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If you are like many couples these days who have a pet, you think of it much like a child. When you decide to divorce, it is natural for you to want the court to consider the pet in the same way. However, the law in Texas does not allow for pet custody laws as it does for child custody laws.

According to KHOU 11, the law states that pets are property and the court should treat them as it would any other asset.

Factors in decision

Because the court must consider pets as property, that means they need to look at ownership under marital property laws. The court will consider if one of you owned the pet prior to your divorce or who purchased the pet. It may also look at who pays for the care of the pet and who offers daily care to the pet.

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As a parent navigating a divorce, you and your ex may need to devise something called a parenting plan that sets guidelines you agree to follow when it comes to raising your son or daughter. The parenting plan may be informal, or you may choose to create a formal legal document, depending on circumstances.

The exact contents of your parenting plan are going to vary based on your child’s age, how close you and your ex live to one another and so on. However, the Texas Attorney General outlines certain areas and elements most Texas parenting plans should address.

Fundamental elements of a parenting plan

Your parenting plan should address your general custody agreement, dictating who handles the child and when. It should also cover what you plan to do with regard to school vacations, holiday celebrations, birthdays and similar events and occasions.

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Stepparenting is one of the most challenging roles. While biological parents enjoy a history since their child’s birth and a bond that comes more naturally, stepparents often come into the kids’ lives when they’ve already established their relationships with their biological parents. For this reason, introducing new spouses and possible stepsiblings following a divorce can be tricky.

Blended families make up an increasing percentage of the population. Pew Research shows that 113.6 million Americans are part of a stepfamily. Each day, around 1,300 new stepfamilies form. Unfortunately, these statistics are coupled with a higher divorce rate and greater chances of unhappiness among blended families.

Balancing two different households can be tough

One of the greatest challenges in a stepfamily is blending two different households. Unless the biological parents get along amazingly well, there is very often enough inconsistency to make the task of parenting—and stepparenting—more difficult than they already are. For example, if a set of rules is enforced in one home but not in the other, the kids might have trouble grasping how to swing back and forth between the two sets of rules or expectations and have behavioral issues.

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As a grandparent, you are important to your grandchild. You can develop strong connections that last a lifetime. One way you can protect and maintain this bond is by establishing visitation privileges or custody rights under Texas law.

There are specific justifications that are necessary for seeking visitation or custody of grandchildren.

Possession and access

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A study conducted by researchers from the University of Texas revealed how much a couple's socioeconomic status may influence the satisfaction level of their marriage over time. The Law Office of Brian Bagley, PLLC, understands how remaining in an unhappy relationship may have overwhelming consequences for both you and your children. Sometimes, a divorce might be a necessary step in helping to move towards a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

As reported by Forbes magazine, researchers at the University of Texas and the University of Georgia found that wives in sociodemographic risk marriages started their marriage already unsatisfied. For most couples, the first years after their marriages are filled with excitement and happiness. Going through with a wedding when the bride-to-be is already unhappy, however, may be a sign that the relationship is risky and may not be capable of lasting.

The researchers detected a pattern of fulfillment levels declining after a marriage, which they called the "honeymoon-is-over" effect. By surveying 431 couples, the research team discovered that, over time, the satisfaction levels decreased the greatest for the wives in low-income marriages and who were already experiencing satisfaction issues when they first began their married life. Researchers also found that couples with higher levels of satisfaction when they first married tended to have a more stable level of satisfaction following their "honeymoon-is-over" period.

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