Archive for June, 2017

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Reminds Parents to Keep Children Safely Supervised this Summer

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The school year is over, and parents will be spending much more time with their kids than they do during the school year. When you are enjoying this summer with your kids, remember two key words – safety and supervision. When parents do not keep their children safe by providing adequate supervision, there is a risk that the children could be harmed, or even worse, killed.

A Texas mother faces child endangerment charges in connection with the deaths of her two young children. According to reports from officials, the woman initially claimed that the girls might have gotten sick after smelling and perhaps eating wildflowers at a local park. Upon further investigation, authorities found that the children had been left in a vehicle for fifteen hours with no water or food, in temperatures that could have been upwards of ninety degrees during some of that time.

Someone allegedly heard the girls, who were one and two years old, crying and asked whether they wanted to go inside. The children’s mother allegedly assured the person that the girls would cry themselves to sleep. A friend of the children’s mother may also have spent some time with them out in the car. The mother of the two little girls took them out of the vehicle around noon the next day and gave them baths before taking them to the hospital. The children may have been unresponsive but alive when they arrived at the hospital, but both girls later died in the hospital. The Bexar County Medical Examiner is investigating the deaths and report that no final determination of the manner and cause of death will be available for up to twelve weeks.

Children, especially very young children, require adult supervision to stay safe. Each child has supervision needs that grow and change as they become older and more mature. Some areas in which parents may have difficulty understanding or make inappropriate choices regarding their children’s supervision needs include leaving children alone in a car and leaving them at home alone. There is no “legal age” when it comes to staying home alone, but there are many factors to consider including the child or children’s ages, emotional maturity, nd overall capability as well as the location and design of the home. The number of children, the amount of time that they are alone, and the ability of the child to contact a responsible and available adult are also important things to consider.

Under Texas law, it is a crime to leave a child who is under seven years old in a vehicle for longer than five minutes if someone who is fourteen years of age or older is not in the vehicle with them. It is not recommended that anyone leave a child unattended in a vehicle for any length of time because it is just too dangerous, especially in hot weather, and it can only take a few minutes for a child to develop heat stroke or heat exhaustion which could result in death or permanent disability.

Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Experienced Assistance for Texas Defendants

If you get charged with a crime in Texas, call Texas Criminal Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499 or connect with us through our online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Says Parents Are Disappointed at Failure of Equal Custody Bill

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

During the last legislative session, a bill that would have made 50/50 custody agreements automatic in most divorce cases failed. Disappointed parents rallied to express their disappointment in the failure of a bill that they feel would have protected the health and well-being of the children of divorced and divorcing parents.

House Bill 453 was authored by State Representative James White (R-Woodville), wrote the bill, which would have meant a departure from the traditional divorce custody model where the mother would be given full custody of the couple’s children to a model that would automatically give divorcing parents 50/50 custody. Many divorced parents whose children spend less than half of their time with them lament their current custody arrangements and feel that the lack of adequate time spent with their children negatively affects their children’s relationship with them. The bill was similar to proposals that are under consideration in at least four other states, and it is worth noting that in nearly twenty other states, shared custody is required or at the very least expected in the absence of a compelling reason for a different arrangement.

The parents at the rally felt that the value system that underlies the primary-custody-to-mother custody model has changed, which means that the courts should change their custody model to acknowledge the shift away from father-as-breadwinner/mother-as-homemaker families towards the more typical dual career family. In addition to and perhaps even more important than keeping with changing times, shared parenting is beneficial for both children and parents. It preserves the psychological role of each parent as equal to the other, which creates less distress for the children during and after the transition into two households. Parents who get equal parenting time are also less likely to have conflict. This is not to say that there’s a complete absence of conflict, only that the overall level of tension and conflict gets drastically reduced which benefits everyone. Shared parenting also allows for economic equality, and in situations where child support goes from one parent to the other, there is much less discussion of it or resentment of it when parents get to spend equal time with their kids.

There are some situations in which 50/50 parenting is not a beneficial situation for parents or children. Some examples include high levels of persistent and unresolved conflict, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Conditions that would make shared parenting physically or emotionally unsafe are not the only circumstances which would make 50/50 custody less than desirable. The careers and desired location of the parents can also be a reason for parents to choose a custody arrangement that does not provide for equal parenting time. The children’s’ ages and emotional needs are also essential considerations in any discussion and determination regarding custody.

In light of the failure of the bill that would mandate 50/50 custody in most divorces, it is critical that parents remember that they are free to design a custody arrangement that will work well for themselves and their children instead of having the court decide who gets how much parenting time. If you have custody questions related to your Texas divorce, call  (903) 753-7499 today to schedule an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. Alternatively, you can visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.