Jane-Ashley McMillan, Attorney at Law

Plano Family Law Blog

Anticipating triggers that can doom collaboration

Divorce is seldom easy, and it often comes at the end of a difficult effort to make a marriage work. You may be well aware of the tension and struggles you have gone through, and you certainly do not want to take on more anxiety by going through a contentious courtroom divorce.

If you have opted to try collaborative law to end your marriage, you already know that this method of dispute resolution does not have a judge or mediator keeping the process under control. It will be up to you and your spouse to maintain a forward momentum, and this may mean recognizing those factors that may spark a battle.

Inventorying and organizing in preparation for divorce

When you got married, you undoubtedly expected the relationship to last. After all, you do not approach any type of situation without fully thinking it through. Of course, you cannot predict every curve life might throw at you, and though you once expected your marriage to last, you now know that it will not.

Though ending a marriage is certainly difficult, you are once again taking the time to think through what the legal process will mean for you and your future. You do not want to approach your divorce case without the proper preparations, which is why you are looking for information and tips.

Is it time to seek a modification of your custody order?

Before issuing child custody orders, family courts generally consider the family situation and other factors. The goal is to achieve a custody and visitation plan that suits the best interests of the child. You may be among the many divorced and separated parents who have adapted your life to comply with a custody order. However, you may wonder if it is time for a change.

The last thing you want to do is to take matters into your own hands by altering the custody plan without legal advice. Even if you and your ex agree to make changes, you may be opening yourself to serious complications if you do not have the court's authorization. Instead, it is wise to understand how to request a modification of your order and whether your reasons for seeking a modification are valid.

Father struggled for years to prove medical abuse of son

When an unmarried couple has a child together, one parent often takes full custody. The other parent may have partial custody or visitation rights. The other parent usually must pay child support as well.

In a Fort Worth case, a father overpaying child support tried for years to prove his son was a victim of medical abuse. His case shows how courts can often look unfavorably on fathers who don’t have custody.

Addressing unique LGBT issues with a prenup

If you and your partner have been together for years, even decades, you may have joined many in the LGBT community and rejoiced at the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges. This landmark case recognized that same-sex couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples when it comes to marriage laws. Perhaps you and your partner began planning your wedding immediately, or maybe you have been debating for years whether to marry or keep things as they are.

With a wedding in your future, you may be more intensely watching other couples marry, and it may be discouraging to see some heading for divorce. Even more upsetting may be the complex and tangled mess a same-sex divorce can be, especially for couples who were together long before winning the right to marry. This is why more same-sex couples are considering the value of a prenuptial agreement before taking their vows.

Communication tips for new co-parents

New co-parents typically carry emotional baggage beneath the surface level custody conversations they have together. Whether talking to your ex makes you feel angry, sad or remorseful, these emotions can make it uncomfortable to routinely discuss schedule arrangements and make custody exchanges.

To make these communications a little easier, try these tips for new co-parents.

What can you do to help your children cope with your divorce?

Choosing to divorce is a decision that two adults make, but the effects reach the entire family. You can’t avoid the issue with your children forever—and it might be tough on them when you do tell them.

You should be prepared to help them through the process. Knowing what to expect and how to support your children can help make everything go more smoothly for your family.

What happens when pet parents split?

For most pet owners, your animal feels like a member of the family. So, if you and your spouse are discussing divorce, you may expect the courts to treat your pet similarly to a child custody matter.

However, pets are handled more similarly to your furniture than a child. Here’s how divorce works when exes share a pet.

Can I keep my home after divorce?

Parting ways with your spouse is only one of several “Goodbyes” a divorce imposes. You’ll also be leaving behind a portion of the assets you and your spouse once shared. For many divorcees, that includes saying “Au revoir!” to your home.

But, since the process of selling and relocating can be costly and time-consuming, you may wonder if there is any way to keep your home during property division. Answering the following questions can help you decide.

Steps that prolong your divorce

Not all couples might realize that Texas has certain laws about how a divorce is conducted. Some of these procedures will prevent you from a speedy proceeding.

While you may feel ready to end your marriage as soon as possible, be aware that these steps will slow the process no matter what.

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