Help with spousal support during a divorce

Spousal support is a big concern during most divorces. Because of this, it is helpful for divorcing couples to know how and when spousal support may be granted during their divorce.

Spousal support is a payment paid by one former spouse to the other former spouse. In certain circumstances, spousal support may be awarded by the family law court during divorces. Spousal support can be awarded in different ways during a divorce. It may be awarded on a temporary basis during the divorce, but may also be awarded as part of the final divorce settlement.

The family law court considers different factors when determining spousal support, including: how long the couple was married; the ages of the spouses; the education and employment statuses of each of the spouses; and the necessary expenses of the spouses. The spouses can also agree to spousal support and are encouraged to reach an agreement if possible. In general, divorcing couples are encouraged to resolve as many divorce-related issues by working them out together as possible.

Divorcing couples may be able to resolve divorce-related issues, including spousal support, in a manner that is best for them and their family. However, if they are unable to do so, the family law court can help them resolve their concerns. Divorce-related concerns divorcing couples will need to resolve also include child support, child custody and property division. It is also important to be familiar with support modification resources which, in the case of child support, may be available based on a significant change in circumstances of the child or parent. When a couple has made the decision to divorce, they should ensure they understand family law resources and how they can help them with spousal support and other issues during their divorce.


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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

In re D.R.

(California Court of Appeal) – Reversed as to Father only. Father of juveniles appealed from the denial of his motion to modify judgement claiming that he was not given adequate notice of dependence proceedings for two of his children. The appeals court found that the Hague Service Convention applies because Father is a resident of Mexico and that the Department of Children and Family services failed to comply with the Hague Convention.


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Lack of emotional fulfillment can lead to divorce

It may go without saying that the divorce process itself can be emotional for couples in Dallas. However, the events leading up to the decision to divorce may be emotional as well. A recent study found that in both low-conflict and high-conflict divorces, a lack of emotional fulfillment was ultimately what led one partner to decide to end the marriage.

In the study, 47% of respondents reported that the lack of love or intimacy was what led to the decision to separate and ultimately divorce. Simply put, sometimes people just “fall out of love.” In addition, 44% of respondents stated that communication issues were one of the main reasons they decided to divorce. This has long been known as a cause of divorce. When spouses do not talk to one another, it ultimately damages their relationship as time goes on.

A breach of trust or lack of respect was the third top reason respondents to the survey cited as their reason for ending their marriage. If something happens that causes a person to lose respect for their spouse or that leads them to be unable to ever trust their partner again, this could lead that person to decide to divorce. Finally, sometimes couples just grow apart, either in their values, attitudes or because they simply had different goals in their lives.

As this shows, there are many reasons why couples decide to divorce, and many of them are based on emotional factors. A no-fault divorce is generally one in which couples cite “irreconcilable differences.” When couples grow apart, fall out of love or decide to divorce for some other reasons that are emotional in nature, this is a ground for divorce they may consider.


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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

In re J.F.

(California Court of Appeal) – Affirmed order terminating father’s parental rights. Father presented no reasoned argument why there was an error in terminating his rights and he waived his challenge to the order.


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What factors determine the amount of child support?

When parents go through a divorce, they are naturally concerned about how this process will affect their children. If your marriage is over and you will be starting the divorce process soon, you probably want to know how you can protect the best interests of your children and what your custody and visitation order will be like. You may also have concerns about child support and your financial obligations.

Divorce has serious financial implications for both parents. Whether you have to pay child support or you will receive it, it can be helpful to understand what factors play a role in how the court determines the specific amount that is necessary each month. When you know what to expect, you will be able to avoid conflicts and disputes over the support amount. 

Determining the right amount

It’s normal to have concerns about finances after divorce. However, it may be helpful to remember that the ultimate goal of any child support order is to provide what is necessary for the child to have continuity of lifestyle and his or her basic needs met. When determining how much child support is necessary or what a parent should pay, the following factors are important: 

  • The income of both parents
  • The cost of daycare, tutoring and other needs of the child
  • Whether the child has any special needs
  • The cost of insurance and health care necessities
  • The child’s standard of living

The court tries to be cognizant of the paying parent’s financial capabilities. In addition to the income of both parents, the court will also look at things like taxes, Social Security contributions and more. It does not help to overburden a parent as he or she will not be able to keep up with payments. This only causes more complications down the road. The court will strive to be fair but will keep the needs of the children as the main priority. 

Your post-divorce future

As a parent, you care deeply about the needs and best interests of your children. That does not mean that you cannot pursue a child support order that is fair and sustainable long-term. If you have concerns about your financial obligations after divorce or want to know more about how much child support you may receive, you may want to seek a complete evaluation of your case with an experienced Texas family law attorney.


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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

In re A.E.

(California Court of Appeal) – Reversed order for juvenile reunification with parents. The trial court found that reunification was in the best interest of the children even though the children were taken away because of child abuse. The appeals court held that the trial court findings were not supported by substantial evidence.


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New York State Citizens’ Coal. For Children v. Poole

(United States Second Circuit) – Denied. In a 6-5 vote, the panel majority declines to rehear the case en banc, holding that the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 creates a privately enforceable right for foster parents to sue states for costs related to child care. Five judges dissent.


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Staying financially solvent during a divorce

The decision to end your marriage is often one of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make. For some people in Texas, once they have decided to divorce, they may feel a sense of relief and a desire to move forward with their lives. However, there are financial costs associated with a divorce beyond attorney and court fees that people should be aware of, so they can plan accordingly.

First, many people going through a divorce will be moving from a two-income household to a single-income household once the divorce is complete. It is important to develop a budget based on your single income. The budget should not only include living expenses, but also the cost of a new car if you need one and insurance costs, such as auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance, for example. Also, when it comes to the family home, a person should determine if they can afford homeownership on a single income before deciding whether to keep a home during the property division process.

In addition, it is important that the results of the property division process are fair. Couples should consider both tangible and liquid assets when determining their needs post-divorce. Couples should also understand the tax consequences of retaining certain assets. In addition, if possible, shared debt should be paid in full before the divorce is finalized, as any remaining debt will also need to be split between the couple.

These are only some financial considerations those going through a divorce should keep in mind. Sometimes the decision to divorce is best for you and your ex-spouse, but it should be understood that your life will change financially during the divorce process and after the divorce is finalized. With careful planning, it is possible to ensure you stay financially secure post-divorce.


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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

How can prenups address a business?

Many entrepreneurs in Dallas, before finding love, grow a successful and profitable business. So, when these individuals do decide to get married, one step they may want to take is to execute a prenuptial agreement, known as a premarital agreement in Texas, to protect the business they spent so many months or years cultivating.

In a premarital agreement, couples can decide whether they want the business to remain a separate asset, or whether it should become marital property. This is significant, because if a couple divorces, their marital assets will be split between them during the property division process. If a couple decides to execute a prenup that will include a business, there are certain steps they may want to take.

First, it is important to ascertain what the business is worth at the date of the couple’s marriage. This not only records what the business is worth as separate property, but also serves as a starting point for determining whether any increase in value the business sees during the marriage should be deemed marital assets. Similarly, in a prenup couples can decide whether they will share in the company’s profits and losses.

Prenups can also include provisions on how they will determine what the business is worth at the time of divorce. Some couples decide each spouse will retain a certain percentage of the company should they divorce, and this too can be included in the prenup. Finally, a prenup can detail how income made by the business will be distributed — will spouses get a salary that could be considered marital in nature or will the funds be kept as part of the business?

These are all important points to keep in mind if you are executing a prenup and own a business. However, this is only a basic overview of this topic, and does not provide legal advice on prenups or property division in your specific situation. Couples who need more information about premarital agreements and property division in Texas will want to seek the professional help necessary to have their questions answered.


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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

In re A.W.

(California Court of Appeal) – Order terminating parental rights and freeing child for adoption was reversed and remanded for determination of whether the child is a Chukchansi Indian. If child found to be an Indian child as defined by the Indian Child Welfare Act, juvenile court ordered to proceed in accordance with ICWA.


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