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Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Prenups have become more acceptable

Thirty or 40 years ago, prenuptial agreements were relatively unheard of, and even then, they were for the wealthy or celebrities. As the number of divorces has increased, so have the number of people using prenups. Once upon a time, these agreements were viewed as either unromantic or capable of jinxing the marriage.

That perception is rapidly changing. People across the country, including many here in Texas, are marrying later in life. Many believe they need to have some financial security. This means that by the time they marry, they own property, carry debts and have a career or business. You may be one of these people, and you may also be eager to protect what you have built in your life. In addition, you may want to protect your future spouse, especially if you come to the marriage with debts.

Keeping the family nest after divorce

If you are one of the fortunate ones who have a respectful and workable relationship with your soon-to-be ex, you are probably able to negotiate many of the important decisions that a divorce requires. Ideally, there was minimal contention during the division of property, and you may even have a general idea of how you want the custody arrangements to unfold.

However, you may also be aware of the difficulties that can arise when children must pack up and go from one parent to the other to ensure they have equal time with both. Perhaps you remember doing this yourself as a child. While splitting weeks and alternating weekends may seem the best solution, some families have found a creative way to reduce the impact their divorce will have on their children.

Divorce mistakes can have present and future ramifications

Though you probably hope to go through your divorce proceedings as efficiently as possible, you may already know that your particular case could face complications. However, those complexities do not have to mean that you end up with overwhelming stress and disappointing outcomes. You still have options that could help you achieve your goals in the manner you find most fitting.

Of course, the actions you take could also add or detract from the issues you may face during and after the dissolution of your marriage. Therefore, you may want to examine the following common mistakes and consider working to avoid them.

Protecting your credit during a divorce

As you prepare for divorce, you may be focusing your energy on the custody of your children and the division of your assets. Following your attorney's advice, you are considering the most efficient ways to provide well for your children and protect yourself financially in the future. What you may not realize is that your debts also play an important role in your divorce.

Along with asset division comes the division of debt. Unless you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement that maintained your debt separate from your spouse's, you are probably facing the possibility of walking away from the marriage with some financial baggage. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact.

Help keep the parent-child bond strong with virtual visitation

In a perfect world, all good and caring parents would have access to their children. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and quite a few parents in Texas have only limited visitation rights. Are you one of them?

Keeping the parent-child bond strong after a divorce or separation often proves to be a challenge for non-custodial parents. If appropriate, courts can arrange visitation to allow some physical time, but in some cases, the amount of time awarded leaves a lot to be desired. Thankfully, under the right circumstances, you may have the ability to add virtual visitation to your order, which may give you a little more access to your child.

Interracial couples, same-sex couples and custody: 50 years after Loving

Interracial couples and mixed-ethnicity families have gained greater rights and respect in the U.S., though many still face discrimination and bigotry in various forms. It's been 50 years since the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, which effectively struck down states' prohibitions on interracial marriage. In the original Virginia ruling, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were sentenced to a year in jail ... for marrying each other.

Although much has changed in America in the half century since this civil-rights milestone, some interracial couples and same-sex couples still worry about how they are perceived and treated in their communities. Should they be concerned about how their Texas custody matters will play out?

Don't face complicated child custody issues on your own

It probably took you some time to decide just how to break the news of your impending divorce to your children. However, once you explained the situation, you may have been surprised at how resilient your children are and how supportive they could be. You then turned your attention toward child custody matters, knowing that a contentious situation could arise.

One of the best ways to prevent courtroom drama and major legal obstacles where child-related issues, such as visitation and support, are concerned, is to learn as much as you can ahead of time. It helps to have a basic understanding of the Texas laws that govern such matters.

Multi-cultural families often encounter unusual custody issues

Technology has made the world a smaller place. People from different countries meet online, fall in love and marry. Many learn to live with the cultural differences they now share and work together to provide their children with a multi-cultural upbringing, which may include visiting friends and family in your spouse's country of origin.

All of this makes sense and provides joy to the whole family as long as things are good between you and your spouse. If your relationship ends, the fact that your spouse is from another country could pose some unique custody issues.

Top reasons to mediate your divorce

Divorce is confusing, stressful and can be very difficult to deal with. One of the toughest parts of divorce is deciding with your ex how you will divorce. Some people will attempt to do it on their own; others will enlist help in the form of litigation and/or mediation.

Fighting for custody? Don't make these common mistakes

Custody battles can be messy and stir up a lot of emotions. While deciding to split with your partner, it became apparent to you that your soon-to-be-ex is not in a position to handle physical custody of the children. Unfortunately, they disagree and now it's up to a judge to decide how custody should be awarded.

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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
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Houston, TX 77056

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