• Responsive
  • Dedicated
  • Experienced
  • Compassionate
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Contact Us

Chowins Law Firm 
1011 Surrey Lane 
Bldg 200
Flower Mound, TX 75022
Tel: (469) 630-2550

  

Family Law: Divorce, Marriage, Children, Elderly

  • Divorce, Separations & Annulments
  • Divorce Settlement Agreements
  • QDRO orders
  • Guardianships of Minors, Elderly & Incapacitated Persons
  • Paternity
  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Adoptions
  • Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements 
  • Child Welfare Cases 
  • Grandparent Rights
  • Name Changes 

Guardianship & Probate Administration

  • Probate of Estates and Administration
  • Will Contests
  • Guardianship of Minors and Incapacitated Persons
  • Guardianship Alternatives
  • Guardianship Litigation
  • Small Estate Administration
  • Intestate Succession
  • Independent Administration
  • Muniment of Title Proceedings
  • Court Supervised Administration
  • Estate Tax Returns
  • Claims Against Estate

Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning

  • Estate & Gift Tax Avoidance
  • Business Succession Planning
  • Wealth Preservation
  • Health Care Directives
  • Medical Powers of Attorney
  • Simple and Complex Wills
  • Trust Planning
  • Effective Use of Insurance
  • Planning for Incapacity
  • Charitable Giving & Legacy Planning

 

Guardianship of Minor Children

Who Can Serve as a Guardian of Minor Children?

Generally, any person could apply and potentially serve as a guardian of a minor child unless the court finds that one of the following exceptions applies to the applicant.

  • Persons who are minors or who are otherwise incapacitated.      
  • Persons incapable of properly managing or controlling the ward or the ward's estate due to lack of experience, lack of education or "other good reason."
  • Persons the court finds otherwise unsuitable
  • Persons with a history of notoriously bad conduct. While not specifically defined, the following acts are presumed to be "notoriously bad conduct": any sexual offense, including sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and prohibited sexual conduct; aggravated assault; injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual; abandoning or endangering a child; terroristic threat; or continuous violence against the family of the ward or incapacitated person.
  • Persons with a conflict of interest with the proposed ward.       Such conflicts could include indebtedness to the proposed ward, being a party to a suit affecting the welfare of the potential ward, or asserting claims adverse to the proposed ward or the ward's property.
  • Persons the proposed ward properly disqualified as part of a valid written declaration made while the proposed ward had capacity to make such a declaration.
  • Person who has not completed the required certification to serve as a guardian. This can be corrected by taking a basic course.
  • Persons who are nonresidents, unless the nonresident obtains a registered agent in Texas for service of process.
  • Persons subject to a protective order for family violence

Priorities in Selecting Guardians of Minor Children

Since more than one person will often be both qualified and willing to serve as a guardian of the minor, Texas courts will give priorities to

certain persons depending upon the circumstances.   The priorities differ depending upon circumstances of the case.

Guardians for Minors with Living Parents

Parents are the natural guardians of minor children's person, but as to minor's estate, the court will appoint one of the parents if the parents do not agree, based on which is better qualified if the parents live together or based on the child's best interest if the parents do not live together. In the case of a minor with only one living parent, that surviving parent will be appointed guardian of the minor's estate.

Guardians for Orphaned Minors

Generally, the minor's grandparents are given priority, then great grandparents, followed by next of kin.   If more than one qualified person within the same priority level applies to be guardian for the minor, the court will choose the person based on the best interest of the minor child. If no member of the minor's family is willing and qualified, the court will appoint another qualified person.

Notwithstanding this, if the minor's last surviving parent, by will or written declaration designates a person to serve as guardian, the court will appoint that person so long as the person is otherwise qualified, is willing to serve as guardian for the minor child and such appointment is not contrary to the child's best interest.

Notwithstanding this, if the minor child is at least twelve years of age, the minor may select a guardian so long as the court finds that the person selected is competent and suitable and that the appointment of the selected person is in the minor child's best interests.

 

Meet the Owner

David W. Chowins

David Chowins

David Chowins is a family law and divorce attorney with over twenty years experience in practice. He established his own law practice in the Fall of 2000 after several years practicing with two of the nation's top law firms.    

"Don't try to be the best lawyer in Texas.  Instead, try to be the best lawyer each day, in each case, for each client.  That way your performance can be measured, learned from, and improved upon.  Trying to be the best lawyer period is simply an aspirational goal that can never be achieved and will do nothing to help one become a better attorney."

David Chowins

David focuses on divorce and family law which includes estate planning, guardianship law, and probate law.  These areas often include litigation of various types including, divorce and child custody cases, probate challenges, guardianship litigiation, among other types of cases.

David also serves as both Attorney Ad Litem and Guardian ad Litem where he is tasked by the court to represent parties that have a stake in the litigation but are not present or to advise the court as to the best interest of those who can not advocate for themselves such as minors, incapacitated persons and others who may not be in a position to advocate for their own best interests.   

Read more

Featured Article

  • What is an Uncontested Divorce?

    There is often great confusion regarding uncontested divorces.   It is important because lawyers often charge a flat fee for an uncontested divorce.   Attorneys can do that because in an uncontested divorce, the attorney can predict fairly accurately the number of hours he or she will need to devote to the case.  When a case is contested, the attorney can not predict what the other side will do or how long it may take to reach an agreement or even if the case needs to be tried before a judge or jury.

    Signs for Cheap "Uncontested" Divorces Often Mislead Divorcing Couples

    If you're like most people, you may see cheap yard signs on the side of the road advertising "uncontested" divorces.  Often the stated fees are around a couple hundred dollars or so, far less than what a lawyer would seek to take on a new divorce case.  The first thing you should know is that the advertised fee is just what the person wants to charge you, not your overall cost for a divorce.  In fact, in a divorce case, the filing fees alone often exceed $300.  So, once you realize this, it is easy to figure out these signs are highly misleading.

    Next, you should also know that whoever answers the phone is probably not a lawyer, but just a person that wants to sell you forms which you could have gotten for free at a library.  If it is a lawyer that advertises in such a way, for numerous reasons beyond the scope of this

    Read more ...