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Author Archives: Thad Whisenant

Prenuptial Agreements: What are They and Do You Need One?

Prenuptial agreements are just what the name implies: They are contractual agreements that are entered into between prospective spouses prior to the date of their marriage. These contractual agreements can serve several purposes. The agreement can document the assets and debts of the respective parties that they are bringing into the marriage. The agreement can… Read More »

Board Certified Family Law Attorney: What is it and Why is it Important?

“…Board Certification means [that] an attorney has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law, as well as demonstrated, and tested, special competence in that area of law.” www.tbls.org There are currently twenty-one (21) areas within which an attorney may become board certified. Board certifications are governed by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization…. Read More »

May I withhold visitation because my spouse does not pay child support?

No. Not ever. If you withhold visitation because a spouse does not pay his or her child support, you are taking the law into your own hands and may be held in contempt of court.

May I stop paying child support because my spouse does not give me my visitation and access?

No. Not ever. For the same reasons as in question one above, if you withhold child support because a spouse does not allow you to exercise your visitation, you are taking the law into your own hands and may be held in contempt of court.

What are the mechanics of an action for divorce?

An action for dissolution of marriage, or a divorce, is a lawsuit brought by one spouse against the other. It starts by filing an Original Petition for Divorce. A petition is nothing more than a letter drafted and couched in legal terms written to the court telling the court what that person wants. A petition… Read More »

Does it matter who brings the divorce action?

The person who brings the case first gets to talk first. Some lawyers swear that there is an advantage to being first. Others say it does not really matter. There is no negative connotation attributable to the spouse who brings the action or to the person who responds to the action. However, as one lawyer… Read More »

What percentage of cases are settled versus tried to the court?

Nearly all cases are settled out of court. It is the policy of the state of Texas that parties try and resolve their conflicts without court intervention. The problem with settlement is that it usually takes significant legal action to bring the parties to a mutually agreeable resolution. It is like two boys in the… Read More »

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative law is a solution-oriented alternative to traditional divorce. Instead of focusing on getting the largest financial reward no matter the human or financial cost, the parties try to find win-win solutions that meet the needs of both sides. All participants agree to work together respectfully, honestly and in good faith. No one may go… Read More »

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce, also known as an agreed divorce, means that the parties resolve all issues between them without significant court or lawyer participation. The lawyer’s role in this type of case is limited to filing the petition and drafting a final decree of divorce. In the most basic of divorces (no property and no… Read More »

If the case is settled out of court, must I still go before a judge?

Yes. Only a judge can grant a divorce. Once all the documents are in order, one of the parties signs off on the divorce decree and the other party goes before the judge to prove up the divorce. The lawyer asks you a number of questions, which mostly require only a yes or no answer…. Read More »