Wichita County Divorce: Sealing Divorce Court Records

Texas Law Regarding Sealing Court Records

The general rule in Texas is that court records are presumed to be open to view by the general public. In many counties, court records are available online. With advances in technology, it is easier than ever to look up information about people, including their divorce records. Despite the presumption that court records are public, there are exceptions where certain records can be sealed if the Court determines to grant a request to seal records or the whole file, in their discretion. Sealing divorce court records makes sense in many Texas divorce and custody cases.

Texas court records may be sealed when (a) “a specific, serious and substantial interest which clearly outweighs: (1) this presumption of openness; (2) any probable adverse effect that sealing will have upon the general public health or safety;” or (b) “no less restrictive means than sealing records will adequately and effectively protect the specific interest asserted.” Note that the Rules of Civil Procedure define “court records” to include any “documents filed in an action originally arising under the Family Code.” Rule 76a

There are many good reasons people want their divorce court records to be sealed from the public. It requires an experienced Texas divorce and family law attorney who has worked with complex divorce cases before, involving sealing records and keeping your private family information from public view and access. Richard T. Sutherland has represented families in divorce matters where people are concerned about preserving their privacy. For information about Wichita County divorce and sealing divorce court records, call Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas at (940) 691-2100.

Read this Reputation Defender article: Top 10 Reasons to Keep Your Personal Information Private.

Sealing Divorce Court Records
For Information About Sealing Divorce Court Records Call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas (940) 691-2100

Sealing Divorce Court Records by Agreement or by Court Order

There are several methods you and your lawyer can discuss regarding keeping your personal information private in your divorce, custody,  modification, or enforcement case. Your divorce lawyer can negotiate with your opposing counsel to agree to have certain court records about the divorce sealed. If your spouse and their lawyer don’t agree to seal records, your lawyer can file a motion with the Court and make the argument for sealing divorce court records at a hearing in court, with notice given to the opposing counsel.

The records you might want to be sealed could be whole documents or portions of the information contained in documents. Parts or whole documents in your pleadings and discovery could contain sensitive information you want to seal. Private information people don’t want the public to view or know can also be part of the final divorce decree. You may want your lawyer to negotiate an agreement that includes a penalty in the event that the other party ends up sharing, publishing, or otherwise leaking sealed court records.

Sealing Divorce Court Records About Personal and Finance Issues

In high conflict divorces with complex business and financial issues, sealing court records may be necessary to protect future interests. For example, if you have an interest in a family business, it may be in everyone’s best interests to protect private information. Competitors in business can take advantage of business relationships and cause problems when private information is public and gets into the wrong hands.

Another article tip: 8 Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation and How to Avoid it.

If there are allegations of facts that would be embarrassing and damaging to someone’s reputation, sealing court records can protect people from probable adverse effects. Imagine trying to get your children into a school, church, or sports program when people in town may have shared your private information about what is in your divorce records.

Sealing Divorce Court Records About Parenting and Child Custody Issues

Child custody cases and sealed record requests make sense when there are allegations involving the parenting or actions of one parent. For example, a parent’s history of DWI, drug, family violence, and other criminal charges can damage one’s reputation. Even though allegations and information offered as evidence are only about an arrest or charges, that may have been dropped or dismissed, the information is damaging.

Custody modification cases usually come about when there is something wrong with the current custody and visitation arrangement. The allegations involved can be anything from a job change requiring of plans, or a criminal or family violence situation. Depending on what is going on, you and your spouse and children might be better off asking or agreeing to seal the records and protect against others finding in using your private information against you or to gain an advantage in some other context.

Sealing Divorce Court Records With Wichita County Divorce Attorney Richard T. Sutherland

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Wichita County. For decades, well-known families have hired Mr. Sutherland to represent them in divorce and to minimize information about their divorce becoming part of a public discussion. When there is a good reason to seek to protect sensitive divorce and family information, call Mr. Sutherland about sealing divorce court records by calling (940) 691-2100.

Wichita Falls Family Law Attorney Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas.

The Rise of Gray Divorce in Texas

Some Say Gray Divorce, Some Say Silver Divorce, at Increasing Rates in Texas

Baby boomers divorcing in Texas may have been married for 20 to 30 years or more. The term gray divorce or silver divorce applies to husbands and wives over 50. From couples who grew apart, realized different goals or have different needs, baby boomers are making mid-life changes in direction.

Some men and women have grown apart from their spouse with whom they live more like roommates than a couple. When the kids are raised and out of the house, what is the focus on your marriage? Are you still on an exciting journey through life with your husband or wife? People are learning many can divorce peacefully and stay friends and good parents while going in their own directions, on their own.

In a gray divorce, baby boomers over 50 may have many years they still plan to work, and others are retired or preparing to wind down work. When there are significant assets, money, and property to consider for division, it is important to use experienced divorce lawyer counsel and make sure your bests interests come first and foremost.

Gray Divorce in Texas

Listen to this Richard T. Sutherland podcast: Community and Separate Property in Texas

In Wichita Falls and around Wichita County and nearby communities, divorcing baby boomers may call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland for divorce over 50. For decades, Richard T. Sutherland has represented divorce clients in Northwest Texas with complex divorce, finance and property issues. To learn your rights and options in gray divorce in Wichita County, Texas, call Richard T. Sutherland at (940) 691-2100.

 

Gray Divorce Reasons

Different issues may lead to gray divorce, compared to younger couples. Parents over 50 have raised a family and watched their children grow. They may have increased focus on their own needs and goals. Over decades of adult life, men and women grow and learn about themselves and the world around them. When children are thriving as young adults, parents feel a sense of accomplishment. Baby boomer parents may also feel more comfortable getting a divorce.

After the kids are out of the house, couples tend to focus on their finances and how long they plan to work before retiring. Conflict arises during differences between savers and spenders. When you have limited time to earn and grow retirement money, the saver vs. spender issue can be one of the factors leading men and women in long term marriages to divorce.

Read our blog article: High-Net-Worth Divorce

Gray Divorce After 50

People are living longer and many healthy baby boomers over 65 today will live into their 90s. Increased life expectancy causes people to think about a few things:

  • Is there enough retirement money to cover me if I live that long?
  • Do I need to stay in an unhappy marriage?
  • How do my spouse’s health and concerns affect me?
  • Can I move closer to other family and spend time with them?
  • Where are my work and income opportunities?

Questions about how to hire a lawyer? Listen to this Richard T. Sutherland podcast: Help! I Need a Lawyer!

Gray Divorce in Texas: Critical Issues

A person paying spousal maintenance by agreement or by order of the court may have a complex income and compensation package with a variety of benefits, all of which have value. The total compensation a spouse receives must be determined.

Money and assets inherited and maintained as separate property should stay with that spouse in the divorce. However, when money has been co-mingled and assets bought and sold, it can be a challenge to prove something is separate and not part of the community marital estate.

The value of property and assets, both separate and marital, must be determined using appropriate professionals and experts. Also, finding and accounting for all the assets is important. Sometimes people find what they thought was there, is not. Sometimes spouses discover the wasting of marital money when one is cheating and spending money on a paramour.

Retirement account and life insurance policies are reviewed for division in divorce in Texas. How and when you can exercise your rights to these accounts and money depends on many factors in your divorce and retirement plans.

Forbes also has an article on these general topics: 4 Main Challenges of a Grey Divorce

Gray Divorce and Finances

So many couples made sound financial and retirement plans and worked hard for the future. Along the way, some gain and lose money for all kinds of issues. Many times there is nobody to blame for losing money, other times it is someone’s responsibility.

Regardless of fault, the question you need to ask is whether I will have a better or worse financial position if I get divorced. However you answer that question, it is one you should face. A secondary issue is your education and earning capacity. For many baby boomers, there are career change opportunities where experience and maturity are valuable assets.

You and your financial advisors can review your options in divorce and how your money will carry you into your senior years, and whether you may need to keep working, and for how long.

Those with education and experience can work with consultants who help repackage your background and skillsets for new opportunities. Depending on your financial needs, you may find you have a greater range in your next steps.

Call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland for Gray Divorce in Wichita County, Texas

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Wichita County, Texas. Licensed in Texas (not Oklahoma), Mr. Sutherland is well-known for handling the challenging divorce, asset, and property division issues.

Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas. For a consultation with Mr. Sutherland, and information about gray divorce in Texas, call (940) 691-2100.

 

Divorce Filings in the Summer: How to Prepare

Problems in the Marriage and Spending More Time Together Can Lead to Divorce Filings in the Summer

When a marriage is strained by problems, being busy is the best way many people avoid dealing with their problems. When the summer months arrive and the children are out of school, many families prepare for busy summer schedules of short trips, vacations, weddings, and family reunions. Spending hours of time together in the car or out of town means couples have more time to talk, and more time for things to go wrong. Add the element of family and friends who may be on different sides of things and problems in the marriage can lead to one or both spouses wanting a divorce.

Divorce Filings in the Summer Because Children Are Out of School

Starting a divorce during the summer can be easier for families because the children are out of school. When kids are off for the summer, their school year is not disrupted by the divorce. Some parents chose the summer to start their divorce because it is easier to take time from work if necessary. The beginning stages of divorce and the discovery process can be more time consuming and easier to tackle over the summer.

Spending Time on Divorce Planning During Summer When Children are Away at Camp
For Information About Divorce Filings in the Summer, Call Richard T. Sutherland (940) 691-2100

How to Find a Lawyer for Divorce Filings in the Summer Months

A divorce is a major life event. When there are children involved it is important to get things done right. It is important to find an experienced divorce lawyer. The Texas Family Code is a challenging body of law and most general practice attorneys refer their clients to an attorney with specific expertise with Texas divorce and child custody issues.

Before you meet with the lawyer for a divorce consultation, prepare a list of questions. You should be comfortable telling the lawyer all your questions and understanding their answers. A retainer fee is charged that includes the filing fees charged by the county in which you reside. The lawyer tracks their time and applies it against the retainer amount that may need to be replenished.

Attorney, Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas offers helpful tips for finding and hiring a lawyer in this podcast, Help! I Need a Lawyer.

Having a Temporary Custody Orders Hearing Before Children Go Back to School

A temporary court order hearing for child custody is a common preliminary hearing in a divorce case, used to determine who is going to live where and who will pay for what during the divorce. Because the agreements of the parties and decisions by the Court that are included in Temporary Orders, often carry into the final trial and divorce decree. A new divorce filed in June and July could be in Court for a Temporary Orders hearing in August, ideally before school starts again in the fall.

Courts may limit the time allowed to conduct at temporary orders hearing for child custody. For example, Wichita County Court rules place a two-hour limit on these hearings. It is important to work with your divorce lawyer to work on settling any issues so that hearing time can be reserved to resolve conflict.

Listen to Another Helpful Podcast: Do I Need a Temporary Court Order for Child Custody?  

Spending Time on Divorce Planning When Children are Away at Camp

Your divorce lawyer needs to determine what money and property are included in the community marital estate. You may be asked to produce financial documents and statements that may take some time to organize. During the summertime, if the children are away at camp or spending time with other family members it can be easier to plan for divorce and get things together for the lawyer.

Learning About Co-Parenting and Sharing Custody and Visitation Time

At the beginning of your divorce, it can be awkward seeing your spouse as a soon-to-be ex, especially around the children. Your lawyer will tell you what to expect regarding temporary child custody and visitation. Keeping conflict away from children is important. The court where you file your divorce may use standing orders prohibiting certain conduct like talking bad about the other parent in front of children.

If you are preparing for a divorce filing in the summer, keep it off social media. The last thing anyone needs is the opposing counsel making anything out of social media posts. The more people stay under the radar, the more they can avoid unnecessary complications.

To Get Started with Divorce Filings in the Summer, Call Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita County, Texas

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Wichita County, Texas for all divorce, property, and child custody issues. Licensed in Texas (not Oklahoma), Mr. Sutherland is well-known for handling the challenging divorce and child custody cases.

Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas. For a consultation with Mr. Sutherland, and information about divorce filings in the summer, call (940) 691-2100.

Wishing Everyone a Happy Father’s Day Weekend

Celebrate Dads on Father’s Day Weekend

There is more to being a dad in a child’s life than being their father. The important role of dad includes being there for the emotional development of their children and being caretakers and disciplinarians. Boys and girls look up to their fathers as the bearers of wisdom and strength. To children, dads know just about anything in the world. The respect children have for their dads is something that comes with great responsibilities for fathers not to disappoint.

Fathers influence our own relationships. How you interacted with your father as a child has bearing on your relationships with others. For example, loving and supportive fathers produce loving and supportive children who grow up to influence their own sons and daughters.

Texas courts and the Texas Family Code recognize the fundamental importance of fathers in the development of children. It is in the best interest of children to have the best relationships with their fathers. Divorce and child custody cases can make Father’s Day challenging for families, especially when changes in the family structure are recent.

Richard T. Sutherland, litigating countless divorce and child custody cases in his career, knows how much fathers love their children and on behalf of family law attorney Richard T. Sutherland, we wish you all a Happy Father’s Day Weekend.

Wishing Everyone a Happy Father’s Day Weekend from the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland
Wishing Everyone a Happy Father’s Day Weekend from the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas

History of Father’s Day

1972 was the year President Richard Nixon signed the law designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Celebrations honoring fathers originated many generations earlier in the 20th century to complement Mother’s Day. Early Father’s Day celebrations include a church service in West Virginia in 1908 and a claimed founding of Father’s Day in 1910 in Washington.

The History Channel offers an article on the History of Father’s Day.  

Watch this video: Military kids honor their dads deployed on Father’s Day

Celebrating Father’s Day After Divorce

Father’s Day after divorce can be rough on families. Children used to celebrating Father’s Day together with both parents have to adapt to time split between them. Most child custody and visitation orders give fathers the right to possession of their children over Father’s Day weekend.

What do dads and kids love doing together? Whatever that may be, Father’s Day weekend is a great time to take those special trips and enjoy time with dad going to or watching a game together. Traditional Father’s Day activities never seem to get old and as kids grow up they can look back at pictures and the great memories of fun times with dad.

Meanwhile, military fathers may be serving periods of deployment all around the world. Not being able to see your children on Father’s Day is tough on dads and their kids, especially when dad is on deployment. Hopefully, dad has an opportunity to talk to or video chat with his children if he cannot be there in person. When dad is serving in the military, he may have appointed a designated person, often another family member who will spend quality time with the children in his place. Even if dad cannot be there, his family are important to the children. After divorce, kids can get used to different plans and schedules, and the important thing is they feel love, safety, and security in their family.

You may appreciate this Richard T. Sutherland podcast about Military Deployment and Custody in Texas.

Best Gifts for Father’s Day and Making Memories

Moms may be involved in helping young children find the best gifts for Father’s Day. Even if mom and dad are no longer married and living together, mom may still have a few pointers about what dad may want for Father’s Day. Who doesn’t need a new coffee cup for work or a new tie to wear?

Outdoor activities on Father’s Day weekend are great memory-making. A trip to the driving range to hit a few golf balls can be fun, even if the kids have never held a golf club before. Anytime is a good time to learn a new activity.

Father’s Day Weekend is a good time for sons and daughters to catch dad up with everything they have been doing in school and with friends, in case dad missed anything. Asking children about their lives shows them how much you care and are equally as important.  

Father’s Day Weekend Getaways

The weather on the third weekend in June is usually favorable on Father’s Day. If you are a father with possession on Father’s Day Weekend, you may be taking the kids on a weekend getaway. Keeping any travel restrictions in your custody agreement in mind, there are all kinds of places to go with the kids to make some memories. The Texas Parks & Wildlife website is full of information about activities and programs kids and dads can enjoy.  

Whether it be for Father’s Day this year or planning a future trip, consider Father’s Day travel ideas in this Travel Channel gallery.

Wishing Everyone a Happy Father’s Day Weekend from the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland

To all fathers, we hope that you can spend a great Father’s Day Weekend with your children. We hope all children value their fathers and the opportunity to learn from dad. Richard T. Sutherland is a divorce and family law attorney who can help Texas fathers and advise them of their rights as fathers to custody, visitation, and raising their children.

Richard T. Sutherland is located in Wichita Falls, Texas, (licensed in Texas, not Oklahoma) and he represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas. Have a great Father’s Day Weekend and if you need, contact a father’s rights lawyer in Texas: Richard T. Sutherland by dialing (940) 691-2100.

Military Divorce Lawyer in Texas: Richard T. Sutherland

Military Divorces Lawyer in Texas: Richard T. Sutherland can Help Military Spouses with Divorces Where One or Both Spouses Serve in the United States Military

Service members in the military include the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In Wichita Falls, Texas there may be military husbands or wives living here in Texas while their spouse is deployed. Additionally, local residents in Wichita County may have a spouse serving military duty at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. People consulting with a military divorce lawyer in Texas such as Richard T. Sutherland should understand that it is important to hire an attorney with experience in Texas military family law.

Serving your country does not mean you need to sacrifice anything with your child. A designated person can be appointed to have visitation, otherwise referred to as possession and access with the child while you are away on temporary or longer military deployment.

Who would you appoint as a designated person to exercise your custody and visitation rights while you are deployed? If you were deployed a significant distance from the child, would you seek a temporary modification of the court’s orders during deployment? In all situations, the court applies the law in the Texas Family Code and considers what is in the best interest of the child.

Military.com has a great article about How Deployment Stress Affects Families, a recommended read.

Sheppard Air Force Base Families May Need a Military Divorce Lawyer in Texas

If a husband or wife housed at Shephard Air Force Base at Wind Creek Village, Heritage Heights, or Freedom Estates needs a family lawyer for issues involving marriage, divorce, property issues, child custody or support issues, they should contact an experienced Texas divorce lawyer in Wichita County, who is accustomed to working with families subject to the parts of the Texas Family Code that specifically address United States military service members.  

Military divorces in Texas are alleged on the same ground as divorces for civilians. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that you do not need to allege a fault ground to get divorced. The no-fault ground is called insupportability. For more information about the basics, please see our article, Divorce in Texas: What You Should Know.  

Military.com also published an article discussing how Months of Deployment Cause Increased Risk of Military Divorce.

How Military Deployment Affects Child Custody in Texas

Military service members frequently have child custody and visitation questions unique to their family member’s military service. In Texas, custody and visitation are properly called conservatorship and possession and access. Some of the questions are about visitation when the parties are divorced and one of the parents’ ability to see the child is affected by military deployment, mobilization or temporary military duty.

Click the link and listen to Richard T. Sutherland explain Military Deployment and Custody in Texas in this podcast. Mr. Sutherland understands how military deployment, mobilization or temporary duty can affect families.

How Military Status May Affect Property Division in a Texas Divorce

If you are deployed in military service and are located far from your family and are getting a divorce, there are challenges in the logistics of property division. In a divorce where everyone is local and available to communicate and interact during the divorce process, property division can be challenging enough. When you or your spouse is far away and deployed a short or longer-term period of deployment it can be difficult to communicate. Something as simple as work with appraisers for home and property can be delayed and difficult when one or both spouses is unavailable.

Additional issues in property division include property, land, real estate, vehicles, boats and so on, located in different states. To learn more about complex property issues, listen to our podcast, Community and Separate Property in Texas.

Richard T. Sutherland is a Divorce Lawyer for Military Spouses

When one or both of you is located in Texas and the other is a permanent resident of another state, questions about property division can be complicated. In Whicita County and surrounding Northwest Texas, people call Richard T. Sutherland for divorces involving property division and military service members. Also experienced in commercial litigation, complex family business structures, and incidentals making property division a challenge, Richard T. Sutherland can help you.   

Richard T. Sutherland is located in Wichita Falls, Texas, (licensed in Texas, not Oklahoma) and he represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas. Contact a military divorce lawyer in Texas: Richard T. Sutherland by dialing (940) 691-2100.

Taking the Sting Out of Divorce

Taking the Sting Out of Divorce

A Divorce is a Significant Life Event 

What are the first five words that come to your mind when you hear the word divorce? Most of us think first of our own divorce if we had one. We think about our family and friends’ divorces. Maybe we remember being worried about divorce and what would happen to the kids, family, and friends. Any way you cut it, a divorce actively dissolves a nuclear family in two.

Taking the sting out of divorce

Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced Texas divorce lawyer who meets good people at one of their worst times in life. He knows that people feel victimized, failed, angry and uncertain of their future.

Listen to Richard T. Sutherland explain a variety of topics in the podcast section of our website.

Often a newly divorcing couple say they are going to agree to work together to split property and child-raising responsibilities. But for various reasons, things that start peacefully can blow up into intense arguments and battles. Anyone going through major life stress can react differently than normal.

There are several ways to approach a divorce and child custody or child support case so that you are prepared for what may happen. Remember that the anticipation of the next step is often worse than taking it.

Tips for Taking the Sting Out of Divorce:

1. Being Mentally Prepared 

Like every family is different, so is every divorce case. Being mentally prepared for divorce requires being ready for whatever may happen. For example, your husband or wife might have told you the retirement accounts were worth significantly more. Are you prepared for finding out during the discovery process that they have been pulling money out without your knowledge?

When we look at our expectations in life and divorce, hypothetical questions may come up. Taking the sting out of divorce means being mentally prepared for whatever happens, even if it is shocking. In another example, how do you handle someone who was a mutual friend who is siding with your ex in a custody battle?

Because we recommend hiring the best divorce lawyer, we also suggest preparing to handle some challenging information, decisions, and attitudes from your ex that might shock you. Taking the sting out of a divorce can require armor at times. Know that before you know it, the divorce will be completed and life does continue, with you in the driver’s seat.

2. Hiring the Best Divorce Lawyer 

How do you know whether you need the best divorce lawyer you can find? Do you need to be of wealth and means with complex child custody issues? Certainly not. The experience of the best divorce lawyer you can find matters regardless of how complicated your divorce is.

A good divorce lawyer knows how to navigate challenging aspects of the divorce process and litigation. Meanwhile, a younger and more inexperienced attorney might get beat up in court more often which costs you more money. You want the best divorce lawyer who can win for you the first time at bat.

It is important to hire an experienced lawyer whose law practice is devoted to divorce and family law cases, as opposed to a general practice lawyer. The Texas Family Code is a challenging body of divorce and family laws and it takes many years of experience in and out of the courtroom to be effective for a client.

You might enjoy our blog article focused on high-net-worth divorces in Texas.

3. Remaining Calm and Collected when Communicating with Your Soon to be Ex 

When in doubt, let your ex freak out. A great plan for taking the sting out of divorce is never letting your ex see you sweat. Don’t let them know you are upset. Think of your best poker face and when to wear it. Whether you are communicating with your soon to be former spouse about kids, money, mediation or trial, you cannot let them assert dominance over you.

By remaining calm and collected, you do not let the other person push you around and control how you feel. Be prepared for them to call you names or tell friends or family that you are being cold. Once the dust settles you should be proud you didn’t get pushed around.

4. Organizing Information for Your Divorce Lawyer 

Being organized is great for taking the sting out of divorce. Every divorce is different and every family has different information about money, property, and children. Whether you are the one with the files and access to accounts, the more organized you keep everything, the easier your divorce lawyer can help you. Law offices are busy and lawyers have plenty of deadlines on their different cases. The less time your divorce lawyer and staff must spend organizing your information, the more time they have to represent you and work on the results you want.

5. Mediating Agreeable Property and Children’s Issues 

If you are preparing for mediation, understand the process of getting to the bottom line. If you asked for the RV in the divorce but your ex really wants it, are you prepared to go to war over the RV? If you don’t really care about the RV but want to receive your fair share of its value, mediation might be a place where that can be accomplished without spending time and money figuring that out in court when there are bigger issues at stake. The goal of mediation for property and custody issues is to identify the really important issues that matter the most to you, the ones you are ready to fight for.

6. Representing Well in Court 

Even though you may not feel your best, you can put your best foot forward with a smile on your face. It is helpful when a judge finds you pleasant and not particularly memorable. On the other hand, judges are more likely to remember the people who were overbearing and difficult.

Taking the sting out of divorce means understanding that the judge has seen and heard just about everything already and your situation is not particularly compelling to them. The better everyone lets the process work as it is designed, the better everyone fairs.

7. Creating Your Own New Life After Divorce 

After biting your tongue at the right time and wearing a smile while battling over hot button issues you may need a vacation! When you return, it’s time to start your new life as you want it. If you have children you are going to be a co-parent like some others you may know. If that is the case, remember that at some point everyone’s children turn into adults and graduate from high school to move on in their own lives.

While you are co-parenting, you have the opportunity to do it your way because it is your own life. Of course, you must adhere to the court’s orders and custody arrangement, but at least you won’t be married to that person anymore.

Richard T. Sutherland is an Experienced Texas Divorce Lawyer in Wichita County, Available at (940) 691-2100.

In Wichita Falls, Texas, divorce attorney Richard T. Sutherland is known for his experience in being a compassionate yet aggressive lawyer, especially in the tough cases with complex property and family-owned business interests. When you need to get things done right the first and only time, call Richard T. Sutherland.

Contact Richard T. Sutherland from the website or call the office at (940) 691-2100. Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas. When taking the sting out of divorce matters, call Richard T. Sutherland.

Handling an Angry Ex During a Divorce

Why We Anticipate an Angry Ex During a Divorce

Divorce and child custody cases are very emotional. In even the most amicable divorces, people are upset and might be feeling regret, fear, hurt, and anger. As some people refer to their soon to be former spouse as their “ex” before the divorce is final, we certainly understand that the other party in the divorce has turned from lover to likely enemy. Is there a good way to prepare for divorce without becoming overcome with emotion and turning into the angry ex during a divorce?

Even when divorce starts out somewhat agreeably, things happen and people’s attitudes can change quickly. For example, assume that the husband and wife agree to split the money and properly fairly until someone finds out that their spouse had been lying for years about how much or little money there really was. Now someone is mad and no longer agreeable.

People all need their own time and place to work through the stress of major life events like a divorce or child custody case. Even if the other person eventually becomes a good co-parent and someone with whom you can have a positive relationship, there are best ways to handle an angry ex.

Considering divorce? Consult with Wichita Falls family law attorney, Richard T. Sutherland. Call (940) 691-2100 for a consultation today.

Angry Ex During a Divorce
Nobody Prefers an Angry Ex During a Divorce

Empathizing with an Angry Soon to be Ex-Spouse

How would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot? Maybe your husband or wife cheated on you. You cannot imagine cheating on them, but you can imagine how guilty they must feel. Even if they don’t show their emotions, you know your spouse as well as anyone. If you and your husband or wife are in the middle of a divorce, there may be twists and turns with everyone’s emotions and likely you both want to get through the divorce in one piece.

Especially when there are children involved, remember that an angry ex is someone with shared custody and visitation with your children. Remember empathy, your ability to understand another and their feelings. By focusing on empathy for your ex, you may be able to de-escalate anger.

Communicating with an Angry Ex During a Divorce

You know what pushes one another’s buttons. Don’t do it during a divorce or child custody case. How you chose to communicate can set the tone for how you and your soon to be ex can communicate after the divorce. When your kids are involved, you should want to be able to communicate effectively.

Do not bring up the bad things that happened to you both during your marriage that led up to the divorce. Avoid talking about the new boyfriend or girlfriend you don’t like, it is not going to help anything. Effective communication with an angry ex can be done in writing and limited to what is necessary, such as visitation exchanges and reimbursement for medical expenses, for example.

Our Family Wizard software was specifically designed for co-parents who may not be communicating well one on one. Using this great program you can save information, send messages and much more.

Boundaries Define Your New Relationship with an Angry Ex

Your ex cannot tell you what to do anymore. Set clear boundaries they cannot cross. Let them know, politely if possible, when something is no longer their business, such as your love life. Unless you have a court order to exchange information, you are no longer obligated to share information with someone who is no longer your husband or wife.

Narcissist-types may be good at getting under your skin by commenting on and inserting their opinions on you and everything you do. The smart ones do it by telling things or suggesting them to the children, with the hope they will tell you what they said. Avoid these traps and if necessary, remind your angry ex that there are boundaries they may not cross.

Keep Kids Out of It: Not Acknowledging an Angry Ex During a Divorce

In many divorces with child custody issues, the court orders mothers and fathers to not talk disparagingly about the other in front of the kids. A divorce is stressful on children too and it is important to remind them that both parents love them and they are safe.

Even though you might be playing it cool, your angry ex might act poorly towards you, especially in front of the children. By not taking the bait and responding to taunting, you are showing your children restraint and maturity. Remember empathy and imagine that your angry ex is going to regret their behavior when things get closer to normal.

In-Laws and Angry Exes in Divorces

Not only are you getting a divorce from your soon to be ex, but also their family. All those in-laws you may love or not, are no longer related to you by operation of marriage. However, it is becoming more common to maintain relationships with people you have grown to know, like and trust. It is good for your kids to keep positive relationships with aunts, uncles, and cousins.

But, during the divorce, people may be sensitive and it can be a good idea to keep some safe distance. Especially if you are dealing with an angry ex, there may be negative talk going around the extended family about you and what happened to the marriage. Again, empathy, communication, and boundaries are good things to think about during a divorce or custody case. And if you once had good relationships with in-laws, you certainly may keep them in your life if and when appropriate.

Social Media Pitfalls and Angry Exes

People handle the end of relationships in different ways. A soon to be ex-husband or wife might take to social media to show the world how good they are looking, or they post to appear to hurt and need attention. First and foremost, follow your divorce lawyer’s advice on how to with social media during divorce. Second, be aware that people will be watching you during a divorce.

While people may be legitimately curious about what you are going through and how you are doing, keeping the divorce out of other people’s day is a good idea. Not posting about the divorce on social media is appropriate. Letting people know privately is better.

Meanwhile, your angry ex may be posting pictures of their new love and proclaiming how happy they say they are. Let them do that while you keep it classy and keep the divorce private.

Mental Health Professionals Are a Great Resource when You Have an Angry Ex During a Divorce

Good mental health is important. When a divorce and child custody case is pending, you may be experiencing stress and anxiety. Talk to a mental health professional who can help you feel better about yourself. They may be able to talk about how to deal with an angry ex.

Children also benefit from talking to a mental health professional who can help them understand their feelings and how they fit in with everything going on around them. The underlying feeling of safety and security are important to children. Especially if you have an angry ex who is acting out during a divorce, your kids may really benefit from talking to a safe neutral professional.

You may appreciate this article: The Roles of Mental Health Professionals in Divorce.

Richard T. Sutherland is a Divorce Lawyer Experienced with Angry Exes in Divorce and Child Custody Cases in Texas

Years of experience with all kinds of people and personalities is valuable. In his divorce law practice, attorney Richard T. Sutherland is able to stay steps ahead of your angry ex during a divorce. Knowing what another may be doing makes it easier to anticipate their next moves. Because every divorce is unique, the strategy can be adjusted to accomplish your goals.

Contact Richard T. Sutherland from the website or call the office at (940) 691-2100. Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas.

Money and Property Issues in a Texas Divorce

Money and Property Issues are Common in a Texas Divorce

Money problems are leading factors leading to divorce. Always being worried about money, spending habits, and investment decisions can break a marriage. People with significant money and property can also be the unfortunate targets of people with a hidden agenda. It can be really easy to spend money that another person earned or inherited.

At some point, people may conclude that their spouse is motivated more by money than love, respect, trust or mutual adoration. When it is time to terminate the marriage it is important to protect money and property for your future, and the benefit of your children and any other dependents.

Some common questions people ask about divorce:

  • Are assets split 50/50 in divorce?
  • Does the wife get half in divorce?
  • How are assets divided in a divorce?
  • Can you settle property before divorce?

Listen to our podcast discussion: Community and Separate Property in Texas.

Money and divorce issues in divorce
Money and divorce issues in divorce

Attorney Richard T. Sutherland is an experienced Texas divorce attorney in Wichita Falls, serving clients with complex money and property issues all over North and Northwest Texas. Contact the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland at (940) 691-2100.

Identifying Property in a Texas Divorce

Texas is a community property state. In a community property state, the property owned during the marriage is presumed to be the community property owned equally by the spouses and subject to division in a divorce. Separate property is any property that is not community property. For example, separate property can be property owned by one spouse before the marriage or property acquired during the marriage in one spouse’s name, not used for the benefit of the other spouse or the marriage, such as an inheritance.

The discovery phase of a divorce case includes the process of exchanging information and document requests and demands to identify property owned by the spouses in the marriage. Both the husband and wife identify and disclose their knowledge of property they own or in which they have an ownership interest.

Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce

In a community property state like Texas, people assume that all property is split 50/50 in divorce. The court uses several factors in determining how community property is divided. The standard is a “just and right” division of assets and debts. Judges weigh all the facts and allegations in the divorce to determine what is “just and right.” How the Court may evaluate factors in property division can also be influenced by case law, involving similar facts and allegations in previously decided and published divorce cases.

It is important to note that property subject division in divorce includes not only currently owned and identified property but also retirement accounts and employee benefit plans.

Property identification and division can be challenging, especially where the details of ownership are complex, such as when one or both spouses have an ownership interest in family businesses and trusts.

People contact attorney Richard T. Sutherland for complex money and property issues in a Texas divorce, as attorney Sutherland is also experienced in complex corporate and business law and litigation, which is relevant to complex property issues in high-net-worth divorce.

Allocating Debts in a Texas Divorce

Addressing debt in divorce can lead to conflict. Even though there may be significant assets in a marriage, there may be significant community debt, and for good reason. For example, if invested money earns more interest than the interest on debts, it makes better financial sense to assume reasonable debts. In addition, there can be tax incentives associated with certain debts that can be deducted at tax time.

Community debts of a marriage can be divided by negotiation and agreement by the parties or the Court can order which spouse shall assume which debts. There are options when addressing debt. Community assets can be used to pay down or pay off community debts. For example, using money from investments to pay off a mortgage is one solution. Another is to continue paying the mortgage and the party living in the house assumes the payments. Maybe the other spouse is assuming the payments.

An experienced attorney like Richard T. Sutherland creates a specific financial strategy in every divorce to work towards the financial goals of the client. And when one party suspects the other will fail to make payments on debts, as ordered by the court, another option may be a better idea.

Planning for the Future After a Texas Divorce

When considering divorce financial strategies, the future of parties after the divorce is a primary focus. A high-income earning spouse has different future money and property concerns compared to a non-working spouse.  

A divorce financial expert can help analyze a money and property settlement and forecast how assets can generate future income. When there are opportunities for your money to work for you and your future, it makes sense to implement the appropriate strategy in your divorce.

This article offers information about the role of a CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst).

Security, Stability, and Control of Money and Property After a Texas Divorce

People generally dislike uncertainty in life. Security is a psychological need and being in control of yourself and your future can provide the feeling of certainty and security.

Divorce at any stage in life can give people a sense of security in an uncertain world. Being secure with money and property after divorce is important.

Read, Life After Divorce, an article about the process of moving on after divorce.

Richard T. Sutherland is a Texas Divorce Lawyer Experienced in Complex Money and Property Issues

Attorneys all over North and Northwest Texas refer complex and challenging divorce cases involving money and property issues to Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas when they need to recommend an attorney they know will execute the best strategy for the client’s financial goals.

Contact him from the website or call the office at (940) 691-2100. Richard T. Sutherland represents people and families in Wichita County, Archer County, Baylor County, Clay County, Foard County, Hardeman County, Jack County, Montague County, Wise County, Young County and Wilbarger Counties in North Texas and has accepted cases in other areas West, North-Central and in South Texas.

Important Facts About Divorce in Texas

Divorce in Texas: What You Should Know

Before men and women are ready to file for divorce in Texas, they can learn about how a Texas divorce case works and what they might expect in their own case. People who move to Texas from other states should understand that Texas family law is different from other states. What you may have experienced in a divorce or family law case in another state may not prepare you for Texas law and procedure outlined in the Texas Family Code.

Hire a good lawyer. Your divorce lawyer is there to represent your legal rights and help protect you and your family’s best interests. Divorce can be frustrating and downright nasty. People get upset. Divorce and child custody cases are a process and your lawyer’s job responsibility is representing you during the process. When results and your future are at stake, you need a strong and smart divorce lawyer who gets results.

Listen to Richard T. Sutherland talk about how to go about finding a lawyer in this recent podcast, Help! I Need a Lawyer! Call Wichita Falls Family Law Attorney Richard T. Sutherland at (940) 691-2100 if you need help.

Divorce in Texas

Be ready to compromise or prepare for litigation. When people who once loved one another and married are no longer in love and on good terms, it can be difficult to remain calm and rational, especially when emotions are running high. Also, be prepared if your opposing party and their lawyer may challenge your patience at the very least. While divorce in Texas takes time, there will be a final day when the judgment is final, and you can move on.

Divorce in Texas Takes Time

A Texas divorce case follows an ordered procedure that takes time and resources. It takes time to collect the necessary information to address issues involving children, parents, property, assets, and liabilities. Even if you and your husband or wife agree on everything, a final judgment of divorce is not allowed until at least 60 days have passed from the time the petition for divorce is filed with the court clerk in the proper county.

Especially in a long marriage with children and assets, there are many potential issues to resolve in a Texas divorce. Depending on the level of conflict and ability to negotiate, a settlement can take a long time to reach, and a trial by judge or jury can take longer. While families in divorce and child custody cases may wish the process was quicker, it is important to address and resolve contested issues correctly the first time, to avoid return trips to court and modification and enforcement cases in the future.

Legal Separation Is Not Recognized in Texas

In Texas, married couples are married until their divorce judgment is granted. There is no such thing as a legal separation in Texas. Married husbands and wives can live apart and maintain separate residences, but they are still married and everything they acquire is still community property. It does not matter how an asset is titled during a marriage in Texas because it will still be community property owned by both spouses and subject to division in a manner the court deems just and right.

Texas is a No-Fault Divorce State                 

Husbands and wives cannot force the other to stay married, nor need they prove wrongdoing and fault-based grounds to qualify for a divorce. Texas is a no-fault divorce state with no requirement that either party in the divorce is at fault. There is a requirement that the man or woman seeking a divorce states one or more grounds upon which the petition for divorce is based. The no-fault ground in Texas divorce is called insupportability.

Other grounds for divorce include cruelty, adultery, conviction of a felony, abandonment, living apart, and confinement in a mental hospital.

On insupportability, The Texas Family Code states: “One the petition of either party to a marriage, the court may grant a divorce without regard to fault if the marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marital relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.[i]

You Should Not Try to Do Your Own Divorce in Texas

There are some things in life that should be left to the hands of experienced professionals, such as a divorce in Texas. Child custody, for example, involves a specific process and appointment of conservators with specific legal rights and duties as parents. Visitation likewise is a process involving periods of possession of and access to the child. Many general practicing attorneys refer cases to and hire experienced divorce attorneys to represent family law clients because the practice of divorce and family law is determined by very specific rules and orders in the Texas Family Code.

People who try to do their own divorce often get things wrong and end up coming back to court and hiring divorce lawyers to fix the problems they caused by trying to do their own divorce in Texas.

Divorce in Texas Does Not Need to Be Expensive

The best divorce lawyer you can find may end up saving you money in the long run when they know how to get results more efficiently than another who may drag their feet or get tossed around by the opposing attorney.

When it comes to your family and future, it is important to divorce with a strategy and plan that works. The strategy can involve compromise and out-of-the-box thinking. The experienced family lawyer who has litigated the most difficult and complex cases is an asset when it matters to your family.

Richard T. Sutherland is an Experienced Lawyer for Divorce in Texas                            

Focused on parents, children and the best outcomes for the families he represents, Richard T. Sutherland has earned a strong reputation among lawyers, judges and members of communities in Wichita County and the neighboring Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Hardeman, Jack, Montague, Wise, Young and Wilbarger Counties.

When results matter to you and your family, call Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, for divorce in Texas, by calling his office at (940) 691-2100.


[i] Texas Family Code, Grounds for Divorce and Defenses

Interstate Child Custody and Visitation

Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Issues in Texas

When a parent with custody relocates to another state, needs to enforce child custody and visitation orders from another state, or needs a modification of parenting plans and visitation agreements from another state, that parent needs an interstate child custody and visitation lawyer like Richard T. Sutherland.

Lawsuits and modifications involving interstate child custody and visitation are understandably emotional. Children are only young and grow up once, and the distance separating parents, children and families can be overwhelming. Every case is different and requires the best strategy for the family to accomplish their custody and visitation goals. Along the way the Court focuses on the best interest of the child.

For an expanded look, please visit the page on our website dedicated to Interstate Family Law.

Call Richard T. Sutherland at (940) 691-2100 for Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Issues.

Richard T. Sutherland Texas Divorce and Family Law Attorney for Interstate Child Custody

Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, not Oklahoma, Richard T. Sutherland has represented many families with divorce and interstate child custody and visitation issues.

Located in Wichita Falls, the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland, is not far from Sheppard Air Force Base, where military members are stationed, coming from all over the United States.

When families move to Texas from another state or are leaving Texas to move to Oklahoma, they may have interstate child custody and visitation issues requiring the legal advice and representation by an experienced Texas divorce and child custody lawyer.

Listen to Richard T. Sutherland’s podcast: Military Deployment and Custody in Texas

Federal Laws Apply to Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Cases

The UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act), UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act), and PPKA (Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act) are federal laws applied in child custody and visitation case with multi-state issues. These laws are about uniformity and cooperation among courts in different states. The Hague Convention is a federal treaty adopted by various countries, setting forth guidelines for cooperation among international courts and government agencies.

What is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act?

Used only for original suit or modification or enforcement for custody and visitation and possession not for child support, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is about which court keeps original subject matter jurisdiction, thus having the authority to enter court orders affecting the family.

If for example, a child is born in Oklahoma where the family resides, and the child has been in Oklahoma for six months preceding the filing of a case involving child custody, Oklahoma is the home state that keeps jurisdiction to hear the case and make modification and enforcement decisions.

One purpose of the act is to prevent people taking or abducting a child to another state to file a custody case there, where the parent thinks they might have a better outcome. This practice is called forum shopping and it is prevented by the UCCJEA.

So long as one of the parties remains in the home state, that court keeps original and ongoing jurisdiction in the custody case. If everyone leaves Oklahoma and is now in Texas, for example, the Oklahoma court may be petitioned to move the case to Texas.

Do people ever ignore the UCCJEA? They sure do. Richard T. Sutherland has litigated many cases involving interstate child custody and UCCJEA issues and he is well-versed in the law, its application and exceptions.

Read all about the UCCJEA on our website page dedicated to Interstate Family Law.  

What is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act?

The federal law used regarding interstate family law and child support is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. UIFSA applies to child support, medical support and child support arrearages when the custodial and non-custodial parents live in different states. Under this law, states can work together to establish and enforce child support orders across state lines. This prevents one parent leaving the state to avoid support obligations.

What is the Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act?

The Prevention of Parental Kidnapping Act is a federal law used to enforce custody determinations by courts in other states. To prevent parents taking a child to another state with an intention not to return the child. A parent can seek relief from court, in the form of specific court orders to prevent the other parent from fleeing with children, preventing parental kidnapping.

Richard T. Sutherland is an Experienced Interstate Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer in Wichita County, Texas

Richard T. Sutherland has focused his practice on divorce and family matters, helping Texas families with complex and challenging divorce and family law problems for many years. He is experienced in interstate child custody and visitation cases and is often hired on by other lawyers with clients who need an experienced Texas divorce and family lawyer to assist with one of the complex interstate child custody and visitation issues identified in this blog article.

To schedule a consultation, call the Law Office of Richard T. Sutherland today by dialing (940) 691-2100. Richard T. Sutherland is licensed to practice law in Texas, not Oklahoma.