Sabelhaus Lynch, PLLC

Fort Worth Family Law Blog

What factors are considered in a spousal maintenance award?

Spousal maintenance, sometimes called spousal support or alimony, is a payment made from one former spouse to another after divorce. Historically, it was paid by a former husband to his former wife, who had worked in the home during their marriage.

Today, the higher-wage-earning spouse may be ordered to make spousal maintenance payments to the lower-wage-earning spouse regardless of gender. The purpose of this is to balance any unfair economic effects caused by the divorce.

The difficult emotions that come with some family law decisions

Making the choice to divorce or separate is not an easy decision. When a Texas reader finally moves forward with a major family law decision, it can bring various emotions that can range from relief to dread. During the process of divorce and in the midst of working for a fair final order, it can be beneficial to set aside temporary feelings and focus on what will be best long-term.

In many situations, husbands are caught off guard by their wife's decision to file for divorce. Statistics indicate that as many as 70% of divorces are initiated by the women, and as a result, a husband may find himself dealing with complicated and difficult emotions. Emotionally processing this major step is not easy, and it can cloud a person's judgment during a time when it's crucial to be thinking clearly.

Property division and the post-divorce financial health of women

Divorce brings significant financial changes to both spouses, but statistics indicate that these changes can be particularly difficult for Texas women. The property division process can bring long-term impacts for areas that include health care, taxes, living arrangements and retirement plans. For some older individuals, divorce can be financially devastating, but there is evidence that this can improve over time.

There is evidence to suggest that many women feel more confident about their financial situation a few years after their divorce is final. While the end of a marriage can be a financial wake-up call for many, it is possible, with careful planning and a thoughtful divorce order, to have a secure and stable future. Other factors, such as a strong economy, may also affect how confident women feel about their post-divorce finances.

Texas police accused of taking sides in a conservatorship case

The legal term for child custody in Texas is conservatorship. It can evoke strong emotions on both sides when parents disagree about what's best for their children. For instance, if the court grants custody to one parent and the other is not satisfied with the decision or believes his or her rights have been violated, an appeal may be filed. A contentious situations in Abilene includes reported allegations against law enforcement officers for getting involved in a particular case and taking sides to help the biological father get his kids back.

A judge sent the three children in question to live with their mother and her new husband. This apparently angered the kids' biological father, who has also remarried. His wife is said to have connected to police officers through Facebook, which allegedly sparked a plan to smear the stepfather's reputation and accuse him of a crime.

Making smart family law decisions during the summer

Summer is a season when the kids are out of school, families are traveling and things can be stressful. All of these factors, among others, can make it perfectly clear to a Texas couple that they want to move forward with divorce. With this in mind, it's smart for a person to start thinking about ways he or she can make smart family law decisions.

When a person knows that he or she wants to move forward with divorce, it's prudent to start thinking ahead. Divorce planning and preparation can make the actual process move faster and go smoother. A smart first step is to begin thinking about how child custody would work. Spouses may be able to discuss this issue together, but it may also help to get advice and guidance from other trusted individuals. 

Three tips to help you co-parent more successfully

Many courts prefer to award joint managing conservatorship because it allows children to maintain a relationship with both parents. However, this arrangement can present many challenges to parents who have ended their marriage.

Continuing to collaborate with an ex-spouse may not have been the post-divorce situation you imagined, but successful co-parenting can have many benefits for your children, such as feelings of security, better problem-solving skills and better mental and emotional health. Although you and your ex-spouse may not be on the best terms now, there are three steps you can take to help your children receive as many of the co-parenting benefits as possible.

Looking ahead to divorce over summer break

Summer can be a complicated time for Texas families. During this time of year, it is quite common for couples to make the realization that they want to move ahead with divorce, but it is prudent to take time to prepare for this process before rushing ahead. Experts say that someone who wants to divorce should begin preparations months in advance.

For many, the summers months offer a good time for a person to discuss divorce plans with the right people who can help the individual get ready. This includes an attorney, financial advisor and others. It may even help for parents to start discussing what they want their custody and visitation schedules to look like in the future. It's smart to take the time to start exploring the legal and financial impact of various divorce-related choices, such as whether to keep the family home or sell it.

How divorce can impact a child's future educational prospects

The end of their parents' marriage can affect children in many ways, and studies indicate that this also includes a child's future educational prospects as well. There is significant indication that divorce can impact whether a child attends college, even if this step is years in the future. Texas parents may want to take note and work together to minimize the potential negative impact that a divorce may have on their child's emotional and mental well-being. 

Divorce is expensive, and both parties may experience a reduction in income. However, finances are not necessarily the main reason why children of divorce are less likely to go to college. It's likely that the emotional damage of a divorce keeps kids from moving forward with higher education opportunities. Divorce is often most difficult for the youngest members of the family, and they can carry these unseen scars for the rest of their lives. 

How does the property division process affect business owners?

When a couple decides to move forward with divorce, they will have to divide marital assets. For some Texas couples, this means figuring out what to do with a family-owned business. The property division process can be complex, especially when there is a successful business at stake. When a person knows what to expect, he or she can develop a strategy that will be best for his or her long-term interests. 

Many couples find it beneficial to work on a settlement agreement out of court. When working on a settlement, it is prudent to think about the long-term implications of any agreement, as well as potential tax consequences. Separating business and personal assets, especially when the business is the primary source of income for both parties, is a uniquely complex process. 

More states adopting ‘pet custody’ laws

To many Texans, dogs and cats are not just pets – they are members of the family. Even if you have children, you may feel the same way about your own beloved dog or cat (or other animal if you are a bit unconventional).

Unfortunately, the love we share for our “fur babies” can make divorce proceedings especially difficult. Unlike children, whose care and wellbeing are governed by comprehensive child custody laws, Texas has no such laws for how to address pets in a divorce. In the eyes of the law, dogs and cats are simply property, like a couch or a set of dishes. But in states around the country, there is widespread support for adopting pet custody laws that would treat pets more like human kids.

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