8951 Collin McKinney Parkway, #1401,
McKinney, TX 75070

Call Us Today

972-562-9890

LET US BE YOUR FAMILY'S ADVOCATE

Recent blog posts

Posted on in Divorce

Affairs are soul crushing. Not only does infidelity destroy families and reputations, but cheating is a huge sign of disrespect. It can affect your trust in future partners and destroy your own self-esteem, in addition to playing a role in the dissolution of your marriage.

We are all attached to our phones now more than ever, so it's often our personal devices that reveal where we have been, who we have been talking to and what we are doing. If you suspect an affair, you should be on the lookout for the following apps on your partner's devices, as they can only spell trouble:

Adult Friend Finder: This app has been around for decades, first releasing back in 1996. It is targeted towards those who are looking to hookup, casually have sex, and just meet someone who's attractive. Basically, it's the ultimate app for someone who is cheating.

...

The best interest of the child?

Your child.

Your children.

...

Divorce is a challenging process for both spouses, but it can be especially tricky when you have children. While there are likely to be some rough moments, there are actions both parents can take to make the transition smoother for everyone.

The first step is being open and honest with your kids. Trying to spare their feelings by telling them, “nothing is going to change,” won’t work and may increase their anxiety. It's crucial to be upfront and let them know that what's happening is not their fault.

Prioritize the needs of children

Being honest with your kids about their future should be the priority, even if it means that you don’t have all the answers. There are things you can do to help make them feel safe, such as:

...

If you got married after completing your college education, the student loan debt you brought into the relationship will most likely still be yours alone if you divorce.However, it's not always cut and dried how that debt is distributed if you took out student loans while you were married. Any loans you receive after tying the knot in Texas are typically considered marital debt.

Figuring out a plan of action

Everyone's circumstances are different when their marriages end. An experienced family law attorney can help you find your own best course of action, including these considerations:

  • Community property: Texas is one of nine states that consider all marital debt as community property. Both spouses are equally responsible for the repayment of student loans taken out during a marriage, even if only one spouse did the borrowing or attended school.
  • Co-signing a loan: If you are a co-signer when your spouse refinances premarital student loan debt, you become equally responsible for its repayment going forward. You can detach yourself from that debt, in some cases, by refinancing again, or going through a lender that offers a co-signer release provision.
  • Income-driven repayment: If repayment of a federal student loan is based on income, it's essential to notify your lender immediately upon your divorce and submit a new income certification. Income-driven plans usually combine both spouses' earnings to determine monthly payments.

Will a prenuptial work for you?

As the negative stigma formerly attached to prenuptial agreements wears off, many marrying couples welcome the peace of mind they offer. If you have substantial assets (or debts), make certain your prenuptial agreement contains all the legal provisions it should.

A new survey shows a radical shift in the economic structure of families in the United States as more women say they are outearning their husbands than ever before.

The research by TD Ameritrade says nearly half of the women who took part in the survey say they make as much or more than their partners. That's a seismic change from 1960 when only 3.8% of women were the chief breadwinners, according to the Pew Research Center. Women now comprise more than half of the workforce in the country, and the percentage of those becoming the primary wage earner is expected to rise.

Marital strife over changing roles

Researchers found clear signs of a generational shift as millennial women are nearly twice as likely as their baby boomer counterparts to earn as much or more than their partners. But this often leads to conflict between couples. More than one in five millennials say their relationships feel more strained because one partner earns more than the other, while only one out of every 10 baby boomers say the disparity in earning status causes friction.

...

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Mar. 18 temporarily closing all schools at least through April 3 due to concerns over COVID-19. Some districts had already acted independently by extending spring break vacations or closing buildings until further notice and shifting instruction online. With the President's extension of social distancing guidelines through April 30, it is certain that school closures will continue.

It's a scenario that many parents with child custody arrangements would likely never have anticipated, and some may be confused about the potential effects on court-ordered child visitation agreements, specifically on when they must return children to the other parent.

Texas Supreme Court issues Order over custody schedules

Both the Frisco and McKinney Independent School Districts canceled classes prior to the governor's order affecting childcare schedules for thousands of families. Some parents wonder if closures will have any effect on their visitation schedules.

...

Thursday, March 12, 2020, was a day full of constant conflicting messages that impact families’ schedules. Colleges are closing, NCAA sports are cancelling their seasons, the NBA is ending its season, March Madness is over, and public schools are changing Spring Break! If you are like most parents, your initial thought is to keep your children safe and healthy. If you are also divorced or co-parent with another, then your thoughts suddenly shift to the Spring Break schedule and the question, “Who Gets the Kids?”

When does Spring Break possession begin and end? Well, first, it depends on your Order. If you have a custom schedule that provides for a shared week or specific days, then follow your Order. If your Order follows the Standard Possession Order, in even-numbered years, the non-custodial parent has possession of the child from the time school is dismissed for Spring Break until 6:00 p.m. the day before school resumes for Spring Break. Some may say, this extends Spring Break, perhaps indefinitely. However, our Collin County District Courts https://www.facebook.com/CCDistrictCourts/ have injected a little common sense into the situation and issued a statement that the Standard Possession Order under the Texas Family Code follows the originally published school calendar. So, if you live in Collin County, have a standard possession order, and you have possession over spring break, your possession period ends at 6:00 p.m. the day before Spring Break was originally scheduled to resume. Other counties may or may not follow suit, but it is always best to put your children first rather than argue over technical points of when a Spring Break extended by disaster ends.

What about the parent who does not want to exercise possession over Spring Break due to Corona Virus fears? According to the Texas Family Code, each parent has a duty of care, control, and protection during their periods of possession. The threat of illness impacts intact families as well as co-parenting families. Please put your children first and keep them and yourself healthy. Work with your co-parent to split time during the extended Spring Break and help each other out if anyone becomes ill. At the end of this health crisis, the most important thing you can provide your children is the knowledge that you cared for them enough to keep them safe and healthy, and worked out the logistics with the other parent.

...

A spouse's addiction problem can put enormous strain on a marriage. Whether it's with alcohol, drugs, gambling or anything else, a spouse's addiction causes their partner to suffer a great deal of pain.

In the United States, some studies suggest that chronic substance abuse by one or both partners is the third-leading cause of divorce after infidelity and abuse.

How does addiction destroy marriages?

Experts estimate that 24 million married Americans have an addiction or are married to someone with substance abuse issues. There are several ways addiction can erode the marital bond, including:

...

Divorce can bring out the worst in anyone. While Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, spouses can also file on grounds such as abuse, adultery, cruelty, abandonment or fraud. Any one of those instances can easily lead to a high-conflict divorce.

But, allowing anger to boil over into unkind comments about a spouse can actually harm a reputation, damage the family dynamic and, in many cases, hurt a person's chances for a favorable divorce – whether it's through a settlement or litigation.

Advantages of taking the high road

Despite the perceived short-lived emotional benefits of speaking harshly about a soon-to-be ex, making nasty or rude remarks can lead to a lengthy and expensive process. The benefits of an amicable split include:

...

You’ve spent years building your retirement funds for the future. Now, they are a healthy portion of your portfolio. Unfortunately, a divorce may divert some of those hard-earned funds for years to come.

Dividing retirement accounts and pensions rank second on the list of the most contentious issues during divorces, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. (Spousal support is the most fought-over issue and dividing business assets the third.) An experienced divorce lawyer can explain how best to divide your retirement assets, but here is some information about how a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) can help.

Planning payouts with a QDRO

QDROs are used to divide retirement assets during divorces. How a QDRO splits assets can have a big impact on how intertwined your benefits will be going forward:

...

After enduring the cost of a spouse's substance abuse issues for years, the non-abusing spouse may decide to walk away. Many choose divorce as a way to distance themselves (and their children) from the problems addiction has created.

A parent's misuse of illegal and legal substances can have a profound effect on their children. A divorce might allow you to separate your children from a bad situation, and the courts can support you in the process.

Courts recognize the effect a parent's substance problems can have on their children. For this reason, courts take substance abuse heavily into consideration when looking at custody arrangements.

...

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

...

Financial infidelity plagues nearly half of Americans in relationships, and it could have a significant impact when it comes time for a divorce. It can be hard to look for assets under every rock but leaving no stone unturned might be vital to getting the share of assets you deserve.

41% of Americans say they’re guilty of hiding financial detailsfrom their partners. Some may have concealed a receipt or two, while others go so far as hiding entire bank accounts. This breach of trust has many costs, not the least of which is keeping you from getting an accurate idea how much you should get during the division of your marital assets.

Recovering from cover-ups

...

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

...

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.

...

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:

...

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.

...

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?

...

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.

...

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

...
Elite Lawyer 10 Best attorneys top 10 female attorney top 10 family law firm expertise State Bar of Texas

Finding The Right Attorney Matters. Contact Us Today.

A family lawyer does much more than simply provide legal answers. Our lawyers explore a variety of different solutions to help you achieve your goals and secure your family's financial and emotional future and stability.

To discuss your case or set up a consultation, call us at 972-562-9890 or use the online contact form.

Back to Top