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Austin Texas Family Law Blog

What if my child is too ill to alternate custody?

The reality of sharing custody or visitation privileges with a child's other parent is often very different from how you think it will be when you are negotiating a parenting plan. Often, life just gets in the way, and it is difficult to understand the right way to raise your child and also honor the other parent's rights and the agreement you made together. One common difficulty occurs when a child is feeling ill when it comes time to alternate custody with the other parent.

Truthfully, there is no simple answer to this question. There are many factors that go into the decision, such as the age of the child, the severity of the illness and the distance between the homes. Both you and the child's other parent have a primary responsibility to care for the child first and foremost in the matter, so if changing custody is truly not in the child's best interest, then it is possible that you should postpone the switch.

How can I protect my business in my marriage?

If you are a business owner approaching marriage, then you should certainly consider the protection that a well- crafted prenuptial agreement can provide both you and your spouse-to-be. Businesses (as well as business debts) can be considered marital property that must be divided upon divorce, which could be a death sentence for your business. If you have to divide up your business in a divorce, you may leave your employees and customers hanging out to dry because of your personal relationship difficulties — and no one wants that.

Prenuptial agreements can protect both spouses, not only the business owner. A proper prenuptial agreement can protect your spouse from liability for your debts even while you are married, or in the event that you pass away. Also, you can spread out the protections and protect something your spouse may cherish, ensuring that there are far fewer tensions once you are inside the marriage.

Rushed marriage for citizenship? Consider a prenup

Citizenship and residency in the United States have become hot-button issues in recent months, as many immigrants and legal residents of the country are facing the very real possibility of deportation. As a response, many citizens in relationships with non-citizens have suddenly felt a strong motivation to accelerate their plans and marry each other sooner than later to combat the threat of losing the one they love. Of course, hastily marriages are especially susceptible to many of the issues that tear couples apart. If you are considering marrying a non-citizen, you should seriously look into a prenuptial agreement to ensure that you both remain protected if the marriage does not last.

No one wants to think that their marriage may not go the distance, but it is statistically more likely for marriages to end if they are rushed. It is important to understand that using a prenuptial agreement does not diminish the nature of your love for your partner. It merely protects you both from unintended consequences if you get to the other side of the residency crisis and feel differently than you do now.

Proposed bill would license detention centers for childcare

Texans often witness the complicated intersection of sovereign security, family rights and immigration issues in a way that few other states will ever know, due to the hundreds of miles of border it shares with Mexico. Just such a complex conflict is at the heart of a new bill recently proposed in the Texas Senate's Veterans Affairs and Border Security Committee.

The bill seeks to loosen the guidelines around issuing licenses to childcare facilities, and for a surprising reason. The bills supporters, many Texas Republicans, claim that loosening the regulations surrounding issuing the licenses would allow several family detention centers to become licensed childcare providers. The move is framed as a was to keep families from being split up as the current administration's focus on tightening immigration practices may split up many families.

Can a prenuptial agreement protect an engagement ring?

Prenuptial agreements are often considered to affect only issues inside a marriage, but for many individuals, the risks begin well before wedding vows are given. If you have spent a significant amount of money on an engagement ring, you may want to make sure that you can reclaim the ring if the wedding never occurs. Every year, thousands of couples throughout the country choose to end engagements without marrying, often creating tensions about rings that may have cost thousands of dollars.

While common sense usually implies that a ring should be returned to the person who gave it, a broken engagement can be an extremely emotional time, and it is not always easy to make a rational choice. Even in circumstances where you believe that you will definitely get married, it is wise to get a simple written agreement that the party who received an engagement ring will return it in the event that the wedding is called off.

Texas considers co-parenting bill

If you are getting divorced, your spouse may be fighting to get full custody of your children. Many parents experience this heartbreaking conflict, and more often than not they are fathers who wish to share custody of children. While some parents want to control as much of the children's lives as possible, or use access to the children as leverage over their former spouse, this is almost never in the best interests of the child themselves.

Now, Texas lawmakers are promoting a bill that recognizes the value of more equal parenting between divorced parents.

Divorcing fathers can use mediation to their advantage

As a father facing the divorce process, it's hard to understand what the future will bring. While you focus on your personal well-being, you must also concern yourself with your child (or children).

Many fathers are concerned about receiving fair treatment during their divorce. Instead, they assume that the court will favor their ex-wife with regard to child custody matters.

Man faces kidnapping charges for taking child out of the country

Sharing custody of your child with a former spouse or partner can become complicated in many ways, often requiring the strength of the law to enforce your rights and protect the child that you love. It can be intimidating to face some family challenges, and many people feel as though it is somehow inappropriate to enlist the help of an attorney for a family matter. However, an experienced family law attorney can help you understand the scope of the law and how it may apply to your dilemma. Sometimes, you might be tempted to take a course of action that is illegal, and could use some professional advice before you derail your relationship with your child, and possibly other areas of your life.

Just such a situation played out in El Paso recently, where court records indicate that a man is now facing serious federal kidnapping charges. The charges stem from actions he took more than a decade ago, when he took his child and fled the country. For the last ten years, he has been residing in Argentina, Paraguay, and Mexico with the child.

Texas legislature debates subsidies for vulnerable children

Texas lawmakers got personal with each other recently, turning a legislative meeting into a debate about personal ethics and institutional racism. There are certainly many passionate feelings on all sides. No one can disagree that at the heart of the matter is the fact that many children who are exceptionally vulnerable -- those who come from unsafe environments -- are taken into state custody.

Some legislation currently being considered proposes that the state offer support to family members who take in vulnerable children, in a similar system to that used with foster families. The basic assumption underlying the proposals is that it is preferable to place vulnerable children with someone related to them instead of an unrelated foster family. However, the bone of contention arose about whether the state should offer such support to undocumented caregivers to take in vulnerable children.

What are infidelity clauses in prenuptial agreements?

There are a number of reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement, whether it is protect a business from being dependent on the success of your relationship, or to shield a spouse from your personal or professional debt. In most areas, a prenuptial agreement deals strictly with practical matters, often relieving a marriage of many of the tensions that can tear it apart.

However, it is also possible to include what are known as "lifestyle clauses" in a prenuptial agreement that stipulate certain rewards or penalties for certain behavior. While many lifestyle clauses are frowned upon by the court and are likely to be ignored by a judge, one type of lifestyle clause that has become much more common and often-recognized is an infidelity clause.

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