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Posts tagged "Family Law"

Morality Clause...to date or not to date, that is the question.

In Texas, a morality clause is a provision in a court order that states that neither parent can have a romantic partner stay the night while the children are present. The purpose of a morality clause is to prevent parents from exposing the children to several new dating partners. If there is a morality clause in your court order, your options are: get married, risk losing your kids if you violate the morality clause, or during the other parent's possession of the children, stay the night with your partner assuring that the children are not present.

TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR CHILDREN IN A DIVORCE

There is often a question who will have the tax deductions for the children following a divorce of parents. The short answer is the parent who has the child or children the majority of the time, that being more than 50 percent of the time. However, the parties may agree to divide the deductions as a means of settling their marital estate and in doing so the Internal Revenue Service requires that a form be completed. That form is Form 8332. That form may be obtained at WWW.IRS.GOV. If the Final Decree of Divorce is silent as to who can claim the children then the parent who has the children the majority of the time is recognized as the proper party by the Internal Revenue Service. There are certain instances where it is favorable for a party to negotiate away their right to claim the children as deductions. One example would be where a stay-at-home parent has no income and therefore could not use the deduction, while the other parent may be a high income earner and would benefit by the deduction reducing their total taxable income. In any event, a rough calculation as to the value of the tax deductions should be done before you give away this valuable asset. 

Waiving Service in Divorce Cases

In a suit for divorce, the spouse who filed the petition for divorce must serve a copy of the lawsuit to the other spouse. The spouse being sued for divorce can agree to waive service by signing a waiver. If both spouses want to get divorced and are on decent terms, agreeing to waive service can have certain benefits.

Mediation

In today's litigation climate virtually every court will require the parties to attend mediation. Mediation is useful both in terms of settling a claim as well as discovering weaknesses in your claim as well as weaknesses and/or strengths in the opposing party's claims against you. There are numerous strategies on how to handle mediation and proper preparation for a mediation puts you in the best position for a favorable outcome. Many people put a bottom line resolution into their plan prior to entering mediation. This sometimes works but as often as not if you (or your attorney) are a creative out-of-the-box thinker you can craft a solution to offer to the other side that will allow the case to be resolved favorably to you.