Blog on Divorce and Family Law
Learning some basic information about divorce and family law can help prepare you for the legal issues you face. Our attorneys believe that honest advice, straight talk and some basic legal knowledge can make a big difference. A legal issue is a two-sided coin ─ your side versus the other side. Our job is to apply our knowledge, skills and experience to help you get the results you want. However, that doesn’t mean there is no participation on your part. You have important decisions to make that affect your future. The better you understand, the better you are at making smart decisions.
We hope you find our blog useful. Of course, forming a client-attorney relationship is the only way to receive legal advice, and these posts are not intended as legal advice nor the establishment of a client-attorney relationship.
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No matter the circumstances, divorces are among the most stressful, life-changing experiences that anyone can go through. Between 40 and 50% of married couples in the United States get a divorce. Couples may choose divorce for many reasons. Many times personal problems develop when divorce-related anxiety or depression is ignored and not dealt with properly and in a timely manner.
Divorce is more than a legal process. It is emotional on many levels and causes distorted thoughts that lead to unhealthy negative emotions like depression, anger, fear and anxiety. Every decision from deciding to go through with your divorce to counting down the days until it is final has its stressful emotions. Some people describe the feeling as if they are in an endless space of doom and gloom — floating through life not knowing with no beginning, no end, and nothing but a big, dark mess left to show for it. This is what causes the feeling of being overwhelmed and the feelings of anxiety, sadness and anger.
You can and will make it through this painful time. Things will get easier, but it takes time, patience, hard work, determination and a helping hand.
But there are ways to deal with these emotions and the anxiety that comes from your divorce. For instance, when you can visualize these issues, you slow everything down and break up all the chaos into manageable pieces. By doing this, you will begin to feeling better. The legal process itself has an end, but your feelings about the divorce will by no means go away tomorrow or next week.
Understand that throughout the divorce process there are different levels of anxiety. In the beginning, the thoughts of getting your divorce seem impossible to deal with when thinking about your future. However, you can and will make it through this painful time. Things will get easier, but it takes time, patience, hard work, determination and a helping hand.
The best way to prepare you to navigate through this hectic and chaotic time is to put your thoughts in writing. When you visualize, follow a process and write down on a piece of paper what you’re dealing with on each level:
Identify divorce issues that need resolution
Couples often cite multiple reasons rather than one single problem. Some of the most common for divorce are lack of commitment, communication issues or a tendency to argue, addiction, financial problems, and abuse. Feeling better starts with you. An optimistic versus catastrophic thinking style can be a determining factor in how you and your child cope with the divorce.
List sub-issues that may encompass the overall issue
It is a common scenario where one partner exhibits behavior that the other partner finally decides is too much to endure. For example, some couples divorce because of infidelity, and for others, infidelity is something that happened at the end of years of other problems such as nasty conflicts, growing apart, and substance abuse. Making a list of all the ways you have grown apart as a couple helps with the process of thinking through the anxiety and dealing with separation.
Rank the importance of the listed issues
Without focus, all issues seem equally important. Taking time to set priorities will ensure that you direct your energy and resources to the most important issues. The process of writing down difficult emotional issues is beneficial to managing the stress and anxiety of a divorce and keeps the focus on what is most important.
In addition to getting help from a mental health professional or a doctor, you may want to discuss divorce-related legal issues (such as, child custody and support, alimony and division of property) with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities and help guide you through the decision-making process.
Ask For Help
The road may seem lonely and bleak, but you do not have to go it alone. Get help if you need it and speak with our family law attorney to answer your questions about your legal rights or the divorce process. Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
Texas is a community property state. That means anything and everything you acquired during the marriage is shared, equally.
The process for dividing marital property and other assets in a divorce can be a big hurdle for some. In a Texas divorce, the court is required to divide the property in a “just and right” manner.
As you go through your divorce, you may be thinking that means “half of everything” belongs to you. But the law has more distinction than that. The court is not required to divide the property equally but must divide it equitably, and may order a disproportionate division if it has a reasonable basis to do so.
A trial court may consider a number of factors in dividing marital property. Factors include the nature of the property, income disparity, business opportunity, relative financial conditions and obligations, education, physical condition, age, fault in the break-up, the benefit the innocent spouse would have received if the marriage continued, the size of the separate estates, and the probable need for future support.
Steps to take when determining, valuing, and dividing marital property and assets in a divorce include:
- Step 1: Before dividing marital property and assets, a comprehensive list of all property and other assets needs to be determined. List each property, whether separate or joint, include everything you own.
- Step 2: Each asset will need to be determined if it is community property or separate property. Community property includes all property you and your spouse have at the time of the divorce (except for property that a spouse can prove is a separate property of one spouse). Separate property must have “clear and convincing” evidence that it belongs to one spouse. Otherwise, it is considered to be community property. In Texas, separate property is defined as what each person inherits before and during the marriage, brings into the marriage, receives as a gift during the marriage and receives as personal-injury proceeds.
- Step 3: Determine the value of each community property asset. Write what each property is worth next to each description and try to assign each property a fair-market value. In most cases, couples agree on how to split up the household items. If the items need to be valued, they are done so at garage-sale prices.
- Step 4: Determine “just and right” division of marital assets. Write how each property might be divided.
There are no guarantees in dividing property in divorce. Negotiations go back and forth, and couples need to understand the aspects of their property to know how it will affect their future financial security. Who gets what will most likely be the result of negotiating between spouses. Knowing what to negotiate for is crucial.
If you are facing a divorce, an experienced Texas divorce attorney can assist you in pursuing your fair share of the marital assets. Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
For the parent with visitation, summer visitation is referred to Extended Summer Possession if you have standard visitation orders in Texas. This is the thirty days that the parent with visitation or non-custodial parent (NCP) has during the summer in addition to their standard weekends throughout the other summer months.
Remember, in the summer the NCP gets normal first, third and fifth Friday weekend possessions in addition to the 30-day extended summer possession. The weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Dates to remember:
- April 1st is the deadline for the parent with visitation to designate the 30 days of visitation in the summer if your standard possession order is out of the state of Texas. If the non-custodial parent designated the days, then there is no problem. However, if the NCP did not designate a visitation schedule by the first of April then it defaults to July 1 through July 31st beginning and ending at 6 p.m.
- July 1-31st is the summer visitation schedule if the parent with visitation does not designate their visitation times by April 1
- April 15th is the deadline for the custodial parent to designate one weekend in the 30-day period of possession to have the children. The weekend begins at 6 p.m. on Friday and ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday, and the custodial parent must do all the driving to pick up and drop off. The custodial parent will lose that weekend if it’s not designated by the April 15th
During the summer, the CP gets to choose two weekends – one weekend within the 30-day period of extended summer possession with the NCP, and the other weekend takes place outside the 30-day visitation period on a weekend that would otherwise belong to the NCP.
There are a lot of variation and some exceptions to a standard possession order in Texas. It’s important to read and understand the details of your order.
Do you need help?
For more information about Access, Custody and Visitation Contact the Family Law Firm of C.E. Borman & Associates at 979-846-4090 for an appointment.
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We offer legal services to clients in Brazos, Robertson, Madison, Burleson, Grimes, Washington, Austin, Lee and Leon counties.
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