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Dallas Divorce Law Blog

What to do with a house in a divorce

Texas residents and those across the U.S. who are considering a divorce may find it necessary to divide their jointly owned home along with their other assets. This can be a complicated process if proper steps are not taken, as all factors and details need to be considered for the process to run smoothly.

One spouse may wish to buy out the other spouse and keep the home. If this is the case, the spouse who wants to keep the house usually refinances it and cashes out the amount needed to reimburse the other individual. However, there may be a problem if the house has declined in value since the time of purchase. In this circumstance, it may be possible to utilize gift funds from family members to complete the transaction.

Basketball player seeks sole custody

Texas basketball fans may be interested in a child custody case involving Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, who is seeking full custody of a child if she is proven to be his by a second paternity test. The child was born May 1 and has been cared for by her mother, who is unemployed but lives with family members who participate in the child's care. The mother initially filed for sole custody and cited George's travel schedule as a reason he should not have custody.

Now his lawyers have come back with a petition of their own. George is seeking full custody of the child because he has the financial and emotional resources to be the child's sole caregiver and is the best person to make day-to-day decisions for the child, according to the petition. In addition, the petition notes that the child's mother is unemployed and has not sought employment since the child's birth. The petition is contingent on the results of a new paternity test as the prenatal test came back with results stating there was a 99.9 percent probability that George was the child's father. George disputed the methodology used in the prenatal test and requested a second one.

Judge makes decision on fee issue in McCourt divorce settlement

Dallas couples may be interested in the latest news in the divorce legal battle between a Los Angeles billionaire and his ex-wife. The man has now succeeded in his attempts to have his ex-wife pay his legal fees, unless she decides to contest the ruling.

In 2012, former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and now ex-wife Jamie went through a high-asset divorce, ending in a settlement agreement that left Jamie multiple pieces of property and $131 million in cash. The terms of the agreement also stated that whichever spouse opposed the agreement in court would be responsible for the other spouse's attorneys' fees. Frank sold his interest in the Dodgers that same year for over $2 billion. Jamie then sued Frank, claiming that he had undervalued the team while negotiating their agreement and seeking a larger settlement.

Fathers increasingly seeking parenting rights

More and more fathers in Texas are determined to participate in shared parenting time and decision-making on equal footing with women. Men going through divorce have been increasingly hiring attorneys who champion father's rights.

In addition to custody issues stemming from divorce, more unmarried men are seeking to safeguard their parental rights to contribute to their children's well-being by establishing paternity. This trend toward establishing equal parenting rights may partly be the result of the increased numbers of men at home while out of work during the recent economic recession. When their relationships end, more men are recognizing the importance of establishing a firm foundation regarding parenting rights and settlement negotiations and that they need attorneys to navigate them through a complicated process.

Halle Berry to pay $16,000 per month in child support

Sources say that more-and-more men are seeking child custody and child support than ever before. Some of the change may be attributed to changes in household structures in recent years. Last year, the Pew Research Center said that 40 percent of American households with a child under the age of 18 include a mother as the sole or primary breadwinner. Other research shows a dramatic increase in fathers asserting their rights in child support and custody disputes in family court.

People from all walks of life who decide to divorce may deal with custody, visitation and support issues. Celebrity sightings in family court news seem fairly commonplace, but may shed light on the issues that people in Texas may face in family court. For instance, a child support or custody issue may arise between people who never married.

Melanie Griffith seeks physical custody of 17-year-old daughter

When news of a celebrity divorce arises, there often seems to be a great deal of discussion surrounding property settlement issues. Many high-profile cases generate discussions of prenuptial agreements, if any, or more direct conversions regarding assets that may be a part of the marital estates. But, when a couple in any walk of has a child (or children), the issues of child custody and support may be of paramount concern for a divorcing parent.

People in the greater Dallas area may have heard the Melanie Griffith has filed for divorce from Antonio Banderas. The two have been married for roughly 18 years and have a 17-year-old daughter. Although the daughter will turn 18 in September, Ms. Griffith is seeking to have the court rule on child support and custody issues.

Business ownership may make property division more complex

It is easy to think of the house, the car, investments and similar assets that may be addressed in a property division portion of a Texas divorce (the use of the singular form of the words car and house is intended for simplicity in the blog post - - many marriages have complex potential marital estates). There may be issues associated with work that can have impact in a property settlement; many people have retirement plans or pensions through work that may fall within the marital estate.

Taking the work concept a step further, what if a family business exists?

The issues can become more complex. There is no one-size-fits all definition of a family business when it comes to a divorce. Each business may have nuances, as each marriage may also have nuances.

Kids may feel pressures when Dallas area parents divorce

It is no secret that going through a divorce can be a draining experience. The breakup of the marriage can be associated with many emotions for a person seeking divorce. But, the issues involved in the settlement process are not necessarily confined to the two people who are separating. When a couple has children together, the divorce process may be felt by the kids, if parents are not cautious in how they handle the issues in front of the children.

Some kids may feel that the divorce is their fault. Parents should keep in mind that the children are children of each parent. Reassuring the kids that the divorce isn't fault of the children is an important concept that many commentators suggest should occur on a frequent basis. Similarly, changes in the household structure are generally inevitable after a divorce. Before the process is finalized, it may be difficult for parents to understand that the divorce can have impact on the kids throughout the process, before the papers are finalized.

Sherri Shepherd now facing two child custody disputes

Last week we discussed the potential complex family law issues that may arise in the divorce between Lamar Sally and Sherri Shepherd, a host of “The View.” Two separate proceedings have been filed in that divorce. Since our last post, news of the family law dispute has grown. While Mr. Sally and Ms. Shepherd have no children together, the couple is expecting a child this summer through a surrogate.

A child custody dispute is brewing in the dueling divorces between the estranged couple. In addition to that custody battle, it appears that Ms. Shepherd’s former husband is also seeking a modification of child custody related to that couple’s 9-year-old child.

'The View' host in coast to coast divorce cases

It did not take long for the issues to become more complex after Lamar Sally filed for separation from Sherri Shepherd. She is a host on the national television show, “The View.” She and Mr. Sally married in August 2011. The couple does not have any children together, although they are expecting a boy this summer through a surrogate.

News reports indicate that each party has filed papers in family court to end the nearly three-year marriage. But, the papers are not confined to a single jurisdiction. Ms. Shepherd apparently responded to the West Coast family court dispute by filing her own papers on the East Coast seeking divorce.

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