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How Can I Get Full Custody of My Kids in Texas? 

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in Child Custody

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.

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How Does Property Division Work in a Texas Divorce?  

 Posted on May 16, 2022 in Property Division

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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The most important person to take care of during divorce is … you

 Posted on April 21, 2022 in Divorce

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.

Candidly, there is often much to disagree about. The above source notes that the goal of “getting from point A to point B” on varied matters is often easier said than done.

Customary points of contention during the divorce process

Family law issues are dynamic and case-specific. Every divorce is flatly unique, with matters needing to be resolved spanning broad territory. Key focal points often revolve around issues ranging from child custody/visitation and spousal maintenance (alimony) to property division and more.

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Things divorcing parents must avoid doing in front of the kids

 Posted on April 21, 2022 in Divorce

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:

  • Criticize the other parent, speak negatively about him or her or blame them. Doing so just may turn your children against you, fracturing your relationship for years to come. Parents lead by example, and children typically follow their lead. A critical and divisive parent can spawn a critical and divisive child. And, remember, children are impressionable and have elephant’s memories.

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Horses and divorce: are they pets or assets?

 Posted on April 21, 2022 in Divorce

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.

Community property

Texas is a community property state when it comes to dividing assets during a divorce. Although your horses may feel more like companions than assets, considering them assets makes a simple line for the court to determine ownership.  If the horses are registered, ownership on the registration papers does not determine whether they are community or separate property. That is determined by how they were acquired.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on who gets the horses, and the horses are determined to be community property, the Court will award them to one party or the other or order them sold and the proceeds split as with the rest of your community property.  If their value is at issue, a professional may have to be retained to testify as to their appraised value.

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What do you do if you think you see child abuse?

 Posted on April 21, 2022 in Child Custody

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.

Neglect is another form of abuse that children can suffer, which can happen when children do not receive the care or resources they need to be healthy. Neglected children can be regularly unclean, appear malnourished, or even wear the same outfit many times a week.

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The changing role of grandparents in raising our kids

 Posted on May 06, 2021 in Child Custody

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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