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Make child protection defense a priority when facing charges

Nobody is perfect, and even the most careful of parents can make a mistake when it comes to their children. The law understandably treats alleged child abuse or neglect seriously, and this can put a tremendous amount of stress on the entire family. When Texas Child Protective Services -- CPS -- becomes involved, it is important to have an adequate child protection defense on your side.

Representation is not only important in advocating for for parental rights, but also for ensuring that your child's best interests are being observed. CPS tends to be a department without the necessary oversight that is needed to ensure the safety of each and every child placed in foster care. This is especially upsetting for parents who feel as though CPS railroaded them, unnecessarily removing their children.

Will your move require child custody agreement modification?

Changes occur frequently in life. For example, getting an offer for a great new job in another city is a situation that will affect the child custody agreement you have been adhering to since your divorce.

Relocation is a common reason for requesting modification to the original agreement, but it is not the only cause. The court may consider this and other issues as long as the requesting party provides a reasonable explanation and sufficient backup.

Child support included in Jesse William's temporary settlement

"Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams has recently been in the news in Texas for his ongoing divorce. In a recent update, he and his ex-wife announced that they reached a temporary settlement, allowing them both to move forward for now. Included in the temporary settlement are orders for spousal and child support.

Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee were married for nearly five years before they decided to divorce in April 2017. The 35-year-old actor had been accused of bringing many different romantic partners around his children after the separation, and although the claims were not substantiated, it seems that they played a role in dragging out proceedings. The couple share two children, a daughter and son aged 3 and 1 years old, respectively.

Court-ordered child support provides financial security

Providing children physical security and daily necessities relies on a certain level of financial security. For divorced parents with sole physical custody or unmarried parents, child support is often where much of that financial security comes from. Although some Texas parents are hesitant to involve their child's other parent in a legal matter such as child support, doing so usually proves best.

For unmarried parents to receive child support, they must first establish paternity. This step is unnecessary for parents who have divorced but were married at the time of the child's birth. A father may establish paternity voluntarily, but legal action may be taken if he does not wish to do so. This usually requires a court order for a DNA test.

Prenups can ease divorce for Millennials

Marriage discussions tend to overlook a very important group of people -- Millennials. Although it is often pointed out that Millennials tend to put off marriage more than past generations, there is usually little else on the topic. This leaves many people in Texas without any gainful information regarding marriage and divorce, especially when it comes to prenuptial agreements.

Prenuptial agreements are typically viewed as only for the very wealthy or celebrities. This belief might be further imprinted in the minds of Millennials by their own parents' lack of marital agreements. However, past generations tended to settle down and marry much more quickly, before either party had a chance to accrue any type of meaningful personal assets.

Retirement savings play important role in divorce

Saving for retirement is fairly common for couples in Texas. Many employers offer 401(k) accounts and some even match or contribute funds. It can be such an easy process to have money automatically deducted for retirement savings that most people do not give those funds much thought until a drastic life event -- such as divorce -- comes along.

Dealing with retirement savings during divorce can be a touchy subject. A spouse who was the sole earner and feels that he or she is entitled to the entirety of the funds is not an uncommon occurrence, but family law views things differently. Any money saved for retirement after a couple is married is considered community property, as it was saved with the intent of supporting both individuals in their later years.

Is your spouse hiding income or assets from you?

Divorce can be stressful enough without having to worry about your soon-to-be-ex hiding assets in order to avoid division. Unfortunately, many people do hide financial information from their spouses, sometimes even when divorce is not in the offing.

Knowing the signs of potential deception can alert you to misconduct early enough to be able to do something about it. Your lawyer can advise you about the best ways to get proof and locate hidden assets.

Study claims 50/50 child custody could be best

Before a divorce, parents usually have meaningful interactions with their children daily. However, child custody arrangements that prioritize sole physical custody do not always reflect the crucial importance of these interactions. No two families in Texas are alike, and for some sole custody might indeed be the most appropriate choice, but recent research indicates that plenty of children would be best served by joint custody arrangements.

It was once believed that strife between divorced parents would put too much pressure on a child if joint custody was awarded. A recent study refutes this belief and even insinuates that part of the conflict is exaggerated or purposely provoked as divorcing parents duke it out to win sole access to their children. Even in situations where this is not the case and the high levels of conflict are real, the study found that it quickly subsides in the years following a divorce.

Divorce or annulment -- which do I need?

Ending a marriage can be challenging -- emotionally and legally. In Texas and elsewhere, there are many ways to do it, though, and there are those who just want to make it look like the marriage never happened. A divorce does not do this, but an annulment can. So, divorce or annulment -- which one is needed?

If granted an annulment, it is basically the court saying that the marriage never happened. Some people wish to pursue annulments for religious reasons, and others want to do it in order to avoid dividing property or paying financial support. Getting an annulment is not an easy thing to do. It does require a trial, and it does require proving the marriage resulted from one of four conditions. These are:

  • Bigamy
  • Insanity
  • Force
  • Fraud

Looks like the Macklowe divorce is going to court

Texas residents may be aware of the Macklowe divorce that is in process in another state as it has been reported about quite frequently over the last several months. Linda Macklowe is said to have officially filed to dissolve her marriage from her billionaire husband after he offered her a divorce settlement to which she did not agree. Her refusal to settle means that this case will be heard in court soon. Will taking this route help her get what she wants? Only time will tell.

According to the most recent news report on this matter, Harry Macklowe offered his wife of nearly 60 years $1 billion to just walk away and grant him the divorce he wants. For her own personal reasons, she found the settlement unacceptable and instead has chosen to have their case heard in court. The judge assigned to the case has asked them to reconsider, as going to court would put a lot about their personal lives on full public display. Despite this warning, the case is still set to go to trial this month.

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Law Offices of Jacqueline R. McNutt
1712 N. Interstate 35
San Marcos, TX 78666

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