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Pearland Family Law And Estates Blog

How Do You Legally Split Property in a Texas Divorce Case?

Divorce is hard. One of the most contentious issues is determining how to split up property. Texas is a community property state. All of the assets that are deemed marital property are inherently considered to be jointly owned by the spouses.

Property Division: Dispelling Three Myths About Community Property in Texas

Texas is one of a minority of U.S. jurisdictions that operates under a community property standard. Under Texas law (Texas Family Code Sec. 3.002), community property is defined as “the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.”

What is Nesting?

Getting a divorce is invariably hard. If you are feeling the stress and the pressure that comes with the divorce process, please know that you are navigating a road that many other people have been down before.

Do I Need to Update My Estate Plan Every Year?

Estate planning can be an uncomfortable topic for many people. It involves discussing death, and many people delay this conversation. They think they will get around to it someday and that someday never comes. As a result, half of all people die without a will in place.

Can Stepparents Have Visitation Rights?

It is not uncommon for stepparents to become close with their stepchildren. But what rights do they have in a Pearland divorce?

Will a Divorce Affect My 401(k)?

However, for many divorcing couples, the division of property is the most disputed aspect of divorce. Below, we will discuss how a divorce can affect your 401(k) assets and how you can prevent your soon-to-be-ex-spouse from withdrawing funds from retirement accounts during the divorce.

Can I Challenge Custody if the Other Parent Refuses the COVID Vaccine?

Vaccination has become a point of contention between divorced parents in many child custody cases. When awarding conservatorship and visitation rights upon parents’ divorce, Texas courts consider the best interests of the child.

The Difference Between a Legal Guardian and a Guardian Ad Litem

A guardian may be a relative, family friend, legal or financial professional, or an agency. The individual or group charged with acting as a guardian may be specified in advance through a will or other estate planning documents or they may be appointed through the court when the need arises.

Handling Credit Card Debt in a Divorce

Debt is never a pleasant thing to think about and is an issue that becomes even more complicated if you and your spouse are divorcing. Indeed, if you are divorcing and you, your spouse, or both of you have credit card debt, you may be wondering how that debt will be divided in a divorce. At the law office of John Powell III, P.C., our experienced divorce lawyer can answer all of your questions and provide you with counsel as you navigate the divorce process. Call today for your free consultation.

Unmarried Fathers Have Custody Rights?

You might think that your marital status has nothing to do with your rights as a father in Texas, but you would be wrong. If you are unmarried at the time of your child’s birth, it is very important that you learn about our state’s paternity laws and your rights as an unmarried father. For answers to all of your tough questions about your rights as a father, call the office of John Powell III, P.C. today

What Happens When Both Spouses Want the House

One of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is not just walking away from your spouse, but also dividing assets that are meaningful to you both. Of those assets, the one that results in the most contention may be the house. At the law office of John Powell III., P.C., our experienced family and divorce law attorney can represent you if you are getting a divorce and you both want the house.

How to Choose the Right Trustee When Estate Planning

When creating an estate plan, there is a lot to think about. For example, not only will you need to make decisions about how your assets and property should be distributed, but you will also need to name an executor/administrator of your estate and, if you are holding assets in a trust, you will need to name a trustee.

How to Protect Estate Assets from Creditors

When you create an estate plan, you do not want to just be thinking about ways of saving money or passing on assets to beneficiaries; you also want to be thinking about how to protect your assets in the event that you or someone you are passing assets to encounters financial turmoil.

Do I Have to Go Through the Probate Process in Texas?

When a person dies in Texas, his or her estate will likely pass through the probate process. However, not all estates must pass through probate, and even if an estate is required to go through probate, not all assets are subject to the probate process.

Response To Covid-19

On behalf of The Powell Law Firm posted in Blog on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020.

Let me begin by wishing everyone stays healthy, happy and not overburdened and overwhelmed as we all face the spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus contagion. All the usual methods of communication with my office remain open and are in use, save only for our ability to freely visit with you in person at the office. Feel free to call, email, or use the contact page of this website.

Getting an Estate Plan in TX During the Era of Social Distancing

During these unprecedented times, it can be difficult not to panic when thinking about the possibility of contracting coronavirus. These COVID-19 fears, which are particularly prevalent among older adults, have forced many to think about the inevitable.

Did You Know Couples Cannot Legally Separate in TX?

When a marriage is not going the right way, many couples opt for divorce. However, some agree to a legal separation if they think they can work things out. Some couples also opt for legal separation due to religious reasons, since divorce is sometimes frowned upon.

Divorcing an Abusive Partner

Going through a divorce is challenging enough. Add physical or emotional abuse to the mix and you are looking at a dangerous situation. Domestic violence is a serious situation in a marriage. It can be hard to leave such an environment. You may be scared of your partner’s reaction to you leaving, especially if you have been physically abused in the past.

Refusing to Pay Child Support Comes with Serious Consequences

If you and your child’s other parent are not married or living together and you do not have custody of your child, you are legally obligated to make child support payments. The amount of child support that you must pay will be set by the court, and you have a legal obligation to make these payments on time and in full.

How to Deal with Hidden Assets in a Divorce

Before a divorce can be finalized, the parties in a divorce must reach an agreement about how to divide property and assets, as well as any debts the parties have. While parties can reach an agreement about these issues outside of court through mediation and negotiation, sometimes, a court must intervene.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Divorcing

Divorces can be difficult and emotions often run high throughout the process. This is particularly true when the couple has accrued a high net worth or when there are children involved. The tension and stress involved in these cases can sometimes cause people to act too quickly or to avoid taking action altogether. When this is the case, it causes some people to make mistakes that will have a negative impact on their final divorce judgment or settlement.

What is the Difference Between Collaboration and Mediation?

Collaboration and mediation are methods for divorce that are becoming more popular today. Both of these approaches focus on bringing the couple to an amicable and respectful agreement without the need for litigation. While the two are very similar, they do have their differences.

Create a Parenting Plan Based on Your Child's Current Needs

There are numerous issues to consider when creating a child custody plan. In addition to the parents’ needs and scheduling concerns, there are special considerations that come into play with children. Age and developmental levels are major factors, as are their school, sports, recreational, and social activities. The following provides some basic information on creating a parenting plan and tips for addressing your child’s current needs...

Handling Co-Parenting Carefully

Co-parenting, also called shared parenting, is when both parents work together in order to raise their kids despite the end of the romantic relationship or the marriage. Working together to co-parent can be better for everyone in the long run, as you do not want any further issues with your children struggling to adjust after the divorce or breakup...

Am I Entitled to My Parents’ Assets After They Pass Away?

What you are entitled to when your parents pass away is determined either by statute or by your parents’ express wishes. If they pass away without a will, their estate will be divided up based on intestate rules, which are the rules that apply when someone passes away with no will and/or trust that governs what happens to that person’s estate...

Do You Have to be Separated for a Length of Time Before You can File for Divorce?

For couples who are experiencing marital difficulties and contemplating filing for divorce, time spent apart from one another can provide a much needed break while allowing you to get some perspective on the relationship...

In Texas, do Stepparents Ever Have Rights in a Divorce?

Going through a divorce is stressful, no matter the circumstances. It can be particularly painful when there are children involved. As the result of your breakup and depending on any child custody arrangements made in your case, it can impact your relationship with your children and your rights as a parent for years to come...

What is Considered Parental Kidnapping?

Parents often have strong feelings about their role in their child’s life and strong opinions about how their children should be raised. If parents feel that a child custody order is unfair, threatens their parental rights, or puts the relationship between them and the child in jeopardy, they may be tempted to take the law into their own hands...

Tax Law May Affect Your Divorce in 2019

Sweeping changes were made to the federal tax code over the past year. While most people were originally optimistic that these changes would put more money in their pockets, the fact is they could have some negative impacts, particularly if you are separated from your spouse or contemplating a divorce...

What is the Benefit of Filing for Divorce First?

In addition to the emotional impact of going through a divorce, it can jeopardize your current and future financial security. As part of your divorce proceedings, you need an experienced Texas divorce attorney to ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to in terms of property division...

Is My Ex Entitled to My Retirement Income During a Divorce?

In addition to the emotional impact of going through a divorce, it can jeopardize your current and future financial security. As part of your divorce proceedings, you need an experienced Texas divorce attorney to ensure you get the maximum amount you are entitled to in terms of property division...

When Should I Create an Estate Plan?

It can be an unsettling feeling to think about the end of your life. However, soon or later, death is inevitable, and when your time comes, knowing that you have a plan in place to provide for your loved ones and the management of your estate can provide peace of mind...

Why Do You Need a Will?

Many people, especially those who are young, think that creating an estate plan is something that is only necessary if you are a high-asset individual, or if you are nearing the end of your life. This is far from true; nearly everyone can benefit from putting together a basic estate plan, and a will is one of the most essential estate planning documents...

What Does a Prenup Cover?

If you are engaged to be married and are getting ready to plan your wedding and your life with your partner, thinking about the creation of a prenuptial agreement is recommended. While prenuptial agreements are not for everyone, they can be useful and appropriate for many couples...

The Importance of Estate Planning for Millennials

The first reason you should meet with an attorney and start to put together an estate plan now, even if you are a young millennial, is that the future is unforeseeable; you never know when an unexpected event might occur that leaves you incapacitated, disabled, or deceased. Having documents like a power of attorney, healthcare directive, and living will in place can provide peace of mind in the event that you are incapacitated...

Can You Get Spousal Support/Alimony if You Remarry?

Following a divorce, many people eventually find themselves in a new relationship. If you are a partner who was ordered to pay alimony (spousal support), your new relationship or your potential remarriage is very unlikely to affect your alimony obligations in any manner. However, if you are receiving alimony..

Should Young Married Couples Have an Estate Plan?

It is natural for young couples to want to put off thinking about estate planning. Not only can estate planning feel like something that is ‘far away’, but it can also be emotionally uncomfortable to think about. Still, while the urge to put it off is understandable, estate planning is extremely important for young married couples. You are never too young to put an effective estate plan in place.

Do Grandparents Have Rights During a Divorce?

A divorce is challenging for all members of the family. For grandparents, it can be especially difficult to know what to do to support the family and where to turn to ensure that they will be able to continue having a strong, positive relationship with their grandchildren.

Don’t Discuss Your Divorce on Social Media

Getting Divorced in Texas? Stay Off of Social Media Until Your Case is Resolved. In the modern world, social media has become an almost ubiquitous part of many people’s lives. According to the most recent data from the Pew Research Council, more than 68 percent of Americans report that they use social media on a regular basis.

Think about how your divorce will impact your Texas retirement

Couples headed toward divorce often disagree about the terms, including how to handle child custody and asset division. When you can't set the terms between yourselves, you will have to rely on the courts to make those critical decisions for you. That can leave you in a position where you have no power over the outcome of the divorce.

It's only natural to wonder what the likely outcome of your divorce proceedings will be, especially when it comes to significant assets. From your house to your fine art collection and retirement account, knowing how the courts view and handle various assets makes it easier to understand the likely results of your divorce. Retirement accounts, in particular, may be a point of contention for older couples facing divorce.

3 options for the family business in a divorce

When you and your husband opened your business in Pearland you probably did not have divorce on your mind. Unfortunately, now that the end of your marriage is looming, there are a series of tough decisions you will have to make. For instance, you will have to decide if you want to keep the house or sell it and split the profits.

You will have to make similar decisions concerning the business. Will you stay in and try to continue working with your soon-to-be ex-husband? Or are you thinking about selling your half to him and starting your own business? The following are some options that might be available to you in regard to the family business if you plan to divorce.

Can your ex move your kids out of Texas after the divorce?

For many parents, one of the hardest things about going through a divorce is seeing less of the children. Losing out on precious time with your kids on holidays, birthdays or just mundane school days can be heartbreaking for a parent. The thought of seeing even less of them if your ex moves back home to another state is devastating. You may feel like you have no control, especially if your spouse has temporary custody before you go to court.

Thankfully, Texas law protects the rights of both parents. Unless there is a history of abuse, the courts typically prefer shared custody arrangements. Other issues, like unstable living situations or addiction, could also impact how the courts approach custody decisions and enforcement of parental rights. In general, sharing parental responsibilities and limiting the impact of the divorce on the children usually means staying in the same area.

Don't forget to include these items in your divorce settlement

Divorce can be a very difficult decision to make. In fact, deciding to divorce is just the first in a long list of decisions you will have to make before you walk away with a divorce decree. For some people, divorce marks a new beginning and can be a very positive step toward a brighter future. However, before you can move forward, you have to address certain issues, such as marital property division. For example, will you keep the house in Pearland or would it be better to sell it and split the proceeds?

Before you can make decision regarding property division, you have to have a full accounting of what you and your husband own. By leaving out assets, you risk losing out on property that you may rights to. To find out what kinds of assets people commonly overlook, read further.

Who will get to keep your house in a Texas divorce?

For many couples considering a divorce, the biggest concern is often the marital house. After all, a home is the biggest purchase most couples ever make, and the slowly accrued equity in the home can represent a substantial amount of the income of both spouses over the course of many years or even decades. Generally, the courts do their best to ensure that the equity in the home gets fairly divided during a divorce.

There are certain situations in which both spouses will not have a claim to the marital house. If one spouse owned the home outright before the marriage, the non-owner likely won't have any claim to the home or the equity established in it.

A forensic accountant can help you find hidden assets

People may act in questionable, unethical or even illegal ways in the weeks leading up to a divorce and immediately after beginning a divorce. Many times, verbal arguments happen. Other negative situations can include refusing to pay child support, refusing your spouse visitation and shared custody rights, and even the attempt to hide or squander marital assets.

Texas is a community property state that tries to find a fair and reasonable way to split assets. Generally, unless there is an existing prenuptial agreement on the books, most assets acquired during the marriage will get split between spouses. Knowing that assets are subject to division can prompt your spouse to do things like needlessly spend money or even try to hide assets.

3 things to think about for your gray divorce

Divorcing after 50 is not as uncommon as it once was. In fact, as gray divorces are happening more frequently, people over 50 are quickly becoming the leading demographic of divorcees. These later-in-life divorces are not only happening among individuals who are already on their second and third marriages. Recent studies have found that almost 50 percent of gray divorces actually consist of first-timers.

If you are over 50 and considering divorce, there are several things to know before you even begin the process. While you are probably already focusing on who gets the main residence in Pearland and who gets the beach condo on Galveston Island, there are several factors you may not have thought about yet. Read further to find out more about what you should know when it comes to a gray divorce.

Will refusing visitation affect your ex's chance at custody?

Going through a divorce is an emotional, complicated process. For those who can't see their children, it can be even more difficult. After all, your children are probably some of the people you love the most in the whole world.

If you weren't expecting a divorce, suddenly living separated from them can be difficult enough. When your spouse files, he or she can request temporary custody until the courts finalize your divorce. You'll receive visitation and a court order for child support. If you're getting denied regular visitation or shared custody while waiting for your divorce, it can be that much worse.

Will shared parenting become a reality for Texas dads?

If you are a divorced Texas dad, you may already know about a bill that has been working its working through the state legislature since its introduction in late November of 2016.

HB 453 thus far has gained little traction, as it has proven to be a very controversial piece of legislation. Texas fathers who are tired of limited time and authority over their children's lives have ardently supported its passage.

How to fairly split unusual assets during a divorce

Divorce is a complicated process. You and your former spouse are likely to disagree about what constitutes a fair division of assets. The higher your family's overall assets, the more likely it is that you will encounter some issues with unusual assets. Non-financial and non-traditional assets can complicate a divorce. In order to obtain a fair settlement and division of assets, you need to be able to put a reasonable and verifiable value on assets that could include things like sports memorabilia, fine art, real estate investments and even antiques. Doing so can be prove to be difficult on your own.

Working with an experienced Texas divorce attorney can help with this process. An attorney who knows Texas divorce and family law will understand how property is divided in Texas. An experienced attorney who has worked previous high asset divorces will also be able to help you connect with professionals that can place reasonable and accurate values on assets of all kinds. Additionally, a lawyer can help you determine if your former spouse is attempting to hide assets. The greater your overall marital assets, the more likely it is that one spouse may try to hide some assets from the courts.