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Austin Texas Family Law Blog

Parents' battle over child's gender attracts political attention

Divorced parents can disagree about many things related to their children's upbringing. However, two Texas parents can't agree on the gender of their child. The court battle has attracted the attention of the governor, other Texas politicians and conservative media.

The couple married in 2010 and filed for divorce five years later. The wife later got an annulment based on fraud. She said her husband lied about numerous things, including how many previous marriages he'd had.

Controlling your reactions when dealing with your co-parent

One of the most challenging aspects of co-parenting after divorce is that we have to find a way to communicate and work respectfully and constructively with a person who may have caused us significant pain in the past -- or whom we hurt. It can be difficult to put your personal history aside and focus on dealing with each other solely as co-parents.

You and your ex will likely always know how to push each other's buttons. Sometimes, it's done intentionally. Other times, it's just a matter of habit after years of conflict.

Remaining close to in-laws after divorce can have its challenges

You may have heard friends and colleagues talk about how they dread the occasions when they have to be around their ex-spouse's family -- for example, at events involving your children. However, you are very close to one or more of your in-laws and want to maintain a relationship after your divorce.

That can be tricky as well. Assuming that the feelings are mutual and one or more of your spouse's family members want to continue seeing you, how do you navigate that -- particularly if they live nearby and you and your ex don't want to run into each other regularly?

A positive frame of mind can help in child custody cases

Positive attitudes can make almost any situation less stressful, and co-parenting is no exception. When you can remain positive during your interactions with your ex, you are already making an effort to give your children the best life possible.

Keeping things positive isn't always easy, but you can increase the chance of being able to if you take control of your thoughts. A big reason why people start to think negatively is that it is sometimes the easy way out. It is much easier to complain about a problem than it is to find a solution.

What happens to your pet in a Texas divorce?

If you are like most Texans with a pet, you probably love your dog or cat like a member of your family. They may not be an actual child, but you may feel a similar degree of devotion to and responsibility for the animals you have brought into your family as you do for your children.

For some people, the hardest part of getting a divorce is the risk of losing the relationship they cherish with their companion animals or pets. They probably know that the Texas courts will protect their right to a certain share of the household assets and their relationship with their children, but what happens with a pet is often less clear.

Commingling assets can ruin the intentions of your prenup

Prenuptial agreements are a valuable tool for helping couples designate before they get married which assets will remain theirs if they divorce. This can be particularly helpful in a community property state like Texas.

Depending upon how the prenup is written, couples concerned about keeping at least some of their current assets separate once they're married may need to pay attention to ensure that certain assets (bank accounts, homes and other property) remain in their name only. The could be true with debts if they don't want to end up responsible for their spouse's shopping binges or expensive taste in cars.

What are the 'best interests of the child?'

Are you negotiating a child custody agreement as part of your divorce, or are you or your co-parent seeking changes to the agreement you have in place? When judges make a decision on or give approval to an agreement or requested modifications to it, they will be considering what's in the "best interests of the child."

That's the primary focus of child custody and visitation-related laws throughout the country. There is no one definition of that standard. Even within states and jurisdictions, judges will interpret it differently based on each unique family situation.

Why more young adults are getting prenups

Many young adults don't even realize that just a few decades ago, prenuptial agreements were primarily associated only with the rich and famous. Movie stars and titans of industry got them to protect their considerable assets from spouses who may want to continue living a lavish lifestyle after the marriage ended.

Today, people of all walks of life draw up prenups before they get married. They are becoming increasingly common -- particularly among millennials, which the Pew Research Center defines millennials as those born anywhere from 1981 through 1996.

Special concerns for divorcing parents with adopted children

Parental divorce can bring up all sorts of feelings of insecurity in children. They're losing the family structure they've always known. They often blame themselves for their parents' break-up -- particularly if they've been the subject of some of their parents' arguments in the past. Children's first instinct is to think about how any change will affect them. Therefore, it's not uncommon for a child to worry first and foremost about how a divorce will impact their life.

When divorcing parents have an adopted child, those insecurities can increase exponentially. Some adopted kids already have feelings of not completely "belonging" in their families. If an adopted child is of a different race or ethnicity than their adoptive parents, they may be constantly reminded by people they encounter in public that they don't look like their parents.

4 ways to battle divorce stress

Divorce is hard and complicated and usually very stressful for all parties involved. It can zap your energy and leave you feeling completely drained within the first few minutes of waking up every day. If your multifaceted life includes things like running your own business and taking care of the kids, divorce could be enough to cause a full break-down. Fortunately, there are some things you can do reduce the stress of divorce.

From eating right to getting regular exercise and opening up about your feelings, there are various activities that you should engage in to keep yourself healthy both mentally and physically. Here are a few things you can do to take care of yourself and limit the stress of ending your marriage.

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