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San Marcos Legal Issues Blog

A shared parenting plan for divorced fathers

As a father going through the divorce process, you may have many concerns about your future relationship with your child. For example, you may be concerned that your ex-wife will get to spend more time with your child.

Your goal is simple: to fight for your legal rights, ensuring that you get to have a hand in raising your child.

5 things to know about late-life divorce

You dedicated your life to raising your children and taking care of your home. While he was in college, you worked two jobs to pay the bills. After he graduated, you took on the role of homemaker and mother.

You sole job was managing the home. Now, here you are, in your mid-sixties facing divorce. How will you be able to live? You haven't had a resume for more than 30 years, so getting a job will be difficult.

Wife sanctioned $150,000 in Texas divorce

Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that a spouse can ask a court for a divorce without a fault-based reason such as adultery or abuse. It also means that the other spouse's consent is not needed.

In other words it only takes one spouse to end a marriage. However, the other spouse does need to be properly notified of the divorce proceedings.

That's because a divorce is a lawsuit and under the rules of civil procedure, all parties to lawsuits must be given proper notice and the opportunity to defend themselves.

Another rule of divorce court is that people are not allowed to forum shop, meaning that people are not permitted to file their divorce in multiple courts to get the best outcome.

A Texas woman is being accused of violating both of these rules and could be sanctioned up to $250,000 as a result.

Does Texas need child custody reform?

It wasn't too long ago when mothers were automatically given primary custody of children and fathers were given visitation rights. But courts today are recognizing how important it is for both parents to play a role in their children's lives.

In fact, many states throughout the nation have changed their child custody laws to encourage "shared" parenting arrangements, where children spend significant time with both parents, instead of primarily living with one.

In 2010, the state of Arizona passed child custody reform that ordered family law judges to maximize the time the child has with each parent according to the child's best interests. Missouri recently enacted a similar law.

Unpaid child support to result in vehicle registration holds this fall

Behind on your child support? The state of Texas may make it difficult for you to get behind the wheel of your car.

This fall, the Texas Attorney General's Office plans on blocking vehicle registration renewal for parents who have not paid child support for six months or more.

The policy will begin affecting vehicle registrations that are up for renewal in December. Those with six months or more of unpaid child support will receive notice about the potential hold on their renewal in the three-month renewal notice in September. They will also receive instructions about how to remove the hold on their renewal in a letter from the Child Support Division.

In order to have the hold removed, parents will have to pay the child support that is due in its entirety.

Financial abuse in marriage

Money is one of the leading causes of stress to a marriage. Almost every couple will have disagreements at some point about how the household income is being spent.

In some cases, however, the problems go beyond arguments. Far too many individuals - often women - live with financial abuse. In cases of financial abuse, the controlling spouse finds a way to cut the other spouse off from income or access to the household money. The other spouse becomes entirely dependent on the controlling individual, who in turn can use money as a threat or a tool for abuse.

Here are some ways to identify financial abuse:

How is student loan debt divided in Texas divorce?

In the state of Texas, all assets - and debt - are divided equally during the division of property in divorce. The same rules that apply to dividing assets and property apply to dividing debt.

This includes student loans.

The graduating class of 2015 carries an average student loan debt of just under $35,000 a piece. Many people will spend decades paying this back. If they divorce from their spouse during that time, it is critical that they know exactly how it will be handled in family law court.

Here's what you need to know:

What happens to the house in a divorce?

For many people, the home is their most expensive and important asset. That's why the question "What is going to happen to my home?" is at the top of many of our clients' minds when they first meet with us.

The answer really depends on the facts surrounding the individual case, but generally speaking, there are two options: one spouse stays in the home and takes over the mortgage, or the home is sold and the proceeds are divided as marital property.

In rare situations involving an underwater mortgage or a nearly underwater mortgage, walking away from the home and letting it proceed through foreclosure may be another option.

Now let's explore each of the options in more detail:

Steps to take before filing for divorce

Every year, divorce filings spike right after the holidays. In fact, January is referred to as "Divorce Month" by many people in the family law field.

This isn't because couples decide to call it quits after having a horrible time together over the holidays -- although that might be true in some cases. Typically, what happens is that one or both spouses will decide to put off the divorce until after the holidays for the sake of the kids or other family members.

If you are one of the many people who are planning on filing for divorce sometime this winter, then you might be thinking that there is not much you need to do until then. However, there are actually several steps that you should be take now in order to prepare, even if you are not yet ready to make the divorce official.

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