What if the Child’s Birthday Falls on an SPO Holiday?

Published October 30, 2018 | By

On one of my other posts I outline the basic terms of the Texas Standard Possession Order.  One of my readers recently commented and asked a very interesting question that I have never been asked before.  Here is the question:  “What happens if a child’s birthday falls on a holiday schedule? Does the holiday schedule trump the birthday order (SPO of 6pm-8pm)?”

The relevant statute is Texas Family Code Section 153.314. That is the part of the Standard Possession Order that says certain “holiday” periods (defined by statute as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and the child’s birthday) trump any conflicting weekend or Thursday visitation. This is true regardless of whether the parents live more or less than 100 miles apart.

What that statute does not make entirely clear Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, Visitation

Can a Child Age Twelve Decide Which Parent to Live With

Published July 29, 2017 | By

I have been asked this question more times than I can count during my career.  More often, it is stated to me as fact, as in “well my child is over twelve, so he/she gets to decide who he/she wants to live with.” This belief is based on a misinterpretation of a very real Texas Family Code statute concerning the wishes of a child twelve or older.

Section 153.009

Here is what Texas Family Code Section 153.009 says Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, custody

What are Temporary Orders in a Divorce Case?

Published October 10, 2016 | By

This article will explain what temporary orders are in a Texas divorce case, outline some of the more common issues addressed by temporary orders, and give some suggestions on how to deal with temporary orders if they are an issue in your case. Continue reading →

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Divorce, Temporary Orders

Texas Alimony Basics

Published September 28, 2016 | By

This article will outline the basic issues involved in alimony in a Texas divorce case.  First, let’s get clear on the terminology.  “Alimony” is the commonly used name for periodic payments of post-divorce support for a spouse, not to be confused with child support which is intended for support of the children of a marriage.  Since as Texans we like to be unique, the statutory name given for alimony is “spousal maintenance.”  So whether the term used is “spousal support,” “spousal maintenance” or just alimony, the meaning is generally the same:  periodic post-divorce payments from one spouse to the other for the support of the recipient spouse. Continue reading →

Posted in Alimony, Men's Issues, Property Division, Taxes & Divorce

What is “Standard” Visitation Anyway?

Published June 10, 2016 | By

Texas divorce lawyers frequently refer to the “SPO” which is short for the Texas Standard Possession Order.  This statute defines a default visitation schedule that is presumed to be in the child’s best interest.  While this presumption is rebuttable under certain circumstances, my guess is that the Standard Possession Order (or some slightly modified version of it) is the visitation schedule in 90% or more of the divorce cases in Texas.

The statutory schedule is very long and detailed.  You can view the actual statute here.  In this article I will highlight Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, Men's Issues, Visitation

How to Break the News of Divorce to Your Kids

Published May 9, 2016 | By

family-spiltFor most people getting divorced is a gut-wrenchingly painful process. For those with children, it can be even more painful as you witness the negative impact that the separation, divorce and many other divorce-related changes have on your children. As a divorce lawyer for over 20 years I have seen many clients struggle with this issue. As a divorced parent myself I can attest that this was one of the most difficult parts of the process.

One of the most significant events of the divorce process is the beginning – specifically, Continue reading →

Posted in Children & Divorce, Divorce

Should You Hire a Family Law Attorney or Use an Online Divorce Form Website?

Published March 15, 2016 | By

When should you hire a family law attorney and when is it okay to use an online divorce form website to save a little money? This article will provide a few pointers to help you decide whether to do it yourself or retain an attorney.

What Does it Mean to Use an Online Divorce Form Website?

Essentially, using an online form website in your family law case means that you will represent yourself – you are acting as your own attorney. All of the online divorce form sites have disclaimers making it clear that they are not your attorney and that they are just preparing documents on your behalf. While it is your constitutional right to act as your own attorney, there are some significant risks involved that should be evaluated before Continue reading →

Posted in Child Support, Children & Divorce, Divorce, Property Division, Uncategorized | Taged , , , ,

Common Valuation Issues in Property Division

Published February 27, 2016 | By

When dividing property in a Texas divorce you generally use a spreadsheet and fill in values for the major assets and debts.  Then you work on splitting up those assets and debts between the parties to arrive at the percentage split you are seeking.  Sometimes this is 50/50, sometimes it is disproportionate in favor of one spouse or the other. So mechanically it is a fairly straight forward process.  The issues that arise most often are when the spouses disagree over the value of an asset. Continue reading →

Posted in Property Division

Three Common Mistakes Made by Men in Divorce

Published February 23, 2016 | By

Divorce is difficult for all parties involved, including husband, wife and sadly the children. Everyone’s situation is unique but there are some common pitfalls and mistakes that are more commonly encountered by men.  In this post I will explore some of the most common challenging situations and mistakes made by men in divorce cases.

Mistake #1 – Agreeing to Very Bad Financial Divorce Terms

When it is the husband who wants the Continue reading →

Posted in Divorce, Men's Issues, Property Division