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Dallas Family Law Blog

What is common law marriage?

If you currently live with someone in Texas, it may surprise you to discover that the two of you could be legally married even though you never had a wedding ceremony or got a marriage license. The reason for this is that Texas is one of the 16 states that recognizes common law marriage.

Per marriage.org, the doctrine of common law marriage dates back to the common law of England. Under this doctrine, a consenting couple can, under certain circumstances, establish their own legal marriage without benefit of the state or any religion.

Building a strong post-divorce support system for your children

Chances are, your children have friends whose parents are divorced or are currently navigating the process. While this fact may not resolve all your problems related to your current divorce circumstances, it shows that you are definitely not alone in your struggle and may even provide the first building blocks of a strong support network as well.  

Talking to other Texas parents who can relate to your situation may point you toward helpful ideas regarding ways to help your children cope and adapt to their new lifestyle in as healthy a manner as possible. It's true that your divorce will have a strong impact on your kids' lives; however, that doesn't necessarily have to mean they will never come to terms with the situation. While you're helping your children, it's also a good idea to secure your own line of support.  

Why should you get a paternity test?

As a father who lives in Dallas, you may be considering getting a paternity test done. There are a number of questions to ask yourself, such as how a paternity test's results can personally impact you and what the potential benefits may be. Here are just a few of the different reasons that other fathers just like you have gone through paternity testing.

BRT Laboratories takes a look at some of the top reasons people get a paternity test done. Dealing with child support and custody is one of them, since you can only seek custody as a biological parent and are required to make child support payments only as a biological parent. Children who are adopted may also wish to find their biological parents through DNA testing.

New trends in marriage and divorce

Many people in Texas who are dating or even who are already married may often be concerned about the possibility of getting divorced. This is understandable yet some new research sheds a different view on the trends in marriage and divorce, at least for spouses in some generations.

Big Think reports that the divorce rate among people who are at least 50 years old has been on the rise for some time now. In 1990, one out of every 10 divorced persons was over 50. Today, 25 percent of divorced people are 50 years of age or older. Many of these people are even getting divorced for the second or subsequent time and the fact that they have been divorced previously may well be a contributing factor to their recent divorces as remarriages are known to have a higher failure rate.

Using a prenuptial agreement to strengthen your marriage

You already said yes to the engagement, picked your wedding party and sent out the invitations. Other than a few last-minute details, there is not much left to do before the wedding, right? If you are like other couples in Texas, you probably overlooked a fairly important topic -- the prenuptial agreement. 

Prenups may not seem like the most romantic thing in the world, but they can provide a number of legal and emotional benefits. If like many other people you still believe that prenups are un-romantic documents reserved for the super wealthy, you will probably be surprised to learn about how they can help virtually everyone. 

Hurdles that are unique to older divorcees

Older couples in Texas have been getting divorces at higher rates than ever before in recent years. This is a nation-wide trend. However, while nothing outwardly differentiates a gray divorce from an average divorce, these older divorcees will be facing some unique hurdles that younger couples will likely be able to avoid.

According to CNBC, a gray divorce can be a game-changer in terms of a person's financial future. Older couples simply don't have as much time to bounce back as a younger couple might. They could be cutting deeply into their retirement funds if the divorce is costly. A person could also be risking a monetary cushion that may have been viewed as entirely reliable, the pension plan or retirement savings of the spouse.

How do you recognize an abusive relationship?

When you are in a relationship in Texas, you may find it difficult to believe that your partner is abusive. However, people from any background can find themselves affected by domestic violence and it is important to be able to recognize the signs.

There are many signs that your partner might be abusive. HelpGuide.org says that an abusive partner might be controlling. He or she may try to keep you from visiting with your family and friends and try to control the things you do and the places you go. This person may also call or text you during the day to find out what you are doing and where you are. Another sign of domestic violence is the way your partner speaks to you. An abusive partner may blame you for his or her behavior or criticize you frequently.

Understanding the process for initiating a divorce in Texas

You have finally decided to end your marriage, and a feeling of relief comes over you as a result. However, your first question is, how exactly do you get a divorce in Texas?

The process you use to end your marriage in the Lone Star State will depend on a number of factors, including why you are breaking up and whether you have children. Here is a look at some of the potential options you may have for your divorce:

Are high asset divorces complicated?

You and your spouse may find that under divorce laws in Texas, the joint assets that you enjoyed together can become a source of headaches during a divorce. The higher your assets are, the more potential troubles you could run into as the litigation involved becomes more and more complex.

FindLaw considers divorces involving high assets to be complex divorce cases. This is due to the fact that the litigation involved is extremely detailed and can often times be confusing to the people involved. For example, many couples with high assets are involved in business together. Many more also share bank accounts. This can make the process of detangling your finances very complicated. It can also raise questions of who actually has legal say over certain aspects of your shared assets.

Where is Elian Gonzalez today?

You may remember the heartbreaking case several years ago involving a young Cuban immigrant, Elian Gonzalez, and the bitter custody battle between the boy’s father and his relatives in America. Like many other Texans, you may wonder how he is doing today.

As you may recall, Elian made it to the U.S. during a harrowing ordeal, in which the boat he was on with his mother sank. His mother drowned, as CNN recaps, but authorities rescued the 6-year-old boy and took him to relatives in Florida. Immigration officials granted permission for the boy to be returned to his father in Cuba, but his Florida family refused to hand him over. During an armed confrontation with federal agents, the frightened boy was taken from his relatives and returned to Cuba, capturing the public’s attention and heart and dividing many.