Where Family Law and Criminal Law Intersect – Video 1 – Introduction

Happy Friday, everybody. Hope you all had a great week. Today, I want to start what will be a series of videos over the next few weeks that focus primarily on issues that arise when the worlds of family law and criminal law intersect. A lot of cases that come through my office have some sort of family law component. And likewise, a lot of cases that go to a family law attorney might have a criminal component. And so the first thing that I need to preface this video by saying is I do not practice family law at all. Nobody in this office does.

When you come into our office and you have an issue that raises a family law concern, the very first thing I do is I refer you out to a family lawyer who I trust or I have worked with in the past, because you need their expertise when it comes to the family law-specific topics so that they can guide you through that process. However, there are many times where you need a family lawyer might that if you’re going through a divorce or a custody case, but you might be unsure if you need a criminal lawyer.

So this video deals with when you’re going through a family law case, when you should also consult with a criminal attorney. The first of these types of cases where you should consult with a criminal attorney in addition to your family law counselor is obviously when any event has happened in which the police were called or a police report was filed. So if you and your significant other or your spouse, or your co-parent got into an altercation or an argument that resulted in the police report being filed, that’s an obvious one. Come and sit down and consult with me and we can work you through that process.

However, there are some other instances when it may not be so obvious. So for example, if you’re going through a divorce and your spouse or soon to be ex-spouse makes allegations in the divorce pleadings that constitute family violence saying that you either abused them, assaulted them, what have you especially sexually assaulted them in any way, shape or form. Even if there’s not a criminal case pending, you immediately need to get a criminal lawyer on board so we can look out for the criminal aspect of that case. We’ll work hand in hand with your family lawyer to make sure that you’re protected on both fronts.

The other instance that is fairly common that comes up is if you’re going through a custody dispute and especially if you have an older child, somebody that’s 13, 14, 15-years-old and they have indicated to you that they do not want to go to their other parent’s house. You have primary custody, the other parent has visitation and they say, “I don’t want to go.” And the other parent is threatening to hold that court order that says they get custody, that says they get visitation that they’re going to either hold you in contempt of that court order or that they’re going to contact the police if you don’t voluntarily surrender the child against their wishes. That’s another instance that you can come in and consult with us, because interference with child custody is a felony level offense in Texas. So you have to be very, very careful how you navigate those incredibly tricky waters.

And that’s another one that I work hand in hand with the family lawyer to try to find a resolution that doesn’t result in criminal charges being filed. And then finally, if you’ve been ordered to pay child support and for whatever reason you’ve been unable to meet that financial burden or that financial responsibility and the state and the attorney general’s office is threatening to come after you or file criminal charges against you for failure to maintain that financial responsibility for the child or failure to pay the child support as ordered. That’s another reason that talking with a criminal attorney is likely in your best interest in addition to consulting with a family attorney.

So stay tuned because over the next few weeks, we’re going to go into some of these topics in a lot better detail. We’ll dive deeper into each one and kind of talk about what those cases look like and how we can help. So every Friday, be looking for another video in this series. I’m anticipating this to go about three or four videos long. But as more questions come up as I run into more issues, I may make some more of those to put into this series as well.

So if you have any questions about any of this or if you have a family law issue that you think kind of broaches that line between family and criminal law, reach out to me, let me know, and I’d be happy to answer whatever questions that I have. Thanks everybody. Hope you’re having a great week, have a good weekend, and we’ll see you next Friday.

Author Bio

James P. Whalen

James P. Whalen is the managing attorney and founder of Whalen Law Office, a Texas criminal defense firm offering personalized legal representation for various federal criminal charges. With a commitment to providing comfort and guidance during challenging times, Mr. Whalen serves as both an attorney and counselor to his clients, helping them navigate their cases while striving to restore normalcy to their lives.

In an inherently unbalanced criminal justice system, Mr. Whalen takes on cases with unwavering dedication. With decades of legal experience, he offers representation across various criminal charges, including white-collar crimes, violent crimes, drug charges, and more. Mr. Whalen’s numerous accolades, including Super Lawyer recognition and board certification in Criminal Appellate Law and Criminal Law, reflect his unwavering commitment to ethical and high-quality legal representation.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google