Family Law Overview
Times have changed and pre-concepts that Dads are the providers and Moms control the family have changed greatly! To raise well balanced children in today’s world, both Dad and Mom must be involved in raising the kids. Many times this is not possible since one parent refuses to give up control and causes many problems in the family structure.
Mark A. Nacol at The Nacol Law Firm PC, concentrates on difficult types of family legal Issues that seriously affect parents and their relationships with their children and family. Mark addresses the concerns of clients throughout Texas in a wide scope of family law matters that include:
Child custody & child support
Visitation & residence restrictions
Multi Asset Divorces
Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements
Modifications / Enforcement of court orders
Same-sex Marriage / Cohabitation Agreements
In the United State every man, woman, and child has been affected, directly or indirectly, in family domestic issues. Many legal approaches exist for divorce, and whenever possible, the Nacol Law Firm P. C. and the Texas Family Courts favor out-of-court settlements. If relatively few issues are contested, workable alternatives to litigation include:
- Mediation — an informal process in which a neutral third party called a mediator listens and invites discussion on issues in conflict so couples can arrive at an understanding and reach agreements. Mediation is effective when both parties are willing to resolve differences regarding low-intensity disputes.
- Arbitration — a more formal alternative dispute resolution procedure in which a neutral third party called an arbitrator listens to both sides and renders a decision to resolve areas of conflict.
- Collaborative law —approach to divorce that focuses on common goals and seeks to arrive at fair, reasonable settlements that benefit the entire family.
Courtroom litigation generally is far more expensive, more time consuming than other alternatives and involves conducting discovery, interviewing witnesses and formally preparing and presenting the case at trial. Litigation should be reserved for contested divorces in which a trial is the only viable avenue to resolve intensely disputed issues and protect the client’s interests.
Divorce is granted when all issues involving children, property and support have been agreed upon outside of court or ruled on as a result of litigation. At The Nacol Law Firm PC, Mark A. Nacol represent clients in all approaches to divorce, tailoring his legal counsel to the method most appropriate for their needs. Please see our Texas Divorce Financial Checklist
The best interests of the children take priority in child custody matters. In most cases, Texas courts favor joint managing conservatorships, in which both parents share parenting rights and responsibilities. When the court rules on a joint managing conservatorship, one parent retains physical custody, meaning the children reside primarily with that parent, and the other parent is granted frequent, established times of possession. A sole managing conservatorship is another custody option in which one parent is granted most, if not all, rights for parenting decisions.
Typically, when one parent has primary custody of the child or children, the other parent must provide child support. Texas courts follow child support guidelines under the Texas Family Code in determining child support payments. Many factors are taken into consideration, and calculating child support often is complex. Child support may be subject to modification when circumstances change after the divorce. See the Texas Child Support Guidelines Update
Parental Alienation Syndrome is the systematic denigration by one parent with the intent of alienating the child against the rejected parent. In most cases, the purpose of the alienation is to gain custody of the child and exclude involvement by the rejected parent. If you are experiencing this situation with your children and spouse, do not give up your parental rights! Your children desperately need you. Read more on Parental Alienation Syndrome here and then contact Nacol Law Firm PC for legal insight to your rights as a parent.
Every day in the news, we read how Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence affects women, men and children lives in very tragic ways. What is Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence? It is the willful intimidation, physical and sexual assault & battery or serious mental and verbal abuse perpetrated by one family member against another. Are you having these issues in your current relationship? Give us a call and we can help! Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence: Read more on Identifying the Problem and to Make it Stop!
In Texas, spousal support is granted under limited circumstances. Factors supporting an order of spousal support (when marriage has lasted 10 years or more) include a lack of earning ability, physical or mental incapacity or custodianship of a child that prevents employment. Domestic violence offenses are another consideration under which the court may grant spousal support. For more on Spousal Maintenance Laws in Texas.
As a community-property state, Texas requires property be identified as separate or marital before property division may be determined. Property division is based on “fair and equitable” guidelines as opposed to being equally divided between two spouses.
In today’s unpredictable economy there has been a continuing growth of small businesses and a substantial decrease of existing established businesses in Texas. In the regrettable instance of “Divorce” how may the “Family Business” be divided between a dissolving couple to reach a fair and reasonable result for both parties?
In such a situation, having an experienced Family Law Attorney with the aid of economic experts becomes critical in establishing a fair and equitable price on the business, consulting the client on their rights relative to the business, helping with negotiations for a business entity to be sold, transferred, or appraised, and making sure the client’s rights are protected in the transaction. Nacol Law Firm PC has a proven track record working with business owner during trying times.
Moves, paternity suits, career changes, new employment, unforeseen expenses and re-marriage are just some of the changes that occur after divorce. Most violations in divorce orders involve child support, custody and visitation. Such changes make modifications in child support, custody, possession and/or visitation necessary. Nacol Law Firm PC can assist you by ensuring that the terms and conditions of final judgments are modified and enforced through the courts.
Interstate Jurisdiction- Child Custody Disputes
Many states follow a uniform law regarding state jurisdiction in custody matters, known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and other laws which make up custody jurisdiction law such as the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. Texas follows these statutes as well. The idea behind the UCCJEA is to minimize the potential difficulties in determining which of several states has jurisdiction in a matter. Generally, the state the child has been living in for the last six months will have jurisdiction over the matter.
There are a number of factors involved in determining which state to file in. Most likely, there will be only two states involved; but it is possible to have more than two states involved in cases where there is a frequent moving of the parties. Generally, any state in which any of the parties or the child has lived for the last year is a possible place to file an action.
At the Nacol Law Firm PC, we represent parents trying to enforce these laws; cases where we try to persuade courts to apply the specific, narrow exceptions to these general rules in order to have custody cases heard in the most convenient forum in which the most evidence is available; cases where the child’s home state or other basic questions need to be clarified; and cases where parents have been falsely accused of violating these laws.
Premarital & Post-Martial Agreements
By addressing ownership of assets and property, premarital and post-marital agreements assist couples in establishing their preferences for rights of possession as opposed to being subject to community-property laws. Marital agreements can be used for minimizing taxes, establishing guidelines on prior assets and debts, avoiding probate if a spouse dies or providing benefits for children from a previous marriage. Should the couple ever divorce, a pre- or post-marital agreement often lessens significantly the complexity of property division.
Paternity & Voluntary Legitimation
A baby born to unwed parents does not have a legal father under Texas Law. In order to exercise your rights as a father, including visitation and possession, a man must be a child’s legal father. In most cases, paternity can be effectively determined by DNA testing. Most disputes regarding child custody or child support sometimes revolve around establishing parentage. Is a Biological father a legal father in Texas?
Same-Sex Marriages & Marital Conflicts
Currently, the State of Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages. What does this mean for same-sex couples, legally married, moving into Texas. They want a divorce, but in Texas they are not legally married! Times are changing but until they do, contact Mark A. Nacol to set up a Domestic Partnership Agreement and other binding contract to protect your community assets.
For more information on divorce and family law issues in Texas, from Dallas Family Law Attorney Mark A. Nacol, visit our blog or contact us today at (972) 690-3333.