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In a worst-case scenario, a divorced parent in Texas may resort to parental alienation to try to get revenge against the other parent. The practice is very destructive and can do long-term damage to the children. As a result, courts will act very strongly when they learn that one parent is engaging in this behavior. It is vital to learn when this is happening and act quickly.

What is parental alienation?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent badmouths the other to the children, feeding them falsehoods meant to destroy their relationship with the other parent. The parent does this because they feel that it is their way of getting back at the other parent for the divorce. The alienating parent is usually an angry individual who has a certain need that the children fulfill with validating that parent's behavior. Thus, you can see how parental alienation actually becomes a symbiotic relationship between the alienator and the children.

How parental alienation is destructive

This loop is destructive in the near-term and can be even more devastating over the long run. Years of therapy may be needed in order to reverse the effects of alienation. As a parent, your relationship with your children may be able to recover, but it will take intensive work. This is why it is vital to act as quickly as possible before deeper damage can be done. A court may even strip the alienating parent of their custodial time with the children or their ability to see them without supervision.

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Shared custody arrangements in Texas truly requires that the two parents be able to partner for the good of their children. Co-parenting with someone with whom you may have had an unsuccessful relationship is not always easy. However, putting the past aside and incorporating sound and sensible rules can help you form a lasting and productive relationship that can support shared custody.

Be careful how you talk

In a shared custody situation, your words matter. This encompasses both what you speak about your ex and what you say to him or her. It is critical to never say anything negative about the other parent to or around your children. You must also learn how to communicate respectfully. Even if you were unable to communicate during your relationship with your ex, it is vital to set aside the past and learn how to talk now.

The children come first

Your parenting arrangement must also be focused on the children. First and foremost, everything that you do should be mindful of what is best for them. Since you want to create a childhood that will enable your kids to become well-adjusted adults, make sure that their needs come first. Children need to know that their opinions matter and that they are listened to by both parents. To the extent that any co-parenting arrangement needs to be adjusted, you should periodically reevaluate the plan and make changes as necessary.

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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."

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Texas is a community property state, meaning that just about all assets acquired during marriage are divided 50-50 in a divorce. However, when it comes to determining child custody schedules, the division of time is not so simple. Though many parents nowadays want to split custody 50-50, it can be a challenge to find a schedule that works for everyone, particularly if the parents do not live especially close to one another.

Alternating every other week

Though it may be easier for parents to trade off custody every other week, this is not the best idea for children. If your children are on the younger side, it can be especially traumatic for them to suddenly go one full week without seeing one of their parents, and it may cause them separation anxiety or even an anxiety disorder. A better solution would be to make a schedule where the children do not go more than four days without seeing each of their parents.

The 2-2-3 and the 3-4-4-3 schedules

Since it would be extremely difficult to split one week exactly in half, a lot of people adhere to a 2-2-3 schedule, where parents alternate between having the children for two or three days at a time. A similar schedule is the 3-4-4-3 schedule, where parents alternate between having custody for three or four days. These plans are especially good for younger children, who are preschool or elementary school aged.

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If you are a military spouse facing divorce, you are probably experiencing a wide range of emotions.

A military divorce is often more complicated than a divorce in the private sector, and each is unique. Prepare yourself by relying on professional support and understanding all you can about the process.

Explore other avenues

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Developing a parenting plan that works for you, your soon-to-be-ex and your children is a major undertaking. You want your voice heard when divorce mediation gets underway.

Be methodical. Organize your thoughts in advance, and set them down on paper so that you are well-prepared when the parenting plan discussion begins.

Understanding the process

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When it comes to ending your marriage, litigation can be emotionally and financially draining.

If you are facing a high-asset divorce, you may want a process that is effective but more respectful of your time, money and fragile state of mind. Collaborative divorce is an option to consider.

The way it works

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If divorce is something that has been on your mind lately, take some time to consider the different ways to accomplish it. You may not realize it, but your separation does not have to play out the way you see divorces do on the screen. With the right amount of planning and some careful consideration of your circumstances and divorce goals, it is possible to achieve a favorable outcome without as much effort or inconvenience.

The separation process is not easy, nor is it a one-size-fits-all deal. Take some time to look over the differences between divorce litigation and mediation.

Litigation

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One of the most common assets to divide during the divorce process is a 401(k), and you and your soon-to-be-ex may both own one.

However, focusing on just this account may be short-sighted. Do either of you own other retirement or pension plans?

Calling all assets and liabilities

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If you are age 50 or older, ending a long marriage is a particularly distressing experience. But these days, it is far from unique.

More couples experience later-in-life divorce now than even a decade ago, but the road ahead brings some unique financial concerns, especially for women.

Results of divorce

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While it is usually both rewarding and fulfilling, parenting can also be unbelievably challenging. This is particularly true in non-conventional families, such as those with post-divorce co-parents. Regardless of how your marriage came to an end, your ex-spouse should not sabotage your relationship with your kids.

Parental alienation occurs when one parent disparages, discredits or fosters hostility toward the other parent. Typically, these actions involve mental and emotional manipulation. Unfortunately, the effect is usually the same. That is, children prefer the alienating parent while rejecting the alienated one. Because parental alienation can cause life-long consequences, you must watch for its warning signs. Here are some of them:

Spying

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All parents need to make adjustments the first year after finalizing a divorce. One of the hardest aspects to go through involves determining how to handle family holidays. There are few holidays as stressful as Thanksgiving.

If you thought things were stressful before, now you have to go through the Thanksgiving celebration with your family divided. This is an important moment in life after the divorce because you and your ex really get to show your kids your co-parenting skills. Here are some tips to make sure your first Thanksgiving in the wake of the separation lets everyone know things will be all right.

Acknowledge your children's emotions

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Divorce is a tricky, complicated legal proceeding. You want to avoid mistakes, which one Texas man learned after he forged his wife's name on the divorce papers. However, something else you do not want to mess up is how you present the separation to any children you and your spouse share.

Talking to your kids about your intended divorce is one of the most difficult conversations a person can have. It is critical to do it the right way so your kids can work through their emotions while still respecting both parents.

Present the divorce together

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Marriage means something different to every couple. While you may have chosen to marry your spouse for love or security, your marriage certificate is a legal contract between you, your spouse and the state. As such, to dissolve your union, you must divide marital property and obtain a court order.

Gone are the days when couples had little choice but to engage in a protracted legal battle. Nowadays, a growing number of divorcing spouses choose alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation, to wrap up their marriages. While there are many advantages to mediating a divorce, sometimes, it simply does not work. Here are three signs it may be time to walk away from your divorce mediation:

1. Your partner is trying to devastate you

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Divorce mediation is gaining popularity for a few important reasons. While you may appreciate that mediation is often less expensive than a protracted court battle, you are also likely to enjoy the reduced stress that tends to accompany alternate dispute resolution.

As you may suspect, though, some divorce mediations are more successful than others. While working with counsel who understands how to mediate a high-asset divorce is critical, you also need to prepare yourself for the mediation process. Here are four tips for making your divorce mediation a success:

1. Decide what really matters

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Let us say that you and your spouse have amassed significant assets during the years of your marriage. Now your marriage is coming to an end and you face a high-net-worth divorce.

You dread the idea of an expensive, lengthy and possibly acrimonious court process. Consider mediation, an alternative to litigation that comes with benefits and puts you in control of your divorce.

A popular option

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If you are the soon-to-be-ex-spouse of a military member, you may wonder how property division will affect you.

Although property division in a divorce must follow Texas law, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act also comes into play on your behalf.

The USFSPA explained

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Divorce is not an easy process. However, there are certain divorce tools that can help the process, such as mediation.

Before determining if divorce mediation is right in a situation, it is important to understand what the process entails. There are a few key facts to know.

What it is

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A divorce is going to take a financial toll on you, but you have some level of control over that toll. Not all divorces have to be long, contentious courtroom affairs. While where you live, geographically, will help determine just how much you spend on your divorce, so, too, will certain decisions you make about how to navigate the process.

While your divorce, itself, can cost a substantial amount of money, so, too, can rebuilding your life in the absence of your spouse. Finding and financing a new home, for example, is one such cost, and you will also no longer be able to split the cost of groceries and related expenses once you and your one-time partner split. So, what are some things you can do to cut costs and save yourself money amid divorce?

Consider mediation

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Perhaps you have heard a lot about the benefits of mediation and want to give it a try, but certain myths are holding you back.

These are just three you may believe that are not true. The bottom line is mediation is usually the best choice.

1. You have less protection

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