Law Office of Ellen Dixius

Fort Worth Divorce Law Blog

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?

Which expenses should you put child support toward?

You are preparing to finalize your divorce in Texas and have received word that your ex is going to be required to pay so much money for child support each month. Now, you are left trying to decide how to use those funds in the wisest way possible to maximize your money now that you are living on a single parent's budget. 

Child support has many valuable benefits to you and your children, but only if it is paid consistently and on time. It is wise to never rely on receiving child support in case there are months when your ex is delinquent or if he or she ends up refusing to pay altogether. When developing a new budget for your daily expenses, do not include any money you anticipate receiving for child support as part of that budget. This way, if you do not receive the payments, you are not in a bind and unable to meet the needs of your children. 

What is a Standard Possession Order?

If you are a Texas parent thinking about divorcing your spouse, you likely have at least a vague idea that you and your spouse will need to come to an agreement regarding the parenting time both of you will have with your children after the divorce. What you may not realize, however, is that the Texas Family Code contains the default parenting time provisions that will go into effect after your divorce if you and your spouse cannot come up with an agreement yourselves. These provisions go by the name of a Standard Possession Order.

The SPO not only provides a highly detailed schedule of the parenting times your children will spend with both their custodial and noncustodial parent, but also includes detailed provisions as to how you and your former spouse will exchange your children between you so that these parenting times can take place. The precise provisions depend on how far away from each other you and your ex-spouse live after your divorce.

Every ending is a new beginning: Hope after Divorce

Change is scary for most people, especially when children are involved and there is so much uncertainty about the future. The darkness of divorce is real, and many people find themselves falling into depression, overburdened by stress during this time. That is why this post is dedicated to inspiring hope to hearts that are broken along with the dreams that marriage promised.

Every person who is still living on this planet has a purpose to serve. You wouldn’t be alive if you didn’t have a life assignment. Your divorce is a part of your story now and you can inspire others with your ability to heal and grow from the lessons this experience is teaching you.

How is child support calculated?

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce in Texas and you have children, two important considerations are who will get custody and who will pay for their expenses. There are numerous factors that go into calculating child support, and the court may order one or both parents to contribute financially. 

According to Very Well Family, even in joint custody situations it is better for the child when child support is present. Benefits include:

  • Child's wellbeing is better
  • Easier adjustment for child
  • Better overall social adjustment post-divorce
  • Positive effect on school performance

When a couple has different plans for their future

Marriages break down for different reasons, but some are the result of a couple having different plans for their future. For example, one spouse may want to move to another state, whether they want to be closer to family or pursue more lucrative career opportunities. Or, someone’s spouse may not want to have kids, even though they are determined to have multiple children. These are just some of the differences that married couples sometimes struggle with and in certain instances, these differences can ultimately lead to the breakdown of a marriage.

If you and your marital partner are trying to see eye to eye on an important topic, it is crucial to do what you can to defuse tensions. Even if you do have to eventually split up with your spouse over your differences, it will probably be very helpful for you to stay on good terms with your spouse. For example, if you have kids this can be highly beneficial, and it may also help you work through the divorce process in a less complicated manner.

Job-related stress and divorce

Marriages end because of infidelity, abuse and other factors. However, some marriages are brought to an end because of job-related problems, such as high stress levels and working too much. Whether you have been under an intense amount of pressure at your place of employment and your marital partner recently told you they no longer want to stay in the marriage or you wish to break up with your spouse because they are too wrapped up in their job, it is essential to go over your options and take the right approach.

There are many different ways in which stress due to one’s job can place a strain on a marriage. For example, someone who has a lot of commitments at work may not be spending enough time with their family and they may be in the office for too long, coming home late at night. Or, someone may have so much anxiety at their place of work that it carries over into their home life, turning them into a different person who is angry and unpleasant to be around.

How do stepparents fit in?

If you are newly married in Texas, and your spouse has children, you now have a new role as a stepparent. In most situations, your stepchildren may not be too thrilled with the idea of you coming into their lives, and this can lead to resentment and conflict. It may take time, but if you follow these tips the chances of you eventually developing a healthy relationship with them increases.

According to Parents, it is best to take a step back when it comes to entering into this family dynamic. You may want to form an instant bond with the kids, but if you force or rush it, this may never happen. It is important you realize your role, which is more of a supportive position than an authoritative one. Your spouse and the ex should be in charge of rules and discipline, and you need to respect this. Do you disagree with something the ex has done or a decision he/she made? Do you want to say something bad about him/her in front of the kids? Hold your tongue as saying anything will only make things worse.

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