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Do I qualify for military benefits after my divorce?

 Posted on October 28, 2021 in Divorce

Getting a divorce can be an uncertain time for both spouses. It can be hard to know where your kids will live, what assets you will keep, and what kind of child support and alimony agreement you will have when things are all said and done. For someone getting a divorce whose spouse provides military benefits to the family, you may be wondering if you can keep those benefits after divorce.

More than 20,000 military couples get a divorce each year, which means that thousands of people need to know what will happen to their benefits as military spouses. There is a system that determines benefits eligibility for divorcing spouses, which you can learn about here:

The 20-20-20 rule

The military has a rule that determines if you are eligible to keep your military benefits after your divorce, which people often refer to as the 20-20-20 rule. The name comes from the three factors your relationship needs to have met before your divorce.

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When asset division gets complex

 Posted on August 30, 2021 in Divorce

Anytime a marriage ends in divorce, the division of marital property can prove difficult and even contentious. In a high-asset divorce, the complexity only multiplies.

If you are facing divorce in Texas and your marital estate is one of high value, some of the unique issues you may face include:

  • The division of business assets: Only in rare circumstances do ex-spouses continue to operate a business together after divorce. The person who runs the business or professional practice typically takes full ownership, but the other spouse must be compensated if the business and its assets are classified as marital property. Only after conducting a full and accurate accounting of real estate, equipment, customer lists and other business property can we ensure a fair outcome.
  • Investments: Stocks, bonds and other investments are subject to division upon divorce. Certain retirement holdings such as 401(k) and IRA accounts require a special court order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to facilitate the division.

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Can my ex modify our child custody agreement in a different state?

 Posted on June 17, 2021 in Divorce

After the finalization of a divorce decree, it is not uncommon for spouses to move to different states. If you obtained full custody of your children, your ex-spouse might feel resentful, and might seek opportunities to get that award modified. Can they bring an action in a court in their new state to modify your divorce decree in a way that is more favorable to them?


The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a statute that 49 states – including Texas – have adopted. It governs how courts are supposed to treat custody disputes or challenges to divorce decrees between ex-spouses that live in a different state from the one where the divorce decree was originally established.

Under the UCCJEA, the court that first hands down a custody arrangement decree to a divorcing couple continues to have exclusive jurisdiction over that custody matter. Courts in other states in the nation must respect the decree and enforce it as if they themselves had passed it.

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Parental alienation: 3 vital red flags to identify swiftly

 Posted on June 08, 2021 in Divorce

When you have children, you want the best for them. You and your spouse may no longer get along or want to be together, but that doesn’t mean that you want to hurt their relationship with your kids.

Unfortunately, not all parents feel the same way. Some will use bribery and manipulation to turn their children against the other parent. This is called parental alienation, and it may lead to parental alienation syndrome. When dealing with custody disputes, this is more common, so it’s something to watch out for.

What are the three red flags of parental alienation?

There are three pretty significant signs of parental alienation to watch out for. These may include:

Should you take lump-sum alimony?

 Posted on April 08, 2021 in Divorce

Generally speaking, alimony and spousal support are paid out on a monthly basis, just like child support. The idea is that the spouse, like the child, was expecting that financial support. They made choices based on it, like leaving a job to start a family. Taking it away in a divorce can leave them destitute, and alimony helps pay the monthly bills for a time.

That said, some people will offer to pay all of the alimony at once, as a lump sum. If your ex does this — and has the money on hand to afford it — should you take it? Only you can decide, but there are some potential benefits.

Reasons to take the lump sum

You must consider the pros and cons carefully when making your decision. To that end, here are some reasons why a lump sum may be wise:

1. Getting all of the money at once means you do not have to deal with your ex on a monthly basis. It’s more of a clean break in the relationship.

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Do grandparents have a right to custody in Texas?

 Posted on February 08, 2021 in Divorce

There are times when grandparents step in and play a major role in their grandchildren’s lives. If you believe that your grandchildren are struggling in their home due to neglect or abuse, you may petition for custody. Similarly, if one parent passes away, you may seek visitation rights, so you can continue to see them regularly.

In most divorce cases, grandparent visitation rights are kept informal. It’s not typical for grandparents to be restricted from seeing their grandchildren. However, legal issues could arise in some cases. That’s why it’s smart to clarify your relationship with your grandchild and to make sure that you have the legal rights that you are entitled to receive.

Are grandparents likely to get custody of their grandchildren?

In divorce cases, it’s unlikely that grandparents will receive outright custody of their grandchildren. As long as both parents are providing for them, grandparents may only be able to seek to establish a visitation order. To do this, you will have to show that visitation time with your grandchild is in your grandchild’s or grandchildren’s best interests.

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Co-parenting disputes: Your options and legal rights

 Posted on December 05, 2020 in Divorce

When co-parenting with an ex-spouse, there’s no shortage of challenges that will come to light. Some of them are easier to deal with than others, but all of them require some level of attention.

Should you come to find that co-parenting disputes are far more common than they should be, it’s time to take action. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Talk to your ex-spouse: Yes, this can be a challenge, but sharing your feelings may be the best way to get back on track. Explain your concerns, talk about potential resolutions and hear them out. One conversation may be all it takes to get things back on track.
  • Review your parenting plan and visitation agreement: You’ll find a lot of information here pertaining to physical custody, legal custody, where your children will spend holidays and visitation schedules.
  • Try something new: You can’t do this without your ex, but it’s something to consider if you’re willing and able to talk things out. For example, if the current visitation schedule isn’t working for your ex, maybe you can adjust the pick-up and drop-off times by a few hours. Small changes like this can go a long way in reducing tension.

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Preparing your home for an adoption

 Posted on October 06, 2020 in Divorce

If you’re going to adopt, you need to prepare your home. On one hand, this is simply a realistic goal; you’re going to be adding a new child and you need to make sure you’re ready. On the other hand, you have to consider the home study and the legal side of getting approved for the adoption. Getting your house in order helps you work through this process.

But what do you need to do to make sure that your home is ready? A few things to keep in mind include the following:

  • Check to make sure the child has his or her own room that is large enough to satisfy the guidelines. Most standard bedrooms will work, but double-check to be sure.
  • Go over all of the systems and amenities that the room needs to have. This could include things like a working window, an egressed window if the room is in a basement, access to heat and AC, proper electrical power, and the like.

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High-asset divorce carries the risk of someone hiding assets

 Posted on August 03, 2020 in Divorce

Divorce is expensive in an of itself and can have long-lasting financial implications for the spouses. Not only will the divorcing spouses have to pay court costs, but they will generally have to divide their resources as a part of the process.

Keeping costs low is a priority for some couples, while securing a fair and reasonable outcome is of the utmost importance to others. The higher your family's overall assets and the greater the value of your marital estate, the more important accuracy and fairness become.

When you have significant, valuable assets, that wealth can be an adequate motive for your spouse to try to hide assets from you in the hope that the courts won't force them to share the value of those assets with you.

Where do people hide assets during a divorce?

Spouses will have different ways to hide assets. The less engaged you have been in the process of managing your household wealth, the easier it will be for your spouse to hide resources and assets from you.

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Preparation may be the key to a strong post-divorce future

 Posted on June 04, 2020 in Divorce

If you have made the decision to move forward with divorce, you understand there are certain changes you will experience. Regardless of your income level and how amicable you may be with your spouse, it is probable you will experience some financial disruption. There are things you can do now that will help you prepare for what is ahead, allowing you to lay the foundation for a strong post-divorce future.

The choices you make during divorce will have an impact on you for years to come. Divorce is a complex process, and it's easy to see how some may allow their emotions to drive their decision-making during this process. How you feel in the moment is not indicative of what makes the most sense long-term, and preparing for your divorce will help you keep your focus on what is most important.

What should you do?

An important step in getting ready for your divorce is to spend some time getting organized. This is a financially complex process, and both parties will have to give full financial disclosure. You will want to gather documents, make a list of marital assets and know about all of the accounts that may be marital property. This will help make the property division process smoother, and it can help you see if the other party is trying to hide assets.

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