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McKinney Texas Family Law Blog

Are Texas Courts Taking a Closer Look at the 50/50 Possession Schedule?

Under the Texas Family Code, the "standard possession schedule" typically allows the possessory conservator to have possession of the child every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month and every Thursday night. The law presumes that this schedule is in the best interest of the child. Reasonably so, judges will often default to this possession schedule when finalizing divorce proceedings that involve minor children if there is no agreement between the parties.

Contested v. Uncontested Divorces in Texas

A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot agree on either getting a divorce or about the specific terms of the divorce, such as child support payments, property or asset division, debt allocation, and custody arrangements. Conversely, an uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree on all aspects of the divorce proceedings and do not need court intervention to help finalize the terms.

Make Estate Planning a Priority Regardless of Estate Value

Creating an estate plan can accomplish several goals, such as providing financial stability for a spouse, minimizing expenses, preserving assets for future generations, and ensuring that chosen, trusted individuals can make decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. Oftentimes, people misunderstand the goals of estate planning and perceive the process as unnecessary if your estate is monetarily irrelevant. However, this misperception will cause more harm than good, creating expense, uncertainty, and confusion.

How Will the New Tax Laws Affect Divorcing Texans?

New tax laws for divorcing couples in Texas are just on the horizon starting January 2019. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was approved by Congress in December 2017, implementing future changes regarding the deductibility of spousal maintenance.

When can you modify a child custody plan?

Imagine you have a 50-50 child custody plan that allows your child to live with you half of the time each week. However, you just got hired by the local fire department as a firefighter. It's an excellent opportunity, but your work hours are anything but normal and your current child custody schedule isn't going to work anymore.

Fortunately, your child custody schedule is not set in stone and -- if you experience a significant change in your circumstances -- you might be able to modify the arrangements. Here's what you need to do:

Is Your Estate Eligible for the Death Tax?

Although Texas does not enforce a state estate tax, also known as a death tax, if your taxable estate is worth over the lifetime exemption amount-$5.6 million for individuals in 2018-then your estate will be subject to the federal estate tax. And even though most Americans fall far below the tax's reach, the estate tax has been a point of contention throughout most presidential elections, as candidates often have differing views on its importance to our nation's economy.

Revocable Living Trust v. Will: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing between a revocable living trust and a will for your estate plan depends on your personal concerns and goals. The main difference between the two estate planning options is the necessity of probate. A will requires probate, which is a court-supervised process that administers your estate to your heirs and beneficiaries. On the other hand, a revocable living trust does not require the court-supervised probate process. Consequently, this option obtains more privacy by creating a trust agreement between the trust creator, or grantor, and the trust entity. The grantor often serves as the trustee, managing the property placed within the trust, until he or she dies and a successor trustee takes over, distributing trust property per the trust agreement.

Understanding the Collin County Standing Orders

When you file for divorce in Collin County, every original petition has the Collin County Standing Orders attached to it. The Standing Orders are immediately effective against both parties upon the filing of the petition, and the parties must abide by them during the divorce proceedings.

Temporary Relief During Divorce

Divorce is hard enough on its own without having to worry about the uncertainty during the interim time between filing and the final settlement. Because pending divorce issues can take months, sometimes years, to resolve, parties often look to temporary orders to address urgent concerns in a timely manner.

Tell your kids about your divorce, move forward with the process

Once you decide to divorce, you need to let people in your life know what's going on. For example, your kids are among the first people who should know. While this is never an easy conversation, it's one that you need to tackle as soon as possible.

What you tell your kids about your divorce depends largely on their age. For example, the way you explain the situation to a 5-year-old isn't the same as a 15-year-old.

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