Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Divorce and Downsizing in Difficult Economic Times

Divorce is difficult and emotionally taxing, even when the economy is stable.  Added to the already overwhelming financial stress that some families are already experiencing, it can seem like an insurmountable burden.

 

Divorce and business downsizing have a lot in common.  In both processes the principals involved must analyze their assets and debts, strengths and weaknesses. In both processes honest evaluation, flexibility, organization, and planning are essential in order to have a reasonably acceptable outcome.  In both processes there is anxiety, loss, and finally, a new beginning.

 

The process is made more efficient, perhaps even a little less painful by a willingness to accept personal responsibility, simplify, economize, and ending relationships (whether business or personal) that are no longer working.

 

Although emotions are likely to be running high, it is always important to step back and take a deep breath. Having family, friends, and professionals on your side that can be trusted to be honest with you while remaining supportive is important. 

 

Information gathering is essential.  It is never too soon to gather information and look at all of your options.  This is especially important if you have complicating factors such as a family run business, high assets or a complicated financial picture. 

 

Divorces can further be complicated by such factors as immigration issues, a child with a disability, or a non-traditional family structure.

 

A law firm with the expertise to “cross over” into various areas to assist you with the entire picture can make the process easier to handle.

 

Kalish Law Office 281-363-3700  The Woodlands, Texas  www.kalishlawtexas.com

“Passionate, Professional and Personal. We Make the Difference” Since 1984.  Divorce, Family Law, Business Law, Family Immigration, Non-traditional Family Law, Real Estate and Probate

Serving Montgomery, Harris, Walker, Waller, Fort Bend and surrounding Texas counties

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Should I Sign This? The Woodlands Texas Law Blog

We get a lot of inquiries from potential clients wondering if they should sign a document.   The most common documents in question are “Waivers of citation”, Final Divorce Decrees, Settlement offers, Paperwork in Attorney General Child Support Cases, leases, modifications of contracts and sales agreements.

 

First of all, if you don’t totally and completely understand the document and everything in it, the answer is NO.  At least not until you can do some research on your own, consult with someone who has the knowledge to help you, or get a written clarification of the terms.


If a document of any kind is ambiguous, you should not sign it as it is written.   Any document with terms that are subject to two or more meanings can cause trouble later!  And it may be expensive trouble!

 

If the document that you are wondering about is part of a lawsuit of ANY kind, signing it can have long-term effects. For instance, some settlement agreements are binding.  In these cases, you should be sure that what you are agreeing to is what you can live with forever or for many years, especially if the case involves divorce, custody, visitation, or child support.

 

Sales agreements and service contracts of any kind need to be read carefully.   You should pay special attention to sections that relate to canceling the contract, default, and contract term.   Many contracts are very one-sided.  Merely “skimming” over the terms that relate to “trouble” down the line isn’t good enough.   You should know what would happen if things don’t work out as planned. 


Having a legal consult can save you a lot of time, money and tears later on.  Get it straight from the beginning.   The time to consult an attorney is before you sign something that you shouldn’t have agreed to.   The attorney will need to review the document thoroughly; just hearing about it briefly by phone or email is not enough to advise you properly.

 

Don’t give away your bargaining power by being passive and not looking out for yourself! 

 

Kalish Law Office

www.kalishlawtexas.com

 

Kalish Law Office has been serving businesses and families in The Woodlands and in Houston, Conroe, Spring, and surrounding areas for over 26 years. Contact us by calling

281-363-3700  or email us at Inquiries@kalishlawtexas.com

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Will Your Divorce be Uncontested?

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties are in agreement about what is going to happen, and they cooperate in the process.  Therefore, it is less expensive than a contested one and is completed more quickly.

 

In an uncontested divorce, the parties are in agreement about the issues (division of assets/debts and custody/support/visitation of children). Since they are in agreement, the court does not need to make the decision for them. (However the court will still need to approve the final decree.)

 

Many divorces start out as uncontested ones, but become bitterly contested along the way.   Here are some tips to keep your divorce uncontested and moving along.

 

  1. Be considerate when discussing your new life.   Even if you both want the divorce, there will be sadness and loss associated with the changes that are being made.   Try to be sensitive when discussing your new job, living arrangements or dating goals.
  2. Be careful about how you handle new friendships or dating relationships. Openly dating before the divorce is final can be risky, especially if you take your date around your children.
  3. Respect your spouse’s privacy.  If you are living separately, give your spouse the courtesy of a phone call when you plan to visit. If you are still sharing the same house, respect your spouse’s territory and things and ask that s/he do the same for you.
  4. Don’t make unilateral decisions about joint issues.  Don’t decide who gets the living room furniture or the family pets, or which debts are going to be paid without allowing your spouse a chance to be heard and have imput into the decision.

 

There are some situations in which the above strategy doesn’t work.   For instance if your spouse is engaging in behavior that is harmful to himself/herself or others (especially your children), if your spouse is wasting marital assets, not paying debts, or is being physically or emotionally abusive to you. In those cases it may be wiser to take legal action, even if the divorce takes longer.  

 

You should never agree to terms that you know you cannot live with just to get the divorce finished. You will live to regret it later, and may have to spend thousands of dollars to “fix” the problems.

 

Your divorce attorney can guide you through these difficult decisions. When emotions run high, it is best to take a deep breath and consider the whole picture, rather than acting rashly and saying things that you will later regret.