Can I be ordered to pay my spouse alimony (spousal maintenance)?

Texas courts can order a spouse to make support payments to the other spouse while the divorce is pending, and thereafter, in very limited circumstances when the case is over. The Texas word for “Alimony” is “Spousal Maintenance”. The Family Code provides very a series of very limited rules concerning post-divorce spousal support that requireContinue reading “Can I be ordered to pay my spouse alimony (spousal maintenance)?”

Who has more power over a CPS case: The judge or CPS?

Ultimately, the judge has greater authority to control a CPS lawsuit involving an allegation of abuse or neglect to a child. However, the judge’s authority is limited to only address requests and evidence that are present to the Court, so many decisions get made by CPS without the judge even knowing about it. In theContinue reading “Who has more power over a CPS case: The judge or CPS?”

What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative Family Law is a process by which the decision making process in a divorce is taken away from the Court and put into the hands of a neutral third-party, the collaborative lawyer. This is a relatively new process–The Texas Legislature enacted laws that authorize this practice in 2011. Collaborative Family Law requires many things.Continue reading “What is Collaborative Family Law?”

Should my spouse and I use the same lawyer for our divorce?

Many spouses that are facing a divorce want to keep things as amicable as possible, and they often try to do this through using the same attorney. But having the same attorney is not an option. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct prevent one attorney from representing opposing parties to the same lawsuit. AtContinue reading “Should my spouse and I use the same lawyer for our divorce?”

Can I demand a jury trial on a suit involving a child?

The right to a jury trial is not without limitations. The Texas Family Code provides limited circumstances in which a child custody battle can be decided by a jury. In suits involving children, a jury can determine the issues of: (1) appointing someone as sole managing conservator, joint managing conservator, possessory conservator; (2) determining whichContinue reading “Can I demand a jury trial on a suit involving a child?”

Can a foster parent intervene in a CPS case before twelve months?

Under certain circumstances, a foster parent may intervene in a CPS case before twelve months. The statutory and case law provisions that govern a foster parent’s ability to intervene in ongoing CPS litigation are complicated. There are many misconceptions about this based upon lawyers and non-lawyers alike oversimplifying the statutory provisions.  In some circumstances, theContinue reading “Can a foster parent intervene in a CPS case before twelve months?”

What are the important dates and events in a CPS case?

A CPS case has a twelve-month deadline with several important hearings and conferences along the way. There are adversarial hearings, status review hearings, permanency review hearings, family group conferences, and permanency conferences. Each hearing or conference has specific statutory requirements that must be met by CPS or the court. Ordinarily, the child must be returnedContinue reading “What are the important dates and events in a CPS case?”

Who all is involved in a CPS court hearing?

A CPS court hearing has many unique people involved, including: the Department of Family and Protective Services (“CPS” or “The Department”), their attorney (“District Attorney” or “County Attorney”), the Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”), the Attorney Ad Litem (“AAL”), the parents and their attorneys, and the foster parents. The Department of Family and Protective Services (“CPS”Continue reading “Who all is involved in a CPS court hearing?”

What is insupportability?

Insupportability is another name for what is commonly called a “no-fault divorce”. In Texas, you can get a divorce based simply upon not getting along with your spouse anymore. The typical language found in a divorce petition or divorce decree will state that the grounds for divorce are based on a “discord or conflict inContinue reading “What is insupportability?”

If my spouse and I live in different counties, where should we file for divorce?

If you and your spouse live in different counties, the county in which the divorce is filed is an important consideration. Some counties in Texas have Standing Orders that immediately become effective upon a party when they file for divorce or are served with divorce papers. Standing Orders govern the conduct of the parties whileContinue reading “If my spouse and I live in different counties, where should we file for divorce?”