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McKinney Texas Family Law Blog

Child custody, parenting time and the holidays

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it won't be long before you begin to finalize your plans. If you're divorced and have children with your ex-spouse, it goes without saying that you'll have some questions and concerns about what the holidays will bring to your life.

It doesn't matter if your children live with you or you have visitation rights, it's critical to follow a variety of parenting tips during this busy time of the year. Here are five things to keep in mind:

How Texas community property laws impact your home in divorce

State laws have a major impact on the outcome of your divorce proceedings. In Texas, you will find state laws support the community property standard of division. That standard will impact everything about your marital assets, from your credit card debt down to your retirement plan.

For many couples in Texas facing divorce, the asset they worry about the most is their marital home. This concern is reasonable, given how a home is often the biggest purchase a couple makes in their married life. The amount of equity you accumulate in your home over the years can represent a substantial amount of your income during the marriage.

The Advantages of Mediation in Divorce Cases

Filing for divorce can bring about unsettling feelings, especially with the prospect of going to court, where a judge can decide the fate of your assets and your time spent with your children. Oftentimes, however, final trial is not the first option when determining how a divorce will be settled. Most couples, lawyers, and judges look foremost to mediation to help divvy up assets and create possession schedules.

Prepare the kids for fall custody transitions

It's hard to believe that within less than a month, the kids will return to school. But it's true, as the first day of school for children enrolled in the McKinney Independent School District is Aug. 20.

Children of divorced parents often struggle with these transitional periods, especially if the summer custody schedule is radically different from the schedule they follow during the school year. Below are some tips parents might find to make the summer-to-fall cusotdy transition a bit easier.

A property division checklist can provide structure

Are you standing face-to-face with divorce? Do you have concerns about property division — more specifically your ability to obtain the assets that you have a right to?

There are many challenges associated with divorce, and many people immediately get worried about property and debt division. While it's only natural to feel this way, there are steps you can take to ease your tension and feel better about your unencumbered future.

Fathers' rights: Know your custody rights

As a father going through a divorce, a concern you may have is losing too much time with your children. The reality is that, in the past, the courts seems biased toward keeping children with their mothers. In many cases, fathers were the only ones working, so it made sense to keep children with the person who raised them the majority of the time.

This isn't the case now. In today's world, both men and women work and raise their children. Sometimes, men stay at home and women are the breadwinners. For this reason, it's important to know that the courts no longer have a preference toward the children staying with the mother. Instead, the court wants to see the children happy and healthy, so it focuses on whatever parenting plan allows for that to be the case.

Make plans for vacation now if you have a child custody order

The summer is a time for fun and excitement. When you are ready to make vacation plans, you need to think carefully about when and where you are going. If you and your ex have children together, you will need to turn to your child custody agreement to find out what limitations and guidelines there are for vacations.

It is usually best to plan ahead for these trips. This gives you time to determine how various aspects of your custody schedule and the trip might work together. Here are some important factors to consider:

How Updating Your Estate Plan After Divorce Can Save You from Unwanted Consequences

Many divorcees can agree that their ex-spouse is the last person they want inheriting their assets upon death or making their medical decisions upon disability, so save yourself further stress by updating your estate plan to reflect your life post-divorce.

Today, most states, including Texas, will disinherit an ex-spouse beneficiary named in your will, operating as if your ex-spouse predeceased you and allowing your assets to pass to a designated alternate beneficiary. However, if you have failed to list alternate beneficiaries your assets will pass intestate, according to the laws of you home state. Leaving your estate in the hands of the state can cause uncertainty among your heirs, especially as laws change; therefore, revoking your old will, drafting a new will post-divorce, and dictating your new wishes is the best option for you and your heirs.

Planning for Your Digital Assets

Due to today's technology-driven world, we should all arrange for our digital assets and their distribution to be part of our estate plans. If you fail to plan for these assets before you pass, then your family could incur difficulty in gaining important information from your online accounts for the distribution of your estate.

Community property laws are still alive and well in Texas

While most states use the principles of equitable division, Texas still follows the rules of community property. This means that if you live in McKinney and you intend to divorce, you should find out everything you can about the community property laws and how they might affect your settlement.

The following overview on Texas community property laws can provide you with some useful information. The more you know about how marital property laws can impact your future, the better prepared you will be once you finalize the divorce.

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