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Abilene TX Divorce Law Blog

Managing back-to-school with complex living arrangements

Back-to-school is in full swing, and many Texas parents are struggling to adapt to new routines. Every new school year presents scheduling challenges, but for parents who have complex living arrangements, it can be truly taxing. For parents who've gone through a recent breakup or divorce, finding a new way to approach back to school is important. 

Scheduling can be a nightmare, especially for parents who have kids in sports, music or other extracurricular activities. Even families with two parents in the home can find it hard to keep the schedule straight. Add in complex living arrangements, and scheduling can quickly become a primary source of contention among parents and stress among children. 

Mother continues fight in complicated child custody case

No parent relishes the thought of a custody battle, but some cases are exceptionally difficult to weather, in Texas and across the nation. Parents are usually so emotionally connected to their children that the thought of losing access to them can cloud otherwise good judgment. Unfortunately, that can lead to negative outcomes in child custody court, a lesson that one mother has learned the hard way. 

The case centers on an 11-year-old little girl whose parents were involved in a bitter child custody fight when the mother's grandmother shot and killed the child's father. The grandmother is currently serving a 55-year prison sentence. In 2010, the child's mother took the little girl to Florida to avoid a court-ordered visit with the child's paternal grandparents, which led to her arrest and the current case against her. 

Lisa Marie Presley may be able to seal child custody records

Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, recently won a small battle in her ongoing custody fight. Presley asked the court to seal documents in her child custody case for the purpose of protecting her 9-year-old twin daughters. Presley is in the middle of a longstanding child custody dispute with her estranged husband, musical director Michael Lockwood. Many Texas residents are following the story. 

The reason behind the request was stated as concern over salacious details that could come up in the course of the custody case. Specifically, Presley claims she found photos and videos of other children on her husband's computer, which was a source of concern. She hopes that, by keeping the records sealed, she can keep any disturbing details that arise during the case out of the public realm.

New law focuses on child custody and frozen embryos

The topic of what to do with frozen embryos after a relationship ends is becoming more and more common, in Texas and across the nation. As fertility treatments continue to expand, couples have more options than ever before when it comes to having a child. Those options, however, can lead to serious child custody disputes if the union ends before the embryos are used to have a child. One state recently passed a new law addressing the issue, and has sparked debate across the nation. 

The new law gives preference to the party who wishes to use frozen embryos to bring a child into the world, even if the other party strongly opposed such action. The opposing party would have no parental rights or responsibilities in relation to the child. That, however, brings little comfort to many. Few men or women would be comfortable knowing they have a child that they have no connection to.

This divorce will not require child support negotiations

Most divorces are the conclusion of a union that has failed to enrich the lives of both parties. It's important to understand, however, that not every divorce occurs due to a lack of love. In this Texas example, divorce is a possible means of reducing financial strain. For these spouses, child support won't be an area of contention in their divorce process. 

The parties are parents to a 6-year-old daughter, a little girl with a rare genetic disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. She suffers from vision and hearing impairment, seizures, and kidney issues. Around-the-clock care is necessary, and she'll never be able to live independently. The couple pays nearly $15,000 per year for health insurance, but that doesn't cover all of her medical needs. 

Proper planning can avoid child custody fight over embryos

For some Texas spouses, fertility issues, health problems or personal preferences can make surrogacy a very appealing prospect. Once embryos are created and stored, however, there is a risk of a child custody case if the parties decide to go their separate ways. That is made clear in the ongoing high profile child custody battle between actress Sophia Vergara and her former partner Nick Loeb. 

The couple created two frozen embryos in 2013 with the intent to use a surrogate to bring them to term. By 2014, however, the pair had parted, and Loeb asked a court to grant him the right to use the embryos to have a child. He dropped that case, but then moved the matter to a state with more "pro-life" support. 

A military divorce is not always a negative outcome

Most Texas spouses only think of divorce in negative ways. Many fear or dread the end of a marriage, even when divorce is clearly the best path forward for everyone involved. It seems as though the nation is slowly changing the way divorce is viewed, which could truly make a positive difference for many spouses going through a military divorce

People go through many different changes as they mature and live through new experienced. Some couples are able to weather those changes well, and grow at a similar pace and in a similar direction. Others diverge a bit on two individual paths, but that is not necessarily a negative thing. Deciding to end a marriage because it is simply not working is actually a very reasonable and mature decision. 

A military divorce can cause serious health problems

Recent research suggests that men and women who go through divorce are more likely to encounter serious health issues than those who remain married. For Texas spouses preparing for a military divorce, this information can help prevent a decline in health and wellness. As with so many things in life, being fully informed is the best way to chart out a course for success.

Researchers found that people who've gone through divorce have higher rates of smoking and sedentary lifestyle. Both of those things can cause numerous health problems and should be avoided at all costs. Researchers believe that marriage provides important social controls that help both spouses regulate behavior and embrace healthier choices. When those social controls vanish, some individuals will turn to negative habits as they adjust to single life.

Is linking child support to food stamps a good idea?

In the near future,the U.S. Congress will consider proposed legislation that would change the way that needy parents in Texas and elsewhere access food assistance. The proposed change would require parents to engage in child support enforcement efforts supervised by the federal government in order to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP. Many people oppose this proposed change, arguing that it places additional barriers between needy families and assistance.

States already have the ability to require child support enforcement as a condition of receiving SNAP benefits. However, only six states currently require such efforts. One reason why participation is so low is due to the fact that enforcing the policy is expensive. It's also important to note that the requirement does not seem to increase child support collections in any significant manner.

Could Trump Jr.'s wife's inheritance affect her child support?

Many Texas readers are aware that Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa are headed for divorce. Vanessa Trump filed for divorce in March, and the couple are now working through negotiations. The fact that Vanessa received a significant inheritance just prior to filing may play a role in their eventual settlement. While her inheritance is not likely to be up for grabs during property division, the windfall could impact her child support expectations. 

The couple share five children. The parties are reportedly not in agreement over how to divide custody of their kids. There is also some debate about their prenuptial agreement. Because Trump Jr.'s father is well-versed in prenups, it's expected that the agreement put in place is solid. 

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