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Plano Family Law Blog

What will you do about custody during your divorce?

Like most other Texas parents, one of your primary concerns during your divorce is making sure that you help your children adjust to the coming changes. While you can't insulate them from everything, you want to ease them into what's coming so they have time to process not only the fact that you and your spouse will end the marriage, but also that their lives will change as well.

The divorce process takes time. In fact, it could take months or longer. This gives you time to put your plans in motion for helping your children adjust. Sources say that using "birdnesting" on a temporary basis such as during the divorce process works well for everyone involved.

Filing an appeal after divorce litigation

Some who go through divorce litigation may feel that some errors or mistakes led to an unsatisfactory ruling by the judge. Generally, it is a long and complicated process to appeal a verdict because it is difficult to prove that a judge made an error, and even winning the appeal may not change the outcome of the trial. However, it is the right of the appellant to appeal in appellate court. If he or she chooses to do so, they must appeal within 30 days of the initial final order being signed.

The appellate court is not interested in the facts of the case. Instead, it reviews the case and/or hears arguments to determine that the trial court made an error (a mistake), or a harmful error (a mistake that impacted the outcome of the case). It can either change the trial court's decision or send the case back to the trial court for retrial. Reasons for doing this include instances where the court abused its discretion by acting arbitrarily or unreasonably, or not exhibiting appropriate principles or applying rules of Court.

Women face more significant financial challenges in gray divorces

There has been much discussion in family law circles about the rise of so-called “gray divorce.” It is noteworthy because couples over 50 years are the only demographic where the numbers continue to rise.

Divorce may be the right decision, but women involved in gray divorce nevertheless have to be especially careful even if the initial settlement appears to be fair and equitable. According to Bloomberg, divorce is generally a significant financial setback for couples over 50, but women. Explanations for this include:

Money-saving tips for coparents

There are many reasons why couples divorce, but money and finances are a common theme for divorces in every tax bracket. As they navigate the divorce process, there are many essential details to consider. None are more important than parents drafting a fair and equitable parenting plan that outlines scheduling for the average week as well as decision-making power for various aspects of parenting affecting a child.

There is also the financial component to co-parenting that needs to be addressed through child support. This outlines parents’ essential financial obligations like living expenses, health care, extracurricular activities, and possibly even saving for the children’s college fund. Moreover, parents can also work together to avoid wasteful spending on large and small expenses.

Same-sex divorce presents unique challenges

Various large metropolitan areas recently held parades to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. That June 29, 1969, protest marked the beginning of the LGBT&Q rights movement, yet it was 46 years almost to the day that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans (including here in Texas) on same-sex marriage in 2015.

Since that ruling, there have since been an estimated 491,000 same-sex marriages here in the United States. Many of these marriages are loving unions that often involve children, but many other same-sex couples end up filing for divorce. This is always a difficult decision involving many challenges. Nonetheless, same-sex divorce can pose unique circumstances where those involved were in monogamous relationships for many years before getting married.

Separate accounts don't protect your assets

By the time you got married, chances are that you already had your own bank accounts. Perhaps you even had a substantial amount of money saved and a system for paying your bills. Like many in Texas, you may have secured your career and even purchased property before tying the knot. To protect what you had accomplished, you may have decided not to add your spouse's name to your accounts and property deeds.

Many couples, especially those in their twenties and thirties, are taking this step because they recognize the high risk that their marriages will end in divorce. By keeping their income and assets separate from their spouses, they believe they are securing their financial future in the event of a breakup. However, is this really the most effective way to keep your assets during property division?

Determining custody for parents who choose not to marry

Families come in all shapes and sizes, so Texas has made changes to its laws to accommodate a broader definition of family units. No longer is it a given that the mother gets custody of the children after filing for divorce, nor do all parents need to marry to have legal rights. Because the circumstances involving each case may be different, a different approach is needed. Unmarried parents who wish to establish custody rights, visitation rights, child support, or even geographic restrictions will need to be proactive.

How can you know if your spouse is hiding something in divorce?

Divorce is a complex time full of emotions and difficult decisions. Often, the two parties are in contention with one another, and one spouse may actually attempt to take steps to prevent the other party from getting his or her fair share of marital property. The act of hiding assets can complicate a divorce, and it is also illegal.

If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, you may not be sure what to do next. In fact, you may just have a hunch that something isn't right. There are specific signs you can look out for that may indicate something is amiss. If your spouse is indeed hiding assets, you have the right to fight back. In Texas and throughout the country, you are entitled to pursue a fair portion of all marital assets and seek a strong financial future

Creating a postnuptial agreement

Most of us are familiar with a prenuptial agreement, but a growing number of couples are turning to postnuptial agreements. The concept is the same, except that the couple waits until after the wedding day. Some plan it that way, while others see a need for one later.

This agreement can be put in writing with the help of an experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas. These legal professionals can help couples determine how to divide assets, handle custody issues, resolve any money related issues, or address unique circumstances. They are particularly helpful here in Texas because legal separation is not allowed under state law.

In divorce, not all animals are pets

It is not easy to divorce a spouse and move on with life. Aside from the emotional impact, splitting assets can make matters complex. After all, if you have significant assets, you may not even realize the extent of the marital property you must split between you.

Certainly, you know you must arrive at a fair and equitable way to separate your bank accounts, furniture, motor vehicles and real estate. You and your spouse may already know the value of the vintage wines in your collection, and you may have appraisals for antiques and other collectibles. What about your animals, including your dogs and horses?

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