Texas Family Law

Renken Law Firm have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury.

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Our comprehensive family law services include the resolution of divorces through litigation, divorce mediation or collaborative law, depending on the specific details of your case.

We can take on all matters related to Divorce Practice or dissolution of a common law marriage, including:

  • Child custody and modification
  • Child visitation and modification
  • Relocation
  • Parental alienation
  • Child support and modification
  • Spousal maintenance, alimony and modification
  • High net worth divorce
  • Professional practices in divorce, including doctors, lawyers and accountants

Our attorneys are uniquely equipped to take on the most complicated issues involving property division/division of marital assets, such as:

  • Division of real estate and stock options
  • Division of retirement funds and pensions
  • Marital fraud and hidden assets
  • Reconstitution of the Marital Estate
  • Asset valuation
  • Business division

You can also turn to our lawyers to help with all other family law matters, including:

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Paternity
  • Domestic abuse
  • Grandparent and stepparent rights
  • Wills

We are committed to aggressively and efficiently advocating for your rights . We customize our representation to the needs of your case. Throughout the process, we will keep you involved. We will provide honest information about the progress of your case and strive to achieve the best possible outcome.

Latest News

Family Law Firm Serving the Houston Community

Family Law Firm Serving the Houston Community

April 10, 2024

In the midst of life’s most turbulent storms, the guiding hand of a skilled and compassionate attorney can be the beacon of hope and resolution many seek. The Renken Law Firm in Houston stands as a bastion of support, offering comprehensive family law services that extend well beyond the realms of divorce. Our commitment is to provide our clients with a holistic approach to their legal needs, ensuring they receive the tailored advice and representation necessary to navigate the complex landscape of family law. Beyond Divorce: A Full Spectrum of Family Law Services Family law encompasses far more than the dissolution of marriage. At The Renken Law Firm, we understand that family dynamics are intricate, and legal challenges can arise from various aspects of life. Our services are designed to address the wide-ranging needs of families, ensuring that every client receives the attention and expertise their unique situation demands. Child Custody and Support When it comes to the delicate matters of child custody and support, The Renken Law Firm places the well-being and best interests of children at the forefront of every legal action. Recognizing that the emotional and physical welfare of children is paramount, our dedicated team of attorneys navigates the intricate legal pathways to advocate for custody and support arrangements that promote a nurturing and stable environment for children. Our approach is centered on crafting solutions that not only meet the legal standards but also support the overall development and happiness of the children involved. In handling child custody and support cases, we understand the complexities and sensitivities that come into play. Our expertise allows us to address each case with the care and attention it deserves, ensuring that the voices of both the children and their guardians are heard. By focusing on collaborative and amicable resolutions whenever …

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Your Ally in Houston Family Legal Needs

Your Ally in Houston Family Legal Needs

March 27, 2024

In the heart of Houston, a city celebrated for its diversity and spirit of inclusion, The Renken Law Firm stands as a beacon of support and understanding for individuals navigating the complexities of family law, especially within the LGBTQ+ community. With a deep commitment to equality and a nuanced understanding of the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, The Renken Law Firm positions itself not just as attorneys but as allies, advocates, and advisors. Embracing Diversity, Understanding Unique Dynamics Family law encompasses a broad spectrum of issues, from marriage and divorce to child custody and adoption. For members of the LGBTQ+ community, these matters can be laced with additional layers of complexity. These complexities aren’t just legal—they’re personal, social, and deeply emotional. Recognizing this, The Renken Law Firm has dedicated itself to being more than just legal professionals; they are allies who understand the unique dynamics at play. At the heart of their approach is a deep-seated belief in equality and fairness for all. This is not just a legal principle but a guiding light for their practice. The Renken Law Firm knows that legal issues within the LGBTQ+ community can often involve navigating uncharted territory. With changing laws and societal attitudes, what seemed impossible yesterday is today’s reality. As such, they stay at the forefront of legal and social changes, ensuring they can always offer informed, empathetic, and effective guidance. The Benefit of Specialized Knowledge What sets The Renken Law Firm apart is their specialized knowledge and experience. They understand that LGBTQ+ family law issues often require not just legal expertise but a sensitivity to the nuances of each case. Whether it’s marriage, adoption, surrogacy, or custody issues, the firm’s attorneys bring a wealth of knowledge about the specific challenges and considerations relevant to the LGBTQ+ community. For instance, …

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Navigating Life's Changes How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

Navigating Life’s Changes How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

February 23, 2024

Family law is a branch of legal practice that deals with issues related to family relationships, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption, among others. It can be one of the most emotionally charged areas of the law, affecting deeply personal aspects of individuals’ lives. In such times, having a knowledgeable and empathetic legal guide is invaluable. The Renken Law Firm in Houston, Texas, offers comprehensive family law services, understanding the complexities and sensitivities involved in these matters. This blog post explores the various ways a family law attorney can assist you, ensuring your rights are protected and your family’s well-being is prioritized. Guidance Through Divorce Proceedings  Divorce is not just a legal ending of a marriage; it’s a complex emotional journey that affects families on multiple levels. Navigating this process requires not only legal expertise but also a compassionate understanding of the emotional dynamics at play. Family law attorneys play a pivotal role in guiding individuals through these turbulent times, ensuring the legal process aligns with the emotional and psychological needs of all involved. The divorce process can be daunting, filled with legal jargon, paperwork, and court proceedings. A family law attorney demystifies this process, providing clear, step-by-step guidance from the initial filing of the divorce petition to the final decree. They offer strategic advice on managing sensitive issues such as asset division, which often involves complex negotiations over property, retirement accounts, and debts. The goal is to reach an equitable division that respects the contributions of both parties to the marriage. Spousal support, or alimony, is another critical area where a family law attorney offers expert advice. Determining whether spousal support is warranted, its amount, and duration requires a thorough understanding of state laws and the financial realities of both parties. Attorneys work diligently to ensure that …

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Navigating Child Custody in Houston Texas

Navigating Child Custody in Houston Texas

January 5, 2024

Child custody cases can be emotionally charged and legally intricate, often leaving parents and grandparents with numerous questions and uncertainties. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore child custody in Texas, shedding light on how custody is decided, circumstances under which grandparents are granted custody, the process of revising a custody agreement, and the invaluable role an attorney like Dawn Renken from The Renken Law Firm in Houston can play in these delicate situations. Additionally, we will address common questions to provide a thorough understanding of child custody laws in Texas. Understanding Child Custody in Texas: A Detailed Exploration Child custody laws in Texas are founded on the fundamental principle of prioritizing the best interests of the child. This legal standard serves as the compass guiding courts in their determination of the most suitable custody arrangement for the child. A nuanced understanding of this principle is essential for parents navigating the complexities of custody disputes in the Lone Star State. The court’s evaluation is multifaceted, taking into account a spectrum of factors that collectively contribute to the child’s overall well-being. Firstly, the court assesses the child’s physical and emotional welfare, aiming to ensure that the chosen custody arrangement promotes a stable and nurturing environment. This involves scrutinizing each parent’s ability to meet the child’s basic needs and provide a home conducive to their healthy development. Stability is a pivotal consideration in the court’s decision-making process. The judiciary recognizes the significance of a consistent and secure living environment for a child’s overall growth. Factors such as the stability of each parent’s living situation, employment status, and financial stability play a role in shaping the court’s perspective on the child’s future prospects within each parent’s care. Moreover, the court delves into an assessment of the ability of each parent or guardian to …

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What Is Typically Included in a Prenuptial Agreement

What Is Typically Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

October 26, 2023

Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as prenups, are contractual agreements made between two individuals prior to their marriage. They establish the framework for how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled should the marriage end in divorce or due to the death of one spouse. Prenuptial agreements provide a level of financial security and peace of mind to both parties by outlining their rights and responsibilities. When considering a prenup, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable Prenup Attorney in Houston, like the experts at The Renken Law Firm, to ensure that your agreement is comprehensive and tailored to your unique needs. The Importance of a Prenuptial Agreement Prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy or those anticipating divorce. They can be invaluable tools for protecting individual assets, managing financial expectations, and ensuring a fair resolution should the marriage end. Here’s a breakdown of what is typically included in a prenuptial agreement: 1. Property Division One of the primary purposes of a prenup is to specify how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. This includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, and investments. The agreement can outline whether certain assets will remain separate property, and which will be considered marital property, subject to division. By clearly defining these terms, you can protect your financial interests and avoid potential disputes in the future. 2. Spousal Support Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be a contentious issue during divorce proceedings. A prenuptial agreement can specify the amount, duration, and conditions under which spousal support will be paid. This allows both parties to have a clear understanding of their financial responsibilities, reducing the risk of prolonged legal battles. 3. Division of Debts Debts incurred during a marriage can be a significant source of …

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What Factors Impact Me Gaining Full Custody in My Divorce

What Factors Impact Me Gaining Full Custody in my Divorce?

October 22, 2023

Going through a divorce is undoubtedly a challenging and emotionally charged experience. When children are involved, custody arrangements become a pivotal concern for parents. If you’re contemplating or in the midst of a divorce, it’s crucial to understand the factors that can influence your chances of gaining full custody. In this blog post, we’ll explore these factors and offer guidance to help you navigate the complex world of custody disputes. For expert advice and support, it’s essential to seek the assistance of a seasoned Houston Divorce Attorney at Renken Law Firm. Understanding Child Custody in Texas Child custody laws vary from state to state, and Texas has its unique rules and regulations. In the Lone Star State, child custody is commonly referred to as “conservatorship.” There are two main types of conservatorship: Joint Managing Conservatorship: In this arrangement, both parents share the rights and duties of a child’s upbringing. While it emphasizes shared decision-making, it may not necessarily entail equal physical custody. Sole Managing Conservatorship: This grants one parent the majority of decision-making authority and physical custody, often referred to as “full custody.” This is the focus of our discussion. Factors Impacting Your Chances of Gaining Full Custody Child’s Best Interests The primary consideration in any child custody case is the best interests of the child. Texas law places a significant emphasis on maintaining the child’s emotional and physical well-being. Factors that courts may consider in assessing the child’s best interests include: The child’s age, emotional and physical needs. Each parent’s ability to provide a stable and loving environment. The child’s current living situation, school, and community ties. The physical and mental health of each parent. Evidence of any history of domestic violence or abuse. Parental Stability Demonstrating your ability to provide a stable and consistent environment for your child …

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Family Law Attorney Accepting New Clients

Family Law Attorney Accepting New Clients

June 11, 2023

When facing the complexities of a divorce, it’s crucial to have the support of the best Houston divorce attorney who understands your unique circumstances. With an experienced divorce attorney by your side, you gain invaluable knowledge and guidance to reach a resolution that addresses the needs of your family. At Renken Law Firm, our dedicated divorce attorneys act as your ally and advocate throughout the entire process. Our priority is to facilitate amicable and mutually agreeable settlements for every client we represent. Whether you opt for divorce mediation or require assistance with contested divorce, our team of specialists in Houston, TX offers unrivaled services. We are committed to protecting your rights and assets during this challenging time. In addition to traditional divorce methods, we excel in providing the best divorce mediation services in Houston, TX. Divorce mediation offers a more cost-effective and private approach, allowing the divorcing parties to determine the final terms of their divorce. To explore this option further, we encourage you to contact our office and learn more about our mediation services. Renken Law Firm understands that many individuals hesitate to initiate the divorce process due to uncertainty and concerns about excessive legal fees. We assure you that our Houston, TX team is dedicated to your success and has a proven track record of achieving client satisfaction. We recognize the emotional toll that divorce takes on families, and we strive to make the process as smooth as possible. Whether your case involves mediated or contested divorce, our attorneys will provide unwavering support every step of the way until your divorce is finalized. Take the first steps toward filing for divorce in the state of Texas by scheduling a consultation with our legal team at Renken Law Firm today. Is Texas an At-Fault State? In the state of …

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Should I Hire a Family Lawyer

Should I Hire a Family Lawyer?

June 8, 2023

Renken Law Firm, a specialist in family law in Houston, can provide valuable support and advice during challenging family disputes. Whether you’re going through a divorce, require assistance with will drafting, or dealing with other family matters, our experienced family law attorneys are equipped with the knowledge to help you achieve a favorable resolution. With a deep understanding of family law principles, we are committed to effectively guiding you through any legal family issues that arise, aiming to secure the best possible outcome for you and your family’s unique needs. What Does a Family Law Attorney Do? Family law encompasses a wide range of matters, including marriage, civil unions, adoption, guardianship, and family disputes. The family court system ensures equitable, timely, and reasoned handling of family-related court proceedings. Family law also addresses crucial aspects such as divorce, spousal support, property division, child custody, visitation rights, and relocation. When dealing with family law matters, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of your rights, obligations, entitlements, and the applicable family laws governing your case. Each family’s circumstances must be considered to reach fair and just agreements for all parties involved. At Renken Law Firm, our team stays up to date with the latest knowledge of state laws and regulations to effectively mediate on behalf of families in Harris County. With years of professional experience, we recognize the stress involved in navigating family issues. Therefore, we strive to provide high-quality advice with compassion and understanding. How to Find the Best Family Law Attorney Finding the right family lawyer for your legal needs in Houston may seem overwhelming due to the numerous family law firms available. However, with proper research and strategy, you can ensure that you find the family law specialist who best suits your requirements. Start by assessing your family’s …

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When Should I Hire a Family Attorney

When Should I Hire a Family Attorney?

May 21, 2023

What is Family Law? Family law consists of a body of statutes and case precedents that govern the legal responsibilities between individuals who share a domestic connection. These cases usually involve parties who are related by blood or marriage, but family law can affect those in more distant or casual relationships as well. Due to the emotionally-charged nature of most family law cases, litigants are strongly advised to retain legal counsel. The vast majority of family law proceedings come about as a result of the termination of a marriage or romantic relationship. Family law attorneys help their clients file for separation or divorce, alimony, and child custody, visitation, and support. Spouses married a short time may seek an annulment, and special rights may exist between same-sex couples. The division of property at the end of a marriage is also a common issue in family law cases. With respect to property division at the time of divorce, every state has a comprehensive set of laws in place to determine the rights of the parties. However, couples who do not agree with the default rules in their state can “opt-out” by hiring a lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement. Absent fraud or duress, courts will enforce these premarital agreements upon divorce, and distribute property and financial support accordingly. Family law also involves the prevention of physical and emotional abuse. The potential for domestic abuse is not limited to relationships between current or former spouses and their children. Judges will not hesitate to assert jurisdiction to protect an elderly family member, someone in a dating relationship, or even a roommate. When allegations of abuse are made, the court will typically issue a restraining order to prevent further contact. When Should I Hire a Family Attorney? There are many different family law issues that …

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Enforcing Child Support Payments in Texas

Enforcing Child Support Payments in Texas

April 18, 2023

Unfortunately, just because a court orders a parent to pay child support does not mean they actually will. Enforcement actions can be taken by the attorney general in order to collect court ordered child support when a parent fails to pay. Read below to learn more about how child support agencies enforce court orders to collect support payments in the state of Texas. Tools for Collecting Child Support Child support agencies have many tools for enforcing child support orders. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common methods CSS uses when attempting to collect past-due child support. Wage Withholding All child support orders include the enforcement tool of immediate wage withholding (also called “wage deduction,” “wage garnishment,” and “income (or earnings) assignment”). The state can order the obligor’s employer to deduct the child support amount from the obligor’s paycheck. Employers must deduct the payment from the obligor’s paycheck just like any other payroll deduction (such as income tax or social security). Depending on the order, the employer will send the payment to either the local child support office or the custodial parent. Wage withholding is very effective when the obligor has a regular job with a steady, predictable paycheck. However, it often isn’t the best enforcement method when the obligor changes jobs often, is self-employed, or is unemployed. When that’s the case, other tools come into play. Withholding Other Income Wages aren’t the only income that state agencies can withhold to cover unpaid child support. CSS may also order that money be withheld from payments such as commission income, employment bonuses, and pension benefits. State child support agencies can also participate in the Administrative Offset Program. This program allows interception of certain federal payments, such as pay to vendors who perform work for a government agency and federal retirement …

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Tips for Helping Your Child Through Divorce

Tips for Helping Your Child Through Divorce

April 5, 2023

It is no secret that divorces are difficult, not just for those going through it, but also for other family members, especially children. In order to make the process easier on your child, it is a good idea to take steps to make your child feel like they can express their true feelings and reassure your child every step of the way. Children cope with divorce in different ways, some may feel anxious, others may benefit from joining a support group, some may be happier that their parents are getting divorced. Whatever the case is, encouraging your child to talk and spend time with both their mom and dad can help them through this emotional transition. Psychology Today shares the following strategies for helping your kids adjust to a divorce: 1. Explain the divorce in a simple, straightforward way. When possible, both parents should talk over how to explain the situation and have the discussion with the children jointly. They can explain, for example, “Mommy and Daddy fight all the time and it makes us all unhappy. We’ve decided it would be better for all of us if we live in separate houses.” 2. Reassure your children that they will always have both parents’ love and explain how things will work. For instance, “You will spend every other weekend and Thursday nights with Daddy. The rest of the time you will be with Mommy.” For young kids, you can play out the new arrangement with dolls or stuffed animals. Putting up a calendar also helps the kids feel more reassured that they will have time with both of their parents. 3. Talk about the emotions that kids naturally feel under these circumstances. You might explain, “It is normal to feel sad and angry about a divorce. These feelings are hard …

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Do I Have to Pay Child Support Without a Job

Do I Have to Pay Child Support Without a Job?

March 24, 2023

Many parents wonder, ‘Do I Have to Pay Child Support Without a Job?’ The answer to this situation is that even if a noncustodial parent is unemployed, they will still owe child support. There are few exceptions to this rule. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help you make the best choices for your unique situation. What is child support?  Child support is money a parent pays to help with the cost of raising a child. This includes costs like food, housing, clothing, school supplies, daycare, and activities. A court can order one parent to pay child support to the other parent. The obligation to pay child support begins when the judge signs an order. A court can sometimes also order a parent to pay retroactive or “back” child support. Texas law expects both parents to provide financial support for their child, even without a court order. A court could order a parent to pay back child support if: They do not live with the child; and They have not helped support the child financially. Who pays child support? Who receives it?  In most custody arrangements, a child lives with one parent most of the time. This is the “custodial” parent. The “non-custodial” parent has visitation rights on a regular basis. The non-custodial parent (the “obligor”) has the obligation to make child support payments. The custodial parent (the “obligee”) has the right to receive these payments. How can I get child support? A court can order child support as part of the following legal proceedings: Divorce; Child custody case, also known as a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR); Paternity case; Family violence protective order case; or Modification case, if a court order affecting the child is already in place. What if the obligor is unemployed or underemployed?  If the …

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Can I Take Custody of My Grandchild

Can I Take Custody of My Grandchild?

March 22, 2023

Are you a grandparent that has concerns about the quality of care your grandchildren are receiving? Are you looking to gain custody of them? If so, below is a basic understanding of how the law works surrounding grandparents right and their ability to take custody. For more detailed information contact Renken Law Firm in Houston. When can a grandparent obtain custody of a grandchild? Parents’ rights to rear and raise their own children are one of the oldest and most fundamental rights. A court can’t interfere with the parent-child relationship unless a parent is unable to meet the child’s basic physical and emotional needs. Thus, a grandparent can only obtain custody of a grandchild when: the grandchild’s current home environment presents a serious concerns regarding the grandchild’s physical and emotional welfare, or one or both parents has consented to a change in custody. A grandparent may seek custody by intervening in a custody action filed by the state or by the parents. Grandparents don’t have standing to bring original custody suits against a grandchild’s parents. Instead, a grandparent’s request for custody must be filed as part of an existing custody case. A grandparent’s rights over a grandchild are always secondary to a parent’s rights. However, a child’s best interests will determine if an award of custody to a grandparent is appropriate. Although a parent’s rights to a child are significant, a parent’s own actions can result in a termination of those rights. Can a biological grandparent obtain visitation with an adopted child? Adoption is a permanent termination of a parent’s rights to a child. Grandparent rights come through a parent’s rights. Thus, adoption severs a grandparent’s ability to seek visitation with a grandchild. One exception is in the case of stepparent adoption. However, even then, a grandparent must still prove …

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How to Handle Summer Visitation as a Divorced Parent

How to Handle Summer Visitation as a Divorced Parent?

March 12, 2023

It is common for children of divorced parents to spend more time with their non-custodial parent during the long summer months. While this can be a great chance for your child to spend quality time with their other parent, it can also be a source of anxiety and stress on the parent with primary custody, and in some cases the child as well. Listed below are some tips on how to handle long summer visitations. Set Your Mind at Ease When your child is preparing to go away for summer visitation, do some advance planning that will help you feel comfortable with the vacation or the trip. Find out where your child is going and get the contact information. Ask questions so you know what the plan is. If your child will be traveling, get the details of the itinerary. Make sure your ex understands your child’s capabilities when it comes to swimming, hiking, or other activities. If your child is going to another state to stay with your ex, find out who will provide child care while your ex is at work. Stay in Touch If your child is in elementary school, this might be a good time to get him a cell phone. That way, you can reach him directly without having to go through your ex and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you can call at any time. Stay in touch, but don’t call several times a day. You have to let go a little and let your child and ex have time together without you involved. Find out if your child will have internet access. If so, set up an IM or Skype account so you can reach each other that way. If not, you could send your child with some stamps and …

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Can My Child Decide Which Parent They Want to Live With

Can My Child Decide Which Parent They Want to Live With?

February 1, 2023

It is the court’s primary focus to promote the best interest of all children involved in a custody case. This means, the court will make decisions they believe allow the child to develop safely even if they go against the child’s wishes. However, a child’s preference of home is one of the factors they will take into consideration when making their choice. The Significance of “The Best Interest of the Child” The previous section made reference to the phrase “the best interests of the child”. Texas law specifically states that the best interest of the child must be the court’s primary consideration in determining issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child. To assist judges in making that determination, the Texas Supreme Court provided a list of factors for judges to consider. These include: the child’s desires the child’s immediate and future physical and emotional needs any immediate and future physical and emotional danger to the child the parental abilities of each parent the programs available to assist parents who want to promote the best interests of their child the plans each parent has for the child the stability of the home or proposed home any actions or failures to act that may indicate that the parents don’t have a proper parent-child relationship, and any excuse the parents may have for those actions and failures to act. The fact that judges interview children doesn’t mean they have to adopt the children’s wishes as the basis of a custody decision. Will the Court Consider a Child’s Preferences? Yes, if the circumstances warrant it. Notice that the first factor in the “best interests” list above is “the child’s desires” .The Texas statutes provide some guidance as to how a judge should approach this. Texas Family Code – Chapter 153, …

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Family Law Attorney Houston

Family Law Attorney Houston

January 20, 2023

Family Law attorney Houston specialist, Renken Law Firm, can offer support and advice during difficult family disputes. Whether you are going through a divorce, need assistance when drafting a will, or are dealing with other family matters, our family law attorneys have the experience and the knowledge to help provide a favorable resolution. With our expertise and understanding of family law principles, we can effectively guide you through any legal family issues that may arise. We strive to ensure you are provided with the best possible outcome for you and your family’s unique needs. What Does A Family Lawyer Attorney Do? Family law covers a wide range of family matters, from issues related to marriage and civil unions to family disputes such as adoption and guardianship. The family court structure is the legal system where family-related court proceedings are held in order to ensure that family-related issues are dealt with in an equitable, timely and reasoned manner. Family law also involves important matters such as divorce, spousal support, division of property, custody, access to children and relocation. When approaching family law matters it is important for individuals to have a good understanding of their own rights, obligations and entitlements as well as the family laws governing the case. In family law matters each family’s circumstances must be considered in order to reach agreements that are fair and just for all parties involved. At Renken Law Firm, our team is well-versed on the latest knowledge of state laws and regulations to effectively mediate on behalf of families throughout Harris County. With years of professional experience under our belts, we understand how stressful navigating family issues can be, which is why we strive to provide high quality advice with compassion and understanding. How To Find The Best Family Law Attorney Finding the …

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Do I Have Rights as a Grandparent in Texas

Do I Have Rights as a Grandparent in Texas?

December 30, 2022

When it comes to children, courts always will try to act in the best interest of a child. This may mean granting custody or visitation to grandparents or even having parental rights terminated and given to a grandparent. If you have wondered, “Do I Have Rights as a Grandparent in Texas?” Reach out to the team at Renken Law Firm. Our team works to promote each child’s best interest and will work with grandparents to help them get custody or visitation rights. Grandparent Visitation Regulations Nearly every state provides rights to grandparents in visitations with grandchildren. These rights can even extend to custody if the parents are either unfit or cannot perform the normal or necessary parenting duties. A request for custody starts through the courts to ensure the best interests of the child. Visitations generally start before custody is given to assess the level of care the elderly can give to a youth in the transfer. The same is possible with visitation if the parents refuse to grant access to children by contacting the courts and forcing visitation. Special Circumstances The courts usually grant visitation automatically if certain conditions exist. Custody is also possible in these same situations. These include divorced parents, abuse or neglect, incarcerated parents and a court order. Some situations involve the termination of parental rights which can lead to adoption or fostering the children of the marriage to others. If the child lives with grandparents for no less than six months, Texas laws can transfer custody permanently to the grandparents. While these visitation rights can provide the elderly members of the family with more time, they are not absolute rights in this state. No Rights for the Grandparent While there is no absolute right to visitation, the grandparents have more rights in Texas in the …

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Can A Father Win Custody in Texas

Can A Father Win Custody in Texas?

November 4, 2022

Are you a father looking to win primary child custody in Texas? Working with an experienced Texas family law attorney can help you to build a strong child custody case to present to a judge in the state of Texas court system. How Fathers Can Get Custody It is fully possible for fathers to get full custody of their children. However, there are aspects of a custody case where fathers may have an additional burden to prove that mothers do not. These include paternity, the primary caretaker role, and home environment quality. Paternity There are two ways to determine paternity: biologically or legally. Under the Uniform Parentage Act, a man is an “alleged father” if they have not established biological paternity or achieved presumed fatherhood.8 The law often distinguishes between the legal and biological recognition of paternity: “Where such births result from sexual intercourse between consenting adults, genetic ties almost always themselves determine legal motherhood, but often only help determine legal fatherhood.”6 However, legal parentage is required to receive the constitutional rights that make the tender years doctrine unlawful. In cases where the father is not married to the mother, but another man is, courts have ruled that fatherhood may be determined by who the mother is married to, rather than biology.9 If a father is not married to the mother, or if he does not sign an acknowledgment of paternity, he cannot be granted custody or visitation rights.6 Primary Caregiver Role A primary caregiver is a person who consistently is responsible for the housing, health, and safety of another.10 In custody proceedings, courts assume the primary caretaker is experienced and knowledgeable regarding the child’s educational needs, medical needs, and more. As family dynamics shift from stay-at-home mothers and working fathers, there may be a presumption on who mostly handles …

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How Can I Revise My Custody Agreement

How Can I Revise My Custody Agreement?

October 24, 2022

Are you looking for answers for how you can revise your custody agreement? Working with an experienced family law attorney can provide you with solutions to this problem to help promote the best interest of your child or children. At Renken Law Firm we provide legal advice on a wide range of family court matters including custody of a child, child custody modification process, visitation schedule, child support payment, and more. Call us today to schedule a consultation for modifying your child custody agreement. Who can file a modification case? Either parent can file a modification case. If you are not the child’s parent, you can file a modification case if: You are listed as a party in the current order, You have had actual care, control and possession of the child for at least 6 months ending not more than 90 days before the date you file the modification case with the court and you are not a foster parent. You have lived with the child and the child’s parent, guardian or conservator for at least 6 months ending not more than 90 days before the date you file the modification case, and the child’s parent, guardian or conservator has died. You are the child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew and: Both parents are dead, Both parents, the surviving parent or managing conservator agree, The child’s present circumstances will significantly harm the child’s physical health or emotional development. The Texas Attorney General Child Support Division can also file a modification case. Where do I file a modification case? You must file a modification case in the Texas county where the current order was made. If the child has lived in another Texas county for the last 6 months, you must still file the modification case …

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Win Custody in Your Divorce Case

Win Custody in Your Divorce Case

October 4, 2022

Are you a Houston parent that wants to win custody in your divorce case? Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you in your child custody battle. Our family law firm will work with you either through mediation to reach an agreement regarding your parenting plan or to help you gain full custody and child support in court. Learn more about the different types of custody and factors that go into determining who will win child custody below. Types of Custody Arrangements There’s no one-size-fits-all custody arrangement; the terms of your final custody plan are supposed to be tailored to meet the needs of your family. The final custody order should normally address both physical custody (which parent the child lives with) and legal custody (which parent has the right and obligation to make decisions about the child’s upbringing). Most custody orders divvy up custody in one of the following ways: sole legal custody and sole physical custody to one parent sole physical custody and joint (shared) legal custody joint physical custody and joint legal custody, or sole legal custody and joint physical custody (rare). When an order specifies that one parent has sole physical custody, the judge will typically create a visitation schedule to ensure the child has the opportunity to enjoy a meaningful relationship with the noncustodial parent. Who Decides Custody? As is the case with most family law issues, courts will give a lot of weight to any agreements that parents reach regarding child custody. If parents can work together to achieve a fair and proper custody arrangement, the judge will likely adopt it into a court order. Working together is the best opportunity for parents to control what happens to their families after a separation or divorce. If you’ve tried talking with your spouse …

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Divorce can be an emotionally and financially taxing process, but mediation can offer a more amicable and cost-effective alternative to courtroom battles. In this blog post, we’ll explore the critical do’s and don’ts of divorce mediation. We’ll also introduce you to experienced divorce mediator and attorney, Dawn Renken, of The Renken Law Firm in Houston, who can help couples navigate this process and make thorough and informed choices when drafting a divorce agreement. Divorce is never easy, but divorce mediation can make the process smoother and more manageable. Unlike traditional divorce proceedings, which often involve lengthy courtroom battles, mediation allows couples to work together with a neutral third party to resolve their differences and create a mutually acceptable divorce agreement. When done right, mediation can save time, money, and emotional distress. However, divorce mediation isn’t a walk in the park. It requires open communication, patience, and a willingness to compromise. To help you navigate this process successfully, here are 10 things you should never say or do during divorce mediation: 1. Refusing to Communicate Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful mediation. Refusing to talk or listen can hinder progress and lead to a more protracted and contentious divorce. It’s essential to be open and honest about your concerns, needs, and preferences during mediation. Dawn Renken, an experienced divorce mediator, is skilled in facilitating constructive communication between divorcing couples. She can help create an environment where both parties feel heard and understood. 2. Letting Emotions Take Over Divorce is an emotionally charged process, but it’s crucial not to let your emotions dictate your actions during mediation. Outbursts of anger or resentment can escalate conflicts and hinder resolution. Instead, try to remain calm and composed. Dawn Renken specializes in guiding clients through the emotional challenges of divorce, helping them focus on their long-term interests rather than short-term emotions. 3. Failing to Prepare Preparation is key to a successful mediation. Failing to gather and organize your financial documents, legal papers, and other relevant information can lead to delays and misunderstandings. Dawn Renken can help you prepare for mediation by ensuring you have all the necessary documentation and information at your fingertips. 4. Being Inflexible Mediation involves compromise, and being too inflexible can hinder progress. While it’s crucial to protect your interests, it’s also essential to understand that some give and take will be necessary to reach an agreement. Dawn Renken has extensive experience in helping clients find middle ground and make compromises that are fair and reasonable. 5. Bringing Up the Past Dragging up past mistakes, hurts, or grievances during mediation is counterproductive. It can create tension and prevent a positive resolution. Dawn Renken can help keep the focus on the present and the future, guiding couples toward constructive discussions that lead to productive solutions. 6. Playing the Blame Game Blaming your spouse for the divorce or trying to make them feel guilty won’t help during mediation. In fact, it’s more likely to create animosity and impede the process. Dawn Renken can act as a neutral mediator, keeping discussions on track and preventing blame from becoming a roadblock to resolution. 7. Disregarding Your Children’s Well-Being If you have children, their well-being should be a top priority during divorce mediation. Failing to consider their needs, feelings, and interests can lead to contentious custody battles and long-term emotional repercussions. Dawn Renken is well-versed in helping divorcing parents create a custody and visitation plan that prioritizes their children’s needs. 8. Making Unrealistic Demands Mediation is about finding realistic and mutually beneficial solutions. Making extravagant or unrealistic demands can lead to an impasse. Dawn Renken can provide insight into what is legally and practically achievable, ensuring that both parties understand the boundaries and possibilities of their divorce agreement. 9. Hiding Assets Concealing assets during mediation is not only unethical but also illegal. It can result in severe legal consequences and damage your credibility in the eyes of the mediator and the court. Dawn Renken can help ensure full financial transparency during mediation, preventing disputes over hidden assets.

The Renken Law Firm has worked hard to earn a reputation for efficiently practicing diligent and focused legal services. During the course of our representation, you can expect expert legal advice in the areas of divorce, separation planning, custody disputes, child support cases, grandparents rights, prenuptial agreements, attorney general cases and enforcement actions. Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as prenups, are contractual agreements made between two individuals prior to their marriage. They establish the framework for how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled should the marriage end in divorce or due to the death of one spouse. Prenuptial agreements provide a level of financial security and peace of mind to both parties by outlining their rights and responsibilities. When considering a prenup, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable Prenup Attorney in Houston, like the experts at The Renken Law Firm, to ensure that your agreement is comprehensive and tailored to your unique needs. The Importance of a Prenuptial Agreement Prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy or those anticipating divorce. They can be invaluable tools for protecting individual assets, managing financial expectations, and ensuring a fair resolution should the marriage end. Here’s a breakdown of what is typically included in a prenuptial agreement: 1. Property Division One of the primary purposes of a prenup is to specify how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. This includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, and investments. The agreement can outline whether certain assets will remain separate property, and which will be considered marital property, subject to division. By clearly defining these terms, you can protect your financial interests and avoid potential disputes in the future. 2. Spousal Support Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be a contentious issue during divorce proceedings. A prenuptial agreement can specify the amount, duration, and conditions under which spousal support will be paid. This allows both parties to have a clear understanding of their financial responsibilities, reducing the risk of prolonged legal battles. 3. Division of Debts Debts incurred during a marriage can be a significant source of concern if the relationship ends. Your prenup can outline how debts will be divided, whether they are considered marital or separate, and who will be responsible for paying them. 4. Inheritance and Estate Planning A prenuptial agreement can address how inheritance and estate planning matters will be handled. It can specify whether certain assets are to be kept separate and secure the interests of children from previous relationships. 5. Business Interests If you own a business or have a stake in a company, a prenup can help protect your business interests. It can outline how the business will be managed and whether your spouse will have any ownership rights in the event of divorce. 6. Financial Responsibilities Your prenuptial agreement can include provisions detailing each spouse’s financial responsibilities during the marriage. This may cover how household expenses will be shared, savings and investment strategies, and other financial matters that will affect your day-to-day life.

Divorce is an emotionally charged, life-altering event. When a marriage reaches a point where it can no longer be sustained, the process of legally ending it can be intricate and emotionally draining. While Texas law provides for various divorce options, understanding the different types of divorce is crucial for making informed decisions. In this article, we will explore the various divorce options available in Texas, from uncontested to contested, mediation, and more. Additionally, we will highlight the invaluable role of an experienced divorce attorney like Dawn Renken from the Renken Law Firm in Houston, emphasizing how they can help make the process smoother and ensure you don’t overlook important details. 1. Uncontested Divorce An uncontested divorce is often the most straightforward option for couples who have reached an agreement on all significant aspects of their separation, such as child custody, property division, and alimony. This type of divorce is generally less time-consuming and costly than other alternatives, as it minimizes the need for court appearances and lengthy legal battles. An experienced divorce attorney like Dawn Renken can guide you through the process, ensuring all legal requirements are met. Their role is to make sure that the agreement is comprehensive and that no crucial details are overlooked, thus preventing future disputes or complications. 2. Contested Divorce Contrary to uncontested divorce, a contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot come to an agreement on one or more critical issues. These disputes often lead to court proceedings and can be lengthy and emotionally taxing. In a contested divorce, a skilled attorney becomes crucial in protecting your rights, ensuring a fair outcome, and representing your interests in court. Dawn Renken’s experience in contested divorces allows her to navigate the intricacies of Texas divorce law effectively. Her insight into the legal system can prove invaluable in resolving complex disputes and advocating for your rights. 3. Collaborative Divorce Collaborative divorce is an alternative to traditional courtroom battles. In this process, both parties work together with their attorneys to reach a mutually beneficial settlement. This approach can save time and money while preserving relationships and reducing emotional stress, especially when children are involved. An experienced attorney like Dawn Renken can help you through this process by providing legal advice and ensuring that all legal requirements are met. Their guidance can lead to a more amicable resolution, which is especially important when co-parenting in the future. 4. Mediated Divorce Mediation is another non-adversarial option for couples who wish to avoid the courtroom. In a mediated divorce, a neutral third party, often a certified mediator, helps couples negotiate and reach an agreement. This approach encourages open communication and collaboration while addressing concerns and needs of both parties. Having a divorce attorney like Dawn Renken on your side during mediation can be advantageous. Her legal expertise ensures that your rights are protected and that any agreements made align with Texas divorce laws. Additionally, her presence can provide guidance and reassurance during a potentially challenging process. 5. Default Divorce In some cases, one spouse may not participate in the divorce process or may be unreachable. In such instances, Texas law allows for a default divorce. This process typically moves forward with minimal involvement from the absent spouse, making it necessary to ensure all legal steps are correctly followed. An experienced attorney like Dawn Renken can help you navigate a default divorce to ensure that all legal requirements are met, minimizing the risk of complications down the road. Her guidance can expedite the process and provide you with the resolution you seek, even in the absence of cooperation from your spouse. 6. No-Fault Divorce Texas allows for “no-fault” divorces, which means that neither party has to prove wrongdoing or assign blame for the marriage’s dissolution. Instead, one or both parties can simply state that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities. While a no-fault divorce may seem straightforward, an experienced attorney can help ensure that this process is executed correctly and that the necessary legal documents are filed. Dawn Renken’s expertise can prevent any issues that might arise from improperly handling the paperwork. 7. Fault Divorce Although Texas recognizes no-fault divorces, some situations may warrant pursuing a fault divorce. Grounds for fault divorce in Texas can include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or a felony conviction. This type of divorce typically requires the gathering of evidence to support the allegations of fault. Dawn Renken’s experience as a divorce attorney can be invaluable in building a strong case for a fault divorce. Her knowledge of the legal requirements and procedures ensures that your claims are well-substantiated and your interests are protected. 8. Annulment An annulment is different from a divorce, as it legally declares a marriage void or null from the beginning. Grounds for annulment in Texas include bigamy, impotence, fraud, or underage marriage. An annulment can be a complex process, and having an experienced attorney is crucial to present a convincing case before the court. Dawn Renken’s experience and legal acumen can be instrumental in successfully pursuing an annulment in Texas. Her expertise in the intricacies of the legal system can guide you through the process and ensure your interests are protected.

What Is Divorce Mediation? For couples that have come to the decision together to divorce, mediation provides an alternative method than traditional courtroom divorces. Mediation involves a neutral third party: the mediator. The mediator works to help both spouses work through divorce issues and communicate while trying to make decisions that impact their futures. Divorce mediation has become increasingly more popular because it is private, affordable, and allows both parties to have more control over the final outcome of their divorce agreement. Divorce mediation is a great option for divorcing couples where both parties are willing to put their emotions aside and work together to amicably end the marriage. Family law attorney, Dawn Renken is a licensed mediator who can provide helpful legal advice throughout your divorce case. This includes resolving disputes, creating a child custody schedule, settling on child support payments, property divisions, and much more. Why Choose to Mediate Your Divorce? Although judges often order divorcing couples to participate in mediation before going to trial, you have the option of mediating on your own—either before you file for divorce or at any time after. Mediating your divorce has a lot of advantages over litigating it (fighting it out in court). ost. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial. Settling the case. Most mediations end in settlement of all of the issues in the divorce. Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential, with no public record of what goes on in your sessions. Freedom. Mediation allows you to arrive at a resolution based on your own ideas of what is fair in your situation, rather than having a solution imposed upon you based on rigid and impersonal legal principles. Advice still available. You can go to mediation and still choose to have a lawyer give you legal advice. Control. You and your spouse—not the court—control the process. Communication. The mediation process encourages communication between you and your spouse, helping you avoid future conflicts. Successful mediation makes the rest of your divorce easier: Because you’ve done all the hard work of hammering out the details in the mediation, you can file an “uncontested” divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and faster than litigated divorces (divorces where the couple battles in court). With an uncontested divorce, you’ll save money on attorneys’ fees and the costs of going to trial. Also, many courts fast-track uncontested cases because everything has been worked out in advance, meaning that a judge will be able to finalize your divorce faster than if you’d gone to trial. There are many reasons that make divorce mediation attractive to couples but it is not for everyone. In order to have a successfully mediated divorce, both parties must be willing to work together and compromise in a civil exchange to come to an agreement. Reaching an amicable divorce can be difficult in relationships where spouses do not share similar goals or ideas about property division, child custody, or other important aspects of their divorce. Additionally, in situations where emotions are high and discussions are strained, mediation may not be the most efficient manner to reach a divorce agreement. There are other options such as collaborative divorce, arbitration, and of course litigation for couples that mediation does not work for. Contact us today to get the answers you are looking for about divorce in Houston, TX and surrounding areas. Experienced Family Law Attorney in Houston, TX Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Our team is dedicated to helping you and your family move forward without legal matters complicating your life. Contact our law office to explore your options for traditional marriage divorce and common law divorce, and find out how we can help you resolve any legal problems you are currently facing.

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