Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law

Houston Family Law Blog

Mistakes to avoid in a high net worth divorce

Unfortunately, many marriages in the Houston area do not last forever. There are many couples who decide to end their marriage for one reason or another. When a couple is facing a divorce, it can be an emotional time with many complex issues that need to be resolved. When the couple has a high net worth, the decisions that are made during this time are very important.

When a high net worth couple is going through a divorce it can be a situation that is more complex than other divorces. With a lot of assets to work through it is important for a person to understand the mistakes that they should avoid. One mistake is making decisions based on emotion instead of logic. Sometimes couples also rush through the divorce process without taking their time on important matters. This can lead to financial mistakes that can't be remedied once the divorce is finalized. It is also not uncommon for one spouse to hide assets. In addition, one spouse may not understand how many assets exist or fully understand what the assets are. There can be assets in businesses, art, retirement accounts, vacation homes, rental properties and more. When a spouse is not aware of all their marital assets, they may not receive the full amount of what they are due.

Is joint custody the right choice for your family?

Making decisions that can affect your children after divorce is not an easy task. It can be hard to make choices that will make sense for your Texas family while both protecting your parental rights and the needs of your children. This is why many parents find it beneficial to opt for a joint custody agreement.

Joint custody means that parents will share parenting time and responsibility for raising the children after divorce. This works differently for each family, and you have the right to craft a custody order that makes sense for your unique situation. This option allows the kids to have strong relationships with both parents after divorce, which is greatly beneficial for every member of the family.

Separate property in a Texas divorce

When a Houston couple gets married, they believe their life can't get any better. They have just committed themselves to a lifetime with the one they love, and life has never looked rosier. Unfortunately, not all marriages last forever, and each year thousands of Texas couples decide to make the difficult decision to divorce. Working through a divorce is a complicated and emotional matter with property division often being the most contentious issue.

There are two types of property that are analyzed during divorce proceedings. The first type of property in a marriage is communal property. This is typically the property that is obtained during the marriage. The other type of property that is considered during divorce proceedings is separate property. There are three types of separate property in Texas.

Divorcing in Texas while pregnant

As many Houston couples know, not all marriages last forever. There are many marriages that just don't work out for one reason or another. When a marriage isn't destined for eternity, many couples just want the divorce to be finalized as soon as possible. If the wife is pregnant at the time of the divorce, however, this can cause problems.

A Texas court doesn't usually grant a divorce if the wife is pregnant. They prefer to wait until after the baby is born so that they can establish paternity and work through child-related orders such as conservatorship, possession and child support. A couple also needs to keep in mind that there is a 60-day waiting period for a divorce. So, if the wife is three months pregnant, the couple would have to wait six months until the baby is born along with another 60-days for the waiting period. During these months a couple can file for divorce and work through the divorce process and through any complications to help make the divorce quicker when the waiting period is over.

Collaborative divorce can be a good option for some Texas couples

When a Houston area couple gets engaged it is an exciting time, and after the wedding is over the couple may be very happy with their new life. However, despite a couple's best intentions, their marriage may not last forever. For a couple who is facing a divorce, a collaborative divorce may be the way to go.

Although the media consistently discusses divorces that involve drama, friction and contentious issues, some divorces can be settled in a collaborative way. A collaborative divorce is a process in which both spouses work together to reach a settlement. The spouses come together to create a mutually beneficial agreement instead of just working on their own interests. A divorce settlement is only reached if both parties agree. A collaborative divorce is a good way for a couple to go through a divorce if they will have to continue to have a relationship after the divorce is finalized. Spouses who have children or jointly held assets, such as a business, can benefit from a collaborative divorce.

Father's rights in Texas child custody and visitation

Many children are born to parents who are not married in Texas. Modern couples do family their own way, which often does not involve marriage. When a couple no longer wants to remain together, child custody and visitation may come into play.

In Texas, fathers must first secure their right as a father and establish paternity. A father in an unmarried relationship does not have legal rights until paternity is established. A simple cheek swab can establish a father's paternity rights.

Want to adopt your stepchild? Here is what you should know

Blended families can be a wonderful thing, and the love you have for your stepchildren may be the same as if they were your own biological kids. In fact, you may want to make your special bond official by moving forward with the adoption process. It can be a little complicated when adopting stepchildren, and it's smart to know what to expect from the process before you proceed.

There are certain legal requirements you will have to meet in order to complete the stepparent adoption process, and there are a few obstacles to overcome along the way. Preparation is key to your success in your effort to formalize the relationship you have with your stepkids. It may help to seek an evaluation of your case and learn more about the process ahead. 

How long does spousal support last in a Texas divorce settlement?

Despite a couple's best intentions, not all marriages last forever. When a person believes their marriage may be heading for dissolution, they may wonder what they will need to work out during a divorce. For many couples, spousal support may be part of the divorce equation.

There are many issues that are worked out in a divorce settlement. Besides property division, child support, child custody arrangements and spousal support may need to be decided. A person who is ordered to pay spousal support may wonder how long this arrangement will last.

Stability for the kids starts with a good parenting plan

As a parent, you want to protect the physical, emotional and mental well-being of your children over anything else in the world. If you decided to move forward with divorce, you may have concerns over how you will continue to do that during and after the process if final. One of your main goals is to provide the youngest members of your Texas family with safety and security for the foreseeable future. 

An important element of protecting your kids is providing them with a strong and sustainable custody and visitation agreement. You can do this by drafting a thoughtful parenting plan that allows your children to have continued and regular access to both parents well after the process is final. To accomplish this, you will have to work alongside the other parent to create a plan that will suit the needs and interests of your unique family.

No-fault divorce in Texas

Although Texas couples expect their marriage will last forever when they decide to finally tie the knot, divorces still occurs frequently. Going through a divorce can be an emotional time with a lot at stake. Many people who are going through a divorce may wonder if no-fault divorce is an option in Texas and what it means.

In Texas, no-fault divorce is an option for a couple going through a divorce. A no-fault divorce means that neither party involved in the divorce needs to provide evidence that someone is at fault for the divorce. Instead, the divorce petition will list "insupportability" as the reason for the divorce. Other reasons that can be given for a divorce in Texas include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, living apart, confinement in a mental hospital or conviction of a felony.

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

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