Blog
512-610-6199
8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway
Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759
Recent blog posts

Texas complex litigation attorneyAlthough many families treat their pets like members of the family, the reality is that for the purposes of deciding who gets the pets in a divorce, animals are legally considered property in Texas. This means that if a couple is unable to come to an out-of-court agreement about who will get custody of the pet, the court will assess the situation based on community property law. This can have unfair results, so if you are going through a divorce and have questions about who will retain custody of your family pet, please contact a family law attorney who has experience in complex property litigation matters.

Community Property Rule

Because animals are considered property in Texas, courts will apply the standard community property rules when deciding pet custody issues. This means that the court will attempt to divide the property in a way that is equitable. When a family pet is the property at issue, the court may assess who has historically been the pet’s primary caretaker, evaluate each spouse’s living situation, and if a couple has children, determine whether they are especially attached to the animal.

...

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas custody lawsSummertime is one of the best opportunities to go on vacation with the kids, as parents may have time off from work and children do not have to miss school. Unfortunately, these types of family vacations can become difficult to plan after a divorce, especially when a couple’s schedules and living arrangements have changed. Texas law helps simplify these problems by outlining procedures regarding vacations for parents who share custody of their children. However, navigating the state’s sometimes complex statutes can be frustrating, so if you have planned a vacation with your children and have questions about your legal rights and obligations, it is important to speak with an experienced complex child custody attorney who can advise you.

Summer Vacation

Under Texas law, parents have specific rights of possession during the summer months. For example, according to state law, a possessory conservator can take a child on an extended summer vacation if he or she first:

...

Texas child custody lawyer, Texas complex custody lawyerIn Texas, courts are sometimes willing to take a child’s opinion about where he or she wants to live into consideration when resolving a divorce-related matter. However, the primary focus of all family law judges is the best interests of the child, which means that they will not always take a child’s opinion into account when determining a custody schedule. To speak with an experienced complex child custody attorney about your concerns or questions, please contact a member of our legal team today.

Custody Arrangements

Texas courts presume that it is usually in the best interests of a child to split custody evenly between two parents. This means that parents will have equal decision-making authority and will split physical custody 50/50. The specific schedule, however, will depend on the parties’ circumstances. Custody schedules can also be modified at a later date, which is often necessary when a child enters high school and does not require the same amount of supervision. At this point, judges are also often willing to consider a child’s preferences, which may have changed from when he or she was younger.

...

Texas divorce lawyer, Texas family attorneyA Texas divorce proceeding or child custody proceeding can bring about a host of changes to your life and the life of your children. Some of these changes may be unwelcome and unpleasant, such as having to move to another residence or even having to seek and obtain a protective order. Nonetheless, it is imperative that you approach these types of proceedings knowing that changes are not just a possibility, they ought to be expected.

Four Things Likely to Change in Your Texas Family Law Case

Litigants in a divorce or child custody proceeding can expect to make at least four changes during the course of their case:

...

Texas divorce lawyer, Texas family attorneyMany couples who wish to end their marriage do not have to obtain a divorce, but can instead file for an annulment. However, there are only a few specific justifications for annulling a marriage, one of which is that one of the parties was underage at the time of the marriage. Filing for an annulment is complicated, so if you have questions about annulling your marriage or the marriage of your underage child, it is important to contact an experienced divorce attorney who can explain your legal options.

Underage Marriage

Until recently, Texas law allowed parents to consent to the marriage of their child as long as the minor was at least 16 years old. This was true even if one of the child’s parents did not consent to the marriage. Furthermore, a parent could consent to the marriage of a child of any age as long as a judge approved. Governor Abbott recently signed a new bill into law which prohibits people who are under the age of 18 years old from getting married unless they are emancipated minors. In Texas, minors are only permitted to file for emancipation if they are 16 years old, so now the youngest age that a person can get married in Texas is 16 years old.

...

Texas divorce lawyer, Texas family attorneyLast month, a new law was enacted that will change how child custody evaluations are undertaken in the state, while also providing protection from liability to third party evaluators. These evaluations are often necessary before courts make child custody determinations and so can have serious implications on a court’s decision. To learn more about what child custody evaluations entail, please contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can address your concerns.

Ordering a Child Custody Evaluation

Under the new law, the court can order a child custody evaluation regarding:

...

Texas family attorney, Texas complex divorce lawyerA recently introduced bill could have a substantial impact on what courts are permitted to include in temporary orders during a family law dispute. The bill has not been passed, but is currently being reviewed by one of the House of Representatives’ committees.

Temporary Orders

Under current law, courts are permitted to grant temporary orders during appeals of family law matters. These orders can direct one or both parties to:

...

Texas high asset divorce lawyer, Texax complex divorce attorneyA survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 30 percent of spouses have been deceptive about money with their spouse, and almost 60 percent admit to hiding money from them. Considering these statistics, it is not surprising that one of the most contentious issues in a divorce is the division of assets. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets from the other in order to avoid sharing those assets.

When couples are dissolving their marriage, they are required to provide financial affidavits to the court which reveal any assets they have. Although providing false information to the court is illegal, many spouses would rather take their chances and lie about their assets so they do not have to share them with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you are going through a divorce and think that your spouse is hiding assets from you, there are steps that you and your high asset divorce attorney can take in order to find those assets, including:

  • Subpoenas: Your attorney can file a subpoena to any financial institutions that your spouse banks at or your suspect he or she may have accounts at which will require they provide all financial statements and cancelled checks;
  • Forensic accountant: Unlike a traditional accountant, a forensic accountant also utilizes auditing and investigative skills to conduct an examination into an individual or company’s financial records;
  • Private investigator: A private investigator can conduct surveillance on a spouse to document any activity which may indicate hidden assets. A private investigator can also conduct a skip search which uncovers personal information on a spouse, such as credit information, utility bills, title information, and business licensing. These are all items which may indicate assets are being utilized which come for a source a spouse has not revealed.
  • The Internet: Many people do not realize just how much information is contained on the Internet. For example, if a spouse has purchased real estate as a way to hide assets, that transaction is most likely public record published on the web.

Other places that often reveal whether a spouse is hiding assets is their social media sites and Internet browsing history. Browser histories could reveal multiple visits to a bank’s website that the couple do not have funds at. Social media sites, both personal and professional, can reveal all kinds of information, such as posted photos and comments from friends and business colleagues which may reveal that a spouse has more funds than they are revealing.

...

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759