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Fort Worth Family Law Blog

Ending a marriage amicably

Ending a marriage in Texas, or any other state, is often distressing. The events that led up to the decision to divorce take an emotional toll as many spouses dread the divorce process, assuming it will be adversarial, stressful and expensive.

While it is true that some divorces are acrimonious, there are ways in which divorcing couples can minimize hostilities while negotiating fair settlements. Unfortunately, if one party feels particularly hurt by the actions of the other spouse during the marriage, he or she may try to take revenge through the divorce process.

Child custody modification and legal considerations

A divorced mother or father with a difficult child custody arrangement may need to request a modification order. Parents can ask the judge to change a custody arrangement. However, Texas courts generally do not wish to make modifications unless a parent names specific reasons recognized by law. If the current arrangement functions for everyone involved, the court will not usually make any changes. The court will not modify a custody arrangement based on trivial reasons.

A judge focuses on the child's best interests before making any changes. Consequently, modifications normally take place when a child faces immediate emotional or physical danger. The court views domestic violence as a legitimate reason for making any revisions. For instance, a child may live with a parent who has the capacity to cause bodily harm. In this situation, the judge will approve an order to remove a child from the domicile.

Problems cryptocurrency may cause in property division

If one or both people who are divorcing in Texas own cryptocurrency assets, getting an accurate assessment of their value could be difficult. Another potential issue with cryptocurrency is that it can be easier to hide than many other types of assets. Because cryptocurrency is so new, few professionals have much experience dealing with it as part of a divorce settlement.

The value of cryptocurrency can fluctuate quickly and significantly. One attorney in New Jersey says it may be necessary to change when assets are valuated, making it closer to the time of property division. A British lawyer has cited a case that involved cryptocurrency assets purchased for £80,000 that went as high as £1 million and then down to £600,000 between November 2016 and February 2018. He suggested assessing value throughout the divorce process. One expert has compared the challenges in fixing a value to cryptocurrency for the purposes of a divorce to that of appraising art.

The ins and outs of property division in a Texas divorce

If you’re married and considering a divorce, you are likely giving some thought to which property and assets will remain with you and which will go to your spouse.

That’s a good question. Texas is a “community property” state which means that any property, assets or debts that you had before you were married are yours while any that were gained or shared during the marriage will be split in the most equitable fashion possible.

Causes behind the rise in gray divorce

Some Texans may be aware of the recent rise in the rate of gray divorce -- separations involving spouses aged 50 and older. What makes this rise so unique is that it stands in stark contrast to the overall declining rates of divorce in other age demographics.

There are numerous reasons why an older couple may opt to go through the divorce process. For example, an extra-marital affair could break a marriage apart. According to some social analysts, there is now less stigma surrounding infidelity. After all, there are dating websites dedicated to helping spouses stray from their marriages.

Planning for a divorce

Married couples in Texas may be interested to know that about 2 million divorces occur every year in the U.S. While married people may be reluctant to plan for a divorce, understanding the separation process and what may happen can help lower stress if the unthinkable does occur. Planning is a particularly important part of getting through the divorce process successfully.

Divorcing couples should expect to go through three different phases. There is filing the required paperwork, discovery and disposition. In cases in which couples want to avoid going to court, there are many options, including collaborative divorce and mediation.

Common reasons couples end a marriage

Couples going down the aisle in Texas are less likely to part ways these days since the overall divorce rate is on the decline. Still, there are times when marriages come to a premature end. In order to develop a better understanding of the common reasons couples split, researchers interviewed divorced individuals who initially participated in prevention and relationship enhancement program (PREP) courses to learn why their marriages failed.

Even though all respondents had participated in PREP courses, some of them cited little or no premarital education as one of the reasons why they decided to start the divorce process. Religious differences and a lack of family support were among some of the other lower-ranking divorce reasons given. Health problems also played a role in some divorces since illness often requires one partner to step up and assume a larger role in a marriage. Nearly a quarter of survey participants cited emotional and/or physical abuse as the major reason for their splits.

Why establishing paternity is key to receiving custody

Though you and you partner never married, you raised a child together. Your relationship proves to head for separation, and you worry you will lose all rights to see your child.

In Texas and across the United States, many fathers do not initially establish paternity for multiple reasons. Perhaps they believed that because their relationship with their child's mother was strong, there was no point in establishing paternity. Maybe you were very young when you became a father, and putting your name on the birth certificate was terrifying and confusing. In any circumstance, to share custody of your child after a separation, you must establish paternity.

Studies show a wife's illness could raise divorce risk

If the wife in a marriage develops cancer or another serious health issue, such as heart disease, the risk of divorce increases; however, there is no increase in divorce risk if the husband has these conditions. A number of studies have found this to be the case, including one published in 2015 in "The Journal of Health and Social Behavior." One study found that if a woman has a stroke or develops heart disease, it raises her divorce risk even more than cancer.

Experts theorize that one reason this happens is because women tend to provide more care for men. When they become too ill to continue providing this care, the marriage is more likely to end. Women also tend to have more of a support system of friends and family members than men do, providing a safety net in the case of divorce.

How to talk to your child about their custody preference

When you and your spouse first announce your decision to divorce, you probably won’t be able to answer all of your child’s questions about their future.

In most cases, parents will need to sit down with their child later on to discuss the child custody arrangement. Here are a few important aspects to consider covering when the time comes.

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