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Dallas Family Law Blog

What is rebuttable presumption?

When couples in Texas get divorced, you're left having to deal with new financial issues. You may need to figure out how to support a household while taking care of children and working a job, or you may need to decide how your spousal support payments will work. Lisa E. McKnight PC, is here to help you navigate these waters.

The first thing to know is that there are new laws in Texas that are much kinder to groups of people who were struggling under the former laws. These groups include those who are suffering from disabilities, are out of the workforce, have suffered from domestic violence, or must now be the sole provider for a child suffering from disabilities. The laws are now less restrictive in terms of spousal support maintenance. Changes to the law include a longer period of receiving payment, and the nullification of needing a 10 year marriage to qualify for support payments.

You may be eligible for spousal maintenance following divorce

You have finally decided to file divorce papers, and you feel ready to move on with your own life. However, as you realize the reality of your financial situation, you begin to worry about how divorce will impact you monetarily long term.

In certain situations, you may be eligible to receive spousal maintenance, or alimony, under Texas law. However, the Lone Star State has eligibility requirements that you must meet before you can receive support payments following divorce.

Child custody, parents and disgreements

Texas, like other states, enforces its own set of guidelines surrounding child custody arrangements. Despite these laws, many parents find themselves in tricky situations. What will the new schedule be like? Will parents work well together after the divorce is said and done? Perhaps most pressing of all, should the child decide where to live after the separation, or should parents and courts have a stronger hand in the matter?

One article from Psychology Today provides a scope into the topic of letting children decide child custody plans. Some children, after spending months going back and forth between parents, become frustrated with the process. This can pose a difficult situation, as parents often must deal with a child's prefence of living in one home over another. Psychology Today recognizes that dividing children during a divorce is one of the most challenging steps of the process. Some experts suggest that courts should revisit child custody arrangements every two years; doing so can ensure that everyone involved is comfortable with the plan. 

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, 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.