Who Claims Your Kids on Your Taxes After Divorce?

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Who Claims Your Kids on Your Taxes After Divorce?

Divorce can be complicated, and tax season can add additional stress. Determining who claims the children on taxes can be especially challenging for divorcing couples. Therefore, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities when claiming dependents in a divorce. Fortunately, some guidelines can help divorcing couples determine who should claim their kids on their taxes. This blog post will explore the rules and regulations of who can claim children on taxes during and after a divorce and how a Texas divorce attorney can help you through the process.

The General Rule

Under IRS rules, the custodial parent—the parent with whom the child resides the majority of the time—has the first right to claim the child as a dependent on their tax return. This applies regardless of whether the parents are divorced, unmarried, or have joint custody. The custodial parent will be entitled to the additional dependent exemption and any associated tax credits. The non-custodial parent usually doesn’t claim the child as a dependent.

Exceptions to the Rule

In certain circumstances, the custodial parent is not required to claim the children on their taxes. For example, if both parents sign Form 8332 and attach them to their tax returns, the non-custodial parent can claim the child. In addition, if the non-custodial parent earns more than the custodial parent and meets other IRS requirements, they may be able to claim the child as a dependent.

When There Are Multiple Children

When multiple children are involved in the divorce process, things can become a bit more complicated. Generally speaking, the custodial parent will be the one who claims all of the children on their taxes. However, the custodial parent and non-custodial parent can agree to split the children’s exemptions. Each parent would need to specify which children they are claiming and make sure that each of them meets the qualifying criteria for claiming them as dependents.

Head of Household Filing Status

Head of household filing status is a beneficial tax filing status for single or unmarried parents. This filing status allows for higher tax deductions, a lower tax rate, and an increased standard deduction. Single parents may also qualify for the Earned Income Credit with the head of household filing status.

Single parents may qualify for this status if they have a qualifying dependent, such as a child who lived with them for more than half the year, and if they paid more than half the cost of keeping up their home. In addition, single parents who file as head of household can claim a higher standard deduction than those filing as single or married filing separately. You could file as head of household if you meet all the following criteria:

  • You’re unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year
  • You’ve paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the tax year
  • A qualifying person lived with you for more than half the year (with some exceptions)
  • You’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

A Katy family law attorney can provide valuable advice when you’re filing taxes after a divorce. An experienced lawyer can review the facts of your case and provide guidance on how to handle the tax implications of the divorce, including who should claim the children as dependents and any special tax considerations. They can also help you understand the legal rights and obligations of being a divorced parent, such as child support and other financial matters. With their assistance, you can ensure that all relevant tax information is handled correctly and in accordance with Texas law.

Speak with a Texas Divorce Lawyer

If you have questions about taxes during or after a divorce, contact the knowledgeable family law attorneys of Adams Law Firm. A divorce attorney can help you understand the legalities of who is eligible for a tax deduction for the children and other financial considerations.

At Adams Law Firm, our experienced family law attorneys are well-versed in the laws surrounding divorce and taxes and can provide you with guidance and support. We can help you handle the complexities of filing taxes after a divorce, ensuring that your best interests are protected and your rights are respected. Contact us today by calling (281) 391-9237 and scheduling an initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable Katy divorce lawyers.

Top Tips for Winning Your Divorce Case

divorce processThe divorce process can be overwhelming even if you and your spouse are amicable. Negotiating property division, child custody, and other terms stirs up emotions and can create tension. If you can’t agree on an arrangement, seeking legal action might be necessary.

Resolving disputes during a divorce is challenging. Each party focuses on getting what they believe they deserve. A judge might have to intervene to determine how to handle the matter. That means neither spouse has control over the outcome. The judge can decide the case.

Protecting your interests and improving the chance of reaching a favorable result is crucial. You should follow the tips below during divorce proceedings to have the most control over your divorce.

Hire an Attorney

Whether you or your spouse file for divorce, hiring an attorney should be the first thing you do. Divorces don’t only affect a married couple. The consequences can be far-reaching and impact the entire family, especially children.

You should seek legal representation even if you believe you can resolve your issues outside court. Trusting your spouse to be fair might work out differently than you hope. They could make promises during informal negotiations and go back on their word later, leaving you with nothing.

An experienced divorce lawyer can guide you through the complicated process. You need someone in your corner to help negotiate fair terms and ensure you walk away with what you are entitled to receive.

Review Your Assets

reviewing assets in divorceOne spouse might try to hide assets they don’t want the other to have after finalizing the divorce. Writing down every asset you and your spouse have is vital. You should know whether you own real estate, bank accounts, and other property jointly. You should also inventory separate property you acquired before marriage or as a gift or inheritance while married.

Physical records of what you own can be valuable during divorce negotiations. You should keep copies of your credit card statements, contributions to a retirement fund, and other documentation related to your finances. You can also obtain copies of the deed to your marital home and other assets you share with your spouse.

Don’t Move Out of Your Home

Living with someone you’re divorcing is tough. Although you might feel tempted to find another place to live, staying in the marital home is essential if you plan to keep it. Moving out might indicate to a judge your intention to give up your rights to the asset. Your spouse could fight for the home by claiming you abandoned them and seek custody of your children.

Moving out is never a good idea while going through a divorce. Staying put is your best chance of winning your home during legal proceedings. It might be uncomfortable and cause turmoil, but it can give you the upper hand during negotiations.

Treat Your Spouse with Respect

You should treat your spouse respectfully even if you don’t get along or blame them for your marriage ending. Threatening or yelling at them might make you feel good at the moment. However, it might give your spouse the ammunition they need to renegotiate terms you already agreed to or delay the divorce process unnecessarily.

Avoiding additional problems during legal proceedings is critical. You could prevent an ugly courtroom battle by keeping conversations and interactions with your spouse amicable. As hard as it might be, treating them with respect could go a long way in meeting your interests while finalizing the paperwork.

Avoid Digital Forms of Communication

digital communication to avoid in divorceYou might want to send an angry text to your spouse. However, it can damage your case. Divorce lawyers often obtain digital evidence against the opposing party during legal proceedings. A text you send threatening your spouse can paint you in a bad light.

Avoiding communicating over text, email, and other digital methods is ideal. That includes refraining from posting on social media. You should never discuss your divorce online or post disparaging remarks about your spouse. You should also avoid bragging about details of your life, such as a recent promotion or raise at work. That information could encourage your spouse to go after you for spousal support.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Katy

At Adams Law Firm, we have over 35 years of experience representing clients in divorces. You can count on us to protect your rights and guide you through the complicated aspects of your divorce. We can help resolve issues you face with your spouse and determine a strategy to meet your interests.

If you’re going through a divorce and want a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney to represent you, call then Katy divorce attorneys of Adams Law Firm at (281) 391-9237 now for a confidential consultation.

What Is the Difference Between a Divorce and an Annulment?

couple considering divorce or annulmentIn Texas, you can end a marriage in several ways. Two common means of getting out of a marriage are divorce and annulment. What’s the difference?

A divorce is a legal ending of a marriage. A divorce does not wipe the marriage away:  it dissolves it. A divorce in Texas results in the division of community property assets in an equitable fashion between the parties.

Unlike a divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was invalid from the start. An annulment might be granted due to factors that existed when the couple married. There is no provision for the division of marital property in an annulment.

The Texas Family Code outlines the conditions under which a divorce might be granted, or a marriage might be annulled.

What Are the Requirements to Get a Divorce in Texas?

To obtain a divorce in Texas, you must meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Having appropriate grounds for the divorce
  • One spouse must have been a resident of Texas for the prior six months
  • One spouse must have been a resident of the county where the divorce papers were filed for the prior 90 days

What Are the Requirements for Annulment in Texas?

considering an annulment in texasTo get a marriage annulled in Texas, the marriage must have taken place in Texas, and one of the parties must live in Texas. The annulment must take place within 30 days of the marriage. Additionally, any of the following circumstances must have existed at the time of the marriage:

  • One party was under 18 and over 16 but did not have parental consent or a court order
  • The party requesting the annulment was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and didn’t have the capacity to consent to the marriage at the time and didn’t voluntarily live with the other party after they became sober
  • One party was permanently impotent when the marriage took place, the other party didn’t know about the impotence, and has not cohabited with that person since discovering the impotency
  • The petitioner was forced, through fraud, force, or duress, to marry, and hasn’t voluntarily lived with the other party since the fraud, force, or duress stopped
  • The petitioner didn’t have the mental capacity to enter into the marriage at the time of the ceremony and didn’t voluntarily live with the other party if the petitioner became competent after the marriage
  • If the other party was divorced in the 30 days prior to the marriage, the petitioner didn’t know about the prior marriage and upon discovering the marriage, didn’t voluntarily cohabit with the other party
  • The marriage took place before the required 72-hour waiting period after obtaining the marriage license had passed

You have a limited period of time to request an annulment in some cases. For example, if your annulment is based on the marriage happening before the marriage license waiting period was over, you must file within 30 days of your date of marriage. If the annulment is happening because of a previous divorce, you have one year from the date of the marriage to file for annulment. Because the timelines vary depending upon the grounds for the annulment, it’s best to talk with an experienced family law attorney to be sure you file for your annulment in time.

Who Initiates the Proceedings?

Another difference between divorce and annulment is that divorcing couples have to initiate the divorce themselves. One party must file a petition for divorce to start the process.

In an annulment, multiple parties could initiate the proceedings. In some circumstances, the parties to the marriage could file for an annulment. In other instances, invested people, like a parent or a “next friend,” can act on behalf of one of the parties to start the annulment process. For example, this could occur when one of the parties had a mental illness that made them legally unable to enter into the marriage.

Contact Us

Our Katy divorce attorneys bring 35 years of experience to every case we take on. We’ve been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell, the Katy Chamber of Commerce, and H-Texas Magazine for our excellence. The attorneys of Adams Law Firm have the knowledge to help you with your case and the understanding to factor in what’s unique to your particular case.

Whether you need a divorce or an annulment, the experienced Texas family law attorneys of Adams Law Firm can help. Call us today at (281) 391-9237 to get started. We can discuss your options in a confidential consultation and help you decide what your next steps should be.

Should I Keep the Same Financial Planner for My Divorce?

Should I Keep the Same Financial Planner for My Divorce?

Should I Keep the Same Financial Planner for My Divorce?Getting a divorce is never pleasant. There are money, property, and possessions to be divided. There are laws that govern how some possessions must be divided. If you or your spouse have a pension or stock options that won’t be available for some time, how do those get handled?

If you have children, you’ll need to plan for their future as well. What is the best way to do this and still take care of their needs today? All these questions can be answered by a financial planner.

About Financial Planners

Some people already have financial planners. A financial planner helps their clients manage their finances and work towards long-term financial goals. They may help clients keep their spending under control or assist with investment planning.

If you and your spouse already have a financial planner, you may want to consider hiring a new financial planner for yourself. There are a few reasons having a financial planner of your own can be beneficial.

  • Financial planners often specialize. If you’re engaging a financial planner in contemplation of your divorce, you can look for a planner who specializes in divorce. A divorce financial planner will know the Texas laws about divorce and marital and separate property.
  • A conflict of interest could arise between you and your current planner if they have an unwitting bias in your spouse’s favor.
  • Fresh eyes on your finances may help spot any trouble issues that you or even your current planner may not have noticed.

If you don’t have a financial planner before your divorce, you may not be sure what a financial planner can do for you. Dividing up the property is what the attorney does, right?

Help During the Divorce

Should I Keep the Same Financial Planner for My Divorce?Texas is a community property state. This means that any property acquired during marriage is the property of both spouses equally. Any property acquired before the marriage or after separation is the property of the individual. But what if you have a pension, and you married before your pension vested? What if your spouse has stock options that haven’t matured yet?

Divorce financial planners can help determine who is entitled to what money and can make suggestions about how spouses could even out their assets so that neither is left with too much or too little.

For instance, if one spouse has a pension that will pay off when they retire, the judge will determine who is entitled to what percentage of the pension and issue a QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) that will split the pension whenever it finally pays out. A financial planner can help the parties calculate values and determine if it would be better to allow that spouse to keep the full pension and give the other spouse an alternate cash payment now. If the parties can agree about the disposition of their assets, the judge wouldn’t have to make the determination, giving the parties more control over what occurs.

Help After the Divorce

A financial planner can help you budget your finances and any awarded maintenance in a way that could augment your income.

  • Texas does not award alimony. The court will award support under certain conditions if a spouse can show they are unable to provide for their “minimum reasonable needs” while looking for employment.
  • A financial planner can help you with budgeting for the first few months after the divorce while you’re getting back on your feet and relearning how to run a household on a single income.
  • If you need help with future financial goals—paying off your home or starting a college fund—now is the best time to make plans for those goals: while you are reestablishing your spending habits.

Having someone who has been with you during the divorce will make talking about and planning for these goals much easier after the divorce and could help you going forward.

Contact Us

At Adams Law Firm, we want you to thoroughly understand all your assets and the ways that asset division could equitably be accomplished. If you have been thinking about divorce and believe you need a financial planner, call the Katy asset division attorneys of Adams Law Firm at (281) 391-9237. We will discuss the benefits of getting your own financial planner and discuss how having one would be of benefit to you during your divorce negotiations. Call our attorneys today.

Five Tips to Win Custody of a Child in Texas

Five Tips to Win Custody of a Child in TexasSeeking custody of your children can be difficult for all parties involved. From figuring out court dates to communicating with your lawyers to providing care for your children, there are many aspects of a child custody case that can become overwhelming.

At Adams Law Firm, we work hard to make sure you and your family are well informed and taken care of as you fight for the custody of your children. For many years, we’ve represented clients just like you, working to help you through what can be an otherwise stressful process.

If you’re in the midst of a child custody battle, there are several steps you can take to help your case.

Focus on Your Child

There are many things to distract you from focusing on your children while you’re in a custody battle. Despite these many factors, it’s important to continue to focus on your children. Dropping off and picking up your children from school, having meals with your children, and spending quality time with them are all good ways to focus on them.

It’s easy to allow the components of a child custody case to distract you from your parental responsibilities, but you should prioritize your children throughout the entire process. This will not only help your case, but it will allow you and your children to feel safe and secure at a time when so many things are changing and uncertain.

Avoid Moving Out of a Residence You Share with Your Spouse and Children

Just as it’s important to care for your children, it’s important to continue to live with them throughout the fight for custody. If possible, it’s best to avoid moving out if you and your spouse or significant other live together so that you can keep your home and family life as intact as possible during the child custody battle. In fact, if you have remained in the same residence, the judge will order one of the parties to vacate the marital residence, should they deem it appropriate for the situation.

Work Together with Your Spouse/Significant Other

It’s important to compromise and continue to work with your spouse and/or partner. Often, when a couple separates, they can allow their frustrations to come out in harsh and hostile ways, whether against each other or against their children. Remaining calm and civil is a good way to make sure your children feel supported while you are engaged in the child custody process. You can discuss any inappropriate or hostile behavior that your spouse displays with a Adams Law Firm lawyer, who can help you determine the most effective course of action.

Be Careful What You Post on Social Media

Five Tips to Win Custody of a Child in TexasIt’s important to make your children feel supported and safe, and part of this commitment is to be responsible with your social media use. Pictures that display your spending habits, alcohol consumption, and those with whom you spend your time can all be used against you in court. Make sure that, if anything, your social media accounts reflect the values that you have as a parent and the importance of your children in your own life. Speak to an Adams Law Firm attorney today if you have questions regarding what is appropriate behavior on social media.

Contact the Family Law Attorneys of Adams Law Firm

Because the legal process of seeking child custody can be so stressful, it’s important to feel supported. With a Katy child custody lawyer from Adams Law Firm, you can rest assured that your case is in the best hands. Adams Law Firm has been recognized by organizations like the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys and the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Texas. We are prepared to walk alongside you and your family as you navigate the changes that come with separation and divorce. Call us today to schedule a free confidential consultation.

Need Help? Give Us a Call Today

If you or someone you know is preparing a child custody case, you know how difficult a process it can be. The Katy child custody attorneys of Adams Law Firm are prepared to help. Our lawyers have handled many child custody cases, seeking to secure a favorable outcome for every client we take on.

If you’re ready to bring one of Texas’s best child custody attorneys onto your team, call Adams Law Firm today at (281) 391-9237. You can schedule an appointment for a confidential consultation, and we’ll make suggestions for your next best steps.

How Can Social Media Be Used Against Me in a Family Law Case?

How Can Social Media Be Used Against Me in a Family Law Case?Social media has become ubiquitous in our lives. We go to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok to share the day-to-day experiences in our lives with family and friends. Often, we also share our thoughts and feelings, whether we are happy, sad, angry, or excited.

Unfortunately, social media can also be used against you in a family law case. Even if you use private settings or delete old posts, your social media activity can still be evidence in a divorce, child custody battle, or other family-related legal matters. Furthermore, what you think is fun and innocent could get twisted and taken out of context to harm your case.

The attorneys at the Adams Law Firm know this and can help guide you on the most appropriate use of social media when you are engaged in a legal proceeding.

Examples of Social Media as Evidence in a Family Law Case

You may be quite used to turning to Facebook or Twitter to share a picture or post about everyday matters. But this could be used as evidence against you or otherwise harm your family law case. Let’s look at some examples.

  • Evidence of your financial status – Posts demonstrating lavish spending or lifestyle could jeopardize your case for spousal or child support. For example, if you claim to need spousal support, but post pictures of yourself at fancy restaurants, with an expensive new purse, or going on a tropical vacation, your spouse could use that to demonstrate your claim is false or overstated.
  • Evidence of unfit parenting – If your social media posts show activity or a state of mind that is reckless or unstable, you could undermine your case for child custody or visitation rights. For example, posts that exhibit excessive drinking, promiscuous behavior, or violent or hopeless thoughts could be used as evidence to persuade the court that you are an unfit parent.
  • Evidence as grounds for divorce – Your social media posts could be used to demonstrate cruelty, adultery, or other grounds for divorce.

Social Media Can Turn a Family Law Case Ugly

How Can Social Media Be Used Against Me in a Family Law Case?Beyond serving as evidence, your social media activity could simply trigger your spouse into pursuing a less amicable divorce. For example, if you post negative or derogatory comments about your spouse, share pictures of yourself with a new love interest, or otherwise anger your spouse, you could find yourself in a contentious divorce proceeding as they seek vengeance against you.

During your family law case, think twice before you vent or boast on social media. When in doubt, a family lawyer can advise on how best to manage your social media activity during your case.

Tips for Managing Your Social Media Usage

Here are some tips for carefully managing your social media usage during your family law case:

  • Change your passwords – Even if you are not sure that your spouse knows your passwords, it is a good idea to change them anyway.
  • Update your settings – Make your profile is private and prevent anyone from tagging you in posts or pictures. Also, change your settings so that other users cannot place a post on your account without you first reviewing it.
  • Think before you post – Before you post anything, give yourself time to think. Ask yourself, “What would the judge in my case think if they read this?” When in doubt, err on the side of not posting anything, or talk with your lawyer, who can be a sounding board for you during these emotional proceedings.
  • Be aware of what others post about you – It may be helpful to ask friends and family to refrain from posting on your account or about you or your case during this time. Also, be wary of people who are not your friends posting pictures or videos of you on social media.
  • Do not delete your accounts or posts – This could be seen as an inference of guilt or destroying evidence. Furthermore, be honest with your attorney about any social media activity or posts in your past that you think could become problematic in your case. It is best if your lawyer can get ahead of these types of situations.

The Adams Law Firm Can Be Your Sounding Board

Social media, while a useful tool in many ways, can also be used against you in your family law case. It is wise to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can honestly advise you on appropriate social media behavior. The Adams Law Firm advises our clients about how to navigate the precarious world of social media. Before you post, contact our office today at (281) 391-9237 for a confidential consultation.

Can I Text My Child When They Are with My Ex?

Can I Text My Child When They Are with My Ex?After a separation, one of the things parents find most difficult is the reality of having to spend so much time away from their child. In many cases, one parent will have significantly less time with a child than their ex does. This can be challenging, especially if there is ill will between the two former partners. Your ex might be resentful of any communications you attempt to initiate during “their” time together, making what is already a difficult situation feel even worse.

Nevertheless, both parents and children have the right to maintain relationships with each other, even after a divorce. The kids’ health and needs must take precedence. An important part of that is the feeling that they are still connected to their parent, even when that parent is not physically present. Regular texting with your child can contribute positively to this sense of connection.

Texting Your Child Is Healthy

Although there are many reasons to feel that that excessive screen time can harm a child’s development, there is evidence that technology has its benefits as well. In fact, a 2019 study from the University of Kansas showed that frequent texting between a child and their non-residential parent helped keep the child resilient. These results held true whether the parents themselves were actively co-parenting or their relationship was less than harmonious.

Keeping it Positive

That being said, there are some things to keep in mind to make it more likely that your communications are contributing to your child’s life positively rather than negatively:

  • Respect your ex’s time with your kid – When you text your child, try to let it come from a place of wanting to connect with them, rather than attempting to pull them away from your ex. If you respect your ex’s time, it’ll be more likely that they will respect yours as well.
  • Don’t communicate with your ex through your child – If you have difficulty speaking to your former partner, it isn’t fair to put that burden on your child instead. Of the many reasons it’s important to establish clear lines of communication with your ex, one of the most important is that it is much healthier for your kid not to have to be a messenger.
  • Consider a texting schedule – For many children and parents, a communication routine can ease some of the emotional challenges of separation. For example, this might be an agreement always to send a “good morning” and “good night” text, in addition to wishing them good luck with any upcoming tests or sporting events. These consistent reminders may help children feel more confident that you are always there for them.
  • Let your child take the lead – Even if you do have a schedule, it’s possible that your child might not respond as often as you want them to. This can be difficult, especially at first, but in the end, it’s important that your child learns how to be comfortable away from each of their parents. Sometimes it might be easier for them to communicate less because they start missing you only when they speak to you. This might be what you want, but it might sometimes be too painful for them.

Texting is a great way of maintaining frequent contact with your absent child, but it does not replace the need for real-time communication by voice or video call, or in-person meetings. However, since these opportunities may not be as frequent as you or your child might like, texting regularly can help you both feel more connected in between those moments.

The Bottom Line

Can I Text My Child When They Are with My Ex?Even after a divorce, communication between a parent and a child is vital to the well-being of everyone involved. It is important that you and your ex are on the same page about your communications with your child. Just as you respect their time with your kid, they need to respect yours too. If you’re unsure about whether your former partner is being fair about the terms of your ability to text or speak to your child, the attorneys at Adams Law Firm can help. Call (281) 391-9237 and speak to someone who can give you advice about what is acceptable or not, and at what stage you should put your foot down.

Ultimately, every situation is unique. But since it’s so important for their well-being, finding a way of maintaining an open line of communication between you and your child should be a priority for everyone involved.

When Can a Child Choose Which Parent They Want to Live With in Texas?

When Can a Child Choose Which Parent They Want to Live With in Texas?In Texas, the way that child custody is handled is sometimes misunderstood when it comes to the child’s preference of where to live. Prior to 2010, a child at least 12 years of age had the option to submit a preference to the court in writing about which parent’s home they preferred as their primary residence. This has since changed, and the new statute follows a different process than before.

The new statute established in 2010 allows for a child age 12 or older to speak with the judge in person rather than submitting their preference in writing. Prior to this conversation, one or both of the parents must submit a request to the judge regarding the child’s desire to meet for this discussion. Once the request has been submitted for a child who is at least 12 years old, the interview is mandatory. The same request may also be submitted by a parent for a child under the age of 12, although this interview is not mandatory. Rather, the decision regarding whether the interview will be allowed is at the judge’s discretion.

During such an interview, the judge will ask questions regarding the child’s preference of where to live. In addition to discussing residency and primary conservatorship, the interview will likely also discuss other related topics such as visitation. This interview will be conducted in private in the judge’s chambers between just the judge and the child. Neither the parents nor their attorneys will be allowed to attend the interview. If the child is at least 12 years old and if one of the parents requests a transcript, then the interview will be documented in the record. For this purpose, a court reporter may attend the interview meeting to make a transcript of the conversation.

While the judge will take the interview discussions into account, the court is not obligated to grant the child’s wishes on these matters. Decisions regarding residency, primary conservatorship, and visitation are ultimately at the court’s discretion. The judge will certainly consider the child’s preferences. However, those preferences are just one part of what the court will consider in this matter.

The court will examine all the evidence in the case, which may include conversations with other related individuals, such as friends, teachers, neighbors, guidance counselors, and therapists. The evidence may also include the circumstances surrounding the divorce, details of each parent’s living situation, and consideration of whether the child’s wishes are in the child’s best interest.

When Can a Child Choose Which Parent They Want to Live With in Texas?The court will make its decision based on all these factors. The court’s charge is to act in the best interest of the child, whether or not this aligns with the child’s wishes and preferences for residency, primary conservatorship, and visitation.

Divorce proceedings and the associated stress and tension often put a significant strain on a child. This may be amplified in situations where one or both parents inappropriately attempt to sway the child’s decision. The judge will likely be able to recognize when this is taking place. Parental attempts to influence the child’s wishes may look as if the child has been coached by a parent prior to the interview.

Under this new statute, the judge is able to discern more readily whether any bribing or coercion seems to be involved. This is due to the nature of the process in which the judge is able to ask questions and listen to the child’s responses. This provides more context and deeper understanding compared to the prior, outdated process, which required only that the child submit their request in writing and did not allow for further examination.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, you need an experienced attorney to ensure the priorities of your family come first. This is an emotional and sensitive time, especially when children are involved. Our goal is to help you move past this challenging experience so you and your children can get back to your lives and establish a new normal that works for you.

Our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients navigate their divorce with a focus on their family’s priorities. Because we’re a small firm, we’re able to give you personalized attention, and we’ll be there for you. You can ask us any question, and we’ll find the answer. We’ve been helping people get through difficult divorces for more than three decades. We’re ready to help you, too.

Call us today at (281) 391-9237 to speak with an Adams Law Firm attorney about your options.


How Are IRAs Divided in Texas?

How Are IRAs Divided in Texas?In Texas, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are considered to be community property. This means that the property is communal and owned equally by both partners in the marriage. There are exceptions, such as a portion of the account that was established by one spouse prior to the beginning of the marriage.

Since Texas is a community property state, this determines the way that assets are divided in a divorce. Both partners in the marriage legally own the shared assets together, regardless of which spouse’s income funded the assets. This applies to IRAs as well. There are several types of IRAs, including a Roth IRA, a SEP IRA, a SIMPLE IRA, or a traditional IRA. These types vary in their stipulations and requirements, and they may offer tax-free or tax-deferred contributions and growth.

In Texas, the portion of an IRA that is considered community property is the amount that was added to the IRA during the marriage. These additions may be the result of direct monetary contributions or the result of growth in the form of interest. Since an IRA may not be jointly held, one spouse is the owner of the account. Even if the other spouse does not have their own retirement account, that spouse is still legally entitled to the IRA of the other spouse since it is considered community property.

However, this is not true of the portion of the IRA for which the contributions were made before the marriage began. This part of the IRA would be considered separate property, owned only by the originating spouse. The spouse who is claiming a portion of the IRA as separate property must prove to the court that they are legally the sole owner of that portion of the account. The interest that the IRA accrued during the marriage would likely be community property. Any interest that accrued prior to the marriage would be the separate property of the originating spouse.

Community property may be divided by an agreement between the two spouses. If they are able to agree, the court will likely accept their agreement for the division of property. In the event that the two partners are unable to reach an agreement, the court will divide the assets in a manner that is just and fair. This does not necessarily mean that the division will be a 50/50 split of each individual asset. For example, rather than liquidating an IRA to then divide the resulting cash, one spouse may be awarded the full retirement account. If that occurs, the other spouse would likely receive other assets that have a comparable value.

In the event that an IRA would be divided or liquidated as part of the divorce, an order must be explicitly included in the divorce decree or settlement agreement to that effect. The order would state specifically how the IRA would be divided and would include details, such as names and amounts. When this information is included in the divorce decree or settlement agreement, the original account holder will avoid a taxable distribution in which they may be subject to penalties for early withdrawal.

A consideration, in this case, would be the liquidity of the investments in the IRA. If these investments are not easily sold, then the effective value of the IRA may be less than the amount of the retirement account appraisal.

How Are IRAs Divided in Texas?If you are going through a divorce, you need a strong legal team to take care of the details and make sure that you get to keep what is legally yours. If your marriage involves retirement accounts of any kind, you may be entitled to a portion of the balance, whether or not the account is in your name.

Call the Adams Law Firm today at (281) 391-9237 to discuss your case with one of our divorce attorneys. We know that this is an emotional and draining time, and we are here to support you and make your life easier. Our firm’s values mean that we treat each person who comes to us for help with compassion and individualized attention. All situations are different, and if you weren’t going through a difficult time, you likely wouldn’t need us. We can help you successfully navigate your divorce and preserve the assets that are rightfully yours. We will fight for you so you can leave this emotional experience behind and get back to living the life you deserve.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, call (281) 391-9237 today to speak with one of our divorce attorneys about your case. We’re here for you.

Welcome to the Blog for Adams Law Firm

Are you facing a family law concern? We understand that this time in your life can be filled with emotion and we aim to provide your clients with valuable representation and peace of mind. Any family law case can be highly stressful and the individuals involved often feel consumed with grief and anxiety. At the Adams Law Firm, our attorneys stand ready to provide you with outstanding legal representation for your case and help you reach an amicable solution in a swift amount of time. Recently, our firm proudly announced the launch of our new user-friendly site and this corresponding blog. This blog will be updated periodically to help provide valuable information to the residents and families of Katy, Texas. Check back soon for updates or contact the Adams Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and see how working with our team can greatly benefit your case. You deserve representation and our dedicated team can help!

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Our firm has garnered this top peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell® due to a reputation for meeting the highest standards in ethics and legal excellence.