The primary areas of practice for our attorneys include all areas related to the family, including divorce, divorce alternatives ™, adoptions (child and adult), child support, enforcement & contempt, child protective services (CPS), common law & informal marriages, marital property agreements (pre-nuptials and post-nuptials), paternity, and name change.
Our lawyers’ divorce clients have often expressed their appreciation for how we handle their divorce. This is because we view one of our primary roles as divorce lawyers is to help our clients get through this often painful process in a manner that keeps our clients spiritually and mentally healthy through this process. Our extensive experience will ensure that your every legal need is met, in addition to providing a calming experience. If you prefer a Collaborative Divorce, which is a non-litigation approach to divorce, we can help you with your Collaborative Divorce. We are members of Collaborative Law Institute of Texas. If you are considering divorce, you might also consider Divorce Alternatives (see below).
Divorce alternatives ™
This innovation of having lawyers participate in preserving marriages rather than only dissolving marriages was created by one of our lawyers, and has been developed and improved with the participation of all of our family lawyers and others in the legal and spiritual community. Whether you are looking for separation or in-house arrangements, we have created some innovations that help to preserve marriages, or at least help to ensure that significant efforts are made to heal the relationship or address unhealthy behaviors before the marriage is dissolved by divorce. These efforts can be important to protect our clients and their children during the process in many ways, including physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. One of the innovations that we have created is the “Pre-Divorce” or “Anti-Divorce” petition that we have successfully used in numerous situations. If you would like more information, visit the Divorce Alternatives website at [website currently being revised].
Adoptions (Child and Adult)
Our experience with adoptions is notably extensive. Whether you are looking to adopt a child or if you are a birth parent, we can help you with an adoption. We have handled a variety of adoptions, including out-of-state and international adoptions. The advantage of a private adoption (as opposed to an agency adoption) is that you can avoid significant agency fees. In addition to this, we have significant experience in adoption litigation, helping step parents adopt their step-child, and adult adoptions.
Our family lawyers are experts in custody litigation. Although we try to help our clients avoid an expensive battle, if the parties are unable to agree to custody arrangements and have to go to a judge or jury to make a custody decision, we have experience and skill in representing our clients in custody cases.
Whether you are seeking to obtain support for your children, you are looking to modify the amount of support, or you are defending a support claim, our attorneys’ expertise in this area can help you get through this process in a cost-effective manner. We also have significant experience dealing with the Office of the Attorney General in these kinds of cases.
If your original decree needs modification, or you are defending a modification, we can help.
Whether there needs to be a modification of child support, custody, or simply a change in the holiday possession schedule, our family lawyers are experts at serving your legal needs to modify the original decree or the last order in your case.
Enforcement & Contempt
If your spouse or ex-spouse is violating a court order, whether it be child support, spousal support, custody arrangements, or other violation, our attorneys are experienced in obtaining enforcement, including by contempt. Ultimately, a person can be jailed or fined (or both) for violating an order. Although this is a remedy of last resort, many situations require such involvement. Conversely, if you are defending against a claim of enforcement or contempt, we can provide you the legal assistance you need.
Child Protective Services (CPS)
If you are faced with the involvement of CPS in your family situation, our lawyers can help you. Our lawyers have been successful in obtaining the return of children removed by CPS in situations where CPS overstepped their bounds. We can also advise you on how to best survive the CPS process even when your children are not removed. Conversely, if you need CPS to be involved, we can advise you to ensure that every effort is made to protect a child.
Common Law and Informal Marriages
Common law marriage is legal marriage. Therefore, if a couple satisfies the three elements for common law marriage – 1) cohabitation, 2) holding themselves out as spouses, and 3) agreement that they are married – then a couple must get a divorce except in certain circumstances. There is a statutory version of common law marriage, and the elements are identical. Our attorneys have litigated and dealt with common law marriage on numerous occasions, and we are prepared to assist you in navigating the challenges of this issue. Also, if you desire to cohabitate but want to make sure that your relationship is not considered a common law marriage, we can help you maneuver through this issue.
Marital Property Agreements (pre-nuptials and post-nuptials)
Whether you are considering marriage or already married, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements can be very helpful tools to protect separate property assets, protect community property from creditors of a spouse, or modify community and separate property rules to adjust to your specific needs. These agreements can also help avoid conflicts in case of death or divorce. We have the expertise and experience to draft these agreements in a manner that works well for our clients. These Property Agreements can also be used in Divorce Alternatives arrangements (see above), as well as in non-traditional relationships.
If you have children born out of wedlock, there may need to be a paternity proceeding. There are formal and informal ways to ensure that child support and custody are addressed, and our lawyers have the experience to help in your situation. If you need a paternity test or a DNA test, we can guide you through the procedures necessary.
If you’re looking to change your name, whether you are divorced and didn’t change it at the time of divorce or you want to change your last name or first name for a variety of reasons, we can help you navigate through some of the nuances and somewhat technical requirements involved with this process.