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Misconceptions can lead to poor decisions in divorce cases

Texas couples who are ending their marriages often need to make a number of important decisions, and making a poor choice can sometimes cast a long shadow. Spouses in need of direction often turn to close friends or family members or acquaintances who have been through a divorce themselves, but the advice they are given is often based on poor information, misunderstandings or misconceptions.

Making a child support agreement outside of court

Texas parents who are ending their marriage and who have one or more minor children might want to consider negotiating a child support agreement instead of going to court to have a judge make the determination. They may do this in informal negotiations by themselves. Another option is for their respective attorneys to take the lead.

Coping strategies for children to deal with divorce

Good communication can be an important tool for Texas parents who want to help their children adjust to a divorce. Parents should try to talk to children about the divorce early on because children will notice signs such as parents sleeping in separate bedrooms or one parent moving out. They need reassurance that the divorce is not their fault and that their parents will still take care of them. Their questions should be answered, and if children do not ask questions, parents should regularly check in with them and keep the lines of communication open.

Husbands who work are less likely to get divorced

Changes in attitudes toward marriage since the 1970s have made it easier for women in Texas and elsewhere to split from their husbands. Economic independence has also made it easier for women to leave a marriage that does not meet their needs. However, a study from a Harvard professor published in American Sociological Review suggests that the success or failure of a marriage may hinge on whether a husband is employed.

What to do in a marital separation

Texas couples who are having marital difficulties might want to try a separation first. There are several steps they should take. If only one person has handled finances in the marriage, the other person should get up to speed on this. It may be necessary to close any joint credit card accounts and for each to apply for credit cards in their own name.

What to know about a QDRO

When a Texas couple gets divorced, they may need to sign a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The QDRO determines how certain retirement assets are to be divided. While an individual who signs such an order may believe it to be equitable, it could result in fees and taxes that he or she hadn't planned on paying.

Federal bankruptcy judge rules on Chapter 13 divorce debt

When individuals in Texas and around the country file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are certain debts that cannot be included. Debts that are not discharged include certain taxes, most student loans and spousal and child support obligations, but debts associated with the property division provisions of a divorce settlement can be included in a Chapter 13 filing. This rule was recently put to the test in a case involving a Georgia couple, and a federal bankruptcy judge ruled on March 8 that a state court had made a mistake when it excluded a property division debt.

Increasing rate of divorce ifor older couples

Data shows that since 1990, there has been a significant increase in the number of divorces among married couples in Texas and around the country who are 50 years or older. Called gray divorces, the rate of couples ending their marriage has doubled for those between the ages of 50 and 64, and for couples who are 65 or older, the divorce rate has tripled.

Delinquent child support and father involvement

Many Texas fathers who have gone through a divorce do not have shared or primary physical custody of their children. They are typically ordered by the court to pay support to the custodial parent. According to a study, fathers who owe back child support tend to spend less time their children, are more likely to have children with other partners and often work fewer weeks throughout the year than fathers who are current.