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McKinney Texas Family Law Blog

Do you understand how Texas will handle child custody in divorce?

As a parent, your love for and sense of responsibility toward your child very likely influences all of your important decisions. From how you choose to advance your career after becoming a parent to where you take a vacation, the needs and desires of your children often become more important than your own.

Being a devoted parent can make going through divorce that much more frightening. Many parents worry about whether they will lose custody of their children. Everyone has heard at least a few horror stories about good parents who get cut off by a malicious former spouse.

Temporary Orders in Divorce Cases

Divorce proceedings can take longer than anticipated depending on the specific facts of your case. However, there are some aspects of the proceedings that require immediate relief, and temporary orders provide this relief. Temporary orders can protect you, your children, or your property while the divorce is pending. 

This is how divorce can affect you when you're self-employed

If you will be going through a divorce and are self-employed, you must understand that you will be identified as a business owner. As such, it's in your best interests to do everything possible to protect your business and source of income.

To start with, you want to optimize the options you have available. That means thinking as creatively as possible in terms of protecting your assets and getting through your divorce peacefully. By looking into some alternative approaches to your divorce, you'll be in a better position to protect yourself.

Family Suing Doctor for Violating Patient's Living Will

A new lawsuit has been filed by the family of an Alzheimer's patient against his treating doctor in Westchster County, New York, alleging that the doctor ignored the patient's Living Will and prolonged the patient's life using medication. The patient's Living Will requested that he be given comfort measures only and no intravenous medications if his condition were to become irreversible. Faced with life-threatening sepsis, the patient would not be able to regain any physical or mental function. 

Is a Contingent Trust Right for Your Estate Plan?

A contingent trust is a trust that does not exist until a certain event occurs. Oftentimes, contingent trusts are part of your Last Will and Testament. In your Will, you should designate a trustee to serve as the fiduciary of the trust and specify the terms of administration. A trustee can be someone you know and trust or a corporation. 

Business owners facing divorce must strategize carefully

Anyone who lives in Texas for even a short while can tell you we do things a bit differently here. While many of the things that make Texas unique are worth praising, the laws that govern divorce often make the process more difficult and complicated than it might be in other states.

Unlike almost all of the other states in the union, Texas uses community property laws to determine how a couple divorces. This requires that each spouse receive an equal share of all marital property.

Why Is a Living Will Important?

A Living Will, or Directive to Physicians, is a legal document that informs emergency responders, physicians, and family members of your wishes in the event you require emergency or end-of-life medical care at a time you are unable to communicate your wishes. Your Living Will is signed by you and notarized while you have full capacity to execute the document. This estate planning tool can be as detailed or simple as you would like, but it often contains at least your preferences for either life-sustaining care or palliative care in the event you have a terminal or irreversible condition. 

Make these changes to your estate after divorce

After you get a divorce, one of the best things you can do for your future, your heirs and yourself is to update or completely redo your estate plan. Your estate plan likely took into account your spouse's wishes as well as your own, so there may be many aspects that involve them. Since they're now an ex-spouse, it's a good idea to rework those legal documents and make sure they're not going to be entitled to more than you want them to be.

There are a few documents that are the most important to update. These include updating your health care proxy, updating your will, reviewing your prenuptial agreement, and amending your trusts.

Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is designed to provide for beneficiaries who are disabled in some capacity. Oftentimes, the trust is set up to supplement the disabled individual's benefits that they receive from government programs, such as Medicaid or SSI. To meet the requirements of these government programs, applicants must generally have $2,000.00 or less in countable assets each month to qualify. The assets in a special needs trust are not readily available to the disabled beneficiary, so the assets are considered non-countable assets for Medicaid and SSI purposes. Because of this income eligibility limit, a special needs trust is drafted with specific language to avoid extending beyond that limit.

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