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Keith M. Nelson

E-mail MeKeith M. Nelson

Partner
Location:
Dallas, Texas
Phone:
866-875-2429 (Toll Free)
Fax:
214-273-2470
Email:

Keith Nelson is a highly respected attorney with nearly 30 years of experience in divorce and custody litigation. With a keen interest in issues involving children, his practice includes a special emphasis on addressing the psychological impact of custody and divorce litigation on children and their parents. In recognition of this expertise, he was appointed to serve on the Texas Supreme Court Committee on Visitation and Child Support Guidelines, which promotes proposed changes to the Texas Family Code for the Texas Legislature.

Keith has been a frequent author and speaker throughout the nation for more than 20 years on such topics as custody, visitation, psychological aspects of divorce and custody, jurisdiction, common-law marriage and Amicus Attorney arrangements. He works with organizations including the State Bar of Texas, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, American College of Forensic Psychologists, and the National Business Institute. After completing specialized training, he also has opened his practice to the use of Collaborative Law.

AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Keith has been selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list every year since its inception in 2003. He was named among the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas in 2013 and has been recognized among the Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas-Fort Worth four times. He also has been named to the list of Best Lawyers in America every year since 2006, based on his work in Family Law.

A fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1993, Keith has served on multiple AAML committees. He is also active in the local legal community, having served on the Dallas Bar Association's Family Law Section Board of Directors and as a consultant to Lawyers Against Domestic Violence. Keith provides pro bono representation for indigents in cases where serious issues regarding children exist.

Keith is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and is a 1983 graduate of the Baylor University School of Law. He also holds a Bachelor's Degree in economics from Baylor. He is married and has six children.

Areas of Practice

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody Modification
  • Support

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Family Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1988, Recertified: 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008

Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1984

Education

  • Baylor University School of Law, Waco, Texas
    • J.D. - 1983
  • Baylor University, Waco, Texas
    • B.A. - 1979
    • Major: Economics

Published Works

  • The Use, Misuse, and Abuse of Psychological Testing and Diagnosis in Evaluations, State Bar of Texas 37th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2011
  • Custody Evaluation Standards, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2010
  • Talking to Children and Youth in Chambers (Co-Authored with Dr. Benjamin Albritton), Texas Judicial Summit, 2010
  • How Attorneys and Mental Health Personnel Can Work Together Ethically on Behalf of the Mental Health of Infants, (Co-Author), Texas Association for Infant Mental Health and Texas Parents as Teachers, 2010
  • Reimbursements Revisited: Separate Property Companies; Jenson Claims; Alter Egos; Reverse Piercing; and Representing the Spouse Who Does Not Run the Company, (Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 35th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, August, 2009
  • Effective Cross-Examination of Mental Health Experts: Re-Shrinking the Experts, (Co-Author), The University of Texas Law School; 2009 Family Law on the Front Lines Seminar, June, 2009
  • Working with the Psychologist, (Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 34th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, August, 2008
  • Dauberts/Experts, Ultimate Trial Notebook, Family Law, 2006
  • Parenting Plans-Who, What, When, Where & Why, Advanced Family Law Course, State Bar of Texas, 2006
  • How to Handle a Custody Case on an Unlimited Budget, State Bar of Texas 31st Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2005
  • Rubbish and Rembrandt: The Art of Evaluating a Custody Case, State Bar of Texas 30th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2004
  • Child Custody Evaluation and Pitfalls, Including Daubert and Relocation Issues, American College of Forensic Psychology, 20th Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology, 2004
  • The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Complex Review of Psychological Testing in Custody Evaluations, (Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 29th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2003
  • Attorney Perspectives on Family Law - Custody and Divorce, (Co-Author), UT Southwestern Medical Center, Forensic Psychiatry Presentation, 2003
  • Attorney Perspectives on Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry, (Co-Author), UT Southwestern Medical Center, Presenta, 2002
  • Use and Abuse of Mental Health Professionals after Daubert, (Co-Author), 28th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2002
  • Reliability and Validity of Psychological Testing for Custody Determination, (Co-Author), 26th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2000
  • Psychological Testing in Child Abuse Custody Cases: Risks and Precautions, (Co-Author), 16th Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology, 2000
  • Promoting Infant Mental Health in the Family Court, (Co-Author), The Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, 2000
  • Creative Decision Making in Custody Arrangements; Psychological Theories; Their Admissibility After Daubert; And Alternatives to Trial, (Co-Author), American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, 1998
  • Creative Decision Making in Custody Arrangements, (Co-Author), American College of Forensic Psychology, 14th Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology, 1998
  • Favoring Unrestricted Relocation, (Co-Author), 11th Annual Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, 1997
  • Common Law Marriage and the Putative Spouse, (Co-Author), Marriage Dissolution Seminar, 1997

Classes/Seminars

  • "Experts and Their Issues," Annette Stewart American Inn of Court Meeting, 2013
  • "More than Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Evaluating Your Custody Case from a Psychiatric, Psychological and Legal Perspective," The University of Texas School of Law AAML Texas Chapter, Innovations – Breaking Boundaries in Custody Litigation, 2012
  • "The Use, Misuse, and Abuse of Psychological Testing and Diagnosis in Evaluations:, State Bar of Texas 37th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2011
  • "Custody Evaluation Standards", American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, 2010
  • "How Attorneys and Mental Health Professionals Can Work Together on Behalf of the Mental Health of Infants" (Speaker and Co-Author, with Dr. Ben Albritton, Ph.D.), Institute on Infant Mental Health Conference, 2010
  • "Talking to Children and Youth in Chambers" (Speaker and Co-Author with Dr. Ben Albritton, PH.D.), Texas Judicial Summit, 2010
  • "How Attorneys and Mental Health Personnel Can Work Together Ethically on Behalf of the Mental Health of Infants", Texas Association for Infant Mental Health and Texas Parents as Teachers, 2010
  • "Reimbursements Revisited: Separate Property Companies; Jenson Claims; Alter Egos; Reverse Piercing; and Representing the Spouse Who Does Not Run the Company" (Speaker and Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 35th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, San Antonio, Texas, 2009
  • "Effective Cross-Examination of Mental Health Experts: Re-Shrinking the Experts" (Speaker and Co-Author), The University of Texas Law School and the 2009 Family Law on the Front Lines Seminar, 2009
  • "Working with the Psychologist" (Speaker and Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 34th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2008
  • "Daubert/Experts, Ultimate Trial Notebook: Family Law" (Co-Author), 2006
  • "Parenting Plans-Who, What, When, Where & Why" (Co-Author), Advanced Family Law Course, State Bar of Texas, 2006
  • "Giving the Children a Voice in Court" (Speaker with the Honorable Debra Lehrman), SMU Dedman School of Law, 2005
  • "How to Handle a Custody Case on an Unlimited Budget" (Speaker and Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 31st Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2005
  • "Forensic Psychiatry: Pitfalls and Practices" (Speaker), UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 2005
  • "Rubbish and Rembrandt: The Art of Evaluating a Custody Case" (Speaker and Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 30th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2004
  • "Child Custody Evaluation and Pitfalls, Including Daubert and Relocation Issues" (Speaker), American College of Forensic Psychology, 20th Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology, San Francisco, April 1, 2004 - April 4, 2004
  • Expert Testimony, Final Hearing concerning common law marriage, State of Florida, Division of Administrative Hearings, Office of the Judge of Compensation Claims, District GNS, December 10, 2003
  • "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Complex Review of Psychological Testing in Custody Evaluations" (Speaker and Co-Author), State Bar of Texas 29th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, San Antonio, Texas, August 19, 2003
  • "Attorney Perspectives on Family Law - Custody and Divorce" (Speaker), Forensic Psychiatry Presentation, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, March 25, 2003
  • "Attorney Perspectives on Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry" (Speaker), Presentation to Forensic & Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residents, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, January 29, 2002
  • "Use and Abuse of Mental Health Professionals After Daubert" (Speaker and Co-Author), 28th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, 2002
  • "Reliability and Validity of Psychological Testing for Custody Determination" (Speaker and Co-Author), 26th Annual Advanced Family Law Course, San Antonio, Texas, August 21, 2000 - August 24, 2000
  • "Psychological Testing in Child Abuse Custody Cases: Risks and Precautions" (Speaker and Co-Author), 16th Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology, Newport Beach, California, April 6, 2000 - April 9, 2000
  • "Promoting Infant Mental Health in the Family Court" (Speaker and Co-Author), Texas Association for Infant Mental Health, Dallas, Texas, January 7, 2000 - January 8, 2000
  • "Creative Decision Making in Custody Arrangements; Psychological Theories; Their Admissibility After Daubert; And Alternatives to Trial" (Speaker and Co-Author), American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, Chicago, November 12, 1998
  • "Creative Decision Making in Custody Arrangements" (Speaker and Co-Author), American College of Forensic Psychology, 14th Annual Symposium in Forensic Psychology, San Francisco, California, May 2, 1998
  • "Common Law Marriage and the Putative Spouse" (Speaker, and Co-Author), Marriage Dissolution Seminar, 1997
  • "Favoring Unrestricted Relocation" (Speaker and Co-Author), 11th Annual Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, January 29, 1997 - January 31, 1997
  • "Using Depositions as a Discovery Tool" (Speaker and Co-Author), Advanced Family Law Course For Legal Assistants, February 1995
  • "Cross Examination of Mental Health Experts" (Panelist), Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, January 1995
  • "Preparation of a Trial (and ADR) Notebook" (Speaker and Co-Author), The Ultimate Trial Notebook - Family Law, State Bar of Texas, December 1994
  • "Effective Presentation of the Typical Property Case" (Speaker and Co-Author), 4th Annual Advanced Family for the General Practitioner and Legal Assistant, 1994
  • "New Developments in Family Law" (Speaker and Co-Author), South Texas Judicial Conference, 1994
  • "Affirmative Pleadings" (Speaker and Co-Author), 3rd Annual Advanced Family Law Drafting Course, 1993
  • "Mental Health Experts Understanding: 16PF, Projective Drawings, Sentence Completion, Bricklin" & "Mental Health Experts Jury Profiles" (Panelist), Advanced Family Law Course, 1993
  • "Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements" (Speaker and Co-Author), Marriage Dissolution Seminar, 1993
  • "Valuation of Small Businesses in Marriage Dissolution" (Speaker and Co-Author), American Association of Appraisers, 1993
  • "Jurisdiction" (Speaker and Co-Author), National Business Institute, Inc., 1992
  • "Visitation - How to Deal With Children Under 3 and Over 15" (Speaker and Co-Author), Marriage Dissolution Course, 1992
  • "Attorney/Ad Litem Fees" (Speaker and Co-Author), Texas Center for the Judiciary West Texas Conference, 1990
  • "Strategies in Custody Cases" (Co-Author), State Bar of Texas Marriage Dissolution Course, 1990

Honors and Awards

  • Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, Legal Division, 2003 - 2013
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, Legal Division, 2013
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, Legal Division, 2009, 2011-2013
  • Best Lawyers in America, Family Law, 2006 - 2014
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Fellow, 1993-Present
  • Texas Bar Continuing Legal Education Advanced Family Law Drafting and Advocacy Course Director, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Fellow, 1993 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Custody Evaluations Committee, 2008 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Special Concerns of Children Committee, 1998 - 2001
  • Annette Stewart American Inn of Court, Barrister, 2003 - 2005
  • National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC), Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • College of the State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Collaborative Law Institute of Texas, Member
  • Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Child Support and Visitation Guidelines, Member
  • Children's Hope Chest, Board of Directors, 1999 - 2002
  • State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Family Law Section, Board of Directors, 1992 - 1995
  • Irving Bar Association, President, 1991 - 1992
  • Dallas Alliance of Collaborative Family Lawyers, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
  • Lawyers Against Domestic Violence, Consultant
  • Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, Member, 1988 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Koons, Fuller, McCurley & Vanden Eykel, Dallas, Texas, 1988 - 1992

From Our Clients

  • "I call the McCurleys The First Family of Family Law, and I don't consider that an exaggeration. They were so attentive and so caring, while at the same time being excellent, hardball lawyers, that I recommend them to anybody facing a divorce. I wish I hadn't needed to hire a 'divorce lawyer,' but I'm glad they were there for me."
    Molly Ann Huie

  • "Thanks to all of you for your help, support, responsiveness, experience and the work you put into this case on my behalf. I have often been told that I have the best family law firm in Texas representing me, and now I can certainly vouch for that with first-hand experience. The entire team was engaged, focused and cohesive, and that is how you get positive results. THANK YOU and best wishes to all of you."
    Bob Tennison

In Our Words

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