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Dallas Divorce Law Blog

What is a child conservatorship?

Texas labels child custody 'conservatorship" and calls parents 'conservators" instead of 'custodians." The terms describe parental responsibilities and rights. During a divorce, family court determines who will have conservatorship unless the parents reach an agreement about custody ahead of time. If the court makes a decision about conservatorship, they will look at what is in the best interests of the child.

The state has two types of conservatorship: sole managing and joint managing. Rights included in conservatorship include obtaining information about the child's well-being and education, access to important records regarding the child, permission to discuss the child's care with medical professionals and school officials, and the authority to grant emergency treatment to protect the child's safety.

"Gossip Girl" actress trying to keep her children in the U.S.

Texas "Gossip Girl" fans may have heard that Kelly Rutherford's two children were sent to live with the children's father and the actress's ex-husband on Aug. 13. However, this means that her children would be leaving the United States as her ex-husband was denied re-entry into the country.

In a statement made by the actress following the court hearing, she stated that it was not her who had gotten kicked out of the country. She claimed that the ruling made by the U.S. District Court failed to protect her rights and the rights of her children. In response, the judge stated that nay requests made by the actress's legal team to reverse the ruling would be denied. The two children, ages 5 and 7, were scheduled to leave the United States on Aug. 19. Both of the children are United States citizens.

Divorce finalized for movie stars Duchovny and Leoni

Texas residents who follow celebrity divorce may know that Tea Leoni and David Duchovny have ended their marriage. The star of 'Californication" and 'X-Files", his Golden Globe winning series, Duchovny, 54, filed for divorce in New York in June citing the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage according to court records.

The couple was married in 1997 and separated in 2008. Duchovny underwent treatment for a personal problem and, after several months, the couple were back together until 2011. They have two children.

Temporary restraining orders in Texas

Family members and spouses in Texas may be able to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse by learning more about the laws concerning temporary restraining orders in the state. According to Texas law, a spouse or court may grant a temporary restraining order without notice in the interest of preserving the property or for the protection of the petitioning party.

The temporary restraining order has a number of provisions, including limitations to prevent the law from prohibiting the petitioned party from engaging in reasonable acts towards conducting usual business, fulfilling employment obligation or affording living expenses. The temporary restraining order is designed to prevent one party from annoying, alarming or injuring the other. It is also designed to prevent one party from damaging, tampering or falsifying records about the property of the other party.

Renowned hedge fund founder files for divorce

The founder of a well-known hedge fund firm recently filed for divorce from his 43-year-old wife, citing 'irreconcilable differences." The 45-year-old husband is a billionaire, according to authorities, and his high-asset divorce may serve as an interesting example for nigh-net-worth couples in Texas considering divorce.

In the four-page divorce filing, the billionaire claims that his 11-year marriage suffered an 'irretrievable breakdown." The couple married in 2003, when they signed a prenuptial agreement. According to representatives for the 45-year-old husband, the agreement governs all marital issues, not excluding the division of both marital and non-marital property. However, authorities state that the divorce will not impact the finances of the hedge fund firm founded by the husband, which is worth an estimated $20 billion.

Parents charged with avoiding child support

For Texas law enforcement professionals, social media has made aspects of the job much easier. Recently, non-custodial parents who have claimed to not have enough money to pay adequate child support have been found to be contradicting themselves on their Facebook pages. When caught, these parents often face charges for avoiding payments. Some officials have noted that Facebook helps officers determine who has resources and who does not.

In one recent case, a man was ordered to pay $100 per month in child support. However, he only made a payment one time before stopping. Though he claimed he did not have sufficient resources, he was discovered to be posing next to large stacks of cash on his Facebook profile. The mother of his child said she believed that if the man could be flashing that much money, he could at least help to support their child.

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.

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