A Tale of Two Divorce Clients

Please note that the clients and lawyers referenced in the video and transcript are purely hypothetical and not based on actual people.  If you prefer reading to watching, please see the transcript below:

TRANSCRIPT:
Deciding whether your marriage is over and you need a divorce is a gut wrenching, emotionally-draining experience. For those who conclude that it is the appropriate course of action, reaching that point is often a relief because you’ve made a decision. It feels like it’ll be over soon and you can begin rebuilding your life. But far too often the divorce case begins and you discover that things are far from over.

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Facebook and Divorce – Interview on Fox News

This was an interview of Scott Morgan in 2010 on Fox Houston on how facebook can be an issue in divorce cases. There had been a lot of publicity at the time about facebook “causing” divorces. It is still common that facebook and other social media play a role in a divorce case, but the media buzz surrounding the issue seems to have died down.

Key Property Division Valuation Issues in Texas Divorce

The typical procedure for Texas divorce lawyers to analyze property division in a divorce case is to put all the assets and liabilities on a spreadsheet and fill in the values.  At that point the division usually starts to make sense as you assign certain assets and liabilities to each of the parties.  Often these assignments are relatively simple and agreed to.  For example, everyone may agree that the wife should get the house and be responsible for the mortgage so you automatically fill in your spreadsheet that way on that particular asset and debt.

Sometimes the parties may have a dispute over how the overall split should be done. For example, one party may want a 50/50 division while the other side believes it should be a disproportionate division. I will save that topic for anther blog post.  Today I will address the other common issue that arises in property divisions, that of valuation disputes. Continue reading

Your Income Tax Return and the Child Dependency Exemption

Here is a common divorce/taxation question:  post-divorce which party is entitled to take the dependency exemption for the children, the person paying child support or the person receiving child support. People are frequently confused about this, in no small part because most divorce decrees are silent on the issue.

The Child Dependency Exemption is Governed by Federal Law

Let’s start with an analysis of the law. Internal Revenue Code Sec. 152(e) states that Continue reading

Child Support Modification in Texas – What is the Standard?

This article will outline the current Texas law on child support modification and explain when it makes sense to pursue a child support modification.

Child support modification is addressed in Texas Family Code Section 156.401 through Section 156.409.  Whether you are the payor who is seeking a reduction or the payee seeking an increase, the standard is the same.  There are two possible avenues to seek a modification: Continue reading

Hiding Assets in Divorce – is it Worth the Risk?

While attempting to hide assets in a divorce case is not commonplace, it happens more often than you might imagine.  As an attorney I would never advise a client to attempt to hide assets nor would I help them in their efforts to do so.  Aside from the legal and ethical issues, it is simple wrong and not something I am willing to do.

Hidden Assets Tend to be Found

I have had cases on both sides of the issue.  I have discovered assets that my client’s spouse was attempting to hide and I have discovered assets that my own client was attempting to hide.  When I explain to my client how easy it was for me to uncover the asset and how the other attorney is likely to find it just as easily, the client usually becomes much more reasonable about disclosing all assets. Continue reading

A Helpful Aid for Long-Distance Access: Skype Visitation

When a couple has divorced and one or both of the parties has moved out of the area, it can make it can become extremely difficult and sometimes impossible for the non-custodial parent to have frequent access and communication with the children.  With the increasing mobility of our society and the much more typical career changes that seem to be a staple of our current economic times, this situation has become a very common occurrence. Continue reading

How to Deal with a House in a Divorce

A common issue in most divorce cases is what to do with the marital residence.  If the parties rent their residence this is not a big issue, but in most divorce cases there will be owned real estate that must be dealt with.

Two Most Common Ways to Handle

While every case is different and there are many unique and unusual sets of circumstances, for most cases there are only two realistic divorce outcomes when it comes to the house. Either Continue reading

Texas Divorce Lawyer Explains What a Financial Information Statement Is

A Financial Information Statement is a court-required document for nearly all temporary orders hearings and final trials in Texas divorce cases.  Here is a sample Financial Information Statement so you have an idea of what they look like.  The names and details used are all fictional, although the facts used are relatively typical of the issues dealt with in a Texas divorce. The sample document is based on a husband who expects to move out of the residence and pay child support.  In a real case both sides prepare and submit a Financial Information Statement to the court prior to a temporary orders hearing. Continue reading

My Thoughts on Top 10 Tips for Great Divorce

I came across a thought-provoking article by Pamela Cytrynbaum on psychologytoday.com, entitled Top 10 Tips for a Great Divorce. It gives her suggestions on how to turn an amicable separation into an amicable divorce. I mostly agree with what she suggests, although I have different thoughts on a few of the issues. I encourage you to check out the article. Here are my thoughts on some of her tips that I took issue with: Continue reading