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Dallas Family Law Blog

Taking steps to enforce visitation rights

For unmarried parents, it can be challenging to address custody matters if the relationship is severed. Whether it was a cordial parting or a very hostile or abusive situation, it is important that both mothers and fathers take the time to explore their rights. Rights are automatically bestowed upon the unmarried mother; however, an unmarried father in Texas and other states must take steps to establish parental rights.

Whether it is on a weekly bi-weekly, monthly or any other basis, when a visitation order is put in place, it is up to both parents to make it work. However, when the parent with the visitation rights does not exercise this right, the other parent is usually not faced with penalties. The flip side of this is the custodial parent not making a child available for visitation times. This is considered a violation. That parent has the ability to take action to enforce visitation.

How can I reduce the stress in my divorce?

Unless you have gone through a divorce before, you may be feeling stress that comes with the worry that you will make a mistake. Once the court signs the divorce orders, you may have to live for years with your decisions, and that could mean those years will be full of struggle and regret.

Texas laws concerning divorce are complex, and they change often. Unless you have the time to research your unique divorce issues, you may be unsure of the options and limitations you face. Surrounding yourself with skilled and pragmatic advisors is a good way to avoid making mistakes that could jeopardize your future.

Real Housewife divorces, receiving $16,000 in support

Ending a marriage is an emotional and difficult step to take. It may be challenging, but it is often what is wanted and what is seen as the best option. However, this does not make divorce any easier. And for those in the public eye, dissolution can be even more challenging, as the camera catches their every move.

As many can contend, celebrity divorces can be shocking and entertaining. This is often why they are reported on, because the end results can be unexpected. This is what recently occurred in the divorce between Jim and Alexis Bellino, former cast members on Real Housewives of Orange County. According to reports, Jim initially sought spousal support when he filed for divorce; however, the court decided to award Alexis $10,000 a month in spousal support and $6,000 a month in child support.

Why are so many millennials getting prenups?

Young or old, single individuals in Texas and elsewhere are likely thrilled to announce that they are getting married. But next comes the stressful step of planning and preparing for the wedding. One step in the wedding prep process is growing in popularity. Because we do not know what the future will bring, including a prenuptial agreement is a great way to protect oneself in the event of a divorce.

Why are so many millennials getting prenups? This legal document that outlines how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce is being requested more and more by engaged millennials. One reason for this is the fact that millennials are marrying later than previous generations. This means that they have had years to build up assets and debt.

How are paternal rights established for unmarried fathers?

Although many decide to have child following marriage, the reality is that many decide to have children without taking that legal step. Unmarried parents are more and more common; however, just like married parents, unmarried parents experience rough points in their relationships. When this occurs, they may decide it is best to part ways. Whether parents were together for a small portion or several years of their child's life, the reality is that they will need to address custody issues if the father seeks to obtain paternal rights.

How are paternal rights established for unmarried fathers? Whether it is Texas or any other state, the first thing an unmarried father must to is to establish paternity. This is typically done when both parents sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, filing it with the appropriate state agency or court. This is often completed at the time of the child's birth.

Temporary orders during a time of separation

Sometimes, couples find it necessary to have a time of separation before proceeding with divorce, and there are certain steps you can take during separation to protect your interests. Temporary orders from a family court can outline how the separation period will work.

Separation is about more than just one party moving out. This time can last for months or even years, and having temporary orders in place can be useful for both parties to understand rights, responsibilities and their individual roles before the divorce is final. Before you continue, you will find it beneficial to learn what temporary orders include.

Guiding you through the divorce process

No relationship is perfect. They all take work and commitment. However, even when a couple puts in the time and effort to make a marriage work, this does not mean it will be repaired and lasting. Divorce is always possible, and when it is clear that a couple is no longer meant to be together, divorce might be the answer to their problems.

While no couple in Texas likes the idea of going through a divorce, the reality is that when a relationship is over, this process is necessary. Even when both spouses agree that dissolving their union is best, this does not make it any less emotional or challenging. At Katie L. Lewis, P.C., Family Law, our skilled legal team has helped past clients in the Dallas area navigate the ups and downs of the divorce process.

Reasons why a prenuptial agreement can be invalidated

Previous posts here have highlighted the details of a prenuptial agreement. Specifically, what exactly can be contained in this marital agreement and what cannot. There are many things that can be contained in a prenup. However, if the document is not properly executed, this could invalidate the document even if all the terms are lawful. It is important that either party to a prenup understands what can invalidate a prenuptial agreement.

The goal of a prenuptial agreement is to help sort out financial issues, provide financial rights and ensure protections in the event of a divorce. However, even after carefully completing this marital agreement, there are reasons a prenup could be invalidated.

How will the end of your marriage impact your small business?

If you are a Texas small business owner, you understand a divorce could mean significant changes for your business. The end of a marriage requires the two parties to address and fairly distribute all marital assets, which could include some or all of your family-owned business assets. While a divorce will bring financial changes, you can take certain steps to preserve your financial and business interests. 

During your divorce, it is easy to allow emotions to drive you to make decisions that are not necessarily in your best interests. With the future of your business at stake, it is beneficial not only to think about what you need now, but what your business may need in the future as well. Business owners would be wise to proceed carefully and thoughtfully.

What can and cannot be included in a prenup?

Getting married means making many decisions, such as where to have the ceremony, how many guests to invite, the type of cake and what dress to wear. It also means exploring the idea of a prenuptial agreement. There is a growing trend to include this legal document in a marriage, so it is important for couples to understand this document, the benefits it can offer, what it can include and what could invalidate the agreement in an event of a divorce.

What can and cannot be included in a prenup? While a prenup is a very useful document to include in a marriage, it cannot address all marital and divorce issues. In fact, containing certain terms could invalidate the agreement. To begin, a prenup can include terms that address property. The document can distinguish what is considered separate and marital property. It can also provide protection from the debts of the other spouse. A prenup is able to provide for children from a previous relationship, keep family property in the family, protect an estate plan, define property distribution and can even detail the responsibilities one has during marriage.