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After your Texas divorce is finalized, chances are that you will be happy to avoid contact with your ex as much as possible. However, alimony or spousal support payments often require spouses to stay in contact with each other, even if only to address logistical issues. Fortunately, some spouses will qualify for something called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, which allows them to split retirement benefits in such a way that the receiving spouse gets payments directly from the retirement plan administrator. If you are getting divorced and are wondering how a QRDO might benefit you, read on. 

A QDRO Allows You To Retain Favorable Tax Benefits

QRDOs are legal orders from a Texas family court allowing spouses to change partial ownership of their retirement plan when they split marital property in a divorce. With a QDRO, spouses can continue to benefit from tax deferred retirement plans while still dividing community property at the appropriate time. Unlike a house, which must be sold and have its capital gains taxes paid before the value can be divided, retirement accounts can continue accruing value without tax penalties until such time as benefits are paid out. 


llano county criminal defense lawyerWhile domestic abuse presents a serious problem for many intimate partners and families in Texas, there is no question that some people abuse the seriousness with which Texas treats domestic abuse by making false accusations. False accusations of domestic violence can result in harmful negative consequences, including criminal charges, restrictive orders of protection, lack of access to your home and children, and damage to your reputation.  

Even worse, temporary restraining orders can be put in place without the input of the person against whom the accusations are made. This can catch the target of the restraining order by surprise and leave them wondering what on earth they should do. If you have been accused of domestic violence and had a temporary or final protective order unjustly issued against you, you have legal options. While it may not be easy, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you fight false accusations and get your life back. 

Does My Partner Have to Prove I Did Something Wrong? 

Mistakes happen and good people make bad decisions in the heat of the moment. During a fight, both partners may say things they do not really mean. However, even the most superficial threat of violence can be taken seriously and a partner may respond to a fight by misinterpreting their partner’s intentions and requesting an order of protection. Other times, partners will deliberately use orders of protection as a power move, a tactic to “punish” someone, or a manipulative effort to keep them away from their children and home. 


shutterstock_89145889.jpgNothing compares to the excitement and sense of trepidation a man has when he finds out that he is having a child for the first time. Whether planned or unplanned, married or unmarried, fathers play a crucial role in their children's lives. Whenever it would be in the child's best interests, Texas law encourages both parents to be actively involved in a child’s upbringing. For fathers who are not married to the mother of their child, however, getting parental rights can be a little more complicated. If you recently found out that you are, or will be, a father, you probably want to know as much as you can about custody laws in Llano County for unmarried fathers. 

Does an Unmarried Father Have Automatic Custody Rights? 

The short answer to this question is no. Until a man establishes paternity, he does not have a legal relationship with a child, even if he is certain he is the biological father. When parents are married to each other, a father automatically has paternity over any children born to them. But when a couple is unmarried, paternity must be established in one of two ways: 

  • Voluntarily, by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form 


Texas divorce privacy lawyerRegardless of how confident you feel in your decision to get divorced in Texas, you likely are hoping that the details of your divorce will remain as private as possible. Unfortunately, neighbors, friends, and busybodies are often interested in the details of a couple’s divorce, and this is especially true if the couple has a high net worth or maintains a public profile. 

Because divorce decrees are legal documents that are filed in court with a judge’s approval, they are technically public records which may be accessed by anyone. Nevertheless, with the help of a skilled Texas divorce attorney, there are things you can do to keep your divorce details more private. 

Mark Sensitive Data

When a divorce document contains personal information, such as a driver’s license number or social security number, you can ask the court to keep that record private. The consequences of this information being available can result in identity theft, so courts willingly keep documents with sensitive information out of the public record. 


Llano Child Visitation AttorneyAll parents who get divorced in Texas or who seek to establish or modify a court-approved custody order must create a “parenting plan.” A parenting plan establishes important details about the parents’ relationship to the child, including the division of possession of and access to the child (physical custody). 

One important part of a parenting plan that benefits many parents in Texas is something called “the right of first refusal.” Understanding the right of first refusal and whether you want it in your parenting plan is an important step in creating a plan that benefits you and your child. 

What is the Right of First Refusal? 

The right of first refusal is an optional clause in a parenting plan that requires parents to use each other as babysitters before seeking help from other childcare providers. That being said, the right of first refusal can be as flexible or rigid as parents want it to be. The basic idea is that children will be able to maximize time spent with both parents while minimizing conflict between parents. 

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