Divorce

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Creative Custody and Possession Schedules in a Fort Worth Divorce

A few months ago I wrote a post about problems with 50/50 custody arrangements. Generally, the problems I discussed are relevant to any kind of custom or creative custody arrangement deviating from the standard possession order or extended standard possession order schedule found in the Texas Family Code. 50/50 custody arrangements are not the only type of non-standard custody arrangements in a Texas divorce. You can create almost any kind of custody arrangement that you like. Some custody arrangements are extremely unusual but work for the family. Your unique schedule may do as little as tweak the times in the standard possession...

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When uncontested divorce in Texas goes wrong. Really wrong–Fort Worth uncontested divorce lawyers

I have written numerous times about uncontested divorce in Texas and uncontested divorce services I offer from my Bedford office. It is possible to obtain an uncontested divorce without an attorney if there is no significant property and no children. When the spouses have complex child custody issues or there is significant property it is rarely a good idea to use your divorce to start learning legal drafting. The more complex the issues, the greater the risk that your divorce decree will result in future problems. I believe people are better off obtaining legal advice for a divorce; but simple divorces often work without attorneys....

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Uncontested divorce and waiver of service in Tarrant County and Dallas County, Texas

In an uncontested divorce in Fort Worth or Dallas it makes very little sense to spend the $80 to serve the respondent in a divorce suit where the respondent knows the divorce is coming and is not going to contest the terms of the divorce. The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, however, require a petitioner (or plaintiff) to a lawsuit, such as a divorce suit, to serve process on a respondent (or defendant). That allows the respondent/defendant to learn about the suit and respond to the allegations in the petition. In the alternative, the rules permit the responding party to file...

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Military retirement and Texas divorces

Military pensions, or military retirement, is a complex and tedious part of a Texas divorce. Generally, dividing retirement plans in divorces can be complex legal and financial undertakings; but military pensions carry unique functions that affect how they fit into a divorce in Dallas and Fort Worth. What works in one divorce may not be remotely close to the right course of action in the next. The flexibility of military retirement can be extremely useful to both parties in a Texas divorce. It allows the parties to craft a unique division that works in the overall property division. (Private employer plans,...

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The Hidden Danger of Child Support Income Withholding in Texas

In Tarrant County divorces with children, child support is almost always awarded. Along with the support comes an income withholding order (IWO) to garnish child support from the paying parent's paycheck. The paying parent, the obligor, will have payments deducted and paid through the Attorney General or a domestic relations office. The income withholding order is often a good deal. It helps ensure child support goes to the receiving parent, the obligee, and avoids the obligor having to prove payments went to the obligee. There is a hidden trap when obligors are least capable of freeing themselves from a child support enforcement.  This post could potentially...

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Terminating a parent’s rights in Texas: The Financial Risks

One question I receive at my Bedford law office is how to terminate parental rights when a parent refuses involvement in a child's life. The typical scenario is that after a divorce or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) that established some visitation rights and child support obligations, the parent with visitation rights shortly after stopped involvement in the child's life so the parent with custody of the child wants to terminate the other parent's rights. Sometimes the parent has reasonable reasons for wanting to pursue this course of action, such as ensuring the uninvolved parent does not end up with custody. I'm not...

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Divorce agreements and duress in a Bedford, Texas divorce with Bedford divorce lawyer Adam Kielich

Around the interwebs, I see a lot of people in the midst of divorce, or after the divorce has been granted by a Texas court, that they signed a divorce agreement, mediated settlement agreement, or divorce decree but that they signed it "under duress", "under pressure", or they were "forced to sign it." These statements typically come along with a question about whether the agreement or divorce decree can be overturned or set aside by a Texas divorce court. The answer is typically no but let's explain why. If you expect to divorce your spouse in the near future then...

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Five Risks in Modification Suits In Texas

Under the Texas Family Code a party can modify a divorce decree or an order following a SAPCR. The modification may include a modification of child support, child custody, spousal support or some combination of those issues. Generally, however, a property division in a Texas divorce cannot. In both child support and spousal support modification suits, the objective of the modification lawsuit is very narrow. The petitioner in a Tarrant County or Dallas County family court seeks to raise or lower the amount of support. Usually that means the income of the obligor increased or decreased. Either the obligor or the...

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What it takes to get an uncontested divorce on your own in Texas

Last Wednesday I was at the Dallas County Family Courts helping a client wrap up an uncontested divorce. The early morning court sessions are typically open to what are called "prove ups" in which parties present testimony on uncontested issues (such as name changes, uncontested divorce decree signing, etc.) and the judge grants the orders or divorce decrees. These sessions are open to both attorneys and pro se parties (people without lawyers); but Texas courts typically allow the parties with attorneys to go to the front of the line. That must be very frustrating for pro se parties who have been...

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5 Problems with 50/50 Custody in Dallas-Fort Worth Divorces

50/50 custody refers to custody arrangements outside of the standard possession order that split time evenly between the parents. This arrangement might work as alternating weeks or an alternating group of days. Although these arrangements are not the norm, they can be approved by a family court and sometimes work very well. If you believe you will have a divorce or custody suit with 50/50 custody then you should contact a divorce lawyer to discuss your situation. However, sometimes these arrangements can start off as a good idea and turn into a real mess. Here's some common reasons why: 1. A...

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