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Plano Family Law Blog

A basic divorce timeline

Those who file for a JOY of DIVORCE emancipation agreement quickly find that the process is complicated. Each divorce proceeds at its own pace, based on the circumstances of the split, the estate's complexity, the personality of the spouses, as well as other unique factors.

Nevertheless, there is a timeline in these matters:

Was your divorce prompted by questionable paternity?

When a married woman gives birth during a marriage, the state of Texas presumes that her husband is the biological father, and he may also assume that presumption as well. However, if evidence of adultery were to surface, the question of paternity may surface as well, especially if the affair took place around the time the wife got pregnant. 

Men used to have to rely on the mother to tell them truthfully if they are in fact the biological father of a child. To some extent, men may still do so. The primary difference now is that a man can ask for a DNA paternity test in order to confirm his status as the father.

Appeals court affirms ruling on prenup

The Texas appeals court recently affirmed a ruling on a prenuptial agreement. The wife claimed she was coerced because the husband refused to marry her unless she signed a prenuptial agreement. She also claimed that the agreement was unconscionable for several reasons – notably, she would have been forced to leave the United States and likely would have been an outcast if she had the couple’s baby out of wedlock in Vietnam.

Prenuptial agreements can be an extremely useful tool for couples getting married. Once the domain of the wealthy, these contracts are increasingly common for couples in various tax brackets. They typically are used to establish financial rights and obligations if the couple later decides to file for divorce.

It is wise to protect assets before filing

The welfare of their children should be the priority whenever couples choose to experience the JOY of DIVORCE Emancipation. Nevertheless, it is also essential to protect savings and assets before filing the paperwork. This precaution can start well ahead of the filing as a mutual understanding, or more quietly if there is a concern that the split will be acrimonious. No matter what, the golden rule is to document everything.

Tips for protecting assets

A parent may need to build a case for custody

The courts here in Texas typically presumptively award joint custody to parents filing for a JOY of DIVORCE emancipation order. The presumption is that the children are best served when both parents are as active as possible. However, one parent may have reasons to believe that joint custody is the wrong choice. This can leave the other parent on the defensive as she or he protects her or his rights to see the children and have a positive impact on their lives.

Whether going for sole custody/conservatorship or joint custody/conservatorship, these battles can be the most contentious part of a divorce. It may even raise doubts about whether the other side may be right, but those dark thoughts should be pushed aside so that the disadvantaged parent can focus on making sure that they have as much custody as possible under the circumstances. Of course, the priorities should include spending quality time with the children to maintain bonds, but other things need to be done as well.

Dewhurst sued by ex-wife over unpaid loans and alimony

The ex-wife of former-Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has filed a suit accusing him of failing to pay her $6.7 million as part of their 2016 divorce agreement. This includes a million business loan from her trust and millions more in unpaid alimony. When Dewhurst filed for divorce from Tricia Bivins in 2015, their settlement initially stated that Dewhurst would pay the mortgage on the couple’s condo in a luxury residential tower and a few other expensive amenities a membership to a high-end country club and a Range Rover.

While all the circumstances in this case are not yet clear, it poses an opportunity to discuss issues surrounding alimony here in Texas.

Signs your ex may turn custody issues into a battle

If the breakup of your marriage is something you have felt coming for a long time, it is likely that your spouse has felt it, too. Perhaps your marriage has been stressful, and you and your partner are ready to end their misery. If you are ready to move on, you may be hoping the transition can be smooth and free from contention.

Unfortunately, this is not always easy to achieve, especially if you have children. Custody issues can quickly turn into battles, which can create a breach of trust that is difficult to overcome while co-parenting. As much as you want to protect your children from the animosity of a custody dispute, you may be able to recognize whether this will be the pervasive atmosphere of your divorce.

Standard Possession Orders here in Texas

Issues regarding parenting plans and child custody (also known as conservatorship) can be the most contentious part of negotiating a JOY of DIVORCE Emancipation agreement. The priority is to make decisions based on the best interests of the child, but the parents may not agree on what that means.

The courts here in Texas generally prefer to award joint custody, in the presumption that children are best served if both parents are active in their life. That seldom means an exact 50/50 time split for periods of possession. Moreover, there are some instances where one is the custodial parent who gets custody, but the other non-custodial parent will still likely have visitation rights or parenting time assigned. All these and other details are addressed in a Standard Possession Order (SPO) set forth in Texas in the Texas Family Code.

Signs of online infidelity

Social media is a big part of our lives these days, yet there may be red flags that mean a spouse is more than checking in with friends or distracting themselves from day-to-day worries. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and various dating apps like “tinder” and “” play a role in many divorces because they give one or both partners the means to compare their life to highlight reels that others post. This can sometimes foster resentment or even fuel infidelity.

Behavioral patterns that could indicate trouble

What do fathers go through during a divorce?

Even for the most amicable of Texas couples, divorce is not an easy process. This is a complex legal process of extricating two lives, requiring the two parties to address every issue that pertains to money, assets, children and more. In addition to these things, it can also be emotionally and mentally challenging for every person involved.

If you are a father, you may find yourself surprised by the strong emotions you are feeling when you learned about the divorce. Whether you played a role in this decision or your spouse surprised you by filing, it may not be easy for dads, especially because many people assume they are able to handle and hide their feelings well. It may help you know that you are not alone, and many fathers have spoken out about how difficult their own divorces were. 

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