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TXOne very common but unfortunate consequence of a Texas divorce is the severing of relationships between spouses and their in-laws. While the spouses themselves may not feel this is a bad thing, their children and the children’s grandparents are often negatively affected by the sudden disappearance of the time they spend together.

Grandparents play an important role in the love and nurturing of young children and when a sudden estrangement occurs, it can be heartbreaking for the grandparents and confusing and tragic for the children. If you are in this situation, there is hope - Texas recognizes that children often benefit from having a relationship with their grandparents, and, if it would be in the child’s best interests, it may be possible for grandparents to be awarded visitation with or even custody of their grandchild.

When Can I Get Visitation With My Grandchild?

Texas family courts are primarily concerned with understanding the child’s best interests and ensuring his or her family arrangements protect those interests. At times, this means courts will support a parent’s decision not to let the child visit with the grandparent. Other times, however, a sudden estrangement from a grandparent is sufficiently disruptive to the child’s life that visitation would clearly be in the child’s best interests.


TX familiy lawyerAs children of divorced or never-married parents get older and gain a greater understanding of their relationship with their parents and the world around them, they often develop strong opinions about which parent they want to be with all or most of the time. When the parents agree with the child’s preferences and with each other on a parenting arrangement, making a new custody order is fairly simple.

But when parents disagree with each other about child visitation, or if a child has preferences with which one or both parents disagree, a Texas family court may have to intervene and decide what arrangement would be in the child’s best interests. If you are interested in pursuing sole custody (or sole conservatorship, as it is legally known), you may want the help of an experienced family lawyer who can help you explore your and your child’s options.

When Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

A child can never independently decide which parent they want to live with until they are 18. This may seem unfair, especially if the child is mature and independent, but that is the law. However, beginning at age 12, children can have a larger say in where they live - although a judge will be the person who ultimately makes a decision about, or approves of, parenting arrangements. Children also cannot decide to refuse visitation with one parent until they are 18 because, like parents, children are legally obligated to follow existing custody orders.


TX divorce lawyerEven as divorce rates stabilize across the country, divorce continues to be a difficult and contentious experience for many couples in Texas. However, not all divorces are destined to be conflict-ridden or involve months or years of court litigation. Collaborative divorce is a strategy that has emerged in recent years as an effective way of avoiding unnecessary conflict and time in court while ensuring both partners solve important issues.

A collaborative divorce is a process wherein both spouses agree to work together, with the help of their attorneys and a team of professionals, to resolve their differences cooperatively rather than combatively. Even the attorneys are committed to working together to protect each spouse’s individual and mutual goals. If you are considering divorce in Texas, here are three ways that collaborative divorce may benefit you.

Save Time

Divorce is notorious for taking far longer than people prefer because important but difficult issues must be resolved before a divorce decree can be finalized. A collaborative divorce can help couples focus on resolving issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support quickly and responsively so both partners are satisfied with the outcome. By working with a team of experienced professionals, spouses can focus on one issue at a time and often find solutions much faster than through the more combative traditional approach.


TX injury lawyerDog attacks in Texas can present serious dangers, especially to young children. Nearly five million people are bitten by dogs every year in America, and almost a million of those bites require immediate medical attention. Sometimes, the consequences of a dog bite can be devastating, requiring extensive reconstructive surgery, physical therapy, and more. If you have been personally injured by a neighbor’s dog, you may want to know if you can take action.

Texas Follows the One-Bite Rule

Texas law allows the owner of a dangerous animal to be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the animal if the animal was known to be dangerous. When animals attack people or act as if they want to attack people, owners must be hyper-vigilant about ensuring their animal does not have the opportunity to cause others harm. For dogs specifically, this often means the dog has already bitten or tried to bite someone and an owner must keep them leashed at all times.

However, even if a dog owner did not know their animal was dangerous, a victim may still be able to recover compensation if they can prove the dog’s owner was negligent. For example, people are often bitten by a neighbor’s dog when the dog is allowed to roam off-leash and leaves the owner’s property. In this case, the owner letting the dog roam could constitute negligence, especially when the dog attack was not provoked.


TX divorce lawyerAlthough divorce is often a difficult and contentious process, it is not necessarily this way for everyone. Many Texas couples, recognizing that they are simply incompatible or that they would be happier apart, are willing to make an effort to resolve their issues outside of court in an uncontested or “agreed” divorce. While this is often easier for couples who have not been married for very long and do not share property or children, uncontested divorces are available to most Dallas couples who want one.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

To get an uncontested divorce, a Texas couple must agree to all of the issues involved in a traditional divorce. Depending on a couple’s circumstances, this could include major elements like alimony, child custody arrangements, marital property division, and even minor ones like what to do with the family pet. As long as a couple agrees on all issues, they can agree before a judge to skip the trial process and create a divorce decree containing their agreed-upon terms.

In contrast, a contested divorce is one in which spouses disagree on one or more issues and require the help of mediation or the court to decide on issues of fact, fairness, or the application of law. While couples in an uncontested divorce can also use mediation to their advantage, they would do so before filing for divorce and then present their agreement to the court for approval.

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