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Collin County Divorce LawyerUnfortunately, there are many people who seek out the legal assistance of a divorce attorney who share they had no idea their spouse wanted a divorce until they got served with the divorce petition. Although there are marriages where divorce seems to come out of nowhere, there are usually some indicators that the person did not realize were actually signs that their spouse was planning their exit strategy from the marriage. Although these signs may not always mean a spouse is planning on leaving, they may be warnings that something is going on and you should consider seeking out legal advice to ensure your best interests are protected.

No Deposits in Joint Financial Accounts

In the majority of marriages, spouses have joint financial accounts that they use to pay household bills and other expenses. If your spouse suddenly stops depositing their pay into the joint account, that could be a red flag that they are making plans to file for divorce. Opening up an individual account is one of the first things that a divorce lawyer may suggest to a client that is planning on ending their marriage.

Unexplained Withdrawals from Joint Financial Accounts

Conversely, if your spouse is making unexplained withdrawals from your joint accounts, that could be another sign that they are planning a divorce. It could be a sign of asset dissipation, where the spouse is trying to spend as much of the marital assets before the divorce, they could be spending the funds in an affair, they could be hiding the funds, or they could be paying a divorce attorney with them.


Frisco, TX property division lawyerMany people have heard horror stories about divorcing spouses who are left with virtually nothing after the split. Their spouse took the house, the car, and even the dog in the divorce. While most divorce cases are not nearly as dramatic as these exaggerated stories would lead one to believe, protecting property rights is a crucial element of any divorce case.

If you are getting divorced, it is important to understand and assert your rights with regard to household items, real estate, retirement accounts, cash, and other property.

Negotiated Settlement vs. a Divorce Trial

Texas courts will generally uphold any agreements or settlements that spouses reach with regard to the division of property in a divorce. You and your spouse have the right to divide your community property however you see fit. In an amicable divorce case, the spouses may be able to sit down and discuss a fair division of assets without the court’s involvement. Even if the split is amicable and cooperative, it is best to get legal advice from an attorney regarding property division during divorce. There may be tax-related consequences and other legal factors spouses have not thought about that can heavily influence the decision.


Frisco, TX divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to divorce, they must divide their property between them. As one might expect, each spouse brings property into the marriage, but community property is also acquired throughout their relationship. Some couples are exceedingly careful about segregating their respective personal property, while others pay little attention to the matter until divorce becomes a possibility. If you are in a position where your personal property has become commingled, or “mixed in”, with your spouse’s, consulting an experienced divorce lawyer may be the best option for you.

What Is Commingling?

Commingling occurs when two individuals’ separate property becomes intertwined or mixed. The best example of this is an individual depositing individually-owned funds—money he or she made before the marriage or received as an inheritance during the marriage—into a joint marital checking account. Doing so, in most cases, causes the deposited funds to lose their identity as separate property.

It is important to understand that in equitable distribution states such as Illinois, personal property that is commingled becomes marital property. This process is referred to by statute as transmutation of property. It is very difficult to keep private property separate when willfully commingled, and indeed, the court presumes that your intent is to commingle your property if you do so.


Making Uncontested Divorce Work for You

Posted on in Divorce

Collin County, TX uncontested divorce lawyerThere is little question that divorce can be a messy, often traumatic process. Unresolved anger and fear of an uncertain future can lead to a long, drawn-out proceeding that costs both spouses significant time, money, and energy. In many cases, a bitter, contentious divorce can destroy what was once a loving relationship, making it nearly impossible for the parties to even be in the same room for years into the future.

Your divorce, however, does not need to be this way. In fact, with a little work and the right attitude, you might find that an uncontested divorce will provide an opportunity to move forward with your lives more quickly and at much less expense.

Amicable or Uncontested Divorce

Sometimes referred to as an amicable divorce, an uncontested divorce is one that does not require the court to get involved in settling differences or ruling on issues between the spouses. Instead, the couple is able to reach a workable agreement regarding all of the necessary considerations, including:


The Dangers of Parental Alienation

Posted on in Divorce

Frisco, TX family lawyerDivorce is a painful process for the families who go through it. Children can especially be affected, as their entire world is changing. During or after a divorce, it is difficult for many to hold their tongues regarding their ex-spouses, and a parent may be tempted to make a snide remark about their former partner. Such emotions are understandable and even tolerable, to a small extent, but in extreme cases, a vindictive parent directly attempts to alienate a child from the other parent. This is called parental alienation, and it can create serious problems for both the child and the offending parent.

Parental alienation often includes manipulative or destructive behavior on the part of the adult and is meant to weaken or break the relationship between the child and his or her other parent. A father telling his children lies about the mother so that they will prefer staying at his house would be an example of parental alienation. It could also involve a mother who refuses to let her children see their father by falsely claiming he does not want to be a part of their lives. When a parent tries to change a child’s perception of the other parent in an unethical way, parental alienation is occurring. This manipulative behavior is also sometimes referred to as “aggressive hostile parenting,” and it is seen by many experts as a form of emotional abuse.

Consequences of Parental Alienation

These behaviors can be harmful and confusing to a child. Parental alienation not only damages the relationship between child and parent but can also be mentally and emotionally damaging to the child involved. When a child is convinced that one of their parents is unfit or no longer loves them, it may devastate him or her, and he or she often blames him- or herself. The Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) says that this can “rob the child of their sense of security and safety leading to maladaptive emotional or psychiatric reactions.” Children who are victims of this devious behavior can suffer severe emotional trauma that has long-lasting effects on their lives.

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