How Can I Enforce Court-Ordered Property Division?

Sometimes dissolution of marriage continues much longer and is more stressful than anticipated because one spouse refuses to follow the rules. In cases where an ex refuses to follow court-ordered property division, there are things you can do to help make sure the order gets enforced.

Enforcing Property Division in a Divorce

If your ex-spouse isn’t following the property division orders set out by the court, you’ll need to go back to the same court to have the order enforced. You’ll file a lawsuit asking the court to enforce the order. The lawsuit won’t ask the court to change the original order or your divorce decree in any way; it will just ask the court to specify how the property should be divided. 

As with other legal actions, the other party must receive notice. Then, they’ll need to respond or risk getting a default judgment made against them.

How Can I Enforce Property Division? | Texas Divorce
817-799-7125 – In cases where an ex refuses to follow court-ordered property division in Texas, you can take legal action, asking the court to enforce the order.

Timeline: When Can I Ask the Court to Enforce a Property Division Order?

You’ll need to wait at least 30 days after the court-ordered property division before asking the court to enforce it. But, don’t wait too long. There is a two-year statute of limitations on these claims. That means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date that the court issued the original order. (Of course, talk with a lawyer about your situation, even if you worry that the statute of limitations has passed. It’s better to be safe than sorry!)

Remedies: What Can the Court Do?

Perhaps the ex-spouse isn’t following the property division order because the order is unclear, so asking the court to clarify the order is a good starting point. If the motion to clarify does not result in the desired outcome, you can file a motion for the delivery of property.

If your ex-spouse still refuses to comply with the property division order, your lawyer can file a motion for contempt. Courts can order money damages and even have your ex-spouse sent to jail if they are found to be in contempt of court. The court can also force your ex-spouse to pay your court costs and attorney’s fees.

Get Help With Property Division Enforcement. Contact an Attorney.

Divorce is stressful enough, even when both spouses play by the rules. It’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. If you need legal help with enforcing a property division order, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Our Texas divorce lawyers are here to support you.

Source:

https://texaslawhelp.org/article/enforcing-property-division-divorce#toc-1

After How Many Years of Marriage May Courts Order Spousal Support for Divorcing Couples?

“How many years do you need to be married before courts will order alimony in a divorce?” 

It’s a common question that many people ask, especially when they face the end of a long-term marriage. The truth is that when a marriage ends, the assets that formerly supported one household must now be divided to support two. This can leave many divorcees worried that things might not add up. 

Questions about alimony—otherwise known as spousal support or spousal maintenance—often arise as a way to address apparent inequities.

Texas Spousal Maintenance Law

In Texas, courts can order spousal maintenance during the dissolution of marriage or in a separate legal proceeding specifically seeking maintenance. Courts may order spousal maintenance when two requirements are met. The first is that the spouse seeking maintenance will lack sufficient property after the divorce to meet that spouse’s “minimum reasonable needs.”

The second requirement can be one of a few different things (like domestic violence in specific situations, or that the receiving spouse takes care of the couple’s child with a physical or mental disability). The second requirement can also be that the spouse seeking maintenance has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longerand lacks the ability to earn sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.

So, generally and without other important circumstances involved, a person must be married 10 years or longer before courts will order spousal maintenance in a Texas divorce.

Spousal Support for Divorcing Couples | Texas Alimony | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-799-7125 – Without other important circumstances involved, a person must be married 10 years or longer before courts will order spousal maintenance in a Texas divorce.

A Longer Marriage Can Mean That Payments Continue for a Longer Time

What’s more, the length of the marriage is a factor that courts consider when they decide how much spousal maintenance to order and how long the payments should continue. The law specifically outlines that, unless the spouse’s ability to earn an income is otherwise limited:

  • Payments cannot continue for more than five years if the marriage was shorter than 10 years
  • Payments cannot continue for more than five years if the marriage was between 10 and 20
  • Payments cannot continue for more than seven years if the marriage was between 20 and 30
  • Payments cannot continue for more than 10 years if the marriage was 30 years or more

Talk With an Attorney About Spousal Support

Of course, the law is very detailed, and a blog post can’t tell you everything you need to know in your case. The only way to get answers that apply specifically to your situation is to talk with a lawyer. If you’d like help sorting out legal issues related to spousal support and divorce, start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Consultations with our attorneys are confidential.

Is There Ever a Right Time to Get a Divorce?

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Fort Worth, we often hear from people who waited years before they divorced. They knew that the marriage wasn’t working a long time ago, but they tried to make it work. Sometimes, it was for the kids. Other times, it was due to financial insecurity or fear of what their families or friends might think.

While there is no right time to file for divorce, we can tell you this: Divorce is a personal decision. We have handled divorces between young couples who were married for only a short time. We have also handled gray divorces between couples who spent years and raised children together.

You’ll have to look for the signs and listen to your gut in order to decide what’s right for you. Sometimes, talking with a professional—like a lawyer or a therapist—can help you sort out your concerns. A professional can answer your legal questions, help you sort out your financial concerns and the emotions involved.

Is There Ever a Right Time to Get a Divorce? | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-755-1852 – At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Fort Worth, we often hear from people who waited years before they divorced. We can tell you this: There’s never a right time.

Look for the Signs That It Might Be Time to Divorce

If you’re wondering whether it’s time to leave your spouse, it’s a good idea to look for some telltale signs, including:

  • You’ve already started to make divorce plans. You might not be ready to admit it to yourself yet, but when you’re arranging things so that it would be easier to divorce, it’s a clear sign that you may be ready. Separating your financial lives, interviewing for a new job and doing research on the Internet are all things that people do when they know in their hearts the marriage isn’t working.
  • You’re feeling fearful. When you live in fear of your spouse’s temper, or when your spouse takes abusive actions, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to go. Many spouses live in fear for months or even years before they decide to leave a marriage. It can start to seem like things that would otherwise be unheard of are normal.
  • You always argue, or you never do. Arguing all the time can be a sign that it’s time to divorce, especially when you find yourself doing things to provoke your spouse. But, not arguing at all can also be a sign that a marriage isn’t working. Sometimes, when spouses stonewall each other, it can be more detrimental to the marriage than yelling.

Need Advice About Your Divorce Decision? Ask a Lawyer.

If you aren’t sure whether you want a divorce, talking with an attorney can help bring you clarity. The consultation is confidential, so your spouse will never know you had the conversation. And there’s no pressure to act unless and until you’re ready.

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions and help you understand what the process and future might look like if you moved forward with a divorce. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.

Source:

https://www.oprahmag.com/life/a26040141/should-i-get-a-divorce/

The Children’s Bill of Rights in Texas

In any legal matter that affects your child—whether it’s a divorce, a paternity proceeding or the modification of an existing court order—your child has the right to be a child, free from the fighting that can overwhelm adults’ lives.

Texas has created a “Bill of Rights” for children, helping them live their lives as kids without getting caught up in adults’ legal affairs. They encourage parents to share the Bill of Rights with all the adults in their child’s life, including babysitters, grandparents and stepparents. All adults in the child’s life are expected to conduct themselves accordingly.

What Is the Children’s Bill of Rights?

The Children’s Bill of Rights is a list of 31 bullet points. Each one outlines behavior that’s expected of the adults in a child’s life. Essentially, it’s a list of “do’s and don’ts.” It can really help things run smoothly in child custody matters, and following the Bill of Rights can help your kids stay happier throughout the divorce process.

What Are My Child’s Rights?

The Children’s Bill of Rights lists out many different rights that your child has, generally including things like:

  • Parties involved in the child’s life shouldn’t badmouth each other or say foul or abusive things in front of the child.
  • Parties shouldn’t let children overhear detailed legal arguments or negotiations.
  • Parties should let the child use the telephone to talk with the other parent.
  • Parties shouldn’t attempt to influence the child to like one parent over the other.
  • Parties should let the child hang pictures of the other parent or other family members in the child’s room.
  • Parties should not trivialize or deny the existence of the other parent to the child.
  • Parties should acknowledge that the child has two homes.
  • Parties shouldn’t communicate moral judgments about a parent’s lifestyle choices to the child.
The Children’s Bill of Rights in Texas | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-755-1852 – Texas has created a “Bill of Rights” for children, helping them live their lives as kids without getting caught up in adults’ legal affairs. Call our Ft. Worth law office for more info today.

Contact Us to Protect Your Child’s Rights

When we represent parents in divorces, we work hard to help minimize the impact of the legal matter and to resolve things as quickly and effectively as possible. That way, parents can move forward and successfully co-parent the people they love most in the world: their children.

If you have concerns about how a divorce may affect your child, talking with an attorney is the best way to get answers and protect their rights. For a confidential consultation, call our Ft. Worth law office at 817-755-1852.

Source:

https://newtools.cira.state.tx.us/upload/page/6803/docs/District%20Court/childrens_bill_of_rights.pdf

5 Tips to Prepare You for Texas Family Court

Going to family court in Texas can be stressful. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Here are some tips from our experienced family law attorneys to help you prepare yourself for your day in court.

1. Know That You’ll Have to Wait

When we first talk with clients, we often talk with them about how long family law matters may take to resolve and when they can expect to go to court. The truth is that the legal system can feel like it moves slowly, especially when you’re not involved with it on a day-to-day basis.

Know that you may have to wait for your court date. And, once you are outside the courtroom, you may have to wait to be called inside. This wait can feel anguishing. Your lawyers will do everything possible to resolve your case as quickly and effectively as possible, but it may be helpful to know that most non-emergency family law matters do not happen overnight. Knowing that can help you be prepared for the process.

2. Turn Your Phone Off

After waiting to get your time in court, you’ll want to make sure that the time is used as effectively as possible. That means removing any potential distractions. Make sure your phone is turned off and put away. Even a phone ringing on silent inside a purse can create a distracting humming noise.

5 Tips to Prepare You for Texas Family Court | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-799-7125 – Here are some tips from our experienced Arlington family law attorneys to help you prepare yourself for your day in Texas family court.

3. Dress Accordingly

In Texas family court, like other places of business, impressions do matter. Make sure that you dress in a respectful manner that tells the judge just how seriously you are taking the family law issue you face. For men that usually means a shirt with a collar, pants with a crease and shoes with a shine. For women, a modest skirt or dress may also be acceptable.

4. Let Your Attorney Speak for You

If you have an attorney to represent you in family court, let them speak for you. Your attorney will know what information is most important to emphasize in court. Most people spend the majority of their family court hearings listening to the interactions between the judge and the attorneys for both parties.

If you are asked to speak, remember to treat the judge with the utmost respect. Address them as “your honor” and keep your emotions in check. Family court judges spend their days listening to family conflict, so they usually have a low tolerance for raw hostility.

5. Take Notes

It can be a good idea to bring a notebook and pen to take notes. Taking notes gives you something to do while you sit and listen to the proceeding. It can also help you channel your nervousness and focus so that you can concentrate. Most importantly, it will give you a record of exactly what was said. That way, you’ll be able to look back on notes instead of having to rely solely on your memory.

While you’re taking notes, be sure to write down any questions that come up. After the hearing, you can discuss them with your attorney. He or she can give you answers and help you understand your case and the next steps to be taken.

Get the Support You Need. Contact an Attorney.

Going to family court can be one of the most stressful things a person experiences. But having the right support can make it easier. If you need help, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. We are here to support you.

Source: 

https://www.crckids.org/legal-resources/courtroom-tips/

Helping Children Cope With Divorce

Divorce can be one of the most challenging things that anyone experiences. And for a child, the impact can be life-changing. At Schneider Law Firm, P.C., parents often ask us how to help their kids cope with divorce. We work hard to help them resolve issues while minimizing the impact and making things easier for their children.

Take Care of Yourself

Divorce often comes with worry about finances, changes to the family schedule and overall conflict. It can take a toll on even the healthiest parent. To help your kids cope, make sure that you are managing your own stress appropriately. That way, you’ll be there for them when they need you.

Keep the Details of Divorce Away From the Kids

It’s also important to keep the details of your divorce between you, your ex, your lawyers and the court. Your children don’t need to know exactly who said what, especially when a divorce is heated—like when infidelity was involved. 

To keep your divorce just between adults:

  • Keep letters, emails or text messages locked up or password-protected. Older kids may be curious about exactly what’s going on, and they’ll seek out details that you may not want them to know.
  • Talk about the details outside of your home. Kids are often listening when you think they aren’t. It’s a good practice to have divorce-related conversations with your friends outside of the home. Just because the TV is on or the child is in the next room does not mean that they’re protected from hearing things that could be hurtful.
  • Avoid fighting in front of the kids. At the beginning of the divorce, agree with your spouse that you won’t fight in front of the kids. Parenting-time handoffs should be about working together to co-parent effectively.
  • Do not badmouth your ex, no matter how tempting it may be. Even when you really want to say something negative, hold back. Vent to your therapist, supportive friends and family members instead. Nasty comments can have a great and unintended impact on a child.

Let Your Kids Know That It’s Okay to Feel However They Feel

Some kids react to divorce right away. Others deny that they’re having any feelings, often as a way to attempt to hold onto “normalcy.” Regardless of how your child reacts to the divorce, remind them that they can always come to you to talk about how they feel. For very young children, you might have to put words to their feelings. For example, “it sounds like you feel sad that things have changed.”

Also, be prepared for and open to however your children feel. It’s not uncommon for children to feel relieved, happy and excited about the future when their parents divorce. Discuss positive emotions just as you would negative ones. These feelings are just as valid.

Talk With an Attorney About Divorce and Your Child

If you’d like help reducing the impact of a divorce on your child, start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Consultations with our attorneys are confidential.

Source:

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/help-child-divorce.html

Does Texas Recognize Same-Sex Marriage?

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Texas since the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a case called Obergefell v. Hodges. In this case, a group of same-sex couples sued their state agencies. They claimed that the state’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage violated their rights under the Constitution.

Constitutional Right to Marry?

The 14th Amendment of the Constitution says that states shall not deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The gay and lesbian couples argued that they were deprived of the protections on marriages and families that opposite-sex couples were entitled to. 

The 14th Amendment also says that states shall not deny any person the equal protection of the laws. The couples argued that, by denying them the right to get married, the states were denying them equal protection.

Texas’s Current Legal View on Same-Sex Marriage

While same-sex marriage is legal in Texas, new case law has made an impact. 

In 2017, the Texas Supreme Court threw out a lower court ruling that said spouses of same-sex public employees were entitled to government-subsidized marriage benefits. The case effectively said that while same-sex couples may get married in Texas, they are not always entitled to the same benefits as opposite-sex couples. Still, while things are complicated, same-sex spouses may be entitled to health insurance benefits, inheritance and property rights, tax benefits and other benefits after they are married.

Considering GLBT Marriage in Texas

If you are considering marrying your same-sex partner in Texas, you can get a marriage license in any county clerk’s office anywhere in the state. There is a 72-hour waiting period before you can be married, so it’s important to plan ahead. You’ll need to bring an ID and pay a small fee.

You should also know that, after getting married, the same legal obligations will apply to you as they would to an opposite-sex couple. For example, you may be held responsible for debts incurred by your spouse. Nobody likes to think of divorce when planning a marriage, but it’s also helpful to know that Texas divorce laws apply to same-sex marriages the same way they apply to opposite-sex marriages.

Need Legal Help With a Same-Sex Marriage? Ask a Lawyer.

If you have questions about same-sex marriage, get started by scheduling a confidential consultation. At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys have answers and insight. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your rights and marriage.

Sources:

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2014/14-556 https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/30/texas-supreme-court-ruling-houston-same-sex-marriage-benefits/

Can I Date While Getting a Divorce?

Relationships are complicated. Sometimes, an interest in a potential new partner becomes the impetus for a divorce. Other times, a divorce takes so long that life continues for months or even years. Spouses become eager to make a connection with someone and to feel desirable again. No matter what the reason, many people find themselves wondering whether it’s okay to start dating before the divorce is finalized.

Of course, each situation is different and it’s impossible for an attorney to give legal advice without meeting the client and knowing their individual situation. 

Is Dating During Divorce OK?

Generally, most divorce lawyers tell their clients to avoid dating while the divorce is pending. Here are several reasons why.

Dating Causes Tensions 

When your soon-to-be ex learns that you are dating someone new, they are less likely to treat you favorably during the divorce process. You may experience increased challenges when it comes to child custody and property division – even if your ex originally claims to be supportive.

Dating Can Cause a Divorce to Take Longer and Drive Up Costs

When your spouse is less likely to cooperate with you, they are more likely to make legal challenges that can increase the cost of your divorce and the time it takes to finalize.

Dating Can Reflect Negatively on You 

When the divorce is pending, you are still technically married. In any divorce disagreement where your ex calls your moral character into question, dating may be used against you. While courts aren’t known to be especially harsh on dating, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

It’s Best to Give Yourself Time 

A marriage that didn’t go well and a divorce that caused tensions can take a physical, mental and emotional toll. Giving yourself time can help you heal and learn who you are as a single person before becoming part of a couple again. You may find that you feel stronger and bring more to your next relationship when you’ve had time to rebuild on your own.

What to Do Instead of Dating

While your divorce is pending, you should avoid dating. But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid having a social life. Experts recommend staying active with a group of friends instead of just one person. Be clear about your situation and set expectations upfront. If you are feeling lonely, it might be a good idea to find a divorce support group. Many local churches offer them, for instance.

Contact Us for a Consultation About Your Divorce

So, it’s probably best to avoid dating. However, every situation is different. The team at Schneider Law Firm, P.C., is there to support you in your situation.For a confidential consultation about your divorce, call our Arlington office at 817-755-1852 .

Should I Sign a Prenup?

“Should I sign a prenup?” It’s a question that we sometimes hear from clients on the verge of getting married. In some cases, prenups can bring peace of mind. But, they can also be a great source of stress. Here’s what you need to know.

Should I Sign a Prenup? | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-799-7125 – The best way to get a real answer about whether to sign a prenup is to talk directly with your own lawyer in a confidential consultation.

What Is a Prenup?

Prenups—also called prenuptial agreements or premarital agreements—are written contracts created and signed by two people before they are married. In the prenup, the couple agrees to terms that will become effective when they are married.

In a prenup, couples can agree on many things. They can agree to their rights to any property belonging to either or both of them, no matter how or when it was acquired or where it’s located. They can also agree to the right to buy, sell, use or otherwise transfer property. And they can agree to what happens to their property if they divorce or if one spouse passes away. Spousal support, estate planning, life insurance and the law governing the agreement can all be agreed to.

Are Prenups Enforceable in Texas Courts?

Prenups are generally enforceable in Texas courts as long as they meet some basic criteria:

  • They are in writing.
  • They are signed by both parties.
  • Both spouses must have disclosed all assets and liabilities before signing the document – so everyone involved has the full information they’d need to make the right decision.
  • Both spouses waived the right to future disclosure.

Texas courts have found prenups unenforceable in some situations, like when they were used to defraud creditors, avoid liability for child support or were used in a criminal way. Prenups have also been found unenforceable when one spouse coerced the other to sign or failed to disclose all of their assets.

Only Your Attorney Can Tell You for Sure Whether to Sign

A blog post can’t tell you whether or not you should sign a prenup; that’s an attorney’s job. The best way to get a real answer in your situation is to talk directly with your own lawyer in a confidential consultation. Don’t just depend on what you hear from a lawyer representing your potential spouse. Your own lawyer can review the document, get the facts of your relationship and discuss your options.

If you do have legal questions about a prenuptial agreement, it’s important to ask before your sign. A signed prenuptial agreement is generally enforceable in Texas courts—even if you later come to regret signing it. If you need advice, start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 .

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.4.htm

Spousal Maintenance in Texas Divorces

Divorcing spouses often worry how they will make ends meet. They know the income that once supported one household must now be divided to support two, and they’re unsure what impact that will have on their finances. 

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we usually talk with our divorce clients in detail about their financial situations to make sure their interests are protected. Part of that conversation is talking about spousal maintenance (which our clients often refer to as “alimony” or “spousal support”).

Texas Courts May Order Spousal Maintenance in Some Cases

In our state, Texas Family Code Section 8.051 says that Texas courts may order spousal maintenance for the spouse seeking maintenance if that spouse will lack sufficient property to provide for their minimum reasonable needs when the marriage ends. The spouse seeking maintenance must meet additional criteria, including:

  • Having an incapacitating mental or physical disability: Medical records are often required to prove the existence of the disability if it’s disputed.
  • Having been married for 10 or more years and now lacking the ability to earn sufficient income: This often applies to housewives who have spent more than a decade at home taking care of the children and running the household.
  • Being the custodian of a child of the marriage who requires significant care because of mental or physical disability: The child can be any age, from just born to a grown adult. Like with an adult’s disability, medical records are often required to prove the disability if it’s disputed.

In some cases, courts can order a spouse to pay spousal maintenance when that spouse has been convicted of a crime that constitutes domestic violence against their spouse or children. Several different crimes constitute domestic violence, including sexual assault.

Spousal Maintenance in Texas Divorces | Schneider Law Firm, P.C.
817-799-7125 – Divorcing spouses often worry about how they will make ends meet. Here’s what you need to know about Texas spousal maintenance law.

“Minimum Reasonable Needs:” What Does That Mean?

The law says that a person is eligible for spousal maintenance when they lack property to provide for their “minimum reasonable needs.” But, what does that mean? There is no set amount. Instead, minimum reasonable needs are determined on a case-by-case basis. What may be reasonable for one person is different for another. In many cases, attorneys can guide their clients through putting together a reasonable budget based on their history and their predicted needs after a divorce.

How Is the Spousal Maintenance Amount Determined?

The amount of spousal maintenance that someone pays or receives is determined on a case-by-case basis. While you might be tempted to compare yourself to a couple you know or read about in the news, it’s best to talk with a lawyer directly about your own situation.

If courts order spousal maintenance after divorce, you should know that there is a cap on the monthly payment. A spouse will pay no more than the lesser of $5,000 or 20% of their average monthly gross income. This is different from child support, which courts calculate based on net income.

There are tax implications, too. Spousal support is paid from post-tax money. So, the spouse who receives it does not have to pay tax on it. This can have huge tax implications.

Talk With an Attorney About Spousal Maintenance

Because spousal maintenance is determined on a case-by-case basis, it’s best to talk with a lawyer about your own situation. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. Consultations with our attorneys are confidential.

Sources: 

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.8.htm https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.71.htm#71.004