Divorce and Custody
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Family law cases have the ability to disrupt life as you know it and cause an emotional upheaval that can be difficult to process alone. When the strength of your emotions may be making it difficult to process the situation in its entirety, our family lawyers will be there for you.
Making it right
Your situation and family is completely unique to you. No standard resolution will do to solve the issues that are causing trouble within your family. That is why we offer legal advice and representation that is completely unique to your situation. We will outline the possible outcomes in your case to prepare you for what is to come, then tailor our legal plan to represent your interests during the process.
From the start
Family is what is supposed to get you through the difficult parts of life. But sometimes, the issues that arise within a family can be the cause of the pain and sadness you are feeling. Even though legal representation might be the furthest thing from your mind when you are on an emotional rollercoaster, seeking out a family lawyer early can ensure your rights are protected from the start. When you need an advocate standing up for your rights, a family law attorney from the law office of John Nix can offer you legal representation.
Whether you need a divorce lawyer or representation during a child custody battle, our law firm can handle a wide range of cases, including:
- Separations and divorce
- Domestic violence
- Child custody
- Child support
- Adoption cases
Contested and Uncontested Divorce
A contested divorce is one where the parties cannot agree on the divorce itself or the terms of the divorce, such as assets, debt, alimony, child support, or custody, and will require the Court to intervene.
An uncontested divorce is one where the parties agree on everything and do not need the court to set the terms. Since John Nix is a certified mediator, he is able to facilitate negotiations if needed.
Motions to Modify Custody
In Texas, either parent may file a motion to modify custody at any time if it is in the best interest of your child. In cases where the parents do not agree on the terms, the modification order will go before a judge. The parent wishing to modify the order must demonstrate at least one of the following:
1. The child is 12 or older and wants to switch his or her main residence.
2. The custodial parent has relinquished care and possession for at least six months for reasons other than military duty.
3. Another major change in the circumstances of someone affected by the orders.
If the child is under 12 or does not wish to change the primary caregiver, the modification must be based on circumstances that are substantial.
In Texas, you do not have to be married to adopt. If you are married, the adoption must be carried out with the spouse. This applies to anyone who is separated but not legally divorced from their spouse and anyone who wishes to adopt their spouse’s child through a stepparent adoption. The exact requirements for adoption vary with the type of adoption. The Law Offices of John Nix can help you navigate the requirements and processes involved in most adoption cases.
When a baby is born to married parents, the law automatically recognizes two legal parents – husband and wife. Married couples do not need to take any additional legal steps to establish paternity.
When a baby is born to parents who are not married to each other, the law does NOT recognize the biological father or as a legal parent. In other words, a biological father who is not married to the mother of their child does NOT have legal rights to his child until he becomes a legal parent. Paternity must be established first.
By establishing paternity, unmarried parents give their children legal rights and privileges to Dad.
What are the paternity benefits for a child?
- A child knows who his or her parent is.
- The legal bond of paternity establishment supports the emotional bond between a parent and their child.
- It gives a child a sense of identity and connection to extended family.
What are the paternity benefits for a mother?
- It establishes your child’s legal right to his or her father.
- It makes your child’s father legally responsible for his child.
- It is a required step before asking the court to order child support, custody or parenting time.
- It helps your child become eligible for the father’s inheritance, medical benefits, Social Security and possibly veteran’s benefits.
What are the paternity benefits for a father?
- Your name can appear on your child’s birth certificate.
- It’s the first step in protecting your legal connection to your child.
- It gives you the legal right to care for your child.
- It gives you the right to ask for your child’s school and medical records.
- It gives you the right to ask the court for custody, parenting time or child support.