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October 2012 Archives

When child custody disputes get ugly, call a professional

No one loves your children more than you do. For most parents, that's a no-brainer. But sometimes the love a parent has for his or her child can lead to irrational thoughts and actions. This is particularly true in the case of divorced or unmarried couples.

Domestic violence deaths of Texas women down, but familicide up

The final day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is today, but that doesn't mean Texans should put the issue out of their minds. For thousands of families across the state, domestic violence is a very real and ongoing problem that deserves our attention, especially as trends of violence change.

Can fathers receive custody of children conceived through rape?

It may seem a silly question for most people in Dallas, but the answer may surprise residents: In many states, rapists can gain child custody, or at least visitation rights, with their children, even if that child was conceived through rape. It may seem paradoxical, especially since child custody issues in Texas are decided with the best interest of the child in mind, but there are very few restrictions against rapists being awarded some custody.

Former NFL coach: fatherhood success surpasses Super Bowl win

Tony Dungy, former Indianapolis Colts head coach, has established an online petition hoping to garner the support of both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney as he seeks stronger emphasis on fatherhood in the U.S.

Divorce in golden years raises issues for children of ex-spouses

Caring for aging parents eventually becomes a concern for most people. If your parents are still married, you may need to determine whether they have enough retirement funds to maintain their standard of living and cover any extra expenses that come up, especially the almost inevitably increasing costs of their health care. If your parents are divorced, you have even more to be concerned about because you'll need to ensure they're properly cared for separately.

Texas man shot during child custody dispute

As we discussed in a blog post last week, issues surrounding child custody can add a high amount of stress to any couple's divorce proceedings. Many times the arguments about where a child will live or how much time he or she will spend with a noncustodial parent can continue long after custody arrangements are made and finalized by a judge.

Music producer wanted for nonpayment of child support

In this still-stagnant economy, many Texas parents are continuing to struggle to make ends meet. This is especially true for single parents, most of whom rely on child support to pay all of their monthly expenses. But as millions of these parents can attest, payments from a child's noncustodial parent aren't always a sure thing, if they come at all. The reasons are varied; some parents are unemployed or underemployed and can't afford to support themselves or their children. Others simply refuse to pay what they owe, despite a risk of financial penalties and jail time.

Texans raising grandchildren have extra parenting challenges

Most parents have dreams of sending their children off into the world, either to college or the workforce, and reveling in that empty nest with all the free time they could possibly want. But many Texas residents with children find themselves dusting off their early childhood parenting skills when their children are unwilling or unable to raise their own offspring.

Texas father struggles to be heard in international custody case

Child custody cases in which two parents disagree on where to raise their children are quite common in Texas, but when these disputes involve parents who live extreme distances apart, the non-custodial parent is often left feeling desperate and out of control. And even though more fathers are gaining custody these days, more often children end up living with their mothers.

Texas child custody case questions definition of motherhood

Most people would easily acknowledge that a woman who gives birth to a baby is that infant's mother. But a child custody case in Texas is calling that seemingly simple fact into question. Is a mother still a mother if she's genetically unrelated to the child to whom she gave birth?

Property division: Should you sell or keep your home in divorce?

Of all the details divorcing couples in Texas must handle, one of the biggest is what to do with the home they shared. This decision is usually the most significant aspect of the property division process, and comes with a host of emotional and financial considerations.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to keep in mind the untold number of people in Texas and across the nation who suffer from abuse at the hands of a partner or family member. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime.

Many Texas parents struggling to afford child support

Last week we discussed the child support case of Deion Sanders, who is protesting a Texas court's decision to award more than $10,000 per month to the mother of his four children. The former pro football and baseball player, who now works as an NFL Network analyst, is complaining the amount he owes to his ex-wife is simply too high. While most Texas parents don't have the anywhere near the financial means that Sanders has, they can probably relate to his sentiment.