visitation rights

Jun
22

Modification of Child Custody or Visitation Rights for Texas Fathers

Texas family law states that a court may modify a child custody order if the change is in the best interest of the child and one of the following applies:

1. The circumstances of the child or parent have materially or substantially changed since the date of the original child custody order or order to be modified.
2. The child is at least 12 years of age and will tell the court in private chambers with the judge that he/she would like a change.
3. The custodial parent has voluntarily given the child’s care and custody to another person for at least 6 months.

Material or Substantial Change
What could be acceptable as a change for the Texas family courts? Some examples could be a parent’s remarriage, a medical condition the affects a parent’s ability take care of the child, a parent’s criminal acts or convictions, a parent’s change in residence that makes visitation a hardship for the other parent, family violence, drug or alcohol related issues, absence of supervision, and other material changes concerning adequate care and supervision of the child.

Child Wants Change
The child must be at least 12years of age and maybe interviewed in the judge’s chambers. The court will consider the child’s desire but only make a change if it is in the child’s best interest.

Custody Relinquishment
This happens when the custodial parent has voluntarily given up custody of the child to another person for at least six months. This does not apply to a period of military deployment or duty.

After finding one of the three prerequisites, the court must still consider whether the change will be in the child’s best interest. The court will consider factors affecting the child’s physical, emotional, mental, education, social, moral or disciplinary welfare and development. The factors considered for this evaluation are:

1. Child’s emotional and physical needs.
2. Parenting ability of the conservators or potential conservators
3. Plans and outside resources available to persons seeking the modification
4. Value to the child of having a relationship with both parents
5. Visitation schedule that requires excessive traveling or prevents the child from engaging in school or social activities
6. Stability of the person’s home seeking the modification
7. The child’s desires
8. Child’s need for stability and need to limit additional litigation in child custody cases.

Modification within one year of prior court order
A parent who files a motion to modify a child custody order within one year after a prior order was entered must also submit an affidavit to the court. The affidavit must contain, along with supporting facts, at least one of the following allegations:

1. The child’s present environment may be endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.
2. The person who has the exclusive right to designate the child’s primacy residence is the person seeking or consenting to the modification and the modification is in the child’s best interest.
3. The person who has the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence has voluntarily relinquished the primacy care and possession of the child for at least six months and the modification is in the child’

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Apr
28

COVID-19 Emergency! Where Are My Children? They have been taken By My EX!

We are now experiencing the worst Medical Pandemic in the USA since the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. The COVID-19 Outbreak may be changing our American way of life for some time. Many families are in upheaval from fear of loved ones getting the virus, losing jobs, and not having food for their families. And in the middle of this situation you may be going through a family breakup, divorce, or just trying to Co-Parent your kids with your EX.

Now the “Never Want to Live Through It” Scenario may happen! Your kids are picked up by your Ex and they all disappear! Where are they? Are they in danger? When will I ever see my children again?

After you get over your shock, the main question you will ask is:
What can I do to get my children back? 

On March 13, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order that divorced / single parents should go by the originally published school and visitation schedule in their current decree. Since the last life-threatening pandemic in the United States was the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, most divorce / single parent agreements do not include a pandemic clause! This emergency order was issued with the potential need of closing all courts, non-essential businesses and stay-at-home orders, Texas had to have an order in place to protect the children so that both parents could continue to care and protect them during the Pandemic.

If a custody agreement is in place with the court it is legally binding. If the runaway parent violates the agreement terms, he / she is in violation of the law and will likely face some serious legal consequences.

Many times, the runaway parent may take the children out of your area and may even cross state lines. This violation in your custody / visitation agreement could be considered parental kidnapping if the runaway parent moves over a state line without telling you the new residence of the child or without getting legal permission through the court to move or modify the custody order.

When the runaway parent and children are found, this is what could happen:

  • Custody Arrangements may legally be changed by court orders. You will, in the most aggravated cases, most likely be awarded protective orders or custody with the runaway parent receiving supervised visitation or no contact with the child. 
  • The runaway parent may also face criminal charges and jail time.

At any time, this could happen to you!  If your legal position concerning custody and visitation with your children is in limbo, go secure a family law attorney and the help you need to protect your kids.

*If you were never married or divorced from the runaway parent, or if you have no legal court orders concerning or establishing custody and visitation rights in place, this could be a serious impediment in securing help to find your children.

After you get over your shock, the main question you will ask Is:
What can I do to get my children back?

  • Think Clearly! You must respond quickly. Time is of the essence. 
  • Contact the police immediately. You need to tell them that the runaway parent may have taken the children without permission. Make sure that you have your certified legal court orders that pertain to your parental arrangement agreement concerning your children. It is important to be able to show the police the specific orders and how important it is to find the runaway parent and kids!
  • Contact a family law attorney immediately. Texas Courts are dealing with many of these runaway situations and an experienced family law attorney can help you legally deal with finding your child in a timely fashion. After the runaway has occurred, there will be court intervention to prevent any further occurrences. Custody and supervised visitation issues will also need to be addressed. Texas Judges and Courts will not take a runaway situation lightly by an errant parent! 

Click to open the Texas Supreme Court Emergency Order (pdf)

Nacol Law Firm P.C.
8144 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 1190
Dallas TX, 75231
(972) 690-3333

Fathers Rights in Texas – WE NEVER GIVE UP!

DETAIL
Sep
23

My Kids have been hidden by my Ex! And I don’t know where they are…

This is a “Never Want to Live Through” Scenario: After a family breakup or divorce, your kids are picked up by your Ex and they all disappear! Where are they? Are they in danger? Will I ever see my children again?

After you get over your shock, the main question you will ask is: What can I do to get my children back?

  • Thinking clearly, you must respond quickly. Time is of the essence.
  • Contact the police immediately. You need to tell them that the runaway parent may have taken the children without permission.  Make sure that you have your certified legal court orders that pertain to your parental arrangement agreement concerning your children.  It is important to be able to show the police the specific orders and how important it is to find the runaway parent and kids!
  • Make a list of possible locations the runaway parent may have taken the children. This helps the police in their search.
  • Contact a family law attorney immediately.  After the runaway has occurred, there will be court intervention to prevent any further occurrences. Custody and supervised visitation issues will also need to be addressed.

If you were never married or divorced from the runaway parent, or if you have no legal court orders concerning or establishing custody and visitation rights in place, this could be a serious impediment in securing help to find your children.

At any time this could happen to you! If your legal position concerning custody and visitation with your children is in limbo, go secure a family law attorney and the help you need to protect your kids.

If a custody agreement is in place with the courts, it is legally binding. If the runaway parent violates the agreement terms, this parent is in violation of the law and will likely face some serious legal problems.

Many times, the runaway parent may take the children out of your area and may even cross state lines. This violation in your custody/visitation agreement could be considered parental kidnapping if the runaway parent moved without telling you the new residence of the child or without getting legal permission through the court to move or modify the custody order.

When the runaway parent and children are found, this is what could happen:

  • Custody Arrangements will legally be changed by court orders.  You will most likely be awarded protective orders or custody with the runaway parent receiving supervised visitation or no contact with the child.
  • The runaway parent may also face criminal charges and jail time.
By Nacol Law Firm | Child Custody
DETAIL
Feb
25

Grandparents Rights in Texas – Regarding Grandchildren

The statutory rights of grandparents in response to a child in the State of Texas, absent existing executions, are minimal. The Texas Courts observe the rights of the parents to prohibit visitation and communication of these children from their grandparents if the parents wish. There are however limited circumstances when grandparents of a child may petition the Court to receive an order that forces the child’s parents to let the grandparents see the children on a regular basis. Texas Courts honor the rights of the parents and must presume that a fit parent makes such decisions, as to who the child may or may not see, those decisions are in the best interest of the child.

In order for a grandparent to interfere with a parent’s right to prohibit the grandparents from seeing the child, the grandparent must prove three elements under 153.433 of the Texas Family Code:

a) The Court may order reasonable possession of or access to a grandchild by a grandparent if:

  1. At the time the relief is requested, at least one biological or adoptive parent of the child has not had the parent’s parental rights terminated;

  2. The grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child overcomes the presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of the parent’s child by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that denial of possession of or access to the child would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being; and
  3. The grandparents requesting possession of or access to the child are a parents of a parent of the child and that parent of the child:

A) Has been incarcerated in jail or prison during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition;

B) Has been found by a court to be incompetent

C) Is dead; or

D) Does not have actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child.

This Statute is limited in application because the Texas legislature gives deference to the parents’ fundamental authority to determine who their child may and may not see.

An example will help clarify this Statute. If a grandparent’s son died in car accident and the grandparent had been helping their son and daughter in-law raise the children, then the grandparents could request visitation rights. The daughter in-law would have to be alive and not have her parental rights terminated. The grandparents would have to prove to the Court by a preponderance of the evidence (more probable than not) that the denial of visitation would significantly impair the children’s’ physical health or emotional well-being. If the grandparents were helping raise the children the grandparents would request some type of visitation for the well-being of the children. These fact situations must be significant because Texas Courts and statutes make it difficult for grandparents to receive any type of visitation or possession if it is not in line with the parents’ wishes.

If you are a grandparent or a mother/father of a child in which the grandparents are attempting to sue you for some type of visitation, it is important to contact a qualified attorney to be informed of your options.

By Nacol Law Firm | Grandparents Rights in Texas
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Out of Wedlock Children and Texas Fathers Rights

The Brookings Institute states that 41% of all births in 2012 were to unwed mothers! What are a father’s rights over his children? With dropping marriage rates and increasing non-married couples living together, the percentage of children being born out of wedlock is growing yearly. How are the fathers of these children treated? In most states, the mother of a child has 100% of the custody rights until the paternity of the father is legally established.  How does a Texas father legally establish paternity when the mother of their child refuses to allow him to sign the birth certificate and tells him that he will never have any type of communication or relationship with his child?

In today’s fast pace world there are many situations where a woman may selfishly just want a child with no strings attached, including a dad!  Welcome to the internet dating world! Many professional men are contacting us concerning an internet dating contact, a short relationship, and pregnancy. The father then is told he will not be allowed in the child’s life and if he tries, serious legal problems will be encountered or he will face serious and costly legal road blocks pursued by the mother!

Practicing attorneys in Texas who defend Interstate Jurisdiction cases help many fathers who live in other states while the mother and child reside in Texas.

What are a father’s rights in the State of Texas? Any and every right a parent may have is available to a father who seeks them.

What should a father, living out of state, with a child living in Texas, do to establish his paternity and legally enforce his father’s rights?  He should consult an attorney ASAP who can help him obtain and preserve his paternity rights with his child.  Once the judge issues a finding of paternity, the father has all the rights of any other father such as custody, decision making, conservator rights, and visitation rights.

How does the father file for paternity of the child in Texas?

  1. Paternity Registry (Family Code 160.401-2)

A man who desires to be notified of a proceeding for the adoption of or the termination of parental rights regarding a child that he may have fathered may register with the registry of paternity:

Before the birth of the child or no later than the 31st day after the date of the birth of the child

  1. Alternate means to Establish Paternity (Family Code 160.301-2 and 160.402, 160.601)

The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the biological father of the child may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity.  An acknowledgment of the paternity must:

  • Be in a record

  • Be signed or otherwise authenticated by the mother And the Man seeking to establish paternity

  • State that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:

         1. Does not have a presumed father or has a presumed father whose full name is stated

         2. Does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father

  • State whether there has been genetic testing and that the acknowledging man’s claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing

  • State that the signatories understand that the acknowledgment is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of the paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after 4 year.

A man is entitled to notice of a proceeding regardless of whether he registers with the registry of paternity if:

  • A father-child relationship between the man and the child has been established under this chapter or another law.

  • The man commences a proceeding to adjudicate his paternity before the court has terminated his parental rights.

The parentage of a child may be adjudicated in a civil proceeding by voluntary litigation.

A Father should be proactive and enforce his rights promptly to enhance his probability of fair and equal treatment that is binding under the law!

By Nacol Law Firm | Interstate Jurisdiction . Paternity
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Please contact father’s rights Dallas Attorney Mark Nacol, or father’s rights Dallas Attorney Julian Nacol with the Nacol Law Firm P.C., for legal insight to your rights as a father. Both attorney Mark Nacol, and attorney Julian Nacol , provide counsel in the area of family law including divorce, father’s rights, interstate jurisdiction, child support, child custody, visitation, paternity, parent alienation, modifications, property division, asset division and more. Attorney Mark A. Nacol is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys at The Nacol Law Firm P.C. serve clients throughout Texas, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties and the communities of Addison, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Highland Park, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Prosper, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park, Murphy,Wylie, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, along with surrounding DFW areas.

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