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Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Factors to remember for a parent who has child custody

When there is a divorce in Houston, one of the common issues in dispute will be child custody. The best interests of the child are key. There are foundational factors to remember whether there is physical or legal custody ordered by the court or the couple has come to an informal agreement.

Custodial parents must take certain steps to adhere to their responsibilities. A parenting plan will be needed so that the non-custodial parent is able to see the child regularly. If there is no parenting plan organized by the parents, the court can order a visitation schedule. Often, a custodial parent will receive child support from the non-custodial parent. It is wise to retain a record of what is paid in case the supporting parent falls behind and proof is needed as to what is owed.

A new tax strategy for alimony in a high-asset divorce

The overhaul of the U.S. tax code brought a radical change for many Americans, especially those who filed for divorce after Jan. 1. One of the most significant changes is how alimony is taxed. The new law no longer allows the paying spouse to deduct the payments, while the receiving spouse does not have to claim it as income.

Is all property eligible for division in a divorce?

Texas is a community property state, meaning all marital property is divided equally in half between spouses. Marital property, sometimes referred to as community property, includes items, property and assets that are accumulated throughout the marriage. In addition to the family home and vehicles, other property, such as artwork, antiques, retirement plans, country club memberships, frequent flier miles, lottery winnings and term life insurance policies are also eligible for division in a divorce settlement. 

Not all property, however, is considered marital and there may be some items that stay with the original owner, even after the divorce has been finalized. This is referred to as separate property, and may include the following:

How does same-sex divorce compare to heterosexual divorce?

With same-sex marriage now being legal across the country, it is easy for people, no matter their sexual orientation, to assume that marital problems and divorce rates are similar among heterosexual people and the LGBTQ community. You and other Texas residents may be interested in learning how same-sex marriage and divorce rates compare, as well as the unique challenges same-sex people can experience in their marriages.

As Psychology Today explains, information collected through the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health suggests that same-sex couples who live together, without being married, may end their relationships more often than different-sex married or cohabitating couples. Why is this, you may wonder? In part, “minority stress” is believed to be a significant factor in straining same-sex relationships. Minority stress pertains to numerous factors that minorities like LGBTQ people uniquely experience, such as discrimination, micro-aggressions, harassment, violence and lack of approval from their family and friends about their sexual orientation.

Divorcing a narcissist can be a nasty affair

So, you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce. It is something you've both mentioned doing time and again, but now you are actually ready to do it. You think it will be an easy enough thing to get through, despite your spouse's narcissistic tendencies. Unfortunately, you are likely to find divorcing a narcissist can be a nasty affair, even if your spouse says this is what he or she wants as well.

What is a narcissist? A person with this personality disorder has an inflated sense of self. He or she has a need for attention. The world revolves around his or her wants. A narcissist has a lack of empathy for other individuals, even the ones he or she claims to love. How will a person with this personality type act during the divorce process?

Is your spouse hiding assets?

Texan residents like you who are going through a divorce that involves numerous or complex assets may have even more of a reason to keep a close eye on where the money is. We at Laura Dale & Associates, P.C., will discuss how situations like yours can lend themselves to spouses being able to hide assets with greater ease.

Unfortunately, the more assets you have to work with, the easier it is for people with bad intentions to sneak things past your radar. For example, if you are already dealing with the division of multiple properties, vehicles, or bank accounts with large amounts in them, you are less likely to notice if your spouse has stopped reporting financial information for smaller accounts.

How children of divorce benefit from joint custody

When Texan parents get divorced, matters of child custody must still be decided. Texans have many different options when it comes to figuring out what they want from their child custody arrangement. One option to consider is joint custody, which can be surprisingly helpful to children of divorce.

FindLaw examines joint custody and its potential benefits, especially in regard to the children involved in the divorce. Joint custody can include both legal and physical custody. Joint physical custody ensures that both parents have an equitable amount of time living with or visiting the child. Joint legal custody allows both parents to have a legal say in how the child is raised.

Reasons why you may consider divorce at the end of summer

You may not be able to tell yet by the temperatures, but the summer season is over. Kids are back in school, and you may be falling back into your normal routine. Not everything may be back to normal, however.

Did you know that divorce rates rise at the end of summer? A variety of reasons could explain why this happens, and this article looks at the most prevalent.

What factors help decide custody matters?

In Texas, child custody is referred to as a conservatorship. Conservatorships are created and curated with a child’s best interest in mind, and the state laws also aim to ensure this.

In order to serve a child’s best interest, FindLaw states that there are a number of factors that a court will look at in order to decide matters like visitation schedules and parenting plans. Courts will always look at proposed schedules and plans through the lens of what might be best for the child.

What is exempt from community division?

Texas is a community property state. This means that couples are considered to equally own anything that they acquire while they are married. Accordingly, this property must be divided evenly amongst them. However, as with all things, there are some exemptions.

FindLaw takes a look at Texas' property division laws, which define how certain properties under special circumstances should be divided. In these cases, the division must be "fair", which does not necessarily mean it must be "equal".

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Houston, TX 77056

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