Law Office of Brian Turner Exclusively Representing Father’s Rights
Offering Flat-Fee Consultations
Call Or Email Today Email
View Our Practice Areas

Bryan Texas Family Law Blog

Honesty about paternity is the best policy

Some say the main concern for collectors of child support in Texas is to be sure someone is paying. For the men who end up footing the bills, however, that may not be enough. What if the child a man is supporting is not actually his?

The National Parents Organization speaks out against paternity fraud, explaining its three victims: the child involved, the assumed dad and the biological father. It is hard to argue against the idea that a child stands to lose the most when he or she does not have the opportunity to know his or her biological dad. Besides missing out on what could be a fulfilling relationship, the practical matters of a misleading health history and a suspicious, assumed father should be enough to encourage honesty about paternity.

Recognizing signs of parental alienation

If you are going through a separation or divorce and it involves a high-conflict custody battle, you may have concerns about whether your spouse is attempting to turn your son or daughter against you. Intentionally turning a child against the other parent, or intentionally making efforts to disengage a child from one parent’s life, is known as parental alienation.

In some cases, parental alienation can occur unintentionally, but regardless of how it manifests, it can wreak havoc on the family system. If you feel as if your child’s mother is trying to sway your child against you, be on high alert for possible signs of parental alienation, which might include:

Can legal fathers who question paternity cease child support?

If you are a legal father in Texas and are currently paying child support, but you now question whether you did, in fact, biologically father the child you are supporting, you may wonder whether you can stop paying support. While, as a legal father, you cannot immediately cease paying court-ordered child support payments, you may, depending on certain circumstances, be able to petition to the court to terminate the relationship between you and the child and therefore end your duty to pay support.

Per the Texas Attorney General, the first step in the process of ending your duty to pay child support involves filing a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship. The next step involves you attending a pretrial hearing where the court will determine whether your case has appropriate grounds to proceed. If so, you and the child you question fathering must both submit to genetic testing. If the test proves that you are not, in fact, the biological father of the child in question, the court will typically end your parent-child relationship and, as a result, your obligation to pay child support.

Are you married even though you had no wedding?

If you are living with someone in Texas, you may be married to him or her whether you realize it or not. As Unmarried Equality explains, Texas is one of the nine states that recognizes common law marriage whereby certain couples who live together are just as legally married as their friends who had a wedding.

Whether or not you and your partner are in fact married depends on whether or not the two of you have held yourselves out as married. The way to determine this is by answering the following four questions:

  1. Have you told your family, friends and/or co-workers that you are married?
  2. Do you refer to each other as “my wife” and “my husband?”
  3. Do you file joint income tax returns?
  4. Do you often use the same last name?

Making the most of visits with noncustodial children

If you are a Texas father, but your child does not live with you, you may not get to spend time with your son or daughter as often as you might like. Even spending limited amounts of time with you can have a sizable impact on your child’s overall well-being, however, so rather than see those weekends, vacations or summers as all-too-brief periods, try and view them as opportunities. At the Law Office of Brian Turner, we recognize the importance of fathers spending time with their children, and we have helped many Texas fathers pursue custody, visitation and parenting time.

If your child is coming to your home to spend time with you, Huffington Post advises that you try and avoid feeling as if you have to pack pricy activities into every moment of every day. Odds are, what your son or daughter desires most is to simply spend time with you and get to know this side of the family better, and this can be done over dinner, on a walk or simply sitting in the living room talking.

According to the law, which father are you?

Texas dads should know being a father is one of the most honorable roles a man can have, but doing the job well is not easy. All relationships take effort from both parties, of course, and parenting is no exception. Whether or not you have married your child's mother, you have to learn how to manage life with her, how to prioritize your little one and how to be a role model for him or her. 

One of the most important aspects of taking responsibility as a dad is establishing paternity. You might wonder why legal fatherhood matters, but the Texas Attorney General describes the benefits for you, your child and your child's mom. 

3 smart financial moves for divorcing dads

Divorce can come with a steep cost, especially if it is long and contentious. Even if it is not, there is no getting around certain fees. However, there are some things you can do during and after your divorce to try to lessen the financial impact.

The some of the more common ways are to try to reach a divorce settlement out of court through mediation or negotiation and to follow a budget to make your income go further until circumstance are stable once again. There are also the following three measures:

What must I do to relocate with my child to another state?

If you are a divorced parent living in Texas, you may be in for a hassle if your employer decides to transfer you to another state. Your divorce decree and/or parenting plan may contain a geographical restriction that prevents you from moving beyond a certain distance from your current home without court approval. If so, the Texas Family Code, Section 153, requires you to obtain a judge’s permission before you can relocate.

If your former spouse consents to your proposed move, the judge likely will give his or her permission without the necessity of a lengthy court hearing. If your former spouse objects to your relocation, however, both of you will need to go to court and present evidence supporting your respective positions. For you, that means presenting compelling evidence as to why your proposed move is not only in your best interests, but also those of your child(ren).

How stepfathers can become actual fathers

At times a man marries a woman that has children from a previous marriage or just from another male while unmarried. Such men become stepfathers in the new marriage, and have most of the roles and duties that a legal father would in Texas. However, the stepfather may desire to have the same relationship to his wife’s children as any legal parent would. In this case, a stepfather may seek to adopt the children as his own.   

According to Findlaw, a stepfather adoption turns the stepfather into the children’s legal father. A stepparent adoption process, although similar to regular adoption, can actually be easier than regular adoption, which involves a long period of waiting before the adoption can go through, plus home visits by legal authorities. However, the courts may waive some of these requirements since a stepparent already lives with the children. This can speed up the adoption process.

Is there still a bias against fathers in family court?

There have been many steps forward for family courts in Texas when it comes to bias in custody rulings. Traditionally, in this country, mothers were often given the benefit of the doubt and awarded the physical custody of the children as long as she was not proven unfit. Fathers had little ability to gain custody because of this uneven playing field. While courts claim this bias no longer exists and that both parents come into a custody case on equal footing, you may wonder if this is really the truth.

According to the National Parents Organization, studies have shown bias still does exist in family courts. It comes from a historical perspective that children belong with their mothers because mothers are the ones who spend the most time with them. While this may no longer be true in today's society, many judges still take this stance. They see fathers as the one who focuses on making money for the family while the mothers actually raise the children. This bias means judges give mothers custody far more often than fathers. 

Email Us

Success Starts With Setting Realistic Goals

I welcome the opportunity to answer your questions during an initial consultation and help you understand what we can accomplish together. Call or use my online contact form to schedule a meeting.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Law Office of Brian Turner
308 N. Washington Ave.
Bryan, TX 77803

Phone: 979-583-9200
Fax: 512-212-1333
Map & Directions

CALL 512-615-3300 today or send us an email Email