Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law
713-581-1773

Divorce ain't over until it's over

The decision to file for divorce may add additional legal burdens and restrictions upon a spouse. They may have to delay financial and parenting decisions and suffer inconvenience during the period between filing and the issuance of the decree.

One of the biggest restrictions of a divorce is limitations on travel with their children. This includes travel overseas, especially if a parent is from another country or has ties with family in another country. Judges impose this restriction to ensure that the parents do not keep their children overseas.

Children are usually prohibited from leaving the state, even for a short visit to a relative or for summer camp, without the other spouse's written agreement or a court order. Violating an automatic temporary restraining order may have very serious consequences, such as involvement of the police or U.S. Marshalls or a court order restricting parental visitation without professional supervision.

Financial restrictions may be imposed regarding the transfer or disposal of property. These limitations help assure that a spouse does not retaliate against their soon-to-be former spouse, that money and assets are not hidden or depleted and that there is time to work out property division and other issues fairly.

A spouse cannot make large cash withdrawals even for payment of legal fees. Selling major assets or large credit card purchases are usually prohibited. Even a personal asset, such as a family heirloom passed on to a spouse, may not be sold without the other spouse's consent or a court order.

Spouses may use their funds for normal and necessary expenses such as food, clothes for the children and gas for the car. But, suspicious expenditures after filing may result in the spending spouse having to reimburse the other spouse for excess spending.

Spouses cannot be removed from health, life and car insurance policies. It is important that spouses continue to have protection if there is a medical emergency or drive legally while insured. They must also have sufficient time to make plans for getting their own insurance after the divorce.

Spouses should discuss their financial plans with their attorney until the divorce decree is issued. A family law attorney can help provide options, take measures if the other spouse violates rights and assure that there are no violations of Texas law.

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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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