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Category Archives: Divorce
An Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP for short) is a legal document, filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics, which establishes a man as the legal father to a child. The AOP can be obtained at the hospital where the child is born, the father’s name can be added to the birth certificate and the hospital will send the AOP to be filed with the state. The AOP can be signed and sent off later, but it is most convenient to be completed at the hospital when the baby is born. Continue reading
Unfortunately there is no cut and dry answer to this question. It depends on three main factors:
1. What is your attorney’s hourly rate? – An attorney with an hourly rate of $175 per hour will clearly result with lower attorney’s fees than an attorney who charges $475 per hour. Keep in mind that an attorney’s hourly rate is often reflective of their experience and skill level so it may be in your best interest to choose an experienced attorney at the cost of having higher attorney’s fees.
The state of Texas has a mandatory thirty day waiting period after a divorce is granted before the parties may marry a new person. The reason for the mandatory waiting period is that the judge and court that issued your final decree of divorce retains plenary power for thirty days after the divorce is final. This is in case a party files an appeal or a motion for a new trial, which they have thirty days to do after a divorce is finalized. Once the thirty days has expired and the divorce has not been contested, then it is safe for the parties involved to remarry. An exception to this rule is if you desire to remarry the person you just divorced, you are not required to wait thirty days. Continue reading
If you and your ex reside within 100 miles of one another, the non-custodial parent can possess the children for a period of thirty days during the summer. The default dates for this period of possession are July 1 – July 31 but if the parent desires a different schedule, they must give the other parent written notice by April 1 prior to summer how and when they desire to schedule their allotted thirty days.
If you and your ex reside more than 100 miles away from each other, the non-custodial parent may have visitation with the children for a period of forty-two days during the summer. Continue reading
When a couple divorces, one of the assets often divided and awarded by the court is a portion of the parties’ retirement plans. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, commonly called a QDRO, is an order signed by the court that deals with pension funds. The QDRO establishes your soon to be ex’s legal entitlement to receive a designated amount of a qualified plan account or benefits.
The party who is awarded a portion of retirement benefits will subsequently be responsible for paying related income taxes and fees associated with withdrawing the benefits. Continue reading
A prenuptial agreement is a contract made between two parties who intend to be wed. This agreement outlines many provisions, usually related to finances and property, which the parties want to agree to prior to being married. Such agreements may include:
The rights to property owned prior to being married;
The right to spousal maintenance or the elimination of spousal maintenance should the marriage end;
The characterization of property acquired during the marriage. Continue reading
Temporary mutual injunctions are a tool used in the divorce process that prevent either party from conducting themselves in a manner that would harass the other party, destroy or tamper with marital assets or disrupt the lives of the children. Mutual injunctions apply to conduct, property, assets and children.
The parties and their attorneys may agree to mutual injunctions at the onset of a divorce or the judge may order them at a temporary orders hearing. Once the judge has signed temporary mutual injunctions it is very important that the parties comply. Continue reading
There is no clear cut answer to this question. A judge must look at the best interests of a child when making a child custody determination. The existence of adultery may affect a judge’s decision regarding child custody but absent a strong case the adultery has had a negative impact on the child, it will likely have little impact. It is up to the individual judge to examine the facts and circumstances of an alleged affair to decide if it will have any impact on child custody.
Judges are more willing to consider the existence of adultery when one of the parents has engaged in the affair in front of the children. A divorce can be a difficult and confusing time for children. Continue reading
To obtain a divorce in the state of Texas, at least one of the spouses must have been domiciled in the state of Texas for the six months preceding the filing of the divorce suit as well as a resident of the county in which the suit will be filed for at least the preceding 90 days. If neither spouse has been a Texas resident for at least six months prior to filing the suit, you have not established jurisdiction and will need to wait until six months have passed until you may file for divorce in Texas. This is a jurisdictional issue, meaning that the Court has no power to grant a divorce until at least one spouse has met the residency requirements. Continue reading
Texas is a community property state, which means that there is a presumption that assets are community property, not separate property of a spouse. To overcome this presumption, one must be able to definitively show to a court that an asset was acquired before the marriage and has maintained its characterization as separate property. The key to maintaining the character of your property as separate is to avoid commingling the property with community property. Continue reading