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Dallas Divorce Law Blog

Process for divorcing in Texas

When the marriage of a Texas couple is coming to an end, the process of divorce may seem bewildering and daunting. Understanding the basic requirements and the court procedure can help allay some of the fears people may have when they are contemplating a divorce.

The first hurdle that must be met is that the state must have jurisdiction over the matter. This requirement is met as long as one or both spouses have resided in Texas for at least six months. Then, the person who will file must select the grounds under which he or she will be doing so. Most people opt to file a no-fault divorce on grounds of insupportability. Some, however, choose a fault-based ground, such as adultery, a spouse that has been convicted of a felony, a spouse that has been institutionalized, cruelty or that the pair have been living apart for six months or more.

Understanding the implications of dividing a 401(k) in divorce

Texas residents who are seeking a divorce may be interested in the issues surrounding one type of property that can be divided when the marriage ends. Due to the potential tax issues surrounding the division of retirement accounts, care should be taken in ensuring that the process is followed correctly.

When a married couple divorces, there are many questions that must be resolved, either by agreement or through a judge's decision. Some of the biggest questions have to do with asset division, particularly in high-asset divorce cases. When one or both of the ex-spouses have a retirement plan, like a 401(k), this asset may be subject to division.

Texas law allows support order modifications

Many Texas residents may be party to child support and custody orders. Over time, changing circumstances for both parents and the children involved may result in a need to modify the standing orders, and the process for seeking a modification requires filing an action with the courts.

The first step to modification involves filing a petition with the court. The children's parents and anyone who is affected by the order is eligible to files such a petition. These petitions are typically filed in the office where the original support and custody orders were filed, but in cases where the family has moved to a new county, it may be possible to transfer the case to a new office. After the petition is filed, the other involved parties must be notified.

The Jenners reach a divorce settlement

The buzz surrounding the Kris and Bruce Jenner divorce had many wondering how long the process would drag out. After separating in October 2013, the couple waited nearly a year before filing for divorce in California in September 2014. Avoiding the stereotypical lengthy and ugly divorce that many celebrities endure, the couple worked together to complete the process within three months.

It has been reported that Kris is retaining the home in Calabasas that was featured in their reality show, several cars, her bank accounts and all partnerships and business interests in her name. Bruce will retain ownership of any properties in his name, several cars, a Harley Davidson and half the value of any joint bank accounts. The couple mutually agreed to divide their personal possessions such as jewelry, home furnishings, appliances and artwork.

Is a protective order still valid if I move to another state?

A protective order that was granted in Texas is valid in every state and tribal court in the United States. In addition, all US territories must enforce a protective order that was issued in Texas. Under the federal Violence Against Women Act, all courts must treat protective orders with 'full faith and credit".

Because protective orders are valid in any state, an individual who has been the victim of domestic violence can feel free to move to another state without the need to petition the court for another protective order. However, the individual should make sure that the protective order that was issued is valid under federal law before they move.

The custody and visitation rights of grandparents

There are many situations that can lead Texas grandparents to seek custody or visitation rights with their grandchild. In some cases, the child may live with the grandparent and the grandparent wants a custody order so he or she can assert rights to such things as child support and other benefits. In other cases, a child's biological custodial parent may be preventing the child from having contact with the child's grandparents and the grandparents want court-ordered visitation so they can continue their relationship.

Whatever the circumstances may be, when grandparents believe that they need a custody or visitation order regarding a grandchild, Texas law allows the grandparents to file a petition in court in order to request it. Under the law, such petitions are allowed if the request is in the child's best interests and one of several conditions apply.

Divorce rate is dropping, some say

People in Texas considering marriage might be encouraged to learn that the divorce rate is dropping, according to authorities. A recent analysis of statistics indicates that certain unprecedented factors in the 1970s and 1980s may have caused an abnormal spike in divorce rates that ultimately resulted in the popular assumption that half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.

Authorities purport that the feminism movement some four decades ago might be to blame for the increase in divorces during the 1970s and 1980s. Changing gender roles and the advent of women's reproductive rights had a profound effect on the institution of marriage, reportedly. However, a shift in cultural values among modern Americans, including the idea of delaying marriage and the acceptance of premarital cohabitation, is countering that effect, authorities say.

What is in the best interest of the child in a divorce?

One of the most important considerations for Texas parents who are going through a divorce is doing what is in the best interest of the child. Keeping the child's best interest in mind makes a difference when it comes to possession, visitation and other issues concerning the child's care. Although child welfare is always the court's main consideration, there are several factors taken into account that influence a child's living arrangements and interaction with the non-custodial parent, when applicable.

The primary determining factors include what type of child custody arrangement is best for the child and which parent has the best resources for the child's care. State law summarizes the criteria that a judge or court uses in order for parents to understand their obligations.

How divorce affects an inheritance

One of the issues that frequently comes up in Texas property division cases is whether an ex-spouse has a share in inheritance funds acquired during the marriage. In many cases, the use of the funds after receipt has a lot to do with whether division becomes an issue.

Although Texas is a community property state, money from an inheritance is separate from marital property. However, if the funds were deposited into a joint bank account or otherwise commingled, the funds become community property. People who wish to prevent the division of inheritance money are advised to put these funds in a separate account.

Do unmarried fathers have the right to prevent an adoption?

Parents in Texas may benefit from learning more about the rights that unmarried fathers are typically afforded. In order to have parental rights, unmarried fathers may be required to establish paternity and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to parenting their child. In order to prevent a child from being given up for adoption, an unmarried father will need to have already established and acknowledged paternity. Fathers who do not establish paternity may not have any rights over the child.

If an unmarried father waits too long to establish paternity, a family judge may perceive the delay as a lack of commitment to the child. In regards to preventing an immediate adoption, some courts may expect an unmarried father to establish paternity before childbirth. Unmarried fathers who find out they have a child after the adoption has already been finalized may be left with no recourse.

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