Tag Archives: divorce

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.



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.



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.



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.



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 .



Changing Lives, Changing Circumstances: Life After Divorce

Let’s assume a typical family unit: husband, wife, two kids, and a dog. The family lives in a nice, middle-class neighborhood in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, with a home, two cars, and a few 401(k) retirement accounts from various career roles over the years.

Unfortunately, the marriage is in trouble and is heading toward divorce

The divorce goes relatively smoothly. There are issues and disagreements to resolve, but the divorce is amicable. The parties agree to do what’s best for the children—to keep a sense of family continuity after the divorce, even though the family will no longer live under one roof. And they agree on issues like spousal support, which for two years the ex-husband pays on time and in full when due.       

But then a mishap: the ex-husband is hurt on the job and can no longer afford to pay the same amount of spousal support, at least temporarily. What happens next? 

Everything Changes but Change Itself 

To quote or paraphrase the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, everything changes but change itself. In other words, we can depend on at least that in life. The circumstances that held during the divorce, at the time the decree was entered and the divorce finalized, may not continue to hold in the months and years afterward. 

People get remarried. They have children. They go back to school. They find new jobs, out of town or even out of state. They get sick or injured, experience financial difficulty, and can no longer comply with the terms of the divorce decree, as described in our hypothetical scenario above.

What are your options when life happens?         

Post-Divorce Modifications

Court orders are enforceable against the respective parties. Judges expect the parties to abide by the terms set forth in those orders, from how much you pay in spousal support to the specific, day-to-day responsibilities related to parenting, as outlined in custody and visitation agreements. That said, the law recognizes Heraclitus’s remarks about change and allows for post-divorce modifications in some circumstances.

Here are a few additional (and common) examples:

  • As the children get older and more independent, their wants and needs will change.
  • When an ex-spouse remarries, his or her financial needs may change.
  • If an ex-spouse suffers a long-term disability and loss of income, his or her ability to pay spousal support will change.       

No Court Order Is Permanent  

Based in Arlington, the attorneys of Schneider Law Firm, P.C., help our clients adjust to life after divorce in changing circumstances. For a confidential consultation, call 1-817-799-7125 today.

The Immeasurable Value of a Temporary Order in a Family Law Crisis

Panic. Stuck. Frozen. These words might spring to mind if you’re facing a family-related crisis. Perhaps your spouse announced that he is leaving. Or you yourself want to leave—need to leave in cases of domestic abuse—but you’re afraid to take action because you simply don’t know what to do.

You can’t take action because your spouse controls the household finances (a common scenario), and you have a legitimate need for access to cash for basic necessities like food, housing and transportation, whether or not you stay in your home. And that need is heightened when you have children under your care.

Fortunately, the temporary order helps people facing these circumstances get “unstuck.” Temporary orders can help to reduce panic. Read on for more detail on how this important legal tool works.                

Common Reasons for Pursuing a Temporary Order

In divorce and family law, there is a range of circumstances that might require a temporary order, including the need for spousal support (a.k.a. alimony), child custody and visitation, and rights to property like cars and the home. (There are other circumstances, but for purposes of this blog post, we will focus on these.) 

Note that all of these rights—financial support, child custody, access to the car and home—concern day-to-day practical reality: How will you cover household expenses? Who will care for the children? Will you have a car to get where you need to go? 

If you are separating, and especially if your relationship is acrimonious, these questions need to be answered. That’s the purpose of a temporary order, which puts a framework of behavior into place that all parties must follow while the divorce or family law matter proceeds.   

Spousal Support 

In many cases, one spouse essentially controls the household finances—and could decide to retaliate or increase control over the relationship by restricting access to cash. With a temporary order, the judge can impose specific guidelines for behavior: For example, an order that your spouse must not close or freeze bank accounts.

Child Custody and Visitation 

Allegations of physical or emotional abuse heighten the stakes. Even if there are no allegations of this kind, the temporary order puts into place specific guidelines for parenting. Who will pick the children up from school? Who will take them to the dentist? Who will care for them? In many cases, both parties can continue doing what they have always done, but the temporary order helps both parents get (and stay) on the same page.     

Property Rights to the Car and Home 

This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of temporary orders: You need a car. You need shelter. Some of our clients worry about whether they will have access to a car and to the home in a divorce or other family law matter, especially if they have children under their care. The temporary order can make this need explicit as the case proceeds.       

Learn More About Temporary Orders in Texas

Based in Ft. Worth, the attorneys of Schneider Law Firm, P.C., are available to walk clients through the process of securing temporary orders in a range of divorce and family law scenarios. Speak with us today. Call 1-817-755-1852.

Evaluating Divorce Issues Through the Lens of a Business Decision

We’ve all heard of marriage as a partnership. Similar in kind to small business partnerships, the spouses share responsibility (to one degree or another) over household chores, finances, children, and so on. The spouses also share the benefits that come from their partnership, such as the shared home, family vacations, a degree of financial security, emotional support, etc.

But what happens when the marriage draws to an end?

To be sure, marriage is not a business; it’s a personal relationship. And divorce is the termination of that relationship (subject to future and ongoing commitments involving children and spousal support). It is definitely not as impersonal as many business decisions can be. But there are benefits to evaluating divorce through the lens of a business decision. 

These benefits include greater objectivity in decision-making, reduced stress and anxiety for all parties, including children, and (in general) reduced legal expense. We examine each of these in turn below.  

Objectivity: Keeping a Level Head

Divorce is not the end of the world. This realization may help you come to terms with the initial shock of divorce (if it comes as a surprise) or with feelings of frustration, doubt and failure that arise from a troubled marriage. If divorce is not the end of the world, it is not necessary to fight with your spouse over matters that can be resolved rather easily (the old motorcycle in the garage, for example). This saves time and energy for the truly important decisions involving valuable property, household finances, spousal support, child custody, and parenting plans, to name a few.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Divorce is a significant stressor—and that’s so in some divorce cases more than others. You cannot eliminate stress and anxiety entirely, but you can manage it. In some cases, our client simply cannot “get along” with his or her spouse, and emotions run high. There may be no way to avoid this. But even in those cases, taking one or two steps back when making a decision may lead to a better result and reduce overall stress.  

Reduced Legal Fees

There is no way to guarantee the ultimate cost of any legal proceeding. In general, uncontested divorce cases cost less, simply because there are no issues to resolve. The parties both agree on property division, spousal support, child custody and visitation. On the other hand, contested divorce cases often involve significant disagreement on these issues—and this is where business-minded decision-making comes into play. Objective decision-making often leads to optimal results in terms of your finances and relationships post-divorce—and reduced legal fees because your lawyer spends less time to resolve issues.        

Let Us Help You Make Optimal Decisions 

From our law offices in Arlington, Texas, the divorce and family law attorneys of Schneider Law Firm, P.C., help our clients make sound decisions that protect their finances and their future. We serve families in the Arlington, and Mansfield, Texas areas. Call 817-799-7125 for a confidential consultation.