4 04 2018

Facebook Divorce and Child Custody

By | April 4, 2018|Children & Family, Family Law Updates|

Secret accounts, messages from strangers and reconnecting with old flames have all been made very easy with social media. Throughout my years as a paralegal, I have seen Facebook and social media as a factor in the demise of many relationships. Facebook Divorce Statistics According to FindLaw, “Information found on popular social networking sites has given divorce lawyers new tools in their divorce toolkits. Facebook and other sites are changing the legal landscape in divorce and child custody cases.” FindLaw reports that two-thirds of U.S. lawyers say Facebook is the primary source of evidence used in divorce cases. During a divorce or child custody case, your social media account is fair game. In fact, more often than not, opposing attorneys will request a complete download of the opposing party’s Facebook archive. This archive includes all those secret messages you thought you deleted and anything you’ve ever put on Facebook. This information can then be used [...]

23 03 2018

Divorce Property Division Settlements Are Not Always 50-50 in Texas Family Law

By | March 23, 2018|Community & Separate Property, Family Law Updates|

Texas Family Law does not mandate a 50-50 division of property in a divorce. Under Texas Family Law, the Court is charged with a duty to divide marital property in a manner that is “just and right.” Appellate Courts find in some divorces that 80-20 property division is “just and right.” Depending on the size of the estate, we see disproportionate property divisions falling in the range between 51 percent and 60 percent quite often. Under Texas Family Law, a divorcing spouse may be entitled to a disproportionately larger share of the community estate depending on the facts of that particular case. Each case is unique and one of the primary factors the Court considers in making a disproportionate property division is disparity in earning capacity. If one party has an earning capacity of $150,000 per year and the other can earn only $30,000 per year, the Court may very well grant a disproportionately larger [...]

16 03 2018

When The Elderly Need A Divorce

By | March 16, 2018|Children & Family, Community & Separate Property|

As Baby Boomers enter the elderly population and advances in medical science continue to extend our lives, the elder population is now booming. A generation ago, it was uncommon to see elderly divorce between couples over 60. That is no longer the case. Divorce is becoming common for couples in their 60s and 70s and even in their 80s. Divorce Property Settlement The primary concerns of the elderly in divorce differ from their younger counterparts. Couples seeking divorce after 60 are likely to be at or near retirement. Typically, this means that you are dealing with an estate that is as large as it will ever be. There will be little or no time after the divorce for the parties to earn sufficient income to recoup assets awarded to the other spouse in the divorce property settlement. Capacity and Decision Making One of the first issues to be considered in elderly divorce is whether a [...]

10 01 2018

Parenting Courses Spring Schedule Provided by ESCAPE Family Resource Center

By | January 10, 2018|Children & Family|

The spring schedule for ESCAPE parenting courses in Harris County and Ft Bend County has been released on the ESCAPE Website. “Building New Beginnings” (12 hour) and “Families and Divorce” (4 hour) programs are for divorced or divorcing parents. Divorced or divorcing parents may not attend the same “Building New Beginnings” or “Families and Divorce” course. For more information on these programs, dates and locations, please visit www.ESCAPEfrc.org/classes. Who may attend: Entire families (Divorcing or divorced spouses (must register for separate program dates) Cost: $25 per individual or family (covers course fee, registration, and materials) Certificate: This workshop satisfies the requirements of the family courts in Harris County and Fort Bend County The $25 registration fee applies to all family members who attend the program. Please note that scholarships are available to families who demonstrate financial need. Families must visit or call our office at 713-942-9500 to register before attending the first day of class. Note: Certificates [...]

31 08 2017

Co-Parenting After Divorce

By | August 31, 2017|Children & Family|

Many divorcing parents want to be able to work with the other parent in raising their children. We refer to this in legal terminology as Co-Parenting. There can be as many ways to co-parent as there are parents. There are a number of publications (online and in print) that provide details for the best way to co-parent your children after divorce. Websites have been created to assist parents with scheduling and communication. One that is favored by many courts in the Greater Houston Area is Our Family Wizard. In-person parenting classes are offered that can provide you with in-depth training on how to approach co-parenting after divorce. Here is a short list of pointers to minimize any hostility between the parents and nurture a healthy environment for your children: Communicate. Effective communication is the cornerstone of every successful relationship. Co-parenting your child is no exception. Never degrade the other parent within the hearing of the [...]

17 07 2017

Protect Your Family Interests by Hiring a Family Law Attorney

By | July 17, 2017|Children & Family|

Your future, your children’s future and your financial stability are important and must be protected Why it is important to hire an attorney that specializes in family law to represent you in ANY family law case: Many people might suggest that my point of view on this is biased because I make my living by working for an attorney, but that is not the case. I have witnessed personally the disasters that happen when people choose to represent themselves pro se in divorce or other family law cases. It does not matter how smart you are or how much you study up on the law, unless you practice Family Law in Texas, there are still things you can miss that will cost you in the end. It should be telling that even attorneys decide to hire another attorney when they need legal representation in an area of law with which they are not familiar. Even [...]

7 07 2017

Child Custody Changes in the 85th Texas Legislature

By | July 7, 2017|Children & Family, Family Law Updates|

The Texas Legislature closed the 2017 session on May 29. Several laws were passed that affect Texas Family Law. Here is one small – yet important – child custody change in the statute that governs modification of an order for the Conservatorship, Support, or Possession and Access to a Child. Temporary Orders in a Suit to Modify Primary Conservatorship What the new language states is that – in cases where no parent has been granted the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence (primary conservatorship) – a court may not create a temporary order that has the effect of granting one parent this exclusive right. And also, no temporary order may be created that has the effect of changing or eliminating the geographic area within which a parent must maintain the child’s primary residence. This new language does provide for an exception when the temporary order is in the best interest of the child [...]

26 06 2017

Child Custody Evaluation: Changes to Texas Family Law

By | June 26, 2017|Children & Family, Family Law Updates|

Texas Family Law Changes in the 85th Texas Legislature The Texas Legislature closed its biannual session for 2017. Although a Special Session may be called by Governor Abbott, it will not affect any Family Law issues. The Legislature did pass several bills that impact Texas Family Law. Here is one. Child Custody Evaluation The statute dealing with Child Custody Evaluations was revised this year. A significant change now offers more protection to child custody evaluators from being liable for civil damages arising out of the evaluator’s actions, recommendations made or opinion given in their capacity as a child custody evaluator. These protections have been in place for a guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, and amicus attorneys for some time now. Finally those protections have been extended to evaluators. As anyone who has ever been involved in a child custody case knows, someone is always unhappy with the conclusions in a child custody evaluation. Many [...]