Texas residents may be interested in how the state's courts divide assets during a divorce. When two people get married, they form a community estate. The assets they accumulate during marriage are part of the community estate. Assets that were owned separately prior to marriage are not part of the community estate. Texas is considered a community property state, which means all assets are considered to be part of the community estate unless a spouse can prove that the asset should be classified as separate.
The rise in divorce rates in Texas and elsewhere has resulted in an increase in single parent households. Many of these are run by single moms, but there has been a fairly rapid rise in the number of households led by single dads as well. A recent Pew Research Center study found that in 1960, there were an estimated 300,000 households with minor children headed by single fathers, with the number growing to 2.6 million by 2011.
Texas courts consider the best interests of the child as the highest goal when deciding custody cases. However, these interests can be difficult to determine when a custodial parent, whether for economic or personal reasons, decides to relocate. This can drastically affect the involvement that the other parent has in the life of the children, and it often falls to the court to determine whether the child can stay or go.
Texas audiences who enjoyed John Cleese's "The Alimony Tour" may not be too surprised that the title of the show was based on real circumstances from his life. After he and his psychotherapist wife entered into a divorce settlement, the comedian of the one-man show has had to tour to make enough money to pay his hefty alimony payments.
If some family law advocates have their way, divorcing parents in Texas and around the country may serve as legally equal partners in the raising of their children. The idea of shared child custody, not just on paper but also in terms of responsibilities and parenting time, seems to be gaining ground. Some feel this is a reflection of the changes in gender roles over the past few decades, creating a situation in which many noncustodial parents chafe at the limited roles allowed them by the courts.
Texas fans of reality TV may remember the show "Jon & Kate Plus 8," in which father Jon Gosselin and mother Kate dealt with not only a set of twins but sextuplets as well. The show has been off the air for years, and even though Jon and Kate divorced long ago, a new child custody wrinkle recently appeared in their story. Jon said during a magazine interview that he was ready to sue Kate for custody of their sextuplets, now nine years of age.
The disbursement of community property at the end of a marriage can be complex. Stock options can be an important part of a divorce settlement. This type of option allows an employee to purchase company stock at a specific price for up to 10 years after a preset waiting period. The stock can then be sold at market value, which may exceed the original purchase price and result in significant net gain.
Divorced people in Texas who are involved in child custody disputes with their former spouses may be aware that child custody agreements are enforceable across state lines. They may not be aware that child custody orders are enforceable internationally. A woman discovered this when she took her children from California to Europe. Her children were reunited with their respective fathers after having been separated from them for 18 months.
Residents of Texas interested in divorce cases, or perhaps undergoing one of their own, may be interested in learn that a judge in Nashville has finalized the divorce between British singer Karen Elson and Jack White. The couple filed for divorce in Tennessee in 2012 after marrying there in 2005. They have two children together, of whom Karen Elson has been granted primary custody. Jack White will have custody of his children 150 days a year.
Texas couples who are preparing to end their marriage may wonder what information they could use to help simplify the process. People often have so many concerns and questions that it can be overwhelming. Having some basic information about divorce early on can help, so it is important to know what types of questions to ask at the beginning.