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Helpful Answers to Common Family Law Questions in Fort Worth, Texas

Many people have questions about family law’s emotional and financial issues.

Family laws in Texas have changed significantly since around 2015, mostly because Texas families have changed so much since then. As of December 2014, fewer than half of American children live in a “traditional” household with a married mother and father who have not been married before and their pure biological siblings. Some laws have changed, and others have remained the same, making it difficult to determine what’s what.

A good Fort Worth family law attorney always takes as much time as necessary to answer all your questions in a language you understand. Very few people understand Legalese. We have enough confidence in our answers to publish them. Thus, in this post, we have collected some of the common questions we hear, so you have vital information at your fingertips.

Is Texas a Mom or Dad State?

Around 2015, Texas courts transitioned from a joint conservatorship model to a co-parenting model.

In the joint custody days, children “lived” with one parent, who was almost always the mother, and “visited” the other one. Co-parenting arrangements assume that children benefit when they spend regular, meaningful, and consistent amounts of time with both parents. Co-parenting also assumes that both parents should take an active role in child-rearing.

Nevertheless, the judge must still designate a residential and non-residential parent. The factors for these determinations haven’t changed much.

Can a Father Keep a Child Away From the Mother in Texas?

Not unless a court order forbids such contact. The same principle applies to a mother who wants to keep a child away from a father. A judge, and not the parents, decide what visitation is in the best interests of the children.

We hear this question a lot if Mom marries a sex offender or if her household is otherwise dangerous. A Fort Worth family law attorney may be able to get an emergency order in such situations.

On a related note, there’s no connection between financial support and child visitation. A parent cannot withhold contact because the other parent is behind on child support or alimony. That would be like holding a child for ransom.

What are Fathers’ Rights in Texas?

Fathers have a right to see their children unless the court forbids it for some reason. The access does not have to be 50-50 between father and mother, but it should be as close as possible. Fathers also have a right to discipline their children during their parenting time, at least in most situations.

Perhaps more importantly, a father has a right to an attorney. Unless a lawyer stands up for fathers’ rights, those rights might as well not exist.

Is Everything Split 50-50 in a Divorce in Texas?

Everything is presumptively split 50-50 in Texas. A community property presumption applies to all marital debts and assets, regardless of who legally owns the asset or owes the debt.

This presumption is very strong and almost always holds up in court. However, judges may order unequal distributions in some cases.

How Many Years Do You Have to Be Married to Get Spousal Support in Texas?

This part of the law is new. Under current law, all spouses are eligible for alimony no matter how long their marriages lasted. Caps apply depending on the length of the marriage.

Furthermore, the requesting spouse has insufficient income or assets to meet their reasonable needs. Alimony is easier to obtain if the requesting spouse is severely disabled or has custody of a severely disabled child.

Rely on a Diligent Tarrant County Family Lawyer

If you have questions about family law, we have answers. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Fort Worth, contact the Law Office of Kyle Whittaker. Convenient payment plans are available.