Our Areas of Expertise
If you are facing a troublesome issue involving your family, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney. While loving family and friends are important as members of your support network while you navigate the sometimes difficult paths that can be involved in family law litigation, only an experienced Houston family law attorney who practices in the area of family law can empower you with the information you need to make important decisions for yourself and your family.
Adoption/Termination of Parental Rights
Stepparent, foster parent and relative adoptions are sometimes called adoption-terminations, because the legal rights of the biological parent must first be terminated before the adoption can take place. This can be done voluntarily or involuntarily.
Child Custody and Support Modifications
In Texas, all modifications must first be filed in the same court in the same county where the prior order involving your children was entered. If your children have been residing in a different county for more than six months, however, the parties have the right to have the case transferred to the new county of residence of the children. This must be addressed by either party immediately upon the filing of the suit, however, or the right to transfer can be lost.
Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody is often called conservatorship in Texas. Courts favor joint conservatorship except in cases involving family violence or drug or alcohol abuse. Until recently, however, parenting plans were required to name one parent as the primary conservator who would have the exclusive right to establish the primary residence of the child. To many, the parent who was named the “primary conservator” had “won” the custody battle. Such a label is no longer a requirement in Texas. Instead, parents can focus on the amount of time they spend with their children. To discuss your parental rights with an experienced Houston child custody lawyer, please contact Kimberly D. Levi.
Complex Community Property Division
As you may already be aware, Texas is a “community property” state. This means, briefly, that Texas law presumes that all property, including real estate, owned at the time of your divorce is community property and, therefore, subject to division by the court upon divorce. Property that is considered separate property is not subject to division by a Texas court and, typically, a Texas divorce court cannot divest a person of his or her separate property upon divorce. For any complex property division issue, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to protect your rights.
If you have received a notice of enforcement or contempt, do not ignore it. Seek assistance from an experienced attorney who can review the notice and grounds for contempt and help argue against the allegations. Kimberly D. Levi has more than 20 years of experience in family law matters. As a Houston enforcement attorney, she strives to provide the most effective representation possible for her clients while also keeping them fully informed about the likely outcome of their case. Where other attorneys may find it impossible, Ms. Levi finds solutions.
Grandparents’ and Non-Parents’ Rights
One of the most difficult outcomes of the dissolution of a relationship is the effect it can have on the relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild. In the aftermath of divorce or other significant relationship changes, grandparents can find themselves without access to the children they have loved and visited with since birth. At the Law Office of Kimberly D. Levi, a family law practice in Houston, you can expect experienced representation in all facets of matters involving parental rights versus the rights of non-parents.
Divorce with Children
Divorce involving children requires special and careful attention to a child’s needs and best interests. Part of this is making sure that both parents communicate openly and honestly to reach an agreement that works for all parties involved. Although divorce is often viewed as traumatic for a child, it does not have to be that way. Having a thorough, skilled and experienced divorce attorney to help facilitate any divorce with children issues can make all the difference in creating a smoother transition for your child.
Obtaining or Avoiding Spousal Maintenance
While post-divorce spousal maintenance (alimony) is ordered only in specific circumstances in Texas and is limited in both amount and duration, divorcing couples can voluntarily agree to a higher amount of maintenance as part of their property settlement. Often, the payment of post-divorce spousal maintenance can benefit both parties. Kimberly D. Levi, a family law attorney in Houston, Texas, often contemplates the use of voluntary post-divorce spousal maintenance, under the proper circumstances, to equalize the division of an estate.
Paternity and Unmarried Parents
At the Law Office of Kimberly D. Levi, a devoted family law practice in Houston, Texas, you will receive experienced guidance in navigating the sometimes difficult path that traces the transformation of a relationship. This transformation is marked by the need to make important decisions regarding child custody, visitation, and support. Ms. Levi will arm you with the knowledge you need to help you choose the path that will lead you toward the transformation being a positive one.
Planning for Divorce in Texas
If you think you will potentially be dealing with a divorce in Texas, Houston divorce attorney Kimberly D. Levi can assure you that careful thought and planning will virtually always be to your benefit. Whether you are merely interested in gaining an understanding of your rights and the law in Texas regarding divorce or you feel that your spouse is considering divorce, gathering information on the subject will make you better able to handle whatever lies ahead. Contact her law office in Houston, Texas, to discuss divorce planning options.
Protecting Assets and Separate Property
If you are involved in a divorce that is governed by the laws of Texas, the courts in Texas must presume that all of the assets that exist at the time of the divorce are the community property of the spouses and subject to division by the court. This is unless, of course, one or the other of the spouses can prove otherwise. If you have separate property rights that require protection, for personal or other reasons, you should consider the implementation of sound planning or, perhaps, of a well-drafted prenuptial or marital agreement.
As a stepparent, you may be bonding or have already bonded with your stepchild. Stepparent adoption simply establishes your existing parent-child relationship so that it is legally recognized. Uniting a family through stepparent adoption can be a joyous occasion. If you and your family are interested in stepparent adoption, certain steps must be taken to properly and, most importantly, legally adopt a child. For experienced representation from a Houston stepparent adoption attorney, please contact Kimberly D. Levi. Kimberly Levi’s goal is to ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly and remains a positive experience for all involved.
Relocation & Move-Aways
As time goes on, circumstances will change that may require a child custody modification. A major change in circumstance is if one parent wants to relocate or move outside of the geographic area designated by the court order. If a parent wishes to do so, he or she must receive court approval. This is an often contentious issue between parents, especially if the parent who is moving away has substantial parenting time with the child. Ultimately, the best interests of the child will prevail. However, this is not a cut-and-dried issue and requires effective and skilled advocacy by an experienced Houston relocation attorney.
Texas Children’s Protective Services (CPS)
At the Law Office of Kimberly D. Levi, you will meet a family law attorney who has dedicated her efforts consistently over the years to holding CPS to the proper performance of its essential task. Your children, the children of your loved ones, or your foster children cannot afford to languish in the system. You need an attorney who will fight to ensure that the children are released from the system to you in as short a time period as possible.