Law Office of Ellen Dixius

Fort Worth Divorce Law Blog

How spouses and exes use technology to spy on each other

Divorces in Texas can sometimes take a nasty turn for the worst. When this happens, couples may resort to everything from GPS trackers to spyware to keep tabs on their ex. Some partners may even install these devices long before they disclose their intentions to leave. This may happen if a wife believes her husband is cheating. According to NPR, it may even happen when an ex-husband decides he wants to keep tabs on his ex-wife to terrify her.

After reviewing two dozen cases of using spying tools that made it into a U.S. courtroom, NPR found that judges were inconsistent in how they punished the people responsible. In one case dating all the way back to 2007, a Texan used SpyRecon against his wife. He faced a four-year sentence for his actions. Meanwhile, some people get away with these activities with little or no repercussions, particularly when it involves tracking jointly owned property, such as a car.

Joint custody may prove more beneficial for children

While getting a divorce in Texas, many parents argue about who should get custody of the children. While fathers do not ask for custody as often as mothers do, they may nonetheless end up in a situation where women get full custody. In these situations, they generally have to pay child support, but there is no guarantee that they will actually get to spend time with their child. Joint custody helps to prevent this, making it mandatory for children to spend time with both parents, even if the split is not 50/50.

According to the National Public Radio, except in cases with domestic violence or where one parent is unfit, joint custody better represents the interests of the children. When children spend a significant amount of time with each parent, they tend to do better emotionally and academically. That said, a 50/50 split creates issues when parents live far apart. It might also make it impossible for one parent to pursue any opportunities that take them away from a particular side of town. If parents do not get along, seeing each other that often could also spell trouble.

What do I do about back child support that added up behind bars?

Texas is one of the worst states to owe child support in America. From potentially losing driving privileges to facing jailtime, Texas stops at almost nothing to get child support money. But, what about parents that are unable to pay because they are incarcerated?

When they complete their sentence, many of these former inmates find themselves carrying the burden of back child support. Coupled with the difficulties of finding a decent job with a record, repaying that child support sometimes seems impossible.

Divorce and college costs

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, college tuition costs may not be on your mind—especially if you have young children and other assets to worry about. No matter how old your children are, it is important to discuss paying for college in your divorce settlement.

In some states, it is required that divorcing couples come to an agreement regarding college costs, but it is not required in Texas. Although it is not required, it is recommended that you and your spouse do make an agreement.

Rapists have no parental rights in Texas

CNN notes that in Texas, a parent may have their rights terminated if a court finds that any act of sexual assault led to the conception of the child. For many people, this may go without saying. Is this not the case in every state? The unfortunate answer is no. Believe it or not, there are states in America where mothers may be forced to share parental rights with the man who assaulted them.

Here is a list of the states where rapists may have parental rights:

  •          Alabama
  •          Maryland
  •          Wyoming
  •          Minnesota
  •          Mississippi
  •          New Mexico
  •          North Dakota

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 who has 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.

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