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TX family lawyerTexas family courts operate under the presumption that it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with and enjoy the guidance of both parents. As such, they are generally reluctant to give one parent exclusive full-time access to the child. However, there are situations in which spending time with one parent would be detrimental to the child’s health, safety, or mental well-being. In these cases, courts will consider granting sole custody, but some evidence may be needed to convince the court that this is truly necessary to protect the child.

If you believe that you need sole custody of your child for their safety, working with an experienced family law attorney may afford you the best opportunity to put forth a strong case.

What Kinds of Evidence Might Convince a Court That Sole Custody is Appropriate?

Even if they are completely true, one parent’s unsupported claims that the other parent is a danger to the child may not be enough to convince a court that granting sole custody is the right thing to do. An attorney can work with you to help you start identifying and collecting the evidence you may need. This evidence could include:

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Posted on in Family Law

TX paternity lawyerEstablishing who a child’s legal parents are offers a number of benefits for mothers, fathers, and children alike. Fathers can assert their parental rights and seek time with their children. Mothers can assert the child’s right to receive financial support from the father. In most cases, children benefit from having a relationship and spending time with both of their parents.

The relationship between fathers and children is important, and establishing paternity is the best way to protect that relationship. Or, in some cases, it may be the only way to ensure that both parents are sharing the responsibility of supporting the child. Whatever your reason for needing to establish paternity, a qualified attorney will be able to assess your situation and guide you to the best way of establishing paternity for your child.

What Are the Ways to Establish Paternity in Texas?

There are multiple paths to establishing legal paternity in Texas. Some are simpler than others. Which method is best for a particular situation often depends on whether the father and mother are both on board with the process. If one party is uncooperative, a court order may be needed to force a paternity test. Ways to establish paternity include:

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TX divorce lawyerOrders of protection can serve an important purpose during divorce cases. Sometimes, one spouse is legitimately a danger to the other and a protective order is necessary for safety reasons. Sometimes, however, protective orders are used maliciously by an unscrupulous spouse seeking to gain an edge during divorce and child custody proceedings. If you have been served with an order of protection - even if you did nothing to warrant one - it is important that you immediately comply with its terms and call a qualified family law attorney immediately.

Why Are Protective Orders Issued Unnecessarily?

It is rather easy to obtain a temporary protection order in Texas. This can usually be done ex parte, meaning that you have no opportunity to explain why the order is not necessary before a judge issues it. Generally, if your spouse alleges that you have been violent or made violent threats, they will get the protective order they are asking for. Spouses may do this during divorce proceedings for reasons like:

  • Custody advantage - Your spouse may believe that if they claim you are violent, they will get sole custody. This is often not true, and you will have the opportunity to defend yourself.
  • Spite - Some angry soon-to-be ex-spouses will take out a protective order out of sheer spite, to cause you aggravation, expense, and embarrassment.
  • Fear - Reasonable or not, some people will ask for a protective order out of fear during a divorce.

What Should I Do If I Get Served with a Protective Order?

Even if you did absolutely nothing wrong, it is important that you take the order seriously and comply with its terms. If you are being expelled from the place where you currently reside, you are likely understandably angry and afraid. You have every right to feel this way, but it is critical that you do not return to the residence except with a police escort to collect your personal effects as permitted in the order.

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TX injury lawyerWe expect that the products we buy and use every day are reasonably safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Dangerous products end up on the market all the time - and people can get hurt. From exploding Pyrex baking dishes to dolls with sharp motors in their mouths, product defects are everywhere. As a general rule, a product is considered defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for the standard consumer. The question is what types of flaws render a product dangerous. If you were hurt by a dangerous product, you will want to speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to receive compensation.

What Three Types of Product Defects Does Texas Recognize?

There are multiple kinds of problems that could render a product unreasonably dangerous. One product may be dangerous because it catches fire, another because it is missing a warning label, and yet another because it contains lead. In Texas, three general categories of product defects are recognized:

  • Design defect - The design of a product is defective if it creates unnecessary risk to users and a safer design could have been used. Products that are inherently dangerous even if they are well-designed, such as chainsaws and fireworks, are not considered to have a design defect just because they are dangerous. The particular design of that item must be more dangerous than similar products, having omitted a safety feature.
  • Manufacturing defect - A manufacturing defect happens when the design of the product was safe, but something went wrong during the manufacturing process. The design may not have been followed correctly, or a component could have been switched to a cheaper but more dangerous substitute. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a manufacturing defect and a design defect. A skilled attorney may need to investigate to make this determination.
  • Marketing defect - This type of defect may also be called a warning defect. When a product presents a danger that would not be obvious to a reasonable consumer, the seller must include a warning label. If a product is only dangerous when used incorrectly, then instructions that enable a consumer to use the product safely should be included. This could also include marketing dangerous products meant for adults, like electronic cigarettes, to children.

It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that a product he introduced to the market is safe for use by reasonable consumers. It can be difficult to tell which type of product defect caused your injury in some cases, so you will want to consult an attorney who has experience with defective product injuries.

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TX divorce lawyerDividing up money property at the end of a marriage can be challenging even for spouses who are cooperating. Married couples often acquire significant assets together such as houses, investment accounts, and joint retirement savings. Texas is a community property state, meaning that all earnings and assets acquired during the marriage are the property of both spouses. There are, however, a few exceptions. If you are going through a divorce and concerned about division of property issues, you should contact a qualified attorney. The Texas divorce and asset division process can be complicated, so you will want knowledgeable legal counsel to guide you.

What Counts as Community Property?

Community property includes any assets acquired during the duration of the marriage, by either spouse. It is not relevant which spouse’s earned income was used to purchase a particular asset or whose name it is under. If it was purchased using community funds, it is community property. Community property in Texas includes:

Income - Any income earned by either spouse during the marriage belongs equally to both spouses. Courts recognize that spouses make non-economic contributions to each others’ paychecks through emotional support or by managing the household so the other spouse can focus on working.

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