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Caring Custody Solutions

Caring Custody Solutions: Family Attorney in Southlake Advocating for Children

November 29, 2023
Child Protective Services

Understanding Child Custody: A Vital Aspect of Divorce

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally challenging journey, especially when children are involved. As a family attorney in Southlake for child custody cases, it's crucial to understand the nuances of these delicate situations. This blog aims to provide parents with essential guidance on navigating separation and divorce, emphasizing the importance of professional legal support.

The Role of a Family Attorney in Southlake for Child Custody Cases

When navigating the intricate landscape of child custody in a divorce, the role of a family attorney becomes more than just a necessity; it transforms into a guiding light for families in turmoil. In Southlake, where family dynamics vary widely, it is crucial to find a lawyer specializing in child custody who brings both their legal expertise and a deep understanding of these unique familial situations to each case. This understanding is crucial in crafting custody arrangements that truly serve the child's best interests.

A family attorney in Southlake does more than just fight for your rights in court. They become a steadfast advocate for your child’s future. This includes advising on various custody arrangements, understanding children's emotional and psychological needs in these situations, and ensuring that every decision is rooted in the child's long-term well-being and happiness. With their compassionate approach, these attorneys work tirelessly to create a stable and nurturing environment for children, even amidst the upheaval of a divorce.

Their role extends beyond the courtroom. They often act as mediators to help both parents come to an agreement that prioritizes the child's needs. In cases where parents struggle to see eye-to-eye, the family attorney becomes crucial in facilitating constructive dialogue and finding a middle ground. This ability to navigate complex emotional landscapes with professionalism and empathy makes family attorneys in Southlake invaluable in child custody cases. They don't just provide legal services; they offer a beacon of hope and stability, ensuring that the family's most vulnerable members are cared for and protected during these challenging times.

Why Choose Southlake Divorce Law Experts?

Selecting the right divorce lawyer in Southlake is a significant decision, especially when your family's future is at stake. These lawyers are not just experts in the law but also deeply familiar with the local Southlake community and its specific legal nuances. This local expertise means they can offer a personalized approach, ensuring that your case isn't just another number but is treated with the unique attention it deserves.

Furthermore, Southlake divorce law experts stand out for their comprehensive support system. It's not just about legal advice; it's about guiding you through every step of the process with compassion and understanding. They recognize that divorce isn't solely a legal matter – it's a personal and emotional journey. Therefore, they provide a balanced blend of professional legal counsel and empathetic emotional support, ensuring you feel supported on both fronts. This holistic approach is crucial in navigating the often complex and emotionally charged waters of divorce, particularly when children are involved. With their guidance, you can make informed decisions that prioritize your family's well-being legally and emotionally.

Prioritizing Your Child’s Well-being During Divorce

The journey through divorce is not just a legal process but an emotional one, particularly for children. As parents, your primary concern during this transition is naturally the well-being of your children. Recognizing the emotional toll a divorce can have on young minds is the first step in this critical journey. During such a challenging time, children often experience a range of emotions, from confusion to sadness. Parents need to be attentive, supportive, and understanding of these feelings.

Expert advice from a family attorney in Southlake specializing in child custody cases becomes invaluable here. They offer more than just legal guidance; they provide a compassionate understanding of how to navigate these turbulent times with your child's best interests in focus. A family attorney can help structure a parenting plan that prioritizes your child’s emotional and developmental needs, ensuring a stable and nurturing environment amidst the changes.

Moreover, it's crucial to maintain a routine for your children, providing a sense of normalcy and security. Involve them in age-appropriate discussions about the changes happening in their lives and reassure them of both parents' love and commitment. This approach not only supports your child through the divorce process but also lays the foundation for their healthy emotional development in the future.

Finding the Best Divorce Lawyers in Southlake

When you're facing a divorce, especially one that involves the complexities of child custody, choosing the right legal partner is more than just a decision—it's a pivotal step towards a new beginning. The best divorce lawyers in Southlake bring their extensive knowledge of family law and a deep understanding of how to handle sensitive family dynamics. They are skilled in negotiating fair outcomes and are adept at navigating the often intricate legal pathways. Their role is to simplify this overwhelming process for you, ensuring you're informed and comfortable at every stage. With their support, you can focus on what's most important: your family's future.

Supporting Children Through the Transition

Amidst the legalities and decisions of a divorce, the emotional needs of children can sometimes be overshadowed. Remembering this transition can be confusing and stressful for them is vital. Effective support for children involves more than legal custody arrangements; it requires a nurturing environment where they can express their feelings and concerns. Encouraging open dialogue, maintaining routines, and, if needed, seeking professional counseling are key steps in ensuring their emotional well-being. Your family attorney can provide resources and advice on how to best support your children emotionally during this time, ensuring that their transition into this new phase of life is as smooth and positive as possible.


At Barrows Law Firm, we understand the complexities surrounding divorce and child custody. As a leading family attorney in Southlake, we are committed to providing parents with the guidance and support they need during these challenging times. With our expertise, we aim to make this transition as smooth as possible for both you and your children.

Remember, the right legal support can make all the difference. Choose a family attorney in Southlake wisely for your child custody case.

Adoption Month

Embrace National Adoption Month in Texas: Your Guide to Creating Forever Families

November 17, 2023

Creating Forever Families: Navigating the Path to Adoption in Texas during National Adoption Month

November is not just about crisp autumn leaves and cozy sweaters—it is also National Adoption Month! It is a time to celebrate the beautiful act of creating forever families through adoption. If you are in Texas and considering taking the incredible step toward adoption, you are in the right place. Let's dive into how you can start this rewarding journey.

In this short article, we recognize the excellent work in adoption in Tarrant County, followed by a summary of key components of adoption and the procedures in Texas, as well as a heart-warming story from the Banderas family. Your heart will melt.

Giving kids a chance at a forever family is the joy of all the people who work in the courts, agencies, and law firms, helping foster families adopt their children into their families and all the exciting parts of the adoption process in Texas.

Psychology Today: What is the psychological significance of adoption?

Leslie Barrows: A Champion for Tarrant County National Adoption Day

Leslie Barrows is a dedicated advocate for National Adoption Month in Tarrant County, Texas. Leslie has been an integral part of the Tarrant County National Adoption Day celebrations, continually demonstrating her commitment to the cause of adoption. Everyone at Barrows Firm in Southlake gets excited about the good energy and information everyone shares in celebrating "forever families."

For years, Leslie has played a pivotal role in organizing and participating in events to raise awareness about adoption and celebrate the families formed through this beautiful process. Her passion for creating forever families and ensuring children find loving homes shines through her ongoing involvement in National Adoption Day activities.

Leslie's tireless efforts in supporting prospective adoptive parents, advocating for children in the foster care system, and highlighting the importance of adoption have profoundly impacted Tarrant County. Her dedication inspires, encouraging others to join the cause and make a difference in the lives of children waiting for their forever homes.

Leslie Barrows stands as a beacon of hope and positivity, exemplifying the spirit of National Adoption Month by fostering a community that embraces and celebrates the transformative power of adoption.

Related Barrows Firm Article: Estate Planning and Adopting the Child of a Relative

Understanding Adoption in Texas

Texas welcomes individuals and couples who wish to adopt, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. The process typically involves thorough assessments, education, and legal proceedings to ensure the well-being of both the child and the adoptive family.

Types of Adoption

In Texas, prospective adoptive parents can opt for various adoption paths:

1. Domestic Infant Adoption: This involves adopting a newborn within the United States.

2. Foster Care Adoption: Adopting a child in the foster care system and needing a loving permanent home.

3. International Adoption: Adopting a child from another country involves adhering to U.S. and international laws.

Each path has unique steps and requirements; exploring these options is an essential first step in your journey.

The Adoption Process

Getting started can seem daunting, but numerous organizations and agencies in Texas are dedicated to guiding you through this process. Here's a simplified breakdown:

1. Research: Research various adoption agencies or attorneys in Texas. Consider their experience, services offered, and success stories.

2. Orientation and Education: Attend orientation sessions or workshops provided by agencies to learn about the different types of adoption, the legal aspects, and the emotional aspects involved.

3. Home Study: This involves a thorough assessment of your home, background checks, interviews, and education to ensure you're ready to provide a safe and loving environment for a child.

4. Matching and Placement: For those pursuing domestic infant adoption or foster care adoption, this stage involves being matched with a child. It's an exciting and emotional phase as you await the right match.

5. Legal Procedures: Finalizing the adoption involves legal proceedings to grant legal custody and make the child a permanent member of your family.

Financial Aspects

Adoption costs can vary widely based on the type of adoption pursued. In Texas, financial assistance, grants, and tax credits might be available to help offset expenses. Consulting with adoption agencies or attorneys can shed light on available financial resources.

Support Throughout the Journey

Embarking on an adoption journey can be emotionally taxing, and having a support system is crucial. Texas offers support groups, counseling services, and online communities where adoptive parents can connect and share experiences, providing a network of understanding and encouragement.

Celebrating National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month is a time to honor the joys of adoption, celebrate the families that have been created, and raise awareness about the thousands of children still waiting for their forever homes. You can participate in events, share adoption stories, or volunteer with organizations supporting adoption efforts.

The Balderas' Journey to Parenthood: A Story of Resilience and Miracles

A series of heartaches and unexpected turns marked Tiffany and David Balderas' path to parenthood. For 16 years, they yearned to welcome a child into their lives. Their struggle included costly IVF treatments and a promising adoption opportunity that turned out to be a devastating loss.

Their hope was pinned on adopting a baby girl, little Violet. Still, they were blindsided when the biological mother had no intentions of giving the child up for adoption, despite promises made to multiple agencies. The Balderas had already decorated a nursery, decided upon a name, and emotionally prepared themselves to welcome Violet into their family. The shattered dream was a profound loss.

However, a glimmer of hope emerged amidst their grief and uncertainty. Through a client, they connected with a pregnant woman who desired the Balderas to adopt her son. Despite past disappointments, they cautiously embraced the possibility. Attending appointments and fostering a bond during the pregnancy, they cautiously opened their hearts to the prospect of parenthood again.

Their son, Josiah, was born in May, and the Balderas were there, ready to welcome him into their lives. They nurtured and cared for Josiah for four months, building an unbreakable bond. On September 12, 2023,the Balderas officially became Josiah's parents, a momentous occasion celebrated by their devoted support system, their tribe, who stood by them throughout this miraculous journey.

As their adoption attorney and someone who has witnessed their unwavering determination and resilience, I have been honored to be a part of their story. Tiffany and David's incredible journey from heartache to the joy of finally becoming parents epitomizes the power of hope, faith, and unwavering love.

Adopting in Texas is a Journey Changing Your Life and the Life of a Child

Embarking on an adoption journey in Texas is a noble and heartwarming endeavor. It's a step toward providing a loving and stable home for a child who deserves one. Remember, the journey may have challenges, but the rewards are immeasurable—creating a forever family filled with love, laughter, and joy.

If you're considering adoption in Texas, take that first step. Seek information, contact professionals, and open your heart to the possibility of changing a child's life forever.

navigating friendship amidst divorce

Divorce and Friendship - Navigating Changes in Social Circles

November 16, 2023

Navigating the complex landscape of divorce can be a tumultuous journey, filled with emotional ups and downs. While much attention is often given to the impact on intimate relationships, one aspect that is often overlooked is how divorce can affect our friendships. It's no secret that when two people choose to go their separate ways, it can create ripples in their social circles. 

Suddenly, friends find themselves caught in the middle or feeling torn between loyalty and maintaining connections. In this blog post, we will explore the intricacies of managing friendships during and after divorce, offering valuable insights on coping with changes and building new bonds along the way.

The Impact of Divorce on Friendships

Divorce has a profound impact on not only the individuals involved but also on their friendships. When a couple decides to part ways, it can send shockwaves through their social circles. Friends may find themselves caught in the middle, unsure of how to navigate this new terrain. Questions arise: Do we have to choose sides? Can we still maintain relationships with both parties? It's natural for friendships to feel strained during these times as loyalties are tested and boundaries are redefined.

One common consequence of divorce is that friends may feel compelled to take sides, often without fully understanding the complexities of the situation. Suddenly, there is an unspoken pressure to align oneself with one party or another. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness for those caught in the crossfire.

Additionally, some friends may struggle with their own emotions surrounding the divorce. They might be grappling with feelings of sadness or disappointment over the dissolution of what they saw as a happy relationship. It's important for both parties involved in the divorce and their friends acknowledge and validate these emotions without judgment.

Divorce can also bring about changes in social dynamics within existing friend groups. Couples who were once part of a tight-knit circle may no longer spend time together as frequently, leading to potential fractures within the group dynamic. Friendships that were once based on shared experiences between couples now need to adapt and evolve.

In some cases, mutual friends might find themselves feeling like referees – stuck in uncomfortable positions where they unwittingly become mediators or sounding boards for each party's grievances against one another. This added responsibility can place significant strain on these friendships if not handled delicately.

While divorce undoubtedly brings its fair share of challenges when it comes to maintaining existing friendships, it can also provide an opportunity for growth and forging deeper connections with those who remain by your side throughout this difficult process.

Common Changes in Social Circles after Divorce

Divorce is a major life event that can have far-reaching effects on all aspects of our lives, including our social circles. It's not uncommon for friendships to change after a divorce, as the dynamics and priorities in people's lives shift. While these changes can be challenging to navigate, it's important to remember that they are a natural part of the process.

One common change in social circles after divorce is a shift in mutual friends. Often, couples tend to have shared friends who may feel caught in the middle or unsure how to remain connected with both individuals. Some friends may choose sides or feel uncomfortable maintaining relationships with both parties. This can lead to an inevitable reevaluation of one's social circle and potentially losing some friendships along the way.

Additionally, divorced individuals may find themselves seeking out new connections and support systems outside their previous circle. This could mean joining new clubs or organizations, attending events related to personal interests, or even exploring online communities where they can connect with others going through similar experiences.

During this time of transition, it's crucial for those navigating post-divorce changes in their social circles to prioritize self-care and emotional well-being. Grief over lost friendships is normal and should be acknowledged; however, it's also essential not to dwell on what was lost but instead focus on building healthier relationships moving forward.

Communication plays a vital role when managing shared friendships after divorce. Openly discussing boundaries and expectations with mutual friends can help ensure everyone feels comfortable navigating these changing dynamics. It might mean setting guidelines for group gatherings or finding alternative ways to maintain individual connections without causing discomfort among all parties involved.

While rebuilding one's social circle may take time and effort, making new friends after divorce offers an opportunity for growth and expansion. Engaging in activities you enjoy or taking up hobbies can introduce you to like-minded individuals who share your interests—people who will appreciate you for who you are now rather than solely associating you with your past relationship.

Coping with Loss and Grief in Friendships

Divorce can bring about significant changes not only in our marital status but also in our social circles. One of the most challenging aspects of navigating these changes is coping with the loss and grief that can arise within friendships. Losing friends during divorce is a common experience, as some may feel compelled to take sides or distance themselves from the situation altogether.

The end of a marriage often brings feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion. And when close friends choose to separate themselves from us during this time, it can intensify these emotions even further. It's important to acknowledge and validate these feelings while understanding that each person deals with divorce differently.

Finding healthy ways to cope with the loss and grief associated with friendship changes is crucial for emotional well-being throughout the divorce process. This could involve seeking support from a therapist or counselor who specializes in divorce-related issues. Additionally, engaging in self-care activities such as exercise, journaling, or spending time in nature can help alleviate stress and promote healing.

It's natural to mourn the loss of friendships that were once meaningful parts of our lives. However, remember that change opens up space for new connections and opportunities for growth. 

Communication and Boundaries with Mutual Friends

When going through a divorce, it's common for friendships to be affected. This can particularly be challenging when you have mutual friends with your ex-spouse. Navigating the communication and boundaries with these mutual friends is essential for maintaining healthy relationships during this time.

First and foremost, open and honest communication is key. Be upfront about your feelings regarding the situation and express any concerns or boundaries you may have. Remember that your friends may also be struggling with how to navigate their relationship with both parties involved.

Setting clear boundaries is important in order to protect yourself emotionally. It's okay to let your friends know if there are certain topics or events that you would prefer not to discuss or participate in. Your true friends will understand and respect these boundaries.

It's also crucial to avoid putting pressure on mutual friends to choose sides or take on the role of mediator. Allow them the space to maintain their own individual relationships with each party involved without feeling caught in the middle.

In some cases, it may be necessary to limit contact or take a break from certain mutual friends who are unable or unwilling to respect your boundaries during this difficult time. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals who prioritize your well-being can make a world of difference.

Remember, navigating friendship dynamics after divorce takes time and patience. While some friendships may change or even fade away, others will grow stronger as they adapt alongside you through this transition period.

Making New Friends after Divorce

After going through a divorce, it's natural to feel like your social circle has been turned upside down. Friendships that were once shared with your ex-spouse may now become strained or even nonexistent. But don't fret! This is an opportunity for you to forge new connections and build a strong support system.

One way to make new friends after divorce is by getting involved in activities or hobbies that interest you. Joining clubs, taking classes, or participating in community events can help you meet like-minded individuals who share similar passions. Not only will this give you something enjoyable to do, but it also opens the door for potential friendships.

Another avenue worth exploring is online communities and social media groups focused on divorced individuals. These platforms provide a safe space where people can connect, share experiences, and offer support to one another. Engaging with others who have gone through similar challenges can be incredibly comforting and empowering.

Additionally, consider reaching out to existing acquaintances whom you've lost touch with over the years. Reconnecting with old friends can often lead to renewed connections and the chance to strengthen those relationships.

Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself when trying to make new friends post-divorce. Building authentic relationships takes time and effort from both parties involved. Be patient with yourself as well as others; friendship is a journey that unfolds naturally.

By actively seeking out new opportunities for connection, whether in person or online, you'll steadily create a network of supportive individuals who understand what you've been through – which is invaluable during times of transition like divorce.

Maintaining Healthy Friendships during and after Divorce

Divorce can be a challenging time, not just for couples but also for their friends. It's important to remember that while your relationship status may have changed, your friendships don't have to suffer. Here are some tips on how to maintain healthy friendships during and after divorce.

Communication is key. Be open and honest with your friends about what you're going through. Let them know if you need space or if you want their support. It's okay to lean on them during this difficult time.

Set boundaries with mutual friends. Some of your friends may feel caught in the middle or unsure of how to navigate the new dynamics. Make it clear that they don't have to choose sides and respect everyone's privacy.

Prioritize self-care and take care of yourself emotionally and physically. Surround yourself with positive influences who lift you up rather than bring you down. This might mean reaching out to new people or joining social groups where you can meet like-minded individuals.

Be understanding if some friendships change or fade away altogether. Not all relationships are meant to last forever, especially during major life transitions like divorce. Focus on nurturing the connections that bring joy into your life instead.

Remember, maintaining healthy friendships takes effort from both parties involved. Be patient with yourself and others as everyone adjusts to the changes brought about by divorce.

By following these tips, you can navigate the challenges of divorce while still maintaining strong bonds with those who matter most in your life - including supportive friends who will stand by your side no matter what.

Conclusion: Finding Support and Building a Strong Social Circle Post-Divorce

Finding support and building a strong social circle post-divorce can be a challenging but essential part of moving forward in your life. While the impact of divorce on friendships can be significant, there are ways to navigate these changes and cultivate new connections.

It's important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. Seek out support groups, therapy, or counseling services that specialize in helping individuals going through a divorce. They can provide guidance, empathy, and tools for coping with the changes in your social circles.

Additionally, prioritize self-care during this time. Focus on activities that bring you joy and allow you to explore new interests. By investing time in yourself, you'll naturally attract like-minded individuals who share similar passions.

When it comes to existing friendships affected by divorce, open communication is key. Talk openly with your friends about how the dynamic may have changed and what kind of support or understanding you need from them during this transition period. Setting boundaries when necessary is also crucial for maintaining healthy relationships.

Making new friends after divorce may feel intimidating at first but don't hesitate to put yourself out there! Join local clubs or organizations related to your hobbies or interests. Attend community events or classes where you can meet people who share similar values and experiences.

Consider seeking legal advice if needed as navigating the legal aspects of divorce can be overwhelming without professional guidance. The Barrows Firm is an experienced group of divorce lawyers led by Leslie Barrows specializing in family law matters including divorces.

Remember that rebuilding your social circle takes time and patience; don't rush the process. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends who understand and respect your journey will ultimately contribute to your healing process after a divorce.

Peaceful Divorce Solutions

Peaceful Partings: Exceptional Divorce Lawyer in Southlake for Amicable Settlements

November 14, 2023

Divorce is a complex and emotional journey, not just for the spouses but for the entire family involved. When children are a part of this equation, the process becomes even more sensitive. That's why finding the best divorce lawyer in Southlake for amicable settlements is crucial for parents aiming for a peaceful transition. This blog will guide those navigating separation, focusing on amicable resolutions that prioritize the well-being of the children. By choosing the path of amicability, parents can protect their children from the turmoil of contentious court battles and instead foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation.

Understanding the Legal Landscape: The Need for Expertise

The Significance of Legal Guidance

Before embarking on the divorce journey, it is imperative to understand the legal terrain. Divorce not only dissolves a marriage but also involves the division of assets, determination of child support, and custody arrangements. The best divorce attorney in Southlake can provide invaluable advice during this time, ensuring your rights are protected, and the process goes as smoothly as possible. They can also help you foresee potential issues and address them proactively, preventing unnecessary stress and legal complications.

Why Choose Amicable Settlements?

An amicable settlement is not just about ending a marriage with minimal conflict; it's about laying the groundwork for a cooperative, co-parenting relationship. This can significantly reduce the emotional stress on children and help them adjust better to the new family dynamics. An amicable approach can also pave the way for more flexible arrangements that align with the unique needs of your family, allowing for a tailored parenting plan that a court might not consider.

By fostering an atmosphere of understanding and collaboration, the divorce process can become a period of positive growth rather than just a time of separation. The best divorce lawyer in Southlake for amicable settlements will work diligently to ensure that both parties feel heard and respected, making it easier to reach mutually beneficial agreements. This approach not only eases the emotional burden on the children but can also lead to more sustainable and harmonious outcomes for everyone involved.

The Emotional Component: Children Amid Divorce

Supporting Your Children Through Divorce

Children often struggle with the changes that come with divorce. It's essential to create an environment where they feel secure and loved. Here are a few strategies:

  • Maintain open communication and reassure them of both parents' love.
  • Keep routines as consistent as possible to provide a sense of stability.
  • Protect them from parental conflicts and legal discussions.

Navigating the Legal Steps for Divorce in Southlake

Initial Considerations

The legal steps for divorce in Southlake begin with one spouse filing for divorce. The process involves several stages, from serving divorce papers to finalizing the divorce decree. Having a top-rated divorce lawyer in Southlake by your side can simplify these steps and help you understand your legal options. This support is invaluable, as it offers a strategic approach to asset division, financial settlements, and future co-parenting responsibilities. With a seasoned lawyer, you can navigate the complexities of legal requirements while focusing on what matters most — the future and well-being of your family.

Mediation and Negotiation

Many divorces are settled out of court through mediation or negotiation. These methods are less adversarial and can benefit parents concerned about their children's well-being. The role of your attorney is not just to represent you but to strive for a fair and peaceful resolution. They facilitate communication and compromise, helping to iron out a binding agreement that reflects the best interests of the entire family. Moreover, mediation and negotiation can set a precedent for future interactions, encouraging both parties to resolve disputes with civility and cooperation.

Mediation, in particular, empowers both spouses by giving them control over the outcome rather than leaving decisions in the hands of the court. Your lawyer's role is to provide you with the legal framework and advice to make informed decisions and to craft a settlement agreement that reflects the negotiated terms. They also ensure that any agreement is legally sound and enforceable, reducing the potential for conflicts in the future.

The Role of a Southlake Divorce Attorney

Expertise in Family Law

The best divorce lawyer in Southlake for amicable settlements will have a thorough understanding of Texas family law and how it applies to your situation. Their expertise can make a significant difference in achieving a settlement that respects the interests of all family members.

Focusing on the Family's Future

A Southlake divorce attorney doesn't just look at the legal aspects of your case; they also consider the emotional and long-term impact of divorce on your family. They can guide you in making decisions that support your children during and after the divorce.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition for Families

Collaborative Approach to Divorce

A collaborative approach involves both parties working with their lawyers to reach an agreement. This confidential process allows for more creative solutions that a court might not typically order. The outcome lies in the hands of the parties involved and not with a judge or jury. Additionally, collaborative divorce is a cost-and-time-saving alternative to the traditional model of litigation. Cases can generally be settled in a few months as opposed to 12 to 18 months of litigation, saving dramatically on attorney fees and the expense of experts (appraisers, accountants, therapists, etc.).

Preparing for a New Beginning

While the legal process of divorce is finite, life after divorce is a continuation. It's about creating new routines and traditions that honor the family structure in its new form.


Parents facing separation or divorce carry the weight of their children's futures in their decisions. The best divorce lawyer in Southlake for amicable settlements is pivotal in easing this transition. They not only provide legal counsel but also support families in restructuring in a way that minimizes the emotional toll on the children.

As you consider the next steps in your divorce, remember the value of a peaceful parting. At Barrows Law Firm, we understand the intricacies of divorce and its impact on families. We believe in helping our clients achieve resolutions that uphold the best interests of the entire family, especially the children.

If you are navigating these challenging waters, let Barrows Law Firm be the beacon that guides you to a new chapter. As a certified mediator with collaborative divorce training, Leslie Barrows is the best divorce attorney in Southlake, and our legal team is committed to supporting you through every legal step and emotional hurdle. Contact Barrows Law Firm to ensure your divorce is handled with the compassion and excellence your family deserves.

Barrows Firm assisting a Military Divorce

Navigating Military Divorce in Texas, A Comprehensive Guide with The Barrows Firm

November 9, 2023

Honoring Service and Securing Futures: The Barrows Firm's Expertise in Military Divorce for Texas Veterans

As we approach Veterans Day on November 10, it's crucial to address the unique challenges that military personnel and their families may face, especially when it comes to divorce. The Barrows Firm understands the intricacies of military divorce in Texas and is dedicated to providing expert guidance through this challenging process. This comprehensive guide delves into the key differences between military and regular divorce, shedding light on the complexities involved and how The Barrows Firm can assist you. Plus, in honor of Veterans Day, discover how we offer complimentary straightforward will planning to members of the military.

Military.com: Veterans Day Free Meals and Restaurant Deals

Attorney Leslie Barrows brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in handling and negotiating resolutions in military divorce cases. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges that military families face, Leslie Barrows combines legal expertise with a compassionate approach. Her extensive background in family law, coupled with specific knowledge of military regulations, allows her to navigate the complexities of military divorce with precision. Whether addressing the division of military benefits, tackling jurisdictional challenges, or crafting custody arrangements amidst deployments, Leslie Barrows employs a strategic and tailored approach for each case. Clients benefit from her legal insight and commitment to achieving fair and equitable resolutions, ensuring their rights and well-being are safeguarded throughout the divorce process.

Safeguarding the Best Interests of Children in Military Families: The Barrows Firm's Compassionate Approach

Military life challenges children, from frequent relocations to potential parent deployments. We understand the unique needs of children in military families and are committed to prioritizing their best interests throughout the divorce process. Recognizing the potential disruptions caused by relocations and the emotional toll of parent deployments, The Barrows Firm takes a compassionate approach to address these concerns. Attorney Leslie Barrows and her team work diligently to create child custody and visitation arrangements that provide stability and support, taking into account the specific experiences of children in military families. By tailoring legal strategies to meet the unique needs of each family, The Barrows Firm ensures that the children's best interests are protected and nurtured, fostering a positive and stable environment amidst the challenges of military life.

Key Differences in Military Divorce

Jurisdictional Challenges:

Military personnel often relocate frequently due to deployments or reassignments. This can complicate matters when determining jurisdiction for divorce proceedings. Texas, home to numerous military bases, has specific rules regarding residency requirements. The Barrows Firm is well-versed in these nuances, ensuring a smooth legal process.

Division of Military Benefits:

One significant difference in a military divorce is the benefits division, including pensions, healthcare, and housing allowances. Understanding the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) is crucial. The Barrows Firm has extensive experience navigating these complex regulations to secure fair and equitable divisions.

Deployment and Custody Issues:

Deployments can create unique challenges in child custody arrangements. The Barrows Firm recognizes the importance of crafting flexible and realistic parenting plans that accommodate the unpredictable nature of military service. Our family law attorneys diligently protect our client's rights and the children's interests.

In the realm of military divorce, addressing child custody and visitation arrangements in Texas requires a nuanced understanding of the challenges unique to military families. The Barrows Firm, under the leadership of Attorney Leslie Barrows, excels in navigating these complexities with precision and empathy. Whether dealing with frequent relocations due to deployments or crafting flexible parenting plans to accommodate the unpredictable nature of military service, The Barrows Firm is dedicated to safeguarding the children's best interests. Leslie Barrows and her team work tirelessly to create tailored legal strategies that consider the specific circumstances of military life, ensuring that child custody and visitation arrangements are both legally sound and practical, and sustainable for the entire family.

Perspectives in an American Bar Association Article: Custody During Deployment

Time Constraints:

Military divorce cases often require expedited processes due to deployment timelines. The Barrows Firm understands the urgency and efficiently manages timelines to ensure timely resolutions, providing peace of mind for our clients during challenging circumstances.

Emotional Toll:

Military life can be emotionally taxing, and divorce adds a layer of stress. The Barrows Firm approaches each case with empathy and understanding, offering emotional support alongside legal expertise. We prioritize our clients' well-being throughout the entire process.

Highlighting The Barrows Firm's Expertise

Experienced Family Law Attorneys:

Our team of family law attorneys at The Barrows Firm possesses extensive experience in military divorce cases. We stay abreast of ever-changing laws and regulations to provide the best possible representation for our clients.

Tailored Legal Strategies:

Recognizing that each military divorce case is unique, The Barrows Firm develops tailored legal strategies to address individual needs. Our client-centric approach ensures personalized attention and practical solutions.

Complimentary Simple Will Planning:

In honor of Veterans Day, The Barrows Firm proudly offers complimentary straightforward will planning to military members. We understand the importance of planning for the future, and our experienced attorneys are here to assist military personnel in securing their legacies.

Navigating a military divorce in Texas requires specialized knowledge and expertise. The Barrows Firm stands as a pillar of support for military personnel and their families, offering comprehensive legal guidance through the complexities of divorce. As we celebrate Veterans Day, we extend our gratitude by providing complimentary straightforward will planning to those who have served our country: trust and Contact Barrows Firm to handle your military divorce with care, compassion, and unparalleled expertise.

family divorce

Navigating Family Courts in Texas: What to Expect

October 26, 2023

Navigating the Texas Family Court System: What to Expect and How to Protect Your Privacy

Understanding the process and what to expect is crucial when navigating Texas' family law and system. Whether you're facing divorce, child custody issues, or other family-related legal matters, this guide provides essential information to help you through the process. This article covers necessary topics to ensure you're well-prepared for your Texas family court system journey.

Southlake family lawyer Leslie Barrows and her colleagues at the Barrows Firm advise and represent Texas families preparing for one of the most significant and emotionally impactful events a family can experience. As humans, our anxiety is turned up by insecurity and uncertainty. And when nothing is more uncertain than our family's future, it becomes important to use the best and most experienced family lawyer you can find. At the Barrows Firm, we know what you are up against, and we've seen your issues before and know how to create the right custom strategy to meet your goals.  

Search for Answers to Common Questions in the Barrows Blog Section of the Barrows Firm Website

Please read our Article: Divorcing with Children 105: How to Prepare for Court

Understanding the Texas Family Court System

The Texas family court system deals with various legal matters related to family issues, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. To help you better understand what to expect when going to family courts in Texas, we'll break down the process into the following key areas:

1. Filing for Divorce in Texas

When filing for divorce in Texas, be prepared to follow these steps:

Residency Requirements: You or your spouse must have been a Texas resident for at least six months before filing.

Petition for Divorce: One spouse will file a Petition for Divorce, outlining the grounds for divorce (no-fault or fault-based).

Temporary Orders: Temporary orders may address issues like child custody and support while the divorce is pending.

Mediation: Many Texas counties require mediation to resolve disputes before trial.

2. Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody decisions in Texas focus on the best interests of the child. Expect the following when dealing with child custody issues:

Standard Possession Order: Texas follows a Standard Possession Order schedule for visitation, but this can be customized based on the family's needs.

Mediation: Mediation is often required to help parents agree on custody and visitation arrangements.

Child's Wishes: The court may consider A child's preferences, especially if they are 12 or older.

3. Child Support in Texas

Child support is calculated based on the non-custodial parent's income and other factors. Here's what to expect:

Child Support Guidelines: Texas provides guidelines for calculating child support, considering the number of children and the non-custodial parent's income.

Modification: Child support orders can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances.

Enforcement: The state has strict enforcement measures to ensure compliance with child support orders.

4. Spousal Support/Maintenance (Alimony)

Spousal support, or alimony, may be awarded in some cases. Here's what to know:

Eligibility: The court considers factors such as the length of the marriage and financial need when awarding alimony.

Duration: Alimony can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances.

Modification and Termination: Alimony orders can be modified or terminated under certain conditions.

5. Property Division

Property division in Texas follows community property laws. Key points include:

Community Property: Most assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are subject to division.

Separate Property: Property owned before marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance is typically considered separate property.

Equitable Division: The court aims for a fair and equitable distribution, which doesn't always mean a 50/50 split.

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Dressing for Success in Court

When appearing in a Texas family court, paying attention to your attire is essential. Dressing appropriately shows respect for the legal process and helps you make a positive impression. Aim for conservative, business-like attire. Men should consider wearing a suit or dress slacks with a dress shirt and tie, while women may opt for a professional pantsuit or a knee-length skirt and blouse. Avoid flashy or revealing clothing, as this may detract from the seriousness of the proceedings. Dressing neatly and conservatively can help convey your professionalism and commitment to the matter, whether it's a divorce, child custody, or any other family court issue.

Preparing for Your Family Court Case

To navigate family courts in Texas effectively, being well-prepared is essential. Here's what you can do:

1. Hire an Experienced Attorney

Hiring a family law attorney with experience in Texas family courts is highly recommended. They can provide invaluable guidance, represent your interests, and help you understand the complexities of the legal process. Experience means things get done right the first time, and that's worth it.

2. Gather Documents and Information

Collect all relevant documents, such as financial records, communication records, and other evidence related to your case. This will be crucial in building your case. Get as much information together as possible. We can use discovery tools to obtain what you may not have.

3. Attend Mediation

Be prepared to participate in mediation if required. This often leads to a more amicable resolution, especially in child custody and visitation matters. Do not worry if the opposing party tries to screw up mediation, we can address that.

4. Understand Court Procedures

Familiarize yourself with the court's procedures, timelines, and local rules or requirements. This can help prevent unnecessary delays. Remember, the more accomplished out of court, the better, for many reasons.

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Dealing with Unexpected Outcomes

In the Texas family court, it's crucial to be prepared for the possibility that things may not always go as planned. Legal proceedings can be unpredictable, and court decisions may not align with your expectations. When faced with an unfavorable outcome, it's essential to maintain composure and consider your options. Your attorney can guide you on the next steps, including appealing the decision, seeking mediation, or negotiating a different arrangement.

Remember that family court matters can be emotionally charged, and unexpected outcomes can be challenging to accept. It's advisable to rely on the support of family and friends during these times, and if needed, consider seeking the assistance of a therapist or counselor to help you cope with the emotional impact. Remember that family court is designed to provide a fair resolution, and even if things don't initially go your way, there are often avenues for recourse and adjustment.

Key Takeaways

Navigating family courts in Texas can be challenging, but being informed and prepared is the key to a smoother process. Here are some key takeaways:

Texas family courts handle various family-related legal matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.

Texas follows specific guidelines and procedures for divorce, child custody, and support, which are essential to understand.

Hiring an experienced family law attorney is highly recommended for expert guidance.

Preparation, including gathering necessary documents and information, can make a significant difference to the outcome of your case.

Remember, each family court case is unique, and outcomes can vary. While this guide provides a broad overview of what to expect when going to court in your family law case, consulting with a legal professional for personalized advice is crucial. Your attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of your specific case and work toward the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Schedule Your Consultation Today and Get Ready to Navigate Family Courts in Texas with Your Experienced Family Law Guides at the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas

Parents Navigating Separation

Southlake Divorce and Family Law: Guidance for Parents Navigating Separation

October 23, 2023

Navigating a divorce can be a complex and emotional journey, especially when children are involved. While parents may be dealing with their emotions, it's essential to understand and manage the feelings and needs of their children. In this guide, we'll provide key guidance for parents in Southlake undergoing a separation and highlight the importance of seeking expert advice from a Southlake Divorce Attorney.

1. Understanding the Impact on Children

Emotional Transition

Children often feel various emotions during a divorce, from confusion to anger, sadness, or guilt. It's common for them to believe they are somehow responsible for the situation. Acknowledging their feelings and providing them with a safe space to express themselves is crucial. Reminding them that both parents love them and that the divorce isn't their fault is vital.

Age-Specific Responses

Children's understanding and response to divorce vary based on their age. Younger children might need more reassurance, often fearing abandonment, while teenagers may seek independence or act out. They might also harbor resentment or choose sides. Addressing these feelings according to their age and maturity level is essential, ensuring they feel seen and heard.

2. Seeking Expert Advice for Divorce in Southlake

Why Expertise Matters?

Navigating the legalities of divorce can be daunting. A Southlake Divorce Law Firm offers legal expertise and understands the emotional dynamics involved. By bringing a wealth of knowledge, they can protect your rights and ensure the best interests of your children, helping you pave a smoother road for your family.

The Role of Southlake Divorce Law Experts

While many attorneys might claim proficiency in family law, only a select few truly specialize. Southlake Divorce Law Experts have extensive experience and training, understanding the nuances of family law in the region. With their guidance, you can make informed decisions tailored to your unique situation and the local legal landscape.

3. Supporting Children During the Transition

Open Communication

Maintain an open line of communication with your children. This doesn’t mean inundating them with every detail but ensuring they know the broad strokes and feel secure. Encourage them to share their feelings and questions. Ensure their thoughts and concerns are valid, and you're there to listen and support them.

Maintain Consistency

Even as the family structure changes, keeping a routine can provide children stability during significant upheaval. As much as possible, stick to familiar routines, like bedtime stories or Sunday family dinners. Such consistency is an anchor, making the transition less jarring for them.

Seek Professional Support

Consider counseling or therapy sessions for your children. Professionals can offer coping strategies, helping children articulate their feelings and fears. Additionally, having a neutral third party allows children a safe space to process their feelings without fearing judgment or causing more family distress.

4. The Value of Southlake's Best Divorce Attorney

Regarding divorce, especially in Southlake, having the best representation is paramount. An attorney's advice can ensure you're making informed decisions every step of the way. It's more than just the legal proceedings; it's about ensuring the well-being of your family during this challenging time.

5. Co-Parenting: The Collaborative Approach

Setting Boundaries

In the aftermath of a divorce, establishing clear boundaries concerns, logistical concerns and emotional well-being. Creating a parenting schedule, deciding on decision-making responsibilities, and setting ground rules for communication will clarify and reduce potential conflicts. A well-defined boundary ensures that children don't become messengers or mediators between parents.

Keeping Children First

While emotions can run high post-divorce, it's crucial to compartmentalize personal disagreements from parenting responsibilities. Always prioritize the children's needs. Their emotional and physical well-being should be at the forefront. Remember that every decision made impacts them directly or indirectly.

Open Dialogue with Ex-Partner

Though challenging, maintaining an open dialogue with your ex-partner is crucial. Regular check-ins, setting aside personal differences, and focusing on the children's best interests ensure consistent care. An aligned strategy helps children adapt better to the new family structure.

6. Financial Implications and Child Support

Understanding Child Support

Child support isn't just a monetary obligation; it's a commitment to your child's well-being. Familiarize yourself with Southlake regulations, and be proactive in understanding the financial expectations. Having clarity on how payments are determined can reduce disputes down the line.

Protecting Your Child's Future

Divorce might alter some family goals, but your child's future aspirations should remain a priority. Beyond immediate child support, set up plans for long-term expenses, such as college education, medical needs, or hobbies. A joint financial vision can aid in smoother planning.

Collaborating on Expenses

Ensuring your child's needs are met requires collaboration. Transparency in sharing child-related expenses prevents misunderstandings. Set up systems, joint accounts or shared apps to efficiently track and manage these expenses.

7. Rebuilding and Moving On

Personal Healing

Healing is about moving on and understanding and processing what happened. Post-divorce, indulge in self-care, seek therapy, and join communities or support groups that resonate with your experiences. Surrounding yourself with understanding individuals can offer a supportive environment.

Introducing New Partners

Children's emotions can be fragile post-divorce. When considering introducing a new partner, be patient. Communicate with your children, gauge their feelings, and ensure that the introduction happens in a neutral, comfortable setting, minimizing potential stressors.

Building a New Normal

Life post-divorce is an adjustment. Take it step by step, re-establish routines, and create new traditions. Whether it's a new bedtime routine, weekly movie nights, or holiday traditions, these create a sense of familiarity and belonging for your children. Over time, these routines cement the foundation of a new, loving household dynamic.


Divorce is never an easy decision or process, especially when children are involved. Parents can make the journey smoother with the right guidance and support for everyone involved. By understanding the emotional impact on children, seeking the expertise of a Southlake Divorce Law Firm, and taking steps to support children during the transition, parents can help mitigate the challenges of this life-changing event. Remember, it's always beneficial to have experts by your side. Consider contacting Barrows Law Firm, known for being among the best in Southlake Divorce and Family Law. Their dedicated team can offer the support and guidance you need during this challenging period.

Legal Separation

Legal Separation vs. Divorce: What You Need to Know

October 17, 2023

If you find yourself at a crossroads in your relationship and are contemplating your options, you've come to the right place. Understanding the differences between legal separation and divorce is crucial when making such an important decision. 

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why individuals choose one path over the other, delve into the processes involved, consider financial implications, examine how it can impact children, weigh up the pros and cons of each option, and ultimately help guide you towards making an informed choice that suits your unique circumstances. 

Understanding the Difference: Legal Separation vs. Divorce

When it comes to the realm of legal separation and divorce, it's essential to grasp the fundamental distinctions between these two paths. Legal separation entails a formal agreement between spouses that allows them to live separately while still remaining legally married. This option provides some breathing space and time for reflection, as well as potential benefits such as access to healthcare or tax advantages.

On the other hand, divorce is a permanent dissolution of marriage in the eyes of the law. It involves ending all legal ties with your spouse and moving forward as individuals. Divorce often requires more extensive legal proceedings than legal separation, including division of assets, child custody arrangements, and potentially spousal support payments.

The decision between pursuing a legal separation or opting for divorce hinges on various factors unique to each individual situation. Some may choose legal separation if they are not yet ready for a final termination of their marriage but require physical or emotional distance from their partner. Others may opt for divorce when there is no hope or desire for reconciliation and wish to start anew.

Understanding the difference between legal separation and divorce empowers you with knowledge so that you can make an informed choice based on your specific circumstances and needs. Remember, this decision should be made thoughtfully and considerately – after all, it will shape your future path forward both personally and legally.

Reasons for Choosing a Legal Separation

When it comes to the decision of whether to pursue a legal separation or a divorce, there are various factors that individuals must consider. Legal separation can be an attractive option for couples who want to take some time apart without completely ending their marriage.

One reason why some couples choose legal separation is because they hope that time apart will allow them to work through their differences and potentially reconcile in the future. This approach provides an opportunity for personal growth and reflection while maintaining certain legal protections.

Another common reason for choosing a legal separation is financial considerations. In many cases, spouses may rely on each other's income or benefits such as health insurance coverage. By legally separating instead of divorcing, these financial benefits can often still be maintained.

Legal separation also offers advantages when it comes to child custody arrangements. Parents who opt for this route can establish formal agreements regarding child support, visitation schedules, and decision-making authority while still technically remaining married.

For some individuals, religious or cultural beliefs play a significant role in their decision to pursue legal separation rather than divorce. These couples may feel more comfortable adhering to the guidelines of their faith or culture by legally separating rather than dissolving their marriage entirely.

It's important to note that every situation is unique, and what works for one couple may not work for another. Consulting with a knowledgeable Divorce attorney like Leslie Barrows at Barrows Firm can provide valuable guidance on which option may best suit your specific circumstances

Reasons for Choosing a Divorce

When it comes to deciding between legal separation and divorce, there are various reasons why individuals may choose the latter option. While every situation is unique, here are some common reasons people may opt for a divorce.

1. Irreconcilable Differences: Sometimes, couples simply grow apart over time and find that they have fundamental differences that cannot be resolved. This can lead to feelings of unhappiness and frustration within the marriage.

2. Infidelity: One of the most devastating breaches of trust in a relationship is infidelity. When one partner cheats on the other, it often leads to irreparable damage and an inability to rebuild trust.

3. Abuse or Domestic Violence: In cases where there is physical, emotional, or verbal abuse within a marriage, divorce may be necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of both parties involved.

4. Lack of Communication: Effective communication is crucial in any relationship. If spouses struggle with open dialogue or find themselves constantly arguing without resolution, it may indicate deeper issues that cannot be resolved through separation alone.

5. Financial Problems: Financial strain can put tremendous pressure on a marriage and cause significant stress for both partners involved. If efforts to address financial issues prove unsuccessful, divorce may become an inevitable choice.

It's essential to remember that choosing divorce should never be taken lightly as it involves significant emotional turmoil and potential long-term consequences.

Remember if you need assistance during your decision-making process or navigating through complex legal procedures associated with divorce contact us at 817.481.1583

The Process of Legal Separation and Divorce

The process of legal separation and divorce can differ in various aspects, but both involve legal proceedings that aim to dissolve a marriage or partnership. Understanding the steps involved in each process is crucial for anyone considering either option.

In a legal separation, couples live apart while still being legally married. This allows them to establish guidelines regarding child custody, support payments, division of assets and debts, and spousal support. The process typically begins with filing a petition for legal separation with the court.

For divorce proceedings, the first step is usually filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. This starts the formal process of ending the marital union. Both parties will need to provide relevant documentation related to their finances, children (if applicable), and any disputes they may have regarding property division or spousal support.

Once all necessary paperwork has been filed and served to the other party involved, negotiations or mediation may occur to reach an agreement on key issues such as child custody and division of assets. If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation or mediation, then litigation becomes necessary.

During this stage, both parties present their arguments before a judge who will make decisions on unresolved matters based on state laws and evidence presented in court hearings.

It's important to note that each jurisdiction may have its own specific requirements when it comes to legal separation or divorce processes. Consulting with a qualified attorney specializing in family law can help ensure individuals navigate these procedures effectively while protecting their rights throughout the entire process.

By understanding what is involved in each step of legal separation and divorce proceedings, individuals can make informed decisions about which path best suits their unique circumstances - whether it's pursuing a legal separation agreement or proceeding with full-scale divorce proceedings.

Financial Considerations in Legal Separation and Divorce

When it comes to legal separation or divorce, financial considerations play a significant role. Both processes involve the division of assets, debts, and determining support arrangements. It's essential to have a clear understanding of your financial situation before proceeding.

During legal separation or divorce, you'll need to gather all relevant financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, and investment portfolios. This will help determine the value of marital assets and debts that need to be divided equitably.

In a legal separation, spouses can still maintain joint accounts or file taxes jointly if they choose. However, in divorce cases, these joint financial arrangements are typically terminated.

The division of property is another critical aspect during this process. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage such as homes, vehicles, and investments. Debts accumulated during the marriage will also be considered.

Child support and alimony are additional factors that impact finances when there are children involved. Child support payments usually depend on each parent's income level and custodial arrangement. Alimony payments may be determined based on one spouse's ability to pay and the other spouse's need for financial assistance.

It’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in family law matters like Barrows Firm for guidance throughout this complex process. We can provide expert advice on how best to protect your interests while ensuring fair outcomes regarding your finances.

Remember that every case is unique; therefore, it’s crucial not only to consider short-term implications but also long-term consequences when making decisions about your finances during legal separation or divorce proceedings.

Impact on Children in Legal Separation and Divorce

When parents decide to separate or get divorced, it undoubtedly has a profound impact on their children. The emotional and psychological effects can be significant, even if parents try their best to shield them from the turmoil.

Children may experience feelings of confusion, sadness, anger, and anxiety as they navigate through this difficult transition. They may blame themselves for their parents' separation or divorce, thinking that they somehow caused it. It's crucial for parents to reassure their children that the decision is not their fault.

The stability of a child's routine can also be disrupted during legal separation or divorce proceedings. Changes in living arrangements and custody agreements can leave children feeling unsettled and uncertain about what the future holds.

Moreover, ongoing conflicts between parents can have long-lasting negative effects on children's mental health and overall well-being. Witnessing arguments or being caught in the middle of disputes can create stress and tension for young ones who are already struggling with the changes brought by separation or divorce.

However, it's important to note that not all outcomes are negative. In some cases, legal separation or divorce provides relief from toxic environments where conflict was constant. It can offer an opportunity for healthier relationships within two separate households.

To mitigate the impact on children during this challenging time, open communication is vital. Parents should encourage kids to express themselves honestly while ensuring they feel loved unconditionally by both mom and dad.

Pros and Cons of Legal Separation and Divorce

Legal separation and divorce are two options that couples may consider when their relationship reaches a point of no return. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, which should be carefully weighed before making a decision.

One advantage of legal separation is the ability to retain certain benefits that come with marriage, such as health insurance coverage or tax benefits. It also allows couples to live separately while still remaining legally married. This can provide some emotional stability for both parties during a difficult time.

On the other hand, divorce provides the finality that many individuals seek when ending a marriage. It allows for a complete dissolution of the marital relationship, freeing both parties to move on with their lives independently.

Financial considerations play a significant role in deciding between legal separation and divorce. With legal separation, couples may still share financial responsibilities, including debts incurred during the marriage. In contrast, divorce typically involves dividing assets and liabilities more definitively.

When it comes to children, legal separation may offer some advantages in terms of maintaining stability for them by keeping both parents involved in their lives on an ongoing basis. However, divorce can also provide an opportunity for each parent to establish separate households where they can focus on providing stable environments for their children.

It is important to note that every situation is unique, so what works well for one couple may not be suitable for another. It is crucial to consult with professionals like Barrows Firm who specialize in family law matters before deciding whether legal separation or divorce is the best option given your circumstances.

Making the Decision: Which is Right for You?

Deciding between legal separation and divorce can be a challenging and deeply personal choice. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, including your individual circumstances, goals, and priorities.

One important factor to consider is the level of commitment you still have towards your relationship. If you believe there's a chance for reconciliation or want to take time apart without ending the marriage legally, then legal separation might be the right option for you. It provides an opportunity to work on issues while maintaining some legal protections.

On the other hand, if you're certain that your marriage is irreparable or if there are significant issues such as abuse or infidelity that make staying in the relationship unbearable, then divorce may be necessary. Divorce allows for a clean break and gives both parties the freedom to move on with their lives independently.

Financial considerations also play a crucial role in this decision-making process. Legal separation allows couples to maintain certain financial benefits like health care coverage or tax filing status while undergoing separate lives. In contrast, divorce involves dividing assets and debts more permanently but can provide a fresh start financially.

The impact on children should always be at the forefront of any decision involving marital status changes. Both legal separation and divorce can have emotional consequences for children involved. However, it's essential to weigh those potential effects against any existing conflict within the household.

Determining whether legal separation or divorce is right for you requires careful consideration of all these factors and consulting with professionals such as experienced family law attorneys from Barrows Firm who specialize in divorce cases before making any decisions about your future.


In the end, whether you choose a legal separation or a divorce depends on your unique circumstances and goals. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to carefully consider all factors before making a decision. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney, such as the Barrows Firm in Southlake, TX, can provide valuable guidance and support throughout this process.

Remember that legal separation allows you to maintain certain benefits of marriage while living separate lives. It may be ideal for those who hope for reconciliation or wish to maintain financial stability without dissolving their marriage completely. On the other hand, divorce provides a clean break from your spouse legally and emotionally.

Financial considerations play a significant role in both legal separation and divorce proceedings. Division of assets, debts, and alimony/maintenance payments must be carefully negotiated or determined by the court.

The impact on children is also an important consideration when deciding between legal separation and divorce. A well-thought-out parenting plan can help mitigate disruptions in children's lives during this challenging time.

Seeking professional advice from skilled attorneys specializing in family law like those at the Barrows Firm is crucial to fully understanding your rights and making informed decisions about your future.

So if you find yourself facing marital difficulties or contemplating ending your marriage altogether, remember that there are resources available to guide you through this complex process. The compassionate team at Barrows Firm can assist you every step of the way while providing personalized attention tailored to your specific needs.

Whether you opt for legal separation or decide that divorce is necessary, know that there is support available during these challenging times. Remember to prioritize self-care as you navigate through the emotional turmoil associated with ending a relationship.

At the end of it all, what matters most is finding peace and moving forward towards a happier future - whatever path that may lead down.

Racing the clock

Expedite Your Texas Divorce in 2023: A Guide to Meeting the Deadline

October 12, 2023

Expedite Your Texas Divorce in 2023 - Meeting the Deadline with the Barrows Firm in Southlake

Are you looking to expedite Texas divorce proceedings to get divorced by the end of 2023? This article will provide valuable insights and tips to help you meet the 2023 divorce deadline and put your divorce on the fast track. We'll explore actions clients can take to ensure a swift and efficient divorce process in the Lone Star State. The filing of the divorce petition formally commences the divorce process. The Texas Family Code prescribes that the divorce may not be granted before the 60th day after the date the divorce was filed. If you want to be divorced before the end of 2023, it's important to act now and get a petition on file 60 days before your deadline for this article, the year's end.

Finalizing a divorce before the end of the calendar year offers several financial advantages. It allows you to file taxes as a single person for the entire year, simplifies your filing status, and may enable the deduction of alimony payments if your divorce was completed before December 31, 2023. Additionally, it can influence the tax consequences of property division and provide a sense of financial independence and closure as you start a new year. Consulting with legal and financial professionals is crucial to understand how these benefits apply to your circumstances.

At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Attorney Leslie Barrows and her team of attorneys, paralegals, and collateral business professionals can assist families with all the legal, financial, and property aspects of divorce and managing a family while preserving assets for the future. When getting your divorce finished before the end of the year matters, the Barrows Firm can help your family meet your deadlines, so long as everyone is on the same page. Saving our limited time and resources is always in style. There are no guarantees, however, and your opposing counsel and soon-to-be ex-spouse can either be on the same track, or they can slow you down. The right strategy is necessary; sometimes, finding the proper leverage helps people get things done.

Early Preparation is Key

Start preparing for your divorce as early as possible. Gather all necessary documents, such as financial records, property documents, and other relevant paperwork. Being organized from the outset will save you time and reduce potential delays. At the Barrows Firm, we are used to helping families with complex divorce and child custody situations.

Choose the Right Attorney

Selecting the right divorce attorney is crucial. Look for an attorney specializing in Texas family law and with experience expediting divorce proceedings. They can guide you through the process and make it as smooth as possible. Leslie Barrows and her team have many years of experience with complex property and child custody needs at the Barrows Firm in Southlake. That experience means that Barrows Firm attorneys are accustomed to high-pressure divorce situations when things need to happen within deadlines.

No-Fault Divorce

Consider opting for a no-fault divorce, often quicker than a fault-based divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you don't need to prove that your spouse did something wrong to cause the divorce. Meanwhile, there are reasons that a fault ground for divorce can be alleged in your initial petition, and amore significant share of the marital assets can be sought in connection with the fault-based grounds.

Mediation or Collaboration

Is a Collaborative Divorce the Right Option for You?

Explore mediation or collaborative divorce processes. These alternative dispute resolution methods can expedite the divorce process, as they promote cooperation and reduce the need for lengthy court battles. Mediation, done correctly, focuses on determining the highly contested issues so that the other matters in which the parties can reach an agreement do not hold up the process. So, getting most of the property and financial issues disposed of in mediation saves the Court time for the challenging issues.

Create a Clear Marital Settlement Agreement

Work with your attorney to draft a comprehensive marital settlement agreement. This document outlines how you'll divide property, handle child custody, and manage other aspects of the divorce. Having a clear agreement can prevent disputes and delays. In Texas, you can also divorce with a Mediated Settlement Agreement.

A Mediated Settlement Agreement in Texas is a legally binding contract that results from a mediated negotiation process between parties in a legal dispute, typically used in family law cases. It outlines the terms and resolutions agreed upon by the parties, often related to issues like child custody, visitation, property division, and spousal support. It is submitted to the court for approval to become part of the final court order, helping to resolve the legal dispute without a trial.

Communication is Key

Communication Tips for Divorce—Even If Communication Failed in Marriage

Maintain open and transparent communication with your spouse throughout the process. If you agree on the divorce terms, it can proceed more quickly. Frequent and effective communication is vital to achieving this. Remember, at any point in the process, the opposing party can derail all your best efforts, and you could miss your end-of-year divorce final deadline. If this happens and is not done in good faith, there are options to seek compensation from the other party.

Expedited Filing

File your divorce petition promptly. In Texas, the 2023deadline necessitates swift action. Ensure all required documents are accurate and complete so there are no delays due to errors or missing information. Having done all your homework in advance, you ideally have given your divorce attorney the necessary information so they can prepare the proper divorce petition.

Temporary Orders

Consider seeking temporary orders for issues like child custody and spousal support. These orders can provide stability during divorce and prevent disputes from dragging out the proceedings. In Texas, the temporary orders hearing determines who will live where and who will pay for what during the divorce process. In many cases, the terms of the temporary orders carryover into the final divorce order and judgment. Getting things done right at the temporary orders hearing is essential and not to be taken lightly.

Attend All Required Court Dates

Make sure you attend all court hearings and meetings related to your divorce. Missing these appointments can lead to delays and setbacks in the process. To ensure there are no missed court dates, your divorce attorney and staff must work diligently to ensure everyone has the information they need to prepare for and appear in court at all required Court dates. Good communication among attorneys is vital, especially when the opposing counsel may have a busy Court calendar.

Child Custody and Support

Divorcing with Children 102: Child Custody

Child custody and support can be complex, but an agreement with your spouse can expedite the process. Consider working with a mediator to resolve these issues amicably. If you can avoid a custody battle, you may find yourselves ahead of the game in co-parenting. Determining child custody and living situation sets the tone for the future. Although your children should not be directly involved, they may still notice that their parents are getting along well or are prepared for battle at every moment.

Financial Disclosures

Both parties must provide complete financial disclosures. Failing to do so can lead to delays and legal consequences. Ensure all financial records are complete and accurate. Your divorce lawyer cannot get you what you want and need if they don't have the whole financial picture. Now, remember that not everyone has access to all the financial information, which is what the discovery process is for, and discovery can be done expeditiously.

Divorce Education Programs

In Texas, completing a divorce education program is mandatory in some cases. Ensure you meet this requirement promptly to avoid delays. There are various divorce education program options, and your attorneys can help find one that makes sense and works with your deadlines.

Finalize the Divorce Decree

Work closely with your attorney to finalize the divorce decree, which contains the court's orders regarding your divorce. Once it's ready, file it promptly to complete the process. At the Barrows Firm, you are in the well-experienced care of Attorney Leslie Barrows, and she helps her clients make sure everything is lined up right to finalize the divorce decree before the final day of the year if that is your objective.

Seek Professional Guidance

5 Benefits of Working With a Divorce Coach

Consider seeking the assistance of a divorce coach or therapist to help you navigate divorce's emotional and psychological aspects. This can help you stay focused and expedite the process. So much of the unraveling of a family is stressful and can make it hard for good people to make simple decisions. Nobody wants to get it wrong when their family is on the line. The right people helping in the process make it better for everyone.

Meeting the 2023 divorce deadline in Texas requires careful planning, efficient communication, and a strategic approach. Choosing the right attorney and following these tips can expedite your divorce, ensuring you meet the deadline and move forward with your life.

By following these guidelines, you can streamline the divorce process, minimize complications, and ensure you meet the 2023 deadline in Texas. Early preparation, clear communication, and cooperation are key to putting your divorce on the fast track.

Get Your Divorce On Your Timing and Terms with Help from the Barrows Firm in Southlake

Supporting Kids Through Divorce

Supporting Kids Through Separation and Divorce

October 9, 2023

Going through a separation or divorce is emotionally taxing, especially when children are in the mix. Such transitions can bring about numerous uncertainties and anxieties. However, this daunting journey can be made less turbulent with the proper guidance, unwavering support, and expert legal advice. If you find yourself on this path, this blog aims to serve as your compass, ensuring that amidst the chaos, your child's well-being remains paramount.

1. Understand the Importance of Legal Expertise

Choosing Southlake's Best Divorce Attorney

Southlake, Texas, boasts an impressive roster of accomplished attorneys. However, divorce is a specialty in itself, and you would want the best hands-on deck for your case. You prioritize your child's best interests by selecting a Top-Rated Divorce Lawyer in Southlake. These experts, well-versed with the nuances of family laws in Southlake, play a pivotal role in ensuring that both parties arrive at an equitable agreement. This is especially crucial regarding delicate matters like child custody and support.

Why Seek Expertise?

Getting the Expert Advice for Divorce in Southlake isn’t just about legalities; it's about ensuring a smoother transition for everyone involved. A knowledgeable attorney can streamline the process, reducing potential animosities and ensuring that the children aren’t caught in extended legal battles, which could traumatize them further.

2. Talk to Your Kids: The Right Way

In their innocence, children might grapple with understanding the seismic shifts happening in their lives. Communicating with them is essential and must be done with immense care and sensitivity. Here’s a guideline:

Be Honest but Gentle: Beyond just stating facts, try to empathize with their perspective. Share that adults sometimes need to make hard choices, but that doesn't diminish their love for their children.

Reassure Them: Remind them that while certain things change, your love for them is unchanging and ever-present. Let them know they're not alone in this.

Encourage Openness: Foster an environment where they feel safe to express their emotions. Sometimes, just knowing they're heard can be therapeutic for them.

3. Maintain Consistency

Change can be unsettling, especially for children. Maintaining a consistent routine is a beacon of stability in their disrupted world. Engaging in familiar activities, like their favorite bedtime story or weekend outing, offers solace. Moreover, if feasible, aim to keep them in their familiar environment – the same school, neighborhood, and circle of friends. This can tremendously help in grounding them during these turbulent times.

4. Protect Them from Conflict

Children are incredibly perceptive, often picking up on tensions even when we believe they're shielded from them. Exposing them to the disagreements and conflicts between parents can deeply scar their emotional psyche. Such discord should never be aired in front of them. Moreover, involving Southlake's Best Divorce Attorney can offer a neutral ground and a balanced perspective, ensuring that conversations remain productive and civil. They can provide strategies to manage disputes away from the watchful eyes of young ones, allowing them to retain a sense of security.

5. Seek Counseling if Needed

No child processes divorce the same way. While some might appear resilient, others could internalize their emotions. Recognizing when they need a helping hand is paramount. Professional therapists and counselors can offer coping mechanisms tailored to the child's needs. It's crucial to understand that reaching out for such assistance isn’t an admission of failure; it's a testament to the lengths you'll go to ensure your child's emotional well-being.

6. Stay Positive

The emotional landscape of a household undergoing divorce can be tumultuous. However, even amidst the storm, radiating a positive aura can be a beacon for your children. They look to you for cues on how to react and handle situations. You teach them the invaluable lesson of perseverance through adversities by demonstrating resilience, hope, and the ability to find silver linings.

7. Stay Informed and Updated

The legal framework surrounding divorces, especially where children are involved, is complex and ever-evolving. Being updated on laws and provisions ensures you're always a step ahead, making informed decisions. With Expert Advice for Divorce in Southlake, you’re not just armed with legal knowledge but with a strategic roadmap that prioritizes your child's best interests.

8. Remember Self-Care

In the quest to ensure a seamless transition for your child, neglecting your well-being is easy. However, remember that your mental and emotional health directly impacts your ability to be there for your child. Simple acts, be it a short walk, meditation, or even a hobby, can go a long way in rejuvenating you. Only when you're at your best can you offer your best to your child?

9. Stay Involved in Your Child's Life

Divorce might change family dynamics, but the essence of parenting remains unaltered. Every recital, sports day, or simple bedtime chat is an opportunity to strengthen your bond with your child. Despite the changes, consistently being present in their lives reminds them they're cherished and valued.

10. Choose Collaboration Over Confrontation

During the divorce process, it's easy to get ensnared in battles. However, reframing the perspective to view decisions through the lens of your child’s welfare can drastically shift outcomes. Collaborative decisions, made with mutual respect and understanding, ensure that the child's emotional and physical well-being is always at the forefront. Remember, the ultimate goal is your child's happier, healthier future.

11. Foster Communication with the Other Parent

Amid emotional turmoil, it can be challenging to remember that both parents have a shared interest: the well-being and happiness of the child. Co-parenting, a daunting challenge for many post-divorce, demands a new level of collaboration and understanding. Establishing robust communication with your ex-partner not only aids in smoother transitions for your child but also sets a positive example of maturity and cooperation.

Unified Front: Personal differences may persist, but both parents must stand united when it comes to the child's welfare. Demonstrating a cohesive approach, especially on pivotal matters like education or health decisions, offers the child a sense of consistency and stability amidst change.

Scheduled Check-ins: Regularly scheduled discussions, be it weekly or monthly, can help align parenting styles and address any concerns related to the child.

Use Technology: Numerous apps and tools are designed to assist co-parents in scheduling, decision-making, and communication. This can streamline discussions and minimize potential disputes.


Separation or divorce is challenging, but you can ensure your child remains protected and loved with the right steps. Keeping their best interests in mind and seeking the expertise of a Southlake Divorce Attorney can make this journey smoother for everyone involved.

If you're seeking a dedicated, compassionate, and top-rated advocate during this time, don't hesitate to contact Southlake's Best Divorce Attorney at Barrows Firm

Grandparents getting divorced

You're Never Too Old to Get a Divorce in Texas, Your Guide to Late-Life Divorce

September 22, 2023

Gray Divorce in Texas: Your Comprehensive Guide to Late-Life Divorce

Divorce in Texas is a life-changing decision that people of all ages may eventually face. In Texas, the divorce process is governed by specific laws and regulations that apply to couples at any stage of life. You're not alone if you're considering a late-life divorce in Texas. This article will provide you with essential information about late-life divorce in Texas, addressing key questions and concerns you may have.

Divorce among 60-year-olds, often called gray divorce, can have various reasons, just like divorces at any age. Here are some common reasons why individuals in their 60s may choose to get divorced. At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Attorney Leslie Barrows receives frequent questions from adults approaching or in their senior years who have different plans and want new things in life.

Dr Phil Video:

This 73-Year-Old Woman Financially Supports Her Daughter and Granddaughter

And just like a traditional financial battle in marriage, one might find grandpa cannot stop financially enabling grandchildren who are taking advantage of him. At the same time, the grandmother woefully watches their retirement funds shrinking after working so hard for many years. At some point, Grandma might be hitching up the 5th wheel and taking off on her own; that's how it may go here in North Texas.

Barrows Firm covered these issues a few years back, so also check out the article, Gray Divorce, and Unique Issues in Senior Divorces in Texas

·        Health Issues

·        Difference Between Being 55 and 65

·        Real Estate Issues in Gray Divorces

Reasons for Late-Life Divorce in Texas

Late-life divorce, often called "gray divorce," has increased recently. There are various reasons why older couples in Texas choose to divorce:

Growing Apart: After decades of marriage, some couples have grown apart, and their interests, goals, or values have diverged. This can lead to a sense of loneliness and dissatisfaction in the marriage, prompting them to consider divorce.

Empty Nest Syndrome: Once children leave home, some couples discover they no longer share common interests or a sense of purpose, leading to marital dissatisfaction. The void left by an empty nest can sometimes accentuate preexisting issues in the relationship.

Financial Issues: Financial strain, debt, or disagreements over retirement planning can be significant factors in late-life divorces. Couples may argue about how to manage their finances during retirement, leading to an irreparable rift.

Infidelity: Infidelity can affect marriages at any age and is a common reason for divorce among older couples. Discovering that a spouse has been unfaithful can be emotionally devastating, often prompting the injured party to seek a divorce.


Health Concerns: Serious health issues can strain a marriage, and some couples may decide to divorce to address these challenges separately. Providing care for ailing spouses can become overwhelming, and it may lead to the decision to divorce to alleviate some of the burden.

More Barrows Firm Articles On Point:

·        Grandparent Custody in Texas: Conservatorship, Guardianship, and Estate Planning

·        Grandparents visitation and access to grandchildren in Texas

·        Grandparents' Rights in Child Custody Cases in Texas

Legal Requirements for Divorce in Texas

Before pursuing a divorce in Texas, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements.

Residency: At least one spouse must have been a resident of Texas for six months and a resident of the county where the divorce is filed for 90 days. This residency requirement ensures that the Texas courts have jurisdiction over the divorce.

Grounds for Divorce: Texas allows fault-based and no-fault divorces. No-fault divorce is most common, citing "insupportability" as the reason for the divorce, meaning the marriage is insupportable due to discord or conflict. This no-fault option simplifies the process and reduces friction during divorce proceedings.

Waiting Period: There is a 60-day period after filing the divorce petition before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period allows couples to reconsider their decision and possibly reconcile.

Property Division: Texas follows community property laws, meaning marital assets and debts are generally divided equally between spouses unless an agreement states otherwise. It's essential to document and appraise all assets and debts during divorce carefully.

Spousal Support: Spousal support, also known as alimony, maybe awarded if one spouse lacks sufficient property to meet their minimum reasonable needs and meets other criteria. The court will consider factors such as the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial situation when determining spousal support.

Late-Life Divorce and Retirement Planning

Retirement Accounts: During divorce proceedings, retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions may be subject to division. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is often required to divide these assets without incurring tax penalties. Working with a financial advisor specializing in divorce is crucial to ensure these assets are divided fairly and tax-efficiently.

Social Security: If you were married for at least ten years and are now divorced, you may be eligible to claim Social Security benefits based on your ex-spouse's earnings, provided you meet specific criteria. This can be a crucial source of income for those who have been out of the workforce or have lower wages.

Estate Planning: It's essential to update your estate plan, including wills, trusts, and beneficiary designations, to reflect your post-divorce wishes. Failing to update your estate plan can result in unintended consequences, such as your ex-spouse inheriting your assets or making medical decisions on your behalf.

Child Custody and Support in Late-Life Divorce

Child Custody: Child custody issues are less common in late-life divorce but can still arise if minor children are involved. The court will consider the child's best interests when determining custody arrangements. In some cases, grandparents or other family members may also be involved in custody decisions.

Child Support: Based on the Texas Child Support Guidelines, child support may be ordered if minor children are from the marriage. Understanding your financial obligations and working with an attorney to ensure that child support is calculated accurately is essential.

Navigating the Emotional Aspects

Emotional Support: Divorce can be emotionally challenging, especially after a long marriage. Seek emotional support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you cope. Joining support groups for individuals going through similar situations can also provide valuable emotional support.

Mediation and Counseling: Mediation and counseling can be valuable tools for resolving disputes and making divorce smoother and less contentious. These services can help you and your spouse communicate more effectively and reach mutually acceptable agreements.

Choosing the Right Attorney

Experienced Divorce Attorney: When seeking a divorce in Texas, choosing an experienced attorney specializing in family law and understanding the unique challenges of late-life divorce is crucial. Look for an attorney with a track record of successful outcomes in cases similar to yours.

Initial Consultation: Schedule an initial consultation with potential attorneys to discuss your case and assess whether they fit your needs. Ask about their approach to late-life divorce cases and their familiarity with Texas divorce laws.

In conclusion, it's essential to remember that you're never too old to get a divorce in Texas if you believe it's the right decision for your circumstances. Understanding the legal requirements, financial implications, and emotional aspects of late-life divorce is crucial. Seek the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney to navigate the process successfully and start the next chapter of your life with confidence.

If you have any specific questions or need further information about late-life divorce in Texas, feel free to ask, and we'll provide you with the answers you need.

If You're Not Too Old To Get A Divorce and Need to Learn Your Rights And Options, Contact The Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas Today at (817) 481-1583


Grandparents' Rights in Child Custody Cases in Texas

September 13, 2023
Child Custody

Grandparents' Rights in Texas Child Custody Cases: Legal Insights and Guidance

Regarding child custody cases in Texas, grandparents can play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of their grandchildren. Texas law recognizes the importance of maintaining a solid and loving relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren, even in divorce or parental disputes. This article will explore the rights and options available to grandparents seeking child custody in Texas. Leslie Barrows is a Southlake divorce attorney who helps families with grandparents' rights in child custody cases in Texas.

Please also read a great article published by Today magazine about the Special Role of Grandparents.

Barrows Firm family law attorney Leslie Barrows and her team frequently receive questions from parents and grandparents seeking parenting plans and custody solutions in the best interests of their children and current living situation. In many instances, the parties are agreeable to what is happening and want the process done correctly. Some families in crisis need aggressive legal intervention and an intense attorney fighting for their parental rights and children. When you can't risk getting it wrong, and your child's well-being is on the line, knowing what you are up against and how to protect your family is important. When you need to know your rights and options, you have a divorce lawyer in Southlake upon whom you can rely for an experienced strategy for helping your family.

Understanding the Role of Grandparents in Texas Child Custody Cases

In Texas, grandparents can be a valuable support system for their grandchildren, providing stability and love in challenging times. However, it's essential to understand that grandparents do not have an automatic right to custody or visitation. Instead, they must meet certain criteria and take specific legal steps to assert their rights with a Texas divorce attorney.

Please Check Out our Previous Article About Grandparent Custody And These Topics:

·        Family Lawyers with Estate Planning Solutions, Including Guardianship

·        Unexpected Tragedies are Beyond our Control

·        Planning for Unforeseeable Grandparent Custody Issues

When Can Grandparents Seek Custody or Visitation?

Grandparents may seek custody or visitation rights in the following situations:

·        The child's parents are divorced.

·        The child has lived with the grandparents for at least six months.

·        The child's parents are unfit or harm the child's well-being.

·        The child has been abused or neglected by the parents.

Legal Procedures for Grandparents Seeking Custody

Grandparents who believe that seeking custody is in the best interests of their grandchildren can follow these steps:

Please consult with an attorney: It is advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process. File a lawsuit: Grandparents must file a lawsuit requesting custody or visitation rights in a Texas court. Prove the child's best interests: Courts in Texas prioritize the child's best interests when making custody decisions. Grandparents must demonstrate that granting them custody or visitation would bein the child's best interests. Lawyers for divorce and custody matters know what is likely to happen, given the specific facts, circumstances, and who the judge may be in an existing custody matter.

Mediation or court trial: The court may recommend mediation to resolve disputes amicably. A court trial may be necessary to determine custody if an agreement cannot be reached.

Factors Considered by Texas Courts

Texas courts consider several factors when deciding whether to grant custody or visitation rights to grandparents. These factors include:

·        The child's age and preference.

·        The child's physical and emotional needs.

·        The ability of the grandparents to provide astable and loving environment.

·        The relationship between the child and grandparents.

·        Any history of abuse or neglect by the child's parents.

Visitation Rights for Grandparents

If full custody is not granted, grandparents can still seek visitation rights. Texas law allows visitation orders in cases deemed in the child's best interests.

Modification of Custody Orders

Grandparents who have been granted custody may seek a modification of the custody order if a significant change in circumstances affects the child's well-being.

Rights of Grandparents in the Absence of Court Orders

Even without a court order, grandparents in Texas have certain rights, including:

·        Right to access the medical and educational records of their grandchildren.

·        Ability to consent to medical treatment in emergencies.

·        Right to visit with their grandchildren if the parents do not object.

Termination of Grandparents' Rights

Sometimes, a court may terminate a grandparent's rights if deemed in the child's best interests. This is a complex and rare legal process, typically initiated by the child's parents.

Grandparents can play a vital role in the lives of their grandchildren, and Texas law recognizes their importance. While grandparents do not have automatic rights to custody or visitation, they can seek legal recourse when it is in the child's best interests. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney is essential to navigate the complexities of Texas child custody laws and ensure the best outcome for grandparents and grandchildren.

For Assistance with Grandparents' Rights in Child Custody Cases in Texas, Contact Us at Barrows Firm in Southlake, Divorce Attorneys Near Me, at 817-481-1583

Arbitration in Texas Divorce and Child Custody

Untying the Knots: Can You Arbitrate Your Way to a Smoother Divorce?

August 25, 2023

Learn How Untying the Knots Can Lead to Smoother Lives When You Arbitrate a Smoother Texas Divorce and Child Custody Matter

Divorce in Texas can be an emotionally and legally complex process, especially when children are involved. Fortunately, in Southlake, Texas, couples have a powerful alternative to traditional courtroom battles: divorce and custody arbitration. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of arbitration in achieving a smoother divorce and resolving custody disputes while shedding light on how a family law firm can guide you through this process.

Barrows Firm Attorney Leslie Barrows frequently answers people's questions about alternative dispute resolution options, like binding arbitration, to resolve conflict. Alternatively, the traditional legal process, including hearings and trials before a judge or jury, can take significant time and resources.

Please enjoy and read our topically related article, Divorcing With Children 108: Keep Kids Out of Divorce.

What is Divorce and Custody Arbitration?

Arbitration in Texas family law refers to a method of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator, assists divorcing spouses in resolving their conflicts and making decisions related to their divorce, including issues like property division, spousal support, and child custody. This process offers an alternative to traditional court litigation, providing a private and often more streamlined approach to settling disputes.

In Texas divorce and family law, arbitration involves both parties voluntarily agreeing to submit their issues to an arbitrator, who listens to both sides, considers evidence and arguments, and then renders a decision. This decision, known as an arbitration award, outlines the resolution of the matters in dispute. The arbitrator's expertise in family law matters lends credibility to the decisions made during arbitration.

Explore the benefits of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution models in this Psychology Today article, Divorce Education and Therapeutic Family Mediation To Resolve Parenting Disputes.

Binding Nature of Arbitration in Texas Family Law

In Texas, arbitration can be binding or non-binding, depending on the agreement between the parties. Binding arbitration means that the decisions made by the arbitrator are final and legally enforceable. Once an arbitration award is issued, both parties must abide by its terms, just as they would with a court judgment. This can provide a sense of finality and closure to the divorce process.

On the other hand, non-binding arbitration serves as more of a recommendation or guideline. While the arbitrator's decision can still influence the parties' negotiations, it isn't legally binding. If either party is dissatisfied with the non-binding arbitration award, they can pursue other resolution methods, such as litigation or further negotiation.

It's important to note that the binding nature of arbitration is determined by the arbitration agreement that the parties enter into at the outset. This agreement outlines whether the arbitration process will result in a binding decision that both parties must adhere to or if it will be non-binding and serve as a basis for further negotiation.

Arbitration in Texas family law involves a neutral arbitrator helping divorcing couples reach resolutions outside the traditional courtroom setting. The binding nature of arbitration depends on the agreement reached by the parties. If they opt for binding arbitration, the decisions made by the arbitrator are legally enforceable, providing a structured and efficient path to resolving divorce-related issues.

There are Many Benefits of Divorce and Custody Arbitration in Texas


Unlike court proceedings, which are typically open to the public, arbitration offers a confidential setting. Alternative dispute resolution, out of Court, helps protect sensitive family matters from becoming part of the public record. In many high-net-worth divorces, the parties have significant business and public lives and would greatly appreciate their private lives and details being a searchable matter of public record.


Couples have more control over the arbitration process compared to court litigation. They can agree on the arbitrator, the timeline, and the issues to be discussed, allowing for a more personalized and tailored approach.


Arbitration often moves faster than court proceedings, which can be particularly appealing to couples looking to finalize their divorce swiftly. Additionally, couples can schedule arbitration sessions at their convenience.


The arbitrator is usually an experienced family law professional with a deep understanding of divorce and custody matters. This expertise can lead to well-informed decisions that benefit both parties and any children involved.

Reduced Conflict

The collaborative nature of arbitration can lead to reduced conflict and acrimony compared to adversarial Court battles. Conflict management is essential when co-parenting is involved. Note that children learn how parents handle conflict, and what the kids see in divorce can model their future behavior.

Custom Solutions

Arbitration allows for creative and custom solutions that may not be possible through a court's rigid decisions. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for unique family situations.

Understanding The Role of a Family Law Firm in Divorce and Custody Arbitration

A family law firm such as the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas, can be pivotal in guiding couples through the arbitration process and helping the family move forward and function well. Attorney Leslie Barrows has many years of extensive experience in high-conflict divorce. Child custody matter expertise enables her to know how and when to execute the best strategy in her client's cases.

Not all cases are best suited for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration. Still, some are, and attorney Barrows and her team can help you along however best suits your and your family's needs. The following are several elements of the family lawyers' roles in assisting you with arbitration.

How Family Lawyers Assist with Divorce and Custody Arbitration:

Expert Guidance in Strategy and Execution

Experienced attorneys can provide valuable insights into arbitration, helping clients understand their rights, options, and potential outcomes. Knowing what you are up against and the likelihood of different outcomes is vital to assessing how to proceed in arbitration.

Case Preparation of Documents and What to Expect in Arbitration

Attorneys can assist clients in preparing their arbitration cases. This includes gathering relevant documents, evidence, and information to support their claims. Much of this process is similar to preparing for hearings and trials in traditional litigation.

Negotiation Support and Case Settlement Options

During the arbitration sessions, attorneys can effectively advocate for their clients' interests, ensuring their concerns are heard and addressed. If something is not going right and the client needs to take a direction to help their desired outcome best, those options can be weighed during the process. Also, if there are problems in the arbitration or with the panel or arbiters, that can and should be addressed.

Legal Knowledge and Advice

Family law firms have in-depth knowledge of Texas divorce and custody laws. This ensures that any agreements reached during arbitration are legally sound and enforceable. The Barrows Firm frequently answers questions about changes in Texas family law, as every Texas legislative session brings changes and updates to the Texas Family Code and other areas of law that affect family matters.

Child-Centric Approach

When children are involved, a family law firm can prioritize their best interests and work to create parenting plans that promote stability and well-being in the arbitration process. The "Best Interest" standard applies in Court, which should be the parenting plan's focus. An experienced family lawyer knows what the Court will likely decide if the parents disagree on what is best for children.

Navigating Child Custody Through Arbitration Instead of Traditional Family Litigation

One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is often child custody arrangements. Learn how arbitration can help families better use their time and resources to reach resolution in a positive atmosphere with everyone's voices being heard.

Child-Focused Discussions

Arbitration encourages parents to prioritize the needs and preferences of their children. This child-centric approach can lead to more balanced and thoughtful custody decisions.

Flexible Scheduling

Unlike court dates that may clash with work or other obligations, arbitration allows parents to schedule sessions at times that work best for them.

Co-Parenting Plans

With attorneys' guidance, an arbitrator can help parents design comprehensive co-parenting plans that cover essential aspects like visitation schedules, holidays, and communication methods.

Minimized Trauma

Resolving custody matters in a private and respectful arbitration setting can spare children the emotional trauma of courtroom confrontations.

The Barrows Firm helps families with divorce and custody arbitration in Southlake, Texas, offering couples a viable and efficient option for untangling the knots of divorce. Through confidentiality, control, and a child-centered approach, arbitration can pave the way for amicable resolutions. With the support and expertise of a reputable family law firm, you can confidently navigate the arbitration process, knowing that your best interests and those of your children are at the forefront. When achieving a smoother divorce, divorce and custody arbitration emerge as a beacon of hope amidst challenging times.

With Questions About Arbitration and Other Options in Texas Divorce and Child Custody, Contact the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas, at 817-481-1583

Family Law

New 2023 Texas Family Laws: Update from the 88th Texas Legislative Session

August 14, 2023
General Information

The New Texas Family Laws: Learn What is New From the 88thTexas Legislative Session

A few new Texas family laws impact families in Texas divorce and child custody cases. The Barrows Firm is happy to share some highlights that might interest you or help you resolve conflicts and issues in the family and co-parenting. Remember that just because there is a new law does not mean we all need to suit up for battle and use the law. However, if it has value and improves your life and the children's best interests, it may be time to take advantage of the relief provided by Texas lawmakers.

Attorney Leslie Barrows is known for being skilled and mobile in Texas family law, comfortably wearing many hats; from mediator to high-stakes litigator, she knows how and when to get things done. To that end, the value of an experienced family lawyer is understanding how a judge is likely to react if you bring a modification or enforcement action versus creative problem-solving on your own. Families have daily opportunities for crisis and for us to measure how we respond. Raising kids is a long haul, and picking and choosing your battles is essential.

It's Back to School Time (to read our article!) Back-to-School Conflict in Divorce and Custody Cases

New Child Support Enforcement Provisions – Court Orders You to Get a Job!

Child support enforcement just got real with the 88th legislative session giving some teeth to enforce child support obligations. As of September 1st, child support obligors can be ordered to get a job, and the Court will help them employment to start satisfying their past due and current child support obligations. Those individuals do not want to be held in contempt of the Court for not following through and loving the new job the Court finds them, even if they find it below their expectations. See Texas Family Code 154.017

Check our article about child support modifications based on substantial changes in circumstances.

Barrows Firm Answers to Family Matters and Questions About New and Existing Laws

Here at the Barrows Firm in Southlake, we try to keep you all updated with news and changes in family law. Every two years, the Texas legislative session meets. Your elected state district house representatives and senators meet to vote on new laws and amendments to current laws to be sent to the Governor to be signed into law in Texas. While the laws that affect Texas family law don't always make headline news reports, they are significant to how we practice law as divorce and family law attorneys representing you and your family. It's important to understand that family law is constantly updating, and what might have been true at onetime may be different today. So always get up-to-date information from experienced family lawyers.

Below Are Some Highlights, and The Text of The Bills Are Linked to Their Senate and House Bill Numbers – New Additions to Bills Are Underlined

SB 869 Omnibus Bill – Relating to Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship Including Payment and Enforcement of Support in a SAPCR Case

The current law regarding child support needed to be modified to address issues relating to suits affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) and the enforcement of child support obligations. This additional rulemaking seeks to resolve child support issues.

Several Issues and Updates - Overdue Child Support &Inheritance, Electronic Signatures, Changes to Email Address Requirements, Social Security Disability Lump Sum Payments, Child Support Arrearages Cannot Be Reduced Paternity Suits Without Biological Father's Location, Renewable Child Support Liens: No More Time Limit.

SB 870 Child Support Enforcement

While the big news is the Court's expanded authority in ordering child support obligors to get a job, the Court can also enroll support obligors into employment programs whether they like it or not. The legislature is helping courts get deadbeat child support payers back to work and paying support instead of willfully failing to seek and maintain employment. There are also updates in the child support statutes concerning child support liens, child support enforcement, child support modifications, and more, including a significant update in rules regarding incarceration and support obligations.

SB 48 Protective Order Forms

The new law requires standardized forms and materials to issue protective orders. When applying for a protective order, something that has a legal effect on the freedoms and liberties of another, the law's elements and requirements must be applied fairly and justly, with uniformity. So, use the forms, and all will be well.

HB 891 Child Custody Evaluations

A prohibition is lifted against using expert testimony in challenging the person conducting a child custody evaluation, and we are free to challenge their qualifications and methodologies. Just because someone checks the boxes required to perform a task does not mean that person is beyond reproach, so rogue child custody evaluators beware.  

HB 660 Protective Order Enforcement

Regarding law enforcement maintaining information related to protective orders, the agency now shall enter a protective order in the agency's computer records of outstanding warrants. Additionally, the new law clarifies that ex-parte protective orders are equally enforceable as if they were final orders.

HB 4765 Adoption by Estoppel

The Estates Code covering adoptions has a new language, "Adoptive parent" means a parent (a) who adopted a child through an existing former statutory procedure or (b) considered by a court to have equitably adopted a child or adopted a child by acts of estoppel. This refers to the conduct and actions of the situation, and parties involved can be elements in adoption.

HB 2850 Discovery

New provisions in the Texas Family Code cover discovery procedures for civil actions brought under the family code. The new Title 6contains civil procedure chapter sections with rules and deadlines for discovery requests, disclosures, and the exchange of discovery in civil actions brought under the family code.

HB 2671 Temporary Hearings

Postponing temporary order hearings in family law cases referred to mediation is the issue in the new law that states that sets forth rules and dates for temporary order hearings and how the Court can proceed on its motions regarding mediation, and how long a temporary orders hearing may be postponed.

HB 2070 Spousal Maintenance

The updates to the spousal maintenance laws clarify the procedural requirements concerning the circumstances when a spouse seeks to continue a spousal maintenance order when a spouse is caring for a child with special needs.

HB 1547 Reimbursement of Marital Estate

When one party is ordered to or agrees to reimburse the marital estate, there are new laws relating to those claims for reimbursement. The new law talks about offsets, where the claim of one can offset the claim of another when considering a benefitted estate and a conferring estate.

HB 1432 Protective Order Elements

Before issuing a protective order, the Court must make specific findings of facts required by the Texas Family Code. The likelihood of future family violence occurrences has been struck in a few areas from the required findings. A protective order can issue based on family violence that occurred, without regard to whether there will likely be another event in the future, which makes intuitive sense.

non-compliant divorce people

Dealing with Non-Compliant Spouses in Texas Family Law: Enforcing Court Orders and Injunctions

July 24, 2023

Dealing with Non-Compliant Spouses in Texas Family Law Cases: Knowing Your Rights and Options in Ensuring Compliance with Court Orders and Injunctions

In Texas divorce and family law, dealing with non-compliant spouses who refuse to follow court orders and injunctions can be distressing and complex. When legal mandates are put in place to protect the interests of both parties during a divorce or separation, both spouses must adhere to them. However, when one party disregards these orders, it can lead to significant challenges. This article will explore the best strategies for handling non-compliant spouses in Texas, ensuring compliance with court orders and injunctions. Let's delve into this topic and shed light on protecting your rights and achieving a fair resolution.

Attorney Leslie Barrows at the Barrows Firm in Southlake is often asked for help dealing with all kinds of issues when non-compliant spouses make life difficult. From violating terms of possession schedules to ignoring court orders and injunctions, the enforcement and penalty questions and actions are ahigh priority.

July is when many parents have their kids for the entiremonth. Some non-primary parents disagree with the wishes of the other primaryparent to follow the agreements and orders in place for co-parenting. Despiteeven the good faith objection to court orders and injunctions, they still needto be followed, and the legal process of enforcement can be costly to thewillfully contemptuous.

Interesting Social Commentary on Co-Parent Non-Compliance on Quora

Examples of Non-Compliant Conduct in Texas Family Law

  ·   Failure to Pay Child Support or Spousal Support

   ·   Denying Visitation Rights or Ignoring Possession Schedules

   ·   Refusing to Follow Court Orders on Custody and Parental Rights and Duties

       o   Pickup and Dropoff Issues

       o   Who May Be Around the Child

       o   Medications and Healthcare

       o   Social Media Posts and Comments

       o   Drinking, Drugs, and Smoking  

  ·   Violating Protective Orders

  ·   Relocating or Vacationing Without Leave of Court or Co-Parent Permission

  ·   Disregarding Mediation and Parenting Classes and Requirements

Understanding Court Orders and Injunctions in Texas

Before delving into the solutions for non-compliance, it is essential to understand the significance of court orders and injunctions in Texas family law. Court orders are legally binding directives issued by a judge that specify the rights and responsibilities of each party involved in a divorce or separation case. These orders encompass various aspects, including child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and property division.

Injunctions, conversely, are court orders that prevent one or both parties from taking specific actions during the legal process. They are designed to maintain the status quo and prevent potential harm to either party until a final resolution is reached.

In Texas family law, some examples of injunctions might include not having significant others around the children, not drinking or smoking around the children, not posting pictures or videos of the children on social media, or even not dressing the children a certain way.

Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute: 10 Tips for Dealing with Passive Aggressive People

Open and Clear Communication

The first step in addressing non-compliance is communicating openly and clearly with your spouse. Misunderstandings or miscommunications may sometimes be at the heart of the problem. Reach out to your spouse non-confrontationally, providing them with written documentation of the court order or injunction they fail to follow. Maintaining a respectful tone and avoiding hostility can facilitate productive conversations.

Contacting your attorney to let them know you are having problems allows them to discuss the issue with the opposing counsel. When you get the attorneys involved, their goal is to understand how to help their clients achieve their goals in the situation, and weighing the enforcement options and procedures often leads to discussions that can promote resolution.

Talking through things can help people separate the emotion and narrow it down to the issues causing problems, often settling on reasonable solutions allowing them to compromise.

Document All Interactions

Keeping detailed records of all communications with your non-compliant spouse is crucial. Save copies of emails, text messages, and any written correspondence related to the court orders and injunctions. These records can serve as valuable evidence in future legal proceedings to demonstrate your efforts to resolve the matter amicably.

Use the Our Family Wizard applications and additional tools to record communications, information, and dates, so the data can easily be shared among those who need to understand what happened.

Consult with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

If your attempts at resolving the non-compliance issue directly with your spouse have been unsuccessful, it is time to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney in Texas. An attorney will provide valuable insights into the best action to enforce court orders and injunctions. They will also help you understand your legal rights and options.

Attorney Leslie Barrows and her team at the Barrows Firm in Southlake are experienced family law attorneys and paralegals who handle non-compliance issues daily and are ready to help you and your family keep a lid on contemptuous co-parents.

File a Motion for Contempt

When a spouse continues to disregard court orders or injunctions in Texas, you may need to file a motion for contempt. This legal action requests the court to hold the non-compliant spouse accountable for their actions. To ensure the success of the motion, provide clear evidence demonstrating the violation of the court order or injunction. This evidence can include documentation, witness statements, and any relevant communication.

Explore Mediation

Mediation can be an effective alternative to litigation when dealing with non-compliance issues. If your spouse is unwilling to comply with court orders, consider suggesting mediation to resolve the matter. Mediators are neutral third parties who can facilitate open communication and help find mutually agreeable solutions. Opting for mediation can save time, reduce stress, and avoid the expense of going back to court.

Request a Modification

In some cases, a non-compliant spouse may have valid reasons for not following court orders in Texas. If there has been a significant change in circumstances since the court order was issued, such as a job loss or health issues, it might be appropriate to seek a modification of the order. This modification can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the situation.

Dealing with a non-compliant spouse in Texas divorce and family law requires careful navigation and adherence to the legal processes in place. By maintaining clear communication, documenting interactions, and seeking legal counsel, you can protect your rights and work towards a resolution that serves the best interests of all parties involved. Remember that every case is unique, and seeking professional advice from a qualified family law attorney in Texas is essential to ensure your actions align with the state's specific laws and regulations.

For Help in Dealing with Non-Compliant Spouses, Enforcing Court Orders and Injunctions, Contact the Barrows Firm in Southlake at 817-481-1583

setting up privacy apps for kids

Ensuring Internet Safety During Summer Break: Protecting Kids in the Age of Increased Screen Time

July 11, 2023

Ensuring Internet Safety During Summer Break Requires Divorcing Parents to Prioritize Online Safety and Monitoring Kids' Internet and App Use and Access

Summer break is an exciting time for kids to relax, have fun, and explore various activities. However, it also means that children may spend more time online, engaging in digital activities, and using electronic devices. Parents often ask Southlake family law attorney Leslie Barrows how to keep their kids safe online when alone or with the other parent. While we cannot police every minute our children are online, we can teach them valuable tools and critical thought to help them discern good from wrong and how to spot dangerous or threatening talk and behavior. As a responsible parent or caregiver, it is crucial to prioritize internet safety during this period to protect children from online risks. This article will explore essential strategies and tips to ensure kids' online safety during summer break when they have increased screen time.

Hanley Foundation: 8 Apps All Parents Should Know

Safety-conscious co-parents work well together in agreement to protect children from dangers in the world and online predators. Parents seeking peace of mind and proactive safety instruction can ensure consistent rules for Internet use and safety in both homes, and the kids are not free-range diving into unknown areas, using unsafe devices that haven't been made kid-safe.

Attorney Barrows points to a few features Internet providers offer to filter Internet activity and set up safety protocols for devices using your network. Not only do these features prevent unwanted sites, but they can also block specific websites. It is a parent's responsibility to keep up with safety recommendations for parents with children of various ages. The Internet is not the only place to be wary, and the app stores are full of apps that are used to trick parents and avoid detection. Learn what apps kids are using and where they are socializing. Online bullying remains a concern; too many kids suffer in silence and are bullied online.

See the Recommended Article: Keeping Kids Safe Online

A Related Barrows Firm Article: Divorcing Being Aware of Top Technology Troubles in Texas Divorce, Family Law, and Estate Planning

The Following Recommended Activities Are Valuable in Keeping Kids Safe Online:

1. Open Communication and Education

One of the most effective ways to keep kids safe online is by fostering open communication and providing them with proper education about internet safety. Engage in frequent discussions with your children about the potential risks they may encounter online. Teach them about privacy, sharing personal information, and distinguishing between safe and unsafe websites or applications.

2. Establish Clear Rules and Boundaries

Setting clear rules and boundaries regarding internet usage is essential to maintain a safe online environment for kids. Establish guidelines on screen time limits and appropriate websites and apps, and seek parental permission before downloading or accessing certain content. By doing so, you can ensure that children understand the boundaries and know what is expected of them.

3. Use Parental Controls and Filtering Software

Utilizing parental control and filtering software can provide an additional layer of protection for kids when they are online. These tools allow you to monitor and restrict access to specific websites or content that may be inappropriate for children. Explore the various parental control options available for different devices and operating systems, and choose the ones that align with your requirements.

4. Encourage Safe Online Behavior

Teaching children safe online behavior is crucial to their internet safety. Emphasize the importance of never sharing personal information with strangers online, such as full name, address, or phone number. Teach them to be cautious about interacting with unknown individuals and to avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading files from untrusted sources. Please encourage them to report any concerning or inappropriate content they encounter.

5. Monitor Online Activities

Regularly monitoring your child's online activities is vital for understanding their digital behavior and identifying potential risks. Monitor their social media profiles, messaging apps, and online interactions. Be aware of the websites they visit, the games they play, and the people they communicate with. By staying vigilant, you can quickly address any issues that may arise.

6. Encourage Offline Activities

While it's essential to ensure internet safety, it's equally crucial to encourage children to engage in offline activities during summer break. Keep encouraging them to spend time with friends, participate in outdoor games, pursue hobbies, or read books. Limiting screen time and providing alternative offline activities can help create a healthy balance between online and offline experiences.

Always Prioritize Kids During the Divorce, and Monitor their Online and Social Activity

Maintaining open lines of communication with your children during the divorce process is vital. Let them know that you care about their offline and online well-being. Encourage them to talk to you about their online experiences, friends they interact with, or any concerns. Building trust and fostering open dialogue will make monitoring their online activities easier without invading their privacy.

Divorce can be a challenging time, but by keeping your children's well-being as a top priority, you can navigate this transition more effectively. Monitoring their online activities during and after a divorce is essential to safeguard their safety and healthy development. You can maintain a watchful eye while fostering a safe and supportive online environment for your children during this challenging time through open communication, parental controls, staying informed about online platforms, active supervision, and education about online safety.


Keeping Up With Technology: If You're Using It, So Are Your Kids, Learn What Apps They Use and Their Social Media Handles

As technology advances, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize children's online safety, especially during summer break when screentime increases. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, including open communication, setting clear rules, using parental controls, promoting safe online behavior, monitoring activities, and encouraging offline activities, you can help ensure that kids have a safe and enjoyable online experience throughout their summer break.

Terrific Tools: 10 Best Parental Control Apps – Works With Desktop and Mobile

As mentioned, kids do not quickly bring online bullying to their parents. They often feel ashamed and as if they are letting down their parent because they are being bullied and feel less than them. As a parent, it is crucial to constantly reassure and remind your children they can talk to you or another adult they can trust about things going on at school and with other kids. Sometimes the threats come from online gaming communities where kids may have significant social ties that are very real despite appearing trivial to adults who do not play online video games and might not understand the culture.

Please spend some time online researching where your kids are spending their online time, make a note of the games they play, and monitor what apps they have on their phones. And the more they know you are watching them, the less likely they may be to hide things or engage in wrong activities.

Remember, safeguarding children online is a shared responsibility, and by being proactive and informed, you can make a significant difference in their digital well-being. Good co-parenting means protecting kids online and ensuring Internet safety during summer break.

Use The Barrows Firm in Southlake As a Resource for Internet Safety During Summer Break

Home for sale

From Heartbreak to Housebreak: Divorcing Women Rule the Real Estate Game

June 20, 2023

Divorcing Women Rule the Real Estate Game and Women Are Getting The House in Texas Divorce, Learn Why and How to Be Prepared for Divorce

Divorce in Texas can be an emotionally challenging process for anyone, but women going through a divorce in Texas have a unique advantage when it comes to the division of property, particularly the family home. In this article, we will explore how divorcing women in Texas can navigate the real estate game to secure their rightful share of the property, with a special focus on Attorney Leslie Barrow sat The Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas.

At the Barrows Firm, we help people whose goal is to divorce and keep the house. There are all kinds of options to buy the other spouse out, refinance, and use other alternative options to cash buyouts. Almost every divorce involves a property settlement and there are several factors to consider. Take a look at our article: Divorcing and Keeping the House for more information.

In a recent Forbes article, Single Women Are More Likely To Own Homes Than Single Men In Nearly All States, some interesting statistics support the claim that divorcing Women are rulingthe real estate game.

·        Single women own 2.64 million more homes than single men in the U.S.

·        Louisiana tops the list of homes owned by single women

·        Men are in the lead in only two states, North Dakota and South Dakota

·        Florida has the greatest gap between men and women, with women ahead by 4.55%

·        Wyoming has the smallest gap between men and women at 0.39%

Understanding Community Property Laws in Texas

In Texas, community property laws govern the division of property during a divorce. This means that any assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered community property and subject to an equal division between spouses. Community property laws aim to ensure a fair distribution of assets accumulated during the marriage, including real estate properties such as the family home. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the family home will be automatically awarded to the wife.

The Importance of Legal Representation

When facing a divorce, women must seek the guidance and representation of an experienced divorce attorney. Attorney Leslie Barrows at The Barrows Firm specializes in family law and has a deep understanding of the complexities involved in property division during divorce proceedings. With many years of experience in high net worth and complex divorce and family litigation involving property issues, her knowledge of what is likely to happen in given situations, gives her the strategic advantage, helping clients get what they want and need.

Check out some of these great Google reviews!

Demonstrating Primary Custody

One factor that can significantly impact the wife and mother’s chances of retaining the family home is if she is awarded primary custody of the children. Texas courts prioritize the best interests of the children, and if the woman can demonstrate that it is in their best interest to remain in the family home, she may have a stronger case for keeping the property.

Keep in mind, the parties in a child custody case can settle their disputes and determine their own unique child custody arrangements. Checkout this BBC article about what we commonly call “nesting” which is catching on more frequently. The article is thought-provoking; “Bird nesting, The divorce trend where parents rotate homes.”

Financial Considerations

Divorcing women need to consider the financial aspects of retaining the family home. It is essential to evaluate whether it is financially viable to maintain the property, including mortgage payments, property taxes, and ongoing maintenance costs. Expert advice is necessary for assessing the financial feasibility of keeping the family home.

Negotiation and Settlement

In many cases, divorcing couples can reach a settlement agreement without going to trial. The key is property strategy and execution in negotiation, helping women strategically approach property division discussions. Divorcing women can present their cases effectively and aim for a favorable settlement that includes the family home.

Court Intervention

If negotiation and settlement attempts are unsuccessful, the case may proceed to court. In such situations, having experienced legal counsel on your side can be a significant advantage. With extensive courtroom experience, we can skillfully present your case, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected.

Being prepared for trial is necessary because goodwill in negotiations can break down, things can happen in markets and life, beyond our control. If we have to go to court we get everything ready and determine the best approach. Of course, when we do this, we keep settlement options on the table, hoping our opposing party is willing to compromise.

Property Valuation

Determining the value of the family home is a crucial step in the divorce process. Attorney Leslie Barrows has a network of trusted real estate appraisers who can provide accurate valuations. This ensures that women receive a fair share of the property's value in the divorce settlement.

Note that property values are the common subject of conflict and some attorneys thrive on dragging things out when the home valuation issues become sticking points. Experienced trial lawyers know how to cut this type of delay short, and save resources for all involved.

Alternative Solutions

If it becomes apparent that retaining the family home may not be feasible or in the best interest of the woman, we can help explore alternative solutions. These may include selling the property and dividing the proceeds or considering other assets that can be exchanged for the home's value.

Attorney Leslie Barrows is Available for Helping Women Getting the House in Texas Divorce

Divorcing women in Texas have the opportunity to secure their rightful share of property, including the family home. With the expertise and guidance of Attorney Leslie Barrows at The Barrows Firm in Southlake, Texas, women can navigate the real estate game with confidence. Leslie Barrows' dedication to family law and her commitment to her clients make her an excellent choice for women seeking legal representation during divorce proceedings. Remember, when it comes to divorce and property division, Leslie Barrows and The Barrows Firm are there to help women turn heartbreak into an opportunity to secure their future. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney for specific legal advice tailored to your situation.

dad with his kids

How to Become a Custodial Dad in Texas

June 14, 2023
Child Custody

A Guide to Becoming a Custodial Dad in Texas: Navigating Family Law with Confidence

Are you a father in Texas seeking to become a custodial dad? Are you going through a divorce in Texas? Understanding the legal process and requirements is crucial to protect your parental rights. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to become a custodial dad in Texas, ensuring that you are properly informed and prepared for the journey ahead.

Texas family lawyer, Leslie Barrows and her team at the Barrows Firm in Southlake are here for dads seeking primary parental rights. Leslie Barrows is a highly reputable family lawyer serving clients in Southlake, Texas. With a deep understanding of Texas family law, Leslie has built a solid reputation for her commitment to achieving favorable outcomes for her clients. She possesses the expertise and compassion needed to handle even the most sensitive and complex family law cases.

The Barrows Firm is available for consultations on Texas family law issues including but not limited to marriage, adoption, divorce, child custody, child support, and many more! Please also ask us about Estate Planning to protect your family from all life’s surprises.


Dallas Observer: The Best Things To Do This Father's Day in DFW With Every Type of Dad

Psychology Today: The Importance of Fathers, Is Father’s Day Real?

Know Your Rights as a Father in Texas

Texas family law recognizes the importance of a father's role in a child's life. As a father, you have the right to seek custody and visitation arrangements that are in the best interests of your child. Familiarize yourself with the legal rights afforded to custodial dads in Texas to understand the foundation upon which your case will be built.

As a custodial dad in Texas, one of your primary concerns may revolve around child custody and visitation rights. Leslie Barrows specializes in these areas, helping fathers navigate the legal landscape and secure custodial rights that are in the best interests of their children. With her guidance, you can develop a strong case and ensure a fair custody arrangement.

Are Liquid Lunches a Problem? Alcohol Issues Are Common in Custody Cases: Alcohol Monitoring in Child Custody Cases– A Barrows Firm Article

Gather Evidence of Your Parenting Abilities and Circumstances Making You the Best Custodial Parent

To strengthen your position as a custodial dad, it's essential to gather evidence showcasing your ability to provide a nurturing and stable environment for your child. Document your involvement in your child's life, including records of school events, medical appointments, and extracurricular activities. This evidence will demonstrate your commitment and active participation as a father.

When you are the petitioner and the respondent is the mother who may already be the primary custodial parent, you have the burden of proving the Court should award you sole conservatorship, and appoint you the primary parent with the right to determine the residence of the child. In cases where CPS has become involved, the other parent has a drug or alcohol problem or is incarcerated, those factors are all considered.

The Court is focused on protecting the best interests of children. A custody modification, if applicable, is based on the totality of the circumstances. Facts and evidence of parenting are presented to the Court if there needs to be a hearing or trial on the issues. Otherwise, much can bed one out of court to settle custody disputes.

Article on Point – Pitfalls of Social Media in Divorce and Family Law – expect your opposing party to use anything online against you if they want to challenge your credibility and parenting skills…

Paternity Issues, and Establishing Paternity to Seek Custody of Your Child

If you are an unmarried father seeking to establish paternity or fighting for parental rights, Leslie Barrows can be your strong advocate. She understands the importance of a father's role in a child's life and will work diligently to protect your rights and facilitate a positive relationship with your child.

Understand Child Custody Laws in Texas and the Best Interests of the Child Standard

Texas follows the "best interests of the child" standard when determining custody arrangements. Familiarize yourself with the factors that courts consider when making custody decisions, such as the child's emotional and physical well-being, each parent's ability to meet the child's needs, and the child's preferences if they are of sufficient age and maturity. Being knowledgeable about these factors will help you present a compelling case to the court.

Divorce can be emotionally and legally complex, but Leslie Barrows has the experience to guide you through the process while protecting your rights and interests. She will work diligently to ensure a fair division of assets and debts, advocate for spousal support if applicable, and represent your best interests during negotiations or litigation.

Seek Legal Representation from Experienced Texas Family Law Trial Attorneys at the Barrows Firm

Navigating the complexities of family law can be challenging, especially when it comes to securing custodial rights. Engaging the services of an experienced family lawyer specializing in custody cases is highly recommended. A skilled attorney will guide you through the legal process, help you understand your rights, and provide valuable advice tailored to your specific situation.

Mediation and Negotiation in Father’s Rights Custody Cases

In Texas, courts encourage parents to reach agreements through mediation and negotiation rather than resorting to lengthy court battles. Engaging in these alternative dispute-resolution methods can save time, money, and emotional stress. A skilled family lawyer can assist you in these negotiations, advocating for your interests and helping you reach a fair and mutually agreeable custody arrangement.

How to Prepare for Court Proceedings when Dads Seek Primary Custody

In some cases, court intervention becomes necessary to resolve custody disputes. If negotiations fail, it's crucial to be prepared for court proceedings. Your family lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence, prepare your case, and present compelling arguments to the court. Remember to remain calm, respectful, and focused on the best interests of your child throughout the process.

Becoming a custodial dad in Texas requires a thorough understanding of family law and a strategic approach to protecting your rights as a father. By knowing your rights, gathering evidence, seeking legal representation, and being prepared for both negotiation and court proceedings, you can navigate the process with confidence. Remember that every case is unique, and it's important to consult with a qualified family lawyer who can provide personalized guidance. With the right knowledge and support, you can increase your chances of becoming a custodial dad and maintaining a loving and meaningful relationship with your child.

The Barrows Firm is Available for Consultations for Dads Seeking Primary Custody (817) 481-1583

child refusing to go with parent

Navigating the Challenge When Children Refuse Visitation with a Parent: Texas Family Law Insight

May 26, 2023

When Children Refuse Visitation: Common Issues and Conflicts in Texas Child Custody and Visitation

In Texas divorce and family law cases, it's not uncommon for children to express resistance or refusal to visitation with one of their parents. This can be a challenging situation for all parties involved, including the parents, the child, and the Court. Understanding the legal framework and strategies to address this issue is crucial for ensuring the best interests of the child are upheld. In this article, we will delve into the topic of children refusing visitation with a parent under Texas family law, providing insights and guidance to help parents navigate this complex situation when children refuse visitation.

At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Attorney Leslie Barrows and her team of attorneys, paralegals, and staff all work together with clients to manage precarious situations, when visitation is an issue and the children do not want to go. Communication problems can be the source of difficulty, or it could be a scheduling problem or something the kid just won’t talk about when sometimes of nowhere children refuse visitation with the other parent.

Please also see our related article, Withholding Visitation from the Noncustodial Parent in Texas

The Barrows Firm Blog is a Great Resource! Search by Category Topic and Keyword Today!

Understanding the Best Interests of the Child in Custody and Visitation Matters

In Texas, the primary consideration of family Courts in custody and visitation matters is the best interests of the child. When a child refuses visitation with a parent, the Court will aim to ascertain the underlying reasons and determine the most appropriate course of action. Factors such as the child's age, maturity, reasons for refusal, and the parent-child relationship will be considered during the decision-making process.

Managing the child’s expectations and fostering good relationships with both parents and other family members is important. Part of that job means learning when to respect your child’s wishes and when to use your parental veto power and remind them your job is to be their parent, not their friend, and sometimes that means short-term disappointments, they get over quickly in many cases.

Check out the blog Our Family Wizard recommends on this topic, What to Do if Your Child Refuses Visitation with the Other Parent –Barrows Firm Tip: Always Keep Complete Notes on Situations and Use the Our Family Wizard’s Features

Reasons for Refusal to Exercise Visitation

Children may refuse visitation for various reasons, including strained parent-child relationships, negative influence from third parties, or fear and anxiety stemming from a previous negative experience. It is essential to differentiate between situations where a child's refusal may be justified due to safety concerns versus cases where it may be driven by temporary emotional factors.

Sometimes a new significant other can be the thing the child is afraid to talk about because they might not want to admit that seeing mom or dad with someone new is a real thing, it really puts the nail in the coffin when kids remain in hope that their parents will reconcile one day, even if that is not a reasonable dream.

In Texas, Do Children Have the Right to Refuse Visitation at a Certain Age?

Under Texas family law, children do not have an absolute right to refuse visitation based solely on their age. The court considers the best interests of the child as the primary factor in custody and visitation matters. While the court may consider a child's age and maturity when determining visitation arrangements, it is not a blanket authorization for a child to refuse visitation without valid reasons. The court will assess the situation, evaluate the child's reasons for refusal, and make a decision that promotes the child's overall well-being and maintains a meaningful relationship with both parents.

Great On Point Reference: Psychology Today, Helping Kids Be More Responsible for Their Actions

Can a Child in Texas Refuse Visitation at a Certain Age?

In Texas, there is no specific age at which a child can unilaterally refuse to see a parent. The court considers the best interests of the child when making custody and visitation decisions. While the child's preferences and maturity may be taken into account, they are not the sole determining factors. The court will assess various aspects, such as the child's age, maturity, reasons for refusal, and the parent-child relationship. Ultimately, the court strives to make decisions that promote the child's well-being and ensure meaningful relationships with both parents.

Should I Force My Child to See the Other Parent if They Don’t Want to Go?

As a parent, you may wonder if you are legally obligated to force your child to visit with the other parent. In Texas, the court expects parents to comply with court-ordered visitation schedules unless there are valid safety concerns. While it is generally advisable to encourage and facilitate a healthy parent-child relationship, forcing a child against their will may not be productive or in their best interests. It is important to address the underlying reasons for the child's refusal and explore alternative solutions such as mediation or counseling. If concerns persist, consulting with a qualified family law attorney can provide guidance on how to navigate this situation while considering the child's well-being and complying with the court's orders.

Resolving Visitation and Refusal Issues Amicably

When faced with a child's refusal, parents should prioritize open communication and cooperation. Encouraging dialogue between the child and the resistant parent can help address any underlying issues or concerns. Parents should explore the reasons behind the refusal, actively listen to their child's perspective, and work towards finding mutually agreeable solutions.

Mediation and Counseling for Custody and Visitation Conflicts

In cases where communication proves challenging, involving a neutral third party such as a mediator or a qualified counselor can be beneficial. Mediation can help facilitate discussions between parents and assist in finding common ground. Additionally, counseling may provide a safe space for the child to express their concerns and work through any emotional challenges related to visitation.

Modification of Visitation Orders

If efforts to resolve the issue amicably prove unsuccessful, seeking a modification of the visitation order may be necessary. In Texas, the Court can modify a visitation order if it is in the best interests of the child. However, it is important to note that the burden of proof lies with the parent seeking the modification. They must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances or provide compelling evidence that the current visitation arrangement is no longer suitable.

At the Barrows Firm, it is common for clients to request modifications and bring new suits to accomplish the same. In many cases, this can be done out of Court and the new parenting plan can be agreed to by the parties, sometimes with very little mediation or negotiation. In other cases, there is a hearing and trial on the merits of the suit to modify visitation and parenting time.

Ensuring Compliance with Court Orders

Regardless of the child's refusal, parents must comply with Court-ordered visitation schedules. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences and may negatively impact future custody decisions. If a parent believes that visitation should be restricted or modified due to safety concerns, they should consult with their attorney and seek appropriate legal remedies.

The Role of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation refers to situations where one parent deliberately influences the child to reject or resist the other parent. In Texas, parental alienation is viewed unfavorably by the Courts as it undermines the child's relationship with the non-residential parent. If parental alienation is suspected, the affected parent should gather evidence and consult with their attorney to protect their rights and the child's best interests.

Court Intervention

In cases where all other attempts to address visitation refusal have failed, seeking Court intervention may be necessary. A parent can file a motion to enforce the existing visitation order or seek a modification based on the child's refusal. The Court will assess the circumstances, consider the child's best interests, and make a determination that is fair and just.

When children refuse visitation with a parent, it presents a delicate and complex situation under Texas family law. The best interests of the child remain the guiding principle throughout the decision-making process. By fostering open communication, exploring mediation or counseling, seeking appropriate legal remedies, and involving the Court, when necessary, parents can navigate these challenges while ensuring the child's well-being and maintaining their parental rights. Consulting with a qualified family law attorney is crucial for understanding the specifics of your situation and securing the best outcome for your child's future.

Contact the Barrows Firm in Southlake, Learn Your Rights and Options When Children Refuse Visitation at 817-481-1583

Child Custody

Withholding Visitation from the Noncustodial Parent in Texas

May 9, 2023
Child Custody

Withholding Visitation from the Noncustodial Parent in Texas: What You Need to Know

Divorce in Texas is never easy, especially when children are involved. One of the most contentious issues that can arise during a divorce is child custody and visitation rights. When parents separate or divorce, the court may award one parent custody and grant visitation rights to the noncustodial parent. However, what happens when the custodial parent withholds visitation from the noncustodial parent? In Texas, this is a serious issue that can have legal consequences.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s a good idea to withhold visitation of the children over disputes about child support and medical contribution payments. Or because the other parent has a new significant other, some find it appropriate to withhold visitation, and much to their chagrin when the judge lets them know it may be objectionable. In this article, we highlight the various reasons people withhold visitation and the consequences of various conduct.

A primary parent with more parental rights to make decisions about the child can believe they are doing the right thing the in the child’s best interest when they threaten to or withhold visitation from the noncustodial parent, and even if they feel justified, the court and the other parent are often not impressed and find a way to alert the Court only to find a judge not too happy with co-parents who cannot get along.

Southlake family lawyer, Leslie Barrows, is frequently asked about what might happen if they withhold visitation. There may be legitimate safety concerns and parents with those concerns make good notes documenting everything about the situation, because even if they believe they are making the right decision, they may be on the hook to defend their actions in Court.

The Basics of Visitation Rights in Texas

In Texas, the court typically grants visitation rights to the noncustodial parent unless it would not be in the child's best interest. The parent who is appointed primary conservator with the right to determine the legal residence of the child is also called the primary as well as the custodial parent.

The Court strongly urges parents to negotiate an agreed settlement where possible, determining issues of custody and visitation rights. These visitation rights can be supervised or unsupervised, and the frequency and duration of the visits can vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

If the custodial parent interferes with the noncustodial parent's visitation rights, this can be considered a violation of the court order. In Texas, the court takes violations of custody and visitation orders seriously and can impose legal consequences on the offending parent. Being held in contempt of Court will not only cost a parent significant time and resources but sometimes attorney’s fees on both sides. As well it may be difficult to continue with any post-decree matters with the same judge after the parent decided to willfully disregard the orders of the Court.

Not All Co-Parents or Conservators Were Married

When married couples divorce in Texas and have children, the child custody and visitation issues are determined in the original divorce action. However, if the parents are not married and otherwise have a child together, the parental rights are determined as a matter of law, and issues of parental rights are determined in what is called a SAPCR (suit affecting the parent-child relationship) case. Sometimes the person who has standing to bring a SAPSCR suit for custody is a grandparent or family member with whom the child is primarily being raised. This can also be a sibling. These types of cases are usually seen when CPS(Child Protective Services) removes a child from a parent and places them with a family member.

Why a Custodial Parent May Withhold Visitation

There are many reasons why a custodial parent may choose to withhold visitation from the noncustodial parent. Some of the most common reasons include:

·        Concerns about the noncustodial parent's ability to provide a safe environment for the child;

·        Concerns about the noncustodial parent's alcohol or drug use;

·        The noncustodial parent is behind on child support payments;

·        The noncustodial parent is not adhering to the visitation schedule or has missed scheduled visits; and/or

·        The child expresses a desire not to visit the noncustodial parent.

While these concerns may be valid, withholding visitation is not always the best course of action. If the custodial parent believes that the child is in danger while in the noncustodial parent's care, they should seek legal remedies to protect the child. This may involve filing for a modification of the custody and visitation order or seeking a protective order.

When Southlake family lawyer, Leslie Barrows, and her team of attorneys and paralegals receive questions about custody and visitation fights, they work with the client on creating a strategy to solve the problem whenever possible, out of court, and with the lawyers documenting everything to prevent future conflicts. Sometimes it just takes some neutral professionals to help solve problems.

Legal Consequences of Withholding Visitation

In Texas, violating a custody or visitation order can result in legal consequences. If the court finds that a custodial parent has willfully violated a court order, they can be held in contempt of court. This can result in fines, jail time, and even a modification of the custody order. Additionally, the custodial parent may be required to pay the noncustodial parent's attorney's fees and court costs.

The court may also consider the custodial parent's behavior when making future custody and visitation decisions. If the custodial parent has a history of violating the court order, the court may choose to modify the custody arrangement or grant more visitation to the noncustodial parent.

Orders of Protection and Custody Modifications

If something is happening that is so dire that it’s necessary to withhold visitation, the situation might also be an emergency that justifies filing a Petition for an Order of Protection as well as a new suit to Modify Custody. Family violence situations are scary and protecting the children and parents is important. Too often there are substance abuse issues that lead to the breakdown of a parent who makes bad decisions. Read more about these issues in our article, Court Orders and Modifications: Parents Drinking at Home.

Parental Perspectives: How Do Mom and Dad Approach Conflict in Custody and Visitation?

When it comes to conflict in custody and visitation, both moms and dads can approach the situation differently. Moms may be more likely to withhold visitation due to concerns about their child's safety or well-being, while dads may be more likely to fight for increased visitation rights. However, these are generalizations, and each parent's approach can vary depending on their circumstances and personalities.

Regardless of their approach, both parents need to prioritize the best interests of their children and work towards a resolution that benefits everyone involved. This may involve seeking legal remedies, such as mediation or a modification of the custody and visitation order, or finding ways to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts amicably. Ultimately, a cooperative and respectful approach is key to navigating conflict in custody and visitation.

Mental and Emotional Consequences to Children When Visitation is Withheld

Even though parents make significant efforts to protect their children from the parents’ communication about the divorce, custody, and visitation issues, the children may still know something is happening if visitation is suddenly interrupted. How many excuses can someone make about the other parent’s availability, until the child(ren) starts figuring out something else is going on? And when you can anticipate gaslighting from the other parent whose visitation is being withheld, imagine the drama, and you know that kids pick up on that, no matter how hard we try, it can be tough to hide conflict.

Article Recommendation: Psychologicaland Emotional Aspects of Child Custody Battles and Divorce by Kathie Mathis, Psy.D

What to Do if Visitation is Withheld

If a noncustodial parent's visitation rights are being withheld, there are legal remedies available. The noncustodial parent can file a motion to enforce the custody and visitation order. This motion will ask the court to enforce the existing order and hold the custodial parent in contempt of court for violating the order.

If the custodial parent has violated the order multiple times, the noncustodial parent can file a motion to modify the custody and visitation order. This motion will ask the court to modify the order to grant the noncustodial parent more visitation or even custody of the child.

Withholding visitation from the noncustodial parent can have serious legal consequences in Texas. While there may be valid reasons for withholding visitation, it's important to talk to your family lawyer before doing anything and take good notes of anything that happens that concerns you about your child, the other parent, and the reasons you want to find out about withholding visitation. Contact us at the Barrows Firm to learn your rights and duties as a parent.

Keep Informed About Texas Child Custody and Visitation Issues Such as Withholding Visitation from the Noncustodial Parent. Get Answers at The Barrows Firm in Southlake (817) 481-1583

Child Custody spelled with blocks

Child Custody Evaluations in Texas: Essentials to Know

April 24, 2023
Child Custody

Texas Courts Use Child Custody Evaluations in Determining Custody Arrangements

Child custody evaluations in Texas are court-ordered assessments of parents and their children to help determine custody arrangements in Texas divorce cases. There are some great children out there, with loving parents who would walkthrough fire for their child. And when both parents are great parents, determining custody disputes through settlement or by trial, often requires some expert assistance. Certainly, the parents and their family lawyers are going to present them in the best light to the judge, but more digging needs to take place when the judge needs to decide or strongly recommend a settlement as they are likely to rule.

When the Court orders a child custody evaluation in Texas divorce and custody cases, there is often a list of approved mental health professionals the lawyers can agree upon, or the judge makes the appointment to the best of their discretion.

Southlake child custody attorney Leslie Barrows has well-established working relationships with so many of the great local child custody evaluators. It is important to treat them well as important professionals in the process and remember they are an extension of the judge and Court in a custody case. In this article, we are happy to share some essentials to know about the process of Child Custody Evaluations in Texas.

Child Custody Evaluations of Parent-Child Relationships

A child custody evaluation is an assessment of the parents and the child(ren) involved in a custody dispute. The evaluation is conducted by a mental health professional appointed by the court, and their role is to provide recommendations to the judge about what custody arrangement would be in the best interest of the child.

When both parents seek to be appointed as primary parents and conservators with the right to determine the residence of the child(ren),the child custody evaluation highlights any instances or character components that help the judge and the parties determine or settle disputes about what is alleged in the pleadings of the case about the parties, namely allegations of fact about the other parent as to whether they should be awarded primary or sole custody.

Mental Health Professionals Are Appointed by the Court to Conduct Child Custody Evaluations

The evaluation is conducted by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker, who has experience working with families and children. The evaluator must be approved by the court. In Texas child custody cases and suits affecting parent-child relationships, the Family Code identifies the powers and duties of the professionals appointed by the court, namely child custody evaluators.

Find topics related to child custody evaluations in our Barrows Firm blog article, Divorcing With Children 105: How to Prepare for Court including the following,

The Role of a Child Custody Evaluator in Texas:

“You or the opposing party can request the Court order child custody evaluation. Working well with the evaluator is important to prepare for court. Leslie Barrows can help you prepare your expectations of a child custody evaluator process when divorcing with children.

Be prepared for the judge to give great weight to the recommendations of the custody evaluator. Of course, the evaluator’s report can be challenged when necessary. What is most important to the court in making findings for child custody and parenting time is what is in the best interest of the child. It is in a child’s best interest to have good relationships with both parents, without abuse, neglect, or parental alienation.”

Evaluations Are Done Through Interviews Among Family Members, Friends, and Others

The evaluation typically involves interviews with the parents, the child(ren), and other individuals involved in the child's life, such as teachers, coaches, or healthcare providers. The evaluator may also observe the parent-child interactions, review documents, and administer psychological tests.

Related Article: Reflections on Mental Health Professionals Working with Divorcing Parents Outside the Courtroom

Along the process, the court may order limitations, or directions, if any, as to what types of tests and examinations are appropriate because every case and family is unique. The scope and depth of child custody evaluation orders reflect the allegations made among the parties in the case. Some allegations are of isolated incidents, and others lead inquiries into deeper potential problems, the kind that can affect the ability of a person to function in the role of a responsible parent. The best interests of the child(ren) require attention to detail when serious allegations are made.

Evaluations Can Take Several Weeks to Months Depending on the Circumstances

The length of the evaluation can vary, but it typically takes several months to complete. The Court’s order and discovery schedule often includes deadlines including custody evaluation reports. There can be a tendency for some people to attempt to thwart the process by not cooperating with the custody evaluation process and that may involve conflict with the mental health professional appointed in the case.

At any point in the process, the attorney for one of the parties can ask the Court to assist in urging compliance with the Court’s orders and penalize parties for willful contempt. Messing around with the process only costs people more time and money in the long run.

Parents Often Share Evaluation Costs or the Court Orders a Party to Pay

The cost of the evaluation is usually split between the parents, but the court may order one parent to pay the entire cost if they have the financial means to do so. If one of the parties is causing problems in the case, it may be suggested to have an evaluation ordered when that was not the original game plan, and in that case, the Court can be asked to order the aggravating party to pay for more or all of the evaluation. It all depends on the case, how things are going, and what is fair and equitable given the facts and circumstances.

See our related article about problem parents, Verbal and Emotional Abuse in Texas Divorce and Family Law

The Evaluator Files a Recommendation Report with the Court

The evaluator will provide a written report to the court with their findings and recommendations. The judge will consider the report along with other evidence presented in the case when making a custody determination. The judge reads the findings and recommendations in the report and ideally uses that valuable information in making a custody determination. In many cases, the judge will urge the parties to settle their disputes and let them know in which way they are leaning if they must make an official ruling to decide custody. Judges strongly prefer parties to agree to settle their issues and decide, but certainly in many instances that just is not possible.

Challenging the Child Custody Evaluation Assessment and Report

Yes, the evaluation can be challenged by either parent if they believe the evaluator was biased or made errors in their assessment. However, challenging the evaluation can be a complex and costly process.

The human element that is room for error is the custody evaluators themselves, and any bias they may hold, knowingly or unknowingly. Remember, however, that challenging the recommendation of the evaluator, or asking for the evaluator to be removed from the case, can lead to more problems and is difficult for all involved. The most important factor is the best interest of the child(ren).

Overall, child custody evaluations in Texas are an important tool used by the court to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. Parents are encouraged to cooperate with the evaluation process and provide honest and accurate information to the evaluator.

Seek Advice and Counsel at the Barrows Firm in Southlake for Information about Child Custody Evaluations in Texas and Related Matters (817) 481-1583

Estate Planning Worksheet

The Two Certainties in Life: Death & Taxes

April 12, 2023
Estate Planning

The Barrows Firm in Southlake Helps with Answers and Solutions for Marriage, Divorce, Death, and Taxes

Tax Day this year is Tuesday, April 18, 2023. At the Barrows Firm in Southlake, we help families with wills and estate planning, and tax status and property issues, to take advantage of the best options for families. We may never know the date of our last day, but we can be prepared so that our wishes are carried out with a proper will, and our assets and gifts are properly transferred. Avoiding taxes on inherited money and assets is the objective of estate planning at the Barrows Firm. And as our marital and parental situations may change, we must also consider whether we need to make different tax decisions, how to file, and how to protect assets, two important considerations. We focus on answering all your death and tax issues at the Barrows Firm. Attorney Leslie Barrows can help.

How do we know which tax issues apply as we collect our financial information and prepare to do our taxes or consult a tax professional? When do we ask our attorney about tax issues? What if I am forgetting something important? For these common questions, Attorney Leslie Barrows and the team of professionals at the Barrows Firm frequently help people find the right directions and answers to all their questions, especially the questions they didn’t know they had. For more on point, see our blog article, Divorce Taxation: Avoiding Penalty for QDRO Distribution Withdrawals (and other common divorce and tax questions).

Protecting your family and accumulated wealth, property, and assets requires a reasonably consistent review of the laws and status of people in the family, who may be preparing for, or going through big life events. Marriage, the birth or adoption of children, divorce, and death, are all times that we need to sit down and go through issues of life and death, income, and taxes.

Tax Considerations for Changing Status from Married to Single, and Dependents

When does your tax status officially change? How, by whom, and when will your children be claimed as dependents? These are the common questions people ask, but there are property considerations as well. We have several accountants and CPAs who work with family law clients to make the best tax filing decisions and help with asset questions about buying, selling, and renting. For example, whatever happens to the marital residence affects potential property tax liability. What if you decide to buy or rent a smaller home, condominium, or apartment? The entirety of the financial picture is important, especially when a divorce situation is stretching a family’s income to pay for more than one residence. Get guidance on life, death, and tax issues at the Barrows Firm.

There is No Inheritance Tax in Texas

In Texas, there is no inheritance tax assessed on our death, as is the case in some states. Inheritance tax is a tax that is imposed on the transfer of an individual's assets to their heirs or beneficiaries upon their death. This tax is levied on the total value of the deceased's estate, which includes all their possessions, such as property, money, investments, and personal belongings. The rate of inheritance tax varies depending on the jurisdiction, and in some cases, it may also depend on the relationship between the deceased and the beneficiary. Note that you may have to pay federal estate taxes, but no state inheritance tax applies in Texas.

Yahoo News: Here Are the States With No Estate or Inheritance Taxes

Inheritance tax is a controversial topic, with some arguing that it is a fair way to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality, while others argue that it is a form of double taxation and an unfair burden on families who are already dealing with the loss of a loved one.

It's important to note that not all countries have an inheritance tax. In some jurisdictions, the tax may be called an estate tax or a death tax, and the rules and rates may vary significantly. If you have questions about inheritance tax in your country or state, it's best to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional.

Texas Does Have Estate Taxes, But Only on Estates Valued Over $5 Million

In Texas, the estate tax only applies to gross estates with a taxable value of over $5 million, and the tax rate ranges depending on the value of the estate. Additionally, the federal government imposes an estate tax on estates with a taxable value of over $12,060,000 in 2022, which will rise to 12,920,000 in 2023. The Barrows Firm attorneys assist with your estate planning work with tax and trust professionals who assist in preparing for the accumulation and transfer of wealth, minimizing the exposure to tax liability, especially considering estate taxes.

Property Taxes Pack a Punch to Inheritors when Property Tax Exemptions Disappear on Death

In Texas, our property taxes can be frozen at their rate when a person lives in their home, has a homestead exemption, and is 65years of age. And while the senior resident enjoys the frozen tax rate that doesn’t increase when they have that homestead exemption, the property passed on to others will not receive the exemptions, because they are non-transferable and do not pass to their heirs of an estate, as a matter of law. This begs the question of what to do with the property when someone passes. In Texas, we also have properties with agricultural exemptions that may expire with that person’s status of home and property ownership. In many of these cases, the property is transferred to heirs upon death and has a tax bill that is so high without the exemptions, that family is better off selling the land, sometimes to developers when the land is larger and in a growing area. Could something else be done with the property, using a trust to secure its future? These are all questions that are different for every family. We spend our lives working to build wealth and income to hopefully benefit our future generations, and that planning means taking into account every variable.

Great Property Tax Exemptions Issues: Texas Property Tax Exemptions You Need to Know

Estate Planning Updates Are Needed After a Divorce in Texas

The family estate planning needs to be updated if it was drafted when you were married, with the assumption that marriage would continue until your death. When you outlive the marriage, update the estate plan accordingly. This is not difficult work and the status updates are important. In addition, your estate planning attorneys at the Barrows Firm help remind you to also contact financial institutions where you may have listed a former spouse as the person payable upon death, or otherwise marked them as a beneficiary in the event of your death.

Do not forget those Power of Attorney Documents when doing your updating. The last thing anyone needs is an acrimonious ex-spouse with continuing authority over your business or life decisions. Now, if you want to leave your former spouse with some power of attorney agency, you can do that if you wish, and if you do, definitely update your documents to prevent disagreements among family in the future. Making your wishes known is important, even if they might not be what people expect.

Find the Best Assistance with Marriage, Divorce, Life, Death, and Tax issues at the Barrows Firm (817) 481-1583

House Maintenance

Unlucky in Love: What Women Need to Know About Spousal Support, Maintenance

March 28, 2023
Divorce Finances

Spousal Support: Maintenance is Additional Money, Not Part of Marital Property Divisions

Judges in Texas determine whether spousal maintenance, what most call alimony, is appropriate in a divorce in Texas. Maintenance is an award in a suit for dissolution of marriage of periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse. In Texas, the law presumes that a spouse does not need spousal support from the other and a maintenance order is not necessary. However, spousal support can be ordered if the spouse making that request shows a good faith effort to earn income or acquire education to be able to earn income, but otherwise is unable to provide for their needs.

If the Court determines that it is appropriate to move forward and evaluate the wife’s maintenance request, they apply a series off actors in determining the nature of support, the amount, duration, and method of the spousal support payment.

Answers to Frequent Texas Divorce Questions

Women in need of spousal support in their divorce should be clear on their temporary and permanent support needs when they file for a divorce. At the Barrows Firm, founding attorney Leslie Barrows and her colleagues discuss a woman’s rights and options in divorce and also review their stake in community property distribution and child support.

Want the Men’s Perspective? Our Article: Men’s Issues and Perspectives on Divorce: Spousal Support and Child Support

In Texas, either spouse can request an awarded order of spousal maintenance in a divorce, however, the Court can only order maintenance if the other spouse requesting a maintenance award does not otherwise haveenough property to provide for their basic needs at the time of the divorce, and there is an additional required circumstance such as 1) a family violence conviction, 2) physical or mental disability, 3) it’s a 10-yearmarriage and the dependent spouse lacks income earning abilities, or 4) the spouse requesting is the custodial parent of a child requiring significant personal care preventing them from earning income.

Texas Spousal Support is Limited by Statute, for People Seeking Court-Ordered Maintenance Eligibility

A spouse may seek maintenance if they lack sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs and (1) the spouse from whom maintenance is requested was convicted of or received deferred adjudication for family violence within two years or while the suit is pending; or (2) the spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn income because of a physical or mental disability; or (3) has been married to the other spouse for more than 10years and cannot earn sufficient income; or (4) is the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and supervision so the spouse cannot provide for their own reasonable needs.

Factors in Determining Maintenance

The Court uses all relevant factors in determining maintenance awards if the spouse is eligible. The Court considers earning capacity and ability, education and employment skills, duration of employment, duration of the marriage, and other income-generating factors. Additionally, the Court considers the spouse’s contribution to the other in the marriage and what happened over time, acutely causing the divorce. Endless arguments over equity and fairness can be tied to a request for spousal support.


Financial assistance in the way of spousal maintenance is calculated based on what each party contributes to the marriage including maintaining the home, educational efforts, and the division of marital property. Spousal support may not exceed 20 percent of the supporting spouse’s income or the total amount of $5,000 monthly.


Designed to be rehabilitative and not an annuity, maintenance is usually only ordered for a total of five years in a marriage lasting under 20 years or where there has been a history of family violence. Marriages lasting 20 to 30 years have a maximum of seven years of support and 10 years for marriages more than 30 years.

Spousal Support Can Be Ordered According to the Texas Family Code or by Private Agreement

Texas judges prefer parties to settle their disputes and if the husband is agreeable to pay his ex-wife spousal support, he can do that in a way that makes sense for both him and her. For example, the wife’s claim for maintenance might be on the fence in the eyes of the Court, after weighing property distribution, and the wife’s attorney may save the husband some money by dropping the maintenance claim if the husband voluntarily agrees to some form of spousal support in the marital settlement agreement. The extra cashflow to the ex-wife may be very helpful to her getting on her feet after the divorce and she may opt to forgo her vested stake in a retirement account, for example, and get the equivalent value in current cash.

Women Seeking Spousal Maintenance Are Support Obligees

Women seeking spousal support are called obligees because they are the party to whom the support obligation would be obliged and ordered. The valuable contribution of wives and mothers in the family home and the career development of their husbands are certainly valued in a divorce, and seen in recent news cases where the woman’s contribution value set a high bar.

A judge in Spain made recent news when a man was ordered to pay his ex-wife a total of $215,000 for 25 years of housework. Arguing that being burdened by chores, the former wife and mother also wereresponsible for raising the couple’s two daughters and caring for the husbandall while keeping an “always impeccable” home. Unable to pursue her career, shewas focused on family duties while her husband built a successful business. Thewife’s contributions helped the husband build the business because he was nototherwise distracted by family work. A woman’s contributions to her husband’sability to grow a business and career are valued and awarded in maintenanceamounts, not only in Spain but in Texas, as well, which is supported by caselawon point.

Women Can Be Spousal Support Obligors, Paying Support

In recent decades as more women pursued education and highly compensated careers, more men were able to work more flexible jobs and take more active roles as fathers and primary caretakers for the children and home. In situations where ex-husbands were primary contributors to the home and family, and the wife experienced the benefit of business growth as a direct result, the ex-wife may be ordered to pay spousal support to their ex-husband. The calculations and factors in determining a woman’s maintenance obligations to her ex-husband include the same factors in the equal application.

Read about women paying alimony.

The Barrows Firm Negotiates Spousal Support Cases for Women and Men in North Texas (817) 481-1583

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