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Can I Text My Child When They Are with My Ex?

As tempting as it is to text your child when they’re spending time with your ex, you should be extremely careful before pushing that “send” button. Anything you send to your child could potentially be read by your former spouse and used against you in a custody dispute. If you repeatedly text your child during visits with your spouse, they could see that as you trying to undermine their relationship with your child.

At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin family law attorneys know how tricky divorce cases and custody orders can be. Our highly experienced lawyers can look at your situation and inform you of what your rights are and what your best course of action is when your child is visiting your ex. We can also work with you to get a custody order modified if you feel like you aren’t being allowed to adequately communicate with your child when they spend time with your former spouse.

For more information on our family law services, visit our contact page or call (512) 323-2333.

Child Custody Basics in Texas

Texas law does not use the terms “custody” or “visitation” when it comes to deciding which parents will raise and spend time with the children following a divorce. Instead, the courts use the terms “conservatorship,” “possession,” and access.”

“Conservatorship” is essentially each parent’s rights and duties when it comes to raising their child. It includes things like making sure the child’s medical needs are provided for, deciding where they’ll go to school, whether the child will receive any religious instruction, and so on. If only one parent is allowed to make these decisions for a child after a divorce, they are said to have Sole Managing Conservatorship. If both parents share in these rights and duties, they have Joint Managing Conservatorship.

“Possession” is physical custody of the child, and “access” is basically what we commonly think of as visitation time. In most divorce cases, the courts will award one parent primary possession, while also creating an access schedule for the child to visit with the other parent. If the parents cannot reach an agreement on visitation time on their own, under Texas law the “Standard Protection Order” gives the non-custodial parent the right to see their child on the first, third, and fifth weekend (if applicable) of each month from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The non-custodial parent also has the right to see the child on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each week during the regular school term, unless the courts find this extra visitation time is not in the child’s best interest.

Courts do not necessarily have to abide by the rules of the Standard Protection Order, however. In cases involving family violence or other potential dangers to the child, a judge can severely restrict a non-custodial parent’s visitation rights.

How Custody Orders Affect Communication With Your Child

Your post-divorce Custody Order has a significant impact on whether or not it’s a good idea to text your child when they’re with your ex. If you have Sole Managing Conservatorship of your child and the child spends most of their time with you, you have the right to know where they are and what they’re doing when they are spending time with your spouse. That said, spamming your child with texts while they are with your former spouse can make you look intrusive and give your ex ammunition to potentially have a Custody Order amended.

If you and your ex-spouse have Joint Managing Conservatorship, or if your spouse has Sole Managing Conservatorship, you need to be watchful about anything you send to your child. Whatever you send, even if you didn’t intend it in a negative light, could be read by your ex. They can use the text message as evidence to have a Custody Order amended and further limit your visitation time. If your ex-spouse is not following the terms of your Custody Order, however, sending your child a text to figure out what’s going on is reasonable and likely will not be seen in a negative light by the courts.

Ultimately, your best bet is to leave your child alone when they’re spending time with your former spouse, regardless of the particulars of your Custody Order. Unless you fear for your child’s safety, your former spouse has the right to spend time with them without interruptions from your text messages.

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If you are concerned about what’s happening to your child during their visits with your ex, you can seek to have your Custody Order amended to include regular check-ins with your child via text messages.
Have more questions about child custody or another family law issue in Texas? Contact the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC by visiting our contact page or calling (512) 323-2333.

Can You Get Married on a Visitor Visa?

The short answer to this complex question is yes, you can get married to someone who has entered the U.S. on a visitor visa. Generally, anyone from a foreign country enters the U.S. with a visa. The type of visa they are granted is based on the intent of their visit. A non-immigrant visa designates a temporary stay, and an immigrant visa designates an individual who will be applying for permanent residence. Visitor visas fall under non-immigrant visas.

If you or a loved one has questions about immigration status, visas, or how to get married on a visitor visa, call the Austin immigration attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC. Whether you have arrived to pursue an education, take a job offer, or get married, you have legal rights as an immigrant. An experienced and qualified immigration attorney can help you meet your goals and obtain citizenship. Call our offices at (512) 323-2333 for a confidential legal consultation.

Are There Different Types of Visitor Visas?

There are two types of visitor visas. An individual who comes to the U.S. for business will have a category B-1 visa, and an individual here for tourism will have a category B-2. People who come to the U.S. for a combination may hold a B-1/B-2 visa.

Activities that fall under a business visa include attending conventions or conferences, settling an estate, negotiating a contract, or consulting with business associates. Activities that qualify for a tourist visa include vacation, medical treatment, participation in social events, participation in amateur events, or enrollment in a short recreational course for credit towards a degree. This might include a two-day cooking class or dance class while on vacation. In some instances, a person may be traveling on business for half of their visit and vacation for the second half. This would qualify them for a B-1/B-2 visa.

There are some types of travel and activities that require a different type of visa, such as employment, study, paid performances, or work as a foreign press, film, or journalist. A U.S. citizen can also apply for a non-immigrant fiancé visa (K-1). This allows the individual from a foreign country to come to the U.S. to get married. It also opens the door for the couple to legally apply for an adjustment of status after the marriage.

If an individual comes to the U.S. on a visitor visa and decides to get married, they may be allowed to apply for a green card under an adjustment of status. This is a process in which the visa status is adjusted from visitor visa to permanent resident.

What Are Your Intentions?

In the past, there have been many who have come to the U.S. on a visitor visa with the intent of marrying a U.S. citizen to acquire a green card status. The fiancé visa is slightly more difficult and often takes longer than a visitor visa. Also, there is nothing in the regulations that says you cannot get married on a tourist visa.

However, when an individual has the clear intention of marrying and applying for an adjustment of status to stay permanently in the U.S., it can cause trouble. The government sees this as visa fraud. Individuals who successfully get an adjustment of status have generally been able to prove they came with the honest intentions assigned to the visitor visa. In other words, they had no intention of getting married when they came to the U.S. For a marriage under a visitor visa to work, it must fit several rules. The marriage must be in good faith and not for the purpose of acquiring a green card and permanent residence.

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) will also look at the timing of your wedding. It can raise a red flag if you are married quickly after getting into the U.S. and then apply for an adjustment of status. If this adjustment is denied, you may be referred for removal or deportation. It is also important to remember that while the application for adjustment to status is underway, you cannot leave the U.S. until you receive your final papers. If you do leave, you may not be allowed to return, and your application will be classified “abandoned” and then denied.

However, foreign nationals can come to the U.S. to get married and then return home. You must be able to prove your intent to return home after the wedding. Documents like lease agreements, a return ticket, and letters from employers show your intention.

Contact the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC with Your Questions Today

The consequences of visa fraud can be significant. Individuals may be deported or may pay a penalty of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to five years. In the eyes of the government, the intent to marry a U.S. citizen is the same as an intent to immigrate. This is why proving there was no initial intention to marry under a visitor visa is vital if you choose to apply for an adjustment of status.

The safest way is by filing for a fiancé visa. If you or a loved one has questions about their immigration status or marrying a foreign national, call the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC today. Our experienced and compassionate legal team will seek legal protection for your rights under the law. Call our offices today at (512) 323-2333 for a confidential legal consultation.

How to Prevent Autumn Motorcycle Accidents

Fall is the perfect time of year to take out the motorcycle for a ride along a scenic route. The leaves start to change colors, and temperatures aren’t as scorching as they are during the summer months in Texas.

Commuting to school, work, or riding out of town can be an enjoyable experience for motorcyclists. However, there are some dangers during autumn you might not have encountered during the previous months. You could face various hazards that increase the risk of an accident.

Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take while preparing to take your motorcycle out on the road for the first time. You should also follow certain safety procedures for the additional rides you take during the fall. The tips below could keep you safe and prevent a traumatic accident resulting in injuries and death.

Maintenance and Repairs

Some areas of Texas are blisteringly hot during the summer. It’s not an ideal time of year to ride your motorcycle. If your bike has been sitting in the garage or driveway for the last couple of months, it might be time for routine maintenance.

Your motorcycle could have some issues that cause it to malfunction while using it. It’s crucial to inspect the vehicle thoroughly to ensure it’s in good working condition. Check the fluid levels, fill the bike with gas, and put more air in the tires if they look deflated. It’s also a good idea to look at all the parts and systems and test them to ensure they’re working correctly.

If a manufacturer recalled one of the parts on your motorcycle, replace it promptly. You should also address any damage you find and repair it immediately. Riding a bike with recalled or defective parts could have disastrous consequences. The engine could stall, the brakes could fail, or another mechanical issue could cause you to lose control.

Check the Weather Forecast

Whenever you plan to spend time outside with friends or family, you probably check the weather first. You want to make sure it’s not going to rain during your pool party or outdoor barbeque. The same preparations should apply whenever you want to ride your motorcycle.

Although you might think a little rain won’t cause any problems, it could create slick roads, causing your bike to slide on the pavement. Thunderstorms can bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, and lightning strikes, placing you at risk of serious harm. Without the same protections afforded to car and truck drivers, you’re at the mercy of the environmental factors you encounter.

Dress Appropriately for the Ride

Traffic-related accidents happen every day. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to avoid ending up on a collision course with a reckless driver. However, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself from significant physical injuries if you wear the right clothes.

Many motorcyclists have a false sense of safety when traveling around the neighborhood or on a deserted road. You might think you won’t get hurt, but a short trip can become life-threatening if you hit your head on the hard pavement, tumble down an embankment, or end up in a lake.

You should always wear a helmet, even if you’re only riding somewhere a few miles away. Wear comfortable clothing but make sure it’s not too loose. It’s also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes. If you’re trying to ride while wearing flip-flops, your foot could slip, causing you to lose control and crash into a tree or nearby vehicle.

If you plan on riding your motorcycle at night, wear bright colors or reflective tape. Put lights on your bike, so other drivers can see you in the dark. If you wear all black, it will be more challenging for approaching motorists to see and proceed with caution around you.

Be on the Lookout for Hazards

When autumn arrives, that means the leaves start to fall off the trees. Piles of leaves in the middle of the road can create a slippery surface for your motorcycle. They can also hide dangerous debris, such as tree branches, potholes, and additional hazards.

If you’re riding under a tree after significant rainfall, a wet leaf could fall and stick to your visor, impairing your vision of your surroundings.

The fall season also brings an increase in traffic. People return home from vacation, and kids go back to school, meaning more vehicles are around while you ride your motorcycle on the roads. Cars, trucks, and other motorcyclists can become obstacles for you to navigate around, especially if a motorist drifts into your lane, stops without warning, or otherwise behaves recklessly.

Always remain alert when you’re riding near other drivers. If you see someone speeding or weaving in and out of traffic, try to maintain your distance so you can avoid becoming a casualty of their misconduct if they cause an accident.

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If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligent actions, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC. An experienced and dedicated motorcycle accident attorney could represent you in your case and help fight for the justice and maximum compensation you deserve. Call us now at (512) 323-2333.

Protests held to advocate for protection of immigrant rights

Immigrant rights advocates scheduled demonstrations all around the country last weekend, January 14 and 15. The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles spokesman Jorge-Mario Cabrera said of the protests, “This is our first salvo to what may be a long, drawn out campaign.”

The demonstrations are the latest movement in the advocacy that has progressed since 2006 when over one million people protested a Republican-backed immigration bill that would have made it possible to criminally prosecute people in the country illegally. Rallies last weekend culminated at a church in Washington, at a teachers’ union hall in Chicago, and in Los Angeles and San Jose.

Demonstrations were sparked by President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric that he would implement tougher immigration policies and penalties. However, some people are hesitant to join the rallies without the action Trump is referencing. University of California, Berkeley professor of ethnic studies Chris Zepeda-Millan said, “Right now, all we have is these vague kinds of promises. Attacks have to occur for people to mobilize.”

We at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC are committed to providing you with the legal support and representation you need when it comes to processing your immigration into the United States. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our Austin offices today at (512) 323-2333.

Immigration advocates stand united against deportation policies

The opening of Texas’ 85th legislative session last Tuesday, January 10, made immigration advocates in Austin anxious, especially with the growth of anti-immigration sentiments as propagated by President-elect Donald Trump.

Immigration advocacy groups said they will band together to make sure that immigrants’ rights will not be trampled on, with Austin Sanctuary Network’s Reverend Babs Miller saying, “Our intent is to be that barrier that will discourage, help discourage [the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the Department of Homeland Security] from trying to do indiscriminate raids.”

Over 100 volunteers were trained by the Austin Sanctuary Network on how to peacefully resist arrests. ICE Out of Austin, for its part, advised immigrant families, or families who might be targeted, to have appropriate documentation on their person or within reach as often as possible.

“[The immigrants] and their families should be allowed to stay together here, and they should be allowed to move about the city without fear,” Miller added.

Our attorneys at Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, who provide legal representation to our clients in Austin or other areas in Texas, handle immigration cases that involve citizenship, deferred action, and other immigration concerns. Get in touch with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (512) 323-2333.

Immigrant workers may be subject to e-verification

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick plans to make Senate Bill 23 into a law in the upcoming legislative session. The bill was filed by Texas State Senator Charles Schwertner and seeks to require state contractors to use a federal electronic verification system to ensure the immigrants they are hiring have legally immigrated to the United States.

If the bill gets approved, it will codify an executive order regarding e-verify issued by former Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2014. Ana Gonzalez, a member of the Workers Defense Project, said the measure seeks to negatively impact both undocumented workers and businesses because half the state’s construction industry workforce comes from immigrant workers.

Our lawyers at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC provide legal services for our clients in Austin and other areas in Texas. We understand how important it is that your immigration papers and documents get approved. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (512) 323-2333.

Austin immigration groups band together to protect immigrant rights

Austin immigration advocacy groups have made the decision to join forces to ensure that the rights of immigrants will be protected in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

This task force group will be headed by a newly-formed organization called “Texas Here to Stay” and groups including the consulate, American Gateways, the Austin Region of Justice for Our Neighbors, Casa Marianella, Catholic Charities of Central Texas, Education Austin, the Equal Justice Center, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, the Austin school district, the Texas Law Immigration Clinic, and the Workers Defense Project will all be incorporated into it.

Some individuals who plan on coming to the United States to start a new life find themselves encountering serious challenges that make it difficult for them to process their immigration papers on their own. As such, they may find the legal help of the attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, who hold office in Austin, Texas, particularly useful. Call us today at (512) 323-2333.

Austin city leaders promise to uphold civil rights of citizens

Anxieties have risen over immigration concerns ever since election day, as Donald Trump has stated he will be especially vigilant when it comes to deporting undocumented immigrants. Aside from this, reports of racially motivated attacks against Latinos and Muslims have increased.

City leaders in Austin, Texas confirmed there has been a rise in phone calls from people who have expressed their fears regarding mass deportations and hate crimes. In response to this, several Austin council members plan on teaming up with Austin Independent School District school board members and Travis County leaders at City Hall to craft measures that will ensure civil rights of residents are protected.

Travis County Sheriff-Elect Sally Hernandez is adamant that no rights of citizens will be violated. She noted, “Travis County voters made it overwhelmingly clear that they want a progressive policy towards [immigration] that focuses on keeping families together and our community safer. Our values have not changed since Election Day. Travis County still has the same principles and values which state that everyone regardless of who they are, who they love, or where they come from should be valued, respected, and treated fairly by law enforcement..”

A lot of people look to start their new lives in the United States, as they view the country as a land filled with new and promising opportunities for them. However, sometimes plans of immigrating to the country stall as they encounter difficulties with the process of immigration. If you have experienced immigration problems in the U.S., do not hesitate to contact our attorneys at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC by calling our Austin offices at (512) 323-2333.

Austin immigrant families worried about living under Trump

Immigrant families in central Texas communicated feelings of anxiousness that President-elect Donald Trump will deliver on his campaign promise to deport millions of immigrants from the United States.

One such person is Alex, a single mother who has two boys, one of whom was born in the country. She is hoping his citizenship can afford her children some protection from deportation, saying, “America is the country for opportunities, right, so I decided to take the opportunities for my kids and for myself, too.”

Two policies of President Barack Obama likely to be scrapped once Trump assumes the presidency are the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which enables children brought to the country illegally to stay and work here temporarily, and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which provides protection for undocumented parents of American citizens.

As immigration attorneys, we at the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC know how challenging it is for many immigrants in this country – from the first step of processing immigration papers to actually living in the United States. If you are faced with an immigration issue, seek the legal help of our attorneys, who provide legal service in Austin and other areas in Texas, by calling our offices today at (512) 323-2333.

Sanctuary cities in danger of funding cuts under Trump administration?

Initiatives to remove sanctuary cities have started again with another Texas legislative session and new leadership that is targeting these municipalities. This has led to the question of whether Austin is a sanctuary city or not.

A law professor at the University of Texas Immigration Clinic Elissa Steglich said the concept is vague, noting, “It’s certainly not codified anywhere or appearing in law.”

While state Senator Charles Lee Perry (Republican of Lubbock) filed a measure last Tuesday, November 15 that mandates local governments to follow requests from federal agencies to put under lock and key certain undocumented immigrants of interest, United States President-elect Donald John Trump has vowed to cancel federal funding to sanctuary cities. The city of Austin received $42 million in federal grants in 2016 alone.

Trump’s vow foreshadows an administration that is unfriendly toward sanctuary cities; just this year, the federal government updated rules that disqualify sanctuary cities from obtaining Department of Justice federal grants.

Coming to a new country to live your life is a difficult decision and a life-changing one. It will be twice as difficult if you are facing serious challenges to successfully immigrate, such as challenges encountered to finally produce papers that will cement your international move. Seek the legal representation of our attorneys at Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, who provide legal services for our clients in Austin or other areas in Texas, if you are experiencing these difficulties, by calling our offices today at (512) 323-2333.

What Our Clients Are Saying

Leo Zheng
Leo Zheng Dec 22, 2021

The lawyer is very knowledgeable. I consulted for working visa and even got extra info about green card

Marc Eggers
Marc Eggers Nov 05, 2021

I’m so happy my wife and I chose to go with the Law Office of William Jang. The immigration process is already a long, frustrating and daunting at times process. Add a pandemic in the middle of it, and it makes it that much longer. The team at the office was there with us every step of the way.... Read More

Alan K
Alan K Sep 27, 2021

Like so many, many others on this forum have noted, the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, is in a class by itself. Since the prospect of immigration case failure is UNACCEPTABLE to any family, it is IMPERATIVE that you secure the services of the most competent Immigration Counsel available. Mr.... Read More

Rodrigo Augusto dos Santos
Rodrigo Augusto dos Santos Sep 21, 2021

My experience with this law office has been nothing less than great. First, his assistant, Mrs. Natália is simply amazing! Polite, caring, on top of everything. Second, Mr. Jang is very grounded, he will tell you the truth about how he feels about your case. He will clearly state the strengths and... Read More

John Z
John Z Sep 19, 2021

I feel so fortunate to have found Mr Jang, and he helped me reunite my family. Mr Jang is incredibly experienced and he is always very thorough in explaining all the details of the process. On top of that he also makes me feel that he genuinely cares about my family and he loves to help people with... Read More

Tuhin Dey
Tuhin Dey Jun 28, 2021

Satisfied! I hired William's firm for adjusting my case from J1 student to permanent resident and I must say I made a right choice. My case had few complications for example- J1 waiver. So before hiring William, I visited his office for paid consultancy, asked tons of questions regarding J1 waiver.... Read More

Xinyu Heng
Xinyu Heng Jun 25, 2021

Both Mr. Jang, and Mrs. Natalia Almanza are very professional and have great attention to details. They explained the whole process to us in advance and answered our questions clearly and patiently. They keep us informed with every development. Our cases were handled smoothly. The second time... Read More

Abhishek Bhargava
Abhishek Bhargava Jun 24, 2021

A FANTASTIC Lawyer !! Our experience while filing the response to the RFE was great. Mr. Jang was extremely responsive, got our entire paper work put together in less than a week. He coordinated with everybody involved to get the information that he needed to put together the paper work. His... Read More

B D Jun 19, 2021

I have been consulting Mr. Jiang regarding immigration issues several times over emails/phone and once in person. He always reply quickly and has been very helpful. I'd recommend him for his excellent work and customer service.

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