Law Office of Ellen Dixius

Fort Worth Divorce Law Blog

7 tips for stay-at-home moms facing divorce

When you had your first child (or your second), you decided the cost of daycare was just too much and you left your career behind. Or you reduced to part-time work because you wanted more flexibility and more time to spend with your children.

But now you’re facing divorce. How are you going to afford to be a single mom? You’re not the only mom faced that challenge so here’s what you need to know to move forward:

What do divorce mediators accomplish?

Not all divorces go through a costly and lengthy trial. Some Texas couples see their issues resolved through a divorce mediation, which can be greatly beneficial in bringing a divorce to completion without the acrimony of a trial. According to Money Crashers, mediators fulfill a number of important duties in helping a divorce reach a successful and amicable conclusion.

Divorce mediators are known for bringing an outside perspective. A mediator is a neutral official with no vested interest in seeing one spouse “win” over the other. Instead, mediators help spouses see the point of view of the other spouse when needed to help them feel more willing to compromise and negotiate. If a solution seems elusive, a mediator can brainstorm possible solutions for the spouses to discuss.

Child support lapses reduced by threatening driving privileges

In 2016, Texas got so fed up with parents skimping on child support that the state decided to get creative. Texas decided to threaten one thing most adults hold dear to them: the ability to drive legally. According to ABC, parents who were more than six months behind on child support payments were not allowed to renew their vehicle registration.

For people who are familiar with Texas’ commitment to collecting child support payments, this may come as no surprise. The state has collected more than $3.8 billion in child support payments. No state has collected as much. To continue this trend through the new laws, the motor vehicle department began sending out notifications that September to inform payments of the need to catch up on child support before renewing their vehicle registration. They could then make payment arrangements.

Protecting a child’s mental health after divorce

When children are involved, divorces in Texas can be a stressful experience for the entire family. While parents carry most of the financial and personal burdens associated with divorce, children often suffer mental health problems in the aftermath. This can lead to anxiety, especially as it relates to whether or not the leaving parent will continue to play an active role in their lives.

According to the State Bar of Texas, most parents who seek sole custody believe this will further their children’s best interest. However, numerous studies have provided proof to the contrary. The organization posits that there is well-documented evidence to support the fact that when separated from one of their parents, children suffer emotionally. Divorces that are high-conflict tend to have the worst effect on children, resulting in depression, academic failure and emotional turmoil.

How to help children to cope with a high-profile divorce

When people in Texas think of high-profile divorces, they usually think of celebrities splitting up. While these definitely count as high-profile divorces, celebrities are not the only people in the limelight in a local community. Business managers, church leaders, community leaders and families of local star athletes may also attract a fair amount of attention.

This may make divorce even more unsettling for children as their own peers may have questions, and they may be aware of being treated differently by other adults. Here are some tips on how to help children cope in these instances.

What factors affect a child’s best interests?

If you are a parent who is going through divorce, one of your biggest concerns may be about child custody, also called conservatorship. As you have begun researching the process for determining conservatorship, you have probably come across the best interest standard, since the process for determining conservatorship is reliant on this standard.

For example, parents are encouraged to work together to determine conservatorship, but a Texas court will not approve conservatorship arrangements that are not in a child’s best interests. Also, if a court must decide for parents what conservatorship arrangement is most appropriate, the child’s best interests will be the standard used to make that decision. Because the best interest standard is so important to conservatorship decisions, it can be beneficial to understand what factors a court may consider when evaluating what your child’s best interests are.

Modifying the child support orders

Child support and parenting plans are typically part of a Texas divorce settlement. While that is the end of court proceedings for many families, life sometimes throws a curve ball. When circumstances change, the original court-ordered payment amount may become unsustainable. At the Law Office of Ellen Dixius, we often assist clients in making modifications to child support.

According to the Texas Attorney General, you can change the way you make child support payments at any time. However, only a court order can adjust the amount due. If your financial situation changes, it is critical that you pay as much as you can toward the obligation and work toward making modifications quickly. If you stop making payments, a 6 percent interest rate accrues, which means you will end up paying more when all is said and done.

Could shared parenting laws cure bitter custody battles?

News involving divorced couples in Texas can be downright scary, but when a child is involved it can be far more devastating. From women running off to other states and countries with the children to men killing the entire family and then themselves, bitter custody battles can go from heartbreaking to deadly at the drop of a hat.

Perhaps as a result of these cases, states across America are now considering better co-parenting laws. In these instances, rather than give primary custody to you and potential visitation rights to your partner, both of you would share equal custody.

Establishing legal fatherhood for unmarried dads

In Texas, when a child is born to an unmarried couple, the law only recognizes the mother. Establishing legal fatherhood requires additional steps. At the Law Office of Ellen Dixius, we often assist clients in paternity disputes and custody rights when there is no legally recognized dad.

According to Texas Access, a biological father has no legal rights to his child if he is not married to the mother. To establish your child’s biological dad as a legal parent, you can both sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity form or get a court order naming him the legal father. By establishing paternity, the child can benefit in several ways:

  • He or she has access to their dad’s family medical history
  • It creates a legal connection
  • Dad’s name appears on their birth certificate
  • When dad dies, your child may collect death benefits or an inheritance

Are There Really Health Effects of Divorcing After 50?

According to U.S. News, since 1990, divorce rates for people 50 years and older have doubled. Texas is no exception to this ongoing trend. Silver Divorces, as they are sometimes called, have become quite normal. However, when you are the one going through the divorce, you may begin to wonder if such a lifechanging decision can affect your health.

While many people thrive when divorcing after 50, there is an adjustment period and there are potential risks to your health. There are both psychological and physiological conditions that may develop, especially for people who already had pre-existing conditions. But why? Did you not divorce to live a happier and more fulfilling life without a partner who was no longer on the same page with you?

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