Farmersville Family Law Blog

A child's choice in custody decisions

There is a wealth of information about child custody issues and Texas family law on the Internet. Unfortunately, some of it is not accurate.

A quick Internet search will deliver multiple sources that assert that at age 12, children get to choose which parent they want to live with in Texas. This is misleading and can lead to a lot of heartache for parents, frustration for children and headaches for the courts. In fact, Texas family courts can consider the child's wishes at any age, but the child's wishes are not the only factor the court considers when making custody decisions.

How paternity is determined in Texas

Courts verify paternity for multiple reasons. You or your spouse may question the paternity of your child. For example, a father may want to verify that they are the father of a child before getting into a child support agreement. A court may also wish to verify the biological father of a child if they have any doubts.

The state of Texas automatically recognizes the fatherhood of children of married couples. There is unlikely going to be any doubt over the identity of the child’s father in the court’s eyes. However, a court may order a paternity test where the mother is married to a man who is not the biological father.

Divorce and your credit report

Many things can have impacts on what financial opportunities and options a person has. This includes what is on their credit report. So, among the financial concerns a person may have when getting divorced is whether the split will have impacts on this report.

Now, marital status is not among the information that credit reports track. So, a divorce doesn’t “go on” this report or have any direct automatic impacts on it. However, this does not mean that a divorce is irrelevant from a credit report perspective. It can have some significant indirect impacts.

What is a contested divorce?

Many people going through a divorce have fantasies about testifying in court about everything their ex ever did wrong. It's normal to have thoughts like this, but the truth is that most divorces in Texas today are uncontested and settled out of court through negotiation. However, there are still some cases where the parties cannot resolve their issues without going to court, and there are still some divorces that are contested.

Put simply, an uncontested divorce is one where the parties agree to dissolve their marriage by agreement or default. (Default in this case means that one party fails to respond to the other's petition for divorce.) In a contested divorce, one party wants a divorce but the other won't agree and won't default.

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