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Anita Cowley Savage
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Anita Savage’s Answers

69 total


  • My ex-wife will not speak to me, look at me, or even acknowledge me as my son's father.

    I am a college-educated, kind, loving father who is fully paid up in child support, medical etc. I do not have a criminal history. I simply have an ex who has decided that despite our 7 year marriage, she sees me as a sperm donor. We have joint...

    Anita’s Answer

    There are two possible solutions available to you, depending on what the original divorce decree spells out and also depending on when that divorce decree was entered.

    The first solution is an enforcement - you've explained that the decree calls for nightly phone calls and you aren't able to exercise them. Presuming you are correct in your interpretation that those phone calls are ordered, you could request enforcement of that provision and make up parenting time for all the missed time you were supposed to have with your son. There may be other decree terms which would be worth enforcing, although we don't know which since you've only set forth the calls as being ordered. For instance, there may be a provision in your decree setting forth that both parties may attend your son's activities.

    Your second remedy is asking for a modification of the current possession order - to give you more time with your son and to protect/ensure the time you DO have with him is quality time. One resource that could be very helpful in assisting your ex with understanding how important your role in your son's life is would be via the request for co-parenting counseling (there are some great coparenting classes/workshops that are invaluable in assiting initially non-cooperative parents into becoming the parents they want to be to their children). The remedy of mediation is dependent on how long it has been since the last decree, as well as numerous other factors including changes that come with age, remarriage, involvement and coparenting of mom and dad, etc.

    It's unfortunate that you are in this predicament but good for you in continuing to support your son financially despite the roadblocks you may be getting from his mom. Continue to do the right thing - the court will see it and more importantly your son will benefit greatly from it. Some parents give up or decide that they shouldn't follow the decree either. That's a BAD solution and one that hurts the child the most.

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  • Can I sell the house while divorce settlement is still in progress

    Getting divorced. Settlement is still in progress. Can husband sign a document giving me permission to sell it before divorce is final

    Anita’s Answer

    Once a divorce is filed, standing orders go into place in every single case that basically stops either spouse from being able to transfer property without the agreement of the other spouse. However, if you and your husband AGREE to sell the house, then that is fine and you can sell it. The agreement is what's necessary to ensure you are not breaking the court's orders. Without your husband's agreement, you cannot sell that house on your own and, if you did, you would be violating the court's standing orders.

    Hope that helps.

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  • Child has lived with me for 16 months

    I have had custody of a child for 16 mo in TX she was 6mo old she is now 2. Dna states not my sons chld can I still seek custody in her best interest. She stayed with her mom 1 month returned sick, with weight loss..

    Anita’s Answer

    In Texas, a person who has had actual care, control and possession of a child for at least six months has the right to file suit to establish orders regarding the child (presumably that the child remain in your custody). Depending on the circumstances of that 1 month return to mom (when it happened, what was the intention of that return, etc.) and also the circumstances under which the child came to be in your possession, you may well have met the criteria you need in order to request the Court's assistance and establish orders for that child naming you as the conservator of the child.

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  • I have a court order to see my child But the mother doesnt answer my calls and tells me i cant take her. can she do that

    I pay my child support on time. i have rights to see her the first, third, and fifth week of every month. The mother doesnt answer her phone. when i tell her im on my way to get her she says theyre about to leave. What do i do

    Anita’s Answer

    Actually, I disagree with the previous answer. In Texas, the police are very reluctant to get involved in enforcing civil matters and most oftentimes will explain that you need to seek that assistance from the Court. The other attorney IS correct in that the way to seek that assistance is through an enforcement or contempt action. There are several other ways, too.

    The first way is this: if you are entitled to possession under the orders, don't call ahead of time, just show up and take her. I don't know if your possession starts after school or at 6 p.m., but if it is after school, go pick up the child. If you have your order with you, the police will explain to Mom that it is Dad's time with the child and there's nothing they can do to keep the child from you.

    Another way is to do a Writ of Habeas Corpus, which is essentially an emergency-type motion which states that you are entitled to possesssion, Mom is keeping you from possession, and you want law enforcement assistance in getting possession of your child. If the court orders the police to enforce the orders, THEN the police will do so. As the other attorney stated, you also have enforcement and contempt remedies. While you are at it, you may want to argue that the current order should be modified to give you primary possession since she thwarts all attempts on your part to have frequent and continuing contact with the child, which is what the courts and legislature have already determined is in the best interests of the child post-divorce.

    I hope that helps. Good luck!

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  • Will I be responsible for my future husbands previously acquired student loan debt after we marry?

    will I be responsible for my future husbands previously acquired student loan debt after we marry?

    Anita’s Answer

    You will not be "responsible" for it as a named party in debt, but any payments you and he make towards his student loan cannot be reimbursed to you in the event of a divorce. In other words, he will receive all of the benefit of any payments you make on his behalf and you can never ask for that money to be returned to you.

    If you are thinking about marriage, you and he may want to consider the possibility of a prenuptual agreement which could spell out the financial terms of your marriage, including student loan repayments, as between the two of you. Honestly, it's my personal opinion that it's better to negotiate a potential split before you get married (and while you still love each other) than it is after a marriage fails and you are trying your best to protect whatever you have left (with someone you don't like very much anymore).

    Good luck to you - happy marriage!!

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  • How old do I have to be to choose what parent I want to live with?

    I'm 13, and currently living with my mom. But, I want to live with my dad and my mom says no! How old do I have to be to say who I want to live with? My father has custody rights foe everyother weekend and my mom won't let him have my sister, brot...

    Anita’s Answer

    In Texas, children have the absolute right to speak with the judge about their preference beginning at age 12. For children under 12, it's at the judge's option whether or not he or she thinks they will need to talk to the younger ones. Oftentime, though, judges want to talk with all of the kids at once, to get every child's perspective.

    You father will need to file a Motion to Modify the current orders and to establish him as the primary parent (essentially, asking the court to switch the possession time between mom and dad). He should talk with a good family law attorney about whether or not his particular case would be one that could succeed based on the circumstances of his household, your mom's household, and the children's needs and best interests.

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  • I am a father of three and would like to seek custody of my three children is it possible in Texas?

    My wife and I are on the verge of divorce and I as the father would like to know if I could get primary custody of our kids since I do majority of the parenting. I have been taking care of our children since they have been born and I feel that ju...

    Anita’s Answer

    Texas is actually very progressive about Dad's rights. By statute, the court is only to consider what is in the best interests of the children and put no bias towards one parent or another simply because of their sex. Primary placement with Dad certainly can be done, and is done, when that is what will meet the children's needs best.

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  • Change of custody

    my 13 yr old daughter who now lives with her mother who is the managing conservator wants to live with me. . My child wants to live with me. What should I do. I dont even know what steps to take to get the process started. How hard is it to get cu...

    Anita’s Answer

    In Texas, a child can begin to have a say in the matter at age 12. This is done by filing a Petition to Modify Parent-Child Relationship (which would allow you to ask the court to create different possession orders than the ones in place now) and I'd suggest you also file a motion for the child to confer with the court about what it is that they want and prefer.

    A court is not obligated to do whatever the child wants as far as who they choose to live with. Instead, the court will take the child's input into consideration along with all the other evidence the court receives regarding whether or not a change in primary possession is in the child's best interests. The court understands that children may not necessarily know what is in their best interests and so what the child says isn't always what actually happens. The amount of weight the court will put on the child's preference has alot to do with how mature they are, why they are asking for the change, etc.

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  • I asked about where i go to initiate custody going to my grandchildrens father.

    I failed to mention that I now live in Dallas with the children and my son is here, permanent custody was awarded to me, paternal grandmother, in the state of Florida. I really dont want to have to go back to florida unless I absolutely have to.Th...

    Anita’s Answer

    Presuming you and the children have lived in Texas for at least 6 months, you can transfer the proceedings to Dallas.

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  • Where do i go to obtain papers to file for joint custody of children in dallas texas

    I have sole custody of my 2 grandchildren and wish to share custody with their natural father, mother is not involved

    Anita’s Answer

    Presuming you have actual orders in place, you will return to the court that initially signed off on those orders and file to "modify" those orders.

    If you and natural father agree to the terms of how you want the original order changed, it could be as simple as having an attorney draft the modification document which sets forth your new terms, and then filing that modification document with the court for review and approval. Once the court approves it, it becomes the new orders (trumping the prior orders before it). However, you may need the input of natural mother and/or the Office of Attorney General, depending on whether or not they were parties in the original proceedings (which brought forth the orders that are in effect now).

    A good family law attorney will be able to easily ascertain who else, outside of you and natural dad, need to be involved in a modification. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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