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. At the most basic level, a divorce is a lawsuit between the two spouses.
But, there are other options. It is possible to get a divorce without any lawyers--both spouses represent themselves, commonly called a "pro se divorce". Another option is to use what is called ...
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. To start, both spouses must sign a collaborative family law participation agreement, and the agreement must have certain provisions in it. Once the agreement is filed on record with the clerk of the Court, the legal proceedings are essentially ...
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 the context of a CPS lawsuit, the judge must ultimately determine what is in the "best interest" of the child. Those two words--best interest--are packed with a ton of meaning, which is further explained here. All of the parties to a lawsuit will try to convince the judge about what is ...
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 which conservator has the right to determine the primary residence of the child; and (3) establishing a geographic restriction on a child.
In suits involving children, a jury MAY NOT: (1) determine whether or not to grant an adoption, (2 ...
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, the foster parents know the child better than anyone else, and the foster parent’s intervention in the CPS case is necessary in order for the court to hear all of the facts and be able to determine what is in the ...
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 returned to the parents, or the CPS case must end by some other manner, by the twelve-month deadline. The court may sometimes grant a six-month extension to a CPS case under extraordinary circumstances, at which ...
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” or “The Department”) is the State Agency that is responsible for protecting abused and neglected children. In CPS Court, they are the “Petitioner” because they are ...
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 in personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.”
Even if one of the spouses is at fault for the break-up of the marriage, many spouses choose to pursue a divorce based on the ...
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 while the divorce is ongoing, and typically address issues such as children, property, and communications between the parties.
Additionally, some counties have local rules that will govern some of the details of the divorce proceedings. There may also be some ...
An ICPC Home Study gets its name from the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), which has been adopted by the State of Texas. The ICPC governs how, when, and why a child may be placed across state lines. An ICPC Home Study is an assessment of the home of a prospective placement for the purposes of placing a child across state lines.
In the context of a CPS suit, an ICPC Home Study typically occurs when Texas identifies a family member that lives in another state and would like to have the child placed with them. The ICPC Home Study process is designed to be quick (less than 60 days ...
Family law can be complicated.
This blog contains some of the most common questions that our family law attorneys receive. Search or click below to learn more about common family law issues regarding divorce, child custody, adoption, and CPS.
- Foster Parents may Intervene Prior to Twelve Months Under Certain Circumstances
- New Changes to CPS Statutes Effective 09/01/2021: Prioritization of Placement Decisions
- New Change to Child Support Effective 09/01/2021: Reduction in Support Requirements for Low-Income Earners
- What is a common law marriage in Texas?
- Can I be ordered to pay my spouse alimony (spousal maintenance)?
- Is my premarital agreement enforceable?
- What are "Initial Disclosures"?
- Should my spouse and I use the same lawyer for our divorce?
- What is Collaborative Family Law?
- Who has more power over a CPS case: The judge or CPS?