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Fort Worth, Texas Divorce Law Blog

Making the best out of child custody proceedings

Making the best out of a difficult situation is often something Texas parents have to do. When those parents are going through a divorce, they may have to get creative when it comes to ensuring that their children feel loved and secure. Of course, child custody can be difficult to work through, but parents can still do their best for their kids.

First, it is important that both parents have a place for the children to stay. Even if one parent moves out of the house while the other stays in the home with the children, the other parent needs to have enough space for the children to visit and sleep if that parent hopes to have custody or at least access to the kids. The court will take the living arrangements of both parents into consideration when making custody decisions.

Expecting a high asset divorce? Be sure to prepare

Any couple could face issues within their marriage that they find insurmountable. In fact, many couples in Texas and across the country end their marriages because they cannot find resolutions to serious issues. When individuals believe they are about to go through a high asset divorce, they undoubtedly want to know what to expect.

In general, the beginning of divorce proceedings is similar in most cases. Of course, high asset cases often have more complications than simpler proceedings. Nonetheless, if a person wishes to divorce, a petition for dissolution of marriage must be filed with the court. The petition will take note of the petitioner's stance on some divorce matters, such as child custody, property division and others. Once filed, the papers will be served to the other party, who can then respond.

Remember tax implications during gray, high asset divorce

A marriage could come to an end after any length of time. Of course, if Texas residents have been married for decades, it can be more complicated to untangle their lives. Additionally, high asset divorce among those over the age of 50 can be even more complicated.

Those nearing retirement often have more financial details to consider when divorcing. It is important that individuals determine how they can best protect the assets they have accumulated over the years, and it is also wise to consider the tax implications of keeping certain assets. Some people may believe that they can afford to keep a home or other significant piece of property only to face tax-related expenses they did not account for at first.

What factors could affect alimony outcomes?

Divorce is one of the biggest changes many people will go through in their lives. They may have been with the same person for decades before the decision was made to end the marriage. Because this step can cause a lot of uncertainty, especially when it comes to finances, many Texas residents have concerns about alimony.

It is common for alimony to be awarded in divorce cases, especially when one spouse earned considerably less than the other. In fact, income typically plays a major role in whether spousal support is awarded and how much, if any, should be paid. Each person's income along with the payor's ability to pay and the specific needs of the recipient can play a part in determining support amounts and other outcomes.

How parents can work together effectively

Parenting with a former spouse or partner can be challenging for individuals in Texas and throughout the country. However, there are many steps that a person can take to be a good parent and maintain a civil working relationship with the child's other parent. Ideally, individuals will work to ensure that they put their son or daughter's needs ahead of their own. This may prevent them from making decisions that could put their child in the middle of a dispute unnecessarily.

It is important for each parent to realize that the other parent gets a say when it comes to how the child is raised. In most cases, parents will share custody of a son or daughter as well as split the costs of doing so. In exchange for accepting help from the child's mother or father, an individual must cede some of the decision-making power.

Addressing safety with child custody and visitation

Parents who are concerned about their child's safety during the custody or visitation time of the other parent should be aware of how to address these issues. Referred to as possession and access in Texas, these considerations should be taken seriously with the child's best interests being the primary focus. There are certain steps to handle these factors.

Various strategies are effective when to ensure that there is safety with possession and access. The court will take any allegations of potential danger seriously. The case will be investigated if there are claims that abuse, violence or threats of violence could take place when deciding on possession and access. Protective services could play a role. While the investigation is in progress, the judge could still allow supervised access for the accused parent.

Reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement

The use of prenuptial agreements is becoming more common among couples getting married in Texas and throughout the United States. Individuals may insist on having such an agreement in place in an effort to keep money or other assets in their families. A person who has children from a previous marriage might use a prenup to ensure that a child's inheritance remains intact. In some ways, having a contract before a wedding takes place offers similar protection to putting a child's inheritance into a trust.

It may also be a good idea for business owners to negotiate a prenuptial agreement with their future spouse. Those who believe that they might start a business after the marriage becomes official can also benefit from having an arrangement in place. Doing so can help to protect a person's ownership stake in a company that may evolve from an obscure company to a large one in a matter of months or years.

Studies find young children can bond with both parents

Texas parents who are going through a divorce with babies or toddlers may encounter the idea that children this young naturally need to spend as much time as possible with their mother. Beliefs of this nature can hinder a father's efforts to get child custody, but studies about infant and child development do not appear to support this idea.

The idea that very young children belong with their mothers was popularized by John Bowlby, who developed attachment theory. He argued that infants and toddlers bond with one person, usually the mother. However, even Bowlby eventually acknowledged that babies can form multiple bonds.

This is how supervised visits work

Some families in Texas find themselves in a situation where one parent can only visit a child with the supervision of the court. Usually, this is because there are concerns about the child's safety due to the possibility of abuse or substance abuse. Those who are subject to supervised visits should follow the court's rules and focus on doing what they can to demonstrate fitness.

Supervised visitation may occur either at a designated location or at the parent's residence. It means that there is someone appointed by the court present so that the parent is not alone with the child. This is a measure ordered by the court to allow the parent to see their child while protecting the child from any harm.

Both men and women can be ordered to pay alimony

When Texas couples get a divorce, one of the estranged spouses might be ordered to pay alimony to the other one, either on a temporary or longer-term basis. This is often the case when one of them stayed home to raise children or otherwise take care of household chores. It can also happen when both of them work but one makes substantially more money than the other

Traditionally, it has been the ex-husband who is required to pay spousal support, but this is no longer the case. According to a survey of its members conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2018, 45% of its attorneys reported having seen an increase in women being ordered to pay alimony, and an even higher percentage said the same about child support. One reason is that in households where both spouses had jobs, it was not unusual for the wife to have a higher income.