At the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza PC in Texas, we understand the difficulties you face with regard to your fatherhood if you are an unwed father. While your child’s mother automatically becomes the legal mother when the child is born, you do not automatically become his or her legal father. Without legal fatherhood, you have no legal right to see your child, become an integral part of his or her life, or obtain his or her school and medical records.
People wishing to adopt a child in Texas have two options: state adoption and private adoption. Per Texas law, applicants must be at least 21 years old, mature and responsible adults and financially stable. They can be married or unmarried, straight or gay, but they must pass a criminal background check. Should this check reveal a history of domestic or child abuse or neglect, this disqualifies them from adopting a child.
If you are a Texas resident living with someone in a mutually committed relationship, you know that although you were never married by a clergyman or judge, you nevertheless feel just as married as your friends who had a wedding. You will be glad to know that Texas agrees with you and considers you to be legally married.
Many in San Antonio may have a preconceived idea of what qualifies as child neglect, and how often such neglect actually happens. Those ideas may not jive with the national statistics reporting such neglect. According to its report on child maltreatment in the U.S. in 2015, the Administration for Children & Families states that child protective services agencies from across the country were called in to investigate the cases of 3.4 million children that year. Over 75 percent of those cases were reported to involve neglect.
As many in San Antonio already know, people do not always have to be connected by blood ties in order to be considered family. In regards to children, especially, a parent can be anyone who is willing to provide them the type of love and nurturing that they need. Countless children find themselves in need of such nurturing from someone other than their biological parents all the time, and there is typically no shortage of people in Texas willing to provide it. If you count yourself among those providing such support and desire to make the relationship that you have built with the child you are caring for permanent, the question becomes if he or she can be legally adopted.
There are many reasons why San Antonio couples see their marriages fail. Sadly, adultery is often one of them. If an extramarital affair was the main factor behind your divorce, you may certainly be justified in your anger towards your ex-spouse’s lover. In fact, you may hold firm to the belief that without his or her actions, you may still be enjoying your marital bliss. The question is whether his or her meddling in your marriage warrants a lawsuit.
One of the first major purchases that newly married couples in San Antonio make together is a home. Sharing a residence together, however, is not always the secret ingredient to marital bliss. In fact, the Texas Department of State Health Services report that as recently as 2012, over 80,000 divorces were reported to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. For many of those separating couples, one of the biggest issues they must deal with is what to do with their marital homestead.
The issue over parental roles has become hotly debated in recent years in San Antonio, particularly considering many of the shifts seen in societal norms. Recent federal rulings that have served to legalize same-sex marriages have even further blurred the lines between what it means to be a father and mother. With the rise is same-sex marriages has also come an inevitable increase in same-sex divorces, as such couples are subject to the same stresses that cause many heterosexual marriages to fail. Without established laws on the books, family courts are often encountering the need to be creative in the way laws are applied.
While couples who divorce in San Antonio may want to convince themselves that their marriages never happened, their unions are recorded as a matter of public record. That is, if they do not choose to pursue an annulment. While many use the terms “divorce” and “annulment” interchangeably, the truth is that they are different. Divorce describes the legal dissolution of a valid marriage, while an annulment declares that a marriage was never valid to begin with. Annulments tend to be less common than divorces, with CNN reporting that on 50,000 were granted in 2012. However, some may prefer this method of ending their marriages due to social or religious circumstances.
If asked, divorcing couples in San Antonio would likely say that they would prefer to keep the details of their proceedings private. Unfortunately, that may be difficult to do in each and every case. Those who choose to take their proceedings to court will see the details become a matter of public record. Also, if one of the parties involved is a public figure, then keeping any details that may be applicable to his or her public persona under wraps might also be difficult.