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Dallas Divorce Law Blog

The role of the calendar in Texas divorce cases

Findings to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association suggests divorce may be seasonal. After looking at divorce filings in the state of Washington from 2001 to 2015, researchers found the filings increased in March and August. The increase in August may be caused by parents who want to have the divorce finalized before the start of the new school year.

The March spike may be explained by the fact that the days start to get longer during that part of the year. Longer days are thought to inspire people to take action such as getting a divorce. Furthermore, couples who may have wanted to divorce immediately after the Christmas holiday season may finally have the money or have worked up the courage to do so.

Men's work statuses correlated with divorce risk

Many Texans file for divorce each year. When people marry, they generally do so without thinking about the possibility that their marriages might fail. There are multiple factors that can lead to divorces, and a study highlights the role that work status plays.

According to a Harvard University researcher, there is no relationship between the working status of women in marriages that took place after 1975 and divorce risk. Women who were married prior to that year did have higher risks of divorcing if they performed fewer household tasks, meaning that for older marriages, the risk goes up for marriages in which the woman doesn't fulfill the traditional homemaker role. For modern women, the lack of a relationship between their work statuses and divorce risks means that it doesn't matter if they have a job or instead choose to stay home.

The primary caregiver role and child custody decisions

Texans who are having problems working out residential custody arrangements with their children's other parents may find it necessary to file petitions in family court. People who do so might wonder how judges make decisions about who will be given primary residential custody of their children.

Judgeshave a tendency to favor parents who have been their children's primary caregivers. This is because psychologists believe that having a close bond with primary caregivers is important for healthy child development. In order to determine which parent has served as a child's primary caregiver, the court may look at evidence about which parent clothed, fed, bathed and dressed the child. The judge may also consider which parent met with teachers, attended extracurricular activities and involved his or her child in leisure activities.

Flexibility in divorce

Divorce affects many families in Texas and throughout the United States. The rate of divorce is still about 50 percent, and the process can be very draining both emotionally and financially. Thankfully, there are options.

When a couple is considering getting divorced, they can choose among litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce, and uncontested divorce. In litigation, one person files the divorce petition, and both parties will usually have attorneys to represent them. The attorneys strive to get their clients the best possible resolution to matters such as alimony, custody and child support.

Anticipating divorce and financial planning

Most married couples plan on being together forever, so it is not always easy for them to consider the possibility of divorce in the future. However, not being prepared might lead to a more precarious financial situation after a split.

One of the ways couples prepare financially has to do with their retirement plans. In most cases, retirement planning is not balanced between both couples. If divorce does occur in the future, one of the spouses might find themselves with less money than they anticipated. Financial experts recommend anticipating a divorce when planning for retirement in order to make good choices ahead of time. Such planning can ensure that both spouses will remain financially secure.

Prenup nixed in immigrant divorce case

Alimony disputes and other divorce-related matters are not uncommon in Texas courts. Prenuptial agreements often play a role in the outcome of these disputes as two parties bring their marriage to an end. While a legally executed prenup could limit the rights of the spouse with less money at the end of a marriage, other contracts related to the relationship could come into play. This was the case with a Turkish woman who married a U.S. citizen of Turkish origin.

In sponsoring his wife-to-be to come to the U.S., the man agreed to provide sufficient support to keep her income above 125 percent of the poverty level. The couple also worked out a prenuptial agreement prior to marrying, agreeing to forgo any alimony in the event of divorce. The husband in this case had a net worth of approximately $5 million at the time of the marriage.

How to choose a mediator for a divorce

Texas couples who are going through a divorce may have decided to hire a mediator, but they might also have questions about how to choose the right one. The first question a couple should ask themselves is whether they trust the mediator. This includes trusting the mediator's empathy as well as the mediator's process. A mediator should not discourage the couple from seeking legal assistance.

The mediator should be someone who primarily works in family and divorce mediation. This should be 100 percent or the vast majority of the mediator's background. The mediator should also have formal training in dispute resolution or mediation. This means that a short course in mediation is not sufficient. A law degree is not either although it can be an excellent addition to training as a mediator.

Cuoco and Sweeting are finally divorced

Texans who are fans of Kelly Cuoco or Ryan Sweeting may be interested in learning that the couple's divorce was finalized on May 6. The two was married for almost two years and engaged in nine months of settlement negotiations.

According to sources, Ms. Cuoco will pay Mr. Sweeting $165,000 in two installments. She also will pay his attorney fees up to $55,000 and a legal services bill he reportedly owes that is almost $10,000. She will not be ordered to pay any additional spousal support.

Social media use can be bad for divorcing spouses

A person who is going through a divorce in Texas may want to think twice before posting personal information on social media. Off-the-cuff social media posts and photos can be misinterpreted, taken out of context and used as damning evidence in contentious divorce hearings.

Many people update their social media pages every day. When a person makes frequent social media posts containing information about where they are, what they are doing and whom they are with, these posts become like a public diary or logbook. If a divorcing parent wants to paint a negative picture of their soon-to-be ex-spouse in a child custody hearing, they could find some choice partying photos from social media. People who are pursuing modifications to decrease the child support or alimony they are paying may not want to post photos of themselves on lavish vacations that could prove to the judge that they can afford it.

Facts about child support

Child support is an issue that is sometimes misunderstood. Texas parents may be interested in knowing some basic facts about it and how it can affect children and families.

Paternity must be established before a court can order a man to pay child support. While paternity of the husband is assumed in most states if the couple was married at the time of the child's birth, an unmarried mother must have it proven if the father does not voluntarily agree to it. The local child support enforcement office can be of assistance in this regard.

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