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Posted on in Divorce

san Antonio divorce lawyerWhen both parties of a married couple agree that getting a divorce is the best thing for them, they may be interested in working together to pursue the most peaceful resolution possible. Often, this means getting an uncontested divorce, or a divorce in which all applicable issues have been resolved before filing a divorce petition and going to court. While an uncontested divorce is not available to every couple, it can be a great way to go your separate ways while keeping the peace. If you and your spouse think you may be interested in pursuing an uncontested divorce, read on to learn more about this process and then contact a Texas divorce attorney for help. 

Do We Qualify for an Uncontested Texas Divorce? 

Uncontested divorces in Texas are not available to everyone. The most commonly disqualifying issue is a couple who shares minor children. If you have minor children, but agree about everything else, you will instead need to file for an “agreed divorce.” You also cannot get an uncontested divorce if the wife is pregnant, or if you have a disabled adult dependent child. 

You must own no real property if you want to file for an uncontested divorce. This includes a house, land, or other real estate. 

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san antonio paternity lawyerWhile establishing paternity is not always easy or straightforward, doing so is important for a number of reasons. Every child deserves to know his or her father, and extensive research on the subject is very clear that children do better by every measurable outcome when fathers are involved in their lives. Furthermore, a mother deserves help from a child’s father, even if it is only in the form of child support. Finally, fathers deserve to be given a chance to uphold the responsibility they share for bringing a life into the world. 

Despite many good reasons to establish paternity, some men resist cooperating. They may hope that the mother will eventually give up or that, by dodging DNA testing or court dates, they will not be saddled with child support payments. Fortunately for mothers, Texas courts give them options as they seek to establish paternity, even when a child’s father is trying to avoid responsibility. To learn more about proving paternity, read on and then contact a Texas paternity lawyer for help with your case. 

How Can I Prove Paternity? 

Texas law allows paternity to be established in one of three ways. The most common way is through marriage - when married couple has a baby together, the father is automatically assumed to be the child’s legal parent. 

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san antonio divorce lawyerMaking decisions about your children during divorce can be a confusing, frustrating, and stressful process. You may recognize and appreciate that your children need to maintain their relationship with your soon-to-be ex, but the thought of giving up time with them can feel heartbreaking. You may find that their best interests are difficult to disentangle from your own preferences. Yet a final parenting agreement must be created, and Texas law will expect both parents to play a major role in the life of each child unless there is a provable reason to do otherwise. Here is how child custody cases are typically decided in Texas. 

Four Things to Know About Texas Child Custody Decisions

The first thing to know about child custody in Texas is that it is split into two separate but overlapping areas: conservatorship, which is the authority to make important decisions regarding education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities; and possession and access, which determines the visitation schedule. 

The second thing to know is that parents are encouraged to create a parenting plan together, rather than relying on the courts for help. While cases of partner violence, child abuse, or extreme hostility between parents may make it impossible for parents to work together, generally speaking, parents are expected to handle the matter themselves, using the help of a mediator if necessary. 

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san antonio divorce lawyerParents of minor children in Texas generally stop paying child support when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, which comes last. This is based on the assumption that a legal adult is competent to provide for themselves and that, while a parent can still help the child if he or she wishes, there is no longer a legal obligation to send child support funds to the child’s other parent. 

Some children, however, are never able to become fully self-sufficient. Physical or mental disabilities can prevent an adult from functioning normally, often leaving them completely dependent on their parents for the rest of their lives. In cases like this, the Texas legislature makes an exception to the typical termination of child support payments. If you are getting divorced and have a disabled adult child, you are likely wondering what this law means for you. 

Adult Child Support

According to Texas law, if a child is over 18 and the following conditions exist, child support may be ordered indefinitely: 

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san antonio divorce lawyerNo couple begins their marriage hoping that it will eventually end in divorce, but anticipating the potential for divorce is a practical perspective in today’s age. If you suspect that divorce may be in your future, you likely have a million questions. Do you want to go through with it? Do you have to go through with it if your spouse insists? Do you really need an attorney, or can you handle the divorce issues yourselves? 

The answers to these questions are complex and depend on your circumstances. However, one certainty is that you can get the answers to all your questions with the help of an attorney. Here are three more reasons that hiring an attorney for your Texas divorce could benefit you. 

Have an Advocate in Protecting Your Interests

Maintaining a perspective with an eye to your current and future interests is sometimes more complex than divorcees would believe. It is easy to accidentally give up long-term benefits for short-term compromise in a way that can seriously hurt you in the long run, especially when it comes to your finances. A divorce attorney with experience and perspective can help you plan your divorce in a way that benefits you now and in the future. 

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Decisions about the medical treatment that people receive are deeply personal. Your sense of ethics, your religion and personal history with medical professionals may all influence what care you choose to receive. Your preferences may also have an impact on what medical care you want your children to receive.

If you and your ex have differing ideas about the right treatment for your children or even what medical professionals should provide their care, how can you resolve those issues in a shared custody scenario in Texas?

Your parenting plan will talk about medical care

Whether the Texas family courts create a parenting plan or approve one created by the parents, there will typically be a section within the document discussing decision-making authority. It is common for parents to share such authority.

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Parental alienation is a very serious issue that does happen in divorce cases. It has been studied by experts and found to be a real phenomenon that has a detrimental impact on the child. Essentially, parental alienation has been defined as a situation in which “one parental figure has waged a psychological campaign to, baselessly, turn a child against the other parent.”

For instance, your spouse may have blamed you for the upcoming divorce and slowly tried to manipulate the child into thinking that everything was your fault or that you are fundamentally a bad person. What they’re trying to do is get the child to want to spend more time with them or to not want to spend any time with you. Parental alienation is so damaging because the child may not even realize it’s happening. This can cut them off from contact with their other parent, which can hinder their development as they grow up.

Are people claiming that it’s happening when there’s no evidence?

The problem here is that some studies have found that parental alienation is being misused. There are cases in which some experts feel it should not apply, but it is at least being claimed.

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Couples in Texas get divorced for many kinds of reasons. For example, some people get divorced because of health issues. One spouse may not want responsibilty for the other’s medical bills. Other spouses grow apart over the years and separated to pursue what makes each of them happy.

A significant number of divorces in Texas occur because one spouse cheats on the other. Infidelity is among the leading causes of modern divorce, and it can lead to very emotional divorce proceedings. The spouse who discovered the affair often wants justice, and they may try to use the courts to seek it.

Will you need to prove that your ex was unfaithful to divorce over adultery in Texas?

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Marriage vows require a lifetime commitment of fidelity and mutual support. It is easy to make such a promise at the peak of your romance with someone else. It can be a lot harder to fulfill those obligations week after week, year after year.

People sometimes find themselves struggling to maintain their marriages despite having entered into the union with the best of intentions. They may feel emotionally disconnected from their spouse or violated by something their partner recently did.

Many of these couples turn to marriage counseling or couples therapy to work on their issues. However, couples therapy has a somewhat negative reputation. There are those who say that it is better to file for divorce than to try to work through an issue in couples counseling.

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It is common for divorcing parents to have a hard time agreeing on custody matters. Thankfully, Texas has laws in place to help navigate these predictable conflicts. The courts can help support parents trying to negotiate custody arrangements and can also apply state law to high-conflict scenarios where independent resolution between the parents is unlikely.

When the courts have to make those big decisions about custody arrangements, the goal is to set terms that reflect the best interests of the children. Sometimes, the courts will ask one or even both parents to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation as part of the custody proceedings.

When are such evaluations necessary?

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Most divorcing parents in Texas can expect to share custody of their children. The parents will each establish their own household, and the children will spend time with both of them according to a pre-arranged schedule.

Unique family circumstances demand a more nuanced approach to child custody matters. If you and your spouse have a child with special needs, your custody arrangements may be significantly different than the arrangements that other families create.

Any child will struggle with the changes and perceived instability of the family unit after a divorce, but children with special needs may find the changes to their living situation and schedule particularly distressing and destabilizing. Birdnesting is a custody solution that could potentially help parents trying to make divorce easier for their child with special needs.

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When you’re married, you want to trust that your spouse is the right person for you. Unfortunately, that won’t always be the case.

Sometimes, people change over time. Other times, there were yellow flags before the marriage that have now become red. If you’re concerned that your marriage isn’t what you thought it would be and think that you may want a divorce, look for these three red flags to help you make your decision.

  1. Your spouse keeps making decisions without you

One big relationship red flag for people to recognize is when their spouses keep making decisions for them. When your spouse isn’t asking for your input on major purchases or financial decisions, you may be left to help with a bill that you didn’t really want to take on. If you aren’t both on the same page, you may end up feeling resentment towards one another.

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You may have spent months or longer trying to work on your marriage or build up the courage to talk to your spouse about the situation. You’ve been unhappy for years or have known that your spouse isn’t faithful to you.

Now, you’re finally ready to make a change. However, when you sit down to talk about divorce, your spouse tells you no. They insist that they will not allow a divorce and that they intend to stay married to you. Can your spouse really deny you a divorce in modern Texas?

Only one spouse needs to want a divorce

Marriage requires the consent of both parties. When one spouse no longer wants to stay married, the other cannot force them to remain in the relationship.

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Posted on in Divorce

A lot of divorce cases start after a period of prolonged marital stress. This may mean that there isn’t a single event that instantly causes the couple to split up, but there is a long string of events that puts so much stress on the relationship that they eventually have to end it.

So what types of marital stress should you watch out for? If you see these different types in your marriage, does it mean it’s time to start thinking about a divorce? Knowing what to look for in advance can only help you, so here are a few examples.

You don’t know how to communicate

Communication problems often lead to stress because people just cannot talk about what is bothering them. They may feel like they are walking on eggshells and they’re nervous about upsetting the other person, but they don’t know how to say what they’re feeling. This is eventually going to come to a head and cause a bigger problem than if you would have just communicated well along the way.

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Posted on in Divorce

You may not yet know if you want to get a divorce, but if you think that one is coming in the future, now is the time to look for signs that your spouse is spying on you. Did you know that around one out of every five spouses uses spy gear to spy on their partner before they file for divorce?

According to one study from a divorce agency, around 20% of ex-spouses admit to engaging in spy activities against their spouses, even though those actions may be illegal. The number of people doing this seems to be growing, too, with the firm suggesting that the increase from a decade ago is around 60%.

Why do spouses spy more today?

One of the simplest reasons is because it’s so much easiest to spy on your spouse today. Technological advances have made it possible to use dash cams, tracking devices and spy software on phones. It is easier than ever to track someone or to use a nanny cam to keep an eye on them.

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Posted on in Divorce

It’s always all about your spouse. If you have something you want to do but it isn’t something they approve of, they make you feel terrible about it. They make life about their experiences and make it seem like they’re the best thing that has ever happened to you, even though you feel terrible in your relationship.

If this sounds familiar, you may be getting ready to divorce a narcissist. Divorcing is tough regardless of who you’re leaving, but when you try to leave a narcissist, things could get messy. Here’s what you can do to prepare.

  1. Prepare to face irrational actions from your partner

The first thing to do is to prepare to face your partner being irrational. At first, they might fight to get you to stay. They may shower you with gifts and things you’ve wanted to do. That’s all to make you guilty and to get you to stay.

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Some people make the decision to divorce and act instantly, but many others take time to prepare before they file. It is important to make arrangements to live independently and protect yourself financially when you file for divorce. However, you have to be careful about how you attempt to do so.

The wrong actions could look like misconduct to the courts and possibly undermine your rights in the divorce proceedings. You have to be honest about any property you take, especially if it is community property under Texas law.

How could your financial preparation for divorce lead to accusations of misconduct?

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Many men feel blindsided when their wives tell them they want a divorce. After all, you promised to spend the rest of your lives together, for better or worse. Realizing that she does not take that commitment as seriously as you do can be a real shock.

Rather than letting denial run the show and continuing to do nothing, there are certain steps that you can take to protect yourself if the end of your marriage is potentially on the horizon.

Listen to what she has to say

Someone asking for divorce will usually give you an explanation as to why. Understanding the logic behind the decision can help you emotionally process this unexpected change. Rather than arguing with her about the idea, you may simply need to hear her out and then consider the issue.

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If you have a spouse who was wealthy prior to your marriage and would like to divorce them, you may find yourself in a unique position. In some ways, divorcing can be beneficial for you. You can leave a relationship that is not working for you. You have the option of fighting for a share of your marital assets, too.

At the same time, divorcing someone who is financially well-off can be difficult. They have the money to take you to court and to use the best attorneys and support that they can afford. You may not be in that same position.

What can you do to level the playing field?

If you’re divorcing someone who has the money to make your life difficult, you should carefully consider if you can negotiate with them to avoid conflict. If you rely on your spouse for an income, it’s equally important to make sure you work out your budget in advance and ask for what you need knowing your limits.

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Unfortunately, some people find themselves in a situation where they feel that the other parent may leave with their children unexpectedly. They may already have frequent arguments about the custody schedule or be dealing with threats of fleeing or withholding custody.

It’s important for parents to be able to take steps to prevent a parental abduction. One of those possible steps could be to use a tracking app to see where your children are. Can you use it though? Is it legal to do so?

Location devices and your kids

It is pretty typical for kids to have location devices in today’s world. Smartphones and smartwatches have location settings and parental controls that may allow you to track your child’s location if necessary. Of course, this device has to be with them, or else it won’t be any help.

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