support payments from the father, parenting time with the child, and/or fair rights and privilege allocation.
Some men are confident that they are the biological father and wish to maintain a legal relationship with the child whether or not they are the father and thus either initiate paternity actions or consent to the entry of a paternity order. The paternity order entitles the father to visitation time with the child and creates a legal duty for the father to provide for the support of the child in addition to awarding him rights and privileges regarding the child’s future development.
When you consent to the entry of a paternity order, absent fraud, you consent for life. Most jurisdictions will not allow you to escape the consequences of that order, including the requirement of payment for the support of the child. If there is a chance that you will resent the child, or wish to break off the relationship with the child or, if you ultimately learn that you are not the child’s biological father, make certain you obtain a DNA test before legally admitting and therefore confirming that you are a child’s father.
Custody of a child can either be awarded to the father or the mother in a paternity action depending on the facts. Child support in a paternity action is generally set according to state law standards unless the parties sign an agreement providing for the payment of child support that is approved by the court.
Reasons to establish paternity: to provide the child with a needed identity; to confirm rights, privileges and duties of a parent; to know the health history of both the mother and father for medical care and treatment of a child; establish financial support for the child; establish health insurance coverage, social security eligibility, inheritance and other benefits; and seek public assistance where qualified.