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Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce laws, Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyer,Many litigants and practitioners consider these forms of alternative dispute resolution to be similar. There are some commonalities, not the least of which is that they are both negotiation-based, as opposed to litigation-based, methods for dispute resolution. But comparing this alternative to complex property litigation with mediation is a little like comparing this article to William Shakespeare's literary epic Hamlet: while there are some similarities, the comparison is by no means apples to apples.

Functional Differences

Collaborative law is a comprehensive litigation alternative that includes a discovery component. During this process, the parties freely exchange relevant documents, and any disputes are worked out between the parties. In a similar vein, the spouses themselves are typically responsible for gathering financial and other documents, so they feel invested in the process. If there is need for an expert, such as an accountant, the parties divide the cost.

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Texas collaborative attorney, Texas high asset attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer,A growing number of high-asset divorce cases are resolved through the still-controversial method of collaborative law, during which the parties work together to find mutual solutions to problems stemming from child custody, spousal support, property division, and other complex property litigation issues.

The method is controversial because it totally eschews the traditional adversarial model. Assume that, instead of playing a football game in Waco or Austin, officials from The University of Texas and Baylor met to compare their teams' statistical profiles and then enlisted the help of sportswriters and broadcasters to determine a winner. Collaborative law is not nearly that radical, but it is in the same general neighborhood.

Critics maintain that attorneys can only "zealously" represent their clients, as called for in the canon of ethics, in a courtroom shootout. However, good lawyers are very adept at far more than simply making arguments.

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Posted on in Divorce

Texas marriage laws, Texas co,plex litigation attorney, Texas divorce lawyer,Texas is one of the few states that recognize informal marriages for all purposes, although most jurisdictions do give legal force and effect to common-law marriages from other states. As the name implies, an informal marriage does not require a license or ceremony. However, to dissolve one of these relationships, there must be a legal divorce and perhaps even a complex child custody hearing.

Proving a Common Law Marriage

One or both spouses can file a Declaration of Informal Marriage. As this document does not require the signature of both parties and does not need to be notarized, it cannot prove a common law marriage without supporting evidence during a high net worth divorce. According to Section 2.401 of the Family Code, the three legal elements of an informal marriage are:

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Texas high asset divorce attorney, divorce negotiations, Texas complex litigation lawyer, With the possible exception of the marital residence, a retirement account is typically the largest asset in a high net worth divorce. After years of saving and planning, it can be quite disconcerting to learn that a retirement nest egg is divisible just like any other marital asset. But, from both a legal and practical perspective, both spouses have made contributions to this account over the years, either by investing money in the plan or investing time in the marriage.

Most employer-sponsored plans, like a 401(k) or pension, require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO); many IRAs can be divided without a QDRO. Many government-sponsored plans, most notably military retirement accounts, require a Division Order (DO), which is similar to a QDRO.

The Formula

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Posted on in Complex Divorce

Texas high-asset divorce attorney, Texas mediation lawyer, Cedar Park family law attorney,Most Texas courts require parties to mediate a contested family law matter prior to trial. Other times, the parties may attempt to resolve a case before it comes to that point. Mediation is not always successful, but it is almost always worth a try, particularly in a high-asset divorce.

If mediation is an option, the first step is to choose an effective mediator. It is important to use an attorney who practices family law in the area. Anyone else may be unfamiliar with the legal process, with the law applicable to your case and with the judges in that jurisdiction. If a court has ordered the parties to use a certain person, the judge is sometimes willing to reconsider that directive.

Mediations are normally full-day affairs. The parties meet at a neutral location – typically the mediator's office or a conference facility – and the attorneys make brief opening statements. Afterwards, the parties retire to separate rooms and the mediator conducts shuttle diplomacy by conveying offers and counteroffers until an agreement is reached.

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child custody battle, Austin family lawyer, child abuse, Austin Texas, divorce attorneyA Fulton County, Georgia judge has ordered the mother involved in a bitter custody dispute to pay $195,000 in legal fees to her ex-husband's attorney. According to an article in the Daily Report, the judge issued the ruling after announcing that the child-abuse accusations that the mother alleged against the father were not credible and has determined that the father will retain primary custody of the child.

The parents were divorced in 2009, when a child psychologist filed a suspicion of child abuse report based on the child talking about "secret stuff" at the father's house. The father was arrested and charged with child molestation in Georgia. The father also maintained a home in Colorado and was arrested and charged there too, after the mother filed a complaint in that state. The Fulton County district attorney's office conducted a two-year investigation, but dismissed the charges in 2011. Colorado authorities also dismissed their charges. A year later, in 2012, after only seeing his daughter once in three years, the father filed a motion for custody petition. In 2013, based upon recommendations from a therapist chosen by the mother, a custody evaluator and the child's guardian ad litem, reunification therapy between the child and her father was begun. A month later, in May 2013, the mother stopped the therapy and fired her attorney. In June, the judge granted temporary custody of the child to the father. This decision ignited protests at the courthouse. A final hearing was held in October, with the protesters returning to picket outside the courthouse during the six day trial. During the trial, the mother's attorney claimed there were over 20 images of child pornography found on the father's computer. However, in his decision, the judge pointed out the mother's computer expert witness testified there was only one image he thought was child pornography, but also admitted during testimony that he could not say what the ages of the people in the image were. The judge also signaled out the mother's child therapist expert witness, writing that she "inappropriately gave opinions about the child without ever having interacted with the child." Regarding ordering the mother to pay the father's attorney fees, the judge wrote, "While this Court notes that efforts to level the playing field are generally viewed favorably in the context of domestic cases, there never should have been a playing field to begin with in this case." If you are involved in a child custody dispute, contact an experienced Austin family law attorney today to ensure that you and your children's rights are protected in the courtroom.

Posted on in Divorce

infidelity social media cheating divorceWhile every newlywed couple would like to believe that their marriage will beat the odds and last forever, nearly 50 percent of all married couples end up filing for divorce. After years of studying both successful and failed marriages, the American Psychological Association has identified several factors that may indicate a marriage is more likely to end in divorce.

 According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), demographics may play an important role in predicting whether a marriage will last until its 20th wedding anniversary. Statistics show that African-American women have the lowest chance of a lasting marriage, at 37 percent, while Caucasian men and women, as well as African-American men's chances stand at just over 50 percent. Male Hispanic immigrants and Asian women stand the highest chance of achieving a lasting marriage, at 70 percent.

A couple's financial situation also plays a vital role in determining whether the marriage will last. According to a study completed by the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project, couples with little or no assets are as much as 70 percent more likely to divorce within three years than those who have at least $10,000 in assets. This comes as little surprise to most marital therapists, who state that money and finances represent the most common source of tension in most marriages.

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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.

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