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Dallas Family Law Blog

What property is exempt from asset division?

As a divorcing couple, you will need to be up to date with all of the latest Texan laws regarding divorce and property. Who will get the home? What about other big purchases like vehicles or electronics? Lisa E. McKnight, PC, will help you determine everything you need to know about the matter.

First of all, joint property is what is largely being discussed when people talk about splitting up assets during a divorce. This means things that you and your spouse bought together, or things that were funded by your joint assets. In many cases, separate property is not brought into the equation.

What issues may fathers fighting for parental rights face?

As a Texan father, you have certain parental rights. Unfortunately, these rights might sometimes be called into question, especially if you're in a strained relationship with the mother of your child. Lisa E. McKnight, PC, is here to help you protect your parenting rights even in the face of such hardships.

Unfortunately for fathers like you, there are a number of different ways that circumstances can be stacked against you when fighting for parental rights. For example, if you're with the military or air force, you likely have odd schedules and may travel a lot. This can be used against you by a spouse who is trying to gain primary custody of the children, and the court may find it to be a bad living situation for your children to be a part of. 

Do your family law needs call for a restraining order?

Unfortunately, sometimes the relationship between two people devolves into one in which one of the partners is the victim of domestic violence. If you are the victim of abuse or harassment by an intimate partner, you may want to know how you can protect yourself legally from further harm. Survivors of domestic violence have several types of protection available to them.

These types of protection are known as orders of protection and restraining orders. When police or court officials grant a restraining order in Texas, the person must cease all harassment as outlined in the order. If the person violates the order, they face criminal penalties for his or her actions. If you believe that your partner's actions could be endangering your child, an order or protection can cover your child as well.

The costliest celebrity divorces and lessons learned

For the average Texan, a divorce can finalize a long and grueling period of discontent. It can also signal the beginning of a long and challenging road ahead. While these sentiments are often true among the divorces of celebrities, the lives they live as a whole often make marital dissolutions more complex. How expensive can celebrity divorces really be, and can the average, working-class couple learn anything about the divorce stories of the famous? 

Business Insider is quick to inform readers that celebrity marital break-ups are no small matter. In fact, some of the most expensive celebrity divorces cost tens of millions, and in some cases, even more. Cofounders of Black Entertainment Television Bob and Sheila Johnson, for example, involved the divorce of billionaires; Sheila Johnson walked away with $400 million. The most expensive celebrity divorce, however, was between Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein in 1999, resulting in $3.8 billion.

What should you know about the Hague Convention?

If your child has been abducted, it's a terrifying experience, even if you know who the abductor is. Fortunately, Texan parents like you have the Hague Convention to rely on if you're in this horrific situation.

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has an informational page on the Hague Convention and how it applies to you. The Hague Convention is an agreement between multiple different nations, the purpose of which is to protect intercountry adoptions and combat international abductions. Under this convention, all involved nations will have a procedure which will allow them to quickly locate and return any abducted child.

Why is a prenuptial agreement so important?

You may be one of those people who are fascinated by the rich and famous. When royalty announces an engagement, the press may inquire aloud whether the couple will sign a prenuptial agreement. When a celebrity marriage breaks up, the first questions often concern the existence and validity of a prenup.

However, prenuptial agreements are not exclusively for actors and princesses. You may be surprised to learn that many ordinary people find such contracts a comforting and stabilizing factor in their relationships. If you are considering getting married, there may be numerous reasons why a prenuptial agreement may benefit you.

How does a felony affect child custody?

When you have a felony on your record in Texas, you may not always consider how this will affect your child custody. Usually your particular situation determines whether you can have custody of your child.

Sometimes you can retain custody of child if your felony did not harm your child in some way. According to Livestrong.com, a court usually considers your child's best interests. If you were convicted of a fraud charge, you can typically still continue to make decisions for your child since this particular felony brought no direct harm to your child. Additionally, if you keep your record clean, it is usually easier to keep your current child custody arrangement.

What men should know about adopting their stepchildren

When you get married in Texas, your new wife may have children from a previous marriage. In some situations, you may want to adopt these children. We at Lisa E. McKnight, PC, understand you usually have many questions about this process.

There are a few things you usually need to take into consideration when you want to adopt your stepchildren. FindLaw says that you typically need the consent of the children's birth father. Once this parent gives his consent, he usually terminates his parental rights. While some fathers may not be willing to give this consent, others may realize that the adoption will be good for the children. Sometimes you may need to go through several home visits so a court can determine that adoption is truly in the best interests of your stepchildren.

Resolve child custody issues with a parenting agreement

The thought of going through the divorce process with your spouse may understandably be heartbreaking. However, even more heartbreaking may be the realization that your children may suffer negative impacts by the breakup of your marriage.

Fortunately, most cases involving child custody in Texas are resolved before they have to proceed to court. This is possible through informal negotiations or another alternative to traditional divorce litigation, such as mediation. During these processes, you and your future ex-spouse can work on putting together a parenting agreement that satisfies you both.

Effective co-parenting for fathers

When Texas residents get a divorce, they are typically still involved in their children's lives. It is important for fathers to understand how they and their ex-spouse can effectively co-parent and create a positive environment for their children.

One important aspect of co-parenting is communication. According to U.S. News, fathers should usually communicate frequently with their ex-spouses, and it is generally best if they are open with each other. Some people may want to send emails when they learn important information about their children's school schedules and extracurricular activities. Sometimes it might be beneficial to meet weekly or speak on the telephone so ex-spouses are always on the same page.