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Dallas, Texas Family Law Blog

Fighting for custody: Keeping your cool in court

When you have to fight for custody, there's nothing more important in your life. It's stressful and makes you angry, but it's wise to keep your emotions in check. Fighting for custody doesn't have to mean arguing and causing disturbances in court.

When you have a disagreement over custody, your best bet is to take steps to show what kind of parent you are and to make an effort to be respectful of the other parent, the judge and others involved in your case. The way you present yourself matters. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Understanding how courts divide a pension in Texas divorce

For many couples, retirement accounts are substantial assets. In fact, the amount you've saved or invested over your working years for your retirement could be your biggest financial asset, other than your house. After all, you're hoping to live off of those savings or investments for several decades. That means, among other considerations, that your pension and retirement accounts will in all likelihood be split up if you divorce.

You may think that your pension is your own. After all, it's in only your name, in an account created by your employer. However, in a divorce, it won't matter if you were the only one with a pension or if you stayed at home to raise the kids. Both spouses will generally receive a fair share of any retirement funds or pension.

There are many benefits of a prenuptial agreement

As your wedding day closes in, you're sure to have many questions on your mind.

It's only natural to think about the future, including what would happen if you ever divorce your soon-to-be spouse. While you don't expect this to happen, it's a good idea to plan for both the good and bad.

4 tips for creating a viable parenting schedule

Scheduling time with kids is hard. It's hard when you're married, and it can be even tougher when you're divorced or separated.

You have to think about a lot of new elements, such as picking the kids up and dropping them off from school and getting the kids to all of their events and activities. All the while your holding down a job and have other responsibilities as well.

Adjusting parenting time and custody for the school year

Summer is a beautiful time to enjoy bonding with your children. You and your former spouse may have each taken an opportunity to travel with your children at some point. Vacations, holidays and weekend cookouts can all be the basis of great memories for years to come. However, if you're in the process of getting divorced, you may need to look at your parenting plan and visitation schedule to ensure it remains fair.

In most circumstances, courts want to see visitation and shared custody arrangements that facilitate healthy relationships between the children and both parents. With exceptions for situations involving abuse, addiction or neglect, the best interest of the children usually lies in having healthy and positive ongoing relationships with both parents. Working together to create an acceptable parenting plan shows the courts that you are putting the needs of your children first during divorce.

Texas penalties for a DWI conviction can change your life

There's a common perception that everyone charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) is probably guilty. After all, the average person believes that breath tests are accurate and that law enforcement won't make mistakes during a field sobriety test. The truth is that neither breath tests nor police officers are infallible.

It is possible for a test to record a false positive, just like it's possible for a cop to miss a reasonable explanation for certain issues, like diabetes or other medical conditions.

Can a postnuptial agreement help you save your marriage?

To succeed, a marriage requires constant effort on the part of both spouses. For couples who experience serious issues in a marriage, divorce may seem like the only option. Behavior such as gambling, wasteful spending, adultery, or substance abuse can quickly undermine the foundation of trust and respect that a healthy marriage gets built upon.

If your spouse has cheated or is struggling with addiction, you may think that divorce is the best way to protect yourself, your children, and your financial future. However, a postnuptial agreement could help you overcome the issues that are threatening to destroy your marriage.

Will you need a forensic accountant to find hidden assets?

During a divorce, couples typically clash over two primary issues: child custody and asset division. Even if you and your spouse do not have children, you could find yourself in a protracted divorce battle if you can't see eye to eye about who gets what.

Texas law is clear about asset division. Texas is a community property state. That means that the courts consider all assets acquired during your marriage, as well as all debts, as community property subject to equal division. However, there are exceptions to this principle.

Mistakes to avoid in a grey divorce

Divorcing later in life comes with a different set of challenges than for couples that divorce under the age of 50. People that divorce at a younger age have time to rebuild retirement accounts, investment portfolios, and their lives in general.

Now that you are considering divorce with retirement right around the corner, you may be wondering how you will recover. You and your spouse will have to divide the wealth you have accumulated during the course of your marriage. Even now, you may be making adjustments in your life, and after your divorce becomes final, your lifestyle may have to change in significant ways. Fortunately, making the right moves now can make a difference when it comes to starting over.

What happens with student loans and other debts in divorce?

When couples divorce, people typically focus on issues like asset division and child custody. However, the division and allocation of debts can have a significant effect on the size of the property settlement you receive.  You may think that just because you didn't co-sign for a credit card, you won't be responsible. The courts in Texas, however, have a different view when it comes to financial responsibility and fair division of both assets and debts in a divorce.

Let's say that your former spouse completed school before you were married. Chances are, those debts won't affect your community property settlement. But if your former spouse took out those student loans during your marriage, you may incur liability for a substantial amount of that debt. Texas law leaves it up to the courts to interpret what is the fairest way to split up both assets and debts. They won't just look at amounts and who benefited. The courts will also look at who has greater earning potential and at the reason for divorce. Fault can result in more uneven distribution of debts.

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