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Austin, TX high conflict divorce attorneyEven under the best of circumstances, with both spouses agreeing that the marriage is over, as well as agreeing on custody and financial issues, divorce can still be difficult. When a person is divorcing a narcissist, those difficulties are more complex and often end up turning into a high-conflict divorce.

High-conflict divorces are notoriously more expensive, long, and drawn-out as the narcissist turns the process into an emotional and financial roller coaster, refusing to cooperate and putting up roadblocks to a peaceful resolution every step of the way. The divorce process is often the last breath of control the narcissist spouse has on the other spouse and he or she may hold onto that control until the very end.

Mental Health Impact

Tragically, there is an enormous emotional impact that a high-conflict divorce has on not only the spouse but also the children. Everyone can suffer from greater levels of anxiety and depression as the narcissist bombards their family with anger, disrespectful communication, and refusal to cooperate in any type of meaningful negotiation.


Travis County, TX complex divorce lawyerOne of the most overlooked financial areas for people who are in the process of getting divorced is estate planning. Most people become so focused on child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of assets, that drawing up a new estate plan gets lost way down on the bottom of their to-do list. But failing to update or create a new estate plan can be disastrous for your family should something happen to you.

Beneficiary Designations

There are likely multiple places where you have chosen your now ex-spouse as the beneficiary, including annuity funds, pensions, IRAs, life insurance policies, and other financial accounts. Although some of these accounts may have been involved in the divorce asset distribution and no longer have your ex’s name as beneficiary, other documents, like life insurance policies, will need to be changed. There have been many cases where a person has failed to change the beneficiary, remarried, and passed away, and had funds go to their ex-spouse, not their current spouse.


If you have a will in place that leaves everything to your ex, you will want to make sure to have a new will drawn up with new heirs. If you named your spouse as executor of your estate, make sure to change that, as well.


Signs Your Marriage May Be in Trouble

Posted on in Divorce

Austin divorce lawyerTraditionally, the month of January is when many people set their “New Year resolutions,” often focusing on making changes in their lifestyles as a way to achieve healthier and happier lives. It is also the month that has the highest number of divorce filings as some people choose another way to start the year off with a fresh start.

If you feel as if you are at a crossroads in your marriage and unsure if divorce is the right choice for you, the following signs are good indicators of what the state of your marriage may be.

No Future 

In a solid marriage, when spouses daydream about the future, their partner is right there beside them. If a spouse imagines themselves living somewhere else – without their spouse – when they think about their future, this is a strong sign the marriage is broken. Fantasizing about being single or in a relationship with someone else is a definite indicator that there are problems in the marriage that may be unfixable.



Travis County, TX child custody lawyerIn a perfect world, parents who decide to end their marriage are able to come to an agreement on custody and visitation. Unfortunately, it is far more common for parents to disagree on child custody arrangements and a complex court battle often ensues. In these cases, the court will typically order a custody evaluation, also referred to as a social study in Texas family law. The following is a brief overview of this process. If you are divorcing your spouse and anticipate a complex child custody dispute, make sure to contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC for legal assistance.

What Is Involved in a Custody Evaluation?

When parents are unable to present an agreed-upon parenting plan to the court, the judge may order a custody evaluation in order to obtain additional information regarding the background and lifestyle of each parent, their parenting styles, the type of home environment they could provide the child, their employment situation, and relationship status. The evaluations are usually conducted by social workers or some other professional whose background includes working with children and families.


Austin, TX Child Custody lawyerOne of the most difficult issues to work through in many Texas divorces is child custody. Even if the couple agrees that divorce is the best option for their future, agreeing on what happens with their children is something that they may not agree on.

However, if the couple cannot negotiate and agree on child custody and parenting plan, the judge presiding over their divorce will make that decision for them and their decision may not be one that either parent wants.

Negotiating a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan puts in writing how the couple will co-parent in the future. Some of the issues that need to be addressed include:


Austin, TX child support attorneyUnder Texas law, every parent has the legal responsibility to provide financial support for their child, even if that child does not live with them. This is why non-custodial parents are ordered to pay child support. And although the majority of parents meet that obligation without any issues, there is no denying that it can feel financially liberating when the day comes that the parent no longer has to send that child support payment to their ex.

Generally, parents are responsible for child support until the child reaches the legal age of adulthood – 18 years – or graduates from high school, whichever comes last. However, some parents wonder if there are situations in which the court will order child support payments to be extended beyond that point. See below for a brief overview of that question.

Disabled Child

Under the Texas Family Code, if a child is disabled, then the law says that the court can order that child support be paid for an indefinite period of time. This is the only exception to extended child support under the law, but there are criteria that are required to be met. These include:


Austin, TX complex divorce lawyerWhen a person is going through a divorce, there are myriad emotions they can find themselves dealing with. A person may feel a sense of relief and freedom that they are finally free of a negative and toxic relationship one day and the next feel sad and lonely that they no longer have a partner to deal with life with, even if the relationship was a rocky one.

In today’s world, social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives and all of those roller-coaster emotions are often shared on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media accounts. Unfortunately, all that sharing can have a significant impact on issues that need to be decided by the court, such as child custody, spousal support, and more. In fact, in one major survey of divorce attorneys, more than 80 percent of lawyers said that they use social media to dig for evidence against their clients’ spouses. The following are some of the ways that social media posts can affect your divorce.

Child Custody

When divorcing parents cannot agree on how child custody and parenting time should be divided, the court will make that decision for them. This means both parties, usually through their attorneys, will present evidence and witness testimony to the court. The judge will decide what arrangement will be in the best interest of the child, based on that evidence.


Texas Divorce 101

Posted on in Complex Divorce

Travis County, TX divorce attorneyGoing through the divorce process can be confusing, even overwhelming at times. Although every divorce case has its unique factors, there are some basic rules/laws that apply to anyone who is filing for a divorce in Texas. Whether you and your spouse will be engaging in a friendly and simple divorce or you are facing complex, high-net-worth litigation, the following information is important to know.

Residency Requirement

Every state sets its own residency requirement for divorce. In Texas, one or both of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing for divorce, and also have at least 90 days of residency in the county the action is being filed in.

Unlike many other states, there is no time period the couple must have lived apart before filing. In fact, the couple can still legally live under the same roof as the divorce proceedings are taking place.

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