Being agreeable while ending your marriage can save both of you from unnecessary grief and litigation cost. But there are important reasons to contest a divorce, times when you should choose not to compromise with your soon-to-be former spouse.

The first reason is plain and simple – when you believe the safety and welfare of your children will be jeopardized if you choose to compromise. Let’s be honest, when it comes to divorce emotions run high and all too often parties get hung up on “besting” the other parent to the detriment of their children. A zero-sum game framework is not conducive to a healthy co-parenting relationship.

Designation of Primary Conservatorship

The number one issue we’ve seen driving contested divorces in Texas is when parents disagree on who will decide the primary residence of the children. The parent with this right is designated as the primary conservator. This parent gets to designate the primary residence of the children and generally is also the parent who will receive child support. This is certainly an important right, but in practical application, it may mean much less than you think. This is because conservatorship in Texas consists of two parts – designated by the Court as “rights and duties” and “possession and access”. Just because a party has the right to designate the primary residence of the children does not mean that they have the exclusive right to make all other decisions for your children. All other rights listed below can be designated exclusively to one parent, joint (decision must be made together), or independently (each parent can make the decisions on their own), so just because you are not the primary conservator does not mean that you do not get to have a say in important parenting decisions. You need to consider these aspects when preparing for a contested divorce in Texas.

Parental rights independent of sole conservatorship

  • The right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures.
  • The right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment of the children.
  • The right to receive and give receipt for periodic payments for the support of the children and to hold or disburse these funds for the benefit of the children.
  • The right to represent the children in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the children.
  • The right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States.
  • The right to make decisions concerning the children’s education.
  • Except as provided by section 264.0111 of the Texas Family Code, the right to the services and earnings of the children.
  • Except when a guardian of the children’s estates or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the children, the right to act as an agent of the children in relation to the children’s estates if the children’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government.
  • The duty to manage the estates of the children to the extent the estates have been created by community property or the joint property of the parent.

Authority over the visitation schedule is important and can be a major issue affecting contested divorces in Texas. If you ask for an expanded standard possession schedule the time each parent gets to spend with the children is nearly even. With an expanded standard possession schedule, possession and access begins and ends at the time the children start and are dismissed from school. So, instead of picking up the children at 6:00 PM on Friday and dropping them off on Sunday at 6:00 PM, you will pick them up at school on Friday afternoon and return them to school on Monday morning. This gives you one extra overnight period of possession. Additionally, instead of having the children for Thursday dinners during the school year from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM that same evening, you get the children from the time they are released from school on Thursday until they return to school on Friday morning every week during the regular school year.

With all of the above in mind, if you believe that the safety and welfare of your children will be endangered by compromising on a specific issue, then it’s absolutely a reason to contest your divorce. Attorney’s fees can get expensive during contested divorces in Texas, but some issues are too important to avoid during a divorce – if you do not bring them up now, you may not have the opportunity later. Modifying an existing order can be difficult – you have the burden to show a material change in circumstances since the underlying order was signed. Except in very limited circumstances, you cannot introduce evidence of things which took place prior to the divorce. Furthermore, if an issue was not important enough to bring up in the initial proceedings, the Court will require good cause to show it is important enough to modify an order after the fact.

It is important to weigh the costs and benefits of any legal action in your divorce. However, when it will benefit your children in the long run, this may be the time to dig in your heels and fight.

In your divorce, fighting only for the sake of “winning” will only draw out the process and negatively impact everyone involved. If both of you are excellent parents who love and care for your children, an uncontested divorce will minimize the impact on your children – and you.

Putting it all Together

Before you initiate your contested divorce in Texas, it’s important to decide if your reasons to contest the divorce are worth the added time and expense for you, the other party, and for your children. An expert attorney will help you determine the best course moving forward, working to the best possible outcome for all involved. If you’re looking for a divorce in the greater Houston area, contact Ramos Law Group and schedule your initial consultation with some of Texas’ best Family Law attorneys.

Let’s Rodeo, Houston!

The best time of year has officially arrived…the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR)! Texas is sure proud of our state and our western heritage.  This time of year, you will find Houstonians dawning their finest western wear to be a part of the festivities. HLSR is a three-week-long event and it takes a village working together to pull it off. In this case, it takes 33,000 volunteers, giving their time and talents to help make the rodeo the huge success that it is each year.

The HLSR is a non-profit 401(c)3 whose mission statement: “promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community.” Since its founding in 1932, the rodeo has given more than $450 million in scholarships to Texas youth.

There is something for everyone to do at the rodeo; it is truly entertainment for the entire family! If your child is an animal lover, attending the event is a must.  They will be able to enjoy pony and camel rides, a petting zoo, and a tent called “We’re Small Y’all” where kiddos have the opportunity to see baby animals.

Maybe your child enjoys riding rides more than seeing the animals – no problem there.  The carnival is open every day to the public and offers all types of rides that accommodate the entire family. Whether you go for the shopping, concerts, fried foods, entertainers or rodeo action, there is so much to do! If you’re looking to save a little money, go to the rodeo on Value Wednesday, when tickets, food and activities are discounted.

The concert lineup this year is off the charts! You won’t want to miss your favorite stars on the big stage! The weekday performances begin at 6:45 p.m., and the weekend performances begin at 3:45 p.m.

Click here for a full concert lineup for the HLSR!

 

New Locations For Ramos Law Group, PLLC.: 

The Woodlands and Sugar Land Offices

The Ramos Law Group, PLLC. is thrilled to announce the opening of two new locations in The Woodlands and Sugar Land. We have been working tirelessly to get these offices operational and we are thrilled that the day has finally come for us to open our doors! Our Family Law attorneys cater to any and everyone who needs help going through divorce, custody concerns and any other family issues.

Houston, TX, March 5, 2018– The Ramos Law Group, PLLC., a Family Law firm, is excited to announce the opening of two new offices located in Sugar Land and The Woodlands. We’ve been working to get these locations open for quite some time and are ecstatic that the day has finally come!

“The most important thing for us is to help our fellow Texans. At the end of the day, if we can help our clients heal, find peace and achieve happiness, then we’ve done our job.” -Mary E. Ramos, Company Founder

Since we have added locations in The Woodlands and Sugar Land, we are more accessible than ever. Our company also operates with 100% transparency. Our rates are all online. Check around on other Family Law websites; this level of openness is unseen in our industry. With a strong staff who only works in Family law, people from all over Houston can come to any Ramos Family Law location and know that they will receive an unparalleled level of customer service. We promise that our Family Law gladiators will fight to make sure that you are taken care of.

“At Ramos Family Law, we offer a ‘Raving Fan Guarantee.’ If our customer is not happy with the service they receive, we offer them up to a $1,000 refund. “ -Alfredo Ramos, Business Futurist at Ramos Law Group

Ramos Family Law, PLLC.  was started in 2004 by Mary E. Ramos who through her efforts and those of her team has grown the organization from a single attorney firm to one with over ten employees and four attorneys.  We are committed to the practice of divorce and family law in Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria County. We have effectively negotiated positive outcomes in complicated divorce, child custody and property division cases while keeping attorney fees under control.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kristy Tatom at (281)225-6200 or email at info@ramosfamilylaw.com.

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