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Understanding Grandparent Rights in Texas

As a grandparent, your grandchildren are an important part of your life. And when divorce occurs, it can be devastating to face losing your time with them. Although grandparents don’t have a Constitutional right to visit their grandchildren, there are some basic rights you can exert to gain visitation or custody, depending on specific circumstances.

Grandparent Visitation Rights

If a child’s parent approves, you can visit your grandchildren any time you desire. Yet, parents can also restrict your visitation rights. If this happens, you’ll need to ask the court for help. According to Texas law, the court may grant visitation if it’s in the child’s best interests and if one of the following conditions exist:

  • The parents are divorced
  • A parent abused or neglected the children
  • A parent has been incarcerated or found incompetent
  • A court order terminated the parent-child relationship
  • The child has lived with you for at least six months

If the child has since been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent, you’re unable to request visitation.

Understanding Grandparent Rights in Texas | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-1162298071
817-799-7125 – As a Texas grandparent, you have the right to ask the court for help in acquiring visitation or custody. To learn more, visit us today.

Can a Grandparent Gain Custody of Their Grandchildren?

The short answer is yes. In some situations, a child’s parent may decide it’s in the child’s best interest to live with you. If that’s the case, the parent can simply sign all rights over to you. This gives you the ability to make critical decisions on behalf of the child.

If the parent won’t consent to signing over the child’s rights, you have the right to sue for custody, also known as conservatorship. There are many reasons why you may choose to seek custody in this manner. For example, the child’s parents may have substance abuse issues or be unable to provide adequate care.

If you wish to seek custody of your grandchildren, we recommend reaching out to a family law attorney who can help. The custody process is often challenging, especially for grandparents.

Reach Out to Us for Help Understanding Your Rights 

Schneider Law Firm, P.C. offers years of qualified experience to grandparents in Texas who wish to establish visitation or obtain custody. To learn more about grandparent rights, give our Arlington office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

What to Do If Your Ex Stops Paying Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is critical for many after a divorce. Spousal support may be one of the ways you support yourself financially as you move forward. Yet, what happens if your ex-spouse stops paying?

What You Can Do If Your Ex Stops Paying Spousal Maintenance

We recommend calling a family law attorney who can act on your behalf. An attorney will guide you through the steps required to obtain what’s owed to you. Without an attorney, you run the risk of filing incomplete documentation which can delay your payments further.

Filing a Motion

First, you and your attorney must determine why your ex stopped paying maintenance payments. For example, if your ex-spouse lost their job or suffered an injury resulting in unemployment, the court may decide to reduce the amount owed each month or suspend payments until they’re able to pay.

If your ex-spouse simply refuses to pay, your attorney can help you file a motion with the court. The motion will ask the court to enforce an order stating your ex-spouse must make payments now and for the foreseeable future.

If the court rules in favor of the motion, your ex will be forced to make the payments immediately. If they don’t have the funds to make the payments, the court may choose to withhold a part of your ex’s income or award you with other assets.

What to Do If Your Ex Stops Paying Alimony | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-952098674
817-799-7125 – Has your ex stopped paying their court-ordered spousal maintenance? There’s help available to you. To learn more, visit us today.

Failure to Comply

If your ex still refuses to comply with the court order, they can be held in contempt of court. Contempt can result in hefty fines and even jail time if your ex refuses to make amends.

A Note About Contractual Alimony

Spousal maintenance is court-ordered. Contractual alimony is support that’s voluntarily agreed upon by you and your spouse. If for any reason your ex stops paying contractual alimony, they can’t be held in contempt of court. If your alimony is contractual, it’s even more important to contact an attorney to discuss your options.

Call Schneider Law Firm Today for Help

If your ex-spouse has stopped paying spousal maintenance, please reach out for help. To learn more about alimony and maintenance, give our Arlington office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

5 Myths About Divorce You Shouldn’t Believe

Divorce can be a trying process. It can be especially confusing and hurtful when misinformation and myths taint your outlook on divorce. To protect your mindset, there are some myths you must stop believing now.

1. My Spouse Is At-Fault, So I’ll Walk Away With Everything

We know this is an emotional time. It’s normal to want to retaliate against someone who hurt you. Yet, in Texas, marital property belongs to both you and your spouse—no matter who’s at fault. Trust that the court will work to divide your assets equitably and fairly.

2. The Court Always Favors the Mother When Making Custody Decisions

The court will do what they feel is in the best interest of the child. In many cases, the mother has been the primary caregiver for the child, resulting in the mother being chosen for custody. Yet, the court doesn’t favor one party over the other. Instead, they’ll consider all facts before making a decision.

3. Keeping Property in My Name Will Protect It From Division

Separate property is property you acquired before the marriage. While it may be protected in divorce, you risk losing it if you commingle it with marital property. For example, if you use your inheritance to purchase your marital home, those funds are no longer separate. 

Regardless of whose name is on a title or loan, you’ll still have marital interest. It’s up to the court to decide how to divide all marital property.

4. I Need My Spouse’s Approval Before Getting a Divorce

Many years ago, the court required you to have spouse approval before getting a divorce. Now, one spouse can file for a contested divorce. There is no legal requirement stating your spouse must agree to the divorce for the court to grant it.

5. I Can Get Divorced Without the Help of an Attorney

Many DIY solutions exist in the legal industry, especially for divorce. Yet, divorces are difficult and complex situations that require a professional to best protect your interests. A divorce attorney can help you decide which steps are best for you to take and fight on your behalf.

Questions About Divorce? Let the Schneider Law Firm Team Help.

Each divorce is unique. You need the support of a professional attorney who can help protect you. To learn more about your divorce or to speak with an attorney, give our Arlington law firm a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

Understanding the Different Types of Child Custody & Visitation

During a divorce with children, you and your ex-spouse must reach a custody agreement. If you and your ex cannot create an agreement on your own, the court will decide what type of child custody is best for your child, as well as any applicable visitation arrangements. 

Understanding Child Custody

There are two parts to child custody: include legal custody and physical custody. Let’s dive a bit deeper into both.

Legal Custody

Legal custody gives you the ability to make critical decisions on your child’s behalf. These decisions can include, for example, where your child will attend school and what doctor they’ll see. Legal custody can be given to one parent (sole) or both parents (joint). 

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where your child lives. For example, you may have sole physical custody, which means the child lives primarily with you and your ex-spouse has visitation rights. Or, you might share physical custody, which means the child lives with you part of the time and your ex-spouse part of the time. 

In some cases, custody arrangements include one parent with legal and physical custody. In other cases, both parents will share legal custody with one parent having physical custody. It all depends on what the court decides is best for your child.

What Types of Visitation Are Available?

If sole custody is included in your custody agreement, you or your ex-spouse will be awarded visitation, so that you may be with your child on a regular basis. There are two common visitation methods used frequently by the court:

  • Unsupervised visitation: In unsupervised visitation, the parent can take the child to their own home or on any outing without supervision.
  • Supervised visitation: Courts will sometimes order supervised visitation, which means the parent must visit their child while another adult is present. This adult may be someone appointed by the custodial parent or a social worker designated by the court.

Call the Team at Schneider Law Firm Today for Custody Help

Child custody can be difficult to understand on your own. If you’re considering a divorce, reach out for help. For answers to your questions or to speak with a divorce attorney today, give our Arlington law office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

How Property Is Divided During a Divorce in Texas

A divorce is a stressful time with many moving parts, including the division of property. If you’re considering a divorce, you might be wondering how your marital assets and property will be divided in court. States divide property using one of two methods: community property division and equitable division.

Texas Is a Community Property State

In Texas, property is divided using the community property method. This means that the property acquired during your marriage belongs to both you and your spouse and must be divided equally. 

What Is Separate Property?

The only property not eligible for division is separate property—property you or your spouse owned before the marriage. For example, if you receive an inheritance from a family member before the marriage, you’ll be able to keep it. Other examples of separate property include gifts and recoveries from individual legal proceedings.

For any property to be separate, you must prove it belongs to you in court. This may be as simple as providing bank statements or other documentation. In other cases, you may require the assistance of a divorce attorney.

The Division of Community Property

For property that’s considered community property, Texas law requires the court to divide the property fairly and equitably. There are many factors when considering who receives what portion. For example, the court will consider fault in the dissolution of marriage, child custody, employability of each spouse and more.

What About Our Family Business?

If you and your spouse’s business was created during your marriage, it’s eligible for equal division at the point of divorce. If it’s a small business such as a sole proprietorship, you may be able to keep your assets. Yet, if you own a corporation with many assets, it may need to be divided. The court will do what’s best for you and your business.

Allow Us to Help You Through Your Divorce

Property division can be tough, and you shouldn’t handle it on your own. Allow the team at Schneider Law Firm, P.C. help you through. To learn more about your divorce, give our Ft. Worth law office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

A History of Divorce

Even though it may seem like it only exists in modern times, divorce is not a new phenomenon. The history of divorce is long and interesting. At the Schneider Law Firm in Fort Worth, Texas, we guide clients through the divorce process nearly every day. We’ve developed an appreciation for the legal and emotional complexities that have been intrinsic to divorce since the beginning.

Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon: A Notable Divorce

The most celebrated divorce case in history involves the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Beginning in 1527, Henry VIII begin asking Pope Clement VII to annul his marriage to Catherine. The Pope refused to grant the annulment. Finally, in 1533, he broke with Rome and created the brand new Church of England. Under the rules of the new church, he was able to end his marriage. The end was technically an annulment, although many people talk about it as a “divorce.”

The end of this marriage with a new church did not lead to a rash of divorces and annulments in England. The Church of England turned out to be even stricter than the Catholic Church when it came to granting annulments. In Protestant England, it was relatively rare for couples to end their marriages.

The First Divorce in America

The first recorded divorce in America took place when Massachusetts was still a Colony. The records show that Denis Clarke was accused of abandoning his wife Anne Clarke for another woman. Denis and Anne had two children together, and Denis and the other woman also had two children together. When Denis refused to return to Anne, the court punished him by granting Anne a divorce.

No-Fault Divorce: The Beginning of Modern Divorce

In 1969, when Ronald Regan was governor of California, he made a political move that he later listed as a major regret. Seeking to end the long court battles and false allegations that often came with at-fault divorces, he signed into law the country’s first no-fault divorce act. The act removed the requirement that one spouse must be at fault for the end of the marriage, and it led to similar acts being signed into law in almost every other state.

In the years that followed, the divorce rate more than doubled. Divorce rates did not continue to climb exponentially, however. Divorce rates have ebbed and flowed with the times, and many societal factors continue to affect them.

If You Need Divorce Help, Call Us Today

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about the divorce process and help protect your rights no matter what challenges you are experiencing. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.

Sources: 

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/heartbreaking-history-of-divorce-180949439/

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-divorce-in-the-colonies

https://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-evolution-of-divorce

Who Gets to Stay in the House During a Divorce?

The family home is the most commonly divided piece of property during Texas divorces. It’s also one area of deepest concern for divorcing couples. Dividing a family home is more than just a financial question. Family homes come with many sentimental attachments, and they can be the center of family life. So, who gets to stay in the house during a divorce?

Texas Law on Division of Real Estate

Generally, Texas is a community property state. Texas law divides property acquired during the marriage equally. Each spouse contributed to the finances, so each should get an equal share. Of course, things can be complicated. When one spouse purchased the family home before the marriage, it may be treated as separate property. Or, a portion of it may be treated as separate property. 

Because you can’t divide a house in two, divorcing couples may decide that one spouse stays in the house and the other gets a greater portion of the assets. They may also decide to sell the home and split the proceeds equally, or that one spouse can stay in the home, and the other gets a portion of the equity.

Temporary Orders While a Divorce Is Pending

At the beginning of the divorce process, your lawyer may ask the court to issue a temporary order affecting things like child custody, child support and the family home. The temporary order may say that one spouse resides in the home while the divorce is pending, until the final resolution of the divorce.

Negotiation, Mediation and the Family Home in Divorce

During the divorce process, you and your spouse will have a chance to negotiate important matters like child custody. If staying in the family home is important to you, let your attorney know. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to help you stay in your home.

Sometimes, couples engage in mediation to resolve their divorces. In mediation, couples can decide how to divide their assets. While a court might divide community property equally without special considerations, couples who are open to working together to make decisions about their futures can have greater control over the outcomes of their divorces.

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we work to protect your interests during a divorce. For a confidential consultation, call our Fort Worth office at 817-755-1852. We can answer your questions about the division of real estate in Texas and about your family home.

Source: 

https://texaslawhelp.org/article/divorce-real-estate

How to “Get Over” a Divorce

“How to get over a divorce” is one of the most common questions that people ask Google. The answer is complicated. There’s no way that a person can “get over” divorce—the life experience personally changes a person. Yet, there are many proven ways to move forward with your life after a divorce.

Get Support From People Who Lift You Up

Don’t go through this alone. When you’ve gone through a divorce, you need support from people who can help you move forward with your life. Surrounding yourself with the right people is critical. Those people may be professionals, like a good therapist, or good friends you can connect with.

Although you might be reluctant to try it, there are also many support groups for recently divorced people. Trying out a support group might be an unexpected source of strength.

Take Time to Explore Your Interests

Divorces often take up so much energy it can feel impossible to focus on anything else—especially when children are involved. But, sometimes making time for those other things turns out to be the best way to move forward.

More than thinking about what you’ve lost, think about the opportunities you have to try new things or to return to things you once enjoyed. Divorces can mean new exercise routines, classes, travel and experiences that you otherwise would not have been able to enjoy.

Take Care of Yourself

“Self-care” is a hot topic, but it’s also important. When you’ve just gone through a divorce, know that everything doesn’t have to be normal right away. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of a significant part of your life and go easy on yourself. If you don’t eat healthy food 100% of the time, if you stay home instead of going out, if you don’t volunteer for that extra project at work, that’s all okay. Rest can give you the strength to move forward to a new phase of your life.

Think Positive

It can be easy to get caught up in negative feelings related to your divorce but try to stay positive. Thinking positively can help give you the energy and hope you need. It is possible to get over a divorce—meaning you can embrace the future and make your future something great.

Questions About Your Divorce? Contact an Attorney.

Call the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 to talk with us about your family law needs during a divorce or afterward. Our Texas divorce lawyers are here to support you and your family.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Divorce?

Researchers have conducted many studies on divorce over the years. While studies produce differing results, there are some common themes. At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., serving Arlington, Texas, we find that our clients commonly have experienced the following issues in their marriages.

Infidelity: Not Staying Faithful

Studies often list cheating as a leading cause of divorce. Infidelity can lead to divorce because it often represents a breach of trust that couples struggle to overcome. When infidelity occurs, it permanently shifts the dynamic in the relationship. Some marriages end right away. Other times, couples try to overcome the infidelity but find they are unable to.

Incompatibility: Differing Values and Interests

Incompatibility is a big category, and there are many different reasons that couples can be incompatible. We often talk with people who cite incompatibility as a reason for their divorces. It can happen when couples were not clear and honest with each other before entering into the marriage. It also happens when people change over time.

Incompatibility can involve differing ideas about:

  • Whether or not to have children
  • Finances, including where money is spent and keeping good financial habits
  • Faith and religion

Substance Abuse: Drinking or Drug Use

Substance abuse and divorce are inextricably intertwined. Marriages are statistically more likely to end in divorce when one or both partners drink in excess or use drugs. Often, issues span generations. Partners with substance issues commonly have grown up in homes with parents who abused substances, and those parents were more likely to be divorced. 

Growing Apart

People don’t stop changing after they get married. They continue to develop, reaching different stages and changing their viewpoints on issues. Especially when people marry young, they find that their ideas about themselves, their goals and the world change substantially.

When you change—and when your partner changes—it’s possible to realize you no longer want the same things and you and your partner would be happier if the marriage ended.

If You’re Thinking About Divorce, Talk With a Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce—no matter the reason—talk with the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Arlington at 817-799-7125. Consultations with our attorneys are confidential. We can talk with you about your options and help you understand what steps to take.

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012696/

Special Considerations in a Military Divorce

Divorce is a trying time for many, especially those within the United States Armed Forces. Although the divorce process doesn’t change for service members, there are some unique challenges involved.

Special Considerations in a Military Divorce

Every divorce case is different. This is most evident in military divorces. Some of the special considerations that arise during a military divorce include:

  • Child support calculations: If a parent is deployed overseas, tax issues may arise that directly impact the calculation of child support payments.
  • Child custody and deployment: Creating a solid and efficient child custody plan becomes challenging when one parent is deployed. 
  • Modifications due to changing circumstances: In the military, change is inevitable. Child custody, alimony, or child support modifications may be required to accommodate new changes such as deployments or relocations.

Another difference lies in your retirement benefits. State and federal laws allow both spouses to access military retirement benefits due to divorce. According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, a court can award up to 50% of a service member’s retirement pay to an ex-spouse. 

Of course, the division depends on many factors such as the length of active-duty service. This protection complicates property division in a military divorce.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and Divorce

When one or both spouses are currently deployed, divorce can become a bit tricky or may need to be postponed. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects all active-duty service members while on active duty. The act prevents service members from being taken to court for civil proceedings such as divorce and child support hearings. 

The protection begins on the date of entering active duty and ends within 30 to 90 days after discharge. 

Call the Military Divorce Attorneys at Schneider Law Firm

As you can see, you must enter a military divorce with care. We recommend reaching out to an experienced military divorce attorney who can guide you through the process. Allow us to support you along the way. To learn more about military divorce or to discuss your case, call our Ft. Worth office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.