COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open to serve you, with in office visits, remotely via teleconference, & video conference. Call Today!

Category Archives: Divorce

Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we find that our clients are often nervous about one critical point in the divorce process: serving their spouse with divorce papers. Of course, each situation is different. But “getting served” has long been emphasized in the media and popular culture. For many, it represents the moment in the divorce proceedings when the relationship changes forever.

Legally, serving your spouse with divorce papers is called “notification”. In a divorce, the spouse filing for divorce is required by the law to take proper steps to notify their spouse of the divorce case. If you fail to notify them, it can delay your case. In some cases, it may even lead to dismissal of your divorce.

How to Notify Your Spouse of the Divorce

Texas courts recognize several different ways to notify your spouse about the divorce. You and your lawyer will choose the one that works best for you, depending on your situation. Your options include:

  • A court-approved private process server, sheriff or constable may serve the divorce papers after you pay the required legal fees.
  • Your spouse may receive notice through the mail by a certified mailing from the district clerk’s office.
  • If you and your spouse agree, after you have filed the petition for divorce, your spouse may sign a document called a “Waiver of Citation.” This tells the courts that your spouse is accepting the service of the lawsuit.
  • If you do not know where your spouse is, you may be able to give notice by publication. The notice of the divorce proceeding is published in a court-approved newspaper or another approved publication. Usually, the notice must appear in the paper for a certain amount of time before the court considers the notice served.

After Notice Is Given to Your Spouse

Once you officially notify your spouse, they must respond to the divorce petition. The court sets a deadline for doing this. If the deadline isn’t met and your spouse does not respond, you may be able to obtain a divorce by default.

In a divorce by default, property division must be just and right, and child custody must be in the child’s “best interests.” However, the final decision may be made with considerably less disagreement and expense.

Questions About Serving Your Spouse? Talk With Our Lawyers.

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we work to protect your interests during a divorce. For a confidential consultation, call our Ft. Worth office at 817-755-1852. We can answer your questions about the divorce process, including serving your spouse with divorce papers.

Medical Decisions, Medical and Dental Support for Children

Most parents would do anything to keep their kids happy and healthy. So, when a child’s medical or dental care is affected, it can bring up co-parenting challenges that are difficult to resolve. At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we support our clients in working with their co-parents during the divorce process and afterward. Our focus is on making sure you stay healthy and financially secure.

Making Medical and Dental Decisions for Your Child

When Texas courts make child custody decisions, they decide on something called “legal custody.” Legal custody gives a parent the legal authority to make critical decisions for their child. These decisions can include what doctor your child will see or what type of medical care they will get for a serious health condition.

Legal custody can be given to one parent (sole) or both parents (joint) and is most commonly shared between the parents. That means you and your co-parent will need to communicate regarding important medical decisions affecting your child.

If you and your co-parent cannot agree on medical issues for your child, you have several options. You may be able to have a neutral third party make the decision for you. Sometimes, divorcing parents stipulate this neutral third party in the divorce decree.

You may also pursue mediation to help you arrive at an agreement that works for both parents and is in the child’s best interests.

Medical Support and Dental Support

Texas courts usually order medical support and dental support in addition to child support. This support makes sure that medical and dental costs are covered so that your child can receive the care he or she needs.

  • Medical support: Courts generally order medical support that requires a parent to pay the “reasonable cost” of the child’s health insurance, as well as other medical expenses for a child (like co-pays and deductibles). A judge may order you to provide health insurance coverage for your child, to reimburse the other parent for the cost of health insurance coverage, or to pay cash medical support if your child receives Medicaid.
  • Dental support: Since 2018, Texas courts have ordered that dental insurance must be provided for children in a divorce. Dental support is similar to medical support in that it covers the reasonable cost of dental insurance, as well as other dental expenses for a child (like co-pays and deductibles).

Questions About Your Kids’ Medical and Dental Needs? Contact an Attorney.

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

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.154.htm#154.064

 https://texaslawhelp.org/article/child-support-medical-support-and-dental-support#toc-4

How Is Debt Divided in a Texas Divorce?

According to a 2018 study, the average American has more than $38,000 worth of debt. With the recent pandemic and economic challenges our country faces, experts estimate that the number has increased significantly in 2020. So, what does that mean for divorcing couples in Texas? How is debt divided, and what should you do if you and your spouse are considering divorce with debt?

How Texas Courts Divide Debt

If you and your spouse agree on how to split your debt, the judge will likely approve your agreement. However, if you can’t agree, the court will decide how to divide the debt. In Texas, courts divide property and debt using the community property method. This means that the property acquired—and the debt that accrued—during your marriage belongs to both you and your spouse.

For debt that’s considered community property, Texas law requires the court to divide the debt fairly and equitably. The only property or debt not eligible for division is separate property—property or debt that you or your spouse had before the marriage or that meets certain criteria.

Your Divorce Decree Doesn’t Affect a Creditor’s Right to Collect

You should know, however, that your Final Decree of Divorce does not affect a creditor’s right to collect a debt from you. Even if the judge orders your spouse to pay a debt that is in both your names, the creditor may still come after you for the debt if your spouse does not pay.

For example, if your car loan is in both of your names and your spouse keeps the family car, they must refinance the car loan to get your name off the debt. If your spouse is unable or unwilling to refinance the loan, and then they stop paying, you will be responsible for the debt—even though you no longer drive the car. Talk with your lawyer about how to prevent this from happening to you.

Types of Debt to Consider

Be sure to consider all of your debt when making financial decisions about your divorce. These decisions can have a serious impact on your future, so it’s important to review all the details carefully.

Most Americans have some combination of these forms of debt:

  • Credit cards
  • Student loans
  • Mortgages
  • Car loans
  • Personal loans

Dividing Debt: Paying Off Debts From Your Marriage

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for dividing debt in a Texas divorce. Depending on your situation, you and your spouse may choose to sell the family home and vehicles in order to be free of the debts associated with them.

If you don’t, you could be responsible for debt that you cannot pay—especially as the income that supported one household must be stretched to support two. After your divorce, be sure to check your credit report and note any discrepancies. Talk to your attorney about anything that concerns you.

If You’re Worried About Marital Debt, Talk With a Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce and have debt, it’s a good idea to talk with the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., as soon as possible. Talking with us early in the divorce process can help protect your interests and keep your options open.

Call us at 817-799-7125 to get started. Consultations with our attorneys are confidential. We’ll talk with you about your options and help you understand what steps to take to manage debt and divorce.

Am I Eligible for an Uncontested Divorce?

Many couples know they wish to end their marriage yet fear the emotional pain of fighting in court. For those couples who wish to finish proceedings quickly and with cost in mind, there’s the option of uncontested divorce.

What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Texas?

An uncontested divorce is the simplest form of divorce. There is no “contest” which means both you and your spouse agree on all terms. Uncontested divorces are often resolved faster than contested divorces. It’s also common for these divorces to be less expensive due to reduced court costs.

Who Is Eligible for an Uncontested Divorce?

Those who wish to move forward with an uncontested divorce must meet specific requirements. First, you and your spouse must agree on all aspects of your divorce, including the grounds or reason for the divorce. Other aspects include:

  • Property division: You and your spouse must have a property settlement that fairly divides all of your marital assets and debts. This includes bank accounts, mortgages, vehicles, property, personal items and more.
  • Spousal maintenance: If you or your spouse will receive maintenance or alimony, you must have a plan that explains the amount of the maintenance and how long you or your spouse plans to pay.
  • Child custody and visitation: You must know who will have custody of your children and whether it’s joint or sole custody. You must also agree how much visitation each of you will have and when visitation will occur.
  • Child support: You must agree on the amount of child support you or your spouse will receive and when.

Divorce Mediation

Do you and your spouse disagree on the aspects of divorce? If so, your divorce is considered to be contested. Yet, you do have the option to try mediation. If you and your spouse are able to work together amicably, an attorney can help you negotiate and reach an agreement outside of court. Like uncontested divorce, mediation can also save you time and money in court costs.

Reach Out to Schneider Law Firm Today

Whether your divorce is uncontested or contested, we recommend reaching out to an attorney. We’re here to support you. To learn more about divorce or to discuss your options, give our Fort Worth office a call at

Military divorce requires a unique approach. The experienced military divorce lawyers at Schneider Law Firm are here to support you. To learn more about your divorce, give our Fort Worth office a call at 817-799-1852 or send us a message.

Military Divorce Requires a Unique Approach

Members of the United States Armed Forces often face unique challenges when compared to civilians. Perhaps one of the hardest challenges is the military divorce process. If you’re currently serving our country, know the attorneys at Schneider Law Firm are here to support you each step of the way.

The Unique Challenges Involved in a Military Divorce

Military divorce requires a different approach than a civilian divorce. There are several unique challenges you may face as you move forward with divorce, including:

  • Child custody: When one parent is deployed overseas, determining a child custody and parenting plan can be complicated. Even after determining custody, many military members must relocate often, resulting in the need for custody modifications.
  • Child support: Child support is critical to the health and wellbeing of your children. Calculating sufficient child support can be complex if you or your spouse is deployed overseas due to tax concerns. Plus, child support payments are calculated using the servicemember’s income, which is often difficult to calculate. Factors such as housing allowance and pay differentials per assignment can change the amount of compensation a military member earns.
  • Property division: State and federal laws protect both spouses’ access to military retirement benefits in the event of a divorce. This means Texas courts can treat retirement benefits as community or marital property. There are many factors involved in the division such as the length of active-duty service.
Military Divorce Requires a Unique Approach | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-1154360209
817-799-1852 – Military divorce comes with its unique challenges. To learn more about military divorce, visit us today.

Military Members & Divorce Proceedings While Deployed

It’s important to know that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects servicemembers from the strain of divorce while deployed. Under the SCRA, military members have access to an extended “stay” or postponement of civil court. You can request a 90-day postponement of any proceedings, which can help you better prepare for your case.

Whether you’re currently deployed or serving at home, a professional military attorney can help you through your divorce.

Call the Military Divorce Lawyers at Schneider Law Firm

Military divorce requires a unique approach. The experienced military divorce lawyers at Schneider Law Firm are here to support you. To learn more about your divorce, give our Fort Worth office a call at 817-799-1852 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