We are open again for business at the beautiful brick and mortar location! Although we are very conscious of the COVID-19 risks, we understand that people especially need family lawyers at this time. After practicing in the area a family law for 33 years and being board-certified for 28 of those years, I have a keen awareness of how the current situation has deeply affected marriages and children in our community. We stand ready and able to service our ongoing clients in our newly disinfected office wherein we now require that all visitors submit their forehead for a contactless temperature reading to protect our work family and yours. We do require that you wear a mask as prescribed by federal, county and city regulations. When I built my office in 2013 I incurred  the additional monies to ensure that all visitors were safe from the spreading of germs and bacteria by installing high tech visitor restrooms with touchless water, soap and dryers, I had no idea that this would be such an added layer of safety for our clients and employees during this pandemic.  This foresight gives us the ability to provide you with the highest standard of cleanliness and low risk for infection when you visit our beautiful, SPACIOUS office, in person where we can comply with social distancing with no problem whatsoever. We are accepting new clients at this time and have instituted new policies for receiving payments online as well as having our intake forms as easy PDF fillable documents as well as giving you the opportunity to provide us with all of your evidence and other important documentation by sending same via electronic transmission. We have all of our clients’ private and confidential  information saved and protected, while being accessible to the staff through our extremely secure Cloud Client Platform and Portal hosted by legal industry giant, ThomsenReuters. For this reason, during the stay at home sheltering orders we were one of the few law firms in the county to already have transitioned to a virtual Law Firm. This permitted our brilliant and innovative family law attorneys to continue to seamlessly provide the very best legal representation to the DFW population which we serve. We are able to represent clients not only in Tarrant County, but all surrounding counties such as Johnson, Dallas, Collin, Kaufman and Parker. 

I have handpicked the most competent, experienced and hard working support staff to flawlessly meet the needs of our clients as a full-service family law firm. We have recently been named as one of the top 20 divorce law firms in Arlington! I have garnered many honors over my many years of practice, including being named as Top Attorney in Fort Worth for over a decade each year and I have twice been selected by my peers as a “Super Lawyer” of Texas, an honor reserved for an extremely small percentage of Texas lawyers. Although I am proud of all of these accolades, this would mean nothing to my clients if I had not concentrated on a mission of using my decades of experience to build my law form into a well organized business utilizing the most cutting edge technological tools to represent my clients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This goal has served me well during this ongoing epidemic. My goal is to provide the most excellent t legal services to all of the community at a cost that does not bankrupt a client. 

If you are at high risk to contract Coronavirus or prefer to have all of your contact with our office in virtual form, we are set up on Zoom for immediate consultations for new clients. My Mission Statement has always been: “When It comes to your family and your finances, experience matters!” These words are more true now than ever. During these uncertain times I wanted to reach out to our community and assure your that because of my many years of practice, I had already built in all of the safeguards to enable our brilliant lawyers and awesome paralegals to continue the essential work that they do from home during the height of the pandemic. I wanted to put the word out there that we stand ready and able to meet all of your family law needs, now more than ever. We are also still offering our simple Estate Planning Kit at a greatly reduced price to give back to the community that has been so wonderful and supportive over the last 33 years as I built one of the best family law firms in the State. Prayers to all of you during these frightening times, and please remember that we have the experience and technology to best serve you, our important clients who are the reason for our continued existence and survival.  At the end of the day, no business is more essential than a family law firm with a  dedicated team ready to shepherd you through any crisis that you and your family are experiencing. Please reach out to us if you need help now at ArlingtonDivorces.com or call (817) 572-9900 and Amanda can get you set up to meet with us to give you advice immediately,

What You Need to Know about Interstate Child Custody in Texas

Living in different states presents unique challenges for both the custodial and the non-custodial parent. A family law attorney will take these considerations into account in order to reach a fair arrangement and can also help with post-judgment modifications in the event of a relocation. At The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt, we have helped families reach manageable solutions since 1986. Our interstate child custody attorney in Arlington, TX, has been board-certified since 1991 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and provides a stress-free atmosphere for families.

A father hugging his daughter.

What Is Interstate Child Custody?

Sometimes children are born to unmarried parents, who do not share the same state of residence. In other cases, a parent may want to move out of state after a divorce, and will want to know how living across the state line will impact custody rights. In order for the court to make determinations about custody and other important issues regarding the children, special laws have to be applied. The first step of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is to establish which state has jurisdiction over the matter.

At The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt, we have helped families reach manageable solutions since 1986.

If the parents lived in the same state when the divorce or initial custody action was filed, that state will continue to exercise jurisdiction over the case and has the authority to enter orders regarding custody. If the parents did not reside in the same state when the case was filed, preliminary legal questions such as which state is the home state of the child must be answered before a determination is made.

How To Determine a Child’s Home State

When making a finding as to which state is a child’s home state, the court will consider factors such as:

  • Where the child lived six months prior to the initiation of the action.
  • Which state the child has significant contacts in, through family or other personal connections to one state over another.
  • Whether one state offers certain safety measures, which can come into play in abusive situations.

The court will look at whether there is any state that can satisfy the above requirements, and if so, will find that state to be the home state for purposes of hearing the custody and/or visitation issues.

Interstate Child Custody Issues To Consider

Sometimes the reasons for a move to another state are personal or for work. But there are other issues to consider when an interstate child custody matter arises. For example:

  • Does the new state of residence need to take notice of the custody order? If so, you may need to file an action in that state and file your current custody order, putting the court on notice of the terms so if questions arise the court will have the information needed to make decisions.
  • Has your child been taken out of the state without permission? If so, you may want to talk to an attorney about a parental kidnapping action.
  • Will the current visitation schedule still work? If not, you will want to seek modification of the existing arrangement.

A family law attorney can help you answer these questions while keeping the best interest of your children in mind.

Where To Turn for Help

The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt knows how stressful it can be to become involved in child custody and visitation issues. We have been practicing for over 30 years and are qualified to help answer your questions and take on your case. Call our office at 817-572-9900 or contact us online.

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Arlington Office

3216 W Arkansas Ln
Arlington, TX 76016

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(817) 572-9900