Questions Answered by Robert W. Leonard Jr.

Q: Am I breaking the law by insisting that I be notified by my ex wife who is picking the kids up from me on her behalf?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Texas on
Answered on Oct 11, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
You are not breaking any laws by asking the question. If you do not allow her to exercise her possession schedule, then you will be in violation of your order and open for an enforcement action. Maybe you can ask her, in writing, if you can send the children with him unless she tells you otherwise. That should clear up your concerns.

Q: How do I amend my child's birth certificate to add her deceased father to it ?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Probate, Public Benefits and Social Security for Texas on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
You can review the information provided at the Texas Department of State Health Services, VItal Statistics division to review the process. Here is the link:

https://dshs.texas.gov/vs/reqproc/amendparentage.shtm

Since you will need a court order, it would be best if you contact a local family law attorney to assist you. You want to make sure it is done properly.

Q: How long does it take to get a divorce

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Texas on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
It depends on the facts. If you file for divorce in Texas, you can obtain the divorce after 60 days has passed.

Q: If i've lived in a new county for 30 days & want to file for a divorce and custody, can I do that in the new county?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Texas on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
You must be in Texas for six months and in your county for 90 days to file in that county.

Q: What is the process for divorce in Texas? What if you have divorce papers but your spouse refuses to sign them?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Texas on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
If you have lived in Texas for 90 days and in your county for 6 months, you can file for divorce in your county. Once you file, you will have to serve the other party or obtain a waiver of service from the other party.

After 60 days has passed you can enter the final decree of divorce signed by both parties or you can set the matter for trial if the parties are not in agreement.

Although Texas has forms to assist in doing a divorce pro se, if it is contested, it is better to...

Q: Hello. Im messaging in reguards to trying to move out of state with my daughter.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Texas on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
If you have no current orders, either parent has rights to the child. If you move without his agreement, he could file something in Texas and the court could order you to return. If you are in the new state long enough and he has not filed anything, you may be successful in filing yourself in the new state. Without knowing all of the facts, including whether he is paying child support, whether he has contact with the child, it is not possible to give you specific advice.

Q: Question about child custody.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Texas on
Answered on Oct 8, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
Courts do not generally change custody unless it is in the best interest of the children. If there is no reason to change the current situation, then the court will not likely do so. However, the courts do expect parents to work together and most orders include language such as, "or as the parties agree" to cover when parties choose to work together outside the current order.

You can contact a local family law attorney to discuss the situation further. If the attorney knows all of...

Q: Dad missed April1 for notice of summervisit. My court order says june15-july27 is default. Does he have to give notice?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
If your order says he has a default possession, then he has a default possession. I am sure it is inconvenient, but be where your order says to be on the day you he starts his possession. Otherwise you are in violation of the order.

Q: my husband owned a home prior to our marriage. after we were married he refinanced it in both our our names.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
In Texas, everything earned during the marriage by each party is considered to be community property unless it can be shown otherwise. If he purchased the boat with community funds, it is presumed to be community property. Having an account in his name does not mean the account is his money. The funds belong to the community unless he can show otherwise.

If he purchased the home before the marriage, the home is separate property. You may be entitled to a claim for reimbursement,...

Q: My ex is trying to go for sole custody to avoided child support and they keep telling me I'm a unfit mother

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
This is an unfortunate but not uncommon situation. Provided the allegations regarding your maternal fitness are untrue, it is unlikely he will be successful. You do, however, need an attorney representing you to protect your interests.

Q: Can a child be removed from a Single 17 yr old Mom?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
Contact a local family law attorney right away. The attorney can review all of the documents and advise as to your options.

Q: Will gives land to X in conflict w/irrevoc. trust signed same day to avoid estate tax leaves out X's heirs b/c GSTT.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Legal Malpractice for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
You are looking at significant litigation if the parties are not in agreement. In order to advise you, your attorney will have to review all of the documents. Time is of the essence; contact a local probate attorney right away.

Q: I have been married for 35 year together 40. My husband has cut everything off. I believe him and my

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
Your first step is to contact the police if your daughter is under age. Your second step is to contact a local family law attorney who can file for divorce and protect your interests.

Q: I am being sued by my ex- in-laws for original petition and for adoption of a child. I received the documents on may 7.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
You do need an attorney, and right away. The attorney can review the documents, advise you and prepare the appropriate response.

Q: How do I legally adopt my 9 year old stepson that I have been Raising for 6 years?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
A step-parent adoption is a relatively simple process, provided the biological mother and father agree to the adoption. The father can be served in prison; there is a very specific way to do that. Contact a local family law attorney who can walk you through all the steps and ensure that everything is done properly.

Q: Hello my husben passed away does his family have the right to come get his cars and guns

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Answered on May 21, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
If he did not have a will, then his estate would pass through the intestacy provisions in Texas law. Be sure to contact a local probate attorney to help protect your interest in the estate.

Q: I'm getting married soon and my wife wants to adopt my kids but how would we go about it

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on
Answered on Apr 10, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
Contact a local family law attorney to work with you on the adoption. The attorney will prepare the appropriate documents for the biological father to sign, and prepare the documents needed for the court.

Your spouse will have to submit to a criminal background check and the court will assign a social worker to conduct a study of your living environment.

The process is pretty simple if the father agrees. If he does not agree or changes his mind, it becomes a lawsuit and you...

Q: Hi I'm the custodial parent for my son. for the past 3 years going on 4 years. I tried to put her on child support. But

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Texas on
Answered on Apr 10, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
If she files anything, contact a local family law attorney right away. In the meantime, keep good records of her contact with your son and any other information you might need if you had to go to court.

Texas courts prefer that children have the opportunity to establish a relationship with both parents. Therefore, a judge would likely give her some sort of possession schedule if she does not have one.

Possession and child support are two separate issues, but sometimes when...

Q: Can I get a divorce if pregnant it Texas?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Texas on
Answered on Apr 10, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
Typically the judge will hold off on the final decree until after the baby is born. Contact a local family law attorney who can review your situation and advise you.

Q: I want annual gifts to pay a friend's tuition to continue in the event of my death, must I include it in my will?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on
Answered on Apr 10, 2018
Robert W. Leonard Jr.'s answer
Contact a local estate planning attorney who can help you prepare the documents you need.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.