The most important criteria when hiring a Houston divorce lawyer is to hire an attorney that only practices in the area of family law. Keep in mind, you wouldn't hire a general family doctor to do brain surgery so why hire a general practitioner to assist with your family law matter. The practice of family law and divorce can be a fairly complicated and challenging process. The attorney must not only know the law but must also have a strong understanding of the family court system in the counties in which they practice.
Parenting Classes and Divorce in Texas
The Texas Family Code has a provision related to taking a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. While the provision does not mandate the taking of one of these courses, many of the family law courts in Harris County do require the completion of one of these courses.
These courses are typically four hours long and are designed to educate parents to the consequences of divorce or custody battles on children. Pursuant to Texas Family Code Section 105.009, the course must include information on the following issues:
- the emotional effects of divorce on parents;
- the emotional and behavioral reactions to divorce by young children and adolescents;
- parenting issues relating to the concerns and needs of children at different development stages;
- stress indicators in young children and adolescents;
- conflict management;
- family stabilization through development of a coparenting relationship;
- the financial responsibilities of parenting;
- family violence, spousal abuse, and child abuse and neglect; and
- the availability of community services and resources.
Some judges in Harris County will not approve a final decree of divorce or final modification order unless both parents have completed a parenting class (Online or In Person) and filed a completion certificate with the court. So while you may believe your parenting skills are superb and the class is not applicable to you, it is a requirement to finalize any pending family law cases.
CRITICAL NOTE: There is one Harris county court that will switch custody if the primary parent has not completed the parenting course. Furthermore, if neither parent has completed a parenting course this court has been known to have CPS take custody of the children.
Please contact the Ramos Law Firm if you have questions about court approved parenting classes or would like more information.