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El Paso Law Blog

A child custody hearing can ease relations in divorce

Although divorcing parents in Texas face a number of unique and personal challenges, one thing unites all parents in divorce: the best interests of the child. Child custody concerns can bring about very strong emotions, and as a result, it may be difficult for divorcing parents to agree upon custody arrangements without the assistance of the legal system.

According to WiseGeek, this is addressed through a child custody hearing. Custody is broken down into physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody rights pertain to the parent who will actually house the child, and legal custody pertains to the parent who will be making decisions for the child. These two types of custody may be split evenly, equitably or not at all.

Helping children during the holidays after divorce

One challenge that divorced or separated parents in El Paso might face is dealing with their own and their children's emotions during the holiday season. This can be a tough time, and feelings of sadness, loss and anger may threaten to overwhelm families. However, it is important for parents to focus on their children and set their emotions aside.

Some parents might need help in dealing with those emotions. A counselor or a therapist may be able to help, or just talking with a family friend could be enough. The important thing is that these emotions do not interfere with parents' ability to deal with one another during the holidays. They should not try to get revenge on one another by blocking the other parent's access to the child at this time.

How to parent after a divorce

Texas couples who are ending their marriages can't necessarily sever their relationship completely if they had kids together. Ideally, parents would be able to put their feelings aside and focus on raising their children the best that they can. In many cases, children fare better when they have quality relationships with both of their parents. In the event that parents are unable to communicate with each other, they can engage in what is often called parallel parenting.

This means that they have relationships with their children without having relationships with each other. Each parent is allowed to spend time with the child without input or meddling from the other. This helps the child because he or she won't be exposed to drama or fighting between the parents. While co-parenting is a noble goal to strive for, it is more important for the child to have a healthy relationship with both parents.

Challenging circumstances in family court

When Texas parents decide to divorce, they may face particularly difficult issues with child support and custody. Both mothers and fathers often complain about the treatment they face in family court. This is especially true when the parents have a relationship fraught with poor communication, mistrust or anger. Fathers might feel like they are victims of gender bias while mothers may feel that their concerns are not taken seriously.

In American, roughly 80 percent of custodial parents are mothers. However, most of these cases don't represent custody battles. Many fathers don't seek custody, but when they do, they are far more likely to succeed. While fathers may encounter some judges with outdated ideas about parental roles, joint custody is increasingly preferred by family courts.

Spousal maintenance may help you financially post divorce

Navigating the divorce process in Texas can understandably be both a sweet and a sour situation. On one hand, you might be eager to move on with your life without your spouse. On the other hand, you may not be in a position to support yourself financially.

Fortunately, you might qualify for alimony, or spousal maintenance, from the other party. Here is a glimpse at how the state of Texas handles spousal maintenance and the rights you have in this area following divorce.

Prenuptial agreements

Many people in El Paso believe that prenuptial agreements are primarily for rich people who want to protect their wealth should their marriage end in divorce. The truth is that more people than ever are signing prenups for reasons other than to protect wealth.

Business owners may want to consider signing a prenup to protect their business interests. A business can be difficult to value in a divorce which could leave the spouse who owns the business feeling like they have gotten an unfair end of the deal. A prenup can provide assurance that the business will be left out of the divorce in the event a couple splits.

Avoiding financial mistakes after a divorce

After divorce, some ex-spouses in Texas may suddenly feel financially liberated. However, this doesn't mean they should celebrate the occasion by going on a spending spree. This is one of the many financial mistakes that recently divorced individuals commonly make.

Working with a financial adviser and making a financial plan may be a good idea. This could help prevent additional errors such as selling assets to pay bills. It's important to note that there can be significant taxes on the sale of some assets. Making a financial plan may also help a divorcee prepare for alimony payments. Some people have gone so far as to quit a job to avoid alimony, but this does not solve the issue.

Steps for parents to help children during a divorce

A divorce can be hard on children in El Paso, but there are several things their parents can do to help them adjust. If children have fewer changes to deal with, they may be better able to focus on the big change. This means parents should try to disrupt children's lives as little as possible. It can help to make their household rules consistent. Parents should avoid criticizing each other's decisions even when they disagree. The parent can encourage the child to talk to the other parent about the decision if the child is upset about it.

Children usually have questions about the divorce. They often worry that it is their fault, and parents should reassure them that this is not the case. Parents should make an effort to answer children's questions about the divorce honestly without oversharing or making them feel they are in the middle. Children need reassurance that their parents love them.

Military service and child support

Many active service members in El Paso are ordered by courts to pay child support. Military branches consider it a service member's duty to support dependents regardless of marital or child custody status. This differs from a civilian's obligation to pay child support because a service member can be more easily punished for failing to make payments.

Members of the military face special challenges when they are deployed overseas on active duty. If possible, it is a good idea to include a child support provision for what should happen if a parent who is a service member is on an overseas deployment and unable to access bank accounts.

Discovery is a critical step in every divorce proceeding

You have finally decided to get divorced, and you look forward to breaking free from your marriage and moving on with your life. At the same time, it is natural to feel overwhelmed by the process itself.

A particularly important step in a divorce proceeding in Texas is the process of discovery. Here is a glimpse at what discovery involves in the Lone Star State.

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