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Austin Texas Family Law Blog

Suze Orman gives advice on prenups

If you're debating whether or not to get a prenuptial agreement before you tie the knot, some advice from financial expert Suze Orman may be helpful. She's all in favor of couples getting a prenup even if they aren't going in to a marriage with a lot of money.

Orman notes that you never know what the future holds. She says, "I was a waitress until I was 30…making $400 a month -- and look at me today."

How co-parents can help a child who's having sleep problems

When children are experiencing anxiety over their parents' separation or divorce, they often have trouble sleeping. Maybe they have difficulty falling asleep, or perhaps they wake up repeatedly during the night.

When children are worried about their future and the future of their family, they may lie awake for hours. If they're adjusting to sleeping in a new home (or two new homes if both parents have moved out of the family house), their insomnia can be particularly bad.

Reasons why a parent may lose custody of a child

As a parent, losing custody of your child is likely your worst nightmare. Going through a turbulent time emotionally or financially could mean that you are having a difficult time providing for your child's needs, and, as a result, the other parent or another family member may be trying to gain sole custody. Alternatively, if you are currently going through a divorce, you may be concerned that the other parent may try to gain sole custody of your child.

If you are concerned about the possibility of losing custody of your children, you should start by acknowledging that the child custody courts usually think a child should have a relationship with both of their parents. Child custody courts always take actions that are aligned with what they believe to be in the best interests of the child. Therefore, if you can show that your presence in your child's life is benefiting them, it is unlikely that you will lose custody.

Dixie Chicks' new single takes aim at lead singer's ex

It looks like things may get contentious once again in the split between Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines and her ex-husband, actor Adrian Pasdar. The couple's divorce was finalized last December after two years of legal wrangling -- even though they drew up a prenuptial agreement before they wed back in 2000.

Part of the issue was that Pasdar claimed the prenup was invalid. Court documents stated, "Respondent claims he did not understand the terms of the Prenuptial Agreement, that he did not understand the legal effect of the Prenuptial Agreement, that the terms of the Prenuptial Agreement are presently unconscionable and that he did not have adequate knowledge of my property and financial obligations when he signed the Prenuptial Agreement."

4 top reasons for divorce

Divorce is complicated, just like marriage, and it doesn't always follow the set trends that you'd expect. Maybe you figured people got divorced after falling in love with someone else or going through some other major life change, but then a friend got divorced because he or she just got bored with the relationship. It opens your eyes to how divorce happens for all manner of reasons.

To explore this a little more, here are four of the top reasons that experts have found. Again, your divorce could stem from any one of them or from something else entirely, but hopefully this helps to demonstrate just how different those reasons are.

Divorced co-parents can successfully potty train a child

If you and your spouse have young children, divorcing and sharing custody across two homes will have its challenges. However, with cooperation and communication, you can do it.

One of the biggest challenges that all parents face as their children grow from infants into toddlers is potty training. If you agree that your child has reached the stage where they're ready to transition from diapers and pull-ups to using the toilet, it's essential that you have the necessary items (and the same equipment) in both of your homes. It's also important to have plenty of spare pull-ups and clothes in both homes in case there's an accident.

Why equally shared custody is good for parents as well as kids

Custody agreements between divorced parents are more likely to provide equal parenting time than they did even several decades ago, when many divorced fathers were relegated to being "weekend dads." A multitude of studies have found that children do better when they spend approximately the same amount of time with each of their parents.

It's also good for the parents. As one journalist and author who has written about single motherhood points out, divorced parents can benefit in all aspects of their lives when they can share the parenting responsibilities equally.

Which U.S. cities are best for newly divorced people?

Recently, online lending marketplace LendingTree published a list of the best and worst places to "recover from divorce." Sure, Turks and Caicos, Maui or maybe Paris sound like great places to recover. However, LendingTree had more practical places in mind when it developed its list of the best and worst cities in the U.S. for people to live post-divorce.

It gave three scores to each of the 50 biggest metropolitan areas in the country based on U.S. Census Bureau data: economic, dating pool and remarriage risk. Austin came in at 17th. (In case you're curious, Minneapolis came in first and New York City was at the bottom.)

How a postnuptial agreement can lead to an uncontested divorce

No matter how much they once cared for each other or how well-intentioned they may be, spouses can grow apart over time and feel trapped in an unhappy marriage. Sometimes, it is a gradual diminishment of the affection between spouses that leads to a breakdown of the marital relationship.

Other times, the development of dangerous or offensive habits, ranging from gambling to infidelity, could undermine the trust and respect upon which people build a healthy marriage. Divorce can often seem like the only reasonable option when your spouse starts making decisions that impact your finances or endanger your health.

Why you should have a financial advisor on your divorce team

Divorce can be a highly emotional process. However, it's also a financial one. Whether you have a single home and a couple of retirement and investment accounts or you have multiple properties and millions of dollars in other assets, you need to understand what you're dividing and how your division of those assets (and debts) will impact your life going forward.

While the last thing you may want to consider is having to pay yet another professional when you divorce, consulting with a financial advisor can ultimately help you be more financially stable. In fact, there's a whole category of financial advisors dedicated to helping people who are divorcing. Attorneys and their clients often seek guidance from a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).

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