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My 3 Most Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

There are many misconceptions about Texas Community and Separate Property and custody disputes between parents. These are the three questions I am asked most frequently:

1. At what age can children refuse to visit the other parent?

Children can choose not to visit the other parent at age 18. TFC §157.004. Children can tell the Court in a non-jury trial at age 12 which parent they want to primarily live with. If a parent’s lawyer, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem ask the Court to interview a child aged 12 or older, the Court “shall” interview the child in chambers and “may” interview a child under age 12. 

The Court may allow the attorneys to be present during the interview. If any attorney in the case asks, the interview shall be recorded by the court reporter. The Court is not required to grant the child’s wishes. TFC §153.009. The statute does not say what happens in jury trials with these circumstances.

Otherwise, a parent must have the child ready and able, if not willing, to transfer to the other parent as scheduled in the Court’s order. If not, that parent risks receiving a motion for enforcement of the existing visitation order. If the motion for enforcement is granted, the parent may have to pay the attorney fees of the other side, may have to pay a fine, may get a judgment entered against them, and could go to jail. This is true particularly if the Court decides one parent is not encouraging or doing everything possible for the child to visit the other parent. TFC § 157.001, 157.167.

Our next two questions involve sole custody and attorney fees.
Keep reading for Qs 2 and 3.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson provides expertise, focus and compassion in times of family turmoil, having skillfully litigated and tried complex divorce, property division, and child custody cases for more than 30 years.

She has been Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1992. Subscribe to the firm's newsletter here.

Separate and Community Property Asset and Wealth Identification

After accumulating a lifetime of assets during your marriage, taking an inventory of what you own can be an intimidating task. We have the experience to guide you through the process of identifying your separate and community property to secure your separate property wherever possible and your fair share of the of the marital property. 

We begin the identification process by getting al of the relevant financial records. Next, we secure a sworn inventory of all assets and liabilities from both sides of the case. Third, we obtain values of the assets and debts with the help of forensic CPAs, appraisers to value such assets as real estate or art and business valuation experts if a business is owned by the community. 

Learn more about the process and strategy.

A Client's Perspective

"You were diligent, thorough, transparent and got the divorce process done as quickly as possible. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
- J.J., a former client
The highest compliment I receive is your referrals. If you know someone in need of assistance in a family law matter, please don't hesitate to share my contact information: and 214-303-0142. Thank you!

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