My Child Does Not Want to Visit Me — What Do I Do?

Unfortunately, parental alienation can get to a point to where the child will object to seeing the other parent to the degree that only physical force will bring the child to the vehicle of the parent picking up that child.

It is very often found that one parent is either encouraging the child to not visit the other parent or “making it okay” not to visit, which causes parental alienation. 

Some examples would be the other parent planning events for that weekend that the child believes they will miss out on, such as pizza, going the beach, a barbeque, cousins visiting, or some other tactic. Another example would be that one parent is stricter than the other, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend can come over to mom’s but is not allowed at dad’s. 

Regardless of the reason, there are ways to handle this. One would be to change pick up and drop off to the time school is dismissed. Another would be to provide a court appointed advocate to interview the child to straighten out any foul play.

At the end of the day, the worst thing you can do is nothing as that would be setting a pattern of conduct in allowing the child to act in their own best interest instead of taking charge.

For information about visitation and other child custody issues, please call The Barrera Law Firm at (956) 428-2822 or complete our on-line form for a free consultation.

What to Watch Out For When Your Child Tells You They Want You to Have Custody

In Texas, it is true that a child that is 12 or older may tell the judge who he or she wants to live with. However, the judge has to examine all the factors and decide if it’s in the best interest of the child.

Here are some factors the judge may examine:

1) The grades of the child;

2) The attendance records of the child;

3) The family support for the child, including half-siblings or other factors that may worsen the child emotionally if separated from;

4) Whether the parent will be able to adequately supervise the child due to work obligations;

5) Whether the child was enticed through a vehicle or other “gifts” as conditional to them telling the judge they want to live with them;

6) A professional’s or court appointed attorney’s opinion following a full investigation.

It is important that one properly deals with a child who suddenly wants you to have custody, so the court understands that any other factor is addressed prior to filing with the court, and to make very certain it has nothing to do with healthy discipline and teenage rebellion.

For more information call The Barrera Law Firm at 956 428-2822 for a free consultation.

How Do I Change my Custody Order in Texas

How Do I Change my Custody Order in Texas

Under Texas Law, a previous decree for divorce, child support order, visitation order or temporary custody order may be modified if there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the children that affects the best interest of the child.

An attorney may file a petition to the court that outlines what needs to be changed and why. Changes in grades, medical conditions, school attendance and behavior are just some examples of what the court might base a modification on. 

It might be that one starts off with the intention to change custody and then realizes it may be best to change other aspects of the court order instead such as visitation, restrictions on the residence, or clarifying a part of the order that the other parent uses in an abusive way.

For more information, call The Barrera Law Firm at 956 428-2822 for a free consultation.

Allegations of Child Neglect

Battling parents in a heated divorce have been known to make allegations against the other parent of neglecting the child or children of the marriage.  Child neglect is a very serious allegation and what constitutes child neglect is quite specific in Texas law.

Things such as not helping with the child’s homework because you’re busy with something else or failing to take the child to a sporting event is regrettable, but it is not neglect.  Neglect includes such things as:

  • leaving a child in a situation where the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, without arranging for the necessary care for the child
  • placing a child or failing to remove a child from a situation requiring actions or judgment beyond the child’s capabilities
  • failing to get medical care for the child resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or that results in observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child
  • failing to provide the child with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the child
  • placing the child in or failing to remove the child from a situation in which the child would be exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the child

Neglect of a child by a parent will weigh heavily in any custody decisions a court makes.  Before raising the matter before a court, be sure to consult with your lawyer to make sure the conduct of the party you are accusing of neglect falls within the statutes.

The Barrera Law Firm can help you with divorce and child custody issues.  Call us at (956) 428-2822 for a free consultation or complete our online form.

Adoptions in Texas

Under Texas law there are strict procedures as to adoption and termination of parental rights. Very often a step-parent has been raising a child for years while the biological parent has chosen to make little to no effort to support the child or manage the child for whatever reason.

Texas law supports the best interest of the child and recognizes that’s what’s best for the child isn’t always a biological parent. Steps may be taken to begin the process for either a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights and consent to adoption, or to fight it out in court and leave it to a judge’s discretion as to grounds for termination, such as not paying child support for a year, or conviction of certain criminal offenses, and others.

Texas adoptions are relatively complicated, and many factors come into play. Some such factors have to do with the criminal history of the adoptive parent, the length of marriage, the presence of family support by the biological parent and more.

For more information on Texas adoptions, call The Barrera Law Firm at (956) 428-2822 or complete our form for a free consultation.

Do I Need A Geographic Restriction in my Child Custody Order?

Texas law provides that a non-custodial parent may ask for a geographical restriction to an identifiable area as large as the United States or a small as a school district or street address. A Geographic restriction protects the non-custodial parent from a situation where the custodial parent up and leaves with the children, making access and visitation more difficult and more expensive.

Although most orders have “notice” provisions built into them as regards to providing notice of a relocation, it does not prohibit the other party from moving. A geographical restriction does. Sometimes, a court will allow an emergency hearing, once it is known that a person is moving, and a geographic restriction may be asked for then. However, it is always best to get one immediately.

Call The Barrera Law Firm, PC, at 956 428 2822 to get a free consultation, in order to inform of you of what your rights are and how to get started with taking action so that you are definitely an undeniable part of your child’s life.

Can I Change a Court Order for Custody, Visitation, or Child Support?

Under Texas law, a divorce decree, child support order, or custody order can be changed if there has been a material or substantial change affecting the best interest of the children. 

Additionally, orders specifically for child support only can be reviewed every three years. Any part of any court order can be changed. Sometimes people only want to change the place for pick up or drop off of the child, or they want a provision added relating to international travel, or relating to property of the child.

Sometimes a parent who wants custody of a child is not prepared for the fact that the court may not grant custody to them because they are deficient in managing the child’s health, education and welfare.

In that case, an attorney can create a modification of prior court order to grant the parent more time or more rights to the child in order to put that parent on the path of custody. Each case is different and requires a case-by-case analysis.

Call us for a free consultation to learn more at (956) 428-2822. 

Holiday Enforcement of Family Law Court Orders

Most court orders relating to child custody have provisions for Christmas possession and access to minor children.

These orders can be in the form of a Divorce Decree or a child support order. Sometimes, these orders are only found in protective orders, temporary orders, or they don’t exist at all. One should be sure to check to be sure they have a valid court order with an actual Judge’s signature.

If you have a court order that was never explained to you, see a lawyer and get every single paragraph of every page explained. If you don’t have any court order relating to your children and you don’t live with the other parent who has possession of the children, you must establish the order as soon as possible.

Holiday orders tend to be standard or custom, depending on the circumstances surrounding the children. These orders can be clarified, modified, and even enforced, if necessary.

Don’t wait for the holiday season to pass before you miss your chance to exercise your rights.

 

For more information, call The Barrera Law Firm, P.C. at 956-428-2822.

Geographic Restrictions Relating to the Primary Residence of Children in Texas

Can you stop the other parent of your children from moving?

Geographic restrictions in Texas is a subject of intense legal debate. It’s a case-by-case issue that depends on many factors.

Here are some factors the court may consider:

1) Is there a consistent and dependable record of visitation and support for the children?

2) Does the other parent take initiative to participate in the child’s education, extracurricular activities and doctor’s appointments?

3) Is the purpose of the move mostly or solely in the interest of the parent and not the children?

4) How far is the move and how would it affect the children?

These are only some of the factors a court would consider. One must always do their due diligence to confer with the other parent about the move.

For more information, call The Barrera Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation at 956-428-2822

Grandparents’ Rights to Custody or Visitation in Texas

Under Texas Law, there are exceptions to the rule that a parent has a superior right to children and that a grandparent has no legal right to custody or visitation of their grandchildren.

The law is grounded in both common sense and fairness. The first thing the court looks at is whether or not a grandparent has the legal standing to bring a suit for custody or for access to and possession of the child.

Some grandparents do not qualify and a competent attorney may be hired to ask the court to deny a request for a legal order for custody or a visitation schedule.

Some grandparents have always had care of and control over a grandchild, yet do not receive the necessary rights in the form of a court order to be able to fully, legally and independently care for the grandchild.

Temporary custody or temporary possession and access are also available for grandparents who qualify with conditions put in place while a parent is away or otherwise unavailable, unfit or incompetent.

Some grandparents have lost touch with a grandchild because the parent they had access through died.

To find out if you qualify to request a legal order for custody or access to grandchildren, call The Barrera Law Firm at (956) 428-2822 for a free consultation.

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