the EZZELL GROUP, pllc
ehren@ezzellgroup.com
robin@ezzellgroup.com

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Family LawOur family law practice involves cases related to:
FAMILY LAW is the name given to the branch of civil law that includes the legal relationships among family members, including husbands, wives, parents, children, and domestic partners.

A family law attorney specializes in the family law relationships which encompass divorce, pre-marital agreements, child conservatorship, visitation rights, marital property rights, support obligations, domestic violence, adoption, paternity, and juvenile dependency and delinquency.

DIVORCE
The term divorce refers to the dissolution or the legal end of a marriage. There are both fault-based and no-fault based grounds for divorce. In Texas a no-fault divorce is typically based on the marriage becoming insupportable due to a discord or conflict that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship. A divorce proceeding encompasses the division of the marital property, child custody, visitation and spousal maintenance.

PRE-MARITAL AGREEMENTS
Pre-marital agreements are agreements in which a couple sets out the rules that will govern their property, debts, income and expenses.

A prenuptial agreement allows both spouses to protect their separate property. Otherwise, if one of them owns an asset now and sells it after marriage, or co-mingles the asset, the cash may become community property.
A prenuptial agreement also allows both spouses to protect themselves from the other's debts - those incurred before the marriage and those incurred after. And it may allow them to determine what level of support one of them will provide to the other if they divorce or if one of them dies.

Family LawCHILD CONSERVATORSHIP
Child conservatorship refers to conservatorship awards or determinations involving a minor child. These determinations involve who has the right to make decisions about the child, including decisions about education, religion, medical issues, and discipline, as well as where the child will live, or physical custody. With "sole managing conservator", you alone have legal and physical custody of your child. In a "joint managing conservator" arrangement, you and your ex-spouse share legal and/or physical child custody. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a child conservatorship arrangement, the court will likely make a child conservatorship decision based on the "best interests of your child."

VISITATION RIGHTS
Visitation is the legal term for the right of a non-custodial parent to visit with their children. Typically, the non-custodial spouse has legal visitation rights to child visitation or parenting time unless the family court finds that visitation is not in the best interest of the child. Texas is guided by a "standard visitation" schedule that permits the non-custodial parent to have possession on the first, third and fifth weekends, as well as holidays and summer. However, the court may vary the visitation schedule on a case-by-case basis. The amount of time and visitation schedule is stated in the final divorce agreement and may be modified by further court order.
Marital Property Rights

MARITAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
When you build a life together, you don't think about what to do if you divorce. Newly married couples often buy houses, cars or land. It is common to open retirement accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, gym and country club memberships. What happens if it doesn't work out and these items must be divided in a divorce?

Texas is a community property state that acknowledges that both parties contribute to the "community" during the marriage. An often tedious and difficult process is determining how to divide the assets or debts of the marriage in a just and right way.

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SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
Child support is a court-ordered amount that the non-custodial parent must pay to the custodial parent to cover a proportionate amount of the child's expenses, including housing and utilities, food, clothing, education expenses, and other costs. Both parents have an obligation to support their children, both before and after a divorce.

In Texas, child support is based on the income of the non-custodial parent and the number of dependent's they have. It is common for the Attorney General to collect child support and monitor that it is being paid.

Custodial and non-custodial parents have the right to modify the amount of support when there has been a change in circumstances.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence usually refers to crimes involving domestic abuse, such as child abuse and child neglect, spousal abuse or domestic-partner abuse, and elder abuse. Domestic abuse isn't just physical; it also covers the threats, emotional abuse, harassment, and stalking that a spouse, partner, or date uses to control someone else's behavior. The abuse can be directed against anyone: children, former partners, roommates, and parents, but it is most typically directed against women. Domestic violence is a crime. However, the victim of domestic violence can also file civil charges or file for a Protective Order.

Family LawADOPTION
Adoption law creates the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not each other's biological parent or child. In order for an adoption to be consummated, it is necessary for the legal rights of the biological parent to be terminated. In Texas, it is common for a guardian ad litem to be appointed and a social study to be done prior to an adoption. For all legal purposes, adopted children become the children of their adoptive parents.

PATERNITY
Paternity is the legal acknowledgment of a parental relationship between a father and his child. A child born to a wife during a marriage is legally presumed to be the husband's child, but this presumption can be rebutted with evidence to the contrary. A determination of paternity for putative fathers can be established through a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, a court petition, or estoppel over time. Scientific evidence, such as blood and DNA tests, is used to establish or deny parentage of a child in paternity suits.

Once paternity is established, a child is entitled to the legal rights of a child born within a marriage, including support from both parents, medical insurance coverage, and inheritance protection.

JUVENILE CASES
Juvenile cases involve minor children under the age of 18. These cases can vary from defending against juvenile charges that can be filed against minor children which may have penalties similar to criminal convictions, civil liability for parents for the acts of their minor children, or the removal of minority for older children.

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