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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Houston Business and Family Law Blog

Divorce in the new year

As the new year rolls in, so do the memories of the past. This is the reality for those in Texas who have recently gone through a divorce and may be facing the start of a new year without the familiarity of a spouse or family. However, as difficult as things are, the new year also presents a new opportunity to heal, grow, and prosper. The following includes opportunities you can begin to take now that you have the freedom to do so. 

Good co-parenting can lead to a great joint custody situation

When couples divorce, it can be a very emotionally difficult experience. It's not easy to say goodbye to a marriage. Even if the divorce proceedings are tumultuous, it's still difficult to admit that something that started off well no longer works. It can be even harder when there are kids involved. 

Property division law regarding retirement accounts

The process of dividing property during a divorce can be tricky. Many people automatically think of dividing homes, savings accounts and other assets but may fail to consider retirement accounts, IRAs and other such assets. Divorcees in Texas should educate themselves on the process of dividing all of their marital property. 

Understanding the basics of alimony

Many Texas couples who are considering divorcing have questions about alimony. Alimony, or spousal support, isn't automatic or ordered by the court system in every case. However, if your spouse requests support, and a judge decides to award it, you may have to pay for years. 

International child abduction and child custody laws

It can sometimes be difficult for divorced parents in Texas to work out a shared parenting plan. When parents finally do reach an agreement on custody and visitation, the parents are legally obligated to follow that agreement. If a divorced parent brings their child to another country without the other parent's permission, the parent is breaking both U.S. law and international laws. 

What is the Hague Convention?

The thought of your former spouse in Texas kidnapping your child can be terrifying enough. But even more frightening is the thought of your former spouse kidnapping your child and flying him or her to a different country. Fortunately, the United States is a participant of the Hague Convention, which makes it easier for custodial parents to get their children returned after being abducted. 

Ready to email your ex-spouse about the kids? Read this first

When you and your co-parent don't get along, it can make communication very tricky -- and it's wise to be cautious about what you say.

Because ex-spouses often have a lot of conflicts, it's common to limit communication to emails, instant messages and texts. You still need to be careful, however, with what you write. Anything overtly hostile, threatening or inappropriate in a message may eventually find its way in to court -- and that can complicate your custody situation.

Alimony, cohabitation and Texas law: What you need to know

In Texas, dependent spouses may be awarded spousal maintenance (alimony) from their ex when they get divorced -- but that alimony is conditional. If the dependent spouse remarries, the spousal maintenance will end.

According to Texas law, spousal maintenance is also supposed to end when the recipient begins to cohabit with a new romantic partner "in a permanent place of abode on a continuing basis."

Prepare for a New Year's divorce with these 4 steps

You're pretty sure you want a divorce -- but you've decided to delay formal action until after the holidays are over.

That does not mean, however, that you should just sit around and look for ways to kill the time between now and then.

Will divorce have you fighting to keep inheritances or gifts?

Throughout life, it is not unusual for people to receive monetary gifts or inheritances, which can sometimes come in considerable amounts. Though you may greatly appreciate the inheritance, it can be stressful to think about it when going through a divorce. After all, you may not fully understand whether you will be able to keep the funds you inherited after a loved one's passing or whether your spouse could have a claim to some of it.

In Texas, family courts subject marital assets to a 50-50 split under community property division laws. Understandably, you do not want funds given directly to you as a gift or inheritance to end up split in half with your soon-to-be ex. He or she would be receiving something that a loved one meant solely for you.

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