Monthly Archives: October 2019

In case you’re wondering what a post-nuptial agreement is, it’s basically just like a pre-marital agreement. The only difference is that pre-marital ones are signed before the marriage and post-nuptial ones are signed after the wedding. Usually, the motivation between a prenup agreement and a post-nuptial agreement are not the same. In Texas, you are allowed to sign a post-nuptial agreement that includes part or all of your community property. The separation of one spouse’s income or both spouse’s income is commonly a part of such agreements as well. This means that when you sign the agreement, you agree that your spouse’s income will be his or her separate property and your income will be yours as well. Furthermore, this means that if a divorce were to occur, your spouse will not be able to claim any part of that income. If you sign a prenup or a post-nuptial agreement, the court will not try to ‘meddle’ in your affairs at the time of your divorce, if you were to divorce. Turning Separate Property Into Community Estate If you want your separate property to be a part of your community property, you can also specify this condition in your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. When you sign the agreement, the separate property will automatically become part of the community estate. This is of course different from transferring the title of your property to your spouse. Requirements for Post-Nuptial Agreements So you think that you and your spouse are into this idea of signing a post-nuptial agreement. What must you do? First, you need to comply with the requirements set by the state of Texas. If you fail to meet these requirements, your post-nuptial agreement may not be considered valid and therefore cannot be enforced. So what do you need? The post-nuptial […]

What a Post-Nuptial Agreement Can Do For Your Family

tell you friends about the divorce
Divorce is a when expectation meets reality. The optimism in the wedding will be replaced by the grim reality of divorce. The couple who said their vows with dreamy eyes and words of forever are now in fierce negotiation. Awkward situations cannot be avoided as well. Needless to say, legal matters have to be sorted out first. Custody of the children, division of property, and visitation rights are of utmost concern. However, a couple doesn’t only have a common property and family, they have also built a network of friends together.   Who Should Know A divorce is not good news, but it is definitely BIG news. If you are a celebrity, the paparazzi will take care of the announcement. For most of us who are not tabloid fodder, we have a chance to select the people in the circle of knowledge.  Family members on both sides need to know. It’s not necessarily everyone who attended the wedding. Just let those whom you have actually interacted with as a couple know. This is so they can also act accordingly. For the friends of each ex-spouse, it is easy enough. The original friend should be tasked with informing their respective spheres of influence. For mutual friends, there is a chance for discernment, and there are many factors to consider. Perhaps the best barometer on whether a couple’s conjugal friends should be informed is how deep the relationship is. Casual friends that were met parties and big gatherings could be left off the list. There are exceptions to this rule, though.  If there is a possibility that you will have future interactions or transactions with these friends, then they should be informed. A real estate agent that you met at a birthday party with whom you have exchanged numbers with, or friends you […]

How to Tell Your Friends that You Are Getting Divorced

cheating on facebook
Social media has provided strong manifestations that resulted to taking steps into infidelity. According to the information gathered and analyzed by Mckinley Irvin, a Pacific Northwest family law firm, 1 out of 3 divorces has online affairs as the reason. The director of the Social Media Graduate Program at the University of Florida, Andrew Selepak said that social media makes cheating easier because the people have the tools to get in touch with the people from their past. This normally occurs when an old flame posts something on their profile such as their photo and it will pop out of the timeline of people, or normally, Facebook, through its algorithm, will suggest a person to become friends with “someone you may know.” Facebook is considered the “Tinder” of past significant others, or people one  briefly dated, according to Selepak.  However, social media also makes getting caught easier. Photos, posts, and messages leave a trail especially to someone is not knowledgeable in covering their social media tracks. Social media as evidence in divorce court In most cases, logging out of their account is something a cheating partner forgets to do. This leaves the door wide open for the other partner who is already suspicious which will enable him or her to gather all the evidence they need in the event that they do decide to file for divorce. A lot of lawyers nowadays who take on divorce cases uses social media, especially Facebook, as the main source for tracking down infidelity. A private investigator will be hired to gather the social media accounts of the client and get as much information from the social media of the opposing party as possible. A secret account, specific post, or simply a lead can all be found in one social media alone, which is […]

Facebook: Prevents or Causes Marital Infidelity?

change beneficiary texas
Divorce is even more difficult because of its practical implications. One of the important issues is revising the important policies and documents to manifest your new status. This includes the housekeeping of finances and updating legal instruments. In most cases, a person will name their spouse as their beneficiary. When a divorce takes place, it is only logical for them to want to change the designated beneficiary. It is crucial to know that beneficiaries can be changed either before the divorce or after its finalization only. The designations of beneficiaries cannot be changed during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Important Considerations There are a few important things to take into consideration as you gather your finances and legal instruments. These include knowing what needs to be changed and the laws involved, among other things. Documents to be Changed Gather all the documents and policies wherein you have your spouse as your primary beneficiary. Annuities Retirement accounts Pensions Life insurance policies Other accounts or plans Savings or checking accounts Time deposits Mutual funds Once you have gathered these documents, you can decide whether to change them or not. Discussing these accounts and policies with your divorce lawyer during the pendency of the divorce proceedings is important. Keeping records of revised beneficiary designations is important as they form part of your divorce files. How Texas Law Works There is an automatic removal of spouses as beneficiaries upon the finality of the divorce. If you forget to change your beneficiaries, your ex-spouse will not be able to inherit your assets upon your death. Absent any secondary or contingent beneficiary,  these assets will be inherited by your estate instead. If the division of your assets cannot be determined because you did not have an estate plan, the probate court shall determine the in […]

Post-Divorce Matters: Beneficiary Designations After Divorce

discovery cases
In a divorce proceeding, details and information are important; which is why discovery is part of the process. Issues like custody, child support, alimony and distribution of property can greatly affect the lives of everyone involved.  Information is important, both sides should be enlightened on the discovery. What is Discovery? Discovery simply refers to the acquisition of information pertinent to the case. If your lawyer needs information, he can send a request for discovery that he will use in the case. Some of the details may be: Details on the children Property and financial status (includes the assets and liabilities) Any clarifications on the allegations in the proceedings This is under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 194.  There are different types of discovery. Some of the more relevant types are: Request for Admission This request will require the parties to admit or deny the truth of certain statements. Respondents must respond within a certain time period, usually 30 days.  Sworn Inventory and Assessment This pertains to a list of all the assets that the requested party can recall. After a party submits a list, they may be asked to assign a value to the listed assets. Interrogatories This refers to a serious of questions addressed to the other party, requesting for detailed and truthful answers. Questions include anything deemed important in the divorce proceedings: Details about the employment status amount of money in the bank accounts; Financial institutions wherein the party in question has money stored or invested. This is not as limited as a list of assets and liabilities.  Request for Production and Inspection This is one of the more sensitive discovery requests. It is a request for the other party to produce documents in order for the requesting party to inspect them. This could be bank documents, […]

Discovery of Information in Texas Divorce Cases

CPS Parent Resource Guide Cover 1
One of the first mistakes I see people make at the beginning of this process is to immediately try to figure out “who reported me”. The bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter, and it often can do you a disservice to focus on that issue rather than the more relevant issues of “what should I do next”. The other thing I would add to this section is not to get bogged down in the language that is used, as the CPS definitions of words is often different from legal definitions, which is different still from normal usage. The one word that does get used consistently across all the categories for the most part, though, is “safety”. Ultimately, the reasons CPS gets involved boil down to safety, and your arguments should reflect that. Sometimes CPS themselves get distracted from their ultimate goal as a result of bureaucracy, and a very effective tactic is utilizing the word “safety” against them. It is their burden to show how each of their actions furthers the goal of keeping your children safe, and it is the type of question that when asked non-aggressively, can actually get them to think twice sometimes. Worst case scenario, even if you can’t convince CPS of your position, a judge will want to hear about your plans to keep the child safe. If the only options are “maintain the status quo” or “CPS’s plan”, often a judge can feel forced to go with CPS’s plan simply because they believe the status quo is unsafe. However, if you can come up with an alternative plan, it shows that you are putting your children first, are willing to make compromises, and understand the seriousness of the situation. That can give a judge a reason to give a second chance where […]

CPS Parent Resource Guide Part 3: How Did I Get Here?

custody home
There are many cases wherein one of the parents is struggling financially that they can’t buy their own home. In custody cases, the court considers what is best for the child. There is no denying that children need a home and a financially stable custodian. Children have needs and they will, of course, be totally dependent. Home as a basic need One of a child’s basic needs is a need for a home. Having a home is an indication of financial stability. A home will also ensure the child’s security. It is important that a child will grow in a good and safe environment. While having your own home is not a definite requirement for getting child custody, it can definitely increase your chances of winning custody. The judge will always base his or her decision on the child’s best interest. It is not the only deciding factor It is clear that having your own home is an advantage in custody cases. However, this is not the only deciding factor. There are many other factors to consider. Say, for example, you don’t have your own home, instead, you live with your parents. It offers a good and safe environment for your child. On the other hand, even if your ex-spouse has his or her own home, but the environment is not safe for the child, he or she will not win custody. The court will also determine who is fit to take care of the child among many other considerations. Considerations for an Acceptable Living Situation The required acceptable living situation is based on the individual circumstances of both the parent and the child. The factors will differ depending on the state, the court, and sometimes, the judge. For instance, if the child and the parent are of the opposite […]

I Don’t Have My Own Place— Can I Win Custody?

The best way to begin a relationship is having open communication and full disclosure. One of the great tools in achieving open communication and full disclosure is having an antenuptial or prenuptial agreement. This helps in setting up realistic expectations in the relationship. What is an Antenuptial Agreement? An antenuptial agreement (prenuptial agreement or prenup) is an agreement entered between parties who are about to get married. It is effective upon the celebration of their marriage. It is about matters between the spouses in cases of divorce or death of one of them. Requirements of an Antenuptial Agreement A prenuptial agreement in Texas has to meet a few requirements to be a valid and enforceable contract. It must be in writing; Signed by both parties; The agreement is negotiated for contracting a marriage; Voluntarily entered into by each party; Based on a fair and full disclosure of each party’s assets and liabilities; and It must not be in heavily in favor of one party only. Reasons Why You Should Get a Prenuptial Agreement Family pressure of the partner who is more financially well-off; Protection for the benefit of the children from past relationships; A great disparity in wealth and/or income of the partners; and  Safekeeping of a certain asset.  If future in-laws want a prenup for their child, it is likely that the couple would get one. The couple should work together to draw up provisions in the agreement. If any of the parties cannot find a balance between their interests of the other and influential factors in his or her life, this may be considered a warning sign of his or her possible behavior throughout the marriage.

Setting the Tone of Marriage Through Postnuptial Agreements