Dallas & Fort Worth Family Law Attorneys

An Experienced and Multicultural Legal Team Advocating for You and Your Child

Family law is a deeply personal matter, and we understand how important the consequences of divorce, child custody and support negotiations, and education access for your child are. Attorney Geri Cohen, and our team at Cohen Villegas Patel, PLLC, brings the unique benefits of big firm experience with small firm personalized attention and direct attorney access. In fact, one of our biggest priorities is maintaining a strong client-attorney relationship. We are also a multicultural team of attorneys, and we offer multilingual services in a variety of languages including Spanish, Gujarati, German, Nepalese, Russian, Portuguese Italian, French, and Hebrew. 

Schedule your free initial consultation with Cohen Villegas Patel, PLLC online or at (214) 643-8844 to discuss your legal options in your family-related matter.

Advocating for Your Child: Education Law for Kids with Disabilities

Education law is also an important facet of family law. One specific education law that is significant to keep in mind addresses kids with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA or IDEA) is a collection of federal regulations for special education that ensures a free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities who attend public schools. The Act requires that each public school provide certain services to eligible special education students in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and in accordance with each student’s individualized education program (IEP). 

Your child should not be denied a fair education that meets their needs, and this is literally written into the law. If you believe your child’s school is not meeting their educational needs, you have the right to take legal action, and our attorneys can help you. In fact, Attorney Geri Cohen has significant experience handling 504 and IEP meetings for parents and their child, and she is passionate about child advocacy in the school system.

Child Custody & Parenting Plans

Another important family law matter, especially during divorce, is the child custody negotiation. Regarding custody, Texas courts will decide whether parents should share managing conservatorship (legal custody) and possessory conservatorship (physical custody), or whether one parent should have the sole right.

Note that the custody arrangement will be set forth in a parenting plan, which can either be negotiated together in mediation or individually presented to a judge, who will make the final decision. An attorney can help draft an appropriate plan that also ensures the parent’s rights are fairly addressed. A parenting plan should include the names of all children, as well as details regarding:

  • whether each parent will be a managing conservator or a possessory conservator;
  • how parents will share or divide decision-making rights and responsibilities;
  • how parents will share or divide rights and responsibilities regarding the physical care, support, and education of the child;
  • which parent has the right to choose the child's main residence (the "custodial conservator") and whether the residence must be within a certain area;
  • a possession and access schedule explaining when the child will be with each conservator;
  • whether either parent will pay child support and how much;
  • how the conservators will pay the child's medical and dental costs;
  • provisions to minimize disruptions to the child's education, routine, and friendships.

After drafting a parenting plan, the parents will submit the proposal to a judge. The judge will approve the plan or propose certain changes based on what they determine to be in the child’s best interests, which has been established in the Texas Supreme Court case of Holley v. Adams, 544 S.W.2d 367 (Tex. 1976) as factors including:

  • the child's desires;
  • the child's immediate and future physical and emotional needs;
  • any immediate and future physical and emotional danger to the child;
  • the parental abilities of each parent;
  • the programs available to assist parents who want to promote the best interests of their child;
  • the plans each parent has for the child;
  • the stability of the home or proposed home;
  • any actions or failures to act that may indicate that the parents don't have a proper parent-child relationship; and
  • any excuse the parents may have for those actions and failures to act.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

One of the most important safeguards in a marriage, or in anticipation of a marriage, is the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These marital agreements establish how marital assets might be handled in the chance of divorce. In general, a prenuptial agreement in Texas can address:

  • the rights and obligations of each spouse regarding property;
  • who has what rights to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, use, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage or control property;
  • the allocation of personal or real property if one of the spouses dies or if the parties separate or divorce;
  • rights to alimony;
  • the making of a will, trust, or other arrangements to facilitate the provisions of the prenuptial agreement;
  • the rights to the death benefit from a life insurance policy.

A postnuptial can cover the same terms as a prenuptial, and the main distinction between the two is that a postnuptial is drafted during a marriage, while a prenuptial is written before marriage. Our attorneys have significant experience handling marital agreements and can help you and your spouse negotiate a fair contract in your best interests as a spouse.

Our Winning Strategy

  • International & Multicultural

    CVP is comprised of multicultural partners, thus offering a variety of language translation and interpretation: Spanish, Gujarati, Italian, German, French, Nepalese, Hebrew, Russian and Portuguese.

  • Cost Sensitivity

    While providing outstanding service and legal representation is our paramount concern, CVP maintains great vigilance in controlling costs by ensuring that matters are dealt with efficiently and cost-effectively.

  • Decades of Experience

    All clients meet with only CVP partners for legal counsel. Our partners come from a variety of jurisdictions and hold degrees and concentrations in various fields of Law. Together we offer decades of experience and vast insight translating directly into exceptional advice and service to our clients.

Call (214) 643-8844 for a Consultation to Discuss Your Legal Options

From negotiating marital agreements to writing parenting plans to ensuring your child receives a fair education, our family lawyers at Cohen Villegas Patel, PLLC can handle it all. We have decades of combined experience practicing law in Texas, and we can help you and your family navigate a legal system that should be protecting and preserving your rights.

Schedule a consultation with our firm online or at (214) 643-8844 today. Multilingual services available.

Big Firm Experience.
 Small Firm Attention.