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Austin Texas Family Law Blog

Virtual visitation for parents

These days, parents have a few more options than previous generations when it comes to custody and visitation, including virtual visitation. Virtual visitation is still relatively new and is not prescribed in every instance, but many courts now recognize that the widespread use of smartphones and tablets allows parents and children to spend time together through videoconferencing technology.

Texas was an early adopter of this practice, and frequently includes virtual visitation in parenting plans. Under such a plan, a parent and child enjoy regularly scheduled sessions of videoconferencing with each other, and parents may also agree to videoconference for certain notable events in a child's upbringing, especially if the parent who does not enjoy primary custody is unable to attend them.

Every couple should consider a prenuptial agreement

With a wedding on the horizon, a prenuptial agreement may seem like a distant priority or may even seem distasteful to consider for many couples. These are normal things to feel as you prepare to share the rest of your life with someone, but they are still misguided perspectives that may cost you dearly in the future, even if you never divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are not just tools that wealthy people use to protect their fortunes. In fact, prenuptial agreements may offer a great deal to those who have very little at the time of the wedding, provided they have the foresight to look into the future and plan wisely. Couples who choose to use prenuptial agreements not only enjoy the peace of mind that these protections bring with them, they may also improve the strength of the relationship significantly.

Divorce may allow early access to investments

Divorce is often a challenging, uncomfortable period of time in the best circumstances, even if it is a relief. However, it is also possible for divorce to offer a number of opportunities to savvy spouses who use some of the specific functions of divorce to their advantage. Many spouses fear divorce will bring financial difficulty along with it, which is certainly possible, but it is possible to lessen the financial impact of divorce with careful planning.

One of the most beneficial aspects of divorce is that it usually allows spouses to access their investment and make alterations to them without many of the standard penalties that they would otherwise face. In most cases, investors cannot simply liquidate an investment at a moment's notice without incurring significant penalties and taxes.

Avoid common mistakes after being served with a protective order

Have you been served with a temporary protective order, also called a restraining order?

It's frustrating. You're already being treated like a criminal and you haven't even had your day in court yet. The order goes into place immediately and bars you from things like returning to the family home, seeing your children for visitation or accessing your bank account.

Domestic violence and child custody decisions

When you and your child's other parent share custody, you may have reasons to believe that your co-parent acts violently toward your child during their time together. Whether this is because of physical evidence, seeing the violence take place, or hearing about it from your child, it is obviously of the utmost importance that you keep your child safe. However, if your child's other parent enjoys court-ordered time with the child, you may feel as though you have few options to maintain your child's safety and still abide by the terms of the custody order.

This is an infuriating position for any parent. However, the courts understand that it is less important to protect the privileges of a parent than to protect the well-being of a child.

Protecting your family as you end your marriage

Choosing to end a marriage that involves children is rarely a simple choice, and many times results in lasting emotional damage for everyone involved. The divorce process is often particularly difficult for the children, especially if they are old enough to experience the profound loss of parents splitting but too young to fully process the reasons behind the divorce.

If you and your spouse find that you need to end your marriage, it is possible to approach the process in a way that minimizes the emotional damage it may cause to your children, if you make this a priority.

Approaching divorce and property division with preparation

For many spouses, the prospect of divorce is scary and overwhelming. This is a normal feeling, and not one that you should ignore if you find it happening in your own circumstances, but you can also take steps to address these fears directly and protect your interests. No matter how complicated or simple you expect your divorce to be, it is always wise to prepare carefully and set wise expectations about the outcome.

While it is unlikely for divorce to leave one spouse in absolute ruin while the other makes off with all or most of the couple's assets and possibly child custody privileges, these scary divorce scenarios do happen. When this does occur, it is usually the result of one spouse coming to the negotiation table unprepared or with poor guidance. If you have concerns about your spouse attempting to punish you in the divorce process, it is wise to educate yourself about how divorce settlements typically play out and the ranges typically used in spousal support, child support and property division.

How to provide a stress-free custody exchange

Have you recently divorced your spouse and are now involved in a child custody arrangement? Do you have an arrangement with the other parent of your child, which can be created even if you haven't been married to each other. Child custody exchanges can be very stressful and awkward, especially if you do not get along with the other parent. Here are some tips for making sure the exchange goes smoothly in Austin, Texas.

Try to have a third party not involved in the situation at every exchange, even ones that are not previously scheduled. The third party can help keep the situation calm, occupy the child while you speak with the other parent or perform the exchange for you if you cannot be near the other parent.

The potential risks of filing uncontested divorce

Filing for an uncontested divorce often seems like a simple and straightforward solution for couples who realize that they want a divorce and do not wish to prolong the matter or get bogged down in months or years of negotiations over property and custody rights. In many instances, it is just that. For couples whose circumstances align with the benefits of uncontested divorce, it is an excellent way to dissolve a marriage quickly and civilly.

However, many couples file for uncontested divorce before they understand just how complex the process of obtaining a divorce can be. Uncontested divorce is potentially dangerous for those who do not carefully address their financial and custody issues, and, in some cases, simply do not have the structure to address complex assets and liabilities or custody arrangements fairly.