We are dedicated to standing by our clients throughout the entirety of their cases. You have an ally in the fight for your family’s rights. Let a member of our legal team assess the possibilities for your case during a consultation at our office. We offer flexible appointment times in order to accommodate your family’s already busy schedule, and can also accommodate your financial need by providing Payment Plans that will fit your budget.
We are proud to provide our clients with comprehensive representation in most family law matters. Some of the specific types of cases that we handle are listed below, though we handle many other types of cases for our clients as well.
- Temporary Order/Restraining Order
- Community Property
- Post-Divorce Issues (Modification/ Enforcement of Existing Decree)
- Adoption (Adopt Child/ Adult)
- Paternity (Paternity Test/ Visitation)
- Child Support
- Enforcement/Collection of Child Support
- Modification of Child Support Order
- Protective Order / Domestic Violence
- Name Change Of Minor/ Adult
- Nonmarital Cohabitation Agreement
- Premarital Agreement / Prenuptial Agreement
- Separation Agreement Convert Separate Property to Community Property
Choosing a divorce lawyer is a critical and key decision you will have to make if you want to emerge from a divorce with the best outcome possible. Keep in mind that “best outcome possible” is a highly relative term. Generally speaking, you want to come out of a divorce with something more than the shirt on your back and ideally, with something closer to an equitable distribution of property, and other real assets are nice, too. It is not a pie-in-the-sky best-case scenario. If you do hard work now, it will pay off later. Of course, money is always a factor, but money spent on a good attorney is money well spent. Oftentimes money not spent here will cost you much more in the end, so picking a lawyer deserves your utmost consideration at the initial early stages. Still, for any budget, there are points to consider when selecting a Lawyer.
At Sarah Brooks Law Firm, we urge clients not to hesitate to request a modification of the divorce decree when financial or other conditions change. People’s lives are not set in stone. The legal system allows for modifications to a divorce decree to handle alterations in the lives of divorced couples and their children.
Alterations in the lives of a divorced couple can arise because of job changes, location changes, or changes in the needs of the children. For example:
i) The parent providing child support receives a raise or a better-paying job
ii) A child becomes seriously ill and needs expensive treatment
iii) One parent moves from the area, increasing the cost of scheduled visitation
iv) A new parental work schedule interferes with the original visitation plan
v) A parent becomes unable to properly care for a child because of an ongoing drug or alcohol problem
vi) One parent makes allegations of child abuse against the other parent, or the other parent’s boyfriend, girlfriend, or new spouse
The result of a modification request can include an increase or decrease in the amount of child support paid, an adjustment to the visitation schedule, a change in the child custody arrangements, or a requirement for supervised visitation.
Adoption cases are among the happiest cases we handle at Sarah Brooks Law Firm. We help families navigate the complex adoption process and do all the legal paperwork that makes a child theirs forever. We’ve all heard of cases where families have lost children who have been living with their adoptive families for years due to mistakes in the adoption process.
One of our jobs as adoption attorneys is to ensure that a full and final termination of the biological parental rights is made so there is a greatly reduced chance for anyone to come back later and make a claim (valid or invalid) to a child in your home.
We also make sure all appropriate Texas approvals are obtained. By helping families mitigate and minimize risks, we can take a joyous occasion for families and help ensure that it stays that way.
We also help stepparents adopt the children for whom they are already serving as role model and care-giver. Stepparent adoptions are often called adoption-terminations, since the biological parent’s rights need to be terminated first before the stepparent can adopt the child.
Adoption-terminations are appropriate in cases where the biological parent is not involved in the child’s life and does not want to pay child support. In cases like these, an adoption-termination brings legal standing to a parent-child relationship that already exists.
A paternity action can be initiated either by the father or the mother of a child born out of wedlock. The mother of the child may initiate a paternity action in order to receive child support payments from the father. The father of the child may initiate a paternity lawsuit in order to receive visitation rights and to obtain legal standing for the father-child relationship.
The first part of a paternity action consists of providing evidence, including DNA testing, to determine the father of the child. Once paternity is established, the rest of the suit determines legal rights and obligations of the father.
PROTECTIVE ORDER/ DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Sarah Brooks Law Firm knows how emotionally-confusing, frustrating, and dangerous domestic violence can be. Family disputes have, unfortunately, become all too common and tension at home can inexcusably lead to outbursts of violence. If you or a loved is suffering from domestic violence, let our family law practice handle your legal needs while we work to stop the violence and protect you and your family.
Domestic violence laws protect the rights of individuals threatened or abused by spouses, former spouses, family members, or individuals related by “affinity”— a removed family relationship such as unrelated, unwed parents of a child.
Depending on the type of abuse involved, the victim of domestic violence can file a criminal or civil charge against their attacker, or file for a temporary or permanent protective order to:
• Stop communication with the victim
• Keep the abuser from the proximity of the victim
• Require the abuser to undergo treatment and counseling
• Deal with matters of child custody, support, and visitation
• Prohibit the abuser from leaving with the victim’s child
• Grant the victim exclusive residence of any shared property
Failure to properly respect a court issued order of protection results in mandatory arrest of the person who it is issued against. It is an effective method to stop domestic violence before it starts, but the process for convincing a court to grant one can be complex and difficult. Because the subject of the restraining order can be put under mandatory arrest, the courts require specific evidence for most criminal restraining orders relating to domestic abuse.
Contact Sarah Brooks Law Firm , where our family law attorney wants to help you protect yourself by offering personal, friendly, and professional legal services for a reasonable fee.
NAME CHANGE OF MINOR/ADULT
If you want to change your name outside of marriage or adoption, you must petition the court. Your name is your legal identity. In the court’s eyes, changing your name is really changing your legal identity. The court’s role is to make sure you are changing your name for a valid reason.
If you need assistance with legal name change, call us and we can quickly and efficiently accomplish a name change on your behalf.
Nonmarital Cohabitation Agreement
Nonmarital Cohabitation Agreement protect the property and assets of a non-married couple. We understand the importance of creating documents that protect your assets before, during, and after living with another individual. Our firm strives to compose efficiently and effectively documents that reflect your needs and goals.
Not all situations require an agreement; however, marital agreements may be beneficial in many instances. A member of our legal team is happy to discuss the specifics of your legal concern and what, if any, type of agreement may be advantageous for you, now and in the future.
Premarital Agreement / Prenuptial Agreement
Getting married is one of the most important things people do. Hopefully, it reflects a deep emotional commitment because it also truly changes the participants’ legal status. By understanding your rights and obligations as a married person you may more fully appreciate the step you are taking. Before you marry, consulting an experienced family law attorney can help identify any future issues that you need to resolve now to keep you and your beloved on the path of matrimonial or relationship bliss.
Couples who are considering marriage may benefit from talking to an experienced family law attorney about the advantages of a premarital (also called prenuptial). Although not very romantic, premarital agreements are an effective tool for defining the legal relationships between two people, particularly as it relates to property. Generally, the intent of the agreement is to create a framework for handling money and property issues during the marriage and a roadmap for property division should the marriage eventually terminate.
A marital separation agreement, also known as a property settlement agreement, is a written contract dividing your property, spelling out your rights, and settling problems such as alimony and custody. A marital separation agreement may be drawn before or after you have filed for divorce — even while you and your spouse are still living together.
The typical separation agreement, or a stipulation of settlement resolving a divorce should state whether the agreement is to survive the judgment of divorce as a separate contract, or whether it should be merged and incorporated into the judgment of divorce thus allowing for modification similar to a court order.
Convert Separate Property to Community Property
At any time the spouses may agree that all or part of their separate property owned by either or both spouses is converted to community property. The agreement to convert separate property to community property must be signed, must identify the property to be converted and is enforceable without consideration.