Family law is a broad term that encompasses a lot of different areas of legal practice. When many people think of family law, they think of divorce and the negative connotations that come along with it. However, family law can also include happy events like adopting a child. As with most legal fields, the reality is more complex than the way it is portrayed in TV and movies.
At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., our Arlington, TX family law attorneys have years of experience handling all sorts of family law matters, from divorce to child custody to adoptions. We have the skills to be cordial and cooperative but also to fight for your rights when necessary. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 for a consultation.
Types of Arlington, TX Family Law Cases Our Firm Handles
Family law can mean a lot of different things for different people. There are many situations where you may not even realize how much assistance a family law attorney in Arlington, Texas can provide to you. Below, we detail some of the most common types of family law cases we handle at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C.
No one wants to think about divorce, but the reality is that many marriages are not built to last, or couples grow apart as the years go by. While divorce cases can often get very messy due to the personal nature of the issues involved, our experienced Arlington family law attorneys know how to handle things with as little drama as possible. We are experienced in the practice of mediation between couples to find a positive resolution and keep the case out of court.
Texas is a community property state, which means that any property acquired during the marriage (with a few exceptions) is split between each of the parties. Community property rules can be complex and an experienced team like the one at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. can be extremely helpful in explaining the process to you in terms you can understand. If the mediation route is unsuccessful, we will aggressively argue your case in court and be sure that your side of the story is told.
High Asset/High Net Worth Divorce Cases
If you or your spouse has a high net worth, there may be extensive assets to consider in your divorce case. Protecting your own assets might be a very important part of your divorce case, and our lawyers can work to negotiate and help you keep assets that the default community property laws in Texas might otherwise give up.
Wealthy spouses might use prenuptial agreements and other legal tools to prevent their property from being divided fairly during the divorce. Sometimes, locating all of your spouse’s assets and wealth might take some investigation. Further, it might require legal challenges to how the property is being held or challenges to the legitimacy of the prenuptial agreement. Nonetheless, our attorneys will fight even the most complex and expansive cases to help our clients get the assets they deserve in their Texas divorce cases.
Child Custody Cases
Child custody battles may result from the divorce of a previously married couple or may involve a couple who were never married but who had a child together. In Texas, child custody is known as a “conservatorship,” and there are two types of conservatorship: managing conservatorship and possessory conservatorship. Managing conservatorships give the parent the ability to make basic life decisions involving the child, including where they will go to school, what doctor they will see, and what extracurricular activities they will participate in. Managing conservatorships can be held by a single parent or jointly by both parents. Possessory conservatorships mean that you only have the right to limited visitations with the child, usually on a schedule set by the courts.
Like most other states, the standard for determining who gets custody of the child in Texas is “the best interests of the child” standard, which is a very loose standard that can include the relationship between the parent and the child, where each parent lives, and each parent’s financial situation. Our Arlington TX family lawyers know how to make successful arguments that the best interests of the child will be served by you having a managing conservatorship, whether jointly with the other parent or on your own.
Child Support Cases
Generally, the parent who has the primary residence of the child is owed a certain amount of money in child support from the other parent. This amount is calculated based on each parent’s income and the number of children involved. Although this is typically a straightforward calculation, it can sometimes get tricky if one parent is between jobs or working part-time, if the child has special needs, or if the child works part-time.
At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can help you fight to receive the child support you are owed if you are the parent with the child’s primary residence. Conversely, if you are the parent who owes child support, we can fight to ensure that you are not being made to pay more than you owe or more than you can afford.
Adoptions are usually a happy event in the life of a family, but they can be very stressful as well due to the amount of bureaucracy involved. How the adoption process plays out will depend on whether you adopt through the government, an agency, or a private agreement. Our firm has experience with all three and can help guide you through the process from the moment it begins until your new child is with you in their permanent home.
Adoption cases can also often involve foster parents, adoption of a family member, or adoption of your spouse’s children. Some of these cases can become quite contentious and carry a lot of legal issues, especially if the child’s birth parents contest the adoption. Our attorneys can help with these cases as well.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Bringing up the subject of a prenuptial agreement can be awkward, but considering that a large number of marriages end in contentious divorces, it is important to protect your money. This is especially true in a community property state like Texas. We can help you write up an air-tight contract so that all of your assets are protected in the event that your marriage is dissolved.
We can also help with post-nuptial agreements if you married without a prenup. These can help you protect assets and property that you might gain during the life of your marriage. Postnuptial agreements can also be good alternatives to prenuptial agreements for couples who do not want to use a prenup as a condition for the marriage to begin.
Our attorneys are also experienced in challenging invalid prenups and postnups or modifying existing agreements.
Hiring a Family Law Attorney in Arlington, TX
When family is involved, legal issues can often be delicate matters. In some cases, your lawyer is going to represent both you and your spouse – and perhaps your whole family unit – in your legal case. This is common for issues such as adoption or in cases where you and your spouse are trying to keep custody if the state has tried to strip you of your children. In these kinds of cases, a single attorney or law firm can represent you and your family together. If issues could arise between spouses, they might need their own lawyers.
In many other family law matters, each family member involved in the case will absolutely need their own lawyer. Typically, divorce attorneys do not – and ethically cannot – represent both spouses. This means that your spouse might file a divorce case, but you will need to then find your own attorney instead of using their lawyer, too. Generally speaking, children do not need their own lawyers unless they are a party to the case, such as in cases where the child files for emancipation.
When shopping around for a family law attorney in a case against your spouse, former spouse, or the other the parent of your child, you might run into some issues. If a law firm previously consulted with the other party on this case or another case, the firm might not be able to represent you because of that consultation. This is the case even if the firm was ultimately not hired for this case. Because of these issues, it might be better to pick a lawyer from a bit further away, so if you live in Dallas or Fort Worth, our Arlington attorneys might be perfect for your case.
You should also get a consultation when looking for a lawyer to make sure that their services match what you need and to see if you like the way they work with you.
When Do You Need a Lawyer for a Family Law Case in Arlington, TX?
If you are facing legal issues that fall under the category of “family law” cases, you should contact a lawyer right away.
In most cases, it is better to have a lawyer earlier in the process. If you contact us as soon as you know about the legal problem, we can help you control the narrative and begin to set yourself up for success. Many people who wait too long before talking to a lawyer will make mistakes that the other side can end up using against them, especially in divorce and child custody cases where every action you take might be scrutinized.
It is also essential to remember that resorting to self-help is almost never a good idea in family law cases, and it is much better to work with a lawyer. Once the court is involved, court orders carry legal weight, and any violations or attempts to circumvent the court’s decisions are usually met with sanctions, punishments, and even criminal charges in some cases. These kinds of penalties are common in cases where people refuse to pay child support, try to hide assets from their spouse in a divorce case, or where parents try to make custody decisions without proper approval.
Talk to a lawyer as soon as you can to help set yourself up for success and avoid further legal issues. In many cases, your spouse or the other parties in your legal case will have a lawyer, so it is important to have your own lawyer to protect your rights as well.
If You Are in Need of a Family Law Attorney in Arlington, TX, Call Queenan Law Today
Family law contains some of the trickiest and most complex areas of the law in Texas. In addition, it often involves personal, emotional issues such that it is hard for the parties involved to see clearly how the matter needs to be handled. At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., our Arlington, TX family law attorneys have years of experience fighting for our clients’ family law matters in and out of the courtroom. We will get you through this process as painlessly as possible. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 for a confidential consultation.