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San Antonio Family Law Blog

Protective order may be in order in domestic violence situation

Situations involving partner abuse in Texas can understandably spark feelings of uncertainty and stress. However, if you are experiencing domestic violence, you do have options. One of these options may be to secure a protective order, also known as a restraining order.

A restraining order can be pursued in family court. However, family law courts are not the same thing as criminal law courts. In family court, a judge can issue temporary protective orders in the absence of the respondents -- the parties reportedly posing a threat.

Settlement agreement process may make divorce easier

Getting divorced is generally not a pleasant process for both emotional and financial reasons. However, one way to make this life-altering process easier is to pursue a divorce settlement outside of court. Here is a glimpse at how the settlement process works during this type of family law proceeding in Texas.

Two individuals who are getting divorced do not necessarily need to go to divorce trial to address their divorce issues. Instead, they can complete an alternative dispute resolution process, such as mediation, or engage in informal negotiations. During these processes, they can work toward a settlement agreement that pleases both sides and that considers the best interests of the children, if the couple have minor children.

Child custody: Shared parenting tips

Parents separate for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest concerns post-separation can be the custody arrangements of the children. Child custody laws in Texas were put in place to serve the needs of both parents and children. A new trend that is taking shape in the United States involves shared parenting agreements, with more and more states passing legislation to facilitate co-parenting arrangements. The following tips may be helpful for parents taking part in co-parenting.

It's no secret that a separation or divorce can be a very emotional time, but newly single parents should never let anger or resentment influence their behavior. It is key to set a good example and show children how to act respectfully. Although situations can vary, always keep the best interest of the children in mind.

Divorce can emotionally affect adult children

A marital breakup in Texas can understandably be hard on young children, but it can also be challenging for adult children. This is particularly true for adult children who are close to both parents. A few tips may help those getting a divorce later in life to protect their adult children from unnecessary pain and drama during this type of family law proceeding.

First, divorcing spouses may be wise to avoid telling their adult children every detail of the marital breakup. Just because they are adults does not necessarily mean they need to know everything about the divorce process. After all, this can stress them out and even make them feel uncomfortable, particularly if the details are too personal.

Divorce does not have to be wrought with conflict

A marital breakup can quickly spark both emotional and financial conflict. After all, two divorcing spouses in Texas essentially have to break apart what they may have spent years or even decades building together. However, a willingness to see the other side's viewpoint may go a long way in helping to resolve divorce issues in the most amicable way possible.

Two divorcing spouses may have very different ideas about how their issues should be handled. For instance, perhaps one spouse would like to hold onto the marital home. Meanwhile, the other spouse may want to sell the house and split the proceeds between the two spouses.

Couples therapists generally leave divorce decision to couple

The goal of a couples therapist is to help two married people to better understand each other's wishes and needs. However, sometimes this is easier said than done in Texas. Should the therapist suggest that the couple get a divorce if the future of their marriage looks bleak?

Therapists in general agree that recommending divorce in couples therapy is a major no-no. In fact, it is typically viewed as unethical. Instead, therapists strive to let two spouses who are at odds with each other make their own decisions about whether to continue fighting for their marriage or end the relationship.

Gray divorce may ruin retirement plans

More married couples in Texas and elsewhere are deciding to breakup near their golden years. This may seem like a convenient time to break up a marriage since the children are grown at this stage of the parents' lives. However, from a financial standpoint, it can be an inconvenient time to get a divorce.

Research shows fewer young adults are getting divorced, whereas gray divorce -- or divorce later in life -- is skyrocketing. In fact, the rate of divorce among adults 50 years old and older is now two times what it was in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the rate is triple what it was in the 1990s for those 65 years old and older.

Counseling may be a wise move prior to filing for divorce

The process of getting divorced in Texas can certainly take an emotional and a financial toll on a couple. However, sometimes, divorce can be avoided. Counseling may be an option for couples who are on the fence about getting divorced and are interested in trying to preserve their marriages first.

Couples interested in going to counseling may benefit from securing sessions with a counselor who has a background in family systems. This is critical because spouses' family backgrounds and experiences help to shape their world views. These world views, in turn, impact how they view their relationships -- including their own marriages.

Dividing retirement assets may spark confusion during divorce

Dissolving a marriage can be difficult both emotionally and financially, no matter how short or long of a time two people were married. However, it can be particularly unsettling for those who are nearing retirement, as they may be worried about how the divorce will affect their finances in their golden years. Understanding the law when it comes to splitting retirement assets in particular is critical when navigating divorce in Texas.

For those who need to split employer-sponsored retirement benefits, such as a pension plan or 401(k), a QDRO is necessary. A QDRO is a qualified domestic relations order. An attorney can easily draft this type of order for a divorcing couple.

Steps important to take after divorce has been finalized

Getting through the dissolution of a marriage in Texas can feel like a harrowing feat. However, once the dust has settled, the uneasy feeling that one experiences during the process may not necessarily go away after the divorce has been finalized. A couple of tips may help individuals to navigate the aftermath of a marital breakup.

First, ensuring that all legal matters are settled is paramount. For instance, two divorced spouses may have an order to equalize or divide retirement accounts. To achieve this, they must make sure that their qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, has been prepared and is implemented accordingly. A common misconception when it comes to retirement accounts is that once a judge has signed a QDRO, nothing else has to be done. This, of course, could not be farther from the truth.

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