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How Is Child Support Determined in Texas?

 Posted on April 10, 2023 in Child Support

North Texas Family Law AttorneyEvery parent has a legal duty to provide the resources needed to ensure their child is taken care of, including food, clothing, and shelter. Even if the child does not live with the parent, they still must meet that legal duty. Child support is an obligation that every non-custodial parent in Texas is required to pay. It can also become one of the most contentious topics between co-parents. It is not uncommon for the parent who is been ordered to pay the support (the obligor) to resent handing over money to their ex-spouse or partner (the obligee), often losing sight of the fact that the money ultimately is going to the care of their child and not to support their ex.

The following is a brief overview of child support in Texas. If you have specific questions or concerns, a child support attorney can help.

How Do Texas Courts Calculate Child Support?

Child support in Texas is calculated based on a percentage of the obligor’s monthly net income and is broken down as follows:

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Is Your Spouse Secretly Planning a Divorce? Watch Out for These Financial Red Flags

 Posted on March 21, 2023 in Divorce

Collin County Divorce LawyerUnfortunately, there are many people who seek out the legal assistance of a divorce attorney who share they had no idea their spouse wanted a divorce until they got served with the divorce petition. Although there are marriages where divorce seems to come out of nowhere, there are usually some indicators that the person did not realize were actually signs that their spouse was planning their exit strategy from the marriage. Although these signs may not always mean a spouse is planning on leaving, they may be warnings that something is going on and you should consider seeking out legal advice to ensure your best interests are protected.

No Deposits in Joint Financial Accounts

In the majority of marriages, spouses have joint financial accounts that they use to pay household bills and other expenses. If your spouse suddenly stops depositing their pay into the joint account, that could be a red flag that they are making plans to file for divorce. Opening up an individual account is one of the first things that a divorce lawyer may suggest to a client that is planning on ending their marriage.

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Do I Need an Order of Protection to Deal with My Ex’s Stalking?

 Posted on March 13, 2023 in Family Law

Collin County Family Law AttorneyIn Texas, just as in every other state in the country, stalking is considered a serious crime. The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines stalking as “engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.”

One of the most frequent times a stalker’s behavior is triggered and during a divorce or breakup. If you are going to end a relationship and your partner is harassing, stalking, or threatening you, obtaining an order of protection is a critical first step in keeping you and your children safe.

Stalking Statistics

It is estimated that almost 14 million people a year are stalked, with one in three women and one in six men reporting they have been stalked. The majority of people who are being stalked know their stalkers – 40 percent are stalked by a current or intimate partner and 42 percent are stalked by an acquaintance. Approximately 75 percent of people who are being stalked are eventually threatened with physical violence by their stalker.

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What Are the Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement in Texas? 

 Posted on February 27, 2023 in Family Law

North Texas Divorce LawyerMost people are familiar with the term "prenuptial agreement," but fewer are familiar with postnuptial agreements. Like a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreements or "postnups" protect spouses' financial interests in the event of divorce or the death of a spouse. However, postnuptial agreements are signed after the couple is already married. Many people draft postnuptial agreements after receiving a large inheritance or another financial windfall. Other couples use postnuptial agreements to protect their property rights and clarify financial obligations after a marriage has gone through a tumultuous period.

What Can a Postnuptial Agreement Do for Me?

In Texas, postnuptial agreements can be used in many different ways. Some couples use postnups to ensure that their separate property remains separate and not subject to division in the event of divorce. Others might use postnups to create more equitable arrangements for spousal support or designate a spouse as the beneficiary of certain assets. Postnups can also be used to ensure that certain assets are excluded from the marital estate and will be passed on to children from a previous relationship after a spouse's death.

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Children Can Be Happy After a Divorce 

 Posted on February 16, 2023 in Family Law

Frisco Family Law AttorneyWhen a married couple with children decides to split, often their biggest concern is how the divorce will affect their children. Many parents who have chosen to live their lives apart worry that their children will think the breakup was their fault or will resent the parents for it. Divorced parents are also often concerned that their children will not be the same after a divorce, but research shows that there is reason to be hopeful. Most children of divorce are able to adapt to their new two-home family and end up thriving in it.  

Studies Show Most Children Adapt Well 

A 20-year study conducted by noted psychologist Constance Ahrons and confirmed by others shows that about 80 percent of children of divorce are able to adapt to the divorce and lead happy, successful lives afterward. The majority of children whose parents get divorced do not experience permanent negative effects on their grades, social development, or mental health. 

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What Property Do I Get to Keep in My Texas Divorce?

 Posted on January 30, 2023 in Divorce

Frisco, TX property division lawyerMany people have heard horror stories about divorcing spouses who are left with virtually nothing after the split. Their spouse took the house, the car, and even the dog in the divorce. While most divorce cases are not nearly as dramatic as these exaggerated stories would lead one to believe, protecting property rights is a crucial element of any divorce case.

If you are getting divorced, it is important to understand and assert your rights with regard to household items, real estate, retirement accounts, cash, and other property.

Negotiated Settlement vs. a Divorce Trial

Texas courts will generally uphold any agreements or settlements that spouses reach with regard to the division of property in a divorce. You and your spouse have the right to divide your community property however you see fit. In an amicable divorce case, the spouses may be able to sit down and discuss a fair division of assets without the court’s involvement. Even if the split is amicable and cooperative, it is best to get legal advice from an attorney regarding property division during divorce. There may be tax-related consequences and other legal factors spouses have not thought about that can heavily influence the decision.

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What Happens to Commingled Assets During Divorce?

 Posted on January 13, 2023 in Divorce

Frisco, TX divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to divorce, they must divide their property between them. As one might expect, each spouse brings property into the marriage, but community property is also acquired throughout their relationship. Some couples are exceedingly careful about segregating their respective personal property, while others pay little attention to the matter until divorce becomes a possibility. If you are in a position where your personal property has become commingled, or “mixed in”, with your spouse’s, consulting an experienced divorce lawyer may be the best option for you.

What Is Commingling?

Commingling occurs when two individuals’ separate property becomes intertwined or mixed. The best example of this is an individual depositing individually-owned funds—money he or she made before the marriage or received as an inheritance during the marriage—into a joint marital checking account. Doing so, in most cases, causes the deposited funds to lose their identity as separate property.

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Making Uncontested Divorce Work for You

 Posted on December 31, 2022 in Divorce

Collin County, TX uncontested divorce lawyerThere is little question that divorce can be a messy, often traumatic process. Unresolved anger and fear of an uncertain future can lead to a long, drawn-out proceeding that costs both spouses significant time, money, and energy. In many cases, a bitter, contentious divorce can destroy what was once a loving relationship, making it nearly impossible for the parties to even be in the same room for years into the future.

Your divorce, however, does not need to be this way. In fact, with a little work and the right attitude, you might find that an uncontested divorce will provide an opportunity to move forward with your lives more quickly and at much less expense.

Amicable or Uncontested Divorce

Sometimes referred to as an amicable divorce, an uncontested divorce is one that does not require the court to get involved in settling differences or ruling on issues between the spouses. Instead, the couple is able to reach a workable agreement regarding all of the necessary considerations, including:

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Help Your Children Enjoy the Holidays in Two Homes

 Posted on December 08, 2022 in Child Custody

Frisco, TX family law attorneyThe winter holiday season, for many families, begins with the celebration of Thanksgiving and continues through the month of December into the beginning of January. While the holidays are often filled with fun, food, and extended family, they can be particularly challenging for divorced parents as they try to keep their children involved in all of the festivities. If you share custody of your child with your former partner, there are some things that you can do to help make the winter holidays more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Be Prepared

If your parenting agreement does not already specify where your child will spend each holiday, you will need to make arrangements with the other parent as soon as possible. Do not wait until the very last minute. Give your child something to look forward to, and provide enough lead time for you and your child’s other parent to plan for the holiday accordingly.

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The Dangers of Parental Alienation

 Posted on November 11, 2022 in Divorce

Frisco, TX family lawyerDivorce is a painful process for the families who go through it. Children can especially be affected, as their entire world is changing. During or after a divorce, it is difficult for many to hold their tongues regarding their ex-spouses, and a parent may be tempted to make a snide remark about their former partner. Such emotions are understandable and even tolerable, to a small extent, but in extreme cases, a vindictive parent directly attempts to alienate a child from the other parent. This is called parental alienation, and it can create serious problems for both the child and the offending parent.

Parental alienation often includes manipulative or destructive behavior on the part of the adult and is meant to weaken or break the relationship between the child and his or her other parent. A father telling his children lies about the mother so that they will prefer staying at his house would be an example of parental alienation. It could also involve a mother who refuses to let her children see their father by falsely claiming he does not want to be a part of their lives. When a parent tries to change a child’s perception of the other parent in an unethical way, parental alienation is occurring. This manipulative behavior is also sometimes referred to as “aggressive hostile parenting,” and it is seen by many experts as a form of emotional abuse.

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