Mark Nacol

Apr
16

Co-Parenting: Time to Mutually Agree to Save and Protect Your Children During Coronavirus Pandemic

Dealing with a worldwide medical pandemic and personally trying to stay alive and healthy is mentally changeling, but for parents who are divorced or have separate custody agreements and co- parent, it can be a disaster for the entire family. Hopefully, this Coronavirus Pandemic will be a short-lived life-threatening situation, but how the Co-parents cope with the problem could deeply impact their children’s emotional life.

In Texas, 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 State was the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, most divorce/ single parent agreements do not include a pandemic clause! 

Do not be one of those parents who decides that they “are the decision maker” and drives away with the kids for an extended vacation to Grandma’s in Florida without telling the other parent. Or deciding that the family circle of trust does not include their Other Parent and refuses visitation or joint decision making.  These hasty, irrational decisions may seem reasonable in this time of national panic but consider the legal ramifications of violating an order.  Since all courts, in Texas, are now closed except for emergency litigation matters only, when the courts are fully operational again and the medical danger has passed, how will a violation of your current decree look to the Judge?  Judges always look to the needs of the child versus the unreasonable expectations of the parent. There will be serious ramifications against the violating parent. 

Let’s look at some ideas on how co-parenting during this pandemic season can work the best for all family members and by joint agreement will save your both money that would normally go to legal fees. 

Just remember that as co-parents your children are most important.  Your child has been told that they can’t see their grandparents because of their age and if infected by the coronavirus, may die. No school, no playing of sports, or playing with friends since they may be infected with a deadly virus and become very ill. Decide to cooperate as responsible co-parents to navigate the child to the new changes in their daily routines without a lot of stress and anxiety on the child.  By keeping the child calm and showing “a united family circle” the child will know that Mom and Dad are there for him/her.  

Some areas of agreement should be that the child will have regular email, phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom visits, and texting with the other parent. The child needs to know that both parents are safe and interested in their wellbeing. Regular visitations times must be made available for the child to see each parent. Remember the child’s core circle of trust are his/her parents and siblings. 

Another very serious matter is the decision of what will happen to the child if one parent becomes ill and cannot care for the child. The joint decision must be made by both parents and must ultimately be in the best interest for the child. 

Custody disputes and circumstances that have totally changed in the last month. Just remember, co-parent cooperation is the best choice. There is no doubt that judges will be happy to hear that parents have worked together to meet their child’s best interest, by taking steps to protect the child’s health and safety. 

This is a time for mutual give and take from both parents. No one is always right nor always wrong. In this upside crazy pandemic world, jointly trying to navigate your family to a better place will have its own rewards. 

If, however, one parent unilaterally refuses to make fair agreements for the children or violates your custody orders, avoid retaliation and follow your decree orders faithfully. This Pandemic will pass, and most Judges will not treat lightly intense misconduct when the courts reopen.

Mark A. Nacol
The Nacol Law Firm P.C.
Dallas, Texas
(972) 690-3333

Click to open Copy of Texas Supreme Court Emergency Order on Child Custody Schedules during Coronavirus Pandemic. (pdf) 

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Mar
17

Coronavirus and Our Commitment to Our Clients, Our Staff and Our Community

The Nacol Law Firm P.C. is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace for our clients, staff and the community we serve. We have been closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak according to the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

We want to assure all of our clients that The Nacol Law Firm P.C. is open and we are available to you for your needs. We want to share with you the actions we are taking to help protect our clients, staff and the community we serve.

Our staff has been trained to follow the public health authorities’ guidance regarding hygiene and personal travel, and we’ve reinforced our existing policy for staff who exhibit flu-like symptoms to stay home and to consult with a medical professional. We are also advising our visitors to make responsible decisions about meeting with us in person if they feel symptomatic.

Although our office is open during regular business hours and we are using extra precautions in regards to the virus, if you prefer to schedule a meeting or consultation by conference call, we are happy to accommodate that request. We encourage everyone to stay calm, practice good hygiene, and limit exposure to crowds and we will all get through this together.

Mark A. Nacol
Julian M. Nacol
Nacol Law Firm PC
Tel: 972-690-3333

DETAIL
Jan
27

Texas Divorce and My Children : What Are My Fathers Rights?

It is 2019 and many fathers are facing a regrettable and inevitable DIVORCE! Either through Mom’s decision or Dad’s, it may be the end of a joint family life that includes both parents in one residence. No one is ever happy, but by doing some research and trying to make reasonable decisions, fathers will persevere and hopefully you will be able to maintain your loving relationship with your children and family.

Some things to remember:

    • Your children love you and just because you are no longer living with their mom, doesn’t change your love. You keep your opinions to yourself and not share all your adult thoughts with your children. YOU LOVE THEM AND ALWAYS WILL! NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN YOUR INTEREST OR LOVE FOR YOUR Children. Mom is no longer in your home and love with the children. She has her own relationship with the family now. 
    • You do have definite rights to your children. When the decision has been made to file for divorce, employ an experienced attorney to help guide you through this process.  Negative statements, even when true, ARE NOT HELPFUL! Uninformed opinions from your soon to be ex, concerning your rights with the children, are suspect, since you now are on opposing sides. A very knowledgeable Fathers Rights Attorney is up to date on all current issues in Fathers Rights domestic litigation and the courts, and this is who you should listen to for guidance. 
    • As the divorce proceeds and behaviors by the divorcing couple become hostile and estranged, just remember that self-control and acting rationally, without anger, will help in eliminating future ammunition to be used against you in the divorce and custody case. Self-control in your behavior and attitude will help you keep an upper hand in the Divorce proceeding and help the outcome. 
  • Finally, you are not the victim! Don’t lay down dead and let Mom run over you! There is life after the death of a marriage and you will learn that not only may your life be better, but your life with your children will be enhanced! The children will have watched you act like an adult and parent who loves them and wants the best for them, but also wants a good life with them in the after-divorce life.

Now the Divorce process has begun. Either you or your wife have “Lawyered Up” and the Legal Process has begun! Some very good advice to consider following at the beginning of a Divorce:

  1. Get your financial documents in order: Review our blog “Prepare for Your Divorceto start getting ready in the financial part of the divorce. Subject to the outstanding standing order of the court, be sure to protect all joint bank accounts and open new ones for your individual use. Also, if indicated and necessary, delete spouse from all your credit and charge cards.
  2. Depending on the age, meet with your children and discuss what is happening to your family. Make sure they know that your relationship with them will never change and you will always be their father and show this by loving actions and affections. Confirm that you are divorcing their Mother, not them. 
  3. Stay on your best behavior during this stressful time. Watch your consumption of alcohol intake and try to stay in good company. You need to show that you are not the aggressor. Never let Mom provoke you into a stressful situation where you may engage in a public spectacle with any form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse against Mom or others. The Judge or jury would not be impressed! 
  4. If you have not hired an attorney, now is the time to “lawyer up”. You need to find a competent attorney who has a good reputation dealing with fathers and their rights to their children. Look on legal websites and blogs to see if an attorney relates to your legal needs. Check on fathers’ rights blogs and see if an attorney has answered questions about a similar family situation as yours and has suggested good solutions to help resolve the issues.  Give this attorney a call and set up a consultation to see if he/she would be a fit for your legal need. 
  5. If life and divorce pressures are making you depressed, search out for help with supportive family or friends, clergy or professional counselors. Studies have concluded that Divorce is one of the most stressful events in an individual’s life. Get the support you need to be able to make wise decisions and to promote honest interaction with others during this most stressful time.

Like death, Divorce is one of life’s worst events. Know that this difficult time will someday be over, but also along this path there will be unknown surprises and events, that will test your honesty and dignity as a father and a parent. But in the end, you will make it and still be the father that you need to be to your children.

Stay Calm. This too shall pass….
Mark Nacol
Nacol Law Firm P.C.
Dallas Fathers Rights Attorney

By Nacol Law Firm | Prepare for Your Divorce
DETAIL
Nov
11

When the Custodial Parent Dies – Who Will Have Custody of the Child?

When the custodial parent of a child dies, in the state of Texas, not only is the child and family union devastated, but now is presented the difficult issue of who will become the child’s guardian.  Who are the possible candidates that may be legal guardians?

  • Non- Custodial parent, if paternity is acknowledged
  • Grandparents
  • Other relatives
  • Godparents, Family friends, Neighbors
  • State Foster System 

Usually, the surviving non-custodial parent will have an automatic right to custody of the child. Texas law favors a child having a solid relationship with both parents and in the event of death, the living parent will take over permanent exclusive custody of the child.   What factors should be considered in the child’s best interest that could determine custody by the surviving parent if he/she is not appropriate for the child? 

  • Did the court, after the divorce, terminate your parental rights in a legal proceeding? If the non- custodial parent had legally been terminated of his/her parental rights this is binding and the terminated parent WOULD NOT be granted permanent custody of the child. 
  • What if the custodial parent remarried and the new stepparent legally adopted the child? If the child was legally adopted by the stepparent and the non-custodial parent had waived their parental rights, the stepparent would be granted permanent custody of the child.
  • What if the non-custodial parent has acknowledged parentage, but paternity has not been established? To be entitled to custody of the child, the father would first claim parental rights through paternity testing to determine if he is the biological father of the child or if he has signed the child’s birth certificate. After Paternity is established, a separate legal proceeding may need to be initiated to override the terms of the mother’s will. 
  • What if the Custodial Parent created a will that stated the grandparents/godparents would take over as the legal Guardians of the child in the event of death? Many parents will request a particular person or group, such as grandparents, relatives, or godparents to become guardians for their minor children in the case of their demise, but a child is not a piece of property to give away to others when the other biological parent is living.  The judge will view what is in the best interest of the child and will always first look at the surviving parent. If this parent meets basic standards the child will live with this parent. If the surviving parent cannot serve the child’s best interest, then the judge will consider the guardian designated in the deceased parent will.  

Nacol Law Firm P.C. 
tel: 972-690-3333

DETAIL
Aug
18

Texas Divorce and the Special Needs Child

Divorces with children are painful and emotional under the best of circumstances, but a divorce with a “Special Needs Child” is usually a very complex and mentally stressful situation for all family members involved.  

The main goal in a “Special Needs” divorce is that all decisions affecting a child with disabilities must be in the “Best Interest of the Child.”

What is the “Best Interest of the “Special Needs Child”? Often this is the very reason that the parents are divorcing.  The parents cannot agree on the existence of a disability or the best approach needed for care and support for their special needs child.  Many times a medical/neutral professional will need to be involved to help the parents transition the new “after” divorce life of the child and parents.

When working with parents of a “Special Needs Child”, our attorneys focus on the most critical issues impacting the child and the family unit.

Some of these important issues are:

  • Keeping the relationships between the family members agreeable in making the necessary decisions concerning visitation and transitions between both parents’ homes. You child needs contact with both parents unless there is an abuse or addiction issue or the other parent’s home is an unsafe environment for the “Special Needs” Child.  
  • Agreed upon health and medical care issues including special therapies to address the child’s needs. Let the child know that both parents are in agreement on the care for the child.
  • Special social and recreational opportunities and appropriate educational programs are available for the child and her/his disability and should be agreed upon by both parents, if possible.
  • Coordinate structured and regular visitation dates with same place drop off points. Give your child a calendar with visitation dates and let her/him be prepared to visit the other parent.
  • Helping the parent to find a support group of family, friends, counselors and neighbors to help your family with your “Special Needs” Child. This help may come in many forms, mental and physical support, financial planning or just a good hug to say “you are ok”.  

What is very important in a “Special Needs” Divorce is to realize what is “normal” in most divorces may not be the norm here.  There are many important situations that will have to be resolved before the divorce can be finalized.  The divorced parents of the “Special Needs” Child will continue to have to work together for what is best for their child.

Other serious considerations to settle:

  • The transitions after a divorce on living arrangements and visitations for the child. It will be difficult to use a standard visitation schedule and a special parenting plan will have to be agreed upon to meet all of the child’s needs.
  • The divorce decree will have to be custom designed to make sure the needs of the child will be met for the child’s entire life. The final divorce decree may have to be modified for the child’s benefit.
  • Be knowledgeable of the financial aspect of your “Special Needs” Child. What type of care will be needed on a daily basis and will one parent have to give up all monetary benefits from employment outside of the home to take care of the child.
  • List all expenses of raising this child: medical costs, food for special nutritional diets, special medical equipment needed for use of child, special schooling and transportation needs.  This is very important to make sure the needs of the child will be met.
  • Spousal Maintenance/Alimony: this amount must be worked out to ensure the caregiving parent will be able to afford all need of the child and their household.  Many times this parent will not be able to work out of the home because of the constant care for the child.  This will usually continue for the entire life of the child, so the divorce decree will have to reflect this continued support and cost of living changes.

When choosing a qualified lawyer for your “Special Needs” Divorce, it is important that the lawyer is familiar with what is involved with this type of divorce and understands the importance of tailoring a custom decree that will fit the best interest of the child and family situation for the duration of the child’s existence. It won’t be easy, but if the parents will work together, it can be achievable!  

DETAIL

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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