As you go through a divorce, you're going to be making financial decisions that could impact you for the rest of your life. Moreover, you have to make these decisions at a time when your emotions are probably all over the place.
The bond between grandparents and grandchildren can be a strong one. However, when parents divorce, grandparents sometimes find themselves cut out of their grandchildren's lives. Their former son- or daughter-in-law may have primary custody of the kids and not want them to be around their ex-spouse's parents. Sometimes their own child may not make the effort to let them see their grandkids (or may not want them to).
Sadly, some divorced parents refuse to abide by the terms of their child custody agreement. They deny their co-parent the access to their children that they're entitled to. Custodial interference is more than a violation of a custody order. Here in Texas, it can also be a felony.
When you and your spouse got married, you didn't draw up a prenuptial agreement. Perhaps you were both young adults struggling to make ends meet and pay off student loans. Maybe neither one of you wanted to broach the subject.
No matter how ill-equipped you may believe your child's other parent is to be a mother or a father, seeking to terminate their parental rights is a big step. Courts don't do that without good reason. Unless a legal parent agrees to give up their parental rights (for example, if the child's stepparent wants to adopt the child), the court will need to see grounds that a parent's rights should be terminated.
When parents choose to raise a child separately, it is rarely easy to figure out how each parent will share the responsibilities and privileges of parenting. If the couple never marries, they may work out an informal arrangement between themselves to determine how to share parenting time (although this is typically unwise), but if the couple divorces, they must reach a custody agreement approved by a Texas court. If they cannot reach an agreement, the court will determine this arrangement for them.
Many young people understand the necessity of taking responsibility for themselves and their own well-being before they turn 18, which is the legal age of adulthood in most circumstances. Because of this, the law provides a process for living as a legal adult before reaching the age of majority — emancipation.
Family courts throughout the country, and particularly in Texas, prefer to leave children in the care of their parents if they can justify doing so. However, instances of domestic violence do factor into the courts' decisions. If you have concerns about your ability to retain custody of your children because of volatility in your household, you may want to consider the legal tools you have to protect yourself, your child and your rights as a parent.
If you experience abuse in an intimate relationship or family interaction, you may have grounds to seek a protective order to keep yourself safe. In fact, you may have more grounds than you realize to seek out this protection, as courts now recognize numerous forms of abuse and offer protective orders as remedies.
Have you been served with a temporary protective order, also called a restraining order?