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Posted on in Divorce

Parker County Divorce LawyerOn June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States.  This means that same-sex couples who were married in a state that recognized their union are now able to get divorced in any state, including Texas.

Before 2015, things were a bit more complicated for same-sex couples who wanted to end their marriage. Some states did not recognize same-sex marriage, so these couples had to travel to a state that did in order to get married. This made getting divorced more complicated, as the couple would then have to return to the state where they were married in order to dissolve their union.

Now, same-sex couples can get married and divorced in any state. The divorce process is largely the same as it is for heterosexual couples. However, same-sex couples may still encounter legal and financial challenges when ending their marriages. If you are a same-sex couple who is considering getting divorced, it is important to seek out the help of an experienced family law attorney. 

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Parker County Domestic Violence LawyerDomestic violence is something that many people sweep under the rug. Although abuse between spouses, romantic partners, and family members is common, many people are hesitant to discuss these matters publicly. October has been named Domestic Violence Awareness Month to bring these issues to light and help victims understand their rights and options. 

If you have been abused by a current or former boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, family member, or household member, know that you do not have to tolerate this behavior. There are court orders called protective orders available that can help you get out of an abusive relationship or living situation. 

Protective Orders Available in Texas 

A person who is a victim of family violence, abuse, sexual assault, stalking, or trafficking can file for a protective order. In Texas, there are different types of protective orders depending on the relationship between the victim and the abuser and other factors:

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Parker County Divorce AttorneyFinances are inevitably a huge factor in a divorce case. Each party's income, assets, and debts influence the division of property, child support, and if ordered, spousal support. Both spouses are expected to be transparent about their finances. Unfortunately, some spouses attempt to hide assets in order to keep more for themselves after the divorce.

Finding Undisclosed Money and Property During Divorce

Undisclosed assets and false financial information can heavily influence the division of assets during divorce. If one spouse is caught hiding money or property, the other may be entitled to a greater share of the marital assets.

There are many ways that a spouse may try to hide assets. They might:

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TX divorce lawyerOne of the most confusing aspects of getting divorced is that divorce laws vary greatly from state to state. For example, in Texas, divorcing spouses may list a fault-based “ground” or reason for divorce while other states only have no-fault divorce grounds. Cruelty, felony criminal conviction, abandonment, and adultery are some of the fault-based grounds in Texas. “Insupportability” is the main no-fault reason for divorce.

If you are getting divorced because you or your spouse cheated, it is important to know how this can affect your divorce case. Unlike many other states, Texas courts can and do consider infidelity when making decisions about the outcome of a divorce.

Divorce and Extra-Marital Affairs

When someone files for a fault-based divorce, they are alleging that the other spouse’s actions caused the divorce. Adultery, or the act of having sexual intercourse with someone other than your spouse, is a common fault-based ground for divorce in Texas.

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parker county texas prenup lawyerThe furthest thing from most new couples’ minds is the idea that their relationship will come to an end. But when nearly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, the notion of a marriage lasting forever might seem naive to those who tend to be practical about making major decisions. Prenuptial agreements are a great way to protect both you and your future spouse’s interests at a time when you are feeling generous and considerate towards each other. Although negotiating a prenup may not feel like the most romantic thing to do, having a solid legal agreement in place can save time, money, conflict, and heartache down the road if the relationship does end. Here are three important conversations to have before you begin discussing your Texas prenuptial agreement. 

What Do You Own and What Do You Owe? 

Couples building a prenuptial agreement will need to disclose all of their property and debts. Each spouse should list his or her real estate, business interests, investments, and other assets. Spouses must also disclose debts, including credit card debt, student loans, and personal loans. A prenuptial agreement allows spouses to classify assets and debts as either marital or separate property. Marital property is owned by both spsoues while separate property or non-marital property is owned by only one spouse. 

How Will You Manage Money? 

Financial conflict is a frequent driver of divorce, and while couples do not necessarily need to have similar financial management styles, understanding how you will handle any differences will be crucial for establishing healthy financial habits throughout your marriage. Prenuptial agreements can specify what will happen in regard to spousal support, shared assets, business ownership, and more. 

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palo pinto child custody lawyerAlthough parents usually make decisions that are in the best interests of their children, Texas family law courts recognize that a parent’s judgment may be blinkered during divorce. Unfortunately, divorce often turns into a zero-sum competition between spouses and when the children get caught in the middle, fights over custody, false accusations, and other high-conflict behaviors can emerge. 

Texas courts must therefore try to objectively determine what is in a child’s best interests and make child custody decisions accordingly. Generally speaking, judges are reluctant to give one parent full custody, and any parent seeking full custody must demonstrate that there is a good reason to grant that arrangement. However, there are certainly situations where the children are better off staying away from one parent, and it can be helpful to know what those are.

When is Full Custody Given to One Parent in Texas? 

Before answering this question, it is important to distinguish between the two parts of child custody: “possession and access” and “conservatorship.” “Possession and access” refers to a parent’s right to spend time with a child. “Conservatorship” refers to a parent’s decision-making authority over a child. A parent with all the decision-making authority and exclusive possession and access has sole managing conservatorship, which is what most people mean when they say “full custody.” When a parent has full custody of a child, then that child is in their care full-time, and only that parent makes decisions for the child. 

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palo pinto divorce lawyerWhen a couple weds, “yours” and “mine” become “ours.” Whether intentional or unintentional, spouses’ finances almost always become entangled during a marriage. Separating assets and debts is often a significant hurdle during the divorce process.

If you are thinking about getting divorced, you may have questions about how property is divided between spouses in Texas. Who keeps the marital home? What about vacation homes and rental properties? Will I be responsible for my spouse’s debts? The answers to these questions vary from case to case, based on several different factors. Read on to learn more.

Community Property is Divided Equally

States vary with regard to property division during divorce. Texas is a community property state. This means that almost all of the income and assets acquired by either spouse are considered community property or marital property. Both spouses have a right to an equal share of community property.

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There’s no way to sugarcoat or otherwise downplay the challenges and adversity linked with divorce in most instances.

For most people, notes one proven North Texas family law legal source, marital dissolution “is a difficult process.”

And that is understandable, right? Although some splitting couples are able to quickly end failed marriages in a largely uncontested manner, sticking points and matters of dispute are far more commonplace in Texas decouplings and other divorces nationally.

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Divorce can be stressful for you and the animals who are part of your life and livelihood. As you and your spouse start out, you have no intention of ending the relationship. When it comes time to divide a combined life, the situation can become challenging.

Horses may feel like family. During the divorce, however, they are assets and can become a source of friction.

Here’s what you should know about how Texas views horses during a divorce.

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Divorce, family crises and other issues often lead to grandparents assuming the primary parenting role for their grandchildren. While some pursue adoption to validate the relationship legally, many others provide that care informally.

Reasons grandparents assume the primary parenting role

While many factors exist for grandparents taking over raising their grandkids, most are related to difficulties that prevent parents from effectively providing that care. These include:

  • Parental substance abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Physical or mental illness
  • Child disability
  • Unemployment
  • Military deployment
  • Abandonment
  • Death of one or both parents
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Incarceration

Challenges grandparents face for raising grandchildren

When grandparents assume the primary parenting role for their grandkids, they can face several obstacles, and the responsibilities can feel overwhelming. These include:

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Your divorce is new territory for everyone involved. Its effects disrupt lives, while lingering and simmering. Sometimes, heated arguments with hurtful words surface, and, other times, the parents and children withdraw. There are ways to overcome such difficulties, and among them is avoiding doing, saying and perpetuating poor and non-productive habits that only lead to further ill will.

Your children are perceptive. They often know and understand much more than you think. Children are alert to good news, bad news and to reality. During a divorce, they hear every little pin drop of detail. And this is why it is critical for parents to be careful of their actions and words during such a difficult time.

Avoid secrecy and spouting your frustrations

You love your children. You cared for them and protected them during the marriage, and, now, you must do the same in divorce. Here are some of the things not to do around children during divorce:

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Child abuse is a serious matter that relies on responsible adults to help put an end to it. Without the actions of someone who witnessed the abuse, the child can continue to suffer indefinitely.

This type of abuse is far more common than you may expect, with nearly 700,000 cases occurring annually. Knowing how to identify and report all forms of child abuse can help save the life of a child near you; here is what to look for:

Signs of child abuse

Child abuse can come in many different varieties. Physical abuse can be difficult for an abuser to hide, but it is possible. If a child has obvious makeup on their face, neck, or other areas of the body, it may be covering bruises. An abusive parent may force a child to wear baggy clothes even on hot days, or a child may cover themselves up from shame.

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