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Adoption is one of the more delightful parts of Family Law. It is a beautiful process whereby a child is formally and officially made part of another loving family. For adoption to occur according to Texas adoption laws, at least one of the parents (such as in a step-parent adoption) or both must terminate their rights to that child. This is often best done with help from a Texas adoption lawyer.

Who can be adopted?

In Texas, any single or married adult can adopt a child whose parent-child relationship with one or both of their parents has been terminated. A termination suit can be handled separately or can be joined with an adoption suit by a Texas adoption lawyer. Parents, Legal Guardians, or Adoption Agencies can initiate adoptions; only these individuals may serve as an intermediary in adoption.

Who must be noticed in an adoption and termination?

A key issue for adoption and termination is notice. Legal parents, anyone with court-ordered access, or anyone you allege as a possible father in a petition has right to notice for a termination or adoption under Texas adoption law.

A waiver of citation may be signed prior to filing a termination or even before the child’s birth. The court may order termination if it finds that the parent has executed an unrevoked or irrevocable affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights. This affidavit may have come before or after the filing of the suit.

An affidavit of waiver of interest in a child may be signed prior to the child’s birth. A pre-birth filing of a termination petition, best supervised by a Texas adoption lawyer in a private adoption, requires a statement to confer standing by a pregnant woman or a parent of the child or the biological parent files the termination as the petitioner.

Is there a waiting period for a termination order to be entered?

There is a waiting period for termination with married birth parents. If the adoptive parents have completed a home study, a termination of parental rights can be entered anytime after 40 hours as long as the relinquishment is irrevocable for 60 days, or after 10 days if the relinquishment is revocable for 10 days. For unmarried birth parents, the termination order generally can be entered when the child is more than 31 days old and the adoptive parents have completed a home study; however, if paternity was adjudicated then the newly established father will relinquish under the same rules as married birth parents and the termination order will be entered with the same timeline as married birth parents. A Texas adoption lawyer can help to prepare the necessary termination process.

Must Texas accept another state’s adoption consent form?

One issue with Texas adoption law is whether Texas must accept an adoption consent form of another state if the birth parent delivers in another state and signs that state’s adoption consent. Full Faith and Credit of the United States Constitution requires Texas to accept any other state’s order, but it does not require that it accept the legal documents of another state, limiting the reach of a Texas adoption lawyer. The best course of action in such a scenario would be to hire a local attorney in the other state to make sure you are complying with the requirements. If possible, you should have the birth parents execute Texas documents and finalize the termination and adoption in Texas with the Texas adoptive parents.

How are inheritance rights changed for a newly adopted child?

Lastly, adoption does not change a child’s inheritance rights regarding the parent who relinquished his or her rights. It divests all other legal rights and duties between parent and child except for inheritance rights through the parent whose rights has been terminated. Furthermore, an adoption creates inheritance rights through the adoptive parents.

Thus, if you or a loved one is involved in an adoption or termination suit, or would like to be involved in one, consider your options carefully and consult with the knowledgeable attorneys at Ramos Law Group, PLLC. for an experienced Texas adoption lawyer.

Agreed DivorceAfter working in family law for the past 14 years from an intern in a local family law court to running my own practice, I have decided to expand our Agreed reduced retainer Family law Services. The services we include:

  • Agreed Divorce
  • Agreed Motion to Modify
  • Agreed Child Name Change
  • Agreed Suit Affecting P/C Relationship (SAPCR)
  • Adult Name Change

New coverage areas for our uncontested reduced retainer services include the following cities:

  • Austin
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • San Antonio

At this point, we will only service counties offering electronic filing as it assures that we can finalize the case quickly without the additional cost of hand delivery or the filing pleadings via USPS.  Additionally, we are ONLY offering our services for agreed family law services including uncontested divorces, name changes, adoptions and agreed modifications.   We take pride in a high level of service to both local and remotely located clients.   If you are looking for a law firm that can get the job done at reduced retainers give us call or send us an email.

For more information please visit our uncontested divorce page.

Video Transcription:

In the State of Texas, the idea often referred to as ‘custody’ is referred to as ‘conservatorship’, while ‘visitation rights’ is known as ‘possession’. A Standard Possession Order is the statute which details who has ‘possession’ of the child or children when parents do not agree. Read on to learn more about the Texas Standard Possession Order, and if you still have questions, contact our office to set up a consultation with our experienced Texas family law attorney.

What is the Standard Possession Order in Texas?

The Standard Possession Order in Texas comprises of a weekend possession calendar, which is normally the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends and a Thursday during the school year, for a weekday period of possession. Parents also have to include a possession calendar for the holiday schedule, and need to determine when the holiday schedule would actually begin based on the school district that the child is enrolled in. If the child is not enrolled in school, the school district that he or she would be enrolled in.

To determine when the holidays would start, the schedule would technically include Thanksgiving. One year is to one custodial parent, and the following year the second custodial parent would have that holiday, meaning the parents would rotate, even in odd years. There are two halves of Christmas Break every year. Typically, the parent who exercised the Thanksgiving holiday will then have the second half of Christmas Break so that the other parent will then have Christmas, and will rotate that every year.

Typically, Christmas Break does start from the beginning of the Christmas Break or Winter Break for the school year and ends at noon on the 28th with the second parent picking up noon 28th and returning the child after school begins following the Christmas Break and will rotate that every year.

There’s also Spring Break every year. Again, custodial parents will rotate years even in odd years. Mother’s Day will have Mother’s Day weekends for mothers. Fathers will have Father’s Day weekends for fathers. The extended 30 day summer time, 30 days for the non-custodial parent.

On the child’s birthdays, if one parent is in possession of the child for the day, then the other custodial parent may come and pick up the child and the child’s siblings from 6 to 8 p.m. on their birthday to take them to dinner.

The Texas Standard Possession Order and schedule for your children is in lieu of the two parents actually having an agreement that outlines when said parents want to actually exchange their children. If the two parents decide on their own schedule and choose to put this order away in a drawer and never look at it, that is fine. But the minute you cannot agree, then you must refer to the order because that would be the least amount of time to which you you would be entitled.

Contact Experienced Family Law Attorneys

If you’re still unsure about how to create a visitation schedule with your ex-spouse, or require further clarification regarding the Texas Standard Possession Order, be sure to schedule an appointment with our team of experienced family law attorneys. Contact Ramos Law Group today.

If you’re curious about the benefits of mediation when you’re in the midst of a family law dispute, consider contacting a lawyer who has expertise in mediation. Watch the video featuring our board certified attorney Mary E. Ramos, or read our transcription below, to learn a few of the benefits of mediation and contact our team of experienced mediation lawyers at Ramos Law Group to schedule a consultation.

Mary E. Ramos on Mediation:

Ninety percent of cases are actually resolved in mediation. You and I will meet in one room and most of the time, the other attorney and their client will meet in a separate room and the mediator will then go back and forth between both rooms to try and come up with an agreement. Most of the time, one spouse starts with this type of idea where they think they want to be and so does the other spouse. So through the mediation process, we compromise to the point where we can both live with something that we can agree to and sign off on it.

If it’s something that the two of you actually create, it is probably more likely better and more beneficial for your children to follow a mediated settlement agreement, as opposed to allowing the judge to make a decision on your case, being a complete stranger and just another case in the long line of cases that that judge has to rule on that day. You keep control of making decisions on your divorce by participating in successfully coming to an agreement during the mediation process.

Another good advantage to mediation is once we sign off on a mediation settlement agreement, there is no backing out of it. No buyer’s remorse. It’s a done deal. You wouldn’t be able to call me tomorrow and ask, “I kind of don’t agree with what we did in mediation last night. Can I change my mind?”

So that saves a lot of money in trying to prepare to go forward and prepare for a hearing or a type of trial only to get down to the court and maybe being reset, have to come back on another day at the judge’s convenience, spending more money and time and not getting a result and not having the control that you would have over your life and your children and your finances.”

Contact Our Team Today

At Ramos Law Group, PLLC, our divorce lawyers work hard to ensure a positive outcome despite the difficult and challenging circumstances of your situation. If you still have questions about the benefits of mediation, contact our experienced mediation lawyers to schedule an appointment today.


Video Transcription:

Things not to do during your divorce process. Don’t date. Don’t do drugs. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t use your children as pawns or put them in the middle. Don’t dredge on the past of your divorce process. Let the past be the past. We’re trying to move forward. It’s not gonna be beneficial emotionally or financially for you to focus on the past when we’re trying to get you moving forward. If you need counseling to deal with issues in the past, that’s probably a good idea to seek counseling or a support group in some form or fashion. Let us guide you in the divorce process and make sure you don’t step in any of those land mines in moving forward. We wanna make sure you get through the divorce process in the least financially impacting way and the most beneficial for you family and your situation.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

Video Transcription by Speechpad.com.

Reducing the Cost of Legal Representation

A divorce is one of the most challenging and emotionally draining experiences someone can go through. An effective and experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this trying process, but it’s no secret that hiring legal representation in Texas can be expensive. Consider these tips:

  • Send specific, numbered questions via email
  • Gather documents and do your own homework
  • Create a timeline of your case

In this video, Mary E. Ramos outlines these tips to help reduce the cost of representation in Texas. If you’re going through a divorce, or any other difficult family law situation, contact the expert attorneys at Ramos Law Group, PLLC for more information.

1. Send Your Questions Via Email

Divorce can get expensive, especially when people won’t agree to things. As soon as attorneys get involved, expenses begin to skyrocket. One of the ways that you can reduce your attorney fees during the divorce process is to communicate via email to your attorney when you have questions and concerns.

At Ramos Law Group, attorneys may request that clients send questions, numbered one through five, in an email so that they can addressed and dealt with in an efficient and timely manner. The office policy is to return all emails within a 24 hour period.

2. Do Your Own Homework

Another way to mitigate your expenses is to do as much homework as you can on your own and gather documents to provide your attorneys. The less time that your attorneys have to work on your case, the less expensive it is for you.

3. Create a Timeline

One of the most effective tips to help reduce the cost of representation in Texas is to create a timeline of your case for your attorney. In other words, write out the ‘story’ of your case. Your divorce case is a story, and the only way your attorney is going to be able to relay that story to the judge is to know exactly what is going on. Remember: this your case, this is your marriage, these are your children, this is your life.

By providing as much detail as possible to your attorneys, they will be able to express your concerns to the judge more accurately; it’s like drawing a picture in a coloring book, and filling out that picture with as much detail as possible. This puts your attorneys in a better position to reach the goals set in your case.

Contact Our Team Today

Mary E. Ramos is committed to achieving positive outcomes for each and every one of her clients. As a board certified family law attorney, she has the knowledge, experience, and reputation you’re looking for when you’re going through a divorce. Consider these tips to help reduce the cost of representation in Texas, and schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Ramos Law Group, PLLC, today.

If you’ve recently been served with divorce papers in Texas, chances are you’re having a hard time understanding exactly what it is you’re supposed to do next. While taking some time to absorb this information is completely understandable, it is also imperative that you act quickly to protect your rights. Take the time you need to work through your initial emotional response by seeking the support of friends and family. Once you’re able to think clearly, you’ll want to start putting together your formal response and planning the next steps forward.

Preparing Your Response

After a few days, you’ll want to decide whether or not you need a divorce attorney. Putting together your response can be a tricky and painstaking process, one which could require careful planning if you need to respond to multiple allegations. The attorneys at Ramos Law Group have extensive experience dealing with clients who have been served with divorce papers and need to enter a formal response.

Do I Need To Go To Court?

If you’ve recently been served with divorce papers, you may be wondering if it is necessary to go to court. As soon as your attorneys file your response, the opposing counsel will be notified. From that point, your attorneys will try to see what can be done by agreement, if temporary orders need to be put in place, or temporary injunctions that say neither party will cancel insurances, accounts, or transfer money. This will maintain the status quo until both sides’ attorneys can divide the community estate between parties.

After this phase, there may be an option to attend mediation. Mediation is required on all cases before a final trial is heard in front of the judge, but usually it is helpful to have the parties mediate as soon as possible to obtain financial information about both parties and understand the divorce situation.

Contact Our Team Today

Mary E. Ramos is dedicated to achieving positive outcomes for all of her clients. She and her team understand that any legal situation involving family is emotionally challenging, and they work hard to get results while making the process as painless as possible. If you’ve recently been served with divorce papers in Texas, contact the trusted team of family law experts at Ramos Law Group, PLLC, today.

If you’re going through a divorce and you and your spouse have children, it’s important to take parenting classes to learn how to communicate effectively to serve their best interests. However, the court may also require that you and your spouse attend classes as part of an agreement made with your child custody lawyer. Above, board certified family law attorney Mary E. Ramos outlines a few of the benefits of parenting classes during a divorce in Texas.

Parenting After Your Divorce

There is a four-hour parenting class that’s required and depending on the court, you may be required to attend multiple classes. Our attorneys encourage clients to take these classes early on, so that they have that knowledge and information to utilize during the case. The parenting class doesn’t teach you how to be a parent, but it teaches you how to communicate in two different households. This is where you can leverage the benefits of parenting classes.

It can be hard enough to discipline children in one household; in two separate households, being able to discipline and communicate with your children can become extremely difficult. Children of divorce will learn how to manipulate their parents, and parents, despite their separation, need to be on the same page with how they’re going to move forward and address these issues.

If divorced parents don’t talk to each other, children will pick up on it and start to say what each parent wants to hear. If you are on the same page with the other parent, you can address concerns you have with your children directly with the other parent — not through your child. It’s a better way to protect your child from being impacted with the divorce process. Regardless of your divorce, you’re going to be a co-parent for the rest of your life.

Contact Our Team Today

Choosing a divorce lawyer and going through a divorce can be one of the most emotionally challenging events in one’s life, and attending co-parenting courses with your spouse will be no different. Yet the benefits of parenting classes during a divorce extend well beyond satisfying the orders of the judge; it’s important to put the wellbeing of your children front and center to help them with this difficult transition.

If you have more questions about parenting classes during a divorce in Texas, or you need the expert advice of a board certified family law attorney, schedule an appointment with Ramos Law Group, PLLC, today.

Video Transcription:

Normally when parents have an issue with communicating with each other, there is a great website that a lot of attorneys and judges use, called OurFamilyWizard. Now this is an online calendaring program where both parties can actually log in and create an account for their children. On this website, they can post the children’s extracurricular activities, doctors’ appointments, they can even include requests for exchanges of weekends and whether or not the other custodial parent will actually accept or deny those exchanges. And you can post uninsured medical expenses all to the same website.

One of the benefits is that you can’t go in and change the information from the website and if a judge wants to, they can always log in, and look, and review the communications between the parties. If you have a disagreement about whether or not you exchanged weekends, or agreed to a different schedule other than your order that’s in place, you can also refer to the website as a means of documenting what happens.

I also like clients to consider using this website because when you come in for a divorce, you have to create a story and a history of your relationship, and address the concerns that you’ve had with the other parent, regarding your children or any other situation. If you maintain participation through Our Family Wizard website, then that’s all been documented for you, and you can just hit print and we will have all of that documentation ready to go, and it’s in admissible form for the court. The courts now are actually requiring a lot of parties to participate through Our Family Wizard, and this is a good way to keep everybody accountable for their actions.

Ramos Law Group, PLLC, your family law team of experts.

Video Transcription by Speechpad.com

Child Support in TexasIf there has been a material and substantial change in the circumstances of the child, three years since the last child support order and a difference in the month child support amount by either 20% or $100 from what is currently ordered, then you are entitled to ask the Court to increase the amount of monthly child support ordered.

This cannot be done by a simple agreement by the parties; a new order must be signed and approved by the Court for the increased amount to go into effect. You can achieve this by either working with the Office of the Attorney General or hiring a family law attorney to file a modification suit for you.

The party who receives the monthly child support (called the Obligee) can contact their local Office of the Attorney General Child Support office to request that a review be done and increased child support be ordered. The upside to using the Office of the Attorney General is that the services offered are free and can be done without hiring an attorney. The downside is that the Office of the Attorney General is inundated with thousands of cases per year and it can take some time before your case is set for trial on the court’s docket for a child support modification.

Child Support ModificationThe potentially faster method would be retaining private counsel. An experienced family law attorney will be able to tell you how much of an increase in child support you can expect to receive. Private counsel will also likely be able to set the matter for a hearing faster than the Office of the Attorney General would be able to do so.

If you think you are entitled to an increase in child support, contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC and schedule a consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

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