Family Law


prenup
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   Recently updated !


Grandparent Rights 1
Grandparent rights are one of the areas of family law that seems to be constantly evolving. At the moment, in terms of custody, a grandparent really doesn’t have a significant legal advantage over anyone else. Most of the determination goes primarily to substantial past contact with the child, and the child’s best interest. One could argue that there is always somewhat of an unspoken understanding that a child staying attached to their biological family is preemptively better, and I would agree, but that is really only codified at the moment as to the parents, and not the grandparents. It wasn’t always this way, there used to be more specific standing for grandparents to seek custody, but over time, things have shifted to favor the place and people with whom the child has had the most contact. The first thing to take away from this as a grandparent is that it is important to maintain constant contact with your grandchildren if you want to protect that right. The more attached you and your grandchild are, the easier it will be to show how it is in the child’s best interest to be in your custody. If you haven’t seen your grandchild in a year or two, and it comes to a situation where a judge is making decisions on where a child lives, they are very reluctant to send children to live with people who the child may not know as well. The second thing to take away, is there is no inherent part of the legal process that involves grandparents in a custody process. If you want to be involved, for the most part you need to be active in asserting your rights. The earlier the better! This may mean hiring an attorney, or at least consulting with one. There […]

Grandparent Rights in Texas   Recently updated !



quill pen
This is just a quick introductory post to let everyone know what I intend to do with this blog. There are a couple purposes, one of which is occasionally I see an issue that intrigues me, or that I simply want to rant a bit about. Another reason is that I see a lot of people confused about various family law issues that could be easily answered in a few minutes. Many of these people don’t even really need an attorney, and hopefully this blog might help them be better educated about some topics. Additionally, some people think they know more than they do, and this blog might help them question that belief and either do more research on their own, or consult an attorney. Things may change as time goes on, but hopefully this will be a good source of information for the public. If anyone sees information they disagree with or think is wrong, please write a comment about it or send me a message. I will read it, I promise! I am also not infallible by any stretch of the imagination, and the quicker I correct my mistakes the better. Just to note, this blog is designed solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice of any kind. If there are any suggestions for what types of things people would like to see posts about, let me know and I will try to accommodate. Until then, ill try to get some posts up as soon as I can!

Welcome to the Texas Family Law Blog!


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Divorce is difficult, but not all divorces are created equally.  Here in Austin and Greater Metro Area, more and more people are choosing to resolve their family law issues via the collaborative process.  Collaborative divorce is a method of dispute resolution where the spouses agree from the beginning that they are each going to retain attorneys who will work as settlement specialists and who will not engage in court battles. Here are the top 5 reasons any Texas couple considering a split should choose collaborative divorce:   Privacy Rather than have their dirty laundry aired in a public courthouse, spouses going through a collaborative divorce resolve all issues through privileged and confidential discussions in a private conference room. This can be especially important for business-owners, professionals, and high-profile Florida residents who are concerned about the public release of either financial details or embarrassing personal shortcomings.   Respect By its very nature, divorces that go through the court system are adversarial.  They pit husband versus wife, mother versus father, as each side tries to prove to a judge that he or she is a better parent or deserves more money.  In contrast, collaborative divorce is a team-based method of conflict resolution, where attorneys help the spouses attack the problem rather than attack one another.  The attorneys help foster an atmosphere of respect and dignity within discussions. Parents and their children (whether minor or adult) are the ones who benefit the most from this aspect of collaborative divorce, as though the marriage is ending, the relationship as co-parents will continue.   Efficiency Ninety percent or more of all divorce cases end up settling, whether before filing a petition for dissolution of their marriage or after the parties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years going through trial but right before a […]

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Collaborative Divorce



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One thing is for certain, if you want to avoid the complications from issues associated with community property, you need to know more about it. When you have ample knowledge of how it works and how to manage it properly, you’d be able to avoid the nasty complications of community property issues. If you are thinking of or in the process of getting a divorce, you might have come across ‘community property.’ These two words can play a huge role in your divorce but you may not know it quite well yet. A lot of questions should be on your mind when you cross paths with community property for the first time. For example, questions like: “How should I know which ones are community property and which aren’t?” “Is everything in the house considered as community property?” “Is it possible to have properties with you as the sole owner?” Separate Property and Community Property When you are asking about stuff that you can call ‘yours alone,’ you can refer to that as separate property. Basically, according to the Texas Family Code, separate property are things that are owned by one spouse before the marriage. It can also be a property that one spouse received as a gift or inheritance during the course of the marriage, and recovery of personal losses and injuries. It might sound so complicated so we’ll make it simpler for you. Anything you own before you got married, any gifts or any property or money you acquired from a lawsuit is separate property – meaning, it’s totally yours. Your spouse will not have any rights to such properties in the event that you decide to go for a divorce. Now that you know what separate property is, understanding community property is much easier. Community property refers to […]

How to Effectively Guard Yourself Against Community Property Issues   Recently updated !


Possible Child Custody Arrangements After Your Divorce
 Child custody arrangements are one of the most nerve-wracking court decisions you’d ever have to anticipate as a parent in a Texas Family Court. Most of the parents who approach Texas family law attorneys have this as their biggest concern regarding their divorce. Parents are also aware that the divorce can have a huge impact on their child’s life. In fact, the impact could be greater on the children. Child custody is one of the subjects parents have the most questions about. Possession Vs. Custody Despite this being, not a legal term, parents usually refer to their ‘possession’ issues as ‘custody’ concerns. Parents, who approach family law attorneys in Texas usually ask along the lines of ‘Can I get sole custody of my child?’ Most parents who ask this question do not trust their spouse to be a good parent to their children after the divorce. They also tend to ask more questions and seek more information about split child custody. A lot of parents get shocked at the fact that in the legal world, ‘child custody’ doesn’t exist. Child custody arrangements are in fact conservatorship arrangements in the state of Texas. Conservatorship is governed by Texas state laws regarding relationships between parents and children. Conservatorship also covers the rights and duties that parents have over their child. How are all these related to or affected by your divorce?   The Impact of Conservatorship to You and Your Children   As a conservator, you must be able to make sound decisions for your child until he or she is no longer a minor. This includes decisions regarding where your child will primarily live until adulthood, the school where your child will be attending, decisions regarding healthcare, psychiatric and other medical procedures. These are basically the core of your parental duties […]

Custody vs. Conservatorship in Your Divorce   Recently updated !



dna
It can be pretty horrible when you’re just minding your own business and you suddenly receive a letter from the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division, demanding that you pay thousands of dollars in child support. It would feel as if your world has turned upside down in a matter of seconds. To make it worse, the letter informs you that you have been delinquent in paying child support. It’s a sticky situation, especially when you know in your soul and conscience that you are not a father – you are certain that you do not have a child. Does this shocking situation sound familiar? No, it’s not a plot of a movie, this really happens in real life. Of course, cases that require paternity determination do not always unfold like this, but you get the point: it’s pretty complicated. If you are in a similar situation, or if you know someone who is in a situation similar to the one we mentioned above, you need to understand that the  situation calls for a family law attorney. Legal advice would certainly be necessary to sort out the case. In cases such as the one mentioned in our scenario above, the ‘father’ can be absolutely certain that he does not have a child out of wedlock. In most cases, he would know the person listed as the mother of the child. It could be an old friend, an old classmate or a colleague. It’s possible for these cases to arise even if he was never in a romantic relationship with the mother of the child. That’s just the way our world is today. If you find yourself in this situation, it would help if you know what to do.   What to Do When You’re Suddenly a Father (But You Think […]

Paternity and DNA Testing in Texas: What You Need to Know


When Grandparents Are Involved In a CPS Case
  A CPS case can be one of the toughest family law case an attorney has to handle. It can be really heartbreaking, at the same time frustrating. From the point of view of the child, it is alleged that he or she is a victim of neglect or abuse at the hands of people whom he or she needs to trust the most. After all, most CPS cases involve people who are legally tasked to care for the best interests of the alleged victims. On the other hand, from the parents’ point of view, the story can be different. Whether or not true abuse or neglect has been committed, their life will be turned upside down with the CPS case. Their parental rights will also be questioned, and they will be at risk of being permanently separated from their child. It does not matter if neglect or abuse has been committed or not, CPS will conduct a full investigation once they are involved. There can be other sides to the case too. Other family members can also feel the extent of the impact of the CPS case. Some of the most commonly affected other members of the family are the grandparents.   How Grandparents Are Affected By A CPS Case   When the parents are informed by the court that they cannot raise their child, the other family members have to step up. Usually, it is the grandparents who are given the responsibility to protect the child. Unfortunately, this usually happens without any form of support for the grandparents, which can put them in a difficult position. It is quite common even from decades ago for grandparents to the primary caretakers of their grandchildren. When parents have it tough, grandparents usually step up to fill that void. Divorce, change […]

Grandparent Involvement in a CPS Case