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Plano Family Law Blog

Spying on a spouse - just don't do it

A spouse may act mysteriously sometimes, perhaps indicating that a marriage is heading toward trouble. In recognizing this odd behavior, some may feel the need to check on the other spouse to see what they are doing. And in the information age, this is now easier to do than ever. With a few keystrokes, a spouse could conceivably open a laptop, go through emails or check browsing history.

Avoid this temptation

Do grandparents have a right to see grandchildren?

Grandparents take on a variety of different roles with grandchildren. They can be involved in the day-to-day care of the children, or even be a primary care giver. They are often a friendly face seen at holidays and birthdays.

The issue of grandparent visitation can get complicated after a divorce, particularly ones that involve a high level of conflict. Unfortunately, grandparents have no legal right to see their grandchildren unless they have already had actual custody orders. The general presumption is that parents determine who the children have contact with. However, grandparents may try to secure a court order to allow access to and/or possession of grandchildren then, if neither parent of the children will allow the children to have access to the grandparents.  

Celebrity divorces provide cautionary tales

Most married couples in Texas may feel they have little in common with the rich and famous in show business. They may fantasize about the glamorous lives celebrities lead, and follow with interest the relationship highs and lows that often play out in the media. At the end of the day, you may feel there is very little you can learn from the love lives of celebrities. In fact, you may see many celebs making the same mistakes over and over.

Nevertheless, if you are planning to get married soon, you may find a valuable lesson in the tragic ends of many celebrity marriages. If there is one take-away, it may be that even in a fairytale world, it helps to be realistic about the future. For many, that means seeking the protection of a prenuptial agreement.

What happens to the ring in a broken engagement?

Friends may say that it is for the best, and they are right. However, there may be emotional pain and confusion involved in calling off an engagement. From a financial standpoint, the severed relationship could pose problems as well, particularly if there is an expensive engagement ring involved.

A high profile example made the news recently. A former groom asked that his fiancée return a 4-karat engagement ring worth about $100,000, which he says was a conditional gift. If she returned the ring, he said she could remain in their large house while finishing her art history dissertation. She later announced her intention to keep it. The former groom is currently paying on personal loans and credit card loans on the ring.

Texas spouses: Can you relate to these divorce issues?

When you were first married you may have been able to name 10 things you loved about your spouse with little to no effort at all. A decade and several marital problems later, you may be able to relate to other Texas spouses who say they feel like strangers in their own homes.

Life is complicated at times and marriage can be quite challenging. In fact, some couples determine they are better off going their separate ways than trying to resolve the same old issues over and over again. Many spouses have similar reasons for filing for divorce. If you have an available support group in the North Texas area, it may provide you some comfort and help you gain confidence as you make plans for your future after “The JOY of DIVORCE”.

Professor convicted of trying to hide marital assets

Couples who file for divorce are obligated to negotiate in good faith as they go through the process. Ideally, they look at a complete list of their marital assets and then divide them in a fair and equitable manner. Sometimes it does not work that way and they end up in court. Occasionally, one of them ends up court for trying to cheat the system.

A University of Minnesota professor has made national news after a jury quickly found him guilty of theft of swindle over $35,000 and two counts of aggravated forgery. These charges are in connection to the man attempting to hide the actual value of a retirement account and the existence of a second retirement account. According to a local news report, the man listed the account's value was $745,012, but the actual value of both was $891,116. The amount the ex-wife could have lost if he was successful was $353,649.

Filmmaker too busy to share royalties with ex-wife

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is famous for such films as “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11.” He generally projects an anti-capitalist or left-leaning political point of view tinged with a flair for comedy.

Yet the Academy Award winner is less interested in sharing his films’ royalties with his ex-wife Kathleen Glynn, who was married to him from 1991-2014. Glynn, who is a film and television producer and writer, worked with her ex-husband on many of his defining projects including Moore’s breakthrough “Roger & Me” from 1989.

Answers to questions regarding custody/visitation interference

Coparenting after a divorce ideally involves communication between the parents on big issues as well as small ones. However, not all spouses have an amicable split and may experience difficulty working as co-parents even when each should know that it is best for the child. 

There are a variety of situations in which a parent may get annoyed with their ex, but sometimes annoyance does not translate into willful interference. Below are some highlights of larger lists of questions or concerns involving custody and parenting plans that arise:

More fathers turn to social media after divorce

You have many titles in your life. At work, you may be boss or associate or trusted employee; in your personal life, you may be brother, neighbor or friend. Until recently, you were also husband. No matter the situation that finally brought about the end of your marriage, you retain the title of father. While you may rejoice that family courts more and more frequently recognize the importance of dads in their children's lives, you may have concerns about how you will be able to fill that role as a single parent.

Like many fathers, you may find answers from other men in similar circumstances. Fortunately, the internet allows access to this shared wisdom from far beyond your home in Texas. That is why more fathers are turning to social media for guidance and support as they navigate the challenges of parenting as newly-divorced fathers. Anonymous forums and social media offer outlets for fathers to discuss new issues as they make sense of their developing parenting roles. In North Texas, Texas Fathers for Equal Rights maintains an office in Dallas County close to the Dallas County Courthouse.

Is divorce contagious? Some think so.

The impact divorce has upon families is serious and wide ranging. Many have written about how parents can pick up the pieces or how to make the transition go more smoothly for the children.

Apparently, the impact goes further than one might imagine. There is a new study by researchers at Harvard University, Brown University and University of California, San Diego that finds that people are 75 percent more likely to get divorced if they have a friend who is divorced. That dips to 33 percent if a friend of a friend gets divorced.

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