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shutterstock_448217437-min.jpg Child custody or visitation pertains to the legal process determining how much time a child spends monthly with each parent after a divorce. Texas child custody laws can be complex and stressful to navigate. The final terms are determined by a judge, which can differ on a case-by-case basis. 

How Texas Describes Child Custody Issues

Conservatorship refers to the duties and rights of the parents when it comes to making important decisions for their children. This includes their schooling, medical decisions, religious decisions, etc. In this case, the parents can decide to allow one parent to make all the decisions (Sole Managing Conservatorship) or allow both parents to (Joint Managing Conservatorship). When the court is deciding the rights and duties of a parent, it takes several factors into account. 

Access or possession refers to physical child custody or when a parent can visit a child. They can opt for either standard or extended standard visitation schedules in Texas. But they can customize the schedules per their needs, or the court can do so based on the child's best interests. 


frisco divorce lawyerAccording to Texas law, divorcing couples must disclose all relevant information regarding their assets. This can include property, financial accounts, retirement assets, and more. If you suspect your spouse is dishonest in disclosing their assets, contact a skilled divorce attorney in Collin County. 

Signs Individuals Are Trying to Hide Assets 

Here are some ways an individual might use to conceal marital assets:

  • Transferring property or money out of joint possession or a joint account and into the possession of a relative or friend


frisco child custody lawyer Child conservatorship guidelines in Texas refer to the legal framework that governs the rights and responsibilities of parents or guardians over the upbringing of their children. This includes decisions regarding the child's education, healthcare, religion, and welfare. 

The state of Texas assumes that both parents have an important role in their child's life, and it is in the child's best interest to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. However, this assumption can be overcome with sufficient evidence. In some cases, it is better for only one parentto have authority over and responsibility for the child. 

Understanding Conservatorship in Texas

In Texas, child custody is referred to as "conservatorship." There are essentially two conservatorships. The first is “sole managing conservatorship," and the second is "joint managing conservatorship." 


frisco family law attorneyTexas law values parental rights very highly, so parental rights can only be terminated under very specific situations. The state recognizes that there are certain circumstances where it is necessary to terminate parental rights for the well-being of the child.

Grounds for termination of parental rights in Texas are severe and can only be done with the approval of the court. Typically, such measures are taken during adoption cases.

A Frisco adoption lawyer can help you navigate the legal process of terminating parental rights in Texas.


frisco divorce lawyerFathers often feel that they are at a disadvantage when it comes to family law, especially during a divorce in Texas. They often worry about child custody and support, because they are unsure about their rights. If you are a father going through a divorce in Texas, or through a child custody dispute, consult a Frisco divorce lawyer who can protect your legal rights. That being said, the following blog is intended to help you better understand your legal rights in the Lone Star State.

Gender-Neutral Adjudication

Unlike in previous decades, courts are now required to adjudicate child custody in a gender-neutral manner. This means that mothers are no longer presumed to be the most suitable parent for custody, and fathers are recognized as equal partners during child custody cases or divorce in Texas.

Joint Custody First

Texas courts seek the best interest of the children during a divorce, which helps eliminate any gender bias. So instead of presuming mothers as caretakers and fathers are providers, the courts consider all things in the best interest of the children.


collin county divorce lawyerThe divorce rate has tripled for people who are 65 years of age and older. At this stage of life, you likely have more assets to divide than other couples, and you may be more set in your ways. But if you have made the decision to end the marriage, you will likely have to divide both assets and liabilities. A skilled divorce attorney can help you make sense of the division of marital assets and how to protect your interests.

Property Division

If you and your spouse purchased a home during the marriage, or any other property, for that matter, it is subject to division during the divorce. Texas is considered a community property state which means marital property is divided equally. In other words, property acquired during the marriage is considered joint property and should be divided in a divorce proceeding. Separate property includes assets acquired before marriage.

What Happens to Our Business?

If you and your spouse have a business, it is important that you preserve your investment. You need an attorney who knows how to determine the value of a business and make sure your interests are protected. At The Law Office of Linda Risinger, we will agree on strategy and valuation methods with a business appraiser and negotiate a fair settlement for the division of business assets.


frisco relocation lawyerAfter a divorce, a parent can relocate to wherever they wish. However, if there are children involved, moving is more complicated. Parental relocation is not always an immediate issue after a divorce, but as time goes by, things may change. For example, a parent may have an employment opportunity out of state or have a new partner with plans to marry and move.

Court Order May Be Required for the Relocation

Under Texas law, the parent with primary custody has restrictions on his or her ability to relocate with children in tow. If the circumstances are such that one parent needs to move out of state, they can simply give up custody and move. Child custody would then be transferred to the other parent.

In Texas, the parent with primary custody is only allowed to move into any county next to the one in which the divorce was finalized or to any location that is within the same county. However, moving out of state or a few counties away requires a court order to be obtained by the custodial parent.


How Will Divorce Affect My Taxes?

Posted on in Divorce

Denton divorce lawyer for tax considerationsIt is tax season, and if you are getting a divorce, you are probably thinking the timing could not have been worse. A divorce is not only emotional, but it comes with its share of financial challenges related to tax considerations. This stressful time may divert focus away from important decisions that could affect the taxes you pay. At the The Law Office of Linda Risinger, we help clients with every aspect of their divorce, including figuring out their tax implications and helping identify potential advantages.

Filing Tax Returns

Marital standing impacts everything from your filing status to whom you can claim as a dependent. If your divorce is not final yet, you may be able to file a joint tax return even if you no longer live together with your spouse. This could be advantageous, because it may make you eligible for a higher standard deduction when you combine your income with your spouse on the same tax return. On the flip side, when you file jointly, you will both be liable for all taxes due, even on income that your spouse earned.  

Child Custody and Impact on Tax Obligations

According to the IRS, one parent is allowed to claim a child as a dependent each year. If you have more than one children, you can claim one, the deductions for different children may be divided between you and the other parent. Usually, the parent with primary custody is eligible for exemptions and credits that can reduce their tax liability. In some cases, a parent with a lower income may agree to give up the exemption and allow the parent with a higher income to gain the benefits of claiming the child as a dependent.


Frisco divorce attorneyTalking about your divorce on social media should really be off-limits. Remember that anything you share online could somehow wind up in the hands of your soon-to-be-ex and could easily be used against you during the divorce proceedings. In fact, Facebook is the main source of online divorce evidence, according to 66 percent of attorneys surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The last thing you should do is post photos of you and your new partner on vacation. It is best to post nothing about the divorce to avoid additional conflict and legal consequences.  

Stay Away From Social Media 

Plainly put, do not do it! Stop using social media until after the divorce is finalized. If you are unable or unwilling to do that, only post positive affirmations. Do not do anything that could jeopardize your negotiations or increase conflict. It is best not to discuss your case online. Even if you and your spouse are on friendly terms, do not share details of the negotiations on social media. 

Make sure you change your privacy settings to the highest levels and that your friends do not tag you in their posts. Remove your relationship status on Facebook and unfriend those who may engage in harassing or cyber-stalking behavior.


Denton County, TX child protective services lawyerWe have a system in the United States designed to protect children. And when there are reports of child abuse or neglect, Child Protective Services (CPS) will step in and investigate the allegations. In Texas, investigators will determine if the children in the home face any threats to their safety and a close look at the parents will quickly take center stage. At The Law Office of Linda Risinger, we suggest hiring a CPS defense attorney as soon as you know that CPS has begun investigating.

Cooperating with CPS

CPS usually becomes involved with families after the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services decides that the children are not safe in the home. CPS will determine if the family has abused the child. But these kinds of cases can become complicated.

What Are Investigators Looking Into?

Investigators typically will interview various parties who can shed light on the case and they will dig for information in the following ways:


Frisco, TX child support lawyerRaising children is no easy task but it can be especially difficult if you have a child with a disability. Sometimes they require supervision 24 hours a day. Physical or cognitive disabilities could mean that a child may need to rely on their parents for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, in Texas, the needs of children and adults with disabilities are recognized and parents can extend child support payments indefinitely.

Modifying Your Child Support Agreement  

Most child support ends when children turn 18 years old or graduate from high school, whichever comes last. Certain child support modifications, however, are allowed in the state of Texas, if the child is disabled and will need financial support into their adult life. For child support to be prolonged the following needs to be true:



Frisco, TX cohabitation agreement lawyerThe thought of living with your significant other may sound romantic, especially during the holidays. Perhaps you are more practical and have financial incentives to live together. Whatever your situation, before you make the decision to take the plunge and make a firmer commitment you may want to consider a cohabitation agreement to protect yourself.

Cohabitation Agreement Key Points

Couples who cohabitate do not generally have the same legal protections that married couples do. A cohabitation agreement, however, can offer some peace of mind. It is an accord between couples involved in an intimate and long-term relationship. Texas recognizes common-law marriage but you will only be considered legally married if you have presented yourself to others as married spouses. This can be difficult to demonstrate because often couples do not make the effort to legally formalize their relationship.

If you are contemplating living together and you have no intention of getting married, it might behoove you to create a cohabitation agreement. This is a written agreement signed by the two interested parties. The cohabitation agreement can address the following points:


Do you Need a Same-Sex Divorce Attorney?

Posted on in Divorce

Frisco, TX same-sex divorce lawyerThe Lone Star State was very conservative compared to other states when it came to recognizing same-sex marriages. But times have changed. In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled to allow same sex marriages in all states and now there are more than 41,000 same-sex married households in Texas. Recognizing same-sex marriage means judges also have to grant same-sex couples a divorce. At The Law Office of Linda Risinger we understand that every divorce is unique and we also understand the special intricacies involved in a same-sex divorce.

Difficult Decisions

Although same-sex divorces can have unique challenges compared to heterosexual divorces, for the most part, they are the same. No matter who you love, if your marriage is broken, you may be thinking about divorce and it is understandable to be scared and worried while having a million questions all at once. A skilled same-sex divorce attorney will be able to guide you through the process of your divorce as you make decisions about these key areas:

  • Child custody, visitation, and child support for any children under 18 or still in high school


Frisco Family Law AttorneyIn the United States, domestic violence affects more than 10 million people every year. Equally alarming is that the number of cases continues to rise in the Lone Star state and that domestic violence incidents against men and women are nearly tied at 35 percent. Male victims of domestic violence may minimize the significance of the abuse and perhaps deny it due to embarrassment but this does not mean it does not happen.

Violence Against Men by the Numbers

Domestic violence can include emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. It is usually a pattern of behavior by one person to maintain power and control over the other. And although it is often the men who are controlling, women can also be violent against their male partners:

  • About five percent of men are killed by their female partners


Frisco Family Law AttorneyA growing number of children are having to deal with instability due to their parent’s divorce. They probably have no idea where they will spend Thanksgiving. Perhaps you went through a bitter child custody battle and having your children for specific holidays can be a contentious topic. But can you get along during the holidays for the child’s sake? Well, the Texas Family Code outlines exact steps for parents to take, especially if you do not see eye to eye.

Splitting Up Holidays

Orders by the court involving child custody are guided by what is in the best interest of the children. But if the parents cannot agree with arrangements that have been approved by the court in Texas, major holidays are split up between parents in the following manner:

  • Thanksgiving – The parent with custody will have the child during odd years beginning the evening after the child leaves school for the Thanksgiving holiday and ending in the evening on the following Sunday. The same is true for the other parent during even-numbered years.


Denton County grey divorce lawyerThe number of people over 50 getting a divorce is growing. Unfortunately, divorce tends to have a more drastic financial impact on women than it does on men and inflation is only making matters worse. That is why it is important not to rush to get it over with but to fight for what you believe you will need long-term.

Financial Impact of a Gray Divorce

After a gray divorce, women are more likely to live below the federal poverty line compared to men. Women may be at a disadvantage for some of the following reasons: 

  • Women settle for lower-paying jobs that provide more flexibility so that they can take care of their children or their aging parents


Denton County grandparents' rights lawyerPerhaps your adult child is in prison or perhaps your daughter does not want her kids. Or maybe you cannot bear the thought of your grandchildren winding up in foster care. If you believe it is time to take on a more permanent role in the life of your grandchildren and you want to file for custody of your grandchildren, you have some legal options, especially if Texas Child Protective Services is involved.

Voluntary Relinquishment 

Here, we will cover the various legal options to gain custody of your grandchild according to the Texas Family Code. Keep in mind that both a biological or adoptive grandparent can sue for custody. 

You could be granted custody of your grandchildren if the parents relinquish their parental rights to you. The parent should not have cared for or had the children with them for six months or more. That should also be the case within 90 days preceding the date of filing the lawsuit. This is an important requirement because often parents change their minds and want their children back.


Collin County divorce lawyerImagine you are in the middle of a divorce. The stakes are high, and you are worried about whether you will get a fair property settlement and a fair custody arrangement, to say nothing about how long the process might drag on. Suddenly, you begin to suspect your attorney is not pulling their weight - despite paying them on time, he or she seems sloppy, unprepared, or uninformed. You hear from their office less and less. 

Unfortunately, for some people seeking a divorce in Texas, this hypothetical situation is all too real, leaving them desperately scrambling for competent legal representation at the worst time possible. Fortunately, Texas law does allow you to switch your attorney in the middle of divorce - but if you choose to change your attorney, take care to ensure that doing so will not negatively affect your case. 

What Is a Texas Divorce Attorney Supposed to Do? 

Some people hold off on replacing an attorney who seems incompetent because they are unsure of what an attorney’s responsibilities are supposed to cover. At a minimum, you should expect the following from a divorce lawyer: 


Frisco divorce lawyerDivorce is hard. Even the most amicable divorces involve feelings of sorrow, guilt, anger, or regret. While having a great divorce attorney who listens to you and understands the approach you want to take cannot help you resolve your feelings about your divorce, it can make an enormous difference in the ease and outcome of the divorce process. If you are considering divorce, you already know you have a wide range of family law firms available to you. Here are five tips for choosing a Texas divorce attorney that suits your needs. 

Knowledge and Experience

A great divorce attorney need not have been practicing for decades in order to provide you with the best representation. But if you hire someone straight out of law school, you may be taking a gamble even if you get a better price. Choose someone who clearly knows the law and is willing to put it to work for you. 

Realistic Expectations

As in other areas of life, if a prospective divorce attorney is promising you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even if you have the greatest attorney in the world, you are not likely to get everything you want out of your divorce. An honest attorney will help you set realistic expectations while still respecting your needs and preferences. 


Texas CPS investigation lawyerLearning you are being investigated by Texas Child Protective Services can feel like you are living in a waking nightmare. In addition to the questions you have and the anxiety you feel, you may also be dealing with feelings of indignation and outrage. Considering that CPS is notorious for getting involved in situations where the idea of parental neglect is ridiculous (and for frequently neglecting to get involved in situations where children are in serious danger), it can feel like an enormous waste of time. 

However, it is still very important to take any investigation seriously, whether you feel it is merited or not. CPS has an enormous amount of power and many good parents have gotten trapped in the cogs of the system. Fortunately, you can maximize the chances of a favorable outcome by getting aggressive legal help from a Texas family law attorney. 

What Will CPS Agents Do? 

The first question many parents have is why they are being investigated in the first place. Accusations of abuse and neglect are easily made but much harder to defend against. People like neighbors, teachers, and even vindictive exes can make anonymous reports without any thought as to how their actions could upturn the lives of the parent against whom the accusations are made. 

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