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Dallas Family Law Blog

The end of a marriage via annulment for an underage person

A Texas divorce does not necessarily end with the couple parting ways and moving on with their lives. In some cases, there is a desire on the part of one of both members of the marriage to have an annulment and make it as if the marriage never happened in the first place. There could be religious justifications for this or it might be because the marriage involved someone who was under the age of legal adulthood. This post will address issues related to annulment for those under the age of 18.

For an annulment of a person under 18, the court has the right to grant an annulment for someone who is older than 16 but younger than 18 if the marriage took place without the consent of the parents or without a court order. The following people can file a petition for an annulment: the next friend; a parent; or a managing conservator or guardian of the underage person.

Fathers' rights at the forefront of protest over rejected bill

There has been an inherent belief in Texas and throughout the U.S. that, except in extreme cases, a child who is at the center of a custody battle will generally be better served to live with the mother. This has been a frequent topic for disputes and fathers are trying to change that perception and state law to account for their rights. Custody issues can be complicated and those involving gender-based parenting decisions are at the top of the list.

With Father's Day - a day ostensibly intended to celebrate fathers - having just passed, a simultaneous protest at the Texas Capitol was undertaken to express displeasure with the failure to pass a bill that would have allowed fathers to have equal custody of their children after a divorce. Children are generally awarded to the mothers during a case. Research has indicated that the failure to have both parents involved in a child's life has detrimental long-term effects such as a high risk of mental issues and problems with the law.

Contentious divorce can affect children long into adulthood

Texans who are divorcing can often be distracted by the issues they are dealing with and forget about the short and long-term effects that the process can have on their children. This is separate from child support. Studies frequently examine these factors and try to assess the aftermath of a divorce. One study found that if children have parents whose divorce results in animosity between them, the children are more prone to catch colds during childhood.

The divorce itself is not seen as the problem. It is the way the parents interact with one another after it has taken place. If there are children from the marriage, it is unavoidable that the parents will need to communicate. Lingering disputes from the marriage tend to spill over and this might affect the children. In the study, 201 adults were split in three groups. This included people whose parents stayed together when they were children, people whose parents were separated or divorced and stayed on speaking terms while they were children, and parents who divorced, had an adversarial relationship and did not speak. The people whose parents were among the last group were more vulnerable to colds than those whose parents stayed together in their childhood.

Legal assistance is vital in a Texas military divorce

Texas has many people who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, are retired, or are reservists. These individuals sacrificed and continue to sacrifice a great deal to serve their country and are not immune to the problems that happen to a vast number of people, including divorce. There are different aspects to a military divorce than there are in a civilian divorce. Important matters such as pensions, medical coverage and child custody if a parent is deployed must all be considered. This is when legal help is imperative.

Regardless of the branch of the military a person serves in or if he or she is a reservist or retired, there are certain facts that must be navigated with a military divorce. With military retirement plans, the amount that the non-military spouse gets is often up for dispute. There are laws and regulations related to this and both parties should understand them. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) can be beneficial when sifting through military benefits after a divorce.

Mediation can overcome the problems of traditional divorce

The cost of divorce, including attorney fees, court costs and expert witnesses, continues to rise. In the U.S., people opting out of marriage spend billions a year on divorce, and yet these couples average under $20,000 in net assets. It is no wonder, then, that more people are considering divorce mediation.

Affordability is not the only attraction that people see in the mediation process, however. If you and your spouse are considering this as an alternative to traditional divorce, you will find that there are other aspects of the process that will provide you with savings.

Certain signals could predict the end of a marriage

Marriage can be difficult for Texans to keep together if there are disputes, disagreements and unwelcome emotions. According to research, slightly more than a million marriages broke up in the U.S. in 2015. With a divorce rate that is so significant, people who are experiencing problems in their marriage should be aware of the warning signs and when they should consider alternatives such as counseling, mediation or moving forward with the end of a marriage and getting a divorce. There are certain reasons that a marriage might hit the skids and eventually end. Understanding them is a key to recognizing them and acting.

People who fail to communicate are at risk of a divorce. Researchers state that marriages often end due to a lack of understanding of one another's needs, values and priorities. This stems from the inability to communicate and not having their feelings on the table prior to the marriage. If there is a communication problem, the couple might no longer feel happy in the marriage. This can be rectified by changing the situation or ending the marriage.

What factors are important when deciding on a divorce? Part II

Texans who are having problems in their marriage might be confused and stuck within their potential options as they try to come to a decision. Choosing to try and salvage the relationship or move forward with the end of a marriage can have life-changing ramifications and be enormously difficult. However, there are times when a divorce is preferable to staying in a marriage that is simply no longer working. A recent post discussed certain factors that should be considered when thinking about a divorce. This post will talk about other issues that can be the determinative factor when divorcing.

For many, a mitigating factor in deciding to stay in a failing marriage is fear. Some people will not be able to confront the reality of being single again. Others will not be willing to be without intimacy and enter the unknown. Comparing the difficulty in the current circumstance vs. the new life can be beneficial. Often, a person's self-image is attached to their marriage. Failure in a marriage can damage a person's confidence, but thinking about the future and feeling empowered can be the catalyst to end an unhappy marriage.

What factors are important when deciding on a divorce? Part I

Texans who are in a marriage that is constantly upended by dispute might consider whether it is worth it to continue with the marriage or if moving forward with a divorce is the right course of action. There are times when a person does not need to go through a checklist of reasons why the end of a marriage is the only solution, but many divorce legal issues are not so simple. People who are thinking about the possibility of divorce should account for several factors before making a final decision.

Communication issues are often at the forefront of marital troubles. Studies show that a significant portion of what is said to people is not heard - as much as 70 percent - so making certain that the other party hears the problems and understands them is imperative. Some couples enter a relationship with different goals and ideas as to how it will be. Difficulties can arise if, for example, one spouse was expected to be responsible for the finances but does not want to do that. Before deciding to divorce, the best-case scenario is to save the marriage if it is possible. Couples who can formulate viable reasons to stay together should consider it. If they cannot, maybe it is time to call it quits.

Supreme Court ruling affects military benefits and disability

As with a civilian divorce, there are the customary factors that will come to the forefront in a military divorce such as support for children and providing benefits to the non-military spouse. However, since military benefits are integral to the life of a former service member and the spouse, how these are allocated after military retirement is vital to a case. Changes to how the law views these benefits must be watched closely.

A case in which a veteran had his disability payments viewed as part of the marriage assets to be divided in the divorce and tried to stop it received a favorable ruling from the United States Supreme Court. The man and his ex-wife divorced in 1991. As part of the settlement, the Arizona Supreme Court decided that his wife should receive half his pay. He retired from the military the next year and the money was divided in half until 2005. This was based on the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA). The man was then diagnosed as having a shoulder issue that he incurred during his service and was found 20 percent disabled, making him eligible to receive disability payments. This is not taxable, but the retirement pay must be reduced accordingly to account for it.

Poll shows politics a growing cause for divorce since election

Texans can decide to divorce for a multitude of reasons and some are more unique than others. Researchers study the causes of the end of a marriage, a dispute that might have sparked it, and the divorce legal issues that accompany the decision. While there are common reasons why a marriage might end, there are sometimes circumstantial ones from outside the couple's purview. One reason why a marriage might end is politics.

Given today's contentious political climate, a greater number of couples are parting ways due to disagreements over the presidential administration of Donald J. Trump. A study from a polling firm in Virginia states that one out of 10 couples have decided to end a relationship due to a political disagreement. It must be noted that these couples combined the married and unmarried. Millennials were splitting at 22 percent. The research group began its study to see if there was an actual rise in the number of people whose relationships were ending because of political differences. It turns out they are.