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Houston Divorce And Family Law Blog

Is joint custody suitable for your family?

As Texan parents trying to navigate what parenting will look like after a divorce, you have a lot of big decisions to make. Fortunately, Law Thompson, P.C., can help by discussing some of the benefits and possible downsides of different types of custody arrangements, starting with joint custody.

As of late, studies are showing that joint custody is the way to go for parents and children of divorce. It allows your child to maintain bonds with both parents, and lets both parents retain their parental authority. It also allows both parents to have a say over important life decisions for their child. This can include schooling decisions, choices regarding the religion they're raised with, and which medical options should be taken.

What happens during the discovery process during a divorce?

One of the most important aspects of divorce is securing a fair property division settlement. You have the right to a fair share of all marital property, which includes the assets, money and other property accumulated over the course of the marriage. It is critical to understand how to walk through this process as you seek a strong post-divorce future. 

The discovery step is something that happens early in the property division process. Essentially, it is an exchange of information between the two parties, disclosing all financial information that will be important as they divide property. This includes documentation about real estate, bank account information and much more. It is in the interests of all parties to be honest during this disclosure process, as this reduces the chance of complications in the future. 

Threats from your ex during divorce

When a relationship ends, hard feelings may arise, and some people have an especially difficult time moving forward. For example, those who have kids and cannot agree on how custody should be divided or those who have an ex who is very bitter about any number of issues may have an especially difficult time during the divorce process. In some instances, someone’s ex may even begin to threaten them.

These threats may be financial in nature, such as making claims that they will shatter their former partner’s finances due to alimony, child support or property division. Or, the threats may involve children, such as claims that they will not be able to see their child again. In some cases, threats may even become violent, and someone may threaten their ex’s life. People may threaten to tarnish their former spouse’s reputation among friends and family members or over the internet, and there are other hardships that people have to struggle with in this regard.

Challenges when one parent lives out of state

Co-parenting is usually difficult regardless of distance or the parents’ ability to get along. At Law Thompson, P.C., we understand that there are unique challenges when the noncustodial parent lives farther away. You and other Texas residents may be interested in learning about these challenges, especially if you are just getting divorced and you or the other parent is considering a move.

The team at has provided some insight into the difficulties of long-distance co-parenting. If you or your ex reside a great distance from your children, the following challenges may arise:

  • The children may greatly miss seeing the parent who moves away, especially if they were accustomed to seeing him or her often.
  • On the other hand, the children might not want to travel out of state to visit the noncustodial parent.
  • The noncustodial parent may feel left out of the kids’ lives and miss seeing them regularly.
  • It can be difficult financially to make travel arrangements and to take time off work or handle child care during visitation.
  • The relationship between the parents may become more strained with the challenges of long-distance co-parenting.

What is considered marital property in Texas?

When going through a divorce, you are often forced to deal with a myriad of issues. One of the most difficult issues may be that of property division. You may have strong emotions tied to your property and assets, making it hard to determine who is entitled to what in the divorce settlement. Texas is a community property state, meaning all marital property is divided equally in half between spouses. Yet, it is important to know just what constitutes marital property, so you can be sure you get everything you are entitled to in the final divorce settlement.

While you may think of the family home, vehicles, furniture and possessions as marital property, there are some things you may not consider. All of the following are considered community property and are eligible for division in the final decree:

  •          Expensive art, coin, car, coin, book and antique collections
  •          Lottery ticket winnings and income tax refunds
  •          Memberships to exclusive golf and country clubs
  •          Term life insurance policies
  •          Travel reward points and other program points
  •          Trademarks, copyrights and patents

Should you decide on child custody out of court?

Child custody is often one of the most contentious and difficult issues for Texas parents to work through in a divorce. It is not easy to decide what will happen to your children and make decisions that will affect the future of your relationship with them for years to come. You know your kids deserve to be happy and have stability, and for many Texas parents, this is why they choose to resolve custody issues out of court.

There are many benefits to creating a parenting plan out of court. One of the main reasons is that it allows you more control over the final terms of the order. It can also reduce stress and allow you to account for things that may be unique to your family. When working on your custody order, it is beneficial to keep your focus on what is truly important, which is the best interests of the children, and not temporary emotions.

Sharing custody after a divorce

No one goes into a marriage anticipating a divorce, but sadly that becomes a reality for many Texas families. The biggest concern you may have is how to best divide the time your child or children will spend between parents. We here at Law Thompson, P.C. understand the many complexities you face when devising a schedule for child custody. 

According to Time magazine, in years past courts generally preferred to see children spend most of their time with a primary caretaker. This also meant that a child usually lived the majority of his or her days in one residence. However, that notion has been replaced with the viewpoint that it is extremely important for your child to bond with both you and your former partner, meaning he or she will split time between two homes. 

Custody disputes and negative emotions

When a dispute over the custody of a child surfaces, the situation can have a far-reaching impact on the lives of both parents. For example, a parent may have to take time off of work in order to prepare for court and attend a hearing. Or, someone may struggle with the other parent of their child falsely accusing them of wrongdoing. In the digital age, many people have also had to struggle with false rumors and the spread of certain types of information over the internet. In this post, however, we will look at the emotional impact of a custody dispute.

When custody issues arise, a parent may be flooded with negative emotions. For example, they may become very angry, or they could struggle with depression. Anger may carry over into parents' lives in different ways, affecting their other relationships and their ability to perform well at work. In fact, anger and other negative emotions can even impact a parent's ability to secure a more favorable outcome in their custody case.

Texas residents need an estate plan

Texas residents may think they will not need an estate plan until they are senior citizens. However, an estate plan can be beneficial even when people are young. There are several reasons people may want to put together an estate plan in the near future.

One of the benefits of an estate plan is that it allows people to decide what will happen to their personal property. Forbes says that the state usually picks beneficiaries and gives them the assets when there is no will. This means that if people do not write a will explaining which people should receive their assets, they typically have no control over their belongings after they die. Additionally, some people may want to donate money to charity. When someone creates an estate plan, he or she can make sure that different organizations receive the intended donations.  

How does community property work in divorce?

When it comes to dividing marital property during a divorce, there are either community property or equitable property states. As a community property state, Texas courts divide marital property in a specific way. When you are preparing for your divorce, it can help to understand how community property law operates.

FindLaw explains that community property states divide marital property equally, regardless of the earning potential and assets of each spouse. Everything you and your spouse acquired during your marriage will be considered marital property, with a few exceptions. For example, the following situations would apply:

  • Property you gained before you were married and which you retain sole ownership of, such as your car and assets from your own small business which your spouse was not involved in, remain yours and are not considered marital property.
  • Property you and your spouse purchased together, such as a home and vehicles, are considered marital property.
  • Gifts, inheritances and family heirlooms that you received while you were married are considered your own property and will not be divided with your spouse.
  • Joint debt is also considered marital property to be divided.

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Houston, TX 77014

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