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September 2012 Archives

Wife seeks divorce after surviving murder attempt

When couples are faced with domestic violence, many times the most appropriate response is to consider divorce. This is because some forms of domestic violence, if not all, can be so destructive as to leave one or both parties with no way to reestablish the marriage on healthy terms.

'Facts of Life' star files for divorce after long-term marriage

Texas TV viewers may remember the 80's sitcom "The Facts of Life." One star of that show, Lisa Whelchel, who played the wealthy Blair Warner, can now be seen on the hit TV show "Survivor: Philippines."

Kidnapped child readjusting to life with his family

Miguel was an infant when he was allegedly kidnapped by his babysitter. This past March authorities found him in East Texas and eight years after his disappearance, he was reunited with his biological parents in Houston. For now, Miguel is in foster care. His parents are working with therapists and psychologists to reacclimatize the boy to his real family, with the goal of obtaining permanent custody. Miguel has never known his mom and dad; the only family he knew was the babysitter who allegedly snatched him in 2004, and her mother.

Texas man fights to recover his daughter from overseas

Maybe the third time will be the charm for a Plano father embroiled in an international custody battle. Two courts have already rebuffed his efforts to bring a child custody case against his ex-fiancé, and now he is asking a federal appeals court in Dallas to step in. The former girlfriend and the couple's three year-old daughter are living in the United Kingdom; kidnapped, the man says, by the child's mother. He has been fighting for almost two years to bring his child home.

Texas turns up the heat on deadbeat parents

The hunt for parents behind on their child support payments continues unabated, and this month the hammer fell on Travis County delinquents. Constables and agents from the Attorney General's office are fanning out in search of hundreds of non-custodial parents who have missed court dates or are behind on their obligations. Officials say billions of dollars in back payments are outstanding, a terrible burden for custodial parents trying to feed the children and keep a roof over their heads in this tough economy.

Care and attention better than gifts for kids following divorce

Sometimes, parents feel guilty toward their children following a divorce, which may have given rise to some negative emotions. Often the temptation for parents, whether they have child custody or visitation rights, is to reach for a quick and easy fix by buying children presents, perhaps lavish ones. The truth is that children will benefit more from increased care and attention from a parent than from a gift of the latest electronic gizmo or expensive clothes. Additionally, children often know what is going on, and may think you are trying to buy their affection and approval with bribes.

Texas trooper who stalked, impersonated ex-wife online sentenced

While many divorces are mutual agreements to end a failing marriage, often one spouse is reluctant or refuses to accept the decision. The negative feelings people have when a spouse requests a divorce can range from depression to extreme bitterness and anger. In some cases, these feelings can lead people to cause harm to their spouse, such as with domestic violence or other illegal activity.

Spending time with dad may be good for kids' self-esteem

We often discuss on this blog the benefits of having both parents actively involved in their children's lives. Divorce can make this much more difficult, of course, but according to a new study, maintaining a good relationship with children in their early adolescent years is especially beneficial. And quality time spent with fathers, the study found, is especially good for kids' self-esteem.

Child support programs help debtors in Texas, across U.S.

Helping non-custodial parents who are delinquent in their child support payments may seem like an unsavory proposition, but some groups are making efforts to correct unfair collection policies that victimize financially disadvantaged parents. These local events, which offer amnesty for non-paying parents, are beneficial to large groups of debtors. Still, some government agencies are trying to come down with even heavier sanctions on overdue debtors, which could cause even more problems for this vulnerable population.

Mediation can lessen emotional, financial costs of divorce

We all know those married couples, and maybe you're a member of one: the pair that seems so unhappy and stressed out by their marriage, but sticks together because they're afraid of the life-changing upheaval that divorce appears to cause. Many Texans can identify with this state of being. They may not like the stigma of divorce or the idea of a drawn-out battle that emotionally damages their children. And divorce often comes not only with emotional costs, but financial hurdles that seem better left uncrossed. Sometimes being unhappy feels like the lesser of two evils, the other being financially unstable.