Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stay-at-Home Parent Must Prepare for Divorce

If you are a stay home parent a divorce can be especially frightening. 

A person who is going through a divorce will experience major changes in his/ her personal life but work life may be consistent.  However, a stay at home parent who needs to enter or reenter the work force may feel like s/he is facing a double challenge.

Here are some tips on how to prepare:

  1. Know your budget- A surprising number of people really don't have a good feel for the amount of money needed to pay necessary bills.  Gather information so that you understand your current budget as well as what changes would occur if you were single.
  2. Realistically evaluate your options about earning money- When did you leave the work force?  How has the job that you used to do changed? What has gotten more difficult in that field? What has gotten better? 
  3. Do you need training?  Are your skills still up-to-date? Would you require retraining or relicensing to resume your former job? 
  4. Create a resume.  Make sure your resume is in a stylish format, and that you are aware of keywords needed to get your resume seen.   
  5. Get skills in applying for a job- Applying online is different that applying in person and the technology changes all the time. 
  6. Organize your information-  Make sure you have your logins, and resume saved where you can easily access them so you are not re-creating the same information every time. 
  7. Network - Talk to people, social network, and consider using an employment agency.
  8. Face the truth-  It may be difficult, but you will get through it.  You may feel a loss, and may feel scared, but you CAN and will get through this with determination and the help of your support group. 

Kalish Law Texas - Family Law lawyers since 1983!

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Talk to Someone about Being Executor (or Guardian, or Trustee) in Your Will

If you are about to have your will drafted, you will need to choose someone to be your Executor. Depending upon the situation, you may also need to choose someone to be a Trustee of a trust, or be a Guardian to your minor children.

The same person may serve in all of these roles, or there may be two or three different people chosen by you.

It is a very good idea to approach the person first and discuss the situation with him/her. Acting in any (or all) of those roles is a big responsibility and one which should be a choice.  Your whole purpose in advanced planning is to specify your wishes and prevent uncertainty, conflict or panic later on.  You do not want an executor, guardian or trustee to be surprised by the choice or accept the role out of guilt.

Here are some tips on how to approach the subject:

  1. Choose a time when you can speak to the person and not be interrupted.  Face-to-face is good, but by video chat or telephone will work too;
  2. Be open and honest about why you chose them;
  3. Be open and honest about any challenges they may face (for instance, if they can expect conflict among the beneficiaries or hurt feelings from someone who wasn't chosen for this role);
  4. Offer to allow them to think about it and don't rush them unless you have a reason why you must sign your document immediately, such as health issues, or travel;
  5. Encourage them to ask questions and voice concerns;
  6. Consider having a "co" (Executor, Guardian or trustee) if they want the job but don't want to do it alone;
  7. Have alternates for each of these positions when possible, and have the same talk with them.
Knowing how your chosen ones feel about your request can help assure you that you have chosen the correct person for the role. 

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Can you file for a Texas Divorce if you are not a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Legal Resident?

If you have been living in Texas regularly and need to file for divorce, you may be hesitant if you are not a U.S. legal resident or citizen.  There are numerous people who live in the US via a work visa, business visa, other types of visa who want to proceed with a divorce but they fear that the United States cannot grant them a divorce.   

You are still allowed to file as long as you meet the State requirements of residency. In order to file you must be living in the county for a continuous 90 days and in the state for 6 months continuously, this is the required legal residency.   Your immigration status is not reviewed or examined in a Texas Family court nor are the courts connected with the Department of Homeland Security. 

Some people are hesitant to file in some situations such as;
1.     someone who is here on a student visa or work visa;
2.     someone who was here on a visa, but the visa expired;
3.     someone who is living here but uncertain of their immigration status;
4.     someone who came here illegally.

If this is you, you should know that you are still allowed to file for divorce.  The fact of filing for divorce will not usually get you in any trouble with immigration authorities.   (But, be aware that if there is a warrant out for your arrest that could be a problem for you. This is true for anyone who files any type of case in a court of law - whether a U.S. citizen, or not). 

A Texas family court will finalize your US community property and debt, however, unless you have an agreement with your spouse this will not determine the division of your property that is located outside of this country. Further, it is important that you register your divorce in your country of Legal Residence in order to avoid any type of legal consequences in your country! (check with an attorney in your own country to see what must be done there -- these laws vary from country to country!)

In cases dealing with children, the court will not prevent you from having the Standard Possession rights, however if there is fear that you may leave the United States and not return then the court may put restrictions to your access and possession.

You can file if you are here in Texas and your spouse is not. He or she may even be back in your home country, but you can still file for divorce as long as you have been here the required amount of time.   However, keep in mind they will still be required to be "legally served" with the lawsuit and that can be tricky.  (This depends on the country involved, what the laws are there, and if the Country abides by the Hague Convention.)

In the more complex cases in which children will be traveling from one country to another, and property is being divided both in the U.S. and in the foreign country, you will not only need your Texas Family Attorney, but you may also need a family attorney from your country.  This will help you tie up all loose ends and help you understand how your Texas divorce, child custody and property division is accepted in your own country. 

Have a consult with a Texas divorce attorney to have your questions answered if you have been wanting to file for divorce but have been afraid to do so. Choose an attorney who is comfortable and experienced with multi-country situations. 

Kalish Law Texas - Family Law lawyers since 1983!

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Parenting Classes During Divorce Important

If you are getting a divorce and have been told that you must take parenting classes, take this seriously. 

Once the class is taken, the court will need to be given a certificate of completion that shows your name and when you took the class. 

Few things are more frustrating than hearing that the judge has declined to grant your divorce because the court does not have the proper proof that the parties took the class.

You can get a list of the approved parenting classes from your attorney, or if you are Pro Se you can get the information from the court, the district clerk. In some counties you may be able to get the information online or by going to your county's law library.  You may be able to choose between taking classes in person or online but make sure that you find out whether or not your particular court will accept online classes as some do not.

Oh, and don't worry... you don't have to attend the classes with your spouse. It isn't forbidden to do so, but it isn't required and isn't a good idea if it will make the situation more emotionally difficult. 

"Passionate, Professional & Personal. We Make the Difference."
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014!  A big THANK YOU you to our clients & the community for making this possible!