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Dallas Family Law Blog

Quick: How can I get my divorce over with?

Getting divorced can be tricky no matter how many assets you and your spouse may have. However, it can be particularly challenging for those with high-value assets. These assets range from real estate property to businesses.

Although getting into a drawn-out legal battle with a future ex-spouse is often expected at the beginning of a divorce proceeding in Texas, it does not have to be this way. You and your spouse may be able to resolve your disputes through the quicker and less acrimonious process of mediation. This is an alternative to traditional litigation that makes it possible for both spouses to take full control of the planning of their lives rather than relying on a judge to do this for them.

What can prenups be used for?

For couples in the verge of their wedding, the last thing they might want to talk about is the possibility that their marriage ends in divorce. Yet the sad reality is that about half of marriages in the United States, including Texas, ultimately end in divorce.

Divorces are seldom pretty, with both sides often resorting to ill-advised tactics to try to gain an advantage over their soon to be ex-spouse. Emotions generally run high, and often lead someone to doing or saying something that may hurt them later in court. With so much on the line such as property division, possibly alimony or spousal support, and it kids are involved child custody and child support, it is important to enter the courts with the right frame of mind.

Understanding the relationship between father and child

Over the last few decades, the important role a father plays in the upbringing of a child is becoming more and more recognized. By our very nature, humans are social, and the relationship a child has, especially during their early impressionable years, can have a profound impact on a child.

According to a study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a child's character can be significantly impacted depending upon the relationship and bond they have with their fathers. When girls have a strong bond with their fathers who are loving and gentle, as they grow into adults they will look for the same characteristics in other men. Boys are more likely to become like their father, trying to emulate and imitate the characteristics of their fathers.

What are my rights as a grandparent in Texas?

Many Americans throughout the country, including residents from the Dallas, Texas, area, cherish the relationship they had with their grandparents as a child. This bond between grandparent and grandchild oftenadds to the wellness and plays a role in a child's upbringing. When it comes to child visitation and child custody however, it is often very difficult for a grandparent to obtain the rights to see or care for a grandchild.

Although there are a few unique and specific situations where a grandparent or grandparents are able to obtain custody of their grandchild, this is not easy, especially in Texas. Generally speaking, child custody is typically awarded to one parent, or both parents when the courts award shared custody, unless there is an exceptional circumstance that warrants consideration for a grandparent to obtain custody. Even in such circumstances, history has proven it is still very difficult.

Protecting visitation rights

The divorce process is seldom easy for all parties involved. Each side generally has a view as to what they believe they deserve and are entitled to, and these views often vary widely between each divorcing spouse. One of the most heated decisions to be made during a divorce are decisions regarding children from the marriage such as child custody.

If both parties are able to work together, and the divorce is amicable, they could consider joint custody, where both sides share an equal or close to equal time with the child or children. If a mutually agreeable decision cannot be made, it will be made by the courts. When one spouse is granted sole custody, in most cases the courts will allow the other spouse visitation rights. These might be "reasonable visitation," which is generally preferred because it offers flexibility between schedules, or "fixed visitation, "when it is determined that the spouses are unlikely to work together to find time for visitations on their own.

How paternity tests can make a difference to a child

Over the last few decades it is becoming increasingly apparent that the role the father plays in a child's upbringing is vitally important to a child's wellbeing. In the past, it was believed by many that the maternal instincts and relationship between mother and child were deemed most important. Today, however, fathers are also acknowledged, and the courts are making certain that father's rights are protected.

Up until the mid-1970's a paternity test could determine whether a man was not the father of a child, but could not determine a child's father. With today's advancements in DNA testing, a simple swab sample taken from a man's inner cheek can be compared with the DNA of a child to create a nearly fool-proof determination of a child's father.

When is a prenuptial agreement worth it?

When a Texas couple plans a wedding, the two parties have many things to consider, from ceremony details to honeymoon locations. In all of the effort to prepare for the big day, it is easy to lose sight of what happens after the wedding takes place. It can be beneficial for a couple to consider what they need to do not only in the immediate future, but what steps they need to take to protect their long-term interests.

One of the easiest ways to protect your future self is by drafting a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. Some people do not take this step because they believe that either they are not wealthy enough to need one or that doing this in some way communicates that the marriage will likely fail. Neither of these is true, and in fact, drafting a prenup can be useful and practical for both you and your soon-to-be husband or wife.

Making a co-parenting arrangement work

Being a parent is probably the most important job a person can take on. While it is not always an easy road, parents in Dallas and elsewhere enjoy the natural ups and downs with parenting. One issue that some parents face and is rather unpleasant is custody disputes. Divorce can bring out many problems, and when it comes to the needs of a child, a parent will put their child first. Nonetheless, parents seek to protect their parenting time rights along the way.

Whether you are your ex decided on co-parenting from the beginning or it was something that had to be worked towards, divorcing parents should understand mechanisms to make this child custody arrangement successful. While it relies on cooperation and collaboration, it is not always an easy road to travel down.

Helping you navigate child custody disputes

Divorce is already a difficult and life-changing event; however, when children are in the mix, this process will likely directly impact everyone involved. It is clear that both parents want what is best for their children, but it is difficult to reach a resolution that also considers the parental rights and needs of each parent. This is why child custody disputes often evolve, making it an often lengthy and emotional process to reach a final agreement.

Each parent has goals in the divorce process, and it is often challenging to properly articulate these needs. Each parent is probably fearful that they might lose more parenting time than they are comfortable with. At Katie L. Lewis, P.C., our experienced legal team has helped countless parents navigate the murky waters of custody battles. Thus, we are devoted to guiding Dallas residents through the process, helping them protect their parental rights and the best interests of the children involved.

Divorce does not have to destroy your business

If you are married and own a business, did you know that if you dissolve your marriage your spouse may be entitled to half of your company? As Texas is a community property state, the law assumes you and your spouse each own 50 percent of all marital assets if you get a divorce. So, unless you take the steps necessary to protect your company, you may need to prepare yourself for the worst.