League City, Friendswood & Clear Lake Area Family Lawyer
Protecting the Interests of You and Your Family in Legal Matters
Family law covers some of the most important legal rights a person has. In addition to parenting rights that are determined in custody and adoption cases, family law can also affect your property rights and financial interests. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced family law attorney any time you must appear in the family courts of Texas.
Divorce is one of the most common types of family law cases. For parents, the most important part of a divorce case is determining each spouse’s right to visitation (physical custody) and making legal decisions (legal physical) for their minor children. Custody matters also require a determination of child support obligations, and this can impact your personal finances for years to come.
Many other financial issues are also determined in a divorce case. Alimony (known as “maintenance” under Texas law) is a common issue. Division of property also includes the valuation of retirement accounts, family businesses, and home equity. All of these issues mean that divorce litigants have a significant financial interest in the outcome of their cases.
Child custody rights can be determined in a divorce case, but they can also be determined in a paternity case if the parents were never married. Paternity is presumed in certain cases, but in others, a DNA test might be required to prove who the child’s biological parent is. Paternity can be complicated in cases of same-sex adoption and surrogacy. In such cases, the court can find legal paternity, even if neither party is a biological parent. It is important for these parents to work with an experienced League City paternity lawyer to protect their parental rights in complicated litigation.
Once paternity has been established, the court must determine each parent’s right to visitation, as well as the authority to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. The court must also determine child support obligations (if any exist).
Many stepparents become close to their spouse’s children, and wish to formalize the parent-child relationship through adoption. Unfortunately, the stepparent cannot do so in contradiction of a legal parent’s custody rights. This means that the stepparent’s spouse must join in the petition for adoption, and the other parent must either be deceased or have his or her parental rights terminated by the court. Termination is a serious step. The court requires a higher burden of proof than the “preponderance of the evidence” standard used in most other family law cases. You must be prepared for the other parent to aggressively fight a petition to terminate parental rights.
Experienced League City Attorney for All Family Law Matters
There are many different issues you might face in the family court. All of these cases can affect your most personal legal rights, and impact your financial interests for years to come. You should be represented by an experienced custody, divorce, or adoption attorney when you appear in the family court. Rob Musemeche is an experienced Texas family law attorney, so please call 281-475-4145 or contact us to schedule your consultation.