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Recent Blog Posts

Back-to-School Tips for Divorcing Parents

 Posted on August 30, 2022 in Divorce

Collins County Family Law AttorneyIf you are in the process of ending your marriage, there is a good chance that you are beginning to realize that your life is much different compared to when you were married. If you have children, the differences are probably even more notable. For many divorced parents, the first school year after the divorce is the most challenging, as they must establish new routines for their children and boundaries for the parents. When back-to-school season falls in the midst of your divorce, you will need to take steps to ensure that your children have every possible opportunity to succeed.

Figure Out a Way to Cooperate

Every situation is unique, and there is no easy way to decide how you and your spouse will work together regarding school. Decisions regarding child custody or conservatorship may still be pending, so you might both still share decision-making authority for school-related concerns. The best option is for you and your spouse to put your differences aside and to create a plan designed to let your child thrive in the new school year. If this is not possible, you may need to ask the court to issue a temporary order allowing you to make education plans on your own.

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Family Debt Could Affect the Well-Being of Your Children

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Family Law

Collin County Divorce LawyerFinancial debt is a major cause for concern around the United States, at the individual and family levels, as well as on a collective scale. Families fractured by divorce or other types of similar stresses may be particularly susceptible to growing debt, as financial obligations may be harder to meet on a single income, combined with countless other contributing factors. However, a recent study suggests that parents with certain types of debt may place their children at increased risk for behavioral problems in the future.

Quality of Life Connections

The study was conducted by researchers at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and looked at data from more than 9,000 children and their mothers over a period of nearly 40 years. The research also categorized debt into four distinct types: home, education, automobile, and unsecured debt, which included credit cards, certain loans, and medical debt. Looking for possible connections, the team also examined the socio-emotional health and behavioral concerns of the participating children.

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How Social Media Could Negatively Affect Your Divorce

 Posted on July 25, 2022 in Divorce

Collin County Divorce AttorneyWe all know people who invest substantial time and energy in posting the details of their lives on social media networks such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. In some situations, the attraction of social media is strong enough that it causes people to lose touch with the things that are happening in real life. While most people are able to use social media in a reasonable way—such as to connect with distant family and friends, others want to broadcast more to the outside world. When you are in the midst of a legal action that affects you personally, such as a divorce, it is important to recognize the dangers of putting your life out there for all to see.

Mixed Messages

The first thing you need to keep in mind about social media and divorce is that literally anything you post could eventually be presented as evidence in your case. Posting on the internet does not require ink and paper, obviously, but emails, text messages, and even screenshots of posts can be printed and presented in court. This is especially important if your social media profiles are at odds with what you have presented in your filings. For example, if you reported in your divorce paperwork that you are currently between jobs, but your profile on LinkedIn says you work for a buddy’s business—maybe under the table—questions are likely to be raised.

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Why You Must Take Your Divorce Seriously

 Posted on July 12, 2022 in Divorce

Collin County Spousal Support AttorneyIf you and your spouse have reached the point where a divorce seems inevitable, you might be inclined to try to get through the process of divorce as quickly as you are able. In fact, a large number of attorneys and law firms seem to suggest that faster is automatically better. However, a quick divorce is not always the best route to take, especially if you and your spouse have accumulated substantial assets or have other complicating factors. It is critical to make sure that each aspect of the divorce is addressed properly, even if doing so means taking a bit more time than you would prefer.

Change Your Way of Thinking

You probably have perfectly valid reasons for wanting your divorce to be finalized quickly. Maybe you met someone and are anxious to start a new relationship. Perhaps, you are just ready to be done with your spouse after many years of fighting and bitterness. Or, maybe the thought of a long divorce just does not sit well with you. Whatever your reasons may be, a fast divorce might be possible, but you must be certain that you are not giving up too much to get there.

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When Do Parents Need to Take Steps to Establish Legal Paternity?

 Posted on June 29, 2022 in Family Law

Collin County Child Custody LawyerWhen parents are married, a child’s paternity is usually not in doubt. Since a mother’s spouse is presumed to be a child’s parent, a married father will be able to share in child custody if the couple chooses to get a divorce. However, matters related to custody can become more complicated if a couple is unmarried, and in these situations, fathers may need to establish paternity. This will ensure that both parents will have the obligation to provide child support and meet their children’s financial needs. For unmarried parents, it is important to understand when paternity may need to be established and the procedures for doing so. 

Presumption of Paternity in Texas

There are certain situations where a man will be legally presumed to be the father of a child. This means that regardless of whether the parents remain married, are in an unmarried relationship, or are separated or divorced, the father will have the right to share child custody. Depending on agreements between the parents or decisions made in family court, a father may participate in making decisions about how children will be raised (known as legal custody or conservatorship), and he will have the right to reasonable possession and access of the child (visitation). He will also have the obligation to financially support the child, or if he has primary physical custody, he may receive child support from the child’s mother.

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What Rights Do Parents Have as Conservators of Their Children?

 Posted on June 06, 2022 in Family Law

Collin County Child Custody LawyerThere are multiple types of situations where parents will need to address child custody issues. While this is most commonly a factor in divorce proceedings, parents who are unmarried may also need to determine how they will share custody of their children. In Texas, the legal custody of children is known as “conservatorship,” and parents will need to understand the rights and obligations that will apply to them, including in situations where parents are named as joint managing conservators or when one parent will have sole conservatorship of their children.

Rights of Sole or Joint Conservators

In most cases, family courts presume that it is best for parents to share joint conservatorship. However, there are some situations where sole conservatorship may be appropriate, including when one parent has not been closely involved in children's lives, or when a parent lives in another state. Even if one parent is named the sole managing conservator, the other parent may be named a possessory conservator, allowing them to spend regular visitation time with their children.

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How Is the Amount of Spousal Maintenance Payments Determined?

 Posted on May 18, 2022 in Spousal Maintenance

Collin County Divorce AttorneyDuring a couple's divorce, one party may ask for financial support from their former partner. This form of support is officially known as spousal maintenance in Texas, although it can also be referred to as alimony or spousal support. Maintenance will not be an issue that will be addressed in every divorce, but it may be a factor in cases where one spouse earns most or all of the income used to provide for a family's needs, especially if the other spouse may struggle to support themselves while also caring for children or other family members. In cases where spousal support is appropriate, the parties will need to understand how the amount that one spouse will pay to the other will be determined.

Factors Used to Determine Spousal Support Payments

Generally, spousal maintenance will only be awarded in a small number of situations. These may include cases where a spouse has a disability that prevents them from earning an income or devotes their time to caring for a child with a disability. If these issues are not a factor, spousal support will usually only be granted if a couple was married for at least 10 years and a spouse will be unable to support themselves financially, such as when a spouse has been a homemaker for the majority of the couple's marriage.

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5 Types of Valuable Assets to Consider in a High Net Worth Divorce

 Posted on May 10, 2022 in Divorce

McKinney Divorce AttorneyCouples that choose to end their marriage and get a divorce will need to address a variety of issues related to their property and finances, their children, and other areas of their lives. While these issues can be complicated in any situation, those who are involved in a high asset divorce may need to deal with multiple types of complex assets. By understanding the types of marital property that may need to be considered during the divorce process, couples with a high net worth can make sure they are approaching financial matters correctly.

Addressing and Dividing Complex Assets

For divorcing couples who reside in the state of Texas, community property must be divided in a matter that is “just and right.” Community property includes all assets and debts acquired by either spouse while they were married. In high net worth divorce cases, a couple may need to consider complex assets, including:

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How can a parent's substance abuse issue affect custody?

 Posted on April 28, 2022 in Child Custody

Texas courts prioritize keeping both parents positively involved in children's lives when they divorce or separate. Under a custody order, a child usually lives primarily with one parent, but both typically receive joint custody and work together to make important decisions for their child.

However, when your former partner's drug or alcohol abuse or addiction puts your child's safety at risk, there are steps you can take to protect them by changing a child custody order. Texas law allows modifications when a material or substantial change occurs in the parent-child relationship.

How courts respond to substance abuse claims

Texas family courts generally take quick action when a co-parent's substance abuse problems affect their ability to care for their children. This applies to those who abuse illicit drugs or misuse prescription medications. How courts react typically depends upon when the issue is raised:

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What should I know if I’m considering a divorce?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in Divorce

Spring is here, and for many Texans, it's a time of hope and renewal after a long and stressful two years. It's also a time for many couples to reassess their marriages, especially those who put divorce plans on hold during the pandemic.

If you and your spouse have already separated or attempts to strengthen your marital bond haven’t gone as planned, you may be thinking of taking the next step to ending your marriage. But you likely have a lot of questions.

Focus on the three main divorce issues

The first impact of divorce is always emotional, whether intense sadness or anger. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's the normal way to respond. But once the divorce process begins, it's crucial to focus on the three primary legal aspects:

  1. Child custody: In Texas, custody is called conservatorship. Courts generally award joint managing conservatorship, meaning parents share in decision-making for their kids, even if they primarily live with one parent. The parent without primary custody is called the possessory conservator. If you and your spouse disagree on a parenting plan, a court will decide for you.

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