Frequently Asked Family Law Questions in Texas
Answers from knowledgeable attorneys in Houston
Dealing with family law issues can be confusing and stressful. But you can relieve a great deal of your anxiety by consulting Robert Reid McInvale, Attorney at Law. For more than three decades, we have helped our neighbors in the greater Houston area obtain practical legal solutions to family crises. We offer this brief list of frequently asked questions to help you get started:
- What are my rights as a grandparent?
- Can I transfer my case from another state?
- I live in another state. Can I sue in Texas?
- Can I sue for money if someone has interfered with my child possession rights?
- Can I collect unpaid child support even if my kids are fully grown?
Of course, there is no substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a concerned and dedicated attorney. When you are ready to speak, we are here to listen.
Consult an experienced family law attorney serving the Houston area
If you need additional answers to your urgent family law questions, speak with Robert Reid McInvale, Attorney at Law. Call our firm at 866-959-7824 or contact us online to learn more about your options. We’re proud to serve individuals and families throughout Houston and the surrounding communities.
Under Texas law, a grandparent’s rights to visitation with grandchildren are limited, but a court can order visitation if it is in the best interests of the child and one of the following circumstances apply:
- The parents are divorced.
- A parent abused or neglected the child.
- A parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died.
- A court order terminated the parent-child relationship.
- The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.
Grandparents do not have a right to visitation if someone other than the child’s stepparent adopts the child. Grandparents who are providing a home for their grandchild should consider petitioning the court for legal custody. This allows the grandparent to request child support from the parents.
If you have an existing court order from another state, the courts of Texas must honor that order and may enforce any violation, such as failure to pay child support or failure to honor the court-approved parenting plan. If you or your ex is now a resident of Texas, you can petition the court to modify an existing family court order.
If you wish to file for divorce in Texas, or bring some other new action, the Texas court must have jurisdiction over the person or persons you are suing. For divorce, you must meet the residency requirement, which means that your spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months and in the county where you will file for at least 90 days. For other actions, it is sufficient that a defendant be a resident of the county where you file your action, or that you file in the court of the county where the cause of the action occurred.
In Texas, civil liability attaches when someone intentionally interferes with a parent’s right to possess a child. This means you can sue for monetary damages, which include the costs of recovering the child, including attorneys’ fees, as well as compensatory damages for your mental anguish during the period of separation. In egregious cases, where the person interfering with parental rights acted with malice or intent to cause harm, the court can award punitive damages. However, a plaintiff parent has a difficult case because he or she must prove the defendant had actual notice of the court order allowing the parent to take possession of the child or at least had reasonable cause to believe the child was subject to such an order, and the defendant knew their actions were likely to violate the order.
There is no statute of limitations for back child support in Texas. That means you can continue collection efforts even after your children are grown and have left the home. In fact, you are entitled to reasonable interest on that unpaid debt.