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Plano Family Law Blog

Judges who show bias can be taken off of a case

The law has a certain amount of ambiguity that leaves it open to interpretation. However, there are certain ironclad rules. One such rule is that a judge must appear to act impartial. Therefore, it must have come as a shock to many when a New York judge took an adversarial stance towards a man who was behind on his child support payments.

The judge not only sentenced the man to four months in jail, but also made several inappropriate remarks in his courtroom comments. In a ruling that made national news, The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division recently determined that Nassau County Judge Thomas Rademaker must be removed from the case where a defendant owed $518,000 to his former spouse.

Divorcing a spouse with an addiction

You may be among the many families in Texas and across the country who have suffered because of a loved one's substance abuse. In fact, more than 24 million people struggle with addiction in the U.S., and it takes its toll on families in many ways.

If your spouse has an addiction to alcohol, opioids or another substance, you may be doing your best to keep your family together. However, like many spouses in your circumstances, you may be exhausted with the weight of the burden you carry. You alone may be responsible for maintaining the home, earning the money, paying the bills and caring for the children, all while you worry about your loved one's health. Perhaps you have reached a critical decision about your marriage.

Steps dads can take to improve chances of custody

The courts are more apt to award joint custody to parents these days, particularly if the divorce is uncontested. However, many believe that the courts still favor the mother and some states are taking steps to fix that. It is also still typical that the mother stays in the children's primary residence even when the parents share custody. These factors can lead fathers to feel that they are fighting an uphill battle.

Many understand that fathers are an important part of growing up, especially in the most traditional roles involving sports and outdoor activities, but now many have the willingness and support from employers to be more involved on a day-to-day basis.

Birdnesting parenting plans

It is typical these days that parents getting divorced share custody of the children. It is also common for the parents to split up the time kids spend with each parent. Traditional plans can be weekdays at one parent who lives by the schools and weekends with the other. Some parents favor an equation alternating blocks of days that can mean parents will not have the same blocks two weeks in a row.

One parenting plan alternative that has recently gotten a lot of attention is the birdnesting or nesting approach. Instead of shuttling the children back and forth, this plan has the parents taking turns in the family home while also sharing an apartment or finding separate living spaces. This premise has even been used in a recent television show called "Splitting Up Together."

Professor convicted of hiding marital assets is sentenced

A University of Minnesota professor made national news in September when a jury convicted him of three felony charges. The 57-year-old man was guilty of falsification of the amount in one retirement account and the omission of the existence of another account in efforts to cheat his wife out of an equitable share of the couple's assets. As we pointed out at the time, the wife stood to lose an estimated $353,649 if he had been successful in his scam to perpetrate a fraud on the Court while he cheated his wife.

Fortunately, she thought the numbers were wrong and notified the police. The man was subsequently charged with one count of attempted swindling and two counts of aggravated forgery.

Tips for creating a binding postnup

Postnuptial agreements can be quite helpful in a number of ways. Some couples look at a postnup as a way to marriage because it can create a solid financial plan that outlines responsibility and obligation of both parties. Conversely, couples who are contemplating divorce may want to put together a plan of how the divorce process would be done, thus mapping out what the divorce would look like.

It is best to get it in writing

What you can do to protect your children in divorce

Your divorce will have a significant impact on your children. Even when two parents are amicable and willing to work together on a custody order that will work well and benefit the kids, the youngest members of the family can have a difficult time with this transition. There are things you can do to protect their well-being and ease the difficulty of this complex process. 

One of the most important Texas parents can take for the benefit of their children is to remember to keep the needs of the kids as the highest priority. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the emotions you may be feeling, but it is not a good idea to make practical, workable decisions under emotional duress. Children are resilient, but parents should take certain steps to make things better and easier for them.

Has your spouse's mental illness affected your marriage?

Undoubtedly, you expected to have some rough times in your marriage. Even the most solid relationships suffer through difficult patches, and those troubled times can either strengthen or damage the bond that a couple shares.

If you knew going into the marriage that your partner suffered from bipolar disorder or another mental illness, you may have anticipated having to work through some issues. However, you may now be wondering exactly how much you must endure before calling it quits and opting for the relative JOY OF DIVORCE.

Don't overlook the benefits of a prenup

Most spouses would say, that on their wedding days, they had no intention of getting divorced. In fact, it is reasonable to assume that a bride and groom taking vows expect to remain together for the long haul. Unfortunately, statistics show that this happens only about half the time.

This may be the motivation behind the increase in prenuptial agreements, especially among millennial couples. Just as those who purchase auto insurance hope they never have to use it, so many who establish a prenup hope they will never need its protection. Nevertheless, having those protections in place can be a wise move and can prevent many of the arguments that later tend to destroy the marital relationship.

Creating a parenting plan that works during the holidays

Parents quickly realize that there will be a certain amount of trial and error after the divorce. This even can happen in the most agreeable of situations, but the key is to remain patient and remember the priorities. It starts with creating positive memories for the children. It is best to have a clear set of expectations and arrangements going in. This should be a part of any parenting plan and can help ensure its success.

Think big picture

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