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Houston Divorce Blog

Understand the division of pension for divorce in Texas

Property and asset division is different in a divorce, depending upon which state the proceedings take place. With Texas being a community property state, the courts split most property acquired during the marriage between both parties. It is important to understand this concept and how it applies to your pension in the case of divorce.

Pension falls into the property category, so it is subject to community property rules for property division in divorce. In general, community property is valued and split into equal parts between the two spouses. This does not apply to property given to one party as an inheritance or gift, nor does it apply to any property that one party had prior to the marriage. This factor can affect how the pension is distributed. If the pension began before the marriage, the spouse will only receive payment for the portion earned during the marriage, including interest. Also, in splitting the pension, various factors may contribute to the final determination, such as the value of separate property, earning capacity, education level, marital fault, child custody standing and the length of the marriage.

How to file for a child custody modification

If you are divorced with kids, negotiating custody is often one of the most stressful prospects to deal with. It is ideal that both parents be equally involved in a child’s life, but schedules, living arrangements and other obligations often complicate the matter. A custody agreement is drafted based on the circumstances of each parent. What happens, though, when these circumstances happen to change?

In such situations, a custody modification may be necessary. Depending on the response from your ex and the specifics of your request, you may need to go to court. This is not always the case, however, and there are several ways you may choose to petition for a child custody modification.

3 ways to reconnect with your child after separation

Child custody disputes are known to be traumatic for kids, but they are often just as stressful for the adults involved. This is especially true for parents who may not receive primary custody and then find themselves unable to see their kids regularly—or even at all. This is not as uncommon as you might think, but even if you have not seen your child in years, it is not too late to reconnect with them.

This is not to say, however, that doing so might not be a challenge. Time goes by fast when a kid is growing up, and if you want to reestablish a meaningful relationship, you should make your efforts deliberate. The following tips can help you avoid faux pas and reclaim your place in your child’s life.

What does equitable distribution in a Texas divorce mean?

Dividing property in a Texas divorce is as not as easy as splitting everything in half in equal shares for each spouse, as is done in some states. Although Texas is a community property state, it follows equitable distribution when it comes to asset division upon divorce.

What does this mean? How will it affect how much you receive in a divorce? Knowing what the law entails can help you understand how to approach seeking the property you want to keep.

3 tips for fathers who want to change a child custody order

Sometimes a child custody agreement does not remain intact forever. There are various issues that arise after divorce that may cause your child custody order to change. Perhaps your financial situation has changed significantly or your child has grown up and has stated his or her desire for a different arrangement.

As the father, you want to see your child as much as possible. Child custody modification is possible under the right circumstances. Read below for the top tips for successfully modifying your custody order.

Fostering relationships between children and noncustodial parents

Your ex is certainly your ex for a reason, but one thing he will never be is an ex-parent. Even if you now have full custody of your children, it is important and beneficial in most situations for your children to maintain and foster a relationship with their noncustodial parent.

Depending on the circumstances of your separation, it may not be easy for you to put your personal feelings aside and encourage your children to maintain a relationship with the other parent. But for the sake of your kids, consider making these efforts:

  • Encourage communication between your children and the other parent, whether through email, phone or other avenues. Part of encouraging this type of communication means not using these calls or communications to pick fights, talk finances or touch upon anything else that might be a bone of contention.  
  • Maintain a united front, even if only in front of your children. Try to include your children’s other parent when parent-teacher conferences and similar situations arise. Seeing that you, too, make the effort to engage with and include the other parent improves the chances that your children will do the same.
  • Share art projects, school photos and other such items with your ex, and encourage your children to do so as well. This also shows your children that the other parent is still of value in their lives.
  • Keep your personal feelings for the other parent just that – personal. Do your children the courtesy of not badmouthing the other parent when the kids are around, or your children may think it is acceptable to do the same.

3 reasons to consider divorce as a senior woman

Most people associate divorce with those who are young, newly married or on a second marriage or higher. While it is true that these demographics have high divorce rates, it is also true that the rates are increasing for those who are older.

The trend, called "gray divorce," has risen over the years for many reasons. You may be considering ending your long-term marriage but are not sure if it is the right thing to do. The following three reasons may help you decide if you should begin the divorce process.

How to know if you are ready for a divorce

Getting a divorce can be one of the most frightening things you will ever do. Even seriously considering it takes a lot of courage, let alone actually going through with it. But just because you have decided you want to end your long-term marriage, it does not mean you are ready to begin the process.

There are many things you must consider first or you will make lots of mistakes that can result in unnecessary costs, delays and conflict. Here is how to know when you are truly ready to start your divorce.

Taking charge of your finances before divorce

Most people know that separating your finances forms a crucial part of the divorce process. However, you are likely to encounter problems if you approach your finances with a lack of clarity. Learning about key issues and consulting a knowledgeable attorney can help you stay in good financial shape during and after your divorce. In addition to learning financial skills, taking the following steps can help you during and after your divorce.

The first issue you need to explore is the level of your awareness of family finances. If one spouse manages most of the family's bills and accounts, it can be easy to let things go on that front. You should have access to all bank accounts, investment accounts, credit card statements and all other financial information. You should also stay current on financial activity. Spouses who hide assets frequently begin by making unexplained withdrawals from joint accounts. Tracking activity will allow you to catch any out-of-place activity right away.

Are there legal protections against domestic violence?

There’s a reason that Texas courts respond quickly to domestic violence allegations. In a recent example, a Texas man walked into an elementary school and shot his 8-year-old son and his estranged wife.

The man reportedly had a prior history of domestic violence. Unfortunately, domestic violence and guns can be a deadly combination. One local Dallas judge has made it a personal mission to take guns away from domestic violence suspects, at least temporarily.

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