Can I Have My 12-Year-Old Child to Talk with the Judge?

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The quick answer:  Yes.   This is one of the most common  questions for Internet  searches that bring people to this blog, so I want to update my previous response.  The Texas Family Code has been revised  — no more written statements or battles of affidavits by a child.  It used to be that a parent who wanted his/her child to …

Fighting for Custody in a Paternity Case

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Children are born out of wedlock under a variety of circumstances. Sometimes there’s a long-term relationship, sometimes a one-night stand. Sometimes the father is involved all the way and sometimes the father isn’t informed until months or years after the child’s birth. Some fathers choose not to be involved and try to avoid responsibility. Other fathers try to be as …

When Can a Child Decide Where to Live?

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One of the most frequent searches on the Internet on family law issues is the question: “At what age can the child decide where he/she will live?” As the Oregon Divorce Blog recently stated, that’s a trick question. The answer is that the child can decide at age 18. When the child legally becomes an adult, the court no longer …

Can My 12-Year-Old Decide to Live with Me?

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No. One of the most common mis-perceptions about Texas law is that once a child turns 12, he or she can decide where he or she will live, meaning the child can decide who has custody.I would ask all parents out there to think about how many major decisions a 12-year-old gets to make alone and have the decisions bind …

Why Parents Fight Over Custody — 20 Quick Reasons

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Custody fights occur probably more frequently than they need to during divorces. Many factors and forces come into play and result in litigation over child custody. Here are some of the common reasons why parents may engage in a custody fight. Anyone going through a divorce and contemplating a custody fight should take some time to realistically assess their motivation …

Untraditional Custody Plans

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A small article in the July 6, 2008 Parade magazine had some interesting comments about fathers’ roles with their children after a divorce. The story mentioned the obvious, that many fathers lose contact with their children after a divorce and that most fathers are given the right to see their children two weekends a month and a few hours during …

How Can a Father Win Custody?

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This is another question in my periodic series of common questions from clients. The short answer to how fathers can win custody is: the same way mothers do. There is often still a perception that women automatically always win custody. That is not true. Mothers still end up with custody more often than fathers, but in contested cases that is …

End of Summer Custody Disputes: Possible Solutions

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The family law courts usually become busier in late July and August. Many custody change cases are filed and the parents want the issue resolved favorably before school starts. Unfortunately, it often takes many months or a year or more to get a final decision. Sometimes, it’s hard to get even a temporary decision before school starts. On top of …

End of Summer Custody Disputes: Look Before You Leap

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Every year, at the end of July or the first of August, there is an upsurge of court filings where the non-custodial parent is seeking custody of a child, hopefully to be resolved before school starts. Immediately preceding that upsurge, the child has often spent from a week or two to a month with the non-custodial parent. Parting is not …

A Win-Win Custody Battle Strategy

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Many times, at the start of a divorce, parents see custody of the children as an either-or situation: one parent has custody and the other is relegated to a visitation/possession schedule. In situations where both parents sincerely would like “custody”, and it’s not just a strategic move for some ulterior purpose (such as gaining more property or paying less child …