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Fort Worth Family Law Blog

What to do if a child is unsafe with the other parent

A Texas parent who is worried about the safety of their kid with the other parent should be prepared to provide documentation backing up their claims. This might include police reports or medical records if the child was treated after being abused. While taking such allegations seriously, judges also usually want to make sure that parents are telling the truth.

A parent should note any abuse or neglect that happens during or after the divorce process. If child protective services gets involved, the child's neighbors, teachers and family members might be interviewed. During this time, the other parent may still have access to the child; although, it may be limited. A parent might want to take the kid to a therapist if there are signs of trauma, and the therapist could also be interviewed. The judge may also order the child to meet with a second therapist for evaluation.

Dealing with a child's request to change custody plan

Parents in Texas may face an emotional challenge as well as legal and financial concerns if their child says he or she wants to go live with their other parent. There are several circumstances that can lead to a child wanting to change homes, from serious conflict in the home to a desire for a different lifestyle or a more attractive school option. Depending on the circumstances, there are different options available to custodial and non-custodial parents. However, absent a situation of neglect or abuse, communication between parents and children can be critical to reaching a resolution.

Parents should have an open conversation with their kids before making a spur-of-the-moment decision about a child custody change. This means taking the children's concerns seriously, even when the parent feels hurt or upset about the things being said. At the same time, it can be important to establish ground rules for the discussion. After all, it is not appropriate to demand a custody change any time there is a dispute about normal household obligations and rules. Still, parents should think about how they would perceive the situation through the eyes of their children. A parental divorce or separation can be a challenging time for children.

Prenups can help couples avoid financial stresses

Many of the stresses associated with divorce in Texas have to do with the finances of the parties during divorce and thereafter, when they are living separately. A clear and accurate prenuptial agreement can reduce the costs of divorce and help the parties prepare, reducing that stress. A problem is people tend to think of prenups as only useful or necessary in cases involving wealthy or celebrity individuals. Prenups are perhaps even more valuable for people who don't have a lot of extra money.

When people get divorced, they are required to make disclosures of assets and debts, income and liabilities as part of the divorce process. Having a prenup in place forces those sorts of disclosures much earlier on, as a matter of course prior to the marriage. It may be awkward for the members of the couple to discuss their finances bluntly and honestly, but it can also make the relationship stronger. Research on the subject indicates that disputes about money are among the best predictors of eventual divorce, and a prenup can reduce the likelihood of those disputes.

Does co-parenting mean we should be friends?

We’ve all heard of ex-couples who say they’re best friends. However, after going through the turmoil of a divorce, you may wonder how you and your ex could ever reconcile.

And, if you can’t get along, does that mean you won’t be good co-parents? Here’s what you need to know about maintaining a relationship with your ex through co-parenting.

Wedding date could predict divorce risk, study says

Couples in Texas who are getting married might want to make sure they are focused more on the marriage itself than the wedding. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne found that people who got married on certain special dates might be more likely to divorce.

The researchers looked at wedding dates for 1 million couples. February 14, which is Valentine's Day, was the wedding date that led to the largest number of divorces. Roughly 11% of couples married on this day got divorced within five years and 21% legally ended their relationships within nine years. Other deliberately chosen dates appeared to predict trouble in the marriage as well.

Overcoming the myths related to parenting after divorce

A parent in Texas may be denied the ability to have physical custody of a child after a divorce. However, this doesn't mean that he or she is a deadbeat or otherwise not a part of a son or daughter's life. In many cases, noncustodial parents will be entitled to visitation rights and generally play a role in their child's upbringing. It is possible that parents who don't get physical custody of their children will be given legal custody.

Parents of either gender may be allowed to have physical custody of their children. Therefore, it is merely a stereotype that all noncustodial parents are fathers. Furthermore, there are instances in which noncustodial parents receive child support payments from the custodial parents. It is also relatively common for individuals to make their support payments on time regardless of whether they have custody of their kids.

How a Texas woman can prepare for a divorce

Texas women who are considering divorce should be aware of some important documents they will need to have on hand. Divorce is burdensome for all involved, but it can be especially difficult for wives. Unfortunately, women are often in the dark about household finances, legal assets and investments.

A woman who realizes divorce is imminent should start by focusing on her own financial situation. Take the time to gather every piece of vital information prior to initiating the divorce process. This will help ensure that settlement decisions are well-researched and well-informed.

How to allocate child support money

Being responsible for full custody of your child can be a huge challenge. Even if your ex has custody 2 days per week, your obligations as a single parent are still massive.

Child support money is meant to ease the financial expense of these responsibilities. However, you may have some confusion about the most advantageous way to use it. Here are a few guidelines.

Tips for handling a divorce with children

Divorce can be notoriously tough on children, but there are many things parents in Texas can do to make the experience easier. There are also things parents can do to make the separation worse, so it's important for both parents to pay close attention to how their actions are affecting their children's health, emotions and stability. According to professional therapists, it's conflict, not divorce itself, that causes turmoil with children.

Parents need to let their children know that the divorce was not the children's fault while empowering them to make decisions about life after the separation. When children feel like they are taking part in the decision-making process, the situation doesn't feel as chaotic and out of control. Parents should not keep their children in the dark about what's going on even if the divorce is very complicated.

Divorce and division of property for stay-at-home parents

Texas is a community property state, and this means that in a divorce, each spouse is entitled to 50 percent of all marital assets. However, most states have a policy of equitable division of property. This means that property will be divided fairly, but it does not necessarily specify what is considered fair. One study found that when it comes to valuing the contributions of mothers who stay at home versus fathers who are breadwinners, men and women differ in their conclusions.

The study provided participants with six different scenarios that had the same basic premise of a family with a stay-at-home mother for 12 of the 17 years of marriage. The father filed for divorce. The variations came in the occupations of the two, their education and how much property they owned. Men tended to award more to the mother if she had a higher level of educational achievement. Women generally did not consider these factors and gave mothers a larger share in property division overall. They placed a higher value on caregiving while men valued the father's breadwinning more.

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