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Category Archives: Divorce

Dirty Divorce Tricks—And Why You Shouldn’t Consider Them

Dirty Divorce Tricks—And Why You Shouldn’t Consider Them

When a spouse has blindsided you with a divorce, or when infidelity, debts, or other lies have come to light, it can be devastating. It can be so devastating that even the most reasonable people start to think about options that are prohibited under Texas divorce law.

These dirty tricks can be tempting. But they can backfire in a big way. Here are some of the most common ones and what you should know. 

Leaving Your Spouse With Nothing

Texas is a community property state. This means that all assets acquired during the marriage are to be split equally. But even so, many spouses entertain the vindictive thought of emptying the bank account, canceling the credit cards, or cleaning out the house.

However, leaving your spouse with nothing can backfire big time. Emptying a bank account can lead to an emergency hearing and long-term consequences for you that negatively affect the outcome of your divorce.

And canceling your spouse’s credit cards or emptying the house can provoke your spouse to fight. You’ll end up spending more time in court and paying much more in legal fees, which could reduce the financial resources you have available to move forward with your life.

Getting Your Spouse In Trouble

Getting your spouse in trouble may also seem tempting. You may envision revealing your spouse’s adultery to their paramour’s family. But this could lead to a long legal battle that costs you much more than your divorce ordinarily would.

You may also envision getting your spouse fired from their job or reporting them to the IRS. But dirty tactics like this can bite you. You may find yourself without  comfortable child support or an alimony payment that you otherwise would have received if your spouse was employed. You could find yourself struggling to make ends meet.

Leaving Texas With the Kids

Leaving Texas with your children  to unfairly keep them from your spouse is also against Texas law. If our family law courts learn that you intended to deprive your spouse of a relationship with the kids, your spouse could wind up with full custody, and you could find that you are the one who is deprived of valuable time with them. The dishonesty is simply too much to risk.

If You’re Tempted to Take Action, Talk With a Lawyer First

Legal counsel from an experienced attorney can save you a world of heartache. If you’re thinking about taking unfair actions against a spouse—even a liar or a cheater who really deserves it—it’s best to talk with an attorney before you act.

At Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our lawyers can help you know the long-term implications of your actions today. To talk confidentially about your options, call the Arlington, Texas, law office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.

Telling Your Teen About the Divorce

Most parents begin a divorce with one main concern: minimizing the impact of the divorce on their children. Often, they incline to say as little as possible in hopes of shielding the child from the truth. But silence can be misinterpreted, and kids often end up with more questions and worries if a parent doesn’t discuss divorce matters.

It is much better to talk about divorce with your kids, being as open as honest as possible while still being respectful of the other parent. Here are some tips for telling your teen about the divorce.

Tell Your Teen Together

Teens are at a unique age. While they crave the independence of being with their friends, they still very much need stability. Your message should help reassure them that they’ll still have two loving parents, even if things are changing.

You and your spouse should tell your teen together, if at all possible. That way, your teen hears the same message from both of you and is surrounded by both parents during a challenging time.

Pick the “Right” Time and Place to Talk About the Divorce

There’s no one “right” place to deliver the news, but it’s important to think of your child’s best interests when deciding when and where.

Since it may take your teen a while to process the information, consider telling them on a Friday evening or just before a school break. That way, your teen will have a few days before facing the next long day of high school—with all the pop quizzes, grueling sports practices and social drama that comes with it.

Tailor Your Message to Teenagers

When you’re talking about divorce (or any important topic), tailor your message to the child’s age. For a teen, this often means focusing on how the divorce will affect them. Teens want to know things like:

● Who they’ll live with

● Whether they’ll have to move

● If they’ll have to change schools

● What arrangements will be made for family pets

● What their friends may think

● How household rules will be enforced

Talk to Your Teen & Your Lawyer

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we can guide you through the divorce process and be by your side every step of the way, from the initial filings and conversations with your loved ones to the final order for divorce and beyond. To talk confidentially about your options, call our Fort Worth, Texas, law office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

How to Tell If Your Ex Is Hiding Assets in a Divorce

Hiding assets in a divorce is more common than you might think. While the law requires that both spouses make complete and honest financial disclosures, spouses frequently try to cover up the truth. And the consequences are serious.

If your spouse is hiding assets in a divorce, you could end up with much less than you deserve in a divorce settlement. Your entire future could be affected. Here’s how to tell if your spouse is hiding assets in a Texas divorce.

Your Spouse Is Being Overly Secretive

It’s natural for spouses to pull back and communicate less during the divorce process. In fact, things can often get very tense. When your spouse seems to be going to great lengths to keep you from financial information, it can be a sign that they are hiding assets.

Here are some actions that should raise some red flags:

● Your spouse has always handled the finances, even when you wanted to take a role in managing them

● Your spouse refuses to share key information, like bank account numbers, tax returns and retirement account balances

● You discover evidence of a bank account you were never told about

● You discover that your spouse is keeping a separate post office box

● Information or computer programs have been deleted from the family computer

You’re Suddenly Seeing Big Financial Changes

When an account that has had a steady pattern of withdrawals and deposits for years suddenly shows signs of other activity, it could be evidence that your spouse is attempting to hide assets.

Dishonest spouses often try to hide marital assets by moving them to other bank accounts, kind of like a marital-asset shell game. The transactions may be concealing something else going on, like money going into a secret bank account or paying off debts or assets that were never disclosed.

There’s a Discrepancy Between Your Spouse’s Lifestyle and Their Claims

When an ex-spouse claims that they are unable to pay alimony or child support but takes exotic vacations, it may be a sign they are hiding assets. Dishonest spouses are often caught posting about their vacations on social media or pulling up to court in brand new cars.

If you are seeing your spouse with luxury goods that are beyond their claimed budget, it’s a good time to talk with a lawyer.

Get an Attorney’s Help With Hidden Assets

If you’re suspicious that your spouse may be hiding assets, talk with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., based in Fort Worth, Texas, we can take immediate legal action to protect your financial future.

Our experienced lawyers also work with other professionals, including investigators and accountants to help protect our clients’ assets. To talk confidentially about your options, call us at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

What You Need to Know About Long-Distance Custody Arrangements

What You Need to Know About Long-Distance Custody Arrangements

One of the most important assets created during a divorce is the child custody agreement. After all, it’s critical that your children have adequate parenting time with you and your ex-spouse in most cases. Yet, what happens if you or your spouse must move away?

Distance doesn’t stop you from having a relationship with your children. Long-distance custody arrangements are a great way to ensure you and your spouse co-parent effectively.

Potential Scheduling Ideas for Long-Distance Arrangements

During your divorce, you and your attorney will work together to create and propose an arrangement that fits you and your child’s needs. There are many ways a long-distance arrangement can work, depending on where you must live, travel requirements and finances.

Some schedules include children staying with the distanced parent during summer breaks as well as spring break every year. Some allow the child to visit the distanced parent every other Christmas for a week or more. Other options include:

  • A visit every other week, depending on travel requirements
  • A visit every other month for a week or more
  • A visit for one weekend each month

Long-Distance Co-Parenting Tips

Long-distance co-parenting, although challenging, is far from impossible. You and your ex-spouse must continue to communicate and work together to parent your children. Here are some other quick tips that can help:

  • Use your tech tools: Technology makes it easy to remain in your child’s day-to-day life no matter where you are. You can use tools such as Skype to video chat. If you have an older child, text messaging and apps can help keep you in touch.
  • Respect your ex-spouse’s parenting time: Both parents need to have dedicated time with their children. While your child is with your ex-spouse, respect their time and give them space.
  • Revisit your plan when appropriate: Long-distance arrangements may need revising as you and your ex work out the kinks. Remain open to revisiting your plan and making changes to improve it over time.

Need Help With Your Custody Arrangement? Reach Out to Our Legal Team!

In most cases, it’s in your child’s best interest for you and your ex-spouse to share parenting time. Although long-distance custody can be difficult at first, an attorney can help you create a plan that works best for your family. To learn more about child custody, give our Fort Worth office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

 

 

Can I Lose My Alimony In Texas?

Can I Lose My Alimony in Texas?

Alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is sometimes awarded to one spouse after a divorce. The goal of alimony is to ensure the less-moneyed spouse can maintain their lifestyle and financial wellbeing.

If you’ve been awarded alimony, you may wonder if it’s something you can lose. In Texas, the loss of alimony can be triggered by certain circumstances. Let’s dive in.

Who Is Eligible for Alimony in Texas?

First, it’s important to understand who’s eligible to receive alimony in Texas. After all, it isn’t automatic for every divorce. The court will determine eligibility for alimony based on many factors such as:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age of each spouse
  • Earning capacity for each spouse
  • Contributions to the marriage

The court may order spousal maintenance if the spouse receiving it has a disability that hinders their ability to work. Another reason for a court to award maintenance is if a spouse must stay home to care for a child with a disability or impairment.

What Events Can Trigger the Loss of Alimony Payments?

Court-ordered alimony payments have a specific end date. For example, if you and your spouse were married for over 30 years, you could receive alimony payments for up to 10 years after your divorce. However, certain events can trigger an early termination of your payments:

  • If the court-ordered alimony is based on your disability and you improve to the point of being able to work again.
  • If your earning capacity increases with a new job or inheritance.

On the flip side, if your ex experiences a disability or loses his or her job, the court may terminate based on their inability to pay.

What If My Ex-Spouse Tries to Unfairly Terminate My Alimony?

If your ex-spouse wishes to terminate your alimony, they’ll need to show proof of your increased capacity or improvement. Without it, the court will have no reason to terminate unless you’ve reached the end date. An attorney can also help you protect your rights if your ex should try to treat you unfairly.

Questions About Spousal Maintenance? Call Us Today.

Are you concerned about losing your alimony due to a qualifying event? Worried about your financial situation? Our Fort Worth divorce attorneys can help you. To learn more about alimony or for answers to your questions, give our Fort Worth office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

 

 

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

When Should I Start Estate Planning?

Estate planning is critical for protecting your assets in the event of your death. So, when should you start? The answer is now. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, wealthy or living simply. We don’t know what the future holds; there’s no better time than now to protect yourself with an estate plan.

Why You Should Start Estate Planning ASAP

Many believe that estate planning should be reserved for the wealthy or those with many assets such as real estate. The truth is that estate planning is important for all of us for many reasons. For example, estate planning:

  1. Helps you provide for your loved ones: If you have children, an estate plan is a great way to protect them in the event of your death. Without a plan, the court will decide who receives what part of your assets. A plan gives you the power to outline who receives what, when and how. It also enables you to choose who will take care of your children on your behalf.
  2. Reduces costs: Estate plans come with tax benefits that can save your family serious cash, giving them one less thing to worry about as they mourn.
  3. Allows you to outline your healthcare decisions: An estate plan can outline your wishes should you become incapacitated at any time. This includes whether you wish to be resuscitated as well as who you want to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so on your own.

How to Get Started Estate Planning

Ready to get started? First, we highly encourage you to avoid do-it-yourself wills. These cookie-cutter documents don’t provide the adequate protection you need. Instead, we recommend reaching out to an experienced estate planning attorney.

Once you reach out to an attorney, there are a few things you should prep. Start by gathering your real estate deeds, life insurance policy information or any other documents that pertain to your assets.

Next, take some time to consider how you want to distribute your estate. This includes when you want your estate distributed (after your death or at another time) and to whom. Finally, consider who you wish to set as your executors and healthcare agents.

Ready to Start Estate Planning? Call Our Attorneys Today!

If you’re ready to start estate planning, we’re ready to support you. Our Ft. Worth attorneys have years of experience in drafting wills, trusts and more to help protect family assets. To learn more about estate planning, give us a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

 

 

Divorce vs. Annulment: What’s the Difference?

Divorce vs. Annulment: What’s the Difference?

In Texas, there are two different ways to end a marriage: annulment and divorce. While annulments and divorces achieve the same goal, there are some differences between them.

What Is the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?

An annulment is a legal procedure that essentially cancels a marriage. After an annulment, there will be no legal evidence that a marriage ever occurred.

 

A divorce is where the court determines a valid marriage did exist, but that it is now dissolved.

Who Qualifies for an Annulment in Texas?

The grounds for annulment and divorce also differ. For example, the grounds for an annulment include:

 

  • Bigamy: This means one party was already married at the time of the marriage.
  • Fraud: If your spouse misrepresents him or herself, for example, they don’t tell you that they’re a convicted felon, this could be a reason for an annulment.
  • Mental incapacity: If you married while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you were unable to make informed consent. This means your marriage could be considered null.
  • Underage marriage:Both parties must be over the age of 18 to marry without parental consent or court approval. Otherwise, the marriage isn’t lawful.

 

Other grounds, including mental illness and an incestuous relationship, are also situations where an annulment is justified.

 

How is divorce different? In Texas, you’re able to file for a divorce without a specific cause. This is called a no-fault divorce. Both parties agree to the divorce based on “irreconcilable differences.”

Should I Get an Annulment or a Divorce?

There aren’t any true legal benefits to obtaining an annulment instead of a divorce. Some couples choose annulments over traditional divorces due to religious reasons. Others choose annulments to erase the marriage for personal reasons.

 

In both annulments and divorces, property division is handled the same. The court will decide who receives which assets. They’ll also develop a parenting plan if you have minor children.

 

If you meet the requirements for an annulment, the choice is yours. Yet, we recommend reaching out to an attorney who can help you make the best decision for yourself and your family.

Questions About Divorce? Reach Out to Us Today!

We know that divorce can be confusing. We’re here to answer your questions. To learn more about annulments and divorce, give our Ft. Worth office a call at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

 

 

Who Pays for College After a Divorce?

Who Pays for College After a Divorce?

College is more expensive than ever before. According to U.S.News and World Report, prices can vary widely, but the average tuition for a private college in 2020-21 was $35,087, and that doesn’t include all of the costs that may be associated with attendance or account for how much inflation may drive up prices in the future.

 

At the same time, Texas child support laws say that a parent is obligated to pay child support only until the child graduates from high school or turns 18. So what should parents do about college? Who pays for college after a divorce?

When It Comes to College, Be Proactive

Since Texas courts will not force a parent to continue child support payments just because the child has chosen to pursue post-secondary education, it’s important to think of college years before it’s time to fill out applications.

 

Consider making a written agreement about college expenses now, during the divorce process. If properly drafted, courts in most states will enforce college support agreements.

 

These agreements can give you peace of mind that you’ll be prepared to support your child’s education. They may also save you the time and expense or resolving disputes related to college expenses later.

Things to Consider in a College Support Agreement

There is no exact formula for every family. What works best for your family may depend on many different factors. To start with, you and your spouse should agree on what “college” means. Does it mean four years at an in-state school? Or does it mean continued payment until graduation, even if that takes longer or includes graduate studies?

 

Some families agree to deposit a portion of their incomes into college savings funds starting when the children are very little. Other families focus on how payment responsibilities will be divided.

 

If both parents earn equal incomes, fair payment may be 50/50. But if one parent’s income is greater, a more fair division might be 70/30. Because it can be complicated, it’s best to talk about the matter with your attorney and your financial planner.

Contact the Schneider Law Firm, P.C.

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about the divorce process, like who pays for college after a divorce. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.

 

 

3 Tips for Handling Divorce Anxiety

There are many reasons why divorce is stressful. For starters, parents face the anxiety that they will lose quality time with their children. Divorce also leads to uncertainty, possible financial implications and social changes.

Researchers have made an inventory of stressors, and divorce ranks right at the top as the second most stressful event a person could experience. So, what is the best way to cope with divorce-related stress and anxiety? Here are some tips for staying calm during an uncertain time.

1. Ask For Help and Accept It

Friends and family can be uncertain about how to help you during the divorce process. They may not know what to say or do. Don’t interpret silence as being alone. Often, your loved ones are waiting for you to tell them what you need.

Ask for help and name the help you need specifically. Do you need someone to talk with over the phone? Or more concrete support, like help with childcare or budgeting? Tell people the best way to support you, and then gratefully accept the support they lend. Having that support is a key way to beat divorce-related anxiety.

2. Take Divorce Matters One Step At a Time

Studies show that there’s no physical difference between anxiety caused by something that’s actually happening and anxiety caused by something we’re only thinking about. To limit anxiety, try to keep your mind on present things. Of course, that’s easier said than done. However, you can try to tackle each obstacle as it comes rather than thinking ahead to various scenarios.

3. Bring in the Pros. Hire an Experienced Attorney.

Nobody expects to go through a divorce. So when you’re divorcing, you’re constantly faced with decisions you’ve never made before and likely haven’t prepared for. Hire an experienced, reputable lawyer, and then trust that person to guide you through the decision-making process.

Having a trusted professional’s phone number can go a long way toward reducing anxiety and bringing you peace of mind.

Contact Us for Help With Your Divorce

If you need help making your divorce more manageable, talking with a lawyer is a good way to get real information. For a confidential consultation, call our Fort Worth office at 817-755-1852 . At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we have extensive experience guiding people through the divorce process, and our experience can help reduce your anxiety

 

 

Received Divorce Papers? Here’s What to Do Next

Received Divorce Papers? Here’s What to Do Next

Have you been served with divorce papers? A divorce can be a bewildering experience—especially if you weren’t expecting it. If you’ve been served, here’s what to do.

Don’t Ignore the Divorce Petition

Depending on your personality and the way you cope with stress, it can be tempting to tuck the papers away and ignore them. Don’t do this. Ignoring legal documents never makes the problem go away.

Instead, it can make things worse because you may be caught unaware, miss important deadlines, or fail to give your attorney enough time to work effectively on your behalf.

Review the Divorce Papers and Check Important Dates

Take a careful look at the divorce papers that you’ve been served. The papers likely tell you important information, like the deadline you have for responding. Usually, this is 30 days in a Texas divorce. You’ll need to work with your attorney to respond by that date.

If you fail to respond to legal papers on time, your ex can take certain actions. You may have waived your right to make certain claims or your ex may be able to obtain a default judgment against you.

Stay Calm

You may be tempted to go crazy—posting about the life-changing event on social media or calling up your closest friends and relatives to tell them what just happened. Before you act, take a moment to collect yourself and process what just happened.

Stay calm and try to make rational decisions during this difficult time. The things you post to social media never truly go away and the things you say to the people you love may sound regrettable tomorrow.

Get Legal Help from an Experienced Texas Divorce Attorney

You’ll want to get help from an experienced divorce lawyer as quickly as possible. Of course, we recommend the attorneys at the Schneider Law Firm as the best choice. However, you’ll want to do your research and find a reputable law firm with in-depth knowledge of Texas family law. Arrange a consultation and bring the divorce papers with you for the attorney to review.

Contact the Schneider Law Firm, P.C.

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about the divorce process and what steps to take next. Call 817-755-1852 or send us a message to talk with us about your situation. We often hear from people who were surprised and upended by divorce papers, and we can be there to guide you and protect your interests during this difficult time.