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Questions Answered by Robert W. Leonard Jr.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Child Custody for Texas on

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?

The decree states she can designate any competent adult to pick the kids up on her behalf. My issue is her sending her boyfriend to pick them up from me without notifying me beforehand every time that he is there on her behalf. She has said (after my prompting) that he is “designated” by her.... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 11, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Probate, Public Benefits and Social Security for Texas on

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

My daughter's father passed before she was born. My son receives the social security survivors benefits. Social security told me to get a legal sibling DNA test and to send them the sealed document. They rejected her application because I did not amend her birth certificate. I was told to contact... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 8, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Texas on

Q: How long does it take to get a divorce

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 8, 2018

It depends on the facts. If you file for divorce in Texas, you can obtain the divorce after 60 days has passed.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Texas on

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?

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 8, 2018

You must be in Texas for six months and in your county for 90 days to file in that county.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Texas on

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

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 8, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Texas on

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

I left the father. Who i was never married to. He is still legally married to another woman. However he is on my daughters birth certificate. There are no court orders for custody or anything. So is it illegal for me to move myself and daughter out of state?

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 8, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Texas on

Q: Question about child custody.

My husband was given custody of his three kids when he divorced his ex-wife, she had the every-other-weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 2-6pm. Over the past year or so she has started being back in the kid's lives, and it has slowly gone back to basically 50/50 visitation, at my husband's discretion,... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Oct 8, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on

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

Father did not give notice by April 1st. Still hasn't. I'm trying to make summer plans but he isnt communicating won't let me know when he's getting the kids. Is there a deadline for his court order summer visit w/out notice for June 15-july 27th? He is not communicating and my court order does not... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Texas on

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

he has been making all of the payments on the house out of his personal account. Recently he refinanced the house put it in his name ( kept me on the tittle) took cash out and bought a boat. in a divorce in texas is the boat legally half mine?

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on

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

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Texas on

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

My Niece is a 17 yr old Single Mom of a 4 yr old girl. My niece, was recently sexually assaulted and moved in with me (35 yr old Single Mom as well) but, The mother to my Niece filed for temp custody of her granddaughter (the 4 yr old) on terms that the mother isn't mentally able to take care of... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

Contact a local family law attorney right away. The attorney can review all of the documents and advise as to your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Legal Malpractice for Texas on

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.

Virginia Mother's 12/31/1998 Will leaves daughterX Texas land. Siblings Y & Z receive separate equivalent value bequests. On same date, lawyer presents for Mom's signature an irrevocable trust that removes Texas land from her estate to avoid estate tax exposure. Also, to avoid GSTT after X's... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Texas on

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

I believe he's been sleeping with my daughter his step daughter I need help

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Texas on

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.

I have 20 days to respond. I know my time is running out but I need to be represented in someway, if I can afford an attorney

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

You do need an attorney, and right away. The attorney can review the documents, advise you and prepare the appropriate response.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption for Texas on

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

His real father is in prison

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

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

He had no will

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on May 21, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on

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

There dad is on child support but never pays nor has he ever seen them a day in there life. He's willing to sign up his rights but how do we go about it or how does it work?

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Apr 10, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Texas on

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

I've tried putting her on child support but she wants to go to court and fight for full custody, even though shes neglected him in the past and has been very inconsistent with calling my son and she never visits him. Is it possible for her to actually achieve full custody?? And when I say neglected... Read more »

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Apr 10, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Texas on

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

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Apr 10, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Texas on

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?

Robert W. Leonard Jr. answered on Apr 10, 2018

Contact a local estate planning attorney who can help you prepare the documents you need.

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