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prenuptial agreement IMAGEPrior to getting married, it is important to discuss things such as potential children, jobs, and where you both will live. One subject that might be harder to talk about is about money. That is especially the case if one spouse comes into the relationship with a better financial position such as higher wages, property or a possible inheritance. That spouse may want to protect their assets in the future by drafting a prenuptial agreement.

There are certain things that a properly written prenup can achieve. It is generally used to specify how assets shall be divided on the chance that the marriage ends in divorce. It can also dictate how certain separate or marital assets can be characterized, managed and controlled. This is essential if either spouse owns a family business or home prior to becoming married. Also if either spouse has a large amount of debt, it can protect the other from being financially responsible. A prenup may also dictate if a spouse is eligible to receive alimony or direct how much support can be awarded.

There are other aspects of a divorce which cannot be changed by a prenuptial agreement. Child support, custody and visitation cannot be negatively impacted by any prenuptial agreement. It is also incapable of including any action that is against state or federal law.


Posted on in Divorce

The holidays can be stressful for everyone. The season is spent buying expensive presents, travelling in cold weather and spending time with family members. These stresses can further divide married couples who may have relationship problems throughout the whole year. But couples often stick together through the holidays even if their relationship has run its course.  That phenomenon has lead attorneys to call January "divorce month".

Divorce SeasonResearch has also shown that January is the month to consider filing for divorce. An analysis by FindLaw.com has shown that between 2008 and 2011 there was an increase in divorce filings in the month of January. This increase sees an apex in the month of March and then tends back down through the rest of the year until September when it increases again.

The website also looked at search activity for their website and found a similar increase in the month of January. Phrases like "divorce", "family law" and "child custody" increased 50 percent from the month of December to the month of January. This increase peaked in the month of March. If people are not filing for divorce, they are at least considering the possibility.


ReflectionDeciding to file for divorce can be arduous and stressful.  Occasionally that is because the filer is not aware of how the process works.  First, when the decision is made to initiate a divorce, there are certain requirements that need to be met.  For example, there are residency requirements in Texas.  Either spouse must live in the state for at least six months before filing.  Also, either spouse must have lived in the county where the suit is filed for the past 90 days.

After meeting with an attorney and discussing the divorce, that attorney will file an Original Petition for Divorce with the District Clerk of your county.  The spouse who initiates the divorce proceedings is called the petitioner and the other spouse is called the respondent.  The petition will list the grounds for divorce, children from the marriage, any protective orders existing against either spouse as well as a list of separate property not to be considered in the division of marital property.

The petition initiates the divorce proceedings in court, but does not notify the other spouse.  That is accomplished by a citation that is issued at the time the petition is filed.  A citation includes the case number, information about the court, addresses and names of the petitioner and respondent and the date when the citation was issued.   It also sets a deadline for the respondent to answer the lawsuit without a judgment being made by the court.


regretsThroughout life, people make mistakes. Occasionally, these mistakes are small and forgotten as soon as they are committed. Other mistakes have long lasting effects and are difficult to move past. Divorce can occasionally cause regrets but it is important to learn from mistakes and try not to make them again.

According to data compiled by Dr. Terri Orbuch, most divorced people cite common regrets from their relationships. The longitudinal study followed over 350 couples who were between 25 and 37 years old. Over 25 years, 46 percent of the couples divorced, and of those Orbuch asked them about the errors they made in their relationships. Mistakes that they realized were contributing factors to their divorce. Dr. Orbuch hoped to use her research as a teaching tool to help others in their marriages.

Fifteen percent of the divorcees responded that they should have given their spouses more positive attention. A kiss, a compliment and other kinds of affection can increase a spouse's mood and strengthen a marriage. Not letting your spouse know that you support them emotionally can have far reaching consequences. Once the feeling of love is gone, then the relationship might be next.


Posted on in Family Law

reason to divorceMarriage requires upkeep. Romance, intimacy, and communication are three things that can become more difficult as time passes.  Issues and arguments will come up in every marriage. However, in some cases, you and your spouse may decide that divorce is the best option for you.

One cause of divorce is infidelity.  The bonds of love and trust are often irrevocably damaged when cheating occurs. In Texas, if you choose to file a fault based divorce, infidelity can affect things such as property division and alimony during your divorce settlement.

Another possible cause of divorce is physical or emotional abuse.  It can be harder to split from someone who exerts their power with cruelty. No one should excuse this kind of behavior and the abused spouse should seek to safely separate from the abusive spouse. An order of protection or a restraining order can be helpful in this situation.


cell phoneWhile infidelity is no longer a commonly cited reason for divorce, cheating can still ruin a marriage. Most spouses can tell that their relationship has changed without knowing that cheating is the reason. Some noticeable signs that your spouse is cheating include dressing better, not being intimate, and taking out new credit cards.

Another possible sign of a cheater is if they start being weird about their cell phone. Maybe your spouse will not leave their phone by you. Maybe they started to password protect their phone even though that was never a concern before. New technologies, like cell phones, have more damning evidence than the traditional lipstick on a collar.

A new study released by Albright College in Pennsylvania reveals another signal that your spouse is cheating. Associate professor of psychology, Susan Hughes, PHD, monitored the difference of phone calls between romantic interests compared to those between same-sex friends. The perceptible changes can be evidence that your spouse is cheating.


Posted on in Child Custody

LauraUpon filing for divorce in Texas, either party can request the court to enter a temporary order governing a specific matter, such as child support, until the final divorce decree is given. These temporary orders give some sense of order for how visitation and custody will look in the short term and what parents can expect. These short term orders can include details on child support, spousal support, property division, and possession and access.

After final custody orders have been given, many parents hope to be able to modify their custody schedule at some point in the future. Moving forward with plans to change a child custody order should not be done without the assistance of an attorney.

Judges in Texas evaluate the individual situations of each family to determine what custodial situation is in the best interests of the child. It is possible, however, that the situation has changed over time, thus meaning that a new custodial order could truly represent the best interests of the child. There are several circumstances under which parents might modify custody, including the following:


Posted on in Prenuptial Agreements

Although in many ways, the legal impact of same-sex marriage and same-sex divorce are relatively new to the field, a growing area of interest involves whether same-sex couples need prenuptial agreements. Many of the new couples moving toward marriage in the multiple states across the country that now allow same-sex marriage already have established financial assets. Even if these couples have been living together for a long time, the consideration of whether a prenuptial agreement may apply is a worthy discussion to have with an attorney.

LauraSimply put, it's likely that one or both individuals involved in the upcoming union has accumulated some assets over the course of their life. Entering into a marriage is an excellent opportunity to discuss their financial standing and determine whether prenuptial agreement could help to outline the guidelines for their union. Unfortunately, same-sex marriages will not be immune from divorce, and proper planning can go a long way towards reducing agony and financial instability down the line.

One special concern regarding same-sex marriages is when these individuals live in a community property state. In community property states, assets accumulated by the married couple are accessible to creditors of either spouse. In this way it's possible to view the assets of a newly married couple as being exposed to double the amount of potential creditors. For this reason, it can be critical to outline your wishes in a prenuptial agreement.

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