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Houston Divorce Blog

3 tips for changing your child custody order

Not every issue goes away once you receive your divorce decree. There are plenty of problems and questions that may arise in the weeks, months and years following your divorce. As a father, one of your main, ongoing concerns may be custody, especially if you did not get the amount of custody or visitation you prefer.

It is normal for you to want to see your kids more. You may be able to accomplish this goal by modifying your existing child custody arrangement. Follow these guidelines for a better chance at a successful modification request.

Property division, retirement accounts and QDROs

You and your spouse have been planning for retirement all your adult lives. Because your spouse made all those contributions to his retirement plans during your marriage, they are now marital property in your divorce. However, dividing retirement accounts can be a complex process, especially since each retirement plan may have its own rules. 

The IRS explains that you do have legal recourse to ensure that you still receive the retirement benefits that belong to you as the alternate payee. In many cases, you may do this without the penalties that come with early withdrawals. This is where a QDRO comes in.

Making the most of visits with noncustodial children

If you are a parent who does not have primary custody of your child, you may have standing visits with your son or daughter over the summer, on certain holidays or what have you. Because you only have limited time to spend with your child, you probably want to make every effort to ensure a smooth, positive visit that strengthens your parent-child relationship.

That may prove easier said than done, however, and particularly if you and your child often go long periods without speaking or spending time together. So, before your child arrives for his or her next visit with you, consider taking the following steps:

Is court necessary to modify a divorce decree?

In one sense, divorce decrees are set in stone. You must do whatever is in the decree, and if you do not, your ex-spouse could seek remedies in court. In another sense, though, divorce decrees are not necessarily set in stone. The courts recognize that few people's lives stay the same and that they may need to make post-divorce modifications.

Of course, the legal process often requires time investment and the involvement of lawyers. So, if both you and your ex-spouse agree on a change, it is it really necessary to go through a process with lawyers and the court system again?

3 tips for managing your emotions during a divorce

Divorce is by its very nature an emotional experience. However, letting your emotions get the best of you as you go through the process can lead to poor decisions and errors that can impact your long-term future.

Although it is challenging to keep your emotions in check in a situation that is so fraught, it is critical to your well-being. Here are three simple tips that can help you manage your emotions during a separation and divorce.

How to reduce the impact divorce has on children

If you, like many others, are currently navigating your way through a Texas divorce, you may be worrying about just how much of an impact the transition may have on your children. Kids can find it difficult to adjust to even the most amicable of separations, because the world they have come to know suddenly changes in numerous ways.

With U.S. News and World Reports noting that nearly half of all modern marriages now end in divorce, learning to minimize the effects they have on children has become increasingly critical.

Can grandparents fight for visitation rights?

Like many grandparents in Texas, you love your grandchildren and want to spend as much time as possible spoiling them. Unfortunately, you may not get to see them as much as you would like. In fact, as time goes on, you notice you have been seeing your grandchildren less and less. This might be due to the parents not having as much time to bring over the kids or your grandchildren’s busy schedules as they get older. However, if the parents are divorced or one parent has died, these might also be reasons you see your grandchildren less.

You might wonder if you can petition the court to see your grandchildren more often. This is a tricky situation, explains FindLaw, but often, grandparents who are being denied a relationship with their grandkids are able to successfully gain more visitation time. The outcome depends on the reasons you are not seeing your grandchildren, their family situation and the best interests of the children.

5 tips for women to recover from a divorce

The feelings of depression and hopelessness that you have even months after your divorce are not uncommon. Your divorce was traumatic both emotionally and financially. Like many other Texas women, you could have difficulty moving on.

Many factors can contribute to women experiencing these challenges after a divorce. You might have escaped an emotionally or physically abusive marriage, and as you know, abuse leaves lasting scars. You may have primary custody of your children, which can leave you overwhelmed and with financial hardships. If you stayed at home to take care of the children and household while your husband worked, you could have difficulty finding a job that will cover your expenses. The following tips might help you overcome these difficulties:

  • Go back to school or enroll in job training classes in your field to update your employment skills.
  • If your ex shares custody or has a visitation agreement, encourage him to maintain an active role in your children’s lives.
  • Get out of the house. Go to lunch with friends, develop new friendships, exercise regularly and get involved in your community to meet quality people you may be interested in forming a relationship with.
  • Remember to have some “me time.” You are likely to have less time to yourself and to be more stressed out about work and finances, so don’t forget to treat yourself with something nice regularly.
  • Do not be afraid to seek professional help if your challenges are too overwhelming to handle on your own, or if your children are showing signs of not coping well with the divorce.

Recognizing signs of parental alienation

Separating from or divorcing your child’s other parent is rarely easy, and it can lead to considerable stress and strife between you and your former partner. If the situation between you and your child’s other parent is especially acrimonious, you may have valid concerns about your former partner trying to turn your child against you.

While regrettable, this pattern of behavior is common enough to warrant its own term, and if it is happening within your family, you may be a victim of parental alienation. Parental alienation can have devastating effects on family relationships, and it can make an already tough time even harder by disrupting or harming the relationship between you and your child. If you suspect your child’s other parent may be working to turn him or her against you, be on the lookout for signs of parental alienation, which might include the following:

How to divorce-proof a second marriage

No one plans on getting a divorce the first time, and after that experience, they are unlikely to want to suffer through it again. Yet, the statistics for second marriages are not encouraging. The Gottman Institute shares that second marriages have a divorce rate of more than 60 percent. Some speculate that the reason is due to marrying too soon or no longer fearing divorce, while other factors include greater independence and not having shared children to consider.

Whatever the reasons, the high number does not mean you are doomed if you decide to marry again. There are ways you can reduce the likelihood of another divorce and better prepare for if it does happen despite your best efforts.

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