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Tarrant County Law Blog

New federal tax law will affect future spousal maintenance awards

Spousal maintenance, traditionally called alimony, is the payment of support from one ex-spouse to the other after divorce. Texas has arguably the most stringent maintenance laws in the country, so whether you would be the paying spouse or the recipient, it is important to enlist an experienced family lawyer to advocate for a fair award in compliance with the law. 

Texas alimony eligibility is narrow 

Holiday child custody doesn't have to be a nightmare

For many people, Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year. If your family falls into this category, you might be concerned about what is going to happen now that you and your ex have to deal with child custody.

Most child custody orders have specific instructions and plans for annual holidays. This should be the first place you look to determine what is going to happen for everything from Halloween through New Year's Day. Here are some challenges that you should think about while you are making plans:

Protective Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders: What is the difference?

Many of our clients tell us they need a Protective Order in their case. In reality, more often than not, what the client might need is a Temporary Restraining Order. Many people do not understand the difference between the two and use the terms interchangeably. In fact, there is a pretty substantial difference between the two documents, which mostly centers around family violence.

The more assets you have, the more complicated divorce becomes

A lot of people think that divorce can be simple, even handled without attorneys. They may believe this even while they are unable to discuss critical aspects of the divorce calmly with their former spouse. The truth is that divorce is a very complicated process.

The divorce decree is Texas is binding, and mistakes in early paperwork can come back to haunt you later. While it is possible to obtain post-divorce decree modifications, that requires a lot of effort and paperwork. It makes more sense to handle everything properly the first time around. Generally, that means working with a divorce lawyer.

Checking Phone and Computer for Evidence of Cheating

Is it a good idea to access your spouse's e-mail account or cell phone without that person's knowledge?  This could be a good way to find out of your spouse is cheating or to find out other information that may help you get a leg up in your divorce case.  The answer is no, it is not only not a good idea, but it is against the law.   

COMMUNITY PROPERTY AND SEPARATE PROPERTY

During the divorce process, you may hear your attorneys discuss terms like "community property" and "separate property" with you. Attorneys throw these words around often in family law cases, and we often assume that non-lawyers know what the terms mean. After all, during law school, attorneys take a semester-long course devoted to marital property that teaches us about community and martial property. Here's a quick "Cliff's Notes" version to help you better understand and begin thinking about the characterization of the property you and your spouse own.

What's the Difference between "Custody" and "Possession"

A Term that gets thrown around frequently by clients is"50/50 custody." Generally, what parents mean when they say this, is that they would like to have physical possession of the child 50% of the time.

Custody is an umbrella term that encompasses both conservatorship and possession and access of the child.  Conservatorship is the legal authority to make decisions concerning where the child lives, along with medical and educational decisions for the child.  Possession and access to the child is governed by a possession schedule in a court order that the parents follow.

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