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Why divorced parents should consider an alcohol monitoring system

If you're a divorcing parent who has had issues with alcohol, those issues are likely to factor into your custody and visitation agreement. Even if you've moderated your drinking or stopped completely, your co-parent may still be concerned for the safety and well-being of your kids if they're alone in your care.

Sometimes a court will recommend or even require that a parent with a history of alcohol abuse use an alcohol monitoring system if they want unsupervised access to their children. Other times, an attorney will recommend one of these systems as a way for a parent to be able to see their children more frequently.

Protecting your children's trusts from divorce

Texans often work with their estate planning attorneys to structure trusts so that they can pass on family assets to their children. However, if those children and their spouses divorce, they often don't want the spouse to get a portion of those assets in the settlement. They want the money to stay in the family -- not to be split with a spouse who has gone their own way.

Generally, a trust established before a marriage will not be a considered a marital asset to be divided in a divorce. However, assets intended to remain one spouse's only often become commingled with marital assets during the marriage. When this happens, spouses can attempt to keep some of them when the marriage ends.

A child support modification may be possible

When you first find that you're responsible for paying child support, you may have some concerns about your ability to stay current. However, once you settle in, you can work this into your budget and be proud of the fact that you're doing something to help better the life of your children.

As time goes by, your financial situation may change. For example, if you lose your job, your budget will be turned upside down. This may lead you to learn more about requesting a child support modification.

Using your estate plan to direct your end-of-life care

Here in Texas, as in the vast majority of states, it's illegal for anyone, including doctors, to help a person take their own life -- even if there's no hope of recovery, they're in considerable pain and the end is imminent. Whether it's called euthanasia, assisted suicide or mercy killing, Texas law prohibits "any act or omission other than to allow the natural process of dying."

However, that "natural process of dying" can be helped along by the removal of life support measures. Those can include anything from breathing apparatuses to intravenous feeding tubes. Doctors can end any kind of artificial measures that are being used to keep a person alive. However, they must have permission from the patient or a person authorized to make that decision.

What you should know if your child is flying alone

If you or your co-parent has recently moved some distance away, you may be facing the prospect of putting your child on an airplane by themselves for the first time to visit their mom or dad over the holidays. That can be frightening.

However, if you do a little research in advance and prepare your child (and yourself), you'll have greater peace of mind and minimize the chances that something will go awry.

How does a divorce mediator facilitate your settlement?

If you've decided to get a divorce, you might want to consider using a professional divorce mediator. A mediator can help you and your spouse come to agreement on the numerous issues your divorce needs to address such as: asset division, child custody, spousal support and more.

Due to the costs and stresses related to litigating a divorce in court, most family law attorneys will recommend that couples try to achieve a peaceful, out-of-court divorce settlement, and mediation can help achieve this, but how? How does a mediator help couples in this regard?

Can noncustodial parents increase their visitation time?

If you're like most noncustodial parents, you probably want to spend more time with your kids. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to do this, and the other parent of your child will – in most circumstances – be on board with the idea. Here are some simple ways to spend more time with your kids without making changes to your child custody agreement:

Take lunch to your kids at school

Coparenting strategies for 6- to 12-year-olds

If you're a recently divorced parent who has a 6- to 12-year-old child, you'll want to consider the unique developmental needs of a child this age while negotiating a suitable parenting plan arrangement with the other parent. These considerations will not only help you meet the unique needs of your child. They will also show the Texas family law court, that will approve your parenting plan, that you're keeping the best interests of your child in mind.

For children between the ages of 6 and 12, here are some parenting plan considerations:

How Texas fathers can increase their chances for 50-50 custody

The modern trend in divorce and child custody involves the parents sharing their children equally. In other words, Parent A will have the children half the time and Parent B will have the children the other half of the time. These arrangements are now more common than ever, but that doesn't mean it's guaranteed. Parents who want to have 50-50 child custody -- especially fathers -- should take some proactive measures to increase their chances of receiving a joint custody ruling.

Here's what fathers can do to help their child custody cases:

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