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McKinney Divorce Law Blog

Child custody negotiations have begun for Dwight Howard's son

Texas parents can likely attest to the expense required when raising children. The expense can be difficult for parents who are left to manage the day-to-day costs for their children without the other parent's involvement. Parents often formally seek child support through family law court to ensure consistent financial assistance for their children. The mother of basketball player Dwight Howard has officially requested full child custody of their son and is expected to also request child support.

The NBA basketball player fathered a child with Melissa Rios. The child is four, and the mother claims their son has lived with her since his birth. In her view, Dwight's basketball career has made it difficult for him to spend adequate time with their son, and it will continue to interfere, making her the more available parent. She has requested full legal and physical custody to formally establish the custody arrangement that she believes already naturally exists.

The division of marital assets in Texas spikes in January

Many Texas family law attorneys and court officials know that January is a busy month. Divorce filings drastically increase with the new year and the resolutions made by many to make some changes in their lives. These changes may include seeking marriage counseling or simply parting ways from a spouse with whom issues just cannot be resolved. Regardless of the reason, understanding how the division of marital assets will go is important to making sure that one leaves the union with what is rightfully his or hers.

Many marriage therapists cite January as the month where action is taken by many of those wanting to make changes within a relationship, whether for the better or the worse. One counselor has noted that the seven-year itch contributes to the need to clean one's life of courtships or marriages that seem to be on the continuous bottom of the happy roller coaster. Add to an unhappy marriage or relationship the stress and overspending of the holidays, and January becomes the new starting-over month for many reasons.

Prenuptial agreement leaves one ex with $12 million

Unfortunately, divorce is a reality for many Americans. For whatever reason, the relationship between spouses breaks down and the only remaining option is to leave the union and move on with one's life. Many wealthy people have in place a prenuptial agreement to help ensure that, should the tie that binds be severed, they will remain in the same financial state as before the vows were spoken. These agreements are just as valuable and advisable for those who have not attained celebrity status or accumulated millions in assets. With a prenuptial agreement in place, Texas courts will have less say over the division of assets in the event of divorce or death.  

Recently, the news has been full of sexual misconduct scandals by powerful men. Women are coming forward and detailing the years of endured sexual misconduct and advances. One such case involves Harvey Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer. Since the revelation of his misbehavior, his wife of 10 years, Georgina Chapmen, has consulted with divorce attorneys and stands to leave the marriage with well over $12 million along with their two children, ages 7 and 4.

Shared parenting before a Texas child custody battle

Divorce proceedings can be long and challenging, especially if children are involved. Many Texas parents will begin the separation process by agreeing to co-parent the child or children. Acting as a united couple with regard to children after a divorce is gaining traction across the nation as lawmakers propose bills that would start with the presumption of shared parenting, rather than the traditional approach of one parent being relegated to one night a week and a few weekends a month. Parental advocate groups have been pushing for legislation and more than 20 states are considering adopting these bills, making shared parenting the presumed child custody approach when a divorce is finalized.

The new bills that have been introduced and are currently being debated are focused on requiring judges to start the disentangling process from the point of view that there will be truly equal parenting. This allows the child equal time with both parents with decisions regarding the child made together by both parents. Those in favor of the pending legislation say that children whose parents have divorced tend to fare better when both parents are involved in raising the kids after the divorce, including an equal say in the decision-making.

Property division during a Texas divorce; plan before the wedding

Marriage and divorce have become two words that are commonly uttered in the same sentence. What was once thought to be a lifelong commitment and partnership with another can deteriorate to the point where ending the relationship may become the only option. For many Texas residents, the financial aspect of what happens after the divorce is not given thought until the inevitable is looming on the horizon. Money is property and property division is part of the dissolution of a marriage. Preparing for the possibility of not staying married does not guarantee that a divorce will happen, but it does help to ensure that both parties are prepared should the unfortunate happen.

Reportedly, two-thirds of young married couples don't have a financial plan in place should a divorce or death occur. This can leave many open to financial disaster. One suggestion is to be in contact with a financial planner when the talk of divorce or separation begins to become more than just talk. Having all the paperwork of debts owed, income, assets and retirement accounts is crucial to making sure that everything is laid out and can then be divided according to Texas community property laws.

Child support helps Texas kids reach their full potential

Supporting a child is a tremendous undertaking. The financial, emotional and time investment is a life-long commitment. Regardless of the parents desire to remain together as a couple, the commitment to the child or children remains in place. Child support agreements are often set in place to help custodial parents feed, clothe and shelter the kids. When a parent is unable to make the payments, Texas courts will often step in.

Child support is the financial obligation that a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay by a court. The hope that child support brings is a custodial parent who can financially support the child/children without the aid of social welfare. Many also insist that child support helps to keep the noncustodial parent involved in the child's/children's lives.

Texas couples see the positives of getting a prenuptial agreement

With pending nuptials, many couples shudder to think about bringing up finances unless it is to talk about the wedding. But discussing money and assets, both separate and what will soon become joint, is a crucial step for many newly-engaged couples. Instead of thinking any negativity associated with a prenuptial agreement, many Texas couples are focusing more on the positive and promising aspects that having one can bring to a relationship.

The first positive aspect of a successful agreement is the honesty and transparency that this type of agreement can provide. Sitting with one's soon-to-be spouse and each party's attorney while laying everything out in the open is often challenging, but important. Planning for the future, especially should one spouse pass away or a divorce occur, can lay the ground work for an easier transition should the unfortunate occur.

Texas parents are finding ways around paying child support

A relationship involving children can be difficult. When that relationship dissolves, the children often become the focal point of the separation. The parents will often agree to the terms of child support and custody before going their separate ways. Sometimes, one parent refuses to fulfill a financial obligation, forcing the custodial parent to turn to the Texas legal system to recoup unpaid child support. That can prove quite tricky when the obligated spouse is a subcontractor.

A mother in another state has learned the hard way that there are limited resources available to parents who are seeking child support payments from an ex who works as a subcontractor. She says that because her ex-spouse is a ride-share driver, he is responsible for his taxes, as well as for reporting and paying court-ordered child support. When he was ordered to pay, the courts issued an order of assignment that went directly to the responsible parent since the parent company will not garnish his wages.

Collaborative divorce spawns gentler division of marital assets

Many issues within a marriage can lead a Texas couple to opt for a divorce. The process of untangling lives and starting fresh can be intimidating and present many challenges. The division of marital assets and child custody are tow of the biggest hurdles separating couples may face. A trend toward collaborative divorce may help parents to communicate effectively with another in order to co-parent during and after a divorce.

By using collaborative law, spouses are each represented by a separate attorney who helps the client make decisions regarding the financial, legal and emotional issues that a divorce can create. Both parties agree not to take the issues of the divorce to court and share all information pertaining to the marriage and the separation with the representing attorneys. Both parties also agree to attempt to reach a solution that serves the best interests of both spouses and any children. This hopefully will allow parties to attain tools to implement better communication strategies going forward.

Texas parents urge children to consider a prenuptial agreement

Many work their entire lives and save to accrue a savings and some assets. These assets are usually then left to any children once the owner passes on. Sometimes, the wealth one has worked so hard to achieve can be snatched away from the child whom it was intended for should a divorce occur. Urging engaged children to consider a prenuptial agreement could save the wealth that Texas parents worked so hard to pass on.

Once one's child has entered into a serious relationship where marriage is being considered, bringing up the option of a prenuptial agreement may be a wise. This agreement, which is usually drawn up by an attorney, can keep the family's assets in the family should the relationship break down and help to protect one's future inheritance should a divorce happen. A prenuptial agreement can also help keep any personal assets for one's child prior to the marriage out of the divorce.

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Warmbrodt, Winslow & Associates.
One Allen Center, 700 Central Expressway South, Suite 150
Allen, TX 75013
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