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Recent Blog Posts

Is Texas on your side when it comes to shared parenting?

 Posted on February 01, 2020 in Child Custody

One of the toughest parts of your divorce could be making sure your children get what's best for them. A court order giving you an equal share in custody is an excellent place to start, but that's not a guarantee that it will work out that way.

The National Parents Organizations (NPO) gave Texas a C- for its shared parenting legislation. Not alone in the middle, Texas was one of 25 states that the organization assigned a C grade. Getting a fair share of time with your children is very important, but you may have to put in some extra work to get there.

Benefits of joint custody

The NPO sees joint custody as an essential part of bringing up your children, with stronger benefits appearing as you approach equal shares of time. Even if you and their other parent have a regular dose of disagreements between you, joint custody allows your children to develop healthier behaviors and perform better in most areas of growth. This can translate to better emotional, physical and academic development.

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Options for dividing family business assets during divorce

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

Couples who own businesses together may be hesitant to proceed with a divorce, even if their relationship has broken down to the point of being irretrievable. Staying together for the business is not likely to be a long-term option.

But what options are available when it comes to divorce and the family business? According to U.S. Census Bureau data, this is not an uncommon question. There are about 3.7 millionhusband-wife co-owners operating businessesin the U.S. Here are three options that a couple may consider before they head to divorce court.

  • Sell the business before the divorce: Many people view divorce as a chance to get a fresh start. By selling the business, the couple may gain the means to go in different directions, whether that be to start a new business, go back to school to begin a new career or find work in an established company. The downside to selling the business is that it may take time to find a buyer, and this could prolong an unsatisfactory marriage.

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How a postnup can protect your finances from a bipolar spouse

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

Even under otherwise favorable circumstances, financial challenges can put a strain on a marriage. If your spouse also has bipolar disorder, it can complicate the matter even further. Your spouse may deplete the family finances by going on spending sprees as a symptom of the poor decision-making that often characterizes a manic episode.

A marriage can fracture under this type of strain, leading to a divorce. However, if you are not yet ready to take that step, you can nevertheless prepare for the possibility with a postnuptial agreement. In the event that you do eventually decide to file for a divorce, a postnuptial agreement provides you legal protection for your finances from your spouse's mania-induced spending.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

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Is there a correlation between commuting time and divorce rates?

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

You may think of your job as just a way to pay the bills. Sure, your commute into Dallas every morning isn’t always a delight. But as long as you get paid on time, you’ll keep doing it. After all, the choice between commuting for your job and having no job is an easy one.

While inching along US-75 to work may not be the most pleasant part of your day, it may surprise you to learn that this extra time in the car can affect you more than you think. According to a study in the Journal of Urban Studies, the time you spend sitting in gridlock twice a day has two important effects on your life.

Commuting affects your wellbeing

Sitting in rush hour traffic is inherently stressful – especially when you’re worried about getting to the office in time for an 8 a.m. meeting. The study found that being in extended, tense situations before and after work decreases your overall satisfaction in life. It makes you less happy and more stressed. In fact, it found that people who commute more than an hour every day need to receive 40% more compensation in order to be as happy as those who do not commute.

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Same-sex marriage: Could you benefit from a postnuptial agreement?

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

Same-sex marriage has been legal federally since 2015. If you and your partner are thinking about tying the knot, it can be useful to understand how marriage – and the possibility of divorce – can uniquely affect same-sex couples.

You and your partner have been together for years – and you may feel confident that your relationship will last for many more. But you can never predict the future, and sometimes the unexpected happens and couples go their separate ways.

A prenuptial agreement (also called a “prenup”) or a postnuptial agreement can be a valuable tool to protect the members of any marriage. But for same-sex couples, there are some additional reasons to define your relationship in writing.

Define what you share

If you and your partner were together for a long time before getting married, you may have acquired a lot of assets together over the years. You may have bought a house together. Maybe you helped your spouse start a business.

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How does my spouse's DWI affect child custody?

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Child Custody

When you and your spouse or partner decide to part ways, you will have many concerns, particularly if you have kids together. Your primary concern will be their well-being and maintaining your relationship with them.

When child custody matters and a drunk driving record intersect

Are you fighting for custody of your children? Do you fear your soon-to-be ex-spouse's alcohol related behaviors or DUI or DWI conviction will put your children in danger?

A drunk driving conviction on your spouse's record doesn’t automatically disqualify them from gaining custody or having possession of the children. However, it will be a factor that the court takes into consideration. How seriously it affects the final decision depends on a number of questions, including:

  • How long ago was the conviction? The court will take a drunk driving conviction less seriously if it happened more than 10 years ago or before a child was born.

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Should I wait to divorce until my children are older?

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

Divorce is difficult on any family. Many unhappy couples may wonder about the negative effects a divorce could have on their children. They may even consider staying together for the kids’ sake.

How resilient are children to their parents’ divorce? Are they likely to handle it better at certain ages than at others?

This year, the journal Social Science and Medicine published a study examining the effects divorces have on children ranging in age from three to 14. Of this group, the study found that children aged three to seven suffer no noticeable ill effects from their parents’ divorces.

By contrast, older children face more risks surrounding their parents’ divorce. The study found that children between the ages of seven and 14 whose parents get divorced are statistically more likely to experience conduct and emotional problems. Specifically, the study found that:

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Who pays for a child's college when parents divorce?

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

Whether you have a toddler or a preteen, you are probably thinking about how to pay for college. Determining how much you can and will contribute to your child's college education can be difficult, especially if you co-parent your child with an ex. Here is some information to help you make these important decisions.

What Texas laws say

In Texas, there are no laws that require parents (custodial or non-custodial) to pay for their child's college. Child support obligations continue until the last to occur of the following:

  • Your child turns age 18
  • Your child graduates from high school

Texas does not have a law that specifically directs parents to make financial contributions to their child's college education. However, parents may decide otherwise. For example, a part of your divorce decree or a court order may stipulate that support obligations continue until your child graduates from college.

Deciding who will pay

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How to protect your children from conflict during divorce

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in High Conflict Family Law

Navigating the ups and downs of a high-conflict divorce is difficult on its own. Things can become even more stressful when children are involved. You want what's best for them. That includes making sure disagreements don’t spill beyond you and your former spouse and impact the kids.

How can you try to ensure this doesn’t happen? Here are five strategies to keep in mind.

  1. How to answer the inevitable questions

Your children will have questions. It's unavoidable. How should you answer them? Try using words and phrases that a child can understand while emphasizing things like empathy. Also, don’t fall into the trap of having one long conversation. It can be more beneficial to share small pieces of information at a time, essentially turning it into an ongoing, open talk.

  1. Keep it between the adults

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Do divorce filings actually spike after the holidays?

 Posted on December 01, 2019 in Divorce

For many families, the holidays are about coming together. This means spending lots of time with loved ones while juggling all the different needs that come with that. These few weeks are a time of celebration, not division.

This is precisely why someone who is thinking about divorce may choose to hold on a bit longer, waiting until life settles back into the normal routine in the first quarter of the new year before officially filing.

Divorce interest, filings spike right after the holidays

Waiting until after the holidays to file for divorce is not an uncommon strategy, as a recent report from USA Today explains:

  • Google searches on the topic of divorce peak in early January
  • “Divorce party” search figures on Pinterest rose 21% during January in recent years
  • A University of Washington study found divorce filings increased during the first month of the new year in multiple states

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