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McKinney TX Family Law Blog

Tips for speedy marriage dissolution

Sometimes the only way out of an uncomfortable event is to just go through it. This concept may not be appealing to a person facing a divorce with somebody they no longer want to associate with. But marriage dissolution, when approached in a certain way, can be sped up to allow both parties their freedom a little bit sooner. Texas area individuals may find the following tips enlightening as they move through a divorce. 

A person going through a divorce may be interested in getting through it as fast as possible. There are ways to speed it up, such as being prepared. As soon as an individual knows that divorce is imminent, he or she can begin to gather needed documents and file necessary paperwork. If both parties can agree to it, they may also be able to waive any mandatory waiting period for divorce. 

Child custody dispute involves father's mental health records

In most states, individuals have the right to privacy when it comes to their personal health records. A recent case involving a father with a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis and a mother seeking full custody of her children has raised questions of just how private those records should remain. The story was recently covered in the news and gives details about the case and shares the man's quest for shared child custody. Individuals in Texas may find the questions raised by the case interesting. 

The man had served two tours in Iraq and was diagnosed with PTSD stemming from a single incident that he experienced during his service. The event happened in 2003, and the man divorced his wife in 2007 after ending his military career. The man is on 100 percent disability from the military for his PTSD diagnosis. Recently, his ex-wife tried to gain full custody of the children and requested that his mental health records be used to determine his eligibility for custody. 

Texas man faces child support bill despite not being the father

If any question arises relating to paternity within a family, it can be easily resolved with a DNA test. After a paternity test, it can be determined whether a man is the birth father of a child and whether he is responsible for supporting the child. An unusual case in Texas is illustrating a rare exception to this rule. The man has been determined not to be the father, but still may be held accountable for child support payments. 

The man, who is now married and raising children of his own, got a notice from a deputy saying that he had a child that he was previously unaware of and that the mother of that child was seeking child support. The child is now 16 years of age, and back payments for her support total $65,000. Upon receipt of the court papers, he decided to get a DNA test. When the test proved that he was not the father, he thought he was in the clear, but as it turns out, the case is a little more complicated. 

New children's show features shared child custody

It is always heartening when different types of families are featured on TV. This is especially true for children's shows, because they can help reassure children who might be facing family issues such as child custody agreements and divorce. Parents in Texas will appreciate a new Disney show that tackles the issue of co-parenting and highlights the positives of approaching this issue with maturity. 

The show picks up where an older show had left off. Previously, the two main characters were trying to make a long-distance relationship work. In the new show, the couple had been married, had kids and then got divorced. The children share their time with both their mom and their dad. 

Americans more familiar with family law, feel divorce is moral

Perhaps not surprisingly, American attitudes about divorce are shifting. Some researchers have determined the increased approval of divorce to be part of an overall leftward shift on social values. Increased numbers of divorce have also led Americans to be more familiar with family law. A recently released Gallup poll shows the increase in morally acceptability of divorce. Those in Texas who are considering divorce may take heart in the poll's findings. 

According to the Gallup poll, 73 percent of Americans feel that divorce is morally acceptable. This finding has increased 14 percentage points since 2001. Younger people are more accepting of divorce, but some may be surprised to learn that divorce is also more acceptable among already married people and religious people. The overall trend is increased acceptance of divorce. 

Divorce selfies show that breaking up doesn't have to be painful

Why so serious? Ending a marital relationship doesn't have to be the pits. Divorce can be a normal part of ending a relationship when both parties agree that it's time to move on. One new trend sweeping across social media is the divorce selfie. Will divorcing couples in Texas also adopt the divorce selfie trend? 

Recently, a news station shared some Instagram posts of recently divorced couples sharing a divorce selfie. One thing that all the selfies had in common was a mutual respect in the face of divorce. The couples were able to split amicably, and sometimes mentioned the enduring love that would remain between the two when they moved on as friends. 

For tax purposes, alimony agreements should be crystal clear

Taxes can certainly leave the filer stressed out over deductions and potential audits. Trying to do taxes after a divorce can be tricky as well. As a recent news story documents, it is important to have divorce and alimony agreements made crystal clear in writing so that they can be used to determine what, if any, deductions are allowed for alimony. For individuals divorcing in Texas, one man's story can provide some valuable food for thought. 

The man, a successful lawyer, was divorcing his wife. Prior to the divorce, he received a hefty bonus, which, after taxes, came to about $155,000. Before the divorce was finalized, he agreed to share the bonus down the middle with his then-wife.

Divorce during old age often less painful

The end of a marriage does not have to be extraordinarily painful or bitter. Sometimes events, relationships and marriages come to their own natural conclusion. When two people decide together that they are no longer compatible, they can choose to divorce in a way that meets the needs of both parties involved and allows them to peacefully go their separate ways. Texas couples considering divorce may be able to take some inspiration from a recent news article about divorce for older couples. 

These days, divorce is not only for middle-aged folks. People are living longer, and with that, they have increased desires to be happy through their golden years. The statistics support the observation that more older couples are divorcing -- a Pew research study has reported that divorce rates in couples aged 50 and above have doubled since the 1990s. 

New program eases need for child support enforcement

Innocent children do not need to bear the brunt of lapsed support payments with a new program, which is in effect in another state. Parents who may struggle to get to payment locations in a timely manner may have their fears of child support enforcement relieved, and custodial parents will receive needed support on time. Texas families will be interested to learn about the new program that allows parents to make child support payments in local convenience stores. 

The program, newly launched in a midwestern state, gives the ability to pay child support payments at hundreds of local convenience stores. For a nominal fee, the payments can be made even in cash, at places most parents will find fit into their everyday lifestyles more easily than special trips to the courthouse. The program also allows for the setup of online payments and gives the ability for parents to make payments from another state.

Texas appeals court reverses portions of divorce settlement

Sorting out the details of a divorce can be tricky and time consuming. Cases are sometimes reviewed on appeal and, when appropriate, sent back to a lower court for further actions. Recently, a Texas appeals court did exactly this with regard to a divorce case involving the owner of a company and his ex-wife. The court actually reversed parts of lower court's ruling and sent the case back to trial.

The trial court originally awarded the ex-wife punitive and actual damages. She was also awarded attorney's fees, which were ordered to be paid by her ex-husband's company. The woman was also awarded an additional sum for sanctions that involved unspecified abuses of the discovery process. Subsequently, the lower court held the man in breach of contract with regard to his fiduciary duty to his ex-wife and for failing to comply with the court's order.