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Divorce Lawyer Spring, TX

Divorce Lawyer Spring, TX 

An addiction can be the single most crippling setback that an individual faces in their lifetime. However, when children are involved, it may just be too much to overcome. A parent with an addiction unleashes incredible hardships and even dangers upon their children. This can have disastrous and harmful long-term consequences on children’s development and the family as a whole. Addictions tear families apart by removing home stability, the family’s unity, finances, and families’ physical and mental wellbeing. Children who grow up witnessing the effects of addiction often experience struggles that take them a long time to overcome. If you are a parent going through an addiction battle, it is in your and your child’s best interest to seek out help. If you are going through a Texas divorce and your spouse is struggling with an addiction, you need a skilled divorce lawyer Spring, TX clients recommend.

How Does a Drug or Alcohol Addiction Affect Custody?

If you are going through a divorce and also are dealing with a custody issue, there may be a lot of factors that can affect your case. Parents need to show that they are fit to raise their children. Any issues that a parent may be going through, such as alcohol or drug addiction, can damage their case, so this needs to be properly addressed. Courts will have a difficult time awarding primary custody to a parent unless they can prove that they are working on their addiction issue and that they can raise their children in a stable environment. 

A parent with a drug addiction not only presents a threat to the development of the children exposed to the addiction, such as causing poor grades and not being properly cared for, but it also increases the likelihood that the children will one day abuse a substance as well. In fact, one in three kids will have begun drinking by the age of 13, according to the National Council on Alcoholism. Because of this, the state may remove children from drug or alcohol-abusing homes or parents. Addiction issues can be the root of generational issues that can be passed down from one family member to the next. These cycles are only stopped when parents make the commitment to make positive changes in their life to overcome their addiction.

Likewise, in the scenario of a divorce, the parent without the addiction will likely be given custody of the children because of the healthier, more stable environment that will come with a sober parent as opposed to an addicted parent. You need to have an exceptionally strong case if you want the court to consider a split custody arrangement if you are struggling with an addiction. With the help of a lawyer, it is still possible to be handed a fair custody arrangement that includes a reasonable visitation schedule. If you are going through a divorce that is complicated by the presence of an addiction to alcohol, prescription painkillers, or illegal drugs, contact the Winfrey Law Firm today to speak with a Spring, TX divorce lawyer about the direction you wish to go.

Child Protective Services

Child Protective Services is responsible for reviewing cases of child cause and endangerment. If a child is deemed to be at risk of abuse, Child Protective Services may review the case, intervene if necessary, and take action by removing that child from the home. They will place the child in a healthier and more stable environment. Any one of the following may be defined as child abuse:

 While a parent with an addiction may not ever physically harm a child, an addiction creates the very real potential for neglect (lack of proper housing, food, clothing, supervision, and medical care). Going through addiction is never a valid excuse for putting a child through physical or psychological harm, whether it is deliberate or unintentional. Parents have a duty to protect their children and ensure that they are receiving quality care. However, an addiction can raise the risk of these issues occurring.

Custody Issues for Parents with Substance Abuse Problems

The court will most likely make the decision about custody at the time of the divorce, and will likely deny equal custody rights to a parent with a substance abuse problem. They will likely not take the risk of putting a child in a potentially dangerous environment and one where they may be neglected. Most often, a parent with an untreated addiction will face losing any joint or shared custody, and certainly the potential for physical custody (with whom the child spends the majority of their time) as well. Unless a parent treats their addiction and becomes clean, they generally will not be awarded equal custody of their child. 

What’s more is that an addicted parent may not even be granted unsupervised visitation rights, meaning what time, if any, they are allowed to spend with their children will be supervised by the other parent. The parent with the addiction may be required to take drug tests in order for visitation rights and/or a modification in the custody agreement. The court may also demand that the addicted parent attend rehabilitation counseling, in-patient detoxification at a hospital or health facility, or attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous if the parent wishes to have visitation or custody rights in the future.

Call Our Office for Help

Contact the Winfrey Law Firm to discuss your legal options free of charge and to learn more. We will schedule a free and confidential consultation with a compassionate Spring, TX divorce lawyer. Call our office today.

What To Remember During a Divorce

Getting a divorce usually isn’t pleasant. It’s tough to have a chipper attitude when confronting the reality of a failed marriage. You can minimize turmoil by knowing what to keep in mind during the process. Besides maintaining a reasonable frame of mind, the best measure you can take is hiring a qualified divorce lawyer in Spring, TX.

Remember There Are No Winners

Divorces are nothing like sporting events, where there’s a clear winner and loser. For all parties, there are going to be decisions that deliver satisfaction. Others will be difficult to swallow. The goal is to carve out a compromise that generates maximum happiness on every side. Remind yourself of this during the heat of battle. Allow a representative from the Winfrey Law Firm to help you maintain perspective.

Remember To Not Involve Kids

Your children will always be your flesh and blood. Even if you are no longer with the other parent, it doesn’t mean they love you any less. The same goes for your ex. Never disparage your former partner in front of offspring. They care about you both and are going through a difficult time, too. Don’t worsen it by exposing them to adult conflicts. One wise option is hashing out disagreements through texts. You’ll also have a record of your spouse’s words that may be useful. Show screenshots of objection-worthy comments to your divorce lawyer in Sprint, TX.

Remember That People Say Untrue Things About Divorce

It’s more than likely you know people who are divorced. As you confide in them about your situation, they may start giving you unreliable information. The bitterness they’re holding onto might color their attitude toward yours, or perhaps they hired a legal representative that was subpar. You needn’t worry about the latter possibility when the attorneys of Winfrey Law Firm are in your corner.

Remember Honesty Is the Best Policy

Lying makes getting divorced more painful. It might appear to be a path toward keeping more of what you feel you deserve, but ultimately it’ll work against you. The truth has a way of coming out, and judges impose severe penalties on those who conceal assets. The golden rule about doing unto others also applies. You wouldn’t want your spouse being deceitful, so provide the same courtesy. When everyone adheres to this principle, the process tends to be smoother.

Find a divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, who makes you feel comfortable discussing the emotional aspects of getting a divorce. The right legal advisor can help you effortlessly pass through this stage of your life.

The “Best Interests of the Child” Standard

No matter what the circumstances of your divorce and/or custody situation are, it is important to understand that if you and your child’s other parent cannot come to an agreement concerning your child’s custody arrangements, a family court lawyer will resolve your dispute according to a very specific legal standard. As a divorce lawyer Spring, TX residents trust can explain in greater detail, this standard is referred to as the “best interests of the child” standard and is quite straightforward—in theory.

In theory, the best interests of the child standard helps to ensure that it is the best interests of the affected child (not the child’s parents, the court, the State, etc.) that are held in highest regard when a custody dispute or parenting agreement dispute has arisen. However, it is important to understand that—in practice—this standard is not applied in the same way by every judge. Judges all have their personal perceptions and biases that influence their idea of what a child’s best interests may be. For example, one judge may feel that it is of the utmost importance that a child not be required to move from the home where they have done all of their growing up, while another may prioritize time spent with both parents (anywhere) over a specific residential preference. When you meet with the team at The Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC, we will discuss your child’s best interests in detail so that we can figure out how best to advocate for them and for your parental rights concerning them.

Crafting a Parenting Plan in Your Child’s Best Interests

If you and your child’s other parent are both going to remain in active parenting roles moving forward, the court will insist that you craft a workable parenting plan that reflects your child’s best interests. The Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience drafting these agreements and we can answer any concerns that you may have about the process of creating one of your own. If you and your child’s other parent come to agree on all of your parenting plan’s terms (via discussion, mediation, or attorney-led negotiation), a judge will not have to intervene to resolve your differences. However, if you and your child’s other parent have fundamental differences concerning custody and/or parenting plan terms, you’ll need to work with our Spring, TX divorce lawyer team to make your case in court.

Taking Care on Social Media Until Your Case Has Resolved

Until your family law case has fully resolved, it is important to take special care when engaging on social media sites. Anything that you post, respond to, say, “like,” etc. can be used by opposing counsel against you. Even seemingly innocuous posts (such as a picture of you having a drink with some buddies) can be used to fuel negative arguments (you drink too much, you’re irresponsible, etc.). If you can turn your social media accounts off for the time being, do so. If you don’t feel like you can, ask the experienced Texas legal team at The Winfrey Law Firm, PLLC about how to manage these accounts successfully until your case has resolved. Our Spring, TX divorce lawyer team is not only concerned with legal standards in theory—we are well aware of how everyday decisions can tip the balance of a case in someone’s favor or away from it.

Myths About Divorce

I Won’t Need To Pay Any Child Support Because My Spouse and I Came to an Agreement

Regardless of what you and your spouse agreed on, the court is most likely going to mandate child support. The judge must weigh what’s in the best interest of your children, and that often requires child support payments being made from one spouse to the other, to be used for the benefit of the children. 

Both Spouses Must Agree to a Divorce

This was true a long time ago, but is no longer the case. Every state in the U.S. has provisions for a no-fault divorce, where one spouse says the marriage is irrevocably broken and can’t be fixed. There is no way for the other spouse to stop the divorce from happening, no matter how much they may want to. A divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, from the Winfrey Law Firm may be able to delay things for a little while, but the divorce is going to happen.

The Mother Always Gets Custody

This is another belief that used to be true, but no longer applies in most cases. There are a few judges here and there who favor the mother, but the majority of judges look at both parents equally when determining custody of your children. That’s if you and your spouse can’t agree on custody and child support on your own, in mediation or in arbitration. Even if you and your spouse came to an agreement, if the judge feels it’s not in the best interest of your children, she can reject what you agreed to and issue a decision on the issue. A Winfrey Law Firm divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, can help you come to an equitable decision in mediation.

divorce myth infographic

Properties Titled in One Spouse’s Name Are Free from Asset Division

Texas is a community property state. That means if the property was acquired during the marriage, it’s usually a marital asset, no matter whose name is on it. One exception is for property given specifically to one spouse. A divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, can help you sort out what’s yours and what’s community property.

A Loan Has to Be Paid by the One Who Took It Out

If the loan was for educational purposes, i.e. a student loan, the spouse who took out the loan is responsible for paying it. Credit cards that were held before marriage remain separate property after divorce. Other loans and debts taken out during the marriage are community property and must be divided equitably.

How Do I Know If I Need a Divorce Lawyer?

Every divorce is unique and determining if you need to hire a lawyer for divorce can be challenging. Whether or not you need a lawyer is based on a number of factors including whether your significant other has hired an attorney, the number and value of your assets if children are involved, and if you own estates or businesses together. If you need legal advice on your situation, Winfrey Law Firm has experienced divorce lawyers in Spring, TX to help you understand your options. 

Is the Divorce Contested?

A divorce is considered contested when the spouses disagree on one or more of the terms of divorce. Disagreement may occur over which spouse has child custody, the length of time a child spends with each parent, how to divide the couple’s assets, how to divide up a business the couple owned, and whether alimony needs to be paid by one of the spouses. Working through the process of reaching an agreement can be done without a lawyer, but you risk settling on terms that aren’t in your favor. A lawyer can advocate on your behalf so that you get what you deserve. 

Is A Spouse at Fault for the Divorce?

If you believe your spouse is the reason you are getting a divorce or your spouse is claiming you are at fault, you may want to hire a lawyer. Reasons a spouse may be at fault include cheating, abuse, abandonment, or other harmful behavior. If a court finds you at fault, the terms of divorce may be less favorable towards you. Winfrey Law Firm can advocate for you and defend you against their claim. Likewise, a lawyer can help provide evidence of your spouse’s impropriety that has legal standing in court. 

Are Children Involved?

Contention can arise when children are involved in divorce. Determining how a child’s time will be split between two parents and whether a parent needs to pay child support can complicate the terms of divorce. A lawyer can explain child custody and child support laws and help you make decisions on what actions to take so that fair compensation is awarded.

Do You Own a Business Together?

Businesses can be complicated. Employees, assets, property, and profits are just some of the aspects spouses will have to agree on before they can finalize their divorce. Because of the intricacies surrounding owning a business, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.

Do You Own A Lot of Assets?

Couples with shared stocks, retirement accounts, real estate properties, and savings will need to determine how to divide the assets between them. Deciding who owns what can be complex, especially when one spouse brought the majority of the assets into the marriage or was the breadwinner in the family. Having a lawyer advocate for you can lead to better outcomes. 

You may believe that you do not need to rely on a divorce lawyer in order to get the results you want. However, this is a decision that needs to be taken carefully. You should at least look into your legal options by sitting down with a lawyer and discussing your situation. There may be alternative approaches that you are not aware of which can help your case. When the stakes of a divorce case are so high, you should not neglect to explore your options. 

Informally Modifying Parenting Plans

Returning to court to settle every dispute between separated parents can be difficult and expensive. If parents have a parenting plan entered through a court order, they should settle disputes in a manner that is consistent with the parenting plan. However, in some situations, the parenting plan may either be silent on the issue or may need to be modified in order to accurately deal with the issue. In these situations, can parents make informal changes to their parenting plan? A Spring, TX divorce lawyer can help.

Parents can make minor changes to things like the time-sharing schedule between themselves without having to go back to court for an official change. This is what often happens if the changes needed are minor changes to accommodate short-term situations.

Major changes, like increasing one parent’s parenting time or reducing the amount of child support a parent is required to pay, should be handled in court.

Making informal modifications to a parenting plan that was approved by a judge may result in the modifications not being legally enforceable. Additionally, as a Spring, TX divorce lawyer can explain, making major changes informally could affect how a court later decides the changed issue.

For example, if parent A informally agrees to give up time with the child to increase parent B’s time, this can be considered by the court in a future modification to officially reduce parent A’s parenting time.

Practically speaking, it is also better to have the protection of a court-approved parenting plan if seeking to enforce a provision under the parenting plan. A court can also decide whether any of the proposed changes to the plan are in the best interest of the child. 

If both parents agree that changes are needed, they can bypass the waiting period that generally applies to the modification of a parenting plan and go back to court to get the plan modified.

If both parents agree to the changes, going back to court to get the new plan approved should not be as expensive as it would be without an agreement, especially if the changes are minor in nature.

Parents who make informal agreements to reduce child support payments should be especially careful because the law will not recognize that informal change. This means that under the law, the amount that the court ordered is what is owed, and any unpaid amount continues to grow and be subject to interest payments.

If a parent’s income is reduced, or there are substantial changes that require a reduction in child support, then the parent who is ordered to pay child support should only reduce payments when allowed by the court.

How To Get Through Your Divorce

When you get married, it’s usually expected that you will spend the rest of your life with your spouse. However, that isn’t always a guarantee and, sometimes, the best option is to end things. Whether the divorce was a mutual agreement between you and your spouse or one-sided, it is still an incredibly difficult process. Though divorce is hard, there are ways for you to get through it.

Lawyer Up

The first thing you want to do when getting divorced is to find a divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, to assist you in moving forward with the divorce proceedings. A reputable attorney from Winfrey Law Firm can be a great help in guiding you through the process.

Take Care of Yourself

As you go through your divorce, make sure that you are taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Though your divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, will be handling a lot of the heavy work, you need to make sure you aren’t letting the stress and anxiety get to you. Make it a priority to surround yourself with friends and family, and also be open to getting mental health help if you think you need it. Your physical and mental wellbeing is extremely important, especially when dealing with something so heavy as a divorce, so be sure to prioritize your health.

Be Open to Negotiating

At first, when you decide to divorce, you might have a plan in mind of how you want things arranged and what you want to split between each other. However, your spouse might have different things in mind, and it might be a good idea for you to hear them out and take into consideration their thoughts and be open to negotiating. Your divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, can help you as you figure out what to split between you and your spouse. 

Avoid Conflict

Though it can be difficult, you should try as best as you can to avoid creating any conflict with your spouse during the divorce proceedings. Remember that this process is difficult for everyone involved, so try to keep things as civil as you can from your end. 

Divorce is a weighty burden for anyone to bear, and it can take quite a toll on your life. But, in taking care of yourself, avoiding conflict with your spouse from your end and acquiring the help of an attorney from Winfrey Law Firm in guiding you through the legal process, you may find some peace of mind.

Let Us Assist You

If you need to file for a modification of your parenting plan or child support order, you should consult with an experienced attorney before you decide on any changes. A skilled Spring, TX divorce lawyer can advise you on the effect of the changes long term, and how to best seek the modification.

If you are searching for a divorce lawyer in Spring, TX, you should call our staff at Winfrey Law Firm to learn what we can offer you. When you are locked in a custody battle and have the odds against you, you can benefit from all the legal assistance you can get. Going through a custody battle alone is not recommended when you have a complicated background that doesn’t put you in the best light. A skilled divorce lawyer will fiercely fight for you and ensure that your rights are protected. We provide free consultations and will sit down with you to better understand your case and how we can best advocate for you.

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