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Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Why it might not be a good idea to move out during the divorce?

One issue that often arises when Houston area couples are getting ready to divorce involves their living arrangements. Many people find it challenging to be around their partners, let alone live with them. If you are not sure if you and your spouse can and should continue living together before the courts finalize your divorce, you might want to hold off on moving out right away. 

The things you do and decisions you make during your divorce can impact your settlement. Consider this before you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse change your living arrangements. 

Do you have reason to seek a child custody modification?

Life is full of change. The child custody order from your divorce may not be appropriate any longer because of changes that have occurred.

Even if you and the other parent were able to come to terms amicably for the best interests of your kids, you may have questions about how legal agreements from the past suit your current lives and your children's needs. In some cases, a custody modification may be appropriate now.

What can you do when your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers?

If you are among the many people across Texas who are heading toward divorce, you probably have a lot on your plate. Even the least-acrimonious divorces can prove difficult, time-consuming and emotionally taxing, but divorce can prove to be even more so if you are the only person in your marriage who wants it. So, what can you do if you served your spouse with divorce papers, but he or she refuses to acknowledge or sign them?

Per Livestrong.com, a divorce that only one of the two parties in a marriage wants becomes a “contested divorce.” While contested divorces can prove troublesome, requiring you to jump over some additional legal hurdles, the good news is that your spouse’s desire, alone, is not enough to keep your marriage together. If your spouse refuses to sign your divorce papers, one of the first steps you should take is to find out why. Is there something you can do, or something you can agree to, that might make your husband or wife more likely to sign your divorce papers?

The Hague Convention and international custody conflicts

When you got married, you never imagined you'd one day be involved in a contentious custody battle with a former spouse who had taken your children out of the United States without your permission. But life is full of change, and some changes in your life may come about unexpectedly, perhaps in ways that affect your children.

Your children's best interests are among your highest priorities. You want to shield your kids from the stress and emotional turmoil that can come with child custody battles. The good news is that there are laws and people who can help you protect your rights and get your kids back.

Understanding marital and separate property

Although Texas is a community property state, not all property and assets are eligible for division in a divorce. It is important that couples who are filing for divorce understand the difference between separate and martial property in order to ensure they get everything they are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

Separate property involved property and assets that belonged to either party before the marriage occurred. For example, spouses who have their name on a property title prior to getting married and keeps their name on that title may not have to divide it during the divorce process. If, however, they update the title and add the other spouses’ name on it, the property then becomes marital and is eligible for division. The same goes for assets, inheritance and gifts given to either spouse by a third-party. As long as the property and assets stay separate, they may remain with the original owner.

Is your former spouse trying to turn your kids against you?

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a term that refers to one parent's malicious and concentrated efforts to alienate the other parent from their children. Sadly, it's a common factor in many contentious divorce situations.

Like most responsible mothers and fathers, your main parenting priority in divorce is to protect your children's best interests. You understand that most children fare best in divorce when given ample opportunities to spend time with both of their parents.

How to financially prepare for divorce

If you count yourself among the many people across Texas who believe a divorce is imminent, you may find yourself consumed with emotions and a need to make some major decisions. Given how emotional the divorce process can be, you may find yourself struggling with everything it entails. However, taking several key steps now with regard to your finances can streamline the process and help you get back on your feet sooner. At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., we understand how preparing financially for your divorce can help you in the long run, and we have helped many state residents get their finances in order and receive their fair share during divorce proceedings.

Per Nerdwallet, one of the most important steps you can take to financially prepare for your divorce involves gathering comprehensive documentation about your income and expenses, which might include pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements and so on. In addition to helping your attorney determine whether to pursue spousal support, child support and the like, recognizing what and where your expenditures are can help you create and keep a budget as you navigate the divorce process.

How drug abuse impacts custody, visitation and parental rights

If you live in Texas and recently divorced a drug-abusing former spouse, you may have valid concerns about whether your former partner will continue to maintain a presence in your son or daughter’s life. At Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., we have a firm understanding of how parental substance abuse can impact custody, visitation and parental rights, and we have helped many clients who feared for their child’s safety find solutions and peace of mind.

According to LIVESTRONG, just how much a parent’s substance abuse will affect custody, visitation or parental rights tends to vary based on several factors. How long the parent has abused drugs, what types of drugs he or she abuses and whether the parent has a history of past drug abuse will all likely factor in to decisions regarding parenting.

What does Texas consider when awarding spousal support?

If you live in Texas and your marriage is nearing its end, you may have concerns about how you are going to provide for yourself once your divorce finalizes. Maybe you have been out of the workforce for quite some time so that you could raise a family, or perhaps you sacrificed your own career growth so that your spouse could pursue his or her professional dreams. Regardless, you may have questions about whether you will be eligible for spousal support or maintenance, and if so, for how long.

According to the Texas State Legislature, you may, depending on certain circumstances, be able to obtain temporary spousal support while your divorce proceedings are ongoing. You may also be able to obtain spousal maintenance after the divorce, but your situation must first meet certain criteria. To start, you have to demonstrate your inability to be able to support yourself financially on your own. Next, you must demonstrate that your situation meets one of two circumstances.

How can I protect my estate during a divorce?

If you are going to be ending your marriage, there are many different questions that you might have, such as how splitting up with your spouse will affect your kids or what will happen to the family home. However, bringing your marriage to an end may have a wide range of financial effects on your life, whether you need to pay spousal support or child support, are worried about how the courts will split up marital property, or are worried about how relocation will affect your ability to work. Moreover, you could have concerns about your estate and it is vital to understand the importance of asset protection during the divorce process.

There are a number of things to keep in mind if you want to ensure that your estate is protected while you work through a divorce. For starters, you should consider creating a list containing all the different types of marital property you and your spouse have, such as financial accounts, property, and vehicles. You might want to revise your will or trust, whether you want to remove your spouse as the primary beneficiary, administrator of the estate, or take them out of the estate plan altogether.

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Houston, TX 77056

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