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Thomas James Daley
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Thomas Daley’s Answers

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  • Are half-siblings considered in custody

    My husband has two children from a previous marriage (boy, age 12 and girl, age 14) and his ex-wife is primary custodian of them. His ex-wife remarried and has two girls, ages 7 and 3 (half-siblings to his children). The boy has requested to live ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I agree with the other two attorneys. In addition, I would point out that, for the most part, judges don't care what 12-year-olds want. I know the statute says that a child 12 years an older can express his wishes to the judge, but the judge won't care until the child is closer to 17 years old. That's because when parents fail to resolve their own conflicts over the best interest of their children, we have to pay judges to solve our problems for us...and judges will look at the totality of the circumstances, including extended family relationships, when making the decision.

    You could file suit and ask for a social study and see what comes of that. A social study can be very persuasive to the court.

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  • I have a geo restriction to stay in TX, but I am from WI, and am in danger here with custodial father. How can I move back home?

    I am a single mother of an 18 month old girl, and the biological father has joint managing conservatorship. The order was written almost a year ago, and restricts me from anywhere outside of Texas. I have since been found in contempt of the order ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    LIke I said...time for a new attorney. File a motion to modify the parent-child relationship. If has done any of those despicable, violent acts SINCE the date of the last court order, then you have the basis to modify the order. If those acts all PRECEDE the date of the last court order, then the court will probably not take them into consideration.

    Also, you can't end harassment. It's too vague of a problem. What you have to do is identify each and every way that he harasses you and shut them down one at a time. For example, you might say that he harasses you through text, email, and the phone. If that's true, shut him down. Tell him you are no longer accepting text messages, email messages or phone calls from him UNLESS the are made while your daughter is in his possession. When she is in YOUR possession, tell him to write you letters. Alternatively, you could subscribe to www.ourfamilywizard.com and let him know that all non-emergency communication between the two of you will occur there. You have to communicate with him (unless there is a protective order in place), but you do NOT have to let him dictate the terms of that commuication.

    If he harasses you at your home or office by being in aplace where he does not have the legal right to be, then call the police and have him hauled away.

    You need an attorney who can help you follow the discipline of breaking down a big, unsolvable problem into smaller, solvable problems.

    Good luck!!

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  • What do I do to ensure my voice gets heard with a custodial arrangement for parentage and the other parent raped me?

    I am going about trying to work out an already written custodial order, for joint managing conservatorship, with a man that has sexually and physically assaulted me, stalked me, and harasses me daily. I am stuck with a lawyer who doesn't seem to h...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Dad's past violent history is absolutely relevant. And if he was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for any of this within the past 2 years, the court MAY NOT appoint him as a joint managing conservator unless the court figures out a way to protect the child from violence.

    Time for a new attorney. You might not even have a bad lawyer, but you clearly don't have the right lawyer for you.

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  • How can I be granted visitation? No standing court order. Mother had hidden child for six years.

    Mother of child and I were not married. Lived together 6 yrs ago. She fled with my son and has hidden him away. AGO dismissed case against me for child support and visitation and sent me a letter saying custodial parent "not cooperating" told me ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Do you know where mom lives and/or works? If so, you can file a parentage action yourself, have her served, and set it for trial. If you are concerned that she will deny that you are the father, then file a motion for genetic testing. Once you get the DNA test back, you can set your case for trial and let the judge straighten it all out.

    These cases are procedurally complex and making sure your evidence is court-admissible is a challenge. That's what lawyers do. You need to borrow money, get a credit card advance, whatever, and hire a conciencious family law attorney in your area who will handle your money with respect, and get your case done quickly. You can win...but it will be tough doing it on your own.

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  • What can I do about my child custody? Can I go back and say this is not working.. I want full custody??

    We have been fighting this days about my child life. I make sure things get done. Homework, Dr office visits and etc. These days my ex did not do the homework or read the wrong thing. He did not informed me about information about where he lives a...

    Thomas’s Answer

    There is no such thing as "full custody" in Texas. Even convicted crackheads get to spend some time with their children.

    I don't know what kind of possession schedule you have in place right now. If it is a standard possession schedule, you could gather evidence of how your son struggles in school on the days following dad's visits but does perfectly on days following your visits and, on that basis, ask the court to eliminate dad's school-year overnights.

    I know that it is difficult getting used to your children going over to Disneyland-Dad's house while you do all the heavy lifting involved in parenting. At his house they play and have a great time. At your house, it's 90% business: homework, chores, Dr. visits, bed times. That's because you're a good mother. But you are going to have to get used to the idea that different households have different parenting styles and there's not much you can do about that until you can show the court exactly how it is harming the children.

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  • What can I do if I left my son in the care of his grandma and she let him stay at his fathers house instead with out me knowing

    I let my 7 year old stay with his grandma for a few nights. I called to check on him and, she told me that he had saw his dad today. He has not saw his dad in almost a year. in fact I don't even know where he lives and he has a restraining order a...

    Thomas’s Answer

    What do you want to do?

    I would just take your 7 year-old back, say "thank you for wathing him," and not let him stay at his grandmother's house again if you are worried about this.

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  • My sons father was in prison and my son doesn't want to visit him. He filed for child support. Does he have right for visitation

    He was in prison for 7 years and when he was out he started to party. My son saw how his dad put him aside and now my son doesn't want to go with him. He says he doesn't feel safe with him. Will he be allowed rights to visit him? I have provided e...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Sounds like there are no orders in place and so dad is trying to get court-ordered possession of his son through the child support process. If I'm right, then, yes, he will get court-ordered rights to possession of your son. You can ask the court to put a stair-step possession order in place, which the judge might do rather than just thrust your son in to a standard possession order. You can also ask for other limitations on the visitation if you can show the court how, without those limitations, your son faces a serious risk of harm.

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  • If I don't show up for court

    My ex just text me to inform me that we have our first court appearance at 9am in the morning almost 100 miles away. What will happen if I can't be there tomorrow? Will he automatically win custody of my kids? Temporary orders for visitations have...

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you have not been served either by a process server, constable, sherriff, or registered mail, then just don't go. In Texas, the only effective way to fight ineffective service is by not showing up. If you do show up, you are consenting to the court date.

    The judge's computer will tell him or her whether you have been served. If the computer does NOT show that you've been served, the judge will not conduct the hearing. I am very familiar with the courts in Dallas County and can assure you that they know the law and follow it closely.

    You need a Dallas-area attorney to represent you. Representing yourself in a child custody dispute is a terrible idea, particularly if he has an attorney who will be able to run circles around you with the complexities of the procedural and evidentiary rules.

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  • Mediation

    Hi I'm the grandmother I was given full custody and we sign everything but dad won't come back to sign papers the lawyer had to put together after mediation the ones that talks about child support

    Thomas’s Answer

    File a motion to have the judge sign the final order anyway. The judge will sign the final order without dad's signature, but you have to file a motion, set it for a hearing, and let dad know about the hearing. At that hearing, if dad shows up, he can explain why the judge should NOT sign the order. If dad does NOT show up, the judge will just sign the order.

    Good luck and enjoy that grandchild!!

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  • How can I know if my custody papers are in my favor?

    I've been told by 2 attorneys I'm correct, (over the phone) and one that I am wrong (over phone). My visitation states I'm ORDERED to pick my child up at 6pm, and then at the end under "general terms and conditions" it states I may elect to begin ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    You need to pick a good family law attorney, anywhere in Texas, and agree to pay for an hour of the attorney's time to review your order for you. Interpreting orders over the phone WITHOUT having a copy of the order to read is a fool's errand.

    Once you find an attorney who will review the order and talk to you about it, just fax/email the order to the attorney and set up a time to talk about your question.

    Good luck!!

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