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TX family lawyerParents are not perfect humans, and everybody makes mistakes. Sometimes a parent makes a mistake that is blown out of proportion; other times, vengeful exes make false accusations to try to gain the upper hand in a custody battle. When this happens, the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS) may get involved and launch an investigation into a parent who has been accused of child abuse.

These investigations are serious and can lead to criminal charges. Even if you believe you are completely innocent, is it important to take the investigation seriously, behave cooperatively, and get an experienced attorney to help you defend your parental rights.

What Can a CPS Investigator Do?

Because a CPS investigator needs to get accurate information about allegations of abuse, the investigator will want to talk to the child who is the victim of the allegations. This interview can happen anywhere, but often takes place when the child is at school. The interview takes place one-on-one, between the child and the investigator, and is recorded.

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TX divorceEverybody has heard a nightmare scenario about someone who is getting divorced and has been falsely accused of child abuse, domestic violence, or other terrible behaviors. Spouses may be motivated to make false accusations because they believe that they are increasing their chances of success in a hostile contested divorce or custody dispute.

False allegations are serious and they can have a very harmful effect on the person against whom they are made. Unfortunately, as long as there are unfair people with ulterior motives, false accusations during divorce will continue. If you have had such accusations made against you, read on.

Why Would Someone Make False Accusations During a Texas Divorce?

Although it is impossible to read a dishonest person's mind, people are often not interested in playing fair during divorce because they believe they can get something out of it. The potential benefits of false accusations include:

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IL divorce lawyerIf you have ever been threatened by someone and fear they will commit violence against you, it can be difficult to know what to do. Victims of domestic violence in particular face a challenging set of choices because their abuser is frequently their romantic partner, making it difficult to get a divorce or otherwise leave the relationship.

Violence, including the threat of violence, is serious business under Texas law. Seeking something known as a “Protective Order” can give victims or potential victims of violence an option that keeps them safe by keeping their abuser away. If you have suffered violence or someone is threatening you, understanding Protective Orders is key to ensuring your future safety.

What is a Protective Order in Texas?

Protective Orders are court orders that are intended to separate someone violent from their victim. Protective Orders can apply to perpetrators of violence such as beating, hitting, slapping, and choking, as well as perpetrators of sexual assault. Even threats of violence can be sufficient to warrant a Protective Order in Texas. There are three kinds of Protective Orders available:

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Filing a SAPCR in Texas

Posted on in Child Custody

TX family lawyerDivorcing adults have to manage many complex issues, especially when there are children in the picture. Parents are deeply invested in the welfare of their children, and when parents view each other as incompetent or malicious, it can be very difficult to reach a compromise about what is in the child’s best interests. A suit affecting the parent-child relationship, or SAPCR, is a legal request to establish or adjust issues related to children during or after a divorce.

What Does a SAPCR Do?

SAPCRs are automatically used when parents file for divorce, and they address the following child-related issues:

  • Child custody, including which parent has conservatorship (decision-making authority)
  • Visitation, including holiday schedules
  • Child support
  • Medical support
  • In addition to divorce, SAPCRs are used when other adult caregivers need to establish legal arrangements for a child for the issues listed above. These caregivers may include, but are not limited to:
  • Parents who are divorced and want to modify a family court order
  • Parents who have legally separated
  • Parents who have never been married
  • A man who is claiming to be the father of a child
  • A non-parent, such as a foster parent or legal guardian, who is involved in a child’s care
  • A close family member who is caring for a child after the child’s parents have died
  • The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, when they are investigating a case of abuse or neglect and are seeking to remove a child from the custody of one or both parents

When Can a SAPCR Be Filed?

Whenever a parent or any other adult caregiver needs to legally establish or adjust a court order detailing how a child’s needs are addressed, a SAPCR must be used. The child in question must have lived in Texas for at least six months (or, if the child is younger than six months old, since the child’s birth). A SAPCR must be filed in the county where the child lives.

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TX family lawyerFinding out that you will be a father can be a thrilling and terrifying experience. You may feel unprepared, unsure of yourself, and even wonder whether this is something you want to do at all. However, despite the challenges of being a parent, establishing paternity under Texas law can benefit everyone - the father, the mother, and, most importantly, the child. Understanding how paternity is established in Texas and why it is important to establish paternity is a great first step in becoming a responsible father.

How Is Paternity Established in Texas?

If a man and a woman are married, establishing paternity is straightforward - the man is presumed to be the child’s father. Likewise, if a child is born within 300 days of a couple’s divorce, the former husband is still presumed to be the child’s father.

If parents are unmarried, however, the process is a little more complicated. If both parents agree that the alleged father is indeed the father of the child, they can sign a legally valid acknowledgment form declaring paternity. Both parents must sign the form to be valid.

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