Barker Law Firm, PC
Family Law, Divorces, Wills, Guardianships and More in Sugar Land, Texas, Our Main Office, and by Appointment in Bellaire and Katy, Texas.
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Texas Family Law Blog

Family law court: What to wear and how to act

If you're in the throes of a Texas family law dispute, you'll be facing a lot of unknowns. That's why you'll want a skilled family law attorney by your side to guide you along every step of the way. One thing, in particular, that you should ask your lawyer about is courtroom decorum. More specifically, what should you wear and how should you act?

When you go in front of a judge, you'll want to dress in appropriate attire. This means that you should only wear pressed, clean clothes that look neat and orderly. Men should wear pants, a collared shirt and a suit. Women should wear a skirt, dress, suit or pants -- but they shouldn't be too tight or revealing. Don't even think about wearing a t-shirt, shorts, sunglasses or hats in a Texas courtroom: they're not allowed. You should also avoid too much makeup, too much jewelry and over-the-top hairstyles.

When courts consider the best interests of your child

A Houston family law court will always seek to honor the best interests of your child -- first and foremost -- when making any child custody decision. The court will review a wide variety of facts concerning your child custody case, your family and your children to evaluate exactly what the best interests of your child may be.

Here is a list of common factors that a court will likely consider in your child custody case:

3 things your divorce lawyer knows

Houston divorce lawyers handle numerous divorces every year. That means they tend to be highly familiar with common situations that arise during divorce proceedings. In fact, you might think that a difficult issue is unique to your situation, but your divorce lawyer has probably seen a similar scenario numerous times before.

Here are a few things your divorce lawyer knows about ending a marriage that you might not have thought of before:

Taking an inventory of your art during a divorce

During a Texas divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide all of your valuable property. If you have amassed a large amount of art and collectibles during your marriage, these items will also need to be divided. Aside from art items that are nugatory, or of an extremely low value, it could be difficult to decide who keeps what.

You might choose to divvy up the pieces to go to you or your spouse based on the value of the times. But before you start the divvying process, you first need to know what you have by compiling a detailed list of items.

What powers does a guardian have?

Getting older in this country can be difficult. The elderly can lose mental faculties and have to rely on other for even the most basic things. They are often the targets of unscrupulous people who would take advantage of them financially. Many also end up outliving their retirement funds or have unexpected medical problems that leave them destitute. However, there are legal steps that can be taken to ensure that they problems they face are lessened or avoided altogether.

Texas introduces new way to enforce child support orders

Non-custodial parents are legally required, in most cases, to offer financial support to the custodial parents of their children. The child support obligations of the non-custodial parent will be laid out in either a court order or a court-approved settlement agreement. If the parent fails to pay his or her child support obligations each month, he or she could get in serious trouble with the law.

Enforcing a child support order has always been challenging for the Texas criminal justice system. However, a new way of enforcing child support orders could help. The state of Texas recently implemented a program that requires parents to be up-to-date on their child support payments before they can renew their vehicle registrations.

Could divorce become more difficult in Texas?

The Texas Legislature is considering a new law that could bring an end to "no fault" divorces if it's voted into law. The lawmakers who want the new bill are saying that it's too easy for divorces to happen right now. They say that if one spouse wants out, and the other spouse wants to keep the marriage intact, the spouse who wants a divorce should have to prove his or her case.

The lawmakers who want the new law cited the example of a woman who is the mother of four and is currently facing divorce proceedings. The mother said that in her family of six, five of them -- which includes all her children -- do not want the divorce. The husband and father, on the other hand, wants to get out of the marriage. Under current "no fault" divorce laws, the father merely needs to file for divorce, and doesn't have to say who was at fault or give a reason for the dissolution of the marriage.

Dividing a 401(k) or pension in a Texas divorce

Questions often arise over how to divide a 401(k) during a Texas divorce. Let's consider the possibility of a homemaker, divorcing her husband of 40 years. The stay-at-home mom doesn't have a 401(k) of her own, since she worked in the house, taking care of her family the last 40 years. Nevertheless, the working father has amassed a large 401(k) amounting to about $600,000. How will they divide these assets in their divorce?

The 401(k) is in the husband's name. However, these assets accrued over the course of the marriage, so a family law court will classify them as "community property." In other words, the 401(k) will be part of the marital estate and divisible between the spouses.

How a Specialized Lawyer Can Advise You on Child Support Payment

Most spouses are embroiled in nasty divorce cases once relations have worsened beyond pair. In such situations, partners engage in several court battles with the sole purpose of retaining child custody. The child's wellbeing is the most important factor to consider, despite the constant bickering witnessed by feuding spouses. Once the dust has settled, and child custody has been awarded, parents need to develop a comprehensive plan that outlines child support mechanisms. In California, the law clearly stipulates that both parents need to be involved in the child support modification process to promote their wellbeing.

Despite the presence of a precedent formula for child support in California, several factors can determine the amount of child support payable. Factors such as family lifestyle, both spouses' income and the financial needs of the child need to be taken into consideration. Once such factors have been considered, the presiding judge is tasked with setting the monthly payments payable by a spouse. Additionally, such payments should also cover the medical expensed incurred when the child falls sick.

How to Obtain Child Custody in Texas

Determining child custody is widely considered to be a sensitive matter across the U.S. Not only do spouses go through a tense divorce process, but they also need to consider the best interests of the children if they are to forge meaningful relationships with their peers. As a spouse finalizing a divorce case, you might want to approach such matters with a calm mind, rather than rushing into making hasty decisions with severe consequences. In most circumstances, spouses tend to make sound decisions regarding child custody with the aid of an experienced attorney. This entails preparing parenting plans with the sole intention of safeguarding the needs of the children.

In most situations, mothers tend to retain sole custody of the children until attainment of legal age. Such a precedent is mainly enforced due to the mother's capacity to provide unconditional love and care for the kids. However, such a precedent can be overruled when the mother has been deemed unfit to raise the children either due to a criminal record or mental incapacity. A child custody agreement essentially stipulates custody and visitation rights applicable to either spouse. As a divorcing spouse, keep in mind that parenting agreements vary from case to case and mainly touch on:

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Barker Law Firm, PC
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Sugar Land, TX 77479

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