The Houston Family Law Blog

Recently in Child Custody Category

Child Custody: Virtual Visitation in Texas

| No TrackBacks

Many non-custodial parents are taking advantage of the Web cam technology offered through Google, AOL, Yahoo, and Skype. Parents are now able to "visit" their children without actually being in the same room as the kids through the use of video communication devices.

FindLaw KnowledgeBase states that Texas has a virtual visitation law in place through Family Code ยง153.015, which permits courts to order electronic communication with the child. Parents in Texas can also agree independently to an electronic communication schedule as part of their visitation plan through out of court proceedings. Texas became the third U.S. state to pass a virtual visitation law in 2007 after Utah and Wisconsin passed similar laws. Virtual visitation laws were later passed in Florida and North Carolina.

Grandmother Hands Children Over to Harris County Authorities

| No TrackBacks

We reported in an earlier blog post that 23-year-old Abraham Fernandez of Houston was arrested after allegedly kidnapping his own two children from their mother's home in Anaheim, CA. The whereabouts of the father's two children were unknown at the time of his arrest in Texas, however the Orange County Register recently reported that the children were recently handed over to authorities after the grandmother of the children took the kids to a court facility earlier this week.

Can Children Prevent Divorce?

| No TrackBacks

The United States has a divorce rate of almost 50 percent. As stated through, couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples. Does this mean children in a marriage can keep parents from growing apart?

At least 66 percent of divorced couples do not have children. Sociologists believe that the absence of children in a relationship can lead to loneliness, which can lead to a depressing marriage. Not being able to have children can also be a common cause for a divorce.

Abraham Fernandez Arrested in Child Abduction Case

| No TrackBacks

If you're looking to change a child custody or visitation agreement, it's best to speak with a Houston family law attorney and not abduct a child from the other parent. A recent case in Harris County shows just how severe the consequences can be for kidnapping your own child.

Associated Press reports that Texas authorities arrested 23-year-old Abraham Fernandez of Houston for allegedly kidnapping his two sons from their mother's home in Anaheim, CA. Prosecutors have charged the Houston father with two felony counts of kidnapping and two felony counts of child abduction. Abraham Fernandez could be sentenced to a maximum of nine years in prison if convicted of the criminal charges.

Carla Velasco Charged With Interference With Child Custody

| No TrackBacks

Houston police officers are searching for 34-year-old Carla Velasco who disappeared with her 3-year-old son in the midst of a divorce hearing. ABC News reports that the woman and her husband were granted joint custody of their son. However, Carla Velasco reportedly failed to appear in court for a custody hearing on October 24, 2009.

Resources for Single Parents in Texas

| No TrackBacks

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot has become a well-known public figure who is taking on new initiatives to crack down on non-custodial parents that don't pay child support. Greg Abbot and Texas family law attorneys know that there can be many difficulties associated with being a single parent in the Lone Star state, so the Office of the Attorney General has put together resources for single parenting and co-parenting on its website.

The Office of the Attorney General provides links to several state programs and federal programs that can help single parents. Among these programs is the state program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). This program can provide monthly cash payments to help children and their families out with food, clothing, housing, and other basic needs. The amount of money a family receives depends on the family size and the income of the family.

Father Turns Himself In After 17 Years In Child Abduction Case

| No TrackBacks

A boy who had been missing from his mother for 17 years, could now have the opportunity to reunite with the mom. CBS News reports that Stephen Michael Palacios will be turning 21 years of age tomorrow and that he has not seen his mom since 1993 when he was allegedly abducted by his father during a divorce battle.

The Texan mother, who is now re-married, was reportedly awarded primary custody of the child in the divorce case. She was living with her son in Waco before her son's disappearance in 1993. The boy had not known about his reported disappearance until recently when he read about his own abduction case in a local Waco newspaper. He then persuaded his father to surrender to federal authorities. After turning himself in, the father was jailed on charges of interference with child custody.

Michael Glyn Brown Accused of Assaulting Wife

| No TrackBacks

A former Houston hand surgeon has been charged with third-degree felony aggravated assault after allegedly beating his wife. Yet this isn't the first time Dr. Michael Glyn Brown has faced such legal trouble.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the alleged victim was the doctor's fourth wife. Eight years ago, the man pleaded guilty to assaulting his third wife and received 10 years of supervised probation for the attack. Because of his previous conviction, Michael Brown faces a higher penalty this time around -- 10 years in prison along with a $10,000 if he is convicted of the criminal charges.

Parenting and Paternity Awareness Program in Texas Schools

| No TrackBacks

Four out of five kids will grow up to be parents. So, wouldn't it be a good idea for children to learn how to be good parents while they're still in school? Lawmakers of the 80th Session of the Texas Legislature certainly thought so.

The Office of the Attorney General states that House Bill 2176 requires all school districts to incorporate the Parenting and Paternity Awareness (PAPA) program into their high school health curriculum. The purpose of this program is to teach students about the rights and responsibilities of parenting. The PAPA curriculum focuses on the importance of father involvement, the value of paternity establishment, and the legal criteria of child support. Perhaps today's youth will come out of high school knowing quite a bit about family law.

The Southeast Texas record reports that a Texan man had asked his 11-year-old son to mow the lawn one day and when the mower broke, he asked his son to get down on his hands and knees to cut the grass with a pair of scissors. Obviously this is not a fun activity for a pre-teen boy, so the child ran away from the yard when his father was not looking and went to a friend's house to ask his mother, who is divorced from his father, to come pick him up.