Same Sex Parents 2018-05-16T01:06:08+00:00

Same Sex Parents

Kid-Focused Help For Same Sex Parents

Are you a same sex parent looking to protect your children from a family life in turmoil? Do you need an attorney who can balance the complexity of LGBT issues with the long history of Texas family law?

Same sex divorces and separations come with unique legal issues, but every parent considering a split struggles with the same enemy: drama. It comes at you from your spouse, from your mutual friends, from extended family and in-laws… and you’re wondering how to shield your kids from it.

Maybe you’ve spent time with Google to find some answers. You’ve read about Obergefell and Texas’ resistance to gay divorce options. You’ve read posts about child support and standard visitation schedules. You’ve run into new terms like “conservatorship” and “parental alienation.” All of this information, yet you’re still not sure anyone knows how to protect your kids.

The lawyer websites have only added to the confusion. What kind of firm culture is best for your unique situation? You’ve found the Bulldogs in the Cowboy Hats, but wondered how their promises will keep your children safe.

“Tough, smart, honest, fair…”

These are things you expect from any lawyer. How is that supposed to help?!

With same sex divorces and other LGBT family issues, you need more than cowboy hats and promises. You need an attorney with the right priorities and experience.

You Need A Different Kind of Guide

Lawyers are not all the same. We’re human beings. We bring our personalities, perspectives, and priorities to the job. Even good lawyers disagree about what matters in a family law case.

Our priority is clear: we protect your kids.

That may sound obvious, but it isn’t. Our ethical responsibilities require us to put our clients first. Your children will not be our clients, you will. But we never work with parents who won’t put their children first. With that standard, we know that protecting your children means we are also protecting you.

Our method is simple: KidFirst Decision Making.

Using KidFirst Decision Making, we obsessively work to reduce drama. That leads to reduced costs, reasonable timeframes, and – most importantly – healthier children.

If you are a KidFirst parent, you can feel confident that you’ve found the right firm to help guide your family through this difficult time.

It Begins With Our Founding Attorney

Angela Faye Brown is definitely a unique lawyer. Long before considering law school, Angela cared about how law and policy impact kids.

She earned two public policy degrees from the University of Texas at Austin before returning to law school at U.T. During law school, she took up children’s issues as student counsel in the Children’s Rights Clinic.

Under the supervision of such legal luminaries as Jack Sampson (he literally wrote the book on Texas family law), Angela represented children who’d been removed from their homes in Child Protective Services cases. These children showed Angela the courage, confusion, and concern found inside every child in trouble.

Now, as a new mother herself, Angela appreciates the importance of the parent child relationship in a special way. It’s natural for a parent to shield children from unnecessary harm, and she gets why you want that so much.

And, as a member of the LGBTQ community, she’s personally familiar with the often frustrating overlaps between Texas’ historical family law system and realities for the LGBTQ parent. Angela’s experience and priorities make her a uniquely qualified guide for you and your family.

The Path You’re On

If you are a married parent, same sex divorce is now an option in Texas. Unfortunately, same sex divorce has a fairly short history in Texas courts, so some issues remain unresolved. But every divorce follows a general path we call the KidFirst Divorce. Here’s a simple outline of the KidFirst divorce process:

  1. KidFirst Divorce Strategy Session: Every prospective client receives a free Strategy Session with the firm. These are more than just free consultations. You’ll walk out with a plan, a look into potential responses from the other side and the best answers, and a budget. Get the information to make good choices. Schedule a Strategy Session by visiting us here.
  2. New Client Welcome: All new clients will receive in-depth instruction from the firm on what to expect as your case moves forward. We will educate you on the issues you’ll face, particularly the unique concerns of the LGBTQ parent. We’ll discuss the decisions you’ll need to make and roadblocks to look out for. We’ll also help you identify which issues are best solved through the law and which require specialized expertise outside the firm. We’ll connect you with qualified providers to help you on this journey.
  3. Expert Drafting: Divorce cases begin with a petition, but this is no form letter. A properly crafted petition begins a narrative that will unfold throughout your case. It is a document that protects you and puts the other party on notice.
  4. Temporary Orders: Most divorce cases, particularly with children involved, require a temporary orders hearing. This is a contested court visit, a sort of mini trial. It sets the rules for the litigation and orders the parties to reveal certain information. The hearing allows you to take control early and not let the other party dictate terms. Temporary orders give you defined powers and responsibilities.
  5. Discovery: If you’ve ever seen a lawyer show, you’ve seen someone drop a big box of papers on a courthouse table. Those documents come through a process called discovery. It’s a tool that allows the parties to see the other side’s hand, and begin to formulate a plan. Not every case requires full discovery, which can become quite expensive, so we use only the levels of discovery needed to make informed decisions.
  6. Settlement Conference/Negotiations: During this phase, we engage in informal negotiations for you. We exchange proposals with the other side in an attempt to focus the issues. It’s common in divorce cases for lawyers to stir up trouble by overcomplicating the negotiation process. We’ve handled so many agreements that we know how to get you what you want without letting the fog of war throw us off track.
  7. Mediation: A mediation is a way for parties to negotiate more formally. They often take a full day, but can cover every issue that remains after informal negotiations. We will prepare for mediation with an eye to resolution. If a case closes at mediation with an agreement, you could avoid significant litigation fees. Studies show that mediation participants are also more likely to follow a court’s order, helping you avoid years of drama in the future.
  8. Agreed Divorce Decree: If informal negotiations or the mediation work, we’ll have the outline of an agreement. Your lawyer team will then turn those few pages into an effective, enforceable decree with a long-term view. We want you to avoid future fights, and a properly drafted and entered decree helps you do that.

Nearly every divorce case follows this 8-step path. Because we know how that path will generally look, we can give you helpful estimates of timeframes and budgets. If things don’t go as planned, however, our billing structure will allow you to move forward with more intense litigation. We’ll have gathered the information needed to tell your story well before the court.

  • Litigation Phase: Some cases require a court to finish. We cannot fully control whether this happens because we can’t control the other side, but the steps we’ll have taken before in drafting, discovery, and negotiations will help limit the drama. Be assured that KidFirst Decision Making will continue to inform how we work during the Litigation Phase. We won’t push you into more fight than you need to take care of your children.

If You’re An Unmarried LGBTQ Parent…

Not every same sex parent follows the same path to family formation. Similarly, not every same sex parent faces the same issues at separation.

If your family did not start with a marriage ceremony, you still have options to protect yourself and your child. The process will look very similar to the KidFirst Divorce process described above, but only if your attorney understands how to connect the dots for a judge.

At your free Strategy Session, a specially trained attorney will instruct you about your options for safe and effective legal separation.

Always Choose For Your Children (We Do)

Now you have to make a decision. You have a sense of the unique issues you’ll encounter as a same sex parent, and you know you need an attorney who can translate those unique issues into established law. You have to trust someone. You have to invest that trust, which has both personal and financial implications, into a guide.

What will you choose?

If you believe you can be a KidFirst parent, we’d like to talk to you. We can’t tell you that contacting us means you qualify for our services. We don’t take every prospective client who wishes to hire us. We take only KidFirst parents. Is that you?

Avoid The Drama, Win For Your Kids

We don’t know yet what “winning” means for you. It could be a matter of custody, child support, property division, or just freedom. Whatever your reason to stand up for yourself before a court, we want to stand up with you.

The KidFirst Divorce Strategy Session is your next step, but it’s not your final step. At the end of this journey, you will know your definition of success and you will be closer to it. You’ll have more independence, personal power, and peace for your children.

If these things motivate you – if you are ready to discover what KidFirst Decision Making means for you – schedule a session with us now.

(Before you go, check out the form on the right side of this page. It’s for people who aren’t yet ready to talk to an attorney about their divorce roadmap. We’ll give you a list of 5 simple tips to keep your kids safe and protected RIGHT NOW. So go get that list, and we’ll talk more later.)

You can also go HERE to request this important guidebook
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