Recent Judicial Roundtable Discussion Among Travis Family Court Judges

Published August 19, 2020 | By

A recent judicial roundtable in the form of a virtual continuing legal education discussion was done by the Austin Bar Association. The topic was “Back to School Issues in Light of COVID-19: A Discussion Between Bench and Bar.” The discussion was moderated by Patricia Dixon and included the following Travis County judges – Judge Andy Hathcock, Judge Catherine Mauzy, Judge James Arth, and Judge Julio de la Llata.

COVID-related issues were addressed such as when and how child support modifications should be handled, changes in custody/possession schedules based on COVID situational changes, and how the courts were conducting virtual hearings via zoom and the challenges it has presented.

For my detailed notes on the confence please visit this link to the main post on the Morgan Law Austin website.

Posted in Child Support, COVID, Visitation

Effective Parenting After a Divorce

Published January 9, 2019 | By

Parenting is a hard job under normal circumstances, but after a divorce it can seem impossible. Not only are you adjusting to a new situation, your children are going through a hard time as well. Everyone in the family will be on edge, wondering where things will go from here.

Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce

How to Effectively Co-Parent With Your Ex after a Divorce

Published December 19, 2018 | By

The idea behind coparenting is that even though your marriage is over the parenting relationship you have with your ex continues. In over two decades of practice I have seen people who have handled this situation effectively, as well as those who have spent their children’s remaining childhood feuding with each other. Obviously, the latter situation should be avoided if at all possible. Here are my best tips on how to effectively manage that relationship. Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, custody, Men's Issues

Three Tips on How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Case

Published November 25, 2018 | By

If you have a significant enough problem to go see an attorney you need to make sure that you consult with not just any lawyer, but the right lawyer for your case. Here are a few tips on how to decide on just who is the “right lawyer”: Continue reading →

Posted in Attorney

What if the Child’s Birthday Falls on an SPO Holiday?

Published October 30, 2018 | By

On one of my other posts I outline the basic terms of the Texas Standard Possession Order.  One of my readers recently commented and asked a very interesting question that I have never been asked before.  Here is the question:  “What happens if a child’s birthday falls on a holiday schedule? Does the holiday schedule trump the birthday order (SPO of 6pm-8pm)?”

The relevant statute is Texas Family Code Section 153.314. That is the part of the Standard Possession Order that says certain “holiday” periods (defined by statute as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and the child’s birthday) trump any conflicting weekend or Thursday visitation. This is true regardless of whether the parents live more or less than 100 miles apart.

What that statute does not make entirely clear Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, Visitation

Can a Child Age Twelve Decide Which Parent to Live With

Published July 29, 2017 | By

I have been asked this question more times than I can count during my career.  More often, it is stated to me as fact, as in “well my child is over twelve, so he/she gets to decide who he/she wants to live with.” This belief is based on a misinterpretation of a very real Texas Family Code statute concerning the wishes of a child twelve or older.

Section 153.009

Here is what Texas Family Code Section 153.009 says Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, custody

What are Temporary Orders in a Divorce Case?

Published October 10, 2016 | By

This article will explain what temporary orders are in a Texas divorce case, outline some of the more common issues addressed by temporary orders, and give some suggestions on how to deal with temporary orders if they are an issue in your case. Continue reading →

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Temporary Orders

Texas Alimony Basics

Published September 28, 2016 | By

This article will outline the basic issues involved in alimony in a Texas divorce case.  First, let’s get clear on the terminology.  “Alimony” is the commonly used name for periodic payments of post-divorce support for a spouse, not to be confused with child support which is intended for support of the children of a marriage.  Since as Texans we like to be unique, the statutory name given for alimony is “spousal maintenance.”  So whether the term used is “spousal support,” “spousal maintenance” or just alimony, the meaning is generally the same:  periodic post-divorce payments from one spouse to the other for the support of the recipient spouse. Continue reading →

Posted in Alimony, Men's Issues, Property Division, Taxes & Divorce

What is “Standard” Visitation Anyway?

Published June 10, 2016 | By

Texas divorce lawyers frequently refer to the “SPO” which is short for the Texas Standard Possession Order.  This statute defines a default visitation schedule that is presumed to be in the child’s best interest.  While this presumption is rebuttable under certain circumstances, my guess is that the Standard Possession Order (or some slightly modified version of it) is the visitation schedule in 90% or more of the divorce cases in Texas.

The statutory schedule is very long and detailed.  You can view the actual statute here.  In this article I will highlight Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, Men's Issues, Visitation

How to Break the News of Divorce to Your Kids

Published May 9, 2016 | By

family-spiltFor most people getting divorced is a gut-wrenchingly painful process. For those with children, it can be even more painful as you witness the negative impact that the separation, divorce and many other divorce-related changes have on your children. As a divorce lawyer for over 20 years I have seen many clients struggle with this issue. As a divorced parent myself I can attest that this was one of the most difficult parts of the process.

One of the most significant events of the divorce process is the beginning – specifically, Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, Divorce