Family Law

Families are complicated, and our experience in handling family law cases is just one way we will help you through these difficult times. Family law issues are extremely personal, impacting you both emotionally and financially.  This is why we take a personalized approach when handling your unique situation with care, providing you with experienced legal advice, support, and representation in all areas of family law.

 

Divorce

 

The decision to end a marriage is often a difficult and emotion experience for all parties involved.  Divorce can be a traumatic and stressful situation for spouses and children, which is why our job is to ensure we inform you of your rights and discuss your immediate and long-term goals in a thoughtful manner throughout this difficult process.  Whether your divorce is uncontested and amicable, or contested and contentious, we are here to handle all aspects involved, including custody disputes, support issues and property distribution.

 

Throughout this process we will keep you informed of your rights and the status of your case.  We are committed to providing you with experienced and competent legal representation tailored to your individual situation.  We will advocate for your rights and work with you and for you to uphold those rights and achieve the best possible arrangement for you and your family.

 

Adjudicating Parentage/Paternity 

 

Adjudicating Parenting is the legal establishment of the identify of a child's father, and can be initiated through legal proceedings by either the mother or the father.  There are numerous ways a child's paternity can be established, some of which are time sensitive.  Adjudicating parentage will allow the father to have the rights and responsibilities of a father, as well as provide rights and benefits for the child.  In some instances, there is a question as to the child's father. We have the experience needed to help you establish paternity through genetic (DNA) testing.  In most instances when paternity of the child is questioned, genetic testing is best.

 

If you are looking to adjudicate parentage, it is best to contact us as soon as possible so that we may work to protect your rights.  We understand that each case is unique and that issues involving children are typically very sensitive and can have reaching implications for you both financially and emotionally.

 

Conservatorship/Legal Custody

 

The most important members of your family are your children.  We are committed to representing you in order to ensure your interests are represented in any decision regarding the conservatorship of your children.  There are two distinct rights with your children: conservatorship and possession. Conservatorship/Legal Custody refers to your rights and responsibility to make important decisions regarding your children. Possession/visitation refers to the actual time the child is with you.  It may be possible to reach a negotiated agreement with the other parent regarding the conservatorship/legal custody and possession/visitation rights for your children.  However, when these are contested, our role is to represent your desires in a manner that are aligned with the best interests of your children.  

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Possession/Physical Visitation

 

If you have a desire to be a part of your child's life, having a possession/visitation order for that child is extremely important. We have the experience needed in resolving these issues. If you have been refused time with your children, or if you need to discuss whether you have the right to deny the other parent time, we are here to help you.  

 

Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship (Texas Only)

 

Not just parent's have the right to seek conservatorship or possession orders for children.  Under certain circumstances, step-parents or other guardians may have rights.  Contact us today to discuss whether you as a non-parent can file suit affecting parent-child relationship.

Child Support

 

Child support is a complex aspect of family law.  Whether you are trying to receive child support for the first time, having trouble collecting child support under an existing order, want to modify child support payments, are having trouble making your current child support payment, or believe you should no longer be obligated to continue making child support payments, you will need an experienced family law attorney .  

 

In both Texas and Oklahoma, parents are obligated to support the needs of their children. Child support is typically determined pursuant to established Guidelines, but there are circumstances in which it may be in the best interest of your child to deviate, either by an increase or decrease, from the guidelines.  

 

When faced with a child support issue, contact us today to discuss your situation.  

 

Texas Link:                                                     

 

Oklahoma Link: 

 

Spousal Support

 

Spousal support, also referred to as "alimony", "support" and "maintenance", may be available to a party when going through a divorce, as well as for a period of time after the divorce is final. However, spousal support is not automatic.  There are several different types of spousal support, and an award of such will depend on a number of factors.  Today, spousal support is available to both men and women.  

Guardianship

 

Guardianship over an individual may be desired if that person is a child, or perhaps because they are an adult who has been determined to be "incapacitated," and unable to manage certain daily functions.  Guardianship may be an option of last resort, but can provide much needed protection and legal solutions to a complicated and complex issue.   

 

Often a guardianship or co-guardianship of a child is requested by a family member.  However, this does not necessarily have to be the case.  If the parents are deceased, or are unwilling, unable, or unfit to properly care for their child, a guardianship may be appropriate.  Guardianship over children is not meant to be permanent, and will only last until the child reaches the age of 18 years.  A guardianship may be terminated if the parent(s) have corrected the conditions that led to the guardianship.  

 

When faced with the need to obtain guardianship over another individual, whether that person is a child or an "incapacitated" adult,  or if you are faced with another individual being awarded guardianship over your child, contact us today to discuss your rights.

 

Adoption

Adopting a child is an incredible responsibility, regardless of the circumstances.  You may be a step-parent, family member, foster parent, or other caring individual.  Regardless of the relationship, one of the Court's primary goal is to ensure the adoption is in the best interests of the child.  

 

If the proposed adoptive child still has legal parents, you will also need to undertake obtaining the relinquishment or termination of those parent rights, before you can proceed with adoption. 

 

Modification of Orders

 

We understand that it is important to maintain stability in your children's lives.  However, there are circumstances that may necessitate your request for a modification of conservatorship, possession, or child support.  Alternatively, you may have received motion to modify paperwork from the other parent, and are now not sure what to do or what your rights are. 

 

There are various reasons why modifications may be necessary.  Unfortunately, there are times when the need to modify an Order to protect your children is urgent, especially if you believe your child is in danger, or you are concerned for his or her welfare.  If this is the case, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.  

 

We have handled countless modification cases, and have represented both parents requesting modification, as well as parents who do not believe modification is necessary or appropriate.  To discuss modification of orders and what your rights are, contact our office today.  

 

Enforcement of Orders

Once you have a court order in place, you may find yourself in a position where the other party fails to comply with it.  The most common are the failure to pay child support, spousal support, and the denial of visitation rights.  This can be very emotional and frustrating, and it may be necessary for you to pursue enforcement sooner rather than waiting to see if the issue will resolve itself.  

 

There are a number of ways we can help you.  If there is a way we can help you resolve the issue without additional court intervention and unnecessary expense, we will work hard towards that outcome.  Our main goal is to work with you and for you to achieve the best possible outcome, and we will aggressively represent you in court should additional intervention be necessary.  

Child Protective Services

 

Child Protective Services (CPS)  will identify, treat and prevent child abuse and neglect.  If necessary, CPS will not only intervene to protect children, but will also provide services to help parents rectify the situation that lead to CPS involvement.  CPS involvement does not necessarily mean the children will be removed from their home, as CPS may also simply provide a safety plan for the parent/provider. However, sometimes CPS involvement does mean that the children will be removed from the home, and a petition will be filed against the parents. 

 

If you find yourself dealing with CPS, contact us as soon as possible to help protect your rights and guide you through the process in order to reach a successful outcome.  

If you need to report child abuse in Texas, please contact Texas Department of Family and Protective Services by:

 

        Calling 1-800-252-5400

        Report abuse online here: 

If you need to report child abuse in Oklahoma, please contact the Oklahoma Child Abuse Hotline:

        Calling 1-800-522-3511

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is provided as general information purposes only.  Nothing on this site or use of the contact form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm is, or should be construed as, legal advice for any case or situation.  This information or use of the contact form for communication is not intended to create, and receipt and viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.  © 2019 Nicole B. Phillips, Attorney at Law.

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