Farmersville Family Law Blog

Negotiating child support orders

Texas has two main processes for establishing, modifying and enforcing child support orders. The first is for parents who can reach agreement out of court. The second is for cases that must go to court.

Of the two, the Child Support Review Process is more common. In this process, both parents meet with an official at a local Child Support Division office to negotiate a child support order, discussing the child's needs and the parents' incomes. Each parent can be represented by a lawyer.

Bezos divorce settlement divides world's biggest fortune

No divorce is easy, but high-asset couples have more property, and more complex types of property than other couples, making their divorces more complicated. Few couples in the world have more assets than Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, has a net worth estimated at $118 billion, making him the richest person in the world. He and MacKenzie have been married for 25 years, meaning that she helped him as he grew his bookselling website into one of the largest technology companies on Earth. They have four children. The couple announced their split last year amid a scandal involving an affair and an alleged extortion and blackmail scheme by tabloid newspaper the National Enquirer.

What happens to property in Texas divorces?

You have worked hard to earn assets for yourself and your family, but now that you and your spouse are divorcing, you may worry that your hard work might have been in vain. If you have your heart set on keeping a particular asset or two, it may be helpful to understand how assets are typically divided in Texas divorces.

Texas is one of nine community property states. This means that when you and your spouse were married, you became one legal community. Because marriage made you part of a legal community, you and your spouse jointly own most of the assets acquired during your marriage.

Protective orders and domestic violence

Many times in the practice of family law, two people have to sit at a table with their lawyers and reach an agreement over how to divide their property or their parental responsibilities. Once married, or otherwise together in a romantic relationship, the two have now gone their separate ways. It can be an uncomfortable situation, but it's usually for the best if they can come together to discuss important matters.

Sometimes, however, the situation is not just uncomfortable, but counterproductive or even dangerous. Many people seek a divorce because their partner has become violent with them. For these people, the first priority is keeping themselves and their children safe.

Courts weigh unusual issues in divorce agreements

Prenuptial agreements can make decisions in advance about many issues, but they used most often to decide questions of property division. This is also the case in postnuptial agreements, which are signed after the couple has already been married. Rather than dividing the community property according to the dictates of Texas law, the married couple gets to decide in advance how to divide their assets through an agreement they signed before the divorce.

Courts in Texas and other states have dealt with many prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and the property division issues are more or less clear. Still, courts have not yet come up with consistent ways to deal with certain issues.

As generations change, so too do marriage and divorce

It's common to hear that 50% of marriages in America end in divorce. This statistic is misleading at best, flat-out wrong at worst. The divorce rate skyrocketed in the 1960s and '70s, but it has been falling for decades.

As the generations change, they bring changes in marriage, and these in turn bring changes in divorce.

A child's choice in custody decisions

There is a wealth of information about child custody issues and Texas family law on the Internet. Unfortunately, some of it is not accurate.

A quick Internet search will deliver multiple sources that assert that at age 12, children get to choose which parent they want to live with in Texas. This is misleading and can lead to a lot of heartache for parents, frustration for children and headaches for the courts. In fact, Texas family courts can consider the child's wishes at any age, but the child's wishes are not the only factor the court considers when making custody decisions.

How paternity is determined in Texas

Courts verify paternity for multiple reasons. You or your spouse may question the paternity of your child. For example, a father may want to verify that they are the father of a child before getting into a child support agreement. A court may also wish to verify the biological father of a child if they have any doubts.

The state of Texas automatically recognizes the fatherhood of children of married couples. There is unlikely going to be any doubt over the identity of the child’s father in the court’s eyes. However, a court may order a paternity test where the mother is married to a man who is not the biological father.

Divorce and your credit report

Many things can have impacts on what financial opportunities and options a person has. This includes what is on their credit report. So, among the financial concerns a person may have when getting divorced is whether the split will have impacts on this report.

Now, marital status is not among the information that credit reports track. So, a divorce doesn’t “go on” this report or have any direct automatic impacts on it. However, this does not mean that a divorce is irrelevant from a credit report perspective. It can have some significant indirect impacts.

What is a contested divorce?

Many people going through a divorce have fantasies about testifying in court about everything their ex ever did wrong. It's normal to have thoughts like this, but the truth is that most divorces in Texas today are uncontested and settled out of court through negotiation. However, there are still some cases where the parties cannot resolve their issues without going to court, and there are still some divorces that are contested.

Put simply, an uncontested divorce is one where the parties agree to dissolve their marriage by agreement or default. (Default in this case means that one party fails to respond to the other's petition for divorce.) In a contested divorce, one party wants a divorce but the other won't agree and won't default.

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