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5 advantages of trusts in estate planning

One of the most common estate planning tools that Texas families use in their estate plans is a trust. There are many types and varieties of trusts to choose from depending on your circumstances and needs.

These include pet trusts, spendthrift trusts, living trusts, irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts and more.

Is it time to get a divorce when marriage lacks intimacy?

Marriage and romantic relationships are all about intimacy. However, when it comes to degrees of intimacy, marriage reigns supreme. We live and sleep with our spouses share intimate moments and raise children with them.

We even merge our lives with our spouses' families. Interestingly enough, however, even though we share all these things during marriage, it's still possible to lose a sense of intimacy in the relationship. When this happens, the lack of intimacy could result in divorce.

How supervised visitation can benefit both parents and the child

Imagine you made some mistakes in your past, and you're also a parent. You know that your child needs to see you, but the court and the other parent of your child believe you pose a threat to your child's safety. This is probably not true if you're concerned about spending time with your child, but whatever the judge decides is the law.

If you're troubled by the looming possibility that a family law judge could strip you of your parental rights, you might be able to request supervised visitation from the court.

What is sole child custody?

When you have sole custody of your children, you will have complete authority and responsibility over their lives and they will also live with you full time. In many cases, an unmarried mother who gives birth to a child will automatically have sole custody of her child, but the biological father may be able to pursue the right to spend time with the child via a court-approved visitation schedule. In other cases, one of the parents may acquire sole custody if the other parent is deemed to be unfit for a variety of reasons, or if the other parent abandons the child.

When seeking sole custody, a parent will want to acquire full child custody in terms of both types of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives. Some parents split physical custody 50-50. For example, the child may live with one parent during the first and third week of the month and live with the other parent during the second and fourth week of the month. On the other hand, if a parent has full physical custody, then the child will only have one home with that particular parent.

What can fathers do when mothers refuse to agree on paternity?

Not all mothers are willing to let the biological fathers of their children play a role in their children's lives. These mothers may have their reasons for separating the children from their biological fathers, and certain fathers may be OK with that. However, when it comes to fathers who want to be fathers – and want to play a role in the lives of their children – a family court judge may view the issue from a more father-friendly perspective if the father can prove that he's the dad.

Fortunately, the process required to prove paternity is straightforward in the modern era of blood and genetic testing. Also, in some cases, a father may also be able to get the mother to agree on paternity.

Do women automatically have better chances of getting custody?

As a father, one thing you're likely worried about is a mother's right to custody over your own. You know that in the past, people often thought that women were better caretakers than men. As a result, there was an unintentional bias in the courts that saw many children going with their mothers despite having fathers who were equally invested in their futures.

Today, the reality is that no parent has an edge over the other when a case starts. Your gender does not make a difference, but the role you play in your child's life does. Here are a few things that could make it harder for men to obtain custody, so you can think of ways to respond to any concerns from the courts.

Joint custody has real benefits that you should consider

Although having joint custody does mean that you'll share time with your child with your ex-spouse and have to go some days without seeing your child at all, it's truly in a child's best interests in most cases. As a newly single parent, you should know that there are benefits to you, too.

While you may not realize it, the benefits of shared custody are huge. They include requiring both parents to take an active role in the child's life, getting you into a routine and even giving you more time to date or do the things you enjoy without having to worry about child care.

Why should you choose to adopt?

Choosing adoption can help you bring home a child you want to have in your life as well as help that child live in a protective, healthy environment. Adoption isn't for everyone, but if you think it's for you, these are a few reasons you should consider going through with the adoption.

To start with, the need for adoption in the United States isn't decreasing. With over 100,000 children waiting for families in the country, there simply aren't enough families applying to adopt. As someone with the goal of a larger family and to have a child of your own, you may question if you'll love a child who isn't your biological child as much as you would your own. Forget about that fear; you can love any child as much as you'd love your own. The great thing about love is that there is no limit to how much you can have for a single person or multiple people.

Protecting time with your child after divorce

Once the dust settles from divorce, most people hope to move on productively with their lives and make the most of their circumstances, especially if there are children involved. However, for many parents who share custody or visitation privileges with their former spouse, the dust never seems to settle, especially when it comes to time spent time with their children.

Child custody issues can produce some of the most destructive long-term conflicts that most parents may ever encounter. As such, they typically receive special attention to keep bad behavior out of the picture as much as possible. Some parents simply cannot seem to play fair when it comes to their children, at least not without clear outlines of what is and is not acceptable.

Divorce: Questions to ask

Before you get a divorce, it's a good idea to consider a few questions. Not asking yourself these questions could end up hurting you as well as leading you to making mistakes. By asking these questions, you can be sure you are moving in the right direction for your life.

To start with, you should ask yourself if you've really sat down and explained your concerns with your spouse. Your partner may not realize how seriously you've been considering a divorce and could be willing to work with you to avoid one. With research indicating that only around 35 percent of what is said to someone is really heard, it's very important to make sure you spend time explaining your feelings in a calm way. Be clear, so you both understand what's happening.

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