Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law

Houston Family Law Blog

We help clients navigate the technical aspects of divorce

Deciding to end one's marriage is often a difficult decision made by Texas residents. But, once the decision is made, many find themselves in a rush to finally finish their legal bond with one another and move on with their lives. This is why many Texas men and women end up agreeing to terms in the divorce agreement that are most likely detrimental to them in the long run. However, by shortchanging oneself in either the divorce agreement or spousal agreement, one can end up facing a number of challenging years ahead.

There are a number of reasons a spouse might require spousal support during the first few years after the divorce or why a parent might prefer having joint physical custody, and it's likely that the only time to voice those concerns is during the divorce process. There are also a number of other issues that need to be addressed prior to finalizing a divorce and attorneys may be able to provide help in how to proceed.

What should women do to get ready for divorce?

Divorce is a complex process that can greatly alter your future and your long-term goals. Women who are expecting to divorce in the near future will find it beneficial to consider how they can take steps now to prepare for what is ahead and shield their finances for the future. Even if you are not quite ready to move forward with this process, there are things you can do now that will help you down the road.

There is often a surge in divorce filings after the holidays, and you may plan to file after the New Year. Whether you have a date in mind to initiate this process or you believe it is simply a possibility, it is always prudent to be prepared. Divorce planning can significantly impact your financial stability and post-divorce success.

What child custody options do I have for the holidays?

When a Texas court is determining how to divide child custody, it must do so while keeping the children's best interests in mind. This means whatever decision is made must be made in order to benefit the children, emotionally, physically, or financially. Regardless of how difficult it is, parents should put their children's best interests first when determining who should have custody during the holidays.

If parents have divorced amicably and live near one another, they might decide to split the hours of the holiday equally. However, this arrangement might end up backfiring, as children might find going from one location to another chaotic or stressful. It could also increase the amount of interaction parents have with one another post-divorce, which they may be trying to avoid. Therefore, while this arrangement could be beneficial for amicable parents with older children, it might not be the best option for ones with an acrimonious relationship.

Celebrating Thanksgiving as a divorced parent

The quintessential Thanksgiving image to many is a family sitting around the table cutting the turkey with a smile on their face. The holiday is often promoted as a time where parents and children get together after they respectively have their work and school days off. A lot of stress and preparation is involved for this one day, but many find it worthwhile to work hard for one of the few days of the year where all can celebrate being together.

Parents that recently divorced face a different obstacle this holiday season. It is their first time going into Thanksgiving without a spouse and potentially without their children on their days off. This could be one of the toughest parts of the year as several divorcees in Texas are constantly reminded of what they once had. However, no longer having a spouse should not stop you from celebrating the occasion. Your status presents opportunities to create new lifelong traditions.

Texas child custody

A divorce or the end of a relationship may be accompanied by legal complications over the custody of the couple's children. Child custody in Texas must comply with state law and court procedures.

Child custody in Texas is known as conservatorship. The person who is awarded custody is referred to as the conservator. A court order must be issued to establish legal custody. Otherwise, the judge has no power to enforce any custody matters.

Increasing the chances of avoiding divorce court

Couples ending their marriage may begin a stressful and expensive battle, especially if they have children. Fortunately, there are methods for avoiding these difficulties and staying out of the courthouse while undergoing a divorce.

Mediation allows the spouses to control their spousal support, property division and custody issues without a court imposing rulings on them. A neutral mediator helps couples design their own solutions to matters that must be acceptable to each party. Mediation also helps assure that divorce issues remain confidential.

Texas child support changes

Separated or divorced parents and their children may be eligible for more support after September 1. A law took effect that requires parents paying child support to provide dental insurance to their children. Parents who pay child support have been legally required to pay for health care insurance in addition to other living expenses. Many supporting parents already voluntarily paid for dental insurance before this new law.

This support obligation may not take effect immediately for every parent, however, because of court rulings. New court cases requiring child support will probably require dental insurance payments.

3 tips for telling children about a divorce

For any couple breaking up, sharing the news with the people in their lives is a difficult aspect of the split. Married couples who are also parents together have one particular audience that is most important to inform: the kids.

Telling children about an impending divorce can be a challenge for all parents. No matter the family dynamics during the marriage, a divorce will bring major changes to the lives of everyone in the family. With that in mind, it’s important that parents prepare for sharing this news and go into the conversation with a plan in place to mitigate any potential issues.

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Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law
4265 San Felipe Street
Suite 1100
Houston, TX 77027

Toll Free: 877-576-7390
Phone: 713-581-1773
Fax: 713-968-9817
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