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Odessa Family Law Blog

Father wins child custody case after daughter secretly adopted

A father has won custody rights of his biological daughter nine years after the child was given up by her mother in a secret adoption. The man's child custody case has been a long and arduous one in which he had to fight for his rights as the biological father. While his state does not actually award custody, it does allocate the responsibilities of a parent, including the authority to make decisions in the child's life and parenting time with him or her. Child custody cases in Texas often involve biological and adoptive children.

The man lives in one state, and the child lived in another. This means that for almost a decade he has had to fight in the courts of two different states for the rights to his child. During her pregnancy, the child's mother had announced her desire to place the child up for adoption. At that time, the father refused to agree. So, the mother went to visit another state and had the child while she was there.

Adoption of 6 kids keeps siblings together

A family recently more than doubled in size after adopting 6 siblings in order to keep them all together. The couple already had five children of their own when they decided to go through with the adoption, giving them a family the size of Texas. The children, four boys and two girls, are happy to have found a home.

A room filled with family, media, friends and well-wishers greeted the judge who presided over the adoption. All of the children's names start with the letter "C." The five biological children of the couple are Christopher, Cameron, Chazz, Cayden and Caitlyn. The six adopted kids are Chloe, Carson, Christian, Caleb and Caylee. Every member of the family has the initials "CMS."

One state to withhold car registration for child support

Child support is a sore issue in many areas of the United States. People on both sides of the subject can have strong feelings about how and when it should be paid, and what should be done when it is not. In Texas, one new program is having a significant effect on those who are ordered to pay child support and choose not to. That's because in those who reside in the state can no longer renew their car registration if they owe any back child support payments.

According to a spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General's Office, Child Support Division, the program was actually implemented back in September.  It seems to have worked out well for the state, with over 4,600 cases being settled for over $1 million. One case alone yielded $54,000.

Family celebrates a unique adoption, paves way for others

After discovering that they could not have children of their own, one couple considered adoption but felt that they may not have kids at all. Although they had always discussed adoption, the couple had all but given up on the idea of their family being more than just the two of them. That's when a unique individual came into their lives and opened the door for a very different kind of adoption for themselves, and those in Texas and other states.

When the couple found out that they could not have any children of their own, they decided that, at least for a time, it would be just the two of them. The woman became the group home manager for a long-term care facility for disabled adults. Soon, she became an advocate for one of the disabled women there, and that's where it all began. 

Why it's crucial to know everything about finances in divorce

A spouse who's been blindsided by infidelity on the part of the other spouse obviously has much with which to contend. Many people in Texas who find themselves in such situations choose to divorce and move on in life. However, if a person is considering divorce and does not possess a thorough understanding of his or her own finances, big problems may loom ahead.

Being faithful in marriage is of paramount importance to most couples. When a spouse does not fulfill this obligation, all sorts of problems can arise. Before storming straight into the nearest divorce court, however, the spouse filing for divorce does well to review the current state of the family's finances.

The ins and outs of child support

Divorce is a major issue in every state of the U.S. In Texas, as in other states, a divorce can bring many arguments to the table. People involved in divorce often fight over who will get the house, which one deserves the car, and who gets stuck with the bill. However, the biggest argument in any divorce case is not over possessions. All too often, the most bitter disagreement in any divorce is over child support.

Child support can be granted in a divorce or in circumstances where two parents never married but share responsibility for creating a child. It is paid by one parent to another for the purpose of helping with the cost of raising the child. In most cases, the parent with whom the child lives the greatest amount of time, or the parent who has the least income, is the one who will receive child support. Of course, all cases are different.

More money made available for overhaul of Texas CPS cases

A federal judge has been very critical of the way one state manages its foster care system and is seeking the funds to help alleviate the problem. A Senate panel has tentatively approved a two-year budget, which was designed to help improve the outcomes of CPS cases in the state of Texas. This plan would allow for 382 slots for new "conservatorship caseworkers" for Child Protective Services, as well as provide beds and therapy for foster kids. Conservatorship caseworkers keep up with foster kids once they are in the system.

It took three hours for the House budget panel to also tentatively pass a version of the budget. Theirs would allow Child Protective Services to hire 828 new conservatorship caseworkers -- almost twice as many as the Senate's plan. While the Senate's plan rolls out foster care to four new areas, however, the House plan only rolls out to two.

Couple seeks grandparent rights in child murder case

A couple from another state appeared in court March 13 in order to seek the right to visit with their grandchild, after their daughter was convicted of murdering another grandchild. The mother was also in court to petition for the right of the grandparents (her adoptive parent)s to see her living child. She entered a plea of guilty in the death of her newborn son in January and was sentenced to 15 years, with six years suspended. This grandparent rights trial may be of interest to those grandparents in Texas who face difficulties gaining visitation rights with a grandchild. 

The couple is seeking visitation rights of their 3-year-old granddaughter under their state's Grandparent's Visitation Act. The child actually lived with them from Jan. 11, 2016 until Oct. 12, 2016, after their daughter's infant son was found dead in a garage at the daughter's residence. She is now living with her biological father, who is opposing the request for grandparents' rights.

Couples from 4 states accuse woman of adoption scam

Officials believe that a woman from Carolina Beach lied to four couples from four different states when she promised to let them adopt her baby. In fact, investigators do not even believe that the woman was ever pregnant. The woman has been arrested and charged with obtaining property by false pretenses. Since her arrest, over 20 more people from all over the United States have come forward to claim that they, too, were victims of her adoption scam. It is unclear whether any of the victims were from Texas.

Several couples told the sad tales of their experience with the alleged scammer. One couple was apparenty approached on Facebook by the accused. They had joined groups and advertised that they were looking to adopt. The accused claimed to be due in just a few weeks and in a hurry to find a good home for her baby.  She purportedly sent them a fake picture of "her" with a large pregnant belly.

Saving court resources in Texas in child custody cases

Divorce can be a tough situation for adults, and the impact on children can be devastating. Luckily, many Texas families are opting to use mediation when a separation of spouses becomes inevitable. Child custody can be handled between the parents with the aid of a professional mediator. When parents are at war and mediation is not a viable option, many divorce and child custody cases end up in a court room, often leading to a result with which one or both parties are unhappy with the result.

A family court judge is typically tasked with the option to determine what is in the best interest of the child when it comes to child custody. A situation where a child has the chance to grow up with both parents present in their lives is ideal, and judges are now seeking to try and reach a balance with shared physical custody. When parents can reach this type of agreement through mediation before a judge has to step in, time and resources are saved.