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McKinney TX Family Law Blog

Man gets life in prison for interfering with child custody

Many Texas families may currently have or be interested in establishing a permanent order pertaining to custody of any children in the home. A child custody order is a legally binding document that spells out each detail pertaining to an individual family's custody situation. Such orders often cover topics like where a child lives or attends school and the amount of time a child spends with each parent. 

Some years ago, a Texas man was in a romantic relationship with a woman who did not have physical custody rights to her child. The man helped the woman abscond with the child, and the pair was later charged with violating a custody order. Though the child was found unharmed, the couple was also charged with aggravated kidnapping. Violating a child custody order can result in serious criminal charges. 

Child custody dispute results in missing child

Texas parents may be familiar with the frustration that often arises while trying to hash out the details of child custody. Parents may find themselves at odds with a child custody order and be tempted to take matters into their own hands. A recent case explains why this sort of action is not advisable and can lead to serious legal trouble. 

After a court appearance that did not end in a way a Texas mother found favorable, she disappeared with her child immediately following. Authorities state that the woman took her daughter from outside the court premises, and the pair have not been seen since. The U.S. Marshals are now involved in the investigation, determined to find the missing child and hold the mother responsible for breaking the law. 

Details of daughter's divorce shock Sarah Palin

Divorce can be a time of personal turmoil for people of any age, and in Texas, the number of young people going through the often difficult process continues to rise. Fans of the show "Teen Mom OG" recently got an inside look at the suffering of cast member Bristol Palin, and some of the revelations caused her mother, well-known politician Sarah Palin, to become emotional. Bristol is in the middle of a bitter divorce, and some of the details have become the subject of the show's plot.

Divorce can impact an entire family, and often, children, grandparents and other relatives may feel caught in the crossfire. On a recent episode of the popular reality show, Bristol spoke about the painful process of separating from her husband. She revealed that, during her absence, he moved all of her belongings to a spare guest room in the home they own together and demanded she return her wedding ring. 

Family law litigants: big news regarding adoption

Texas families may be aware that a recent legal power struggle has many people confused. Adoption is ordinarily a matter of family law, which could help explain why the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act. The act provided special circumstances regarding the adoption of American Indian and Alaskan native children. 

The specific language of the act, which became law in 1978, is a bit tricky to understand for some. The general context explains that children from these heritages should not be placed for adoption with a family outside their native community if there are family members within their biological community that are willing to take them. This has led many families to suggest that adoption should be based on the quality of life a family can provide, not the race or ethnicity of a child. 

Texas breaks record for child support enforcement

Many Texas parents have personal experience with a child support order. It is important to make sure that children statewide have their financial needs met so that they have the best chance at an enjoyable childhood. When it comes to child support enforcement, the state takes the matter seriously. Nonpayment of child support can even result in criminal charges. 

This past year, Texas has broken a child support enforcement record. The state was able to ensure that a grand total of about $4 billion was collected for the benefit of children and custodial parents. Child support orders are legally binding, and the state is doing everything in its power to make sure each parent subject to a child support order fulfills his or her financial obligation. Texas children should not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, or have clothing and shelter needs that cannot be met. 

Parent's drug use can become child custody concern

Texas, along with the rest of the country, is in the midst of a drug crisis. Cases of severe addiction and overdoses continue to skyrocket nationwide. If a family is concerned that a member is struggling with substance abuse, they may feel they need to take action to change child custody to save any children in the home. 

Recently, authorities arrived at the home of a Texas family after they were called to respond to a possible drug overdose. When help arrived, police stated that the home, which contained the couple's minor children, had a severe lice infestation. The living conditions were found to be unsafe, perhaps due to the parents' inability to overcome drug addiction. 

Reality star prepares for possible child custody battle

Though surely not the first celebrity to hail from Texas, Tila Tequila remains a favorite tabloid target. The reality star has often found her face splashed across headlines dishing the latest on her sometimes wild lifestyle. Tila, who is a mother, now must worry that her on-screen antics may affect child custody. Though she is no stranger to controversy, she has been accused by the father of her child of allowing her reality star persona to negatively affect their 4-year-old daughter. 

The former couple does not have a formal child custody order from the court. The child's father had considered taking action to establish an order years ago, but he decided not to pursue one, hoping that the two could continue to co-parent and agree about custody between themselves. He states that recent social media posts have concerned him enough to take action, claiming the child is being neglected or mistreated by Tila. 

Violating child custody order is criminal offense

Though it may appear to many Texas parents that violating a custody order would be considered a civil matter, this is not the case. Unlike other areas of family law, disobeying a child custody order is a criminal offense. When a person commits a crime, victims may want to contact the police for help, but many parents now complain that police are hesitant to enforce child custody orders. 

Violating a child custody order in Texas is a felony, and if found guilty, the penalty can be two years in jail. A recent study shows that law enforcement may not be doing a good job making sure violators are properly charged. Some parents state that another parent is purposely keeping a child from them, and police are not helping them enforce the order. 

Rock star's divorce grows inflammatory

When Texas couples decide they are ready to end their marriages, they will need to make themselves familiar with the state's legal process regarding the dissolution of marriage. Divorce can be a confusing endeavor, especially if the circumstances surrounding a split are less than amicable between the opposing spouses. Like each marriage, each divorce is different, and highly publicized celebrity divorces are no exception. 

Known the world over for his part in the band Guns N Roses, guitarist Slash finds himself in the midst of a battle over finances. He filed for divorce from his wife in 2014. During the initial proceedings, he revealed that he was unsure they were even legally married because his estranged wife may have not ever actually gotten a divorce from her first husband. 

New child support laws in effect

Texas parents need to be aware that, though the state modified the way child support is calculated a few years ago, the new laws are finally in effect as of Sept. 1, 2018. Representatives for the state say that it took a while to update the computer system used to process payments. Nothing should change regarding how parents make their child support payments, but they may now be responsible for paying a higher amount. 

Parents paying child support are now required to pay an additional amount to cover dental insurance for their children. Most parents are already required to pay for medical insurance. People who would like to add dental coverage to their child support payments are asked to contact the District Attorney's Office.