Texas Family Law Practice Page

Domestic violence is usually addressed only when it involves an act of physical violence, but many survivors reveal that they suffer as much from verbal and emotional abuse as from physical abuse. If you have been the subject of physical, verbal or emotional abuse in your family and you have questions about the impact of domestic violence on dissolution of marriage, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney who can help you sort out the issues.

When couples are faced with marital problems that cannot seem to be otherwise resolved, oftentimes divorce may be the best option for the overall well-being of everyone involved. At Friedman Law Office, Texarkana divorce attorneys Errol and Michael Friedman understand the delicate personal matters that are associated with divorce and family law. We work with you to resolve family law issues respectfully and effectively.

The following information is intended to give you a general indication of family law. For further information, and to find out how we can help you, contact us at Friedman Law Office.

Contact Friedman Law Office in Texarkana, Texas, to find out more about how we can work to resolve delicate family law issues. Experienced Texas and Arkansas attorneys Errol and Michael Friedman are dedicated to helping you through this difficult time. Call today for your free initial consultation.

Family Law — An Overview

Family law is the term applied to the laws and rules developed regarding family relationships. Family law rules define not only the relationships between members of a family but also between a family and society as a whole. More than any other area of the law, family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related should treat each other. When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of a family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter.

Typically, family law attorneys assist people in making and breaking family relationships. Specific areas of representation include marriage and relationship planning, divorce, paternity, child custody and child support. Some family law attorneys also provide assistance in the area of adoption.

Marriage

Marriage is a legal and business union as much as it is a romantic one. Because marriage is a legal and business arrangement, it may be wise to consult with an attorney about the advantages of premarital or prenuptial agreements. Many couples find it helpful to work through financial issues and the potential disagreements such issues can create before entering into a marriage.

Divorce

Divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract. From a legal standpoint, divorce restores an individual's right to marry someone else. The process also legally divides marital assets and debts and determines the care and custody of the children. Each state addresses these issues differently. However, most states follow the same basic principles and use relatively uniform standards.

In some states, you may need to prove fault, commonly referred to as grounds, to obtain a divorce. However, the majority of states allow at least one form of no-fault divorce in which the spouses are not required to prove that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage. If no-fault grounds for divorce are available in your state, either you or your spouse may obtain a divorce, even if one of you does not consent to the divorce. In some states, both fault and no-fault divorce are available.

In most divorces, the primary issues to be decided are alimony or spousal support, property division and, if there are children, child custody, visitation and child support. When spouses agree on how to resolve these issues, they can usually obtain a divorce quickly. However, in many cases, divorcing spouses have disputes regarding their post-marriage financial arrangements and the care and custody of their children. Property division and alimony are often hotly contested issues in divorce proceedings, but the early advice of a family law attorney may be able to favorably impact the ultimate result.

Child Custody And Visitation

The care and upbringing of children following divorce is often an ongoing source of conflict for divorcing parents. Custody must address both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody typically involves allocating parental rights and responsibilities regarding the day-to-day care and activities of the children. Legal custody typically involves allocating the legal rights and responsibilities associated with the child's upbringing.

Sometimes the parents agree to an arrangement; sometimes the court determines one for them. In the past, courts routinely gave mothers physical custody and gave fathers visitation rights. Today, the courts have begun to realize that sometimes it is in the best interests of the children to reside with the father and reverse the roles of the parents. In general, the courts favor joint ongoing child-rearing responsibilities with the children residing where it is most practical and where he or she will flourish. The advice and assistance of a family law attorney can help parents to establish child custody and visitation agreements that focus on the best interests of the children.

Child Support

Parents must financially support their children. That obligation usually lasts until the child reaches the age of majority (usually 18 or 21 years old depending on state law), graduates from high school or becomes self-supporting. An order for child support may be entered during or after a divorce, and either parent may be ordered to pay support depending upon how custody is arranged. In most states, an unmarried mother may also file a petition for child support in family court, and an order for support will be entered once paternity has been established.

A parent who fails to remain current on his or her child support obligations faces significant penalties. Every state has a child support enforcement office that works with the family court to suspend professional or business licenses, take away driver's and recreational licenses, require payment of future owed sums in advance or place nonpaying parents in jail when child support obligations are overdue. Because of the state-specific requirements involved in child support, parents can benefit from the advice and involvement of a family law lawyer when child support issues arise.

Contact A Family Law Attorney

Family relations create a host of legal consequences. Whether you are contemplating marriage or divorce or are considering adoption, a family law attorney can explain the laws that apply to your particular situation and help you to make informed choices for you and your family.

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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Texas Family Law Resource Links

Texas Family Code
This website contains the Texas Family Code. Limited search capability is offered and documents are available for download in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Child Support Division
This website, maintained by the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas, offers numerous services related to child support matters, including a tool to check the status of a case (requires login), make child support payments, locate the nearest office, and more.

Texas Family Law - An Overview

Family law is the term applied to the laws and rules developed regarding family relationships. Family law rules define not only the relationships between members of a family but also between a family and society as a whole. More than any other area of the law, family law reflects the values society shares regarding how people who are related should treat each other.

When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, a family law attorney at Friedman Law Office in Texarkana, TX, can help you make those decisions.

Texas District Courts

In Texas, the district courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction. Each county is served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas, a single district court may serve multiple counties, while a densely populated county may be served by multiple district courts. Most district courts handle criminal and civil cases, but courts located in densely populated areas may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters. In counties served by a family district court, the family district court has primary responsibility for family law matters. (See Texas Government Code § 24.601.) Family law matters include:

  • Adoptions
  • Birth records
  • Divorce and marriage annulment
  • Child welfare, custody, support and reciprocal support, dependency, neglect, and delinquency
  • Parent and child
  • Husband and wife

The Role of Family Law Attorneys

Typically, family law attorneys assist people in making and breaking family relationships. Depending on the circumstances of the case and the desires of the parties, a family law attorney may use mediation, arbitration, litigation, or collaborative law procedures to help her or his clients to resolve their family law matters. Specific areas of representation include:

  • Marriage and relationship planning: Texas favors marriage over co-habitation of unmarried couples and recognizes ceremonial and common law marriages.
  • Dissolution of marriage: In Texas, a suit for dissolution of marriage is a suit for divorce, a suit for annulment, or a suit to declare a marriage void.
  • Paternity: A paternity suit to establish a parent-child relationship may be necessary before a court may render an order relating to matters such as child custody / visitation or child support.
  • Child custody: Whether physical custody of a child should be awarded to one parent or divided between the parents (joint managing conservatorship), and the division under a joint custody arrangement is primarily governed by statute. However, Texas courts have discretion to order child custody arrangements in the best interest of the child.
  • Child support: In Texas, a minor has a statutory right to parental support. Matters involving child support, including medical support, are primarily governed by statute.
  • Family violence: To stop or prevent family (domestic) violence or dating violence a person in Texas may file an application for a protective order with the court. In general, a request for a protective order will be granted if the court finds that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.
  • Adoption: Adoption creates the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not so related. In Texas, adoption generally creates all of the rights and obligations that exist between natural parent and child.

Family relations create a host of legal consequences. Whether you are contemplating marriage or divorce, considering adoption, or seeking relief from family violence, contact a family law attorney at Friedman Law Office in Texarkana, TX, for help in resolving your family law matter.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.