•  Child Custody
•  Child Support
•  Modification of Orders Relating to All Issues Concerning Children
•  Domestic Violence/Protective Orders
•  Paternity
•  Adoptions

Child Custody in Texas

When parents are involved in a divorce or a paternity action, the court’s have to determine what parent will be the one who determines the principal residence of the child. Along with awarding custody of a child, there are rights and duties that each parent is awarded in regard to this child which are just as important as the exclusive right to determine the domicile of the child. The court takes into consideration many factors to determine which parent would be the best parent for the child to live with. The following are just some of the factors a court takes into consideration before making a custody determination:

• What parent has been the primary parent taking care of the child
• Has there been any alcohol abuse, drug use or mental illness that impacts a parent’s ability to care for a child
• The proximity of each parent to the child’s school so the child can continue without interruption in their school
• The financial ability of a parent to properly care for a child
• Whether the physical, psychological or emotional needs and development of the child benefits from the appointment of one parent over the other parent
• The ability of the parent to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child’s best interest
• Whether each parent can encourage and accept a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
• The geographic proximity of the parents
• Has there been any family violence
• Whether a child 12 or older has a preference regarding their primary residence
• What is in the best interest of the child

The above factors are just a few of those taken into consideration by a court to determine what parent would be the best parent for the child to live with the majority of the time and what rights and duties a parent should be awarded in regards to that child. Cheryl B. Jeter has handled numerous matters involving child custody issues and is well-experienced in presenting a party’s case in a hearing for temporary orders, hearings on modifying orders and in final trials regarding custody as well as the rights and duties that accompany a custody determination.

Child Support in Texas

Child support is a monthly payment made to the parent with whom children, who are under the age of 18 or still in school to get their high school diploma or its equivalency, primarily reside and is intended for their support and maintenance. Texas law provides guidelines for determining a percentage of income that one parent should pay for child support to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. However, courts or parties, with court approval, may set child support above or below the guidelines considering a variety of factors. If a parent requests that child support should be above the minimum guidelines, the parent will have to prove the needs of the child exceed the guideline levels. Cheryl B. Jeter has handled countless matters involving child support in Texas and is well-experienced in not only determining guideline computations as well as the actual needs of the child and the party’s actual ability to pay, but also in presenting evidence supporting a variance from the statutory guidelines.

Modification of Orders Relating to All Issues Concerning Children

A court with continuing exclusive jurisdiction may modify an order that provides for the conservatorship, support, or possession of and access to a child. A parent can modify orders pertaining to children regarding many issues, including pick and drop off times, travel issues, educational issues, telephone access, extracurricular activities, places where to pick up and drop off, child support, custody, invasive medical rights, religious rights, health insurance issues, holiday issues and, geographical restriction issues. Cheryl B. Jeter is experienced in all types of modifications in Texas and can advise you of how courts treat these issues and what to expect when you file a modification.

Domestic Violence/Protective Orders in Texas

Texas has a Protective Order and Violence statute that seeks to prevent repeated physical abuse and harassment among family and household members. These are emergency matters that need immediate attention and a good understanding of the system to achieve needed protection. Other cases involve a party who is wrongly accused of abuse and harassment and who needs representation to defend against a false claim. Harris County has a statutory Protective Order Court. Cheryl B. Jeter is experienced in litigating domestic violence matters in Texas and resolving them favorably for her clients.

Paternity in Texas

Today there are many children born to couples living together without the benefit of marriage, or to single women who have sexual intercourse during a dating relationship and who later claim that their child resulted from their child resulted from those sexual relations. In some cases, the sexual partner claims to be the father of the child. In all these cases, the relationship has produced a child needing support. Cheryl B. Jeter is experienced in determining the legitimacy of parentage claims in Texas and, if the claims are legitimate, in prosecuting or defending the determination of reasonable child support.

Although the amount of child support in Texas is defined by statute, which specifies guideline percentages based on the non-custodial parent’s income, the parties and the court may vary from the guidelines if there is a proper basis to do so. Cheryl B. Jeter has both settled and tried many child support cases in Texas and knows how to achieve a reasonable resolution of that issue for clients.

Adoptions in Texas

An adult may petition to adopt a child residing in Texas after many requirements are satisfied. Most adoptions are joined with a suit for termination of a parent or both parents. A stepparent can adopt a child if the parent whose rights have not been terminated is the spouse of the petitioner. A child can be adopted if they are at least two years old and the parent-child relationship of one parent has been terminated and the person seeking the adoption has been a managing conservator or has had actual care, possession and control of the child for a period of six months preceding the adoption. Sometimes a former stepparent can seek to adopt a child if the child is at least two years old and the parent-child relationship has been terminated with respect to one parent. There are other scenarios when a person can petition the court to adopt a child and Cheryl B. Jeter is experienced in helping parents through each of these specific adoption procedures.

Cheryl Jeter, Houston family lawyer and divorce mediator services clients in the Harris and surrounding counties including Ft. Bend County, Montgomery County, and Brazoria County in Texas.

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