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A peaceful way to negotiate a parenting plan

 Posted on October 05, 2018 in Divorce

One of the most difficult issues to address during divorce is what will happen to the children. Texas parents are naturally concerned with the well-being of the youngest members of the family, and many times, they want to avoid litigation and stressful conflict for the benefit of the kids. You may want to do this by drafting your own parenting plan out of court.

A parenting plan will outline how custody and visitation will work. When you decide to keep this matter out of court, you can effectively address specific needs and craft your plan to match your specific objective. Creating your own parenting plan can be a peaceful and productive way to address child custody concerns during your divorce.

What makes a strong plan?

A parenting plan should be as thorough as possible. When you are able to be very detailed and specific in the terms you include, you are reducing your chance of continued conflict in the future. Some of the things you would be wise to include in your parenting plan include the following:

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Military parents have custody rights

 Posted on August 08, 2018 in Divorce

As a member of the military, you are no stranger to sacrifice. You have undergone rigorous training, endured long periods separated from loved ones and accepted the duties that your superiors assign to you. When it comes to your children, however, you may not be as willing to sacrifice your time with them.

If you are dealing with child custody issues, you likely understand that your military service may negatively affect your efforts to obtain a custody arrangement that gives you equitable time with your children. Child custody matters are complex in the best of circumstances, and you may be concerned about protecting your rights. The first step is understanding how your service to your country plays into custody decisions.

Best interests of the children

Family courts in Texas and across the country attempt to make custody decisions that are in the best interests of the children. In most cases, the courts understand that equal time with both parents benefits the children provided there is no evidence of abuse or neglect. Of course, it may be too much to expect equal time if you are suddenly deployed or stationed out of state.

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Your nest is empty: Will gray divorce come next?

 Posted on June 14, 2018 in Divorce

You may have heard that there's been a tremendous increase in divorce for people in Texas and throughout the nation who are age 50 and beyond. In fact, you may have done some research on the topic because you're considering filing for gray divorce yourself, which is the colloquial term that applies to the topic.

Some wonder why anyone who has already been in a marriage to the same person for 15, 20 or more years would choose to divorce. Others, especially those who have "been there, done that," not only understand why but have shared common experiences with many others who divorced late in life. Even if your situation relates to a friend or relative who has filed for gray divorce in the past, every situation is unique in some aspect, so you'll want to secure support to address the issues you consider most important.

One or more of these issues may sound familiar

Whether you stayed home full time to raise your family or have been a co-breadwinner outside the home and alongside your spouse for years, as you get older, things change. This is especially true nowadays because people tend to live longer, which, for married couples, means they must spend more years together than spouses of long ago. The following issues sometimes cause major problems:

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Do grandparents have visitation rights?

 Posted on April 21, 2018 in Divorce

Divorce is difficult for every member of a Texas family, including the grandparents. When the parents decide to end their marriage, it can lead to a disruption of other important familial relationships, including those with grandparents. As a grandparent hoping to maintain a good relationship with your grandkids, it may be beneficial to learn if you have any legal rights to visitation.

While some families are able to peacefully address grandparent visitation and allow schedules that provide the opportunity for regular visitation, this may not be the case for you. You have to take legal steps to secure access to your grandkids, even if there is clear evidence there is a strong relationship already in place and it would be in the best interests of the children.

What can you do?

You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of losing access to your grandkids. However, courts recognize the importance of other family members in the life of the child, and sometimes, it is possible to seek and obtain visitation. The courts may consider the following when deciding on grandparent visitation:

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Property division is complex when one spouse owns a business

 Posted on March 11, 2018 in Divorce

When you and your spouse married, you may have known little about his or her business. However, you took a keen interest and learned whatever you could, even if only to participate in conversations at the dinner table. Throughout your marriage, your spouse's business may have been the primary means of support for your family. Now that you are approaching divorce, you may wonder how that business and its appreciation will play out in property division.

Your spouse may indicate that the business is not on the table. However, the law may say otherwise. Unless your spouse took careful precautions to protect the business from asset division, you may have a right to your fair share of its worth

Did your spouse keep it separate?

If your spouse did not ask you to sign a prenuptial agreement, he or she missed an important opportunity to keep the Texas divorce court from seeing the business as marital property. With a prenuptial agreement, many business owners define the ownership of their companies as separate from joint assets. Even if your spouse began the business before your marriage, you may be entitled to half of its appreciation since your wedding day unless a premarital contract stipulates otherwise.

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Expanding your family through adoption

 Posted on December 28, 2017 in Divorce

Watching your friends sharing pictures of their growing children on Facebook may have been difficult for you. As much as you love your nieces and nephews, a child of your own is something you have dreamed about for some time. Now that you have made the decision to adopt a child, you probably have many questions and, perhaps, even a little fear.

Whether you have struggled with infertility as one in eight couples do, or you are a single person hoping to raise a child, your commitment to the adoption process is crucial. If you are still uncertain, having a better understanding of how adoption works may solidify your determination to enter this rewarding process.


In Texas, if you are at least 21 years old, you can be married or single to qualify for adoption. In addition, there are other eligibility requirements you must meet, including the following:

  • Apply for adoption
  • Have financial security
  • Submit answers to questions about your lifestyle and history

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Why clear communication is key in marriage and divorce

 Posted on November 03, 2017 in Divorce

How many times has your spouse argued that you did not understand his or her feelings or were blatantly ignoring them? Statistics show there are certain key factors regarding communication skills between spouses that often determine whether marriages will last or end in divorce. Especially if poor communication has contributed to divorce in the first place, it's crucial to understand the importance of clear communication during and after divorce.

Reviewing the contributing factors that led to your filing for divorce may, in fact, help you overcome certain obstacles as you navigate divorce proceedings. While you definitely have rights and it's important to protect them, it typically helps keep stress levels to a minimum if you are willing to try to see the other person's point of view as well.

Remember that no two people are exactly the same

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ABCs of working toward a smooth divorce

 Posted on September 08, 2017 in Divorce

When you got married, you likely thought that your relationship would last. Now that years have passed, you — like many others throughout Texas — may have come to realize that time and experiences have changed your relationship and feelings in a way that makes your marriage impossible to continue.

Because most ideas about divorce revolve around nasty conflict and spiteful actions, your concerns over this type of scenario are not unwarranted. However, you can take steps to prepare yourself for the legal proceedings ahead and work toward a less stressful divorce.

Assess your assets

Finances play a significant role in dissolving a marriage. You may worry about court costs, alimony, child support and property division. In order to better understand what outcomes you could potentially face in these areas, it's important that you fully understand the state of your finances, including your assets and debts. Having proper records and documentation, such as tax returns and bank statements, can help you prepare.

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How is alimony determined in Texas?

 Posted on July 14, 2017 in Divorce

While spousal maintenance — commonly called alimony — is rare in Texas, there are situations where alimony may be awarded. Before that happens, though, multiple factors must be considered to determine whether one spouse is entitled to alimony.

Who can get spousal maintenance?

There are two ways to get alimony in Texas. One way is for the spouses to agree on a support plan on their own through mediation or private negotiations. This route may be taken to help equalize the division of community property. Alternatively, the spouse seeking support can petition the court for alimony payments.

If you have to go to court, there are several factors that a judge will consider before deciding whether you meet the eligibility requirements for alimony. The most important factor is your ability or inability to provide for your basic needs. Along with that, one of the following conditions must also apply:

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Determining custody isn't child's play in Texas

 Posted on May 19, 2017 in Divorce

For as long as you have been a parent, you've always done what's best for your children. Perhaps you made personal sacrifices in order to make sure your kids didn't go without. Nothing matters more to you than seeing that your children are happy and well cared for.

Now that you and your co-parent are splitting up, of course you want to remain committed to your children. However, you might have concerns about how the future is going to look for your reconfigured family. A brief overview of child custody in Texas might help answer a few questions.

Understanding the terminology of custody

The good people of Texas often have their own way of doing things, and there's no exception when it comes to child custody. In fact, rather than using the term "child custody," the courts of this state refer to "conservatorship." It follows that rather than naming a custodian, a judge names a conservator.

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