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Sugar Land Divorce Law Blog

Mastering the art of co-parenting after divorce

Many Texans have ideas of what it will like to be a parent, but the reality is often much more than a person can imagine. It is a love like never before, and this level of love and desire to care for a child can make it challenging to address major life changes, such as divorce. Ending a marriage means that parents need to establish a child custody arrangement. On paper, this might seem straightforward. However, in action, this process is challenging, as it is often difficult for divorcing parents to reach an amicable agreement.

Take actor Josh Lucas and writer Jessica Clencin Henriquez for example. The two divorced back in January of 2014, and they have shared their story about their ups and downs with co-parenting. While they experienced rough beginnings and the needs to make various attempts, the two claim they have mastered the art of co-parenting because they are both completely committed to raising their 5-and-a-half-year-old son.

Fighting for custody as a Texas father

Going through a custody battle is a stressful process that, unfortunately, many parents, and especially fathers, have to go through. As a father, you might feel as though the odds are stacked against you when it comes to fighting for the custody of your child in Texas. However, it is important to not lose hope, since you have the legal right to fight for a relationship with your child.

Gaining custody as a father can be achieved, and it becomes a much easier process if you make sure to fulfill certain aspects of being a father that will be considered favorably in the court's eyes.

What can unmarried couples can do when they are buying a home?

Just because a couple's relationship is going strong, it does not mean that nuptials are impending. This is true whether or not children are involved. What often happens in these matters is that the couple will live like most married spouses. They will purchase a house together. Because this is a major purchase, one does not go through this process lightly or even quickly. Just like married couples, there is no guarantee the relationship will last. Thus, it is important for unmarried couples in Texas to consider ways to protect this purchase.

What can you do if you are unmarried and purchasing a home? In order to overcome the risks associated with purchasing a home with your partner, there are three steps to consider. To begin with, a premarital agreement that addresses ownership of the home could be helpful. While this requires having a conversation about the relationship not working, this document could protect each person's rights to the home. A premarital agreement can outline what will occur in the event of a split.

How divorce could affect individualized education programs

The state of Texas has many different accommodations for children with special needs or disabilities. It is important to explore all of the different options for your family, especially if you have a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Divorce can create a great deal of stress for children, and their struggles with autism may become even more pronounced during the process. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your child is getting all of the support that he or she needs.

There is federal funding available for all children with disabilities through funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA gives funding for all eligible children from birth until the age of 26. It also guarantees all students a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This means that they will be assessed to determine the best educational path for them to learn and live independent lives as adults.

Reasons to modify child custody

From the time of their child's birth until adulthood, parents in Texas have to make a multitude of decision for their child. This typically means deciding what the child's needs are, what school they will attend, how to discipline them, what extracurricular activities they will be involved and other details on the way the child will be raised. When a child's parents are divorced, their child custody order will dictate whether one or both parents have the right to make these types of decisions. However, if a parent seeks to alter how physical and legal custody currently looks, it might be possible to seek a child custody modification.

In some cases, child custody modification is sought for the best interests of the child. This means that the court will look at the parent's request to determine if it is necessary. It is important that a child custody modification does not unduly interrupt the child's life and his or her wellbeing. Thus, if a parent reasonably believes that his or her child is in danger by remaining in the custody of one parent, a request for modification could be made. This typically occurs when there are domestic violence issues, the child is in immediate danger or the child expressed his or her unwillingness to remain in the household of the parent where danger might be present.

Asserting your rights when establishing child custody

While we try to prevent it, it is sometimes impossible to avoid having certain events impact your life and the lives of others. Divorce is one of those events. It is not only a shocking, sad and emotional time; it is also one that stresses the relationship between a child and their parent. Because both parents likely want to protect this relationship, they will take steps to develop a child custody arrangement that helps ensure that their relationship with their child is not harmed or destroyed.

It is difficult to consider going from having one's child full time to only half of the time or even less. The hard concept to grasp for some divorcing parents is that it is not always up to them. A child custody arrangement could be based on the courts view on the best interests of the child, possibly causing a parent to have less time then they are seeking with their child. At the Law Office of Michael D. Tracton, P.C., our experienced legal team has helped divorcing parents in the Sugar Land area navigate and resolve this family law issue.

What are grandparents' rights with regards to visitation?

Only a mere four decades ago, when a child's parents were no longer in a relationship with one another, the only people concerned about visitation rights were the parents themselves. Today, this matter is much different. As grandparents in Texas spend more time with their grandchildren, even some taking on parental responsibilities, they seek to protect this relationship. Divorce can be messy, even causing the ties with in-laws to break. This can present challenges when establishing child custody, especially if one parent obtains full custody while the other is awarded visitation rights.

What are grandparents' rights? They are the rights grandparents have to seek visitation with their grandchild. While it might seem simple and straightforward that the court should award a grandparent the right to visit their grandchild, it isn't always that easy.

Minimizing the negative impact of a divorce on special needs kids

Divorce is a difficult process for everyone involved. It is, obviously, difficult for both spouses who seek to end their marital union. It is also a time of serious upheaval and emotional uncertainty for minor children from the family. When parents divorce, children often develop issues with socialization and emotional health. Depression, anxiety and acting out are all common responses to a parental divorce.

When your family includes one or more children with special needs, however, the risks of the divorce to the child may increase. While most children can eventually work through, process and move on from the emotional fallout of a divorce, the process may be more difficult or even impossible for children with special needs. You and your spouse should work together to minimize the impact of your divorce on your special needs children.

How to bring up the topic of prenuptial agreements

There are benefits to planning ahead. While it may not seem like a positive experience when it is first brought up, many couples in Texas and elsewhere can benefit by drafting a prenuptial agreement before getting married. Even if both spouses believe that they will never divorce, there is nothing wrong with planning ahead and protecting oneself.

When one decides to include a prenup in their marriage, the first thing they must do is bring it up to their significant other before they tie the knot. Although this is just a conversation, it is often one that is highly dreaded. Even though prenups have grown in popularity, this does not make it any easier to bring up or talk about. Thus, it is important to arm yourself with the right tools when it comes time to talk about drafting a prenuptial agreement.

Lockwood seeks to toss out postnup in divorce with Lisa Marie

Ending a marriage can involve revelations -- many of them relating to finances. While married couples in Texas may not worry about money as a unit, when they part ways, one or both spouses might have financial concerns. However, when it is clear that one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, certain steps might be taken to protect his or her income. Even if a prenuptial agreement was not involved in the union, a postnuptial agreement entered into while the couple was married could outline how assets are split. That being said, sometimes these agreements are challenged in a divorce.

For example, although a postnuptial agreement between Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Lockwood stated that neither of them could lay claim to the other person's assets in the event of a divorce, Lockwood seeks to toss that document out. According to recent reports, Lockwood seeks to recover $263,100 a year from Presley in spousal maintenance.