Law Office of Ellen Dixius

Fort Worth Divorce Law Blog

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.

Modifying custody orders

During the divorce process, parents must negotiate a custody agreement, or conservatorship. However, agreements and court orders are not set in stone. Parents have the option to petition the court to modify a child custody order, but there are certain conditions and processes to understand before moving forward with a modification.

Preparing for an unexpected divorce

Some divorces are the result of months or years of discussion and come as no surprise. In other instances, someone may be caught completely off-guard when they find out that their spouse wants to bring their marriage to a close. Every couple is in a unique position, in some cases a spouse may have found someone else they want to spend their life with while others may simply be the result of bitterness and resentment that was hidden for years. If your spouse recently informed you that they are moving ahead with a divorce, you should immediately look at your options and try to prepare.

First of all, you should look into the unique aspects of your marriage and life circumstances. For example, do you have children? If so, it may be necessary to look into child support payments, especially if you expect to be on the hook for making payments. Child custody is another potentially contentious family law matter that many parents struggle with, so you might want to prepare for a dispute over custody and look into the different factors that courts analyze when making decisions on how to award custody.

How is conservatorship decided?

If you are a parent going through a divorce in Texas, there is probably a lot on your mind. One of your biggest concerns may be who will gain custody of the children. There are a number of factors that go into how custody is determined, and a deciding one may relate to the age of the child and who can best meet the developmental needs.

According to FindLaw, Texas refers to child custody in conservatorship terms. If only one parent is allowed to make legal decisions, it is referred to as sole conservatorship, while when both parents can it is joint conservatorship. Correct terms aside, the bigger question is how does a court decide? In Texas, as in many states, the best interests of the children are what guide the decision-making process. However, other factors include the financial and physical health of each party and if there is a history of neglect or abuse.

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