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Recent Blog Posts

Why should I consider a collaborative divorce?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in Collaborative Divorce

If you model your strategy after popular films or TV dramas portraying divorce, you’d likely pursue a high-conflict court battle to air your grievances against your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If your partner cheated or neglected you during the marriage, you have every right to feel that way.

But, in real life, only a small percentage of divorces go to trial. In fact, less than 10% result in litigation. The majority of divorcing couples want the experience to be quick and painless, especially if they have children. A peaceful resolution is usually best for everyone.

The benefits of collaboration

Collaborative law seeks to preserve the interests of both spouses in a divorce. It's an approach that stresses the areas where you agree and tries to find creative solutions for the issues where you don’t see eye to eye. Here are some of the main benefits:

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How does parental relocation work in Texas?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in Child Custody

Life is ever-changing. As such, child custody orders aren’t always permanent. In Texas, modifications to possession orders are possible when one parent needs to make a substantial change, such as moving to another part of the state or out of state for a new job.

Child custody disputes are often the most hotly contested divorce issues. Parental relocation requests are challenging regardless of whether you are the parent who wants to move, or you oppose your co-parent's request for a modification. These requests can be difficult to resolve because of the strong preference that children maintain frequent and consistent contact with both parents. In most cases, a relocation request disrupts that relationship.

Courts consider the child's best interests

Texas family courts typically place geographic restrictions over a child's residency to ensure continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. When one parent needs to relocate, courts consider the child's age and other factors, including:

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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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Why should my fiancé and I consider a prenuptial agreement?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in Prenuptial Agreements

Preparing for a wedding is an exciting and joyous time. Let's face it. Most people believe talking about a prenuptial agreement can be a real buzzkill for people in love. No one wants to think about how their relationship will end.

But adopting a different mindset over prenups can bring many benefits. Texas couples who have gone through the process realize it's one of the best ways to have meaningful discussions early on that can provide peace of mind for circumstances that are impossible to predict.

How a prenup works

Prenuptial agreements are legal contracts showing how assets will be treated during a marriage as well as if divorce happens. Also called premarital agreements, prenups help couples:

  • Identify assets and estates for each party
  • Outline marital vs. separate property
  • Define property and alimony rights

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Helping adult children cope with your divorce

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in Divorce

When parents decide to end their marriage, most of our thoughts automatically go to the impact on a divorcing couple's young children. But many Texas parents split up later in life, some after several years or even decades of being together.

If you are age 50 or older and have gone through or are considering a so-called “gray divorce,” you should be aware of its impact on your adult kids. Many older children report feeling intense pain and a host of distressing emotions when their parents decide to call it quits.

Don’t overlook the signs

As a parent, you only want what's best for your children. But if they’re over 21 and out of the house, you might think they are old enough to roll with the punches. After all, they may have already graduated from college and started their own family. Or they might be pursuing a college degree or have started their career.

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How do I avoid parenting time issues during spring break?

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in Child Custody

Winter is winding down, and many families – especially the kids – anxiously await spring break. For divorced or separated parents, this can be a stressful time as it affects the regular possession schedule. But making this an enjoyable experience for your kids should be the goal for both you and your ex.

If you and your co-parent follow a Texas Standard Possession Order (SPO), you likely already know that the Lone Star State has an odd-even schedule over spring break possession. The rules differ depending on whether parents live within 100 miles of each other.

Spring break parenting time rules

Under an unmodified SPO, co-parents who live within 100 miles alternate possession during spring break each year. For 2022, that means possessory conservators – noncustodial parents – have the children. The rules state:

  • Possession begins at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for spring vacation.
  • Possession ends at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes.

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How could my job affect my divorce outcome?

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in Child Support

Texas spouses undergoing a divorce have three main legal issues to work out in their divorce decree. These include establishing conservatorship (custody) for their children, dividing assets and debts, and sharing future income.

If you are the family's breadwinner, there's a strong chance you may end up paying child support and spousal maintenance. If that's the case, it's crucial to understand how any career-related changes affecting compensation could impact your support requirements.

Three situations that can affect support obligations

Texas uses a formula to calculate child support based on the noncustodial parent's net income and resources. The lower-earning spouse must request spousal maintenance. In either situation, it's essential to know how any changes to your income can affect these payments. Here are three scenarios:

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How can I help my child's relationship with their other parent?

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in Co-Parenting

Some psychologists believe divorce is 95% emotional and 5% legal. After all, we’re only human and intense feelings naturally consume our thoughts. That can be especially true if your marriage and divorce were fraught with significant conflict and hard feelings.

But focusing on the other 5% is vitally essential for you and your children's well-being. Determining custody and parenting time is at the top of the list. It's well documented that any conflict between parents harms children. But how should you deal with any lingering anger or resentment?

Five steps to strengthen your child's relationship

Many co-parents have a healthy rapport with their former partner, which is the best scenario for children. Others may justifiably hold onto anger. Try to let go of those feelings and focus on what's best for your kids. They also feel those intense emotions, which can cause more harm. Even if you can’t fully let go of the negativity, here are five steps that can immeasurably help:

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Estate Planning Issues after a Texas Divorce

 Posted on February 01, 2022 in Divorce

As we know, divorce brings about all sorts of complications. There are child custody issues, property division issues, emotional recovery, and plenty of others. On top of all else, newly divorced people need to deal with estate planning matters as well. When someone divorces, the newly created divorced status will lead to a host of considerations, such as estate planning issues. In this post, we will go over a few estate planning issues people will need to consider after a divorce in Texas.

Adjustments to Wills or Trusts

A will is a document which predetermines the distribution of someone's property after death. A will must be executed properly in order to be enforceable, and ultimately the will needs to be carried out by an executor. A will identifies “beneficiaries” who receive the property. Wills intersect with divorce in critical ways because certain property cannot be included in a will. When a couple divorces, the “marital property” which is jointly owned will be divided between the parties; Texas is a community property state, and so typically this means an equal division of the overall estate, taking into consideration many factors. Hence, marital property isn’t something which can be assigned or distributed through one spouse's will as though it belongs exclusively to him or her.

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What Texans Should Know About Estate Taxes

 Posted on February 01, 2022 in Divorce

Texans should know certain basic facts about estate taxation in order to better plan for the future. If you’re going through a divorce, estate taxation may be even more relevant because the exemption will be halved for a single, unmarried individual. What many Texans don’t realize is that the State of Texas is quite friendly to its residents from a tax perspective. Not only does Texas lack a personal state income tax, it also has a resident-friendly policy on estate taxes.

Texas Law on Inheritance & Estate Taxes

An estate tax is a tax imposed on the estate of a decedent. This means that the tax will be collected from the estate itself prior to any disbursements to heirs. An inheritance tax, on the other hand, is a tax imposed on the beneficiaries of the estate. This means that, in theory, the beneficiaries are responsible for paying the inheritance tax. In jurisdictions which impose an inheritance tax, typically the tax is only imposed on certain beneficiaries, while other beneficiaries (such as surviving spouses and direct descendants) are exempt.

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