Sharing your children with your ex this holiday season

The holiday season can present a variety of challenges to divorced parents. While you're sure to run into questions and challenges along the way, taking the right steps will help provide your children with good memories.

Here are three tips for sharing your children with your ex this holiday season:

  • Review your parenting plan and visitation schedule: You created this during your divorce, so it's available to guide you during the holidays. For example, your plan may outline where your children are to spend holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Split holidays: When possible, consider if there is a way for you and your ex to split holidays, which allows both of you to spend time with your children. It's not ideal for either parent, but it's often the fair thing to do.
  • Spend the holidays with your children and ex: This isn't always possible, but it's something to consider if it fits into your schedule. You don't have to spend every waking minute of the holiday season with your ex, but partaking in some activities together is worth a consideration.

Examine your prenuptial agreement for weaknesses

These days, prenuptial agreements are much more common than they were for many years, and a growing portion of couples choose to protect themselves and each other before they marry. From a legal perspective, almost all couples benefit from a fair prenuptial agreement, whether they realize it or not.

When a couple uses a prenuptial agreement properly, they can remove several types of strain on their relationship and avoid messy conflicts if they choose to divorce later on.

The divorce process begins when you bring your feelings to light

Some people have been thinking about divorce for many months or years before they finally share their feelings with their spouse. Others don't take nearly as much time to lay their feelings out on the table.

Since the divorce process begins when you bring your feelings to light, it's important to take the right approach. Here are five things you can do to ease the tension of asking your spouse for a divorce:

  • Choose the right time and place
  • Prepare for the conversation, including what you want to say and how you'll deal with your spouse's reaction
  • Maintain your stance that divorce is the best way to proceed (don't change your mind)
  • Keep your safety in mind at all times, such as by asking for a divorce on the phone if you feel threatened by your spouse
  • Don't discuss the details of your divorce, such as matters of property division and child custody, during this conversation

When is it appropriate to ask for custody order modification?

Someone very wise once said that no divorce is truly final until all the children are grown. That's important to remember because you may find yourself revisiting your current custody agreement with your ex-spouse sometime in the future.

There's honestly no such thing as a "permanent" custody order involving underage children as long as there's a possibility that you or your spouse can ask for modifications. Naturally, however, the court doesn't like to change custody agreement too often or too much without a very good reason.

Emotional impacts of divorce on children

Children thrive in consistency, so, understandably, they often struggle when their parents divorce. This significant life change can seem like more than they can handle. They may feel intense and new emotions that they struggle to translate into language. Trying to help them through this can prove challenging, but it can also give them the skills they need to cope with changes throughout life.

One of the most important things you can do during this transition is to let your children know that both parents will still be there for them. If possible, you and your ex can sit down to tell your kids about the divorce together. This shows them that you are committed to being a parenting team.

What can hiring a divorce attorney give you more time to do?

To say that divorcing is a stressful and busy process for most Texans that go through with it is an understatement. Spouses have to spend hours upon hours preparing for their cases to make sure they get the most out of their asset divisions, child custody and spousal support. This can take away time that they need to perform other tasks related to the divorce or their everyday lives.

One way in which they can speed up the process is by hiring a divorce attorney. These legal specialists use their experience to help spouses formulate strategies that they’ll need for the proceedings and to take on the tedious paperwork that comes from it. Now that you don’t have to worry about handling everything that comes with the process by yourself, you can focus more on completing the following crucial tasks:

3 steps to prepare your finances for divorce

The way you prepare your finances for divorce will impact the process in many ways. The right steps will put you in a position to protect your legal rights and avoid unnecessary complications. Conversely, if you overlook something of importance, it could slow you down and bring on additional challenges.

Here are three key steps you should take when preparing your finances for divorce:

  • Gather all financial records: This varies from person to person but should (at least) include your bank statements, retirement account statements, pay stubs and tax returns.
  • List of your assets and debts: A property division checklist can help you get a clear idea of what you'll negotiate on during your divorce. Also, make a note of which assets are joint and which ones you solely own. A list of debts is also critical, as those will be divided similarly.
  • Open individual accounts: Once you close joint accounts, turn your attention to opening individual accounts. This will give you a jump-start on your financial future. For example, you should open a bank account and retirement account in your own name. You may also want a credit card for future spending.

Is a court-imposed family law order permanent and unchangeable?

We’re pretty sure at the established Fort Worth family law firm of Gardner & Smith that most readers of our blog posts can quickly and confidently answer the question posed above in today’s blog headline.

And, yes, the correct answer is exactly what you’re thinking it is. Although judicial orders concerning important matters like child custody and support are authoritative and meant to be abided by, they’re aren’t necessarily deemed to be in force forever.

Prenups are basically for wealthy marrying partners in Texas, right?

National tabloids and entertainment-linked stories frequently spotlight prenuptial agreements when they chronicle celebrity divorce tales. That reasonably implies for many people that discussing and executing a marital contract prior to getting hitched is something almost exclusively reserved for wealthy couples.

In fact, that is far from the truth. A prenuptial agreement commands broad-based utility in legions of marriage across Texas and the rest of the country. We stress on our website at the established Fort Worth family law firm of Gardner & Smith that virtually "every couple who plans to wed can benefit from signing a prenup."

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