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Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Financial incompatibility can unravel a marriage

It is widely reported that money is at the root of many divorces. This does not necessarily mean that a lack of money is the main issue that creates tension among married couples. In fact, it may go much deeper than that. For some couples, and perhaps for you, the financial issues that caused the most trouble in your marriage revolved around basic philosophies about handling money.

If you and your spouse never reached an agreement about how you would earn, spend, save and borrow money, chances are you are among the many couples whose marriages suffer under the strain of regular financial disagreements. Often, the same arguments that defined your marriage become a serious part of your divorce. It may help you to understand what is at the core of most money struggles for married couples.

Child visitation cannot be denied for these reasons

Bitterness, hostility and pain can lead Texas couples to getting divorced. After the divorce, it may be tempting for a custodial parent to try to use their child as leverage in order to get back at an ex-spouse who has caused them to suffer. This is not in the best interests of the children and is illegal.

Custodial parents need to be aware of illegitimate reasons to refuse visitation to a non-custodial parent who has been granted visitation rights by a judge. Besides the fact that researchers have shown that children who grow up having access to both parents despite divorce benefit from this, refusing visitation can lead to fines, jail time and even loss of custody of the children.

When an ex files for custody

When parents in Texas divorce or separate, both parties are usually concerned about their children's welfare. While many couples are able to negotiate custody issues before one spouse or partner moves out, this doesn't always happen. In addition, some parents become unhappy about existing custody arrangements months or even years after an initial split.

A parent who learns that their ex plans to file for custody, or has done so already, may experience a range of emotions including shock, fear and anger. While these feelings are normal and understandable, they should not dictate the parent's actions. The fact that one parent has filed for custody does not mean that the effort will be successful.

What happens after my divorce decree is signed?

If you and your spouse are beginning your divorce proceedings, you may wonder what to expect. While you may be able to learn the general process, each divorce has its unique elements, so there is no way to predict what will happen with certainty.

One thing to anticipate is the document you will receive when it is all over. If you and your spouse are using an alternative method of dispute resolution, such as mediation, you will have a good idea of the outcome as you go along since the two of you will be making the decisions as you negotiate. However, with a divorce trial, you will be waiting for the final decree from a Texas judge.

Maintain integrity and sanity when dealing with a toxic ex-spouse

Texas co-parents who are dealing with a toxic ex-spouse may feel like they are going crazy and are not able to take care of their children in the way they would like. The following tips can help these individuals maintain their sanity and personal integrity while looking out for the best interests of their children.

No matter how much a person would like to do so, they cannot change their ex-spouse. Focusing on the negative things an ex-spouse does will not do any good. It is better to focus on the things a person actually has control of, like their own life and how they respond to an ex-spouse.

Not everyone can co-parent, so consider parallel parenting

For whatever reason, you and your spouse could not work with each other to resolve your marital issues. Perhaps you had hope at some point that you could avoid going to court but quickly realized that this was not going to be an amicable divorce.

Because of the high amount of conflict between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you know that co-parenting is out of the question. You may reluctantly admit that the children love their other parent and need him or her in their lives, but you want as little as possible to do with him or her. Is there an alternative that still allows each of you to spend as much time with the children as possible without having to interact constantly with the other parent?

The role of a divorce financial specialist

Some people in Houston who are going through a divorce may want to hire a divorce financial specialist in addition to an attorney. The decisions made during a divorce can have long-term financial implications, and a divorce financial specialist can work with couples or individuals to help them understand what those implications are.

A divorce financial specialist may be a CPA or have other certifications and will understand many of the more complex issues, such as the tax ramifications of divorce-related financial arrangements. Even people who already have a financial advisor may want to work with a divorce financial specialist since this is a professional who has specific experience in the various options for settlement in a divorce. This can include helping a couple or individual decide what to do with the home in a divorce since this is often an area of misunderstanding and contention.

Tips for visitation involving infants

Houston parents who are getting a divorce may need to create a visitation schedule for their child. If the child is still an infant, it may be necessary to work around needs of both the mother and the child.

A breastfeeding mother may need to pump milk. The parents might also agree on using formula with the child sometimes. Breastfeeding mothers who are apprehensive about allowing visitation should try to pinpoint what is causing the anxiety and whether it is concern about being away from the child, the other parent's skills, or something else.

Alimony and how the court decides if it is required

There are many issues to consider when a Houston couple chooses to get a divorce. One of the most common to arise is the possibility that one former spouse will be ordered to pay support to the other. The question is whether the recipient is entitled to it.

There are certain factors that are considered by the court when deciding on spousal support. The standard of living the couple shared while married is important. The ability to earn and maintain that after the divorce will be a key part of the process. Perhaps the former spouse had chances to advance a career with training or education and put that to the side during the marriage. The paying spouse's capability to meet the obligation will also be considered.

Handling issues related to child custody and visitation rights

In Houston, when a couple has ended a marriage and is dealing with children, there will be extensive concerns as to how to make the process as smooth as possible. Part of that is addressing the child having visitation with the non-custodial parent. When the court orders visitation, factors can spark worry for the custodial parent. Understanding how to confront them effectively is key.

There are situations in which the custodial parent can limit or revoke visitation from the non-custodial parent. Simply having an adversarial relationship is not sufficient. However, if a parent believes there is an imminent danger to the child, this can be sufficient cause to refuse visitation.

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

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