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Adoption: Handling an absent or unsupportive father

According to recent census figures in the United States, there are more than 2 million adopted children in households in the country. With an increase in awareness about adoption, more and more mothers are considering it as a viable option when they feel they may be able to unable to care for their child either physically, emotionally, or financially. Unfortunately, when mothers decide on this option, there are sometimes complications when dealing with the birth father, even when they are not around.

Teen's gender identity at center of custody battle

Parenting doesn't get any easier as children grow up to be teenagers. Even if parents still see them as kids, teenagers often feel more like adults. They start to make their own decisions and develop their own ideas on themselves and how they view the world.

In some families, this could lead to screaming matches and slammed doors. In other cases, it can lead to custody battles. For instance, a 17-year-old is at the center of a custody battle in another state between parents and grandparents who disagree over the teen's gender identity.

Dads: Four ways you can prepare for a custody case

Child custody and visitation disputes are highly emotional and legally complicated. Whether you are heading in to court or a mediation session to resolve these issues, it is important for parents to prepare because it can be easy to get overwhelmed in these situations.

Three things to know before filing an order to establish paternity

If you have doubts regarding who is a child's biological father, then getting a court order for establishing paternity can be critical. This is true whether you believe you are the father of a child or you are a child's mother and want to legally identify the father.

However, before you do this, there are some things to consider first.

What makes a parent unfit?

When parents are fighting over custody of a child, one might accuse the other of being an unfit parent. This can come with threats to take a child away and promises that the allegedly unfit parent will never see the child again.

If you are the person on the receiving end of these threats, then you are likely very scared about what the future holds for your relationship with your child. However, before you take what the other parent says as fact, you should understand the decision is not left up to him or her. There are laws in Texas that dictate when a parent may not receive custody.

Four parenting mistakes to avoid during separation

For better or worse, divorces do not happen overnight. It can take several months to move from "divorcing" to "divorced." During this transition period, you do not stop being a parent, which means you will still have to raise your kids with each other, even though you are living separately.

This can be a very thorny situation. However, there are ways to get through it, like securing a temporary child custody order. You can also take care to avoid four parenting mistakes that could hurt you and your children in the long run.

Can my ex deny visitation if I am behind on child support?

The dynamic between divorced or separated parents can be quite volatile, and this can lead to disputes over child custody and visitation. One such dispute that we often hear about is a parent trying to stop another parent from seeing the child. 

A common reason why parents think they can deny visitation is if a parent falls behind on child support. They think that if a parent isn't keeping up with payments, then he or she shouldn't be able to spend time with a child. However, this is not accurate; child support and child custody are two different matters and parents should still comply with custody and visitation orders, even if there are problems with child support.

Other complications that can arise during a custody battle

Fighting over custody often takes precedence over just about any other priority for parents. Unfortunately, these battles can be contentious and lengthy, which can create secondary issues that parents also need to resolve in addition to custody.

A few issues that parents may struggle with during a custody dispute include job-related problems, travel restrictions and public discussion on your situation.

What are the grounds for custody modification in Texas?

A lot can change in the years following a divorce and creation of a custody schedule. Children grow up; parents get remarried or find new jobs; financial circumstances often fluctuate.

Considering all that can change in the lives of parents and children, it can be important for parents with custody and visitation agreement to understand when and if that agreement might change.

What legal rights do step-parents have?

Family structures come in all shapes and sizes. As divorce rates have continued to remain steady for years, blended families and step-parent relationships have continued to be on the rise. With step-parenting becoming more common during many children's formative year's, many people are recognizing the important bond that still forms between parents and their non-biological children. Until 2000 the courts had often failed to acknowledge the importance of the step-parent/step-child relationship often failing to include the step-parent in any post-divorce custody situations. Now the courts have begun to acknowledge the bond and relationship development between step-parents and the children they help to raise and step-parents are now a larger part of the consideration during visitation and custody proceedings.