Can I Renegotiate My Divorce After It’s Final?

If your divorce is final and you wish to renegotiate the terms, you may be able to do so. Divorce is a very difficult process. It can be mentally and emotionally draining. In most cases, people simply want to get the process over with and get on with their lives. However, there are cases when a judge can make adjustments when needed. If you live in the state of Texas, an attorney like Bob Thornton can help.

However, generally speaking, the only way a change can happen is if there is a change in material circumstances. For example, if one person has a change in earnings, that can be a reason for renegotiation. If the change is significant, it could affect the amount of child support or spousal support that has to be paid. There are instances where small adjustments can be made. In some cases, custody can be changed if one parent’s circumstances change, for example if they move out of state.

Other reasons where changes may be made include one party’s non-compliance with a court order. For example, if a parent doesn’t keep up with child support payments, they could be hauled back into court. If the non-custodial parent can’t handle the payments, the terms can be renegotiated. However, if it is found that the parent isn’t paying for other reasons such as spite, they will be called back into court and the support payments could be raised.

One of the most common reasons that a divorce settlement is renegotiated is due to hidden assets. Spouses far too often attempt to hide assets. This is not a good idea. In fact, this can get you into a great deal of trouble. If you are going through a divorce, you are required by law to disclose to the court all of the material assets you accumulated during the marriage. In most states, everything accumulated during the marriage is considered community property and it must be divided in an equitable manner.

There are some spouses who, for whatever reasons, decide they aren’t going to let the court know about certain properties, bank accounts and other items. What many spouses who attempt to hide assets don’t know is, a forensic accountant can easily find these assets, even if you put them in another name.

If you have gone through a divorce proceeding and later find out certain information that could change the agreement, find a lawyer who can get you the settlement you deserve. Bob Thornton is a compassionate family lawyer with 40 years experience handling these cases. Contact him today for a free consultation.

For more information on our Dallas Divorce Attorney please visit our site.

What is the Protection Against Family Violence Act?

The Protection Against Family Violence Act, or PAFVA, is designed to provide protection for all family members against violence. There are several legal options available to victims through the act, including getting a restraining order. For victims of domestic violence, it is important to understand what the act is and what steps should be taken to receive protection.

Who Is Protected Under the Act?

There are several misconceptions about who is protected under the PAFVA. One of the most commonly believed misconceptions is that only women who are married are protected under the law. However, the law covers both men and women who are related by marriage, blood, and adoption. The victims do not have to reside with the abuser to receive protection. Children are also covered by the PAFVA.

The act also covers people who are subjected to a legal guardianship. For instance, an elderly parent who is being cared for by an adult child who is abusive would be protected by the same law.

What Protection Does the Act Offer?

One of the primary protections that the act offers is a temporary protective order. In Texas, the order would restrict contact by the abuser for 31 to 91 days. If the abuser violates the order, the judge could issue a warrant for their arrest.

The order is usually issued by a local judge when there is an incident that results in the abuser being arrested. Even if the abuser is not convicted, the order stays in place until an expiration date determined by the judge.

The act also allows punishment for abuse. For instance, a convicted abuser could face up to 99 years in prison for a first-degree felony related to family violence. A fine of up to $10,000 could also be assessed.

Can a Permanent Restraining Order Be Issued?

In Texas, a final protective order is sometimes issued in domestic violence cases. The final order can last up to two years. However, there are exceptions that could lead to an extension of the order.

For instance, a judge could choose to extend the order if the victim suffered serious bodily injury. The order could also be extended if the accused abuser has had two or more orders issued against them in the past.

Although the permanent order does not expire until the date ordered by the judge, the abuser can request an early dismissal. If they do, the judge will hold a hearing to determine if the order should be continued. If the order is dismissed, the victim has the right to request a new one.

In addition to the PAFVA, there are other domestic violence laws that are available that can help protect victims. Consult with an experienced family attorney to learn more about those laws and to determine which legal options are best for your situation. Contact Thornton Law today to request a free consultation.

For more information on our Dallas Family Violence Attorney please visit our site.

What Is the Cap on Spouse Maintenance in Texas?

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is often a point of contention in divorces. Although both sides can negotiate the amount that is paid to the recipient, a cap or limitation set by the state’s laws will decide the most a person can receive. Your divorce attorney will discuss the cap with you, but it is a good idea to understand the cap amount and what factors influence the amount that is owed to a recipient before starting the divorce process.

What Is the Cap Amount?

In the state of Texas, the cap on spousal maintenance is stated in the family code statutes. According to the statute, the obligor cannot pay more than $5,000 per month or 20 percent of the obligor’s monthly income. Whichever amount is the lesser of the two is the amount that will be ordered. The judge could choose to place a limit on how long the obligor must pay spousal maintenance. For instance, the judge could end the payments after the recipient completes their college education and gets a job. The end date for the alimony will also be included in the order.

The act also covers people who are subjected to a legal guardianship. For instance, an elderly parent who is being cared for by an adult child who is abusive would be protected by the same law.

What Protection Does the Act Offer?

One of the primary protections that the act offers is a temporary protective order. In Texas, the order would restrict contact by the abuser for 31 to 91 days. If the abuser violates the order, the judge could issue a warrant for their arrest.

The order is usually issued by a local judge when there is an incident that results in the abuser being arrested. Even if the abuser is not convicted, the order stays in place until an expiration date determined by the judge.

What Determines the Amount Paid?

Whether a recipient is entitled to receive $5,000 per month or less depends on certain factors. For instance, how long a couple was married has a major bearing on the amount that is ultimately awarded by the judge. The longer a couple was married, the more the recipient can expect to receive.

Another factor that can influence how much is paid is whether the obligor is also responsible for paying child support. The judge will consider if the spousal maintenance payment will have an impact on whether the obligor can afford to make their child support payments. If it does, the judge could choose to reduce the alimony payments to avoid interference with the obligor’s other financial obligation.

Whether paying alimony has an impact on the obligor’s ability to take care of their own needs is important, too. If the obligor can prove that they cannot afford a higher amount of spousal maintenance, a judge could agree to lower the amount requested by the recipient. In this instance, only basic needs, such as utilities and mortgage, are considered.

Negotiating spousal maintenance is complicated and it takes an extensive knowledge of Texas family law to successfully manage it. Working with an experienced attorney like Robert Allen Thornton can help an alimony recipient or obligor get through the process.

For more information on our Dallas Spousal Maintenance Attorney please visit our site.

How a Family Lawyer can help you

The family courts in Dallas, Texas handle a variety of cases and, while these aren’t criminal cases, the stakes can be just as high. Where one’s freedom may be at stake in criminal cases, many situations handled in the family courts can put your possessions, property, finances, and even your relationship with your children in jeopardy. These situations require expert legal assistance and an experienced family law attorney can provide a whole host of advantages.

Assessing the End of Your Marriage

An experienced family lawyer can help you look at how your divorce would best be handled. In some cases, it may be possible to mediate the division of property, the establishment of support, and child custody arrangements. When these issues can be settled amicably through mediation, the divorcing couple can often avoid court altogether. If the couple can’t agree and it is necessary to settle these matters in course, your lawyer will already be up to speed and can help you devise a strong strategy. As an objective party, an attorney can give you rational advice on how to handle your divorce. This may mean avoiding confrontational situations that will only harm your case or knowing how to protect specific assets. You will have an emotional bond to the issues at hand, so it’s wise to have a logical and rational advisor on your side.

Handling the Clerical Duties of Family Court

Whether you’re pursuing a divorce or trying to change the custody arrangements for your children, there’s a great deal of paperwork and bureaucracy involved. An error in filing paperwork or failing to provide specific documentation can end up hurting your case, so it’s best to work with an experienced professional. Your family law attorney will know how to handle the practical end of filing your case and may even know how to expedite your case. Additionally, your lawyer already knows the judges and other attorneys involved in the system, so communicating will be easier throughout the process. He will likely be familiar with your ex-spouse’s attorney and will best know how to communicate with them more effectively. This may work to your advantage and may also help the overall process run more smoothly.

The Complexities of Child Custody

One major concern in the family court system is for the custody and the financial support of the children in the marriage. Custody itself is a complicated issue, because there are many types of custody and only an experienced attorney will know how to achieve the best possible arrangement. The judge may grant sole custody to one parent, order both parents to share partial custody of the children, or may grant one parent nothing more than visitation rights. Also, the parent who gets granted physical custody may not be granted sole legal custody. Physical custody merely determines the living conditions for the children, while legal custody grants the rights of one or both parents to make decisions about a child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing, etc. While the objective for the court is to keep the family as connected as possible, the primary concern is always for the children. Your attorney will be able to show that helping you maintain a relationship with your children will be in their best interests. These are just a few of the benefits that working with an experienced family law attorney can provide.

If you’re anticipating a divorce or need to petition the court to address other issues, such as child custody or child support, contact Robert Thornton. Thornton Law can provide the services you need to help you achieve the best possible results in your case. An initial consultation will help you understand the merits of your case and give you better insight into how you should proceed.

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How does Divorce Mediation Work?

There was a time not that long ago when the parties to a divorce were all but inevitably destined to spend a significant amount of money on lawyers if they wanted a reasonable outcome to their marital dissolution. Now, however, an experienced Dallas divorce attorney can offer an alternative that for many has the potential for an acceptable resolution for both parties at a fraction of the cost.

Mediation Overview

Unlike the judge in a court case or the arbitrator conducting an arbitration, a mediator does not make a ruling in the matter at hand. It is more appropriate to consider the mediator as a facilitator. They will lead the discussion, point out any subjects that should be addressed and provide a framework whereby the respective parties can have their say, express their concerns and ultimately work towards an agreement.

Divorce Mediation

Mediation has gained an increasing popularity as an effective settlement tool in Texas Family Courts. Although mandated in some counties, the court on its own motion can order a couple to seek mediation as an initial step in their divorce. The very same issues the court will ultimately rule on in a divorce are addressed in mediation – property settlement, child custody and support, and spousal support where appropriate. For a list of court approved mediators in Dallas County, click here.

The Value of Mediation

Other than the very real expectation that on average a mediated divorce is far less costly than a litigated divorce, other benefits include:

A high success rate, especially if the two parties are open to discussion and realize that compromise is not optional.
Greater satisfaction with the result as compared to a court settlement, perhaps due to their input and involvement in the process.
Confidential as opposed to a courtroom proceeding, which is public.
Often establishes the lines of communication between the divorcing spouses, which can be an asset in providing long term satisfaction and cooperation.

The Role of an Attorney in Divorce Mediation

Many times an attorney can act as a mediator. Obviously not providing advocacy to either party, an attorney trained as a mediator can offer insight into the legal issues as well as provide perspective in what is likely to happen if the case ends up before a judge. Often, despite opting for mediation, the parties elect to have their attorneys present at the mediation to offer advice and counsel along the way. At the very least, it is wise to have your attorney review any agreement made in mediation before it is finalized.

Contact an Dallas Divorce Attorney for Legal Advice

Divorce involves important rights and responsibilities. Make sure you are protected as you move forward to the next chapter of your life. Contact Robert Thornton at Thornton Law, PLLC to answer your questions. You can start by scheduling a initial consultation.

For more information on our Dallas Divorce Mediation Attorney please visit our site.

What Are Temporary Orders In Divorce?

A divorce action in Dallas, Texas starts with the filing of a petition. Often there are issues that need to be resolved pending a final hearing or order. These matters can either be handled by mutual agreement between the parties or by a hearing in front of a judge. In either event, the resolution involves the entry of a temporary order. If you are considering filing for divorce in Dallas, the Thornton Law Firm is available to handle your legal needs. They can file the petition, enter temporary orders, and proceed to the final order.

One example of a temporary order is possession of a marital home. If neither party is willing to move out of the home, then a temporary order needs to be entered. It would be very difficult for both parties to continue to reside in the same home pending a final hearing. Often this matter is resolved by a mutual agreement that most likely involves the parties agreeing on other issues. The party who agrees to move out normally receives some benefit in return.

Another type of temporary order in divorce is a temporary restraining order, known as a TRO. It is usually entered right away and is done so without a hearing. It is valid for 14 days during which time a hearing is scheduled. The purpose of the TRO is to keep everything in place until a hearing takes place. It is normally filed when one party is afraid the other party is going to take some action which will be detrimental. An example would be withdrawing all the money from a savings account or selling an asset and keeping the money. A TRO stops a party from taking those actions. The Thornton Law Firm can file a TRO if it is appropriate. They know when a judge will enter a TRO and when it is better dealt with as a normal temporary order.

There are many types of temporary orders. Some involve support while the action is pending. Others might deal with child custody. A temporary order can cover any matter that needs to be resolved on a temporary basis pending the entry of a final order. Many temporary orders are entered by consent of both parties. Robert Thornton knows the law and the court. He knows what is likely to happen at a hearing. He can give advice as to when it is beneficial to enter a temporary order by consent, and when it is time to have a hearing.

Anyone in Dallas Texas who needs advice about divorce and temporary orders, or is ready to start a legal action, needs to contact Robert Thornton at the Thornton Law Firm. He will answer your questions and prepare the necessary documents to begin the process if you decide that is the way to proceed. He will protect your rights. Do not hesitate to call and schedule a consultation.

For more information on our Dallas Divorce Attorney please visit our site.

Can I request a modification in the amount I pay for Child Support?

Many people in Addison ask the question, can I request a modification in the amount that I pay for child support? The answer is yes, but there are some parameters that your request must fall into to have a chance at being approved by the judicial system. A new court order will need to be obtained so it is important to follow the due process of law to have a favorable outcome.

The Guidelines to Become Eligible for a Modification of Child Support Payments in Texas

In Dallas, Texas, an individual must show just cause as to why they need a modification.

Some of these reasons include the following:

The noncustodial parent’s financial circumstances have changed. This would have likely resulted in a job loss or a reduction in the parent’s income;
More than three years have passed since the court order was issued and the support amount awarded would have differed by at least twenty percent or more if calculated by today’s guidelines;
The noncustodial parent’s salary has increased;
The noncustodial parent is now legally and financially responsible for additional children in their household;
The minor child/children’s health insurance coverage has been changed;
The minor child/children’s living arrangements have been adjusted.

Preparing for the Modification Process

You will need to produce information about your personal income and health insurance coverage costs for the minor children to show your justification for the modification. The court wants to ensure that the children involved benefit from the incomes of both parents.

Income information that can be submitted for review include the following:

Copies of paystubs
Tax forms such as W2 and 1099
An offer letter from a prospective employer that lists earnings and has a valid signature for verification.

It is important to know that you should not stop paying your child support payments because you can wind up behind bars for being in contempt of a court order. It can take several weeks for your paperwork to be reviewed. The court typically either conducts a review or holds a hearing. It can be helpful to speak to the other parent involved to try and come up with an amicable agreement regarding support. This can expedite the modification process.

How a Family Lawyer Can Help You with Getting a Child Support Modification

Robert Thornton can be a great advocate for your child support case. Many parents feel overwhelmed by the legal work involved in a child support review. It is better to leave this responsibility to the legal experts so that everything is done correctly and timely.

Robert will sit down with you and get all of the facts straight so that a determination can be made if there is enough cause to pursue a review. A legal consultation is not a commitment and can be in your best interests. It is important to have someone fighting on your side. Consider calling Thornton Law today so that you can get the best legal help available.

For more information on our Dallas Child Support Attorney please visit our site.

What Are The Most Common Family Law Cases?

What are the Most Common Family Law Cases?

Family law is a complex area of the legal system. Generally, it involves a wide variety of issues experienced in a family. Many of these cases are handled in a family court and deal with highly emotional issues. The court’s role is to be fair and make decisions in these matters that can benefit the family unit as a whole. It’s important to know what types of cases are most common in family law.

If you reside in the state of Texas and are dealing with any of these types of cases, you need an experienced family law attorney. Bob Thornton can help you settle your family matters.

Divorce

Divorce is one of the most common types of cases in family law. They are extremely emotional and often involve other issues in addition to simply ending a marriage. When a couple has decided that their relationship is no longer worth salvaging, they may consider getting a divorce. A family law attorney who specializes in divorce can help with all matters, including alimony, child custody, distribution of marital property and more. In many cases, mediation can help the process not only go faster but smoother, without disputes. This is an attractive option for many couples because it can occur without necessarily having both parties physically present. It is also easier on any children a former couple may have had during the course of their relationship.

Child Custody

Family law also handles child custody cases between parents who have split up, whether they were once married or never married. These are often the most difficult cases emotionally because the law has to do what is in the best interests of the children. Parents may have a hard time coming up with arrangements on custody, visitation and child support. An experienced attorney can prove to be invaluable in such a situation as the court decides the orders on these matters.

Adoption

Adopting a child is a wonderful and exciting venture for both parents and the child. However, it’s also a complex situation that requires the help of an attorney. In some cases, such as with single people and same-sex couples, it can be difficult or even impossible to adopt based on the laws in the state, which makes it absolutely essential to hire an attorney for assistance and legal guidance.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases are also handled in family court, which means anyone who is a victim needs to obtain an order of protection. An order of protection orders that the abusive individual, usually the victim’s spouse or romantic partner, not have any contact with them and to stay away from their home and workplace. In most cases, this is a temporary order that the court issues to a victim, but it’s possible to get a new order of protection, if necessary. A family law attorney can help in this type of case.

Family law cases are both complex and emotional. If you are in the state of Texas, get in touch with Robert Thornton at Thornton Law PLLC at your earliest convenience to discuss your case. He has many years of experience getting his clients an outcome in their favor, and is ready to do the same for you.

For more information on our Dallas Family Lawyer please visit our site.