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Murphy Divorce AttorneySpouses seeking divorce need to start collecting information before the process can begin. After all, even the most simple and straightforward divorces involve extensive paperwork and court appearances, and small mistakes can mean long delays. One of the most common questions Texas divorce attorneys get is regarding the difference between contested and uncontested divorce, and whether a couple qualifies for one or the other. It is important to understand the difference between the two, and that, even if you think you and your spouse agree on all the terms of the divorce, you speak to a divorce attorney before making any final decisions. 

Uncontested Divorce

As the name implies, an uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to all the terms of the divorce. Depending on the marriage, this can include the following issues: 

Murphy Divorce AttorneyWhile no two relationships are exactly the same, humans are creatures of habit. Over decades spent studying relationships, patterns emerge–especially about why relationships end. One couple in particular, John and Julie Gottman, believe they have identified six behaviors that occur when a relationship is falling apart. Used in a clinical research setting, they can predict which marriages will end in divorce with surprising accuracy. Here are six behaviors the Gottman duo observed that may predict divorce. 

Bad Starts to Conversations

When researchers see that a conversation begins poorly, such as with sarcasm or criticism, the rest of the conversation will go badly. Nearly 100 percent of the time, researchers could predict how a conversation would go based on listening to the first three minutes. 

The Four Horsemen

Named after the four horsemen that precede the biblical apocalypse, these types of negative behaviors–defensiveness, contempt, criticism, and stonewalling–can destroy a marriage by destroying the ability to have a productive conversation.

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Murphy Divorce Assets LawyerCouples getting married in Texas rarely see their marriage as a financial partnership. Yet when a couple gets married, state and federal governments do see their relationship as inherently financial in nature and many laws exist to support a couple financially during their marriage. While couples may not think much of this when they are getting tax breaks during their marriage, later on during divorce, finances can be a major point of conflict because the laws must be followed yet do not necessarily reflect a couple’s lived experience. 

Student loans are a great example of this. One spouse may have taken out enormous student loan debt for their personal education while the other spouse worked and put them through school. The spouse who earned the money during the marriage may see it as unfair that they later have to help pay for the student loan debt. Yet Texas is a community property state, which means that all marital assets and debts are seen as belonging equally to both spouses and must be split evenly during divorce. If you are considering divorce in Texas, make sure you understand the law regarding asset and debt division. Bear in mind that this blog does not constitute legal advice and that the best person to answer your questions about your divorce is a Texas divorce attorney. 

Is All of My Property Community Property in Texas? 

With few exceptions, all the property and debt a couple accumulates during their marriage is seen as community property. The exceptions are: 

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Lucas Paternity LawyerFor a father going through a divorce or a child custody case, the assumption may be that the mother will have the upper hand when decisions on child custody are being made. While this was certainly true in the past, under current Texas law, both parents have the opportunity to pursue equal child custody. Although no outcome is certain and circumstances change from case to case, it is important for a father to understand his rights in a divorce or child custody case. By working with an experienced fathers’ rights attorney, you can pursue your right to play an active role in your child’s life.

The Importance of Establishing Paternity

If you are not married to your child’s mother and would like to seek partial custody, the first step is to make sure that your paternity is legally acknowledged. If the mother of the child agrees that you are the father, you can both sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form. To establish paternity in cases when a biological relationship is uncertain, you may need to take a paternity test or adjudicate your paternity through the court. Once you establish paternity, you can legally seek the right to shared custody.

Factors in a Texas Child Custody Case

During the divorce process or after the establishment of paternity, you may be able to work together to agree on a joint managing conservatorship. This plan should make decisions on a visitation schedule for both parents, the child’s primary residence, how the parents will share decision-making, and how to modify and enforce the order. This plan is subject to review and approval by the court, which will review it to make sure it meets the best interests of your child.  

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Murphy Divorce AttorneyMost divorces, no matter how many assets the couple currently has, have similar issues that the two sides need to negotiate. The division of marital property, spousal support, child support, and child custody are standard issues that need to be resolved. However, when a divorcing couple has a high net worth or many valuable assets, they can face additional hurdles leading to disputes.

Four Common High-Asset Divorce Considerations

The unique complications of a high-asset divorce can require additional preparation and negotiation to ensure a couple’s financial and property interests are divided fairly. Many couples who enter a marriage with a high net worth will prepare a prenuptial agreement to guide property division in the case of a divorce. Others opt for a postnuptial agreement after the marriage. If there is no agreement in place for property division, some of the challenges that high-asset couples can face include:

  • Businesses – Businesses that were started or acquired during the marriage are considered marital property and are subject to division. After the value of the business is determined, one spouse can agree to buy out the other’s share, they can agree to sell the business and divide the proceeds, or they can work out a joint-ownership agreement if their relationship is amicable enough.

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