Archive for the ‘Texas Divorce Cases’ Category

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses Reconciliation

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Divorce is a process; it’s not just an event. For any divorcing couple, some length of time passes between the filing of divorce papers and the date that the divorce becomes final. The length of time that it will take for a couple to divorce depends upon a few factors, including the laws of the state where they are divorcing. Each state has a timetable for divorce proceedings. The length of a couple’s divorce also depends on the couple, and whether they work through the process quickly without having to discuss much, or whether they battle hard and delay the process by being unable to work out an agreement on the issues in their case instead of going to trial. There are also situations where divorce proceedings get put on hold or even abandoned completely because a couple decides to try to reconcile or does indeed reconcile.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently announced that they are taking a break from their divorce proceedings. While the two are not back together, they are working on some of the things that contributed to the demise of their relationship, and they have decided to pause the proceedings to see where things go. Other celebrity couples have done similar things, with some continuing to divorce and some letting the initial divorce filing fade into the background while remaining married, for better or for worse, sometimes for a long time and sometimes for just a few months or years before finally deciding to call it quits.

If celebrities are pausing divorce proceedings to consider reconciliation, you can be sure that many other people who are not celebrities are doing it, too. If you are divorcing and the thought of taking a break to work on things or think about things seems like it might be a good idea, there’s no harm in exploring the possibility. You can always forge ahead if you get the feeling that the divorce should continue. Of course, if the mere mention of the word reconciliation or taking a break to work on things makes you feel angry inside, then don’t do it. Many people put a lot of thought and effort into working through things before they file for divorce and once they have gotten to that point they are sure that it is the right choice for them. If that’s you, keep on moving through your divorce with confidence,

One of the ways that a couple can explore the idea of reconciliation is through couples counseling. Counseling can be beneficial regardless of whether the two of you decide to divorce or stay together. It can help you talk through some things that could make divorce proceedings go more smoothly, or it could make you realize that divorce isn’t really what either of you wants or needs.

If you are considering divorce and you have questions, call our office at (903) 753-7499 today to plan an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. If you prefer, you can visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Shares Three Top Relationship Woes

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Divorce begins with marriage, a marriage in which something has gone so wrong that the divorcing spouses believe it to be beyond repair. Divorce attorneys learn a lot about relationships as they help their divorcing clients navigate the legal process that ends their marriages. One of the things that divorce lawyers learn through working with their clients is that although there are many reasons that marriages fail, there are a few reasons that stand out as common marriage busters. If you are considering divorce and you recognize one of these common culprits as the reason why it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether you and your spouse might invest in your marriage by exploring the issue before investing time and money into getting divorced. When spouses realize that their marriage is in trouble and they start to talk about why they gain information about whether there’s a possibility for the marriage to be saved or whether the two of them are past the point of no return and moving forward with divorce is the healthiest option for them.

Children are undoubtedly a source of great love and joy to their parents. Unfortunately, spouses who have kids also have the potential to experience a marital breakdown in a way that couples without kids do not. It has very little to do with the children themselves, but it does involve each spouse’s beliefs and expectations regarding the care and upbringing of their kids. Raising kids takes a lot of time and effort, and disputes often arise from a difference in expectations regarding how spouses divvy up parenting time and responsibilities. Disagreements about family rules and discipline are also often cited as a major source of marital stress.

All couples could potentially fall prey to a ruined marriage due to a lack of communication. While people differ in how they communicate and the amount of communication that they prefer, it’s easy to see that little to no communication within a marriage can quickly become a deal-breaker. Communication within the context of marriage involves many things, from daily responsibilities and scheduling to beliefs, values, and feelings. We are not designed to read minds should we be expected to “know” what each other is doing or feeling. This is why when couples don’t talk, misunderstanding and resentment build and build until one or both spouses becomes angry and fights rather than conversations become the couple’s default method of communication.

A lack of intimacy, both the sexual variety and the non-sexual closeness that couples can maintain through their words and actions, can bring a marriage to its demise. Humans are made for closeness, and the physical and emotional connection that a couple can experience within their marriage is unique to that relationship. When one or both spouses stop reaching out to each other in an affectionate way, their bond becomes weaker and weaker until they feel more like roommates instead of spouses. If a couple is unwilling or unable to reconnect with each other, the marriage is likely to fail.

If you are considering divorce, call us at (903) 753-7499 today to arrange an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. If you prefer, visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.

 

Texas Family Law Attorney Says Parents Are Disappointed at Failure of Equal Custody Bill

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

During the last legislative session, a bill that would have made 50/50 custody agreements automatic in most divorce cases failed. Disappointed parents rallied to express their disappointment in the failure of a bill that they feel would have protected the health and well-being of the children of divorced and divorcing parents.

House Bill 453 was authored by State Representative James White (R-Woodville), wrote the bill, which would have meant a departure from the traditional divorce custody model where the mother would be given full custody of the couple’s children to a model that would automatically give divorcing parents 50/50 custody. Many divorced parents whose children spend less than half of their time with them lament their current custody arrangements and feel that the lack of adequate time spent with their children negatively affects their children’s relationship with them. The bill was similar to proposals that are under consideration in at least four other states, and it is worth noting that in nearly twenty other states, shared custody is required or at the very least expected in the absence of a compelling reason for a different arrangement.

The parents at the rally felt that the value system that underlies the primary-custody-to-mother custody model has changed, which means that the courts should change their custody model to acknowledge the shift away from father-as-breadwinner/mother-as-homemaker families towards the more typical dual career family. In addition to and perhaps even more important than keeping with changing times, shared parenting is beneficial for both children and parents. It preserves the psychological role of each parent as equal to the other, which creates less distress for the children during and after the transition into two households. Parents who get equal parenting time are also less likely to have conflict. This is not to say that there’s a complete absence of conflict, only that the overall level of tension and conflict gets drastically reduced which benefits everyone. Shared parenting also allows for economic equality, and in situations where child support goes from one parent to the other, there is much less discussion of it or resentment of it when parents get to spend equal time with their kids.

There are some situations in which 50/50 parenting is not a beneficial situation for parents or children. Some examples include high levels of persistent and unresolved conflict, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Conditions that would make shared parenting physically or emotionally unsafe are not the only circumstances which would make 50/50 custody less than desirable. The careers and desired location of the parents can also be a reason for parents to choose a custody arrangement that does not provide for equal parenting time. The children’s’ ages and emotional needs are also essential considerations in any discussion and determination regarding custody.

In light of the failure of the bill that would mandate 50/50 custody in most divorces, it is critical that parents remember that they are free to design a custody arrangement that will work well for themselves and their children instead of having the court decide who gets how much parenting time. If you have custody questions related to your Texas divorce, call  (903) 753-7499 today to schedule an initial consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. Alternatively, you can visit us online anytime to submit an online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Talks about the Problem of Child Marriages

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Did you know that Texas has the second highest child marriage rate in the country? Between 2000 and 2014, four thousand Texans got married before their eighteenth birthdays. In 2014 in Texas, 6.9 out of every 1000 people who were between the ages of 15 and 17 got married. Presently, approximately two thousand Texas youth get married every year. Under current law, individuals who are sixteen or seventeen years of age can legally marry if they have permission from one of their parents, and people who are under sixteen can also marry if a court gives them permission to do so. Fortunately, this could change soon if lawmakers decide to increase the minimum age for marriage to eighteen years of age by passing Senate Bill 1705.

When very young people marry, in Texas and elsewhere, it isn’t always about love. Some parents force their children to marry early, often to older spouses, so that the children will be “taken care of.” Unfortunately, far too many of these unions become abusive, and the younger spouse often feels completely powerless to stand up against the older spouse upon whom they may have become financially dependent.

Former child brides provided compelling testimony in support of raising the minimum age for marriage. One woman was only fourteen years old when she married someone who was twenty-six. She became a mother shortly after that. As she looks back on how her life unfolded, she realizes that she was not at all prepared, either physically or psychologically, for either of those major life changes, let alone both of them so close together. Her marriage lasted four years, and during that time the woman felt powerless because of her age, and she got abused emotionally, physically, verbally, and psychologically. During her marriage, she asked her mother if she could go back home, and she was told “no.” She had been permitted to enter a marriage that she was not legally old enough to make a decision to end. Fortunately, she did divorce her husband when she was able to do so – other child brides remain trapped in abusive marriages because of poverty or the effects of abuse on their psychological well-being that make them feel as though they are unable to leave their marriages.

If the age for marriage gets raised to eighteen, couples who want to marry can get emancipated and then they can marry, or they can wait until they are of age. The protective effects on Texas youth that could result from raising the minimum age for marriage far outweigh the effects of any additional efforts, such as waiting until age eighteen or getting emancipated before then, that couples who were determined to marry would endure on their way to the altar. Since minors would have to get emancipated before they could marry, they would be legally able to divorce if they ever needed to.

In Texas, marriage and divorce laws do occasionally change. If you have any questions about your Texas divorce, a family law attorney can help you find the answers that you need. Call our office at (903) 753-7499 today, to arrange a consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. You can also visit us online to complete a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Says Women in India are Asking for Greater Court Oversight of Divorces

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

The rules of divorce are not uniform throughout the world. In many countries like the United States, divorce is a legal process that must be done through the court system to be valid. In some places, though, divorce does not always have to pass through the court system. For example, in India, a man may declare a divorce from his wife, irrevocable and effective immediately, simply by saying or writing the word “talaq” three times.

The idea of an instant and irrevocable divorce may seem strange enough because no such provision exists here in the United States, but the rules for divorce in India are even more unlike American divorce rules in that they do not apply equally to men and women. A wife may not declare “talaq” against her husband. If a woman in India would like to divorce her husband, she must consult with a cleric first, and there is a formal process that she must follow if she would like to receive financial support from him.

Women in India are becoming increasingly frustrated with the problems that come from having unequal divorce rules for men and women. One out of every eleven Indian women who have married has had one or more marriages that ended with “talaq” divorce. When women are divorced by “talaq,” it is tough for them to get financial support from their former husbands, so the divorced women and their children are at a high risk for poverty. It is evident from the accounts of many Indian women that “talaq” divorce creates a permissive environment for physical and emotional abuse. Many women remain in physically and emotionally abusive relationships because they have no way of supporting themselves and their children economically and they fear that if they stand up to their husbands and ask them to stop the abuse, then their husbands will get angry and divorce them by “talaq.” Some of the women who have experienced “talaq” divorce have petitioned the Supreme Court of India, seeking a ban on instant divorce. Lest we think that such a ban is unlikely, it is important to remember that some nations like Pakistan, Egypt, and Tunisia that once allowed “talaq” divorces have banned the practice and have given responsibility for overseeing divorces to their judicial systems.

Opposition to a ban on “talaq” divorce comes from some members of the Muslim community who feel that it is an integral practice within the religion of Islam. However, not all Muslims agree. Some Muslims say that the provisions for divorce that are in the Quran not only apply equally to men and women, they also require a couple to think things through and try to reconcile before they may divorce. The Supreme Court of India will examine the issue and determine whether a ban on “talaq” divorce would be constitutional.

In Texas, the laws of the State of Texas govern all divorce proceedings. If you have questions about your Texas divorce, a family law attorney can help you find the answers that you need. Call  (903) 753-7499 today to schedule a consultation with Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra. You may also visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Talks about Pets and Your Divorce

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Most couples and families regard their pets as members of the family. We take them with us on adventures, we curl up with them on the couch, we play with them, and we love them in so many ways. In return, they love us faithfully and bring so much joy into our lives. When a couple who has pets divorces, they will need to decide how they will handle the care and company of their pets.

A recent change to the divorce laws in Alaska requires courts to consider the “well-being of the animal” in divorce cases where custody of a pet is contested. The change went into effect this past January, and it makes Alaska the first state to require that courts address the needs of an animal when they make decisions about how they will assign ownership of that animal in a divorce case. The law permits courts to assign ownership of an animal to one party or the other or to order joint custody in situations where the well-being of the animal would be served best by that arrangement.

Most states, including Texas, treat animals as personal property. When a couple divorces, the issue of who will get to keep which animals gets addressed in the property settlement portion of the divorce proceedings. Even though animals are considered property under the law, divorcing couples who have pets are free to make agreements about how they want to handle issues associated with pet care and ownership.

If you have pets and you are divorcing, you might already be aware that your pets will experience your divorce on both a physical level and an emotional level. You and your pet may both already be experiencing feelings associated with the change in the amount of time that you spend together if that has already changed for you. These feelings, along with the fact that pets who spend time with each of their “people” adjust more easily to their new lifestyle, are good reasons to do your best to work things out with your spouse as far as agreeing to a schedule for pet care and making an agreement about pet-related expenses. Any agreement that the two of you create on your own will serve your needs and the needs of your pets much better than a judge-designed court order can because the court will simply consider the pets as property and distribute them as part of your property agreement.

If you have pets and you are getting divorced, be sure to take the time to talk about your pets with your spouse. Pets can be treated more like family members and less like property when a divorcing couple makes an agreement regarding their care and custody instead of leaving the matter of their disposition to a judge. If you have questions about how to address the needs of your pets in your Texas divorce, please contact Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499 to schedule a consultation. Alternatively, you may visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses Proposed Bills That Would Make Divorcing More Difficult

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Two recently introduced bills could make getting a divorce in Texas more difficult if either or both of them pass. State Representative Matt Krause introduced SB 93 because he wants Texas to do away with no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce is a divorce based upon “insupportability,” which means that one or both spouses find the other intolerable, and they cannot work things out. The second bill that he introduced, HB 65, would increase the waiting period for a Texas divorce from 60 days to 180 days if the couple has minor children.

If no-fault divorce is no longer an option in Texas, the party who is seeking a divorce will have to name one of the six fault-based grounds for divorce in their divorce filing. The six options that they have to choose from are confinement in a mental hospital, cruelty, adultery, abandonment, living apart, and conviction of a felony. Not only will they have to name the grounds for their divorce, but they will also have to present evidence that their alleged grounds for divorce are true.

The potential consequences of taking no-fault divorce off of the table may include less privacy, fewer divorce cases settling outside of court, and people engaging in behaviors that they may not have chosen if no-fault divorce were an option. Some couples who do have fault-based grounds for divorce currently choose no-fault divorce because they don’t want to disclose the details of why their marriage failed in court or during alternative dispute resolution. These couples may want to focus on the legal mechanics of their divorce and address healing from the things that went wrong in their marriage through therapy. They may have other reasons for not wanting to select a fault-based grounds for divorce. Whatever their reason is, removing no-fault divorce as a choice will eliminate the privacy that citing “insupportability” currently provides.

Citing a fault-based grounds for divorce and then having to provide evidence to support it can increase the amount of conflict between divorcing spouses. It is possible that an increase in conflict could stand in the way of some couples being able to resolve their divorces through mediation or reach divorce settlements before their scheduled trial date. Divorces that get mediated or which settle before trial cost less; and both parties are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome of their divorce than parties whose divorce cases were decided by the court. This makes sense because when parties go to court, one “wins” and the other “loses”.

In a marriage where the spouses have fallen out of love and have no desire to try to fall back in love, being able to call it quits without some major event happening can provide relief for both spouses. Unfortunately, if no-fault divorce is taken off of the table, a spouse may decide to have an affair or engage in an activity that falls under one of the other fault-based grounds for divorce. After all, they would need some “reason” to end their marriage when they would have preferred to end their marriage amicably with a no-fault divorce and then pursue a different relationship, live apart, or otherwise move on with their life without engaging in that behavior.

If you would like to learn more about divorce in Texas, please contact Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499 to schedule a consultation, or visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Talks about Divorces Involving Business Ownership

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Some couples have relatively few types of assets to concern themselves with when they divorce. Others may own real estate, investments, or even one or more businesses. If you or your spouse owns a business, or, if you own a business together, it is essential that you take great care to ensure that the hard work that either or both of you have invested into your business over the years gets preserved during your divorce.

Just as with other types of assets, the issue of how to handle business ownership in a divorce is best addressed by agreement of the parties, and not by a judge who knows little or nothing about you, your family, and your business. Regardless of the current level of conflict in your divorce, it is important that you and your spouse work together with your attorneys to discuss the future of your business, and that the two of you make every effort to reach an agreement about what that future is.

In addition to working with your attorneys to discuss the future of your business, it is often worth consulting with a financial advisor because they can provide you and your attorney with valuable information like estimates of the value of the enterprise and its assets, cash flow, and liquidity. When you have gotten a clear picture of what your business is worth, you can begin to think about how you would like to acknowledge that value in your divorce settlement. There are many ways that couples who own one or more businesses, either together or separately, can structure a divorce settlement.

If you own a business that your spouse is not involved in, you may want to think about what other assets could, when taken as a group, have approximately the same value as the business. Your spouse may be happy to take that group of assets while you retain ownership, control, and all of the other benefits of your business. Of course, it is possible that your spouse may prefer a different arrangement, or they may be the one who owns the business, and you may have to engage in discussion about what will work well for each of you. It is possible that either or both of you are interested in selling your business, or in selling your interest in the firm. These are all potential solutions that you can discuss with your spouse. As you have these discussions, keep in mind that there are many creative ways that spouses can structure a divorce agreement involving a business, and any solution that the two of you can come up with is likely to work better for your family than a solution that is devised by the court.

If either you or your spouse owns a business or you own a business together, a Texas Family Law Attorney can help you to account for your business and all of your other assets as part of your Texas divorce. To learn more, please contact attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499 to arrange a consultation, or visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Shares Tips for Managing Finances During and After Divorce

Friday, December 30th, 2016

If you are divorcing, you may wonder how you will be able to afford to take this much-needed step towards personal freedom. Divorce does cost money, but it is important that you do not put it off or even worse give up on it out of fear that you cannot afford it. The following tips can help you secure your finances before, during and after your divorce.

When divorcing spouses maintain a focus on agreement, they save money. Divorce is not easy, but the notion that cooperation can cut costs can be a powerful motivator to set conflict aside. One way in which agreement can reduce the financial burden of divorce is in the area of legal fees. It is important that each spouse retains his or her own attorney, but the amount of work that your attorney has to do on your behalf is directly connected to the amount that you will end up paying them. If you and your soon to be former spouse are approaching your attorneys with drafts of a divorce agreement that you have worked on together, you will not spend as much on legal fees as you would if you are fighting with each other through your attorneys about who should get which assets and what your parenting plan should look like, if you have children.

In reality, not all divorces can be resolved amicably. Fortunately, you can keep your costs down regardless of the level of conflict in your divorce. Knowing the details of your personal and household finances is one of these strategies. You can gather information about your debt and any marital debts that you and your spouse have, and you can do some research and find out what your household expenses are as well as what you might expect to pay to establish a new home for yourself.

Making financially wise decisions during your divorce can reduce not only the up-front costs of divorce but also the long-term costs. Divorce is an emotional process, but it is essential for your financial well-being that you do your best to address your emotional needs – through counseling, talking with supportive friends or whatever works for you – and make financial decisions from a purely practical frame of mind. For example, you may have to work through your feelings about your marital home before you can do an honest and sufficiently detailed calculation to determine whether it makes sense to try to keep it on either a short-term or a long-term basis.

As you and your soon to be former spouse work through your divorce, see whether the two of you can agree on whether to sell any items to make more cash available to pay off debts or divide amongst each other. There are laws that govern marital property, so you must check with your attorneys before selling anything because an improper sale is illegal. Selling items requires consulting with your attorney, but you are free to reduce your personal expenses by eliminating unnecessary spending, starting your new household with only the bare minimum of utilities and looking for ways to save money on one-time and recurring costs.

While you work to build a strong financial future for yourself, a Texas Family Law Attorney can help you pursue an outcome in your divorce that will meet your current and future needs. To learn more, please contact attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499 to arrange a consultation, or visit us online and submit a convenient online contact form.

Texas Family Law Attorney Discusses How to Talk to Children about Divorce

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

There’s no doubt about it – thinking about talking to your kids about divorce can bring up many different emotions. You might fear that you will damage your beloved children by divorcing, or by making a mistake when you have the dreaded conversation. You might be angry that you are getting divorced and resentful that you even have to have the divorce talk with your kids at all. It’s possible that you are sad, anxious, or any other feeling or combination of feelings as well. Despite all of that, though, once you and your soon to be former spouse have decided for certain that you are divorcing, it is time for you to plan for this crucial conversation together, and for delivering the news together, as a united front.

Introducing your children to the fact that you and their other parent are divorcing is a serious subject and must be handled with the utmost care. It’s time to set aside your differences for the time being and work together to decide when the conversation will take place, map out who will say what, and agree on ground rules for creating a calm and reassuring tone during “the talk”. When planning a time to talk, be sure to allow for as much time as you will need, including plenty of time for questions – because there will be lots of those.

When you plan out what you are going to say, it is important to be truthful without placing blame or bringing negativity to the table. For example, instead of saying that you are divorcing because one of you has been unfaithful, you can say that your relationship is not working out. Be sure to include plenty of reassurance that each of you loves each of your children and that you always will, because even though you might think that is obvious, it is not always visible to children, and you can’t say it too many times. Reassuring children that it is not their fault is also important. You know your kids best, and it may be helpful to think of some things to include in the conversation that will speak to each of them about things that are most important to them. This might mean talking about whether they’ll be remaining in the same school, talking about having two homes, discussing spending time with each parent, talking about spending time with friends, or anything else that you know the feel strongly about.

When it’s time to sit down with the kids and have the conversation, stick to your plan and create a gentle and reassuring tone for the discussion. Keep your conversation simple, age-appropriate, and relevant to your children’s lives, be sure to ask them whether they have any questions afterward, and answer questions as honestly as you can without being negative or disrespectful. By following the aforementioned suggestions, you can use this challenging conversation to set the stage for healthy relationships between each of you and your children as well as a cooperative and healthy co-parenting relationship between the two of you.

Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra – Your Texas Divorce Attorney

Get answers to your questions about Texas divorce today – call Texas Family Law Attorney Alex Tyra at (903) 753-7499.