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El Paso Family Law Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More baby boomers are getting a Texas divorce

According to a national research organization, couples over 50 years old are deciding to end their marriages more than ever before. For these so-called baby boomers, the divorce rate in the past 25 years has doubled. On the other hand, the rate for those aged 25 to 39 has decreased 21 percent. Researchers are uncertain about the reason for these Texas divorce and national divorce trends.

Some analysts suggest that since many baby boomers have divorced before, it is more likely that they will repeat the pattern when they are older. In addition, research shows that a third of the divorces for those over 50 involve couples that were married over 30 years. The trend has created a need for a variety of new products and services for this demographic.

Man becomes fathers' rights advocate after lengthy custody case

In a Texas divorce and elsewhere around the country, custody issues can often be contentious. Traditionally, courts have granted mothers more time with the children than with fathers. One father in another state learned he would only see his son every other weekend after his divorce. He had once been an active parent in his son's life and was devastated to no longer be regularly involved. As a result, the man is now an advocate for fathers' rights.

The father was not happy with the court's decision, and he decided to fight it. He spent a lot of time in court over a three-year period. The man now shares joint custody of his son with his ex-wife. The experience has prompted him to join and eventually chair a fathers' rights advocacy group.

How credit card debt affects Texas divorce proceedings.

Credit cards are commonly used in Texas and throughout the country. Married couples frequently have joint credit card accounts, and both spouses utilize the cards and make payments as required. Of course, not all marriages last forever and some may end in divorce. A recent article addressed how Texas divorce proceedings can affect the couple's credit card debt.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prevents creditors from discriminating against any applicant based on gender or marital status. Previously, a woman might have had difficulty in obtaining credit on her own. However, in a community property state such as Texas, creditors may continue to ask about marital status even if the applicant is seeking separate credit. This is especially true if the credit will be secured by any jointly held property or assets.

Divorce issues now address custody of pets

Many Texas couples have pets that are dearly loved as members of the family. While there is a myriad of divorce issues to address when any marriage ends, pet custody is becoming an increasingly common topic. Some states have recently changed their approach when pets are involved in divorce disputes.

Pets had typically been considered as personal property in divorce proceedings by most courts. A determination would be made as to what property belonged to each spouse or what was theirs as a couple. Then, some agreement would be made about which person got the item. However, animal advocates stress that a pet is obviously not like a table or chair.

Military divorce case being heard by Supreme Court

Any Texas couple going through a divorce knows that it can be a complicated process. But when one or both of the spouses are in the military, there are several unique issues to consider. Recently, a lawsuit involving military divorce made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The case before the Supreme Court deals with the issue of military retirement pay in a divorce. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act is in question. The justices are hearing arguments on how this law should be interpreted, specifically what constitutes as disposable retired pay.

Fathers' rights questioned in lawsuit

When children are involved in a Texas divorce, there are often many issues that are contested between the ex-spouses. On occasion, these issues become common knowledge when the parties are recognized by the public. Fathers' rights issues were recently spotlighted when the father of an internet celebrity petitioned a family court to give him more decision-making authority in his daughter's life.

The father, a sheriff's deputy in another state, has asked the court for shared parental responsibility for his 13-year-old daughter. She gained notoriety after an appearance on the Dr. Phil Show for her unruly behavior. According to the lawsuit, the girl's actions are out of control, and her father claims that the girl's mother is the source of his daughter's problems; therefore, he wishes to have more parental rights. The father alleges that the mother is exploiting the girl to make money.

Texas divorce after age 50 becoming more common

Many older couples may assume that their marriages will last. However, recent statistics show that some of the divorce rates are increasing. A Texas divorce later in life can have some serious implications in financial planning.

The National Center for Family and Marriage Research states that between 1990 and 2014, the divorce rate doubled for adults over 50. During that same time period, the rate tripled for adults over age 65. The rates are growing to the point where the trend is actually referred to as "gray divorce."

What to do when only one spouse wants a Texas divorce

Going through a divorce can be a stressful process for many individuals. However, for others, a Texas divorce may be a pathway to a fresh start and a new chapter of life. But what happens in those cases when one spouse wants a divorce but the other spouse does not? A recent article provided insight on this dilemma.

Many emotions come into play when one spouse wants to stay in a marriage but the other has filed for divorce. It is common to feel despair, dread or even fear as the reality of new circumstances are realized. However, experts suggest that those emotions can be catalysts in helping someone get through a divorce and move forward into a new life.

Private data may not be so private in a Texas divorce

Most adults in this country own a smartphone and maintain a presence on social media. While technology provides immediate access to information and allows constant contact with others, potential lack of privacy is an ongoing concern. Several privacy issues arise when considering use of technology in Texas divorce proceedings.

Data may not be totally private when wireless storage is used. Videos, photos and other information saved on a personal phone could be viewed by others who also have access to the wireless storage. The information would be considered legally shareable if a person has permission to access the storage device. This situation is very common if a couple had a shared wireless data plan before filing for divorce.

Proposed custody law aimed at fathers' rights

A Texas bill has been proposed that would allow for equal custody for mothers and fathers during a divorce. Advocates of fathers' rights are actively supporting the bill. However, a former family judge does not believe the law should mandate custody of children.

Texas House Bill 453 has been written to give both parents equal custody following a divorce. Supporters contend that current law favors mothers in custody matters. They believe this bill will allow parents to enter into divorce proceedings with an equal advantage. The law would not address child support or other issues considered detrimental to the child, according to proponents of the bill. Similar laws have been passed in at least five states.