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Sugar Land Family Law Blog

Tips for fathers dealing with child support and custody

Some Texas fathers might struggle to pay child support or get child custody. Courts still may favor mothers as main caregivers, and more than four-fifths of custodial parents are mothers. However, there are steps fathers can take if they are having issues with support or custody.

Fathers who cannot pay the full child support amount should at least try to pay some part of it. This shows that the father is making an effort and may reduce the likelihood of more severe punishments for failure to pay child support such as jail. Both parents are expected to support the child, but the court also recognizes that there might be situations such as job loss that can lead to an inability to pay the original amount. The father might want to consider getting an attorney and asking for a child support modification. A modification will not change the fact that the father still owes money for any missed payments, but it can reduce future payments.

How parents can help their kids after divorce

Many married parents in Texas decide to file divorce when things just aren't working out as they had hoped. While divorce can be hard for minor children, parents can take several steps to help their children adjust to life after a separation.

Ex-spouses can help their children adjust by maintaining a consistent routine. This works even better if both parents can agree on important decisions like bedtime, chores and extracurricular activities for their kids. When one parent has to discipline a child, it's important for the other parent to reinforce and support the parent's decision.

Personality traits and the chances of divorce

According to relationship experts, divorce attorneys and psychologists, people who have certain personality traits have a higher likelihood of getting divorced. Texas residents should learn what these traits are, determine if they have them and hold themselves responsible for their actions.

Selfishness is a trait that everyone has in some degree. However, issues with selfishness arise when it becomes a habitual behavior that makes the other person in the relationship feel inadequate. When the selfishness of one partner begins to harm the other person, the marriage can quickly devolve.

What you need to know about changes to alimony payments in 2019

Divorce is rarely easy, and changes in the federal tax laws are going to mean one facet of divorce is about to get trickier: alimony. In Texas, alimony or spousal maintenance support is either ordered by the court or entered into voluntarily. It can be one of the most contentious elements of divorce. If you are considering a divorce or your divorce is not finalized by Jan. 1, 2019, you need to know how spousal maintenance payments will change.

What is the current law?

How divorce may affect retirement

More people in Texas may be experiencing what is often called "gray divorce," or divorce for adults 50 and older, than in previous generations since experts say divorce in this age group is rising. While this is more common in second marriages and marriages of shorter duration, couples who have been married for decades are divorcing as well. For these couples, the split may be particularly complicated since they may have deeply entwined assets.

People in this situation need to take steps to make sure they enjoy a secure and stable retirement after divorce. They need to be able to make financial decisions without allowing the emotions of the situation to overcome them. This includes making sure they have the necessary paperwork and understand the marital finances. People may want to meet with a financial advisor to talk about their goals and how they can readjust their retirement plans.

Understanding the widespread impact of "gray" divorce

There's no denying the impact divorce, no matter when it occurs in life, can have on everyone in involved. This is especially true with older couples in Texas who decide to end a marriage. Research suggests that daughters of divorce are 60 percent more likely to untie the knot, and sons of divorced parents are 35 percent more likely to end their marriage. While the divorce rate has been on the decline among the general population, it's actually on the rise for couples 50 and older.

In fact, the divorce rate among couples over 50 has doubled since 1990. For couples 65 and older, this rate has tripled. Couples in a second marriage are nearly three times more likely to call it quits than partners on marriage number one. Statically, later-life marriages of a shorter duration are also more likely to end in divorce than long-term ones. As for what causes older couples to split, it's often dissatisfaction with the quality of marriage, not empty nest syndrome and other factors some people associate with later-life divorces.

Divorce brings complications for kids going back to school

Parents in Texas who are approaching or going through a divorce, as well as those who've recently finalized a divorce, are wise to give some thought to their kid's upcoming school year. For children and parents, negotiating the logistics of school, friends and activities can get more complicated following divorce. By keeping a few things in mind, however, parents can be prepared when their kids head back to school.

One of the first things to keep in mind is that expenses are likely to increase. The divorce agreement will typically cover large, predictable expenses, but the beginning of the school year is a time of unforeseen costs. Some divorced couples agree to divide such costs evenly; some base responsibility for costs on their relative levels of income, and some use a list of expenses and divide them on a line-item basis.

Learn what can happen when child support payments go into default

In Texas and throughout the country, child support is an important issue. Court systems everywhere maintain that children have the right to be properly supported by their parents. If parents fail to pay court-ordered child support, they can be held in contempt of court, and federal laws will sometimes come into play. It is possible that a parent who defaulted on child support could be sentenced to prison time or extensive fines and still be required to pay the child support.

When a divorce occurs, establishing custody guidelines and making provisions for the financial support of any children involved is a crucial part of the process. Typically, both maternity and paternity of the children are determined in the beginning of the divorce procedures. While both parents are often documented on a child's birth certificate, there may be occasions when an assumed father might question his biological relationship to a child. In cases such as this, genetic or DNA testing can be utilized to resolve paternity issues.

Protecting personal assets before remarriage

Subsequent marriages present a myriad of complications, from blending families to complicated financial assets. After the dissolution of a first marriage, those considering marrying again may wish to prevent issues present in a first divorce by establishing separate property before signing a marriage license. For those considering remarriage, a prenuptial agreement can offer valuable protections for property owned before the marriage.

Defining and protecting assets

A prenup can make your second divorce go more smoothly

You may have married when you were too young or impetuous the first time around, but the divorce taught you a thing or two.

You did not have a prenuptial agreement then, but you insisted on it when you married for the second time. Unfortunately, the marriage is over, but in one respect, this divorce will be easier because you thought ahead. Here are four of the lessons you put into practice:

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