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Thomas James Daley
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  • How do I get custody of my son as a father? I keep hearing that courts are very "pro" mom when it comes to separation of parents

    Going through a very rough time at home of daily arguing, I truly think it will come down to splitting up. We have a beautiful 18 month old and I would love to keep him by my side (since I know mom will move back to Houston most likely and I live ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I am sorry that you are having to endure this difficulty.

    Hopefully you and the mom can work out a deal and keep your divorce out of court. If the case does go to court, the court will look at the best interests of the child. The Supreme Court of Texas has given some guidance as to what this means in the Holly case. If you'll Google "Holly Factors Child Best Interest" you'll probably find some resources on that.

    Your best bet is to hire a good family law attorney who can help you craft the arguments for you.

    Good luck!!

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  • What are my options? Judgement, back to court? This residence was also my place of business?

    Divorce decree states that house was to be sold immediately. It has been two years. There have been no serious attempts to sell. House was put on the market but way overpriced. Have been in contact with ex spouse, has no intention of selling an...

    Thomas’s Answer

    I would file a motion for the court to appoint a receiver.

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  • Stopping Visitation

    I would like lawyer opinions of this.... I have filed a motion to transfer my case and once that is done, I am filing a motion to modify. I reported abuse to my children to CPS this past Sunday that occured during my ex's visitation. CPS let me d...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Listen to your lawyer's advice, not your friends. Violating a court order is never a good idea.

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  • NCP keeps quitting her job when the IWO shows up. Is there any legal way to contact the employer about when she left the job?

    I just got the paperwork drafted for a motion to enforce child support. I will unfortunately have to serve the non custodial parent when she picks up our son because she won't provide her home address. When I ask for it she just states that the co...

    Thomas’s Answer

    You CAN request, but what they tell you is inadmissible hearsay if you just show up and repeat what you were told. Normally, a self-represented litigant won't know to make the hearsay objection, but if NCP is indigent, the court will appoint an attorney for her and, theoretically, that attorney will know to make the objection.

    What you need is for her employers to supply her employment records along with a business records affidavit. That will make the evidence admissible AND allow you to get the benefit of the doubt when NCP argues that what you're telling the court is inaccurate, which she will.

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  • What would happen if I take this to court?

    My ex is not paying alimony per decree based on fact that I haven't paid credit card debts that were divided at the time. There is no stipulation about this in decree nor if the decree is modifiable to my knowledge.

    Thomas’s Answer

    File a motion to enforce seeking jail time. You will probably win (there are some affirmative defenses your ex can try to prove). Your ex probably cannot enforce the decree against you, at least with contempt, because, based on the facts you've given, you were ordered to pay debts and the Texas and U.S. Constitutions prohibit putting someone in jail for failing to pay a debt.

    You might wonder what's the difference between not paying spousal and not paying a credit card. The legal notion is that spousal support and child support and taxes are not debts, per se, they are obligations that arise based on one's status or position or relationship. For that reason, the courts are comfortable putting people in jail for not paying spousal, child support, and taxes, but cannot put someone in jail for failing to pay credit card debt.

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  • What can I do to secure my parental rights and win my case against my mom ?

    I been separated from my child 9 months ago, by cps due to domestic violence of my ex-spouse. Cps has placed my child in care of my mother. Cps neglected to tell me that if I completed whatever services that I needed , I would be reunited with my ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    If you talk to an attorney, the first thing we need to know is whether there were already orders in place regarding your child, such as a child support order, or no orders at all.

    If there were no orders in place regarding your child, then you have the parental presumption working in your favor. That means that it is up to your mom to prove why you should not be named the managing conservator of your child. The court looks at three areas to determine whether you should be named managing conservator: (1) Have you voluntarily given up possession of your daughter? You might think that you voluntarily did so at CPS's urging, but if CPS threatened you in any way, then you were coerced into giving up your child and that is not voluntary. (2) Does the child face an immediate risk of harm if she lives with you? That's a fact-intensive question. If I were you, I would take a drug test, get a DPS criminal background history on myself, make an open records request for police records relating to my address, etc. to be able to show that you are not a danger. (3) Have you exposed the child to domestic violence? Here's is where you probably have the greatest vulnerability. You'll need to show that the domestic violence was short-lived, that as soon as it occurred, you took immediate action to remove your child from the situation and keep her out of the situation, etc. If you can't show that, then grandmother has a very strong case.

    If there are already orders in place regarding your child, such as a prior child support order, then the parental presumption does not apply and a "best interest of the child" analysis will be done by the court. You should Google the "Holly Factors Best Interest Child" to get an idea of the analytical framework the Texas Supreme Court has handed our judges.

    Bottom line: You need an attorney. These are complicated cases and self-represented litigants almost always lose. That's not a very uplifting message, I know, but it is true.

    Good luck!!

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  • How do I find my daughter and get her back to me? What rights do father's have in TX?

    My wife had an affair and wrecked 2 households. I attempted to work things out,but no go. I told her I wanted a divorce and 3 days later she is gone with our daughter. I haven't seen her since Dec. 13th. My wife has emailed me once, but will not t...

    Thomas’s Answer

    The first thing you need to do is file for divorce in Dallas County. Assuming your wife is still in Texas, as soon as she has been a resident of a different county for 90 days, she can file in that county and make you play on her home court.

    The next thing you need to do is have her served with the divorce petition and a notice of hearing for temporary orders. This is not going to be something you can do yourself because she has disappeared. There are rules such as TRCP 106, 109, and 109a that we use to serve respondent's who have disappeared. Once you've gone to 109 and 109a service, you can also try non-traditional service such as service by Facebook, although not every judge will approve that.

    Once she has been served, either personally or through some alternate means, she will either respond to the suit OR not. If she responds, then game on. If she does not, then you will get a default judgment against her and work with either a PI or the Attorney General to use the parent locater service to find her and your child.

    Your rights are father's rights: they are parental rights. They apply equally irrespective of the gender of the parent.

    Your going to need an attorney to work through this complicated situation she has created, but you can get through it.

    Good luck!!

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  • Can your parents still get a restraining order for you if your already 18?

    My friend is 18 and now an adult but still living in her parents house. She is friends with someone that her parents don't really like and are threatening that if she still hangs out with him they'll get a restraining order for them. Can they do t...

    Thomas’s Answer

    It depends, but probably not.

    They might get some sort of injunction against the friend coming onto their property (which they don't need). But, unless they have some guardianship in place, they won't be able to restrain the two of them from hanging out away from the parents' property.

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  • I have a court hearing on Thursday with his father regarding where my son will be for now.. do I need to hire a lawyer ?

    im a 18 year old mother living with my parents and going to school. I am fighting for full custody of my 6 month old son. he's currently with his 17 year old father now because he didn't want to give me my son. his mother has bipolar problems and...

    Thomas’s Answer

    If you don't have a lawyer, you will have a tough time in court. If he has a lawyer and you don't, you will lose.

    The court is going to want to hear more about exactly moment by moment how he came to have possession of the child from you.

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  • Could the right to choose to smoke marijuana be defended as discriminatory b/c a woman gets the right 2 choose abortion or baby?

    If a woman has the right to decide what happens to her own body concerning abortion , adoption, or to carry the child to full term... They why can't we make the argument for the right to ingest a plant ( marijuana ) to be her choice too? Having...

    Thomas’s Answer

    You make a good point about logic, although, as Oliver Wendell Holmes taught, "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience... The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics." (The Common Law, 1881).

    Of course, it is not universally agreed that a woman has the right to abortion, so it follows that it is not universally agreed that a woman has the right to ingest any plant she wants.

    Keep going...your kind of thinking might get us somewhere!!

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