Overstepping Legal and Judicial Boundaries

By now, most of us have heard of the outrageous decisions ordered from a Michigan judge who sent three children to juvenile detention. Their “crime”? Refusing to have lunch with their father. As a father’s rights advocate, this case raises many red flags, even for those of us who seek to ensure children are afforded a relationship with their father. Here’s how the case unfolded. Michigan Circuit Judge Lisa Gorcyca found herself in a standoff with a 15-year-old boy who said he did not wish to spend any time with his father because he’d witnessed him hit his mother. The judge was unhappy with his defiance and demanded the boy to “have a healthy relationship with your father.” The judge then said she believes the mother was indeed turning the children against their father. She held the 15 year-old-boy in contempt and accused him and his two younger siblings of being like cult leader Charles Manson. This is not what any attorney wants for his client and their children, wheth


Texas Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity

Recently, a powerful piece was published in The Atlantic that resonated with fathers nationwide. Titled “A Father’s Struggle to Stop His Daughter’s Adoption, the story grabbed my attention right away. The story it told, unfortunately, is one I’ve heard many times over the years. In fact, the young man’s story is exactly why I am so adamant in my goals of protecting fathers’ rights and ensuring they play as big a role as possible in the lives of their children. The story also shines a light on what the author calls “an obscure system” that many fathers have no idea exists. In Texas, the registry is called the Texas Notice to Claim Paternity, or simply, Paternity Registry. Many of my clients have no idea Texas has these types of resources, though they are relieved to learn that not only do they exist, but that they are powerful tools in their efforts to be there for their little ones. The Texas Department of State Health Services explains: The purpose of the paternity

Texas FTAS: the Pathway for Educational Success

One of the biggest challenges in some custodial cases is which schools students will attend and which parent will ensure their children are not only enrolled, but attend with no red flags, such as a high number of truancies. Texas just passed a law addressing Failure to Attend School (FTAS), also known as truancy. Governor Greg Abbott said that FTAS will no longer be a criminal offense in Texas. The law, House Bill 2398, passed in late June as part of a “comprehensive reform” effort. It goes into effect on September 1. In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Governor Abbott said, “Criminalizing unauthorized absences at school unnecessarily jeopardizes the futures of our students. The process of elevating our state’s education system to be number one in the nation begins in the classroom, and I signed House Bill 2398 to ensure Texas educators have the tools necessary to prevent truancy, encourage classroom attendance and focus on educating our children to ultimately set our stud

New Legislation Could Mean New Custody Laws for Fathers

In at least 20 states, there are bills making their way through the legislative process that would change the laws surrounding child custody and visitation rights. There are some groups, however, that disagree with these efforts , saying they would give leverage to “abusive men.” Others say that the cases that make it into court in the first place will be those in which Mom and Dad can’t get along anyway, and by changing the laws like this, sparring parents will have even more opportunities to play out their personal battles with one another. But one look at the statistics shows why changes are long overdue. In 2012, we had $11 billion past due in child support payments in Texas alone. Nearly 1 million Texans have child support orders, and half of Dallas County parents pay child support. In Texas, 10 percent of mothers are non-custodial parents; that number could be on the rise. For some, past due child support equates to no visitation for the non-custodial parent. While remai

The Uniform Parentage Act

Texas was the first state to put into place the Uniform Parentage Act. The year was 2002 and this act sought to provide clarity for parents in Texas in matters such as paternity and child support. Keep reading to learn more about your parental rights in Texas. Establishing Paternity in Texas In our state, there are three ways to establish paternity: Presumption A man is presumed to be the father if he is married to the mother at the time the child is born or if the baby is born during the first 300 days after a marriage is terminated. If the father resides with the child for the first two years of the child’s life or if presents a father/child relationship to others, he may be presumed to be the father. But what happens if the father believes the child may not be his? He may file a denial of paternity and if there are suspicions that another man is the father, he can include an acknowledgment of paternity. A court may also rebut the presumption of paternity if it determines he is no

CORRECTION: Dental Insurance is NOT required until 9-1-17, not 9-1-15 as previously reported

I have just received a notice from the Legislative Update folks that there is a correction to what they presented to us lawyers recently. Rather than DENTAL insurance being required this September 1 and thereafter, it will apparently not go into effect until September 1, 2017. The post CORRECTION: Dental Insurance is NOT required until 9-1-17, not 9-1-15 as previously reported appeared first on Law Office of Jon R. Boyd, P.C..

Two More Important, NEW Additions to the Texas Family Code

As I posted in a blog earlier this week, this year we had another bi-annual legislative session in which new bills were introduced to become law. Some passed, many others did not. Two NEW changes to the Texas Family Code effective this September 1st you will need to know: 1. Now, if you file a Petition to Modify and request Temporary Orders to change primary custody, not only must you plead that failure to change custody will cause significant impairment to the child, you must now ALSO attach a sworn affidavit setting out facts which constitute significant impairment in order to get a temporary hearing set on the docket. Until now, you needed only allege in your petition, signed by your attorney, that there would be significant impairment. This is an important procedural change. 2.  A court may no longer prohibit a spouse from executing a new Will or an amendment (called a Codicil ) to an existing Will, or from revoking a prior Will. This prohibition has been used in many counties