If you and your child’s mother were not married to each other at the time of his or her birth, it may shock you to learn that, per Texas law, your child has no legal father. This means that you have no legal rights to your child, including custody or visitation.
At the Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C., in Texas, we know that divorce is never easy. This is especially true if your nonmilitary spouse lives overseas. Not only is international law complicated, coordinating Texas divorce laws with those of any given country can be difficult at best.
The majority of parents who file for divorce in Texas are required to negotiate a parenting plan that will dictate how and when they will see their children. In some cases, the judge presiding over the case will determine which party receives physical and legal custody of the children, or if the couple will share joint custody of the children. The important thing to keep in mind is that parenting plans are not one size fits all. Each family should create a customized plan that will fit their lifestyle and always keep the best interests of the children in mind.
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.