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Recent Blog Posts

How Are Retirement Accounts Handled in a Texas Divorce?

 Posted on May 12, 2023 in Divorce

McKinney Divorce LawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to end their marriage, there are many issues that they need to address. One of the most complex of those issues is the division of assets. Part of those assets often include retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. These accounts can be a significant part of a couple's financial portfolio, and they can be particularly difficult to divide because of their tax implications and complex rules. The following information is a brief overview of how retirement accounts are addressed in divorce. For more detailed information, speak with an experienced divorce attorney.

Marital Estate

Under Texas family law, retirement accounts are considered marital property if they were acquired during the marriage. This means that they are subject to division in a divorce. However, the specific rules and procedures for dividing retirement accounts can vary depending on the type of account it is. Retirement accounts are different than regular savings and checking accounts and funds cannot just be withdrawn at any time.

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Can I File for Child Custody Modification in Texas?

 Posted on April 26, 2023 in Family Law

Collin County Child Custody LawyerWhen a couple decides to end their marriage, there are many issues that need to be decided. One of the most important issues is what type of child custody arrangement will be worked out. This can also turn into one of the most contentious issues that linger long after the ink has dried on the divorce decree.

Depending on the age of the children, it is not uncommon for there to be modifications to the original order, especially if there has been any significant change in the circumstances of either parent or the child. If you are considering a custody modification, it is essential to understand the legal requirements and the factors that the court will consider when making a decision.

Reasons for Modification

Texas has very specific rules regarding when a parent can file for custody modification. Otherwise, given the acrimonious relationship many co-parents have, the Texas family court system would likely be overrun with modification petitions for issues that parents should be able to work out without the court’s intervention.

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How a Divorce Financial Advisor Can Be Beneficial in a Texas Divorce

 Posted on April 13, 2023 in Divorce

McKinney High Net Worth Divorce LawyerA person going through a divorce can end up taking quite a financial hit, even under Texas community property statutes. The state uses the community property standard – dividing assets 50/50 – when it comes to the division of assets in the marital estate. Now that you are divorcing, your financial canvas is half of what it was when you were married. This is why many people going through a divorce will consult with a divorce financial advisor.

What is a Divorce Financial Advisor?

You and your soon-to-be former spouse may have consulted with a financial advisor during your marriage, seeking out professional advice on how to get the best return on your investments.

While a divorce advisor does some of the same things, they go even further in understanding and navigating through the process of “decoupling” your assets, as well. They are well-versed in financial matters surrounding the division of assets, child support, and spousal support, as well as uncovering assets that one spouse may be hiding from the other. They will understand critical factors that need to be addressed during and after a divorce that a regular financial advisor may not be aware of.

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Refinancing the Marital Home in a Texas Divorce

 Posted on March 31, 2023 in Divorce

Collin County Divorce LawyerOne of the issues that a couple must address in their divorce is how the marital estate will be divided. The marital estate is made up of the couple’s assets, property, and debt. For many couples, one of the most expensive assets they have is the marital home, and coming up with an agreement on what should be done with the home can be difficult, especially if both spouses want the house.

Unless the couple agrees to sell the home and divide the profit, and regardless of which spouse ends up with the home, the issue of refinancing the mortgage will also need to be addressed.

Protecting Credit Scores

When one spouse is awarded the house in a divorce, the court order only addresses the property. It does not address the mortgage. In other words, even though the spouses sign a quit claim deed and only one of them will now legally own the home, both spouses' names will still remain on the mortgage. The only way to remove the now non-owner spouse is to refinance the mortgage in just the owner spouse’s name. Until this is done, the other spouse will be just as liable for the monthly mortgage payments.

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Creating a Divorce Checklist

 Posted on March 16, 2023 in Divorce

McKinney Divorce LawyerDivorce can and often does have a substantial impact on a person’s life. There are so many changes that take place both during the divorce process and also once it is complete. It is also not uncommon for the couple to go into an adversarial mode with each other, even if they both agree that divorce is the best decision for their family.

The decision to divorce by either one or both spouses typically does not happen overnight. There is usually a period of time leading up to that decision where the couple struggles with difficulties in the marriage and may even question whether they should stay together. If you are struggling with that decision or suspect your spouse is, it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare for the day that one of you files that divorce petition in order to protect your marital and parental rights. The following is a suggested “divorce checklist” to make sure you have covered all bases.

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When Can a Parent Relocate With a Child After Divorce? 

 Posted on February 23, 2023 in Family Law

Collin County Child Custody LawyerOne of the topics divorcing couples most frequently disagree about is that of child custody. The stakes can feel very high and, because people often get divorced due to  differences in parenting strategies, coming to an agreement about how to manage the children’s schedules can be very difficult. 

This is especially true when a divorce involves a parent who wants to relocate with a child. However, this complex situation can also occur after divorce as well, often leaving both parents wondering what their options are. If this situation sounds familiar to you, read on for an overview of how relocation with a minor child may be permissible for a parent sharing custody, and then contact a Texas child custody lawyer for help with your case. 

Shared Custody and Child Relocation

If parents are getting divorced and one parent wants to move away with a child, that needs to be part of the divorce agreement, which will be approved by a judge. Sometimes, a judge will not approve the separation of a child from his or her other parent, and the parent who wishes to move away will either have to do so without the child or adjust plans. 

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Could a Collaborative Divorce Benefit My Family? 

 Posted on January 24, 2023 in Collaborative Divorce

Collin County Family Law AttorneyThere is good news for advocates of family stability - not only are divorce rates falling, especially among younger age groups, but couples who do divorce are acting more carefully about how they choose to go about the divorce process. One option that has gained popularity in recent years is known as “collaborative divorce,” and it is particularly helpful to those who are concerned about avoiding unnecessary conflict throughout the divorce process. If you have children under age 18 or are simply looking for a peaceful resolution to the end of your marriage, collaborative divorce could be the right choice for you. 

What is Collaborative Divorce? 

Divorce has traditionally been a combative experience, and no wonder; many of the elements of divorce can feel zero-sum to both parties. After all, time a child spends living with one parent is time she does not spend in the other parent’s home. However, collaborative divorce still recognizes some of the inherent conflicts of interest while still respecting the effort to minimize hostility and protect minor children. 

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What is a Custody Evaluation and What Should I Do if A Court Orders One? 

 Posted on January 11, 2023 in Child Custody

Collin County Child Custody LawyerParents frequently disagree about how to resolve matters related to child custody in a divorce, but sometimes these conflicts can become extreme. This is especially true when there are allegations of abuse or neglect from one or both parties. Getting to the truth can be difficult, and judges may be unsure of the best outcome for a particular case. When this happens, a common solution is for a judge to appoint a professional known as a “child custody evaluator” to a particular case. If you are involved in a court dispute over your minor children, whether during or after divorce, and a custody evaluator has been assigned to your case, it is important to understand the role of this professional and how you should behave to optimize your case’s outcome. 

What is a Custody Evaluator? 

A custody evaluator is a mental health professional who is also sometimes an attorney. Her job is to gather as much information as possible about a particular case. In order to get the information she needs, she can do the following: 

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How Do My Spouse and I Divide Our Business in a Divorce? 

 Posted on December 20, 2022 in Divorce

Collin County Divorce AttorneyEnterprising spouses often start up businesses together, finding interesting and unique ways to bring extra money into their family coffer. Sometimes this looks like a formal business establishment, and other times it might be gradually buying up real estate to rent out on platforms like AirBNB. Whatever the format, when it comes time to divorce, a couple’s business needs to be divided just like any other marital asset

Dividing a business can be very difficult, however, as spouses often disagree about how much of the business is marital vs. personal property or what the true value of the business is. In cases like this, make sure you have the help of an experienced business owners’ divorce attorney who can assist you in resolving these tricky issues. 

Can One of the Spouses Keep the Business in a Divorce? 

Texas law requires community property to be divided in a “just and right” manner, which usually means something close to 50/50. If one of the spouses owned the business before getting married and did not protect that business with a prenuptial agreement, it can be very difficult to determine how much of that business is community property rather than the personal property of the spouse who originally owned the business. 

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What Can I Do if I Think My Ex is Manipulating Income for Child Support? 

 Posted on December 07, 2022 in Child Support

Collin County Family Law AttorneyChild support might be determined by a state formula, but that does not stop it from becoming a high-conflict part of a divorced or separated couple’s relationship. The parent paying child support often feels angry and taken advantage of, while the parent receiving child support often feels as though the amount is insufficient to properly care for the child’s needs. Whatever the reason for dissatisfaction, the end result is sometimes that the parent paying for child support will try to hide income to avoid paying the full support payments he or she would otherwise be obligated to make. If you think this is happening in your case, it is important to contact a Texas child support attorney who can help you secure the support you need. 

Child Support Income Guidelines in Texas

Before a court can set child support payments, the judge needs to know how much money the paying parent makes and whether the child’s needs justify deviating from state child support guidelines (the paying parent is the parent who does not have primary possession of the child, meaning the child spends most of his or her time with the other parent). 

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