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Recent Blog Posts

How Can I Recover Assets My Spouse is Trying to Hide? 

 Posted on November 23, 2022 in Divorce

Collin County Divorce AttorneyTexas law requires couples who are getting divorced to divide their assets and debt. Usually, though not always, Texas - which is a community property state - divides assets equally between spouses. However, spouses who are afraid of getting shortchanged in their divorce or who are willing to take advantage of their spouse may be willing to hide assets to tip the asset division process unfairly in their favor. If you are getting divorced and are worried that your spouse may try to hide assets, make sure you have an experienced Texas divorce attorney. 

How Will I Know if My Spouse is Hiding Assets? 

Often, spouses will divide and conquer chores and responsibilities within a marriage. This often leaves one spouse in charge of managing a family’s financial affairs. If your spouse has been responsible for paying bills, tracking your bank account balances, and managing your retirement accounts, you may not have a full picture of your financial affairs, which could make it easier for your spouse to deceive you during the asset division process. 

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A Detailed Discussion on Texas’s Grounds for Divorce

 Posted on November 14, 2022 in Divorce

mckinney divorce lawyerFault & No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

The State of Texas is a “no-fault state,” which means, first and foremost, that fault is not required to obtain a divorce. In addition, this also means that Texas doesn’t have any disadvantages for those who initiate a divorce with no-fault grounds. In other words, if someone files for divorce with no-fault grounds in Texas, that person won’t automatically face any disadvantages when it comes to property division, or any other issue of the divorce. Of course, a spouse’s conduct during the marriage can still be consequential even when there are no fault grounds cited; but, a spouse will not be necessarily disadvantaged simply on the basis of filing with no-fault grounds. 

The Three No-Fault Grounds

In total, Texas law has 7 grounds for divorce, and this total includes both the fault grounds and no-fault grounds. There are 3 no-fault grounds: (1) insupportability, (2) living separately, and (3) mental disorder. The first no-fault ground – insupportability – is the most frequently cited ground of all and is interchangeable with the concept of “irreconcilable differences” which is often used in other jurisdictions. Essentially, this ground means that the couple simply cannot coexist successfully and needs a separation. The next no-fault ground – living separately – may apply whenever spouses live apart for 3 years or longer. If this occurs, then a spouse can use this as a basis for divorce. The final no-fault ground may apply whenever a spouse is involuntarily confined to a mental hospital and there is a general consensus that the underlying disorder is permanent.

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Child Protective Services in Texas: When CPS Can Terminate Parental Rights

 Posted on November 10, 2022 in Family Law

frisco child protective services lawyerIf you’re a parent, or grandparent, or even merely a concerned member of society, you should be aware of the basic purpose and operations of Child Protective Services (CPS) here in Texas. CPS performs a variety of specific functions, but all functions are ultimately carried out for the purpose of maximizing the safety and wellbeing of children. Here in the State of Texas, CPS is actually one of the departments of the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS). 

We will devote several articles to CPS, with each article focusing on one particular aspect of its operations. In this post, we will concentrate on the termination of parental rights. As many people are aware, CPS can file a petition to terminate parental rights if CPS feels that such a motion is necessary. However, this can only be successful if certain conditions are met.

Grounds for Termination

In order for CPS to terminate a parent’s parental rights, two hurdles must be met: (1) CPS must identify and demonstrate the ground for termination, and (2) the termination must be in the child’s best interests. On the first hurdle, CPS must show through “clear and convincing” evidence to a judge or jury that the cited ground for termination exists. At the present time, the Texas Family Code recognizes a total of 21 separate grounds for termination of parental rights. The rationale of these grounds is self-evident; for instance, the first ground referenced in the Texas Family Code is leaving the child with another person, not the other parent, with no intent to return. Another ground is engaging in conduct which places the child at risk of serious physical or emotional harm.

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How Can I Prepare for My Texas Divorce? 

 Posted on November 09, 2022 in Divorce

Collin County Divorce AttorneyDivorce looks a little different for everyone, but one thing is certain: Your life is about to change - a lot. Whether you anticipate a fairly peaceful divorce or a hostile separation, there are certain things you can do to get ready for divorce that will help the process move faster and more easily, plus help you recover more quickly once your divorce is finalized. Read on to learn more about divorce preparation and then contact a Texas divorce attorney for help with your case. 

Start Prioritizing Now

You may wish you could have your entire savings account and your full 401(k) balance, but that is probably not compatible with Texas divorce law - and even if it were, your spouse would hardly agree to it. Instead of thinking about everything you could have in a perfect world, think about what is really important to you. Do you want to keep your marital home? Do you hope to spend every Christmas with your children? Whatever the most important things are, start thinking about them now so you can discuss them with your attorney. 

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Grandparent Visitation Orders in Texas

 Posted on November 01, 2022 in Child Custody

collin county grandparent visitation lawyerIn an ideal situation, a child is brought up with healthy regular contact with both parents, as well as all grandparents. In reality, of course, things don’t always work out this way, particularly when it comes to grandparents. Grandparents often play a vital role in the development of children, but the law simply doesn’t give too much weight to grandparents when it comes to legal rights with respect to grandchildren. In the State of Texas, grandparents can obtain legal custody of a grandchild, but doing so is quite difficult. When compared with legal custody, grandparents may seek a visitation order with grandchildren. But, as we will discuss, even obtaining a visitation order from a Texas court isn’t easy. 

The Basics of Grandparent Visitation Orders

The difficulty in obtaining a visitation order for grandparents ultimately derives from the simple fact that parents have the highest influence when it comes to their children. Consider this point: if grandparents can simply acquire a visitation order without much trouble, how would this affect the parents’ ability to raise their child? Texas courts recognize the importance of grandparents, and the role that grandparents play in the lives of grandchildren, but courts must follow the principle that parents have the ultimate authority.

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How to Enforce a Visitation Order in Texas

 Posted on October 28, 2022 in Child Custody

frisco visitation lawyerParental visitation is a very serious matter. The State of Texas believes firmly that children do best when they have regular, supportive interaction with both biological parents – or, with both adoptive parents, as the case may be. This is why Texas courts have an elaborate system in place to ensure that court-ordered visitation schedules are enforced properly. In a typical scenario, parents develop a custody agreement, and as part of that agreement one parent has a visitation schedule. That visitation schedule allows the non-custodial parent to visit his or her child in a predictable fashion. 

The problem, however, is that sometimes the visitation schedule is denied or not honored by the other parent. Sad though this may sound, sometimes the other parent may attempt to block contact between the children and the non-custodial parent. In these unfortunate scenarios, how can the visitation order be enforced? Let’s look at the steps involved.

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A Detailed Look at the Process for Creating a Prenuptial Agreement

 Posted on October 27, 2022 in Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements can be highly useful tools to preserve certain property interests in the event of divorce. More and more couples are utilizing these tools as people see the value in being able to predetermine certain outcomes with respect to property division. Prenuptial agreements can also be useful in predetermining spousal maintenance and other issues as well. When a prenuptial agreement is created in Texas, the creators need to follow certain steps to ensure that everything is done properly. In this post, we will go over these steps, one by one, so readers can have a sense of what this process looks like.

Step 1: Identify Goals / Interests

The first step is to simply identify the goals and interests of the parties involved. If neither of the parties have any goals which might be furthered by a prenuptial agreement, then a prenup won’t even be necessary. Prenups can only be used for specific purposes, they can’t achieve everything. So, for instance, if people want to use prenups to predetermine child support, this can’t be done, because it would be against public policy requiring both parents to support their children.  

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How Do I Obtain an Annulment in Texas?

 Posted on October 25, 2022 in Divorce

frisco annulment lawyerMost people have heard of the idea of “annulment,” but few people besides family law attorneys know what this idea really means. If you’re married, you are likely curious about the details of this concept and how this concept can potentially impact your marriage. In this post, we’re going to discuss the basics of this concept and then discuss the process for obtaining an annulment here in Texas.

Annulment vs. Divorce

When a married couple obtains an annulment, this means that the marriage itself was never valid from the beginning. Annulment therefore is a declaration that the marriage was “void.” This is the critical difference between annulment and divorce. A divorce is the formal dissolution of a valid marriage, whereas an annulment means that the marriage never existed in the first place. When a marriage is declared void through annulment, this declaration carries important ramifications. 

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Do Mothers Always Get Primary Custody in Texas?

 Posted on October 24, 2022 in Child Custody

Collin County child custody lawyerIt is a common, but incorrect, belief that in a divorce, the mother will prevail and have child custody issues decided predominantly in her favor. Under Texas law, all judicial decisions regarding child custody must be decided in the best interests of the children involved. The gender of a parent is rarely relevant to this consideration.  

In many cases, living primarily with the father is found to be in the best interests of the child. This is especially true if there is any factor suggesting that the mother could be potentially harmful to the children or is a less fit parent than the father. Fathers are frequently apprehensive at the outset of child custody proceedings out of concern that courts may be biased against them. While on a subtle level, some judges may have a slight bias in favor of the mother, outright discrimination is verboten. It is still prudent for a father entering child custody proceedings, incident to divorce or otherwise, to be represented by an attorney who is experienced in protecting the rights of fathers

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Understanding Inheritance Rights in a Texas Prenup

 Posted on October 21, 2022 in Prenuptial Agreements

frisco prenuptial agreement lawyerIn many cases, spouses enter into marriages without even considering the potential benefits or usefulness of a prenuptial agreement (also called “premarital agreements” in some jurisdictions). In the popular imagination, prenuptial agreements are “tools of the rich,” used almost exclusively by wealthy couples in order to selfishly guard their premarital assets. Or, other people feel that a prenuptial agreement necessarily lowers the amount of trust in a relationship. The truth, however, is that prenuptial agreements are simply contractual agreements that spouses can use to predetermine how certain property will be distributed. Prenuptial agreements allow spouses to predetermine certain outcomes which would otherwise be left up to the courts. And, as we know, sometimes courts don’t always render decisions that are fully consistent with a person’s desires. 

In this post, we will go over how prenuptial agreements can impact inheritance rights. Spouses need to be aware of how the “default” inheritance rules operate so that they can determine these default rules may be adequate, or if a prenuptial contract is necessary.

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