Archive for the ‘Child Custody’ Category

Co-parenting thought on the words we speak

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

My current posts and newsletters deal with co-parenting, and I want to share this timeless and often repeated advice:

“When you tell a child that you hate their other parent, you are telling them that you hate half of who they are…”

Let’s remember the power of words. Words have the power to build up or the power to tear down. Which will yours be today?

What is co-parenting?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

After the child’s parents choose to split it is important that the child be loved and supported by both parents and that the parents can productively parent the child even after a divorce. A former client came to me recently to ask about the co-parenting concept.

Q.  My ex and I almost always end up fighting whenever we talk about even the simplest matters about the kids? How can I communicate, much less co-parent, in this scenario?

Co-parenting amicably with your ex can give your children stability and close relationships with both parents–but it’s rarely easy. Putting aside relationship issues to co-parent agreeably can be fraught with stress. It is not always easy, but the benefit to your children over the years ahead will be great.

When faced with a tense situation like you described here, you should remain calm, stay consistent, and avoid or resolve conflict with your ex to make joint custody work.

The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only. Yes, this can be very difficult. It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex-spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.

It’s okay to be hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Instead, let what’s best for your kids—you working cooperatively with the other parent—motivate your actions.

Are there tips to doing this effectively? You bet! Next week’s newsletter will feature some of the most effective co-parenting tips.

If you have some good co-parenting tips and advice you think I should share next week, please email me at

If you would like to resolve your matters, or just get your legal questions answered, please feel free to reply to this email or please call me at (713) 370-7100.

Have a great day!


Keeping the cost of your divorce/child support case under control

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

The cases and cost of attorney’s fees in a family law matter are much like cars…they come in many makes, styles, and price ranges. And just like shopping for a car, you should have an idea of what you are looking for and what is in your budget BEFORE you begin.

I know, I can hear you saying now how you don’t know what you are looking to get out of this case yet, because you don’t know all of your options. I get that completely. So make sure that when you meet with me, or any attorney, you are up front about your goals and your limitations going into the suit.

This information will help me better craft your strategy AND save you some money in the long run.

Feel free to call me at (713) 370-7100 to set a time for us to sit down together and plan the steps to resolving your situation. You may also visit my website at Eric

Can I get a private divorce?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

I was recently asked whether a client’s divorce could be private. That’s a very insightful question, because many of us have no desire to have our family’s dirty laundry aired in public. In this particular client’s case, I recommended that we use collaborative law so that the parties are in control of the process, rather than the courts.

It is often a smooth fit for a divorcing couple who value their time, their money, and their image. If you are looking to make your divorce a private and mature matter, please call or email and we can visit about your situation. Eric Gruetzner

Eric Gruetzner

Attorney at Law

(713) 370-7100

Poor who owe child support could lose federal benefits

Monday, February 27th, 2012

The Washington Post reported today that thousands of poor and disabled men stand to lose their only income next year because of a change in government policy that will allow states to seize every dollar of federal benefits from people who owe back child support.

It’s worth reading because many have lost sight of how much of the “delinquent” child support is often government fees and interest that comprise the delinquency.


SB 820 passed and is effective 9/1/2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Recently I blogged that SB 820 was in the works, and it has now passed.

Let’s all hope that once it is in practice that it will provide a good groundwork for possession and access schedules for children under three years of age.

Here’s the link and history on the bill as passed:

Eric Gruetzner

Texas child possession & access orders for children under 3 years of age…change may be coming!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The Texas Legislature is in session, and Senate Bill 820 may result in more guidance to judges and attorneys in crafting possession and access schedules.  Essentially, it appears that the bill will amend the Texas Family Code by spelling out the relevant factors that a court must consider when making a possession order for children under three.  Let’s keep watch on this one, because if it passes then there may be both more guidance on the issue, as well as more uniformity across the state

I encourage you to read the bill here (


False allegations in a Divorce/Custody case…what do I do?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

All too often there are false allegations made in divorce/custody cases.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard in court that the other parent is on drugs, assaulted them, is bipolar, and so on…….well, I’d retire from that mountain of nickels!

But seriously, if you are the victim of false allegations of this nature, this is a serious matter that can be used to keep you away from your children.  And I would advise you to sit down immediately with your attorney to formulate a strategy.

If you don’t have an attorney and these types of allegations are made against you, I advise you to retain a good family attorney IMMEDIATELY. I have successfully defended a number of cases like this where my client’s spouse makes false allegations like this and we fight back until we win.

Family law is a different type of law because fundamentally the best interest of the child standard is the benchmark for suits involving children….but ask any Texas family lawyer precisely what ‘best interest of the child’ is defined as and a serious of ‘factors’ is usually the best that can be given.  We often say….best interest of the child is in the eye of the beholder, and you don’t want a false picture of you painted in the judge’s eye (the beholder).

Don’t lose faith, call me today and let’s set the record straight together! Eric Gruetzner (713) 370-7100

I was just served with a divorce petition/family lawsuit…what now?

Monday, February 21st, 2011

The shock and swell of emotions can be immense…you were just served with court papers saying your spouse wants a divorce or your child’s other parent now wants to add/change/delete child support or visitation provisions!

It can be overwhelming yes, but it can be worked through.  Like many Houston divorce attorneys, I regularly counsel people in just this position, and the goal is to resolve as many of their uncertainties as possible.

There are a tremendous number of “urban legends” about divorce and family law so beware.  Your friends, neighbors, co-workers may be quick to tell you about what happened to them during their case, and most of the time these people in our lives are very well-intentioned and are trying to help and ease our minds.

Probably the thought that rattles me most is when folks say (or believe) that they don’t need an attorney even though their spouse has one.  Trust me….99 times out of 100, you need an attorney if your spouse or ex has one.  You can bet that their attorney knows family law, rules of evidence, and rules of civil procedure…all of which are instrumental to presenting your case to the judge.  Even the most merciful judges cannot make-up for an unrepresented party not getting things right.

So take some time to process this…you were served, now you can consult with a family lawyer who can help you solve this problem.  Call me today at (713) 370-7100.  My divorce information page is also a good start.

Take care, Eric (

Do-it-yourself divorce resources from a Houston Divorce Attorney

Monday, January 31st, 2011

In the current economy, my clients and prospective clients are taking stock of the costs associated with their case.  All too often, due to loss of a job or other financial pinch, many people are choosing to represent themselves (do-it-yourself) in their divorce or family law matter.

Although people often represent themselves out of the goal of saving money, it is important to know that there are other ways to lower the cost of a divorce without leaving yourself exposed to bad outcomes that can happen in a do-it-yourself scenario.  Oftentimes it just takes a frank, up-front conversation about the client’s goals to be accomplished and the budget that my client has to work within, in order for my client and I to come up with an affordable solution.

So before you just give up and go look for the latest do-it-yourself divorce guide at the bookstore in hope that you can get it right, take a step back and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. In this divorce/family law/child support/child custody case, what is it that I would really like to achieve?
  2. If I were to explain to a court why this outcome is best for my child(-ren), what would I say?
  3. How much emotional energy can I devote to this matter?
  4. Knowing that the court system may not move as quick as I wish, how long am I prepared to be involved in this matter, and how long is too long?
  5. How much money am I able to invest in this matter if it turns into a contentious fight?

If you are able to thoughtfully answer these questions then you should consider taking the time to consult with a veteran family law attorney.  If you have read my materials and visited my site and believe you and I might work well as a team, then please please feel free to call me at (713) 370-7100 or email me at  Eric

To review the family law materials on my site, please go to