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How to successfully co-parent

Posted on in Divorce

Your children's ability to thrive after a divorce depends in part on whether you and the other parent are able to successfully co-parent together in Texas, or anywhere else in the country. Starting with the custody agreement and continuing through every communication that you have, both parents will need to put the children's interests first and put their own ego and sensitivities aside.

The custody agreement can help co-parenting

Your co-parenting begins with the custody agreement. It is important to make sure that the custody agreement considers the children's own circumstances as opposed to imposing something on them for the parents' convenience. You will need to decide how to rotate the children between the parents' homes in a way that accommodates their schedules. You should avoid overcommitting to a schedule that you cannot uphold.

The children should be listened to and heard

At the same time, both parents need to make sure that their children's voices are heard. The older the children are, the more input they should have. The children will suffer if one parent speaks ill of the other to them. They benefit the most when the two parents are able to put past differences aside to work together for their good. This means that you should communicate with the other parent respectfully. If that is not possible, your lawyer can recommend various systems through the court that can facilitate more professional communication. Finally, you should be open-minded to review and change the custody agreement if circumstances evolve over time. The children will benefit from your flexibility.


When you are getting divorced in Texas, you will exchange financial information with your spouse. The hope is that he or she gives you a full and accurate accounting of his or her assets that are part of the marital estate without hiding or undervaluing property. One Texas billionaire reduced the size of the marital estate by moving assets to trusts domiciled outside of the state. Unfortunately for his wife, this is apparently completely legal.

Billions became only $12 million

The Texas man made billions in the markets by founding his own quantitative trading company. After he engaged in an affair, he divorced his wife by registered mail. When she tried to claim her share of the couple's property, she found out that there was only $12 million even though the couple owned homes, artwork and even a $5 million Egyptian mummy. What happened was the man created several asset trusts in South Dakota. While his wife was originally the beneficiary, he changed that without having to even inform her.

South Dakota is an asset haven

While most means of moving assets will anger a court, the trusts that the man created were legal under South Dakota law. He also formed the trusts before the divorce and moved the property out of his name, making it much more difficult for his wife to recover money. South Dakota has become a home for trusts that are created to protect and shelter money. You can now think of the state as the "Switzerland of the Great Plains."


Transitioning to single parent status

Posted on in Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, you probably cannot wait for it to be over and to be able to say you are single. Although 34 percent of children live in a single-parent home, the situation is still treated as though it is abnormal. You are not alone as a single parent, even though it can feel that way. There are things you can do to make the transition easier.

Practice self-care

You are going to grieve the loss of your relationship. Knowing this helps you be ready for those days when you just do not want to get dressed and be an adult. Take time to do things for yourself when the other parent has the children. It is okay to enjoy your time alone.


Signs your spouse is hiding assets

Posted on in Divorce

Impending divorce can bring out the worst in a person, especially when it comes to finances. Many spouses begin squirrelling away assets in order to avoid having to share them with the soon-to-be-ex in the course of property distribution. If you are thinking about divorce, it pays to stay alert to signs of secretive financial activities. Otherwise, by the time the court is dividing up marital assets, the hidden assets may be long gone.

Sudden changes in spending and withdrawals

Abrupt and unexplained changes in financial habits can serve as a red flag. If your spouse suddenly begins withdrawing amounts of money and refusing to tell you what for, you may want to look further. Once withdrawn and turned into cash, the money will be hard to track.


Can a divorced couple co-parent?

Posted on in Divorce

The American Coalition for Fathers & Children reports that the "vast majority of kids want more time" with the non-custodial parent following a divorce. While there are some situations in which it is difficult to stay connected, in general, the State of Texas presumes that children need to have contact with both parents and encourages parents to stay involved with their children. If two people cannot live together and parent, how can they ever learn to co-parent following the divorce? It is possible.

Here are some tips to help you and the other parent work together:

  • Remember that co-parenting is the best option for the children. It helps them to feel more secure, and they benefit from the consistency of rules and rewards between homes. It sets an example for getting along and for problem-solving that may help your child do better in school and social settings.
  • Separate your feelings from your behavior. You might be hurt and angry, and you probably have every right to be, but do not let these feelings dictate how you behave. Think of your divorce as a new relationship with your ex-spouse. It is not going to be easy, but when you stay focused on what is important (your kids), you can remember why you need to act with grace and purpose.
  • Do not use the kids as messengers. Keep negative feelings about your ex to yourself, and do not try to compete with the other parent. Your child has enough love to go around. Make good memories with your time instead of complaining.
  • Find a mediator who can help you with the big problems. Learn from your mediator for the next time.
  • Before saying anything, think about what is best for the child. Breathe and be flexible.
  • Create an online calendar that can be updated by both of you. Give the other parent the opportunity to be present during doctor's appointments and school events. No, you do not have to be the secretary, but a shared calendar is good for communication.
  • Aim for some consistency when it comes to rules and schedules. Try to get your child to bed around the same time as the other parent. Make sure schoolwork is done before playtime.
  • Co-parenting is not 50/50 parenting, it is shared parenting.

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