Friday, April 23, 2010

new blog

I have been working on a new blog for some time now. While it is not complete, it is up and running. I have begun posting on the new blog and have ceased posting on this blog.

Please visit my new site at

Monday, December 28, 2009

divorce and the holidays

In my last post I went over tips to survive Halloween. As the holidays progressed I read more good articles on how to help your kids survive the holidays. Dick Price posted an article entitled "7 Ways to Wreck Your Kids Holidays", and J. Benjamin Stevens posted "Tips to Follow for Holiday Parenting Time". These are great articles, and there are many more like it.

As I read these articles it got me thinking about who the articles were intended for and I noticed a common theme, or lack thereof. What about you? Separated parents can find new gaps in their life that were once filled with sports, dance class and of course the holidays. What to do?

There are many things you can do, but I suggest you take up a hobby. Never had a hobby? Now is the perfect time.

The one that jumps out at me is exercise. I love to exercise. Looking for something more than the standard treadmill on LA Fitness? Try Crossfit. I guarantee it will be the most challenging and rewarding exercise you have ever done. Local to the Dallas, Texas area? Check out Crossfit Deep Ellum. From somewhere else, search Crossfit and your local city.

Like to bike? In Plano, Dallas, or surrounding areas, check out DORBA. Somewhere else, search Mountain Biking and your city.

Not an exercise buff? How about photography or videography? Check out Vimeo and of course YouTube. How about cooking?

The point is, there are many things you can do for yourself to fill in the time once occupied by children's activities. All of us have things that we want to do but could never find the time. Now you have the time. Take care of yourself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

halloween and the divorcing parents

I read an excellent article on Divorce 360 regarding how to handle the Halloween holiday when recently divorced or in the divorce process. As always, being reasonable and viewing your decisions and statements through the eyes of the children is the best way to handle things. If you need a little help with this, they offer 5 tips in their article "Tips to Help You and your Ex Make this Halloween Fund for the Kids":

1. Keep children informed.

Let the child know ahead of time what will happen on the holiday "so that different expectations will not arise," Shoshanna said.

2. Don't put the kids in the middle.

Don't ask, 'Do you want to spend Halloween at my house of your mom's (or dad's)?', " said Blackstone Ford. "That approach tests your child's allegiance. Better to ask, 'Where would you like to spend Halloween?"'

3. Share your children.

"If possible, see if you can share the time during a holiday so that all participate. Perhaps each parent can take half of the time. Or, for Halloween, for example, perhaps one parent can get the costumes and dress the child and the other parent go with them for the trick and treating," Shoshanna said.

4. Treat the other parent well.

According to Shoshanna, it is "very helpful for children to see that their parents are treating one another respectuflly during holiday times (as always). Don't use this occasion to reminisce about the pass or say negative things about your ex."

5. Make your own plans.

If you're a parent who is alone during a holiday, don't make a big deal about it or create upset about it in the child. Find a friend to share the time with. Or, use the time to volunteer and be with others. "You don't want to child to feel that they're enjoying the holiday while the other parent is sad or alone," Shoshanna said. "This may create guilt in them and prevent them from having a good time."

Monday, October 26, 2009

this is a good time to make a point about residency restrictions in Texas

In a comment to my original post on the residency restriction in Texas, anonymous posts:

Chris, you said in your post that one way to maintain a geographical restriction is to stay active in your child's life well, I'm here to tell you, that's not the case in Guadalue County, Texas. I'm a joint managing conservator or my children and even though my ex-wife is the "custodial" parent, I proved in Court that the children spent more than half the time with me, I testified confidently that I had been to EVERY significant even in their life since the divorce, and showed that I had a daily relationship with them. The judge still allowed my ex-wife to take my children and live 5 hours away with them. SHe claimed that she had been searching for a teaching position for 2 years within the geographical restrictions and I brought public information requests from all the school districts surrounding her residence that showed that she had NEVER applied to them for a job. Still, she got the restriction lifted. So, by no fault of my own, without me doing anything but be a good father, never missed a child support payment PLUS i paid for their daycare, my children were taken away from me and I'm helpless to having the court make my kids another statistic.

This is a good opportunity to bring home a point that I find myself stressing over and over in response to comments to my posts and that is that you are always subject to the whims of a judge. Many times the specific facts of a case are less important than what judge it is before or how the judge feels about you as a person. Judges are people too and have opinions like the rest of us, wrong or right.

You might ask then, what am I to do in a situation similar to that of anonymous? Anonymous can and probably should appeal the ruling of the Court with regard to lifting the Texas residency restriction. If he does not already have an attorney then he should consult an appellate attorney to inquire as to appealing the judge's ruling. An appellate court is the checks and balances that help control how the lower courts behave.

Just some food for thought for those of you out there who are hyperfocused on the facts of their specific situation. Ask anonymous, he will tell you that sometimes you can do everything right and still not get what you feel you are entitled to.

Anonymous, good luck.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

separating in Texas and online considerations

If you are separated from your spouse or considering separation, I have attached a great article about how to separate your online life.  From a legal perspective, this article has some good advise, most specifically in regard to passwords.

The majority of divorcing people I deal with in my practice have web-based email such as Yahoo or Hotmail.  If you forget your passwords for those accounts there are certain questions you can answer to change the password.  Problem is, your ex may know the answer to those questions and can then change the password giving them access to all your personal emails.  Be careful with this and enjoy the following article:

How to break up in an online world—and avoid e-stalkers - Ars Technica

Friday, October 02, 2009

gay marriage (or divorce) in Texas wins it first big battle...

but not the War.  In what I think is a landmark ruling for gay divorces, a judge in Dallas County has ruled the ban on gay marriage in Texas is unconstitutional.  Read about it in the article - Texas Lawyer Blog: State district judge finds Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional

The Texas Attorney General is fighting this tooth and nail in an attempt to uphold the ban on gay marriages and has vowed to see this all the way through to the Supreme Court.

The ruling by Judge Callahan in the 302nd District Court basically opens the door for this gay couple to get divorced.  Kind of ironic if you ask me, supporting gay marriage so someone can get divorced.  In any case, the couple in question here, who were married in another state, will most likely be divorced in a few weeks.  When that happens the Attorney General's Office will certainly appeal to the Texas Court of Appeals level.

The case will probably then proceed to the Texas Supreme Court and then on to the United States Supreme Court.

I will update you as information becomes available.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

same sex marriage in Texas

I found an interesting blurb in a Texas case on gay marriage. You can find it in my discussion board here.