Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer Richard Sutherland Podcast Interviews

Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer Richard Sutherland Podcast Interviews

Richard Sutherland’s Wichita Falls Family Law website contains several pages, articles and podcast interviews explaining answers to common questions about Texas divorce and family law. While the answer to many questions depend on specific situations, you can listen and learn the common issues involved in a Texas divorce or a case involving parent and child relationships. Call Richard Sutherland in Wichita Falls with specific questions or to schedule a consultation by dialing (940) 691-2100.

Wichita Falls Divorce Lawyer Richard Sutherland Podcast Interviews

Click on the titles/links of the Wichita Falls Family Law podcast interviews to listen

Welcome to The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast

Meet Wichita Falls divorce attorney Richard Sutherland who explains Texas divorce and family law. Learn about the common issues a client might experience during a divorce or family law case involving children. Listen and learn the basics of child support and custody in addition to common concerns in divorce cases.

Child Support Calculations in Texas

Are you concerned about child support payments? Whether you are married and considering divorce or have a child with another to whom you are not married, you may listen to Richard Sutherland explain how child support is calculated in Texas and who may be obligated to make child support payments. Learn what to expect if you have a situation involving child support payments that are not being made or when it may be necessary to modify a child support obligation.

Texas Child Custody and Conservatorship

In Texas, the Family Code uses the term conservatorship, where most people think of custody. And when most people talk about visitation, the Texas term is possession and access. Listen and learn the differences among  and rights and duties of a joint managing conservator, a sole managing conservator, a possessory conservator and a non-parent conservator.

Geographic Restrictions and Relocation

Life happens, and people need to move from time to time. Your divorce judgment and custody arrangement may determine whether you may move freely, or you are limited by the court’s geographic restrictions. Listen to the podcast and learn why courts impose restrictions, why parents act the courts to life them and the factors involved when issues arise regarding geographic locations and children.

Premarital Agreements in Texas

You can make a contractual agreement with your future spouse to state what will happen if the marriage ends. While you can accomplish many goals with a properly written premarital agreement, there are some things you cannot change with a premarital agreement, such as an obligation to pay child support. In this podcast, you will learn the basics of what is required to form a valid premarital agreement, why people want them, and some common situations and issues involved.

Community and Separate Property

The differences between community property and separate property are the focus of this podcast in which Richard Sutherland explains why it matters whether property is considered community or separate. People often ask about the difference between property acquired by devise or descent, and as well how property is titled and whether it matters. Listen and learn how the Texas courts divide the community estate in a divorce and what other issues arise when determining who gets what in divorce.

Marital Debt and Liability in Texas

Are you considering divorce and worried about community debt? Are you worried about being liable for your spouse defaulting on the loan? Wichita Falls divorce lawyer Richard Sutherland explains the basics of sole management and control of community property as well as what happens a spouse or party to a divorce suit defaults on a financial obligation. Before you assume you are going to be ordered to pay the debts of the other, learn about marital debt and liability in Texas.

Kids, summer and social media

Kids, summer and social media

Kids, summer and social media can be challenging for parents. Use some tools in this article to keep up.
Kids, summer and social media can be challenging for parents. Use some tools in this article to keep up.

This summer there are many social media apps and conversations going on in your children’s cell phones and devices keeping the kids preoccupied and parents wondering what they are doing and to whom are they talking?

Whether they are playing video games, texting a good friend about going to the pool later or they are heavily involved in a large group message about who knows what, all a parent can see is that the kid is glued to their phone. While this may seem innocent enough, the potential for mischief is there, and even more prevalent when kids are out of school for the summer and have too much time on their hands.

Do you know what social media apps your kids are using?

Most parents with children old enough to have a phone or device understand that kids use different social media than their parents, on purpose. While many teenagers have a Facebook account, they only post things there for parents and the more adult crowd. Among peers, kids are using everything from Twitter to Snapchat and Instagram, as well as many more social media apps to which you have never been introduced.

See this article with a list of popular social media apps for teens.

The engineers who design social media apps for teens must understand a child’s concern for privacy from spying eyes when the images on the app button on the phone looks like something other than a social media app. For example, there is an app that looks like a calculator and is actually an image storage app. Maybe the thought is that if mom or dad is looking into their kid’s phone, they will not bother to check the calculator app to see if it adds and subtracts correctly.

Find your son or daughter’s username/handle/screen name

The key is finding your son or daughter’s creative username. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where most people use their real names in their profile, in many of the other social media apps like Instagram, the user makes up their own unique profile name, like a personalized handle they will use on all the other sites. Most people, younger and older use the same personalized screenname so because their peers will recognize them on a variety of social media apps.

Monitoring your kids’ usernames and social media profiles this summer

There are apps you can use to see what your kids are doing.

Once you find your child on Instagram, for example, and make a note of their username, you can then create your own profile on different apps to monitor your kid and figure out what they are up to on their phones all day this summer while they otherwise might be playing sports and other activities.

Most parents pause to consider whether they are breaching the parent-child trust by spying on their kids, but those concerns are quickly alleviated by concerns about bullying and all the other awful segments of humanity to which children can be exposed online and on their social media apps.

During summer break kids have lots of time on their hands and as parents it makes sense to not only pay attention to how much time they are in their phones all summer, but to also monitor their activity the best you can.

For information about Wichita Falls Divorce and Family Lawyer, Richard T. Sutherland, please call (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

Steps to protect your privacy during divorce

Steps to protect your privacy during divorce

Not announcing a divorce is the first step to take to protect your privacy during divorce. When some people tell others that they are getting a divorce, the response is to offer help, which is positive and helpful. In conversations about the divorce the children often become the focus of the conversation. Not everyone wants to have that conversation.

An incentive for protecting your privacy is preventing an Internet search history. Social media can be detrimental when you do not have ultimate control of the information you share about your life. A post about your divorce today, in theory could be searched online by people in the future. Make sure to change your passwords and update your security settings.

Not opening the door to information exposure

What is tied to what you make at issue? First consider that when issues are litigated in court the evidence presented, with possible exceptions, becomes public record to which anyone can gain access. For example, if small business ownership issues are litigated, sensitive business information can become public record.

Settling issues out of court prevents a record and present-day compromises may be in the best interests of anyone with business owner interests. Keeping certain issues out of court can also prevent people you know from being deposed or called to testify in your case.

Protect your privacy during divorce
Protect your privacy during divorce

Best steps at safeguarding personal information

Mediating or agreeing to settle issues you prefer to keep out of court helps protect your privacy during divorce. During the discovery phase of the divorce when information is exchanged among the parties and their lawyers, certain issues in the case can be settled by agreement instead of being litigated in open court, helping you keep financial and asset ownership information private.

In addition to privacy concerns about financial matters, many people go to lengths to prevent others from knowing they are in a divorce. Keeping your divorce a private matter until it is concluded can be a preference. Consider how people can react to information, hearing you are in a divorce, versus you recently were divorced.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

 

 

 

Geographic Restrictions and Relocation

Richard Sutherland Podcast: Geographic Restrictions and Relocation

This is The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast, with Attorney Richard Sutherland. We talk about Texas divorce and family law. This month’s topic is geographic restrictions and when those restrictions may be lifted to allow for relocation.

 

Geographic restrictions and relocation issues in Texas family law:

  • Issues of geographic location involving children
  • Why courts impose geographical restrictions
  • What are the reasons parents ask the court to lift geographic restrictions?
  • Factors the courts consider when deciding to lift geographic restrictions
  • Problems that may arise when geographic restrictions are lifted

Today we are focusing on what happens when life happens, and parents want and or need to move.

First, understand that the Texas Family Code follows public policy of the state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child, meaning that they provide a safe, stable and nonviolent environment for the child. Texas public policy encourages parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.

Texas courts imposes geographic restrictions until the child reaches the age of 18 and the court no longer has jurisdiction over the child, or when the non-custodial parent or conservator no longer resides within the geographical area imposed by the court. The geographic restriction may also be lifted when the custodial parent files a petition to modify the order which granted the restriction.

There are several reasons that a custodial parent might have to seek to life the geographical restrictions to allow for relocation. Listen to the podcast to find out and learn more.

For additional general information, please read about Wichita Falls, Texas Family Law on our website.

Richard Sutherland talks about geographic restrictions and relocation in Texas in this Wichita Falls divorce and family law podcast.
Richard Sutherland talks about geographic restrictions and relocation in Texas in this Wichita Falls divorce and family law podcast.

Attorney Richard T. Sutherland practices family law and commercial litigation in Wichita Falls and all over Texas. Since being licensed by the State of Texas in 1976, Richard Sutherland has been an active member and leader in many legal organizations including the State Bar of Texas. He is a frequent speaker and continuing legal education contributor. Sutherland is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin and the Oklahoma City University School of Law.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

Premarital Agreements in Texas

Richard Sutherland Podcast: Premarital Agreements in Texas

This is The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast, with Attorney Richard Sutherland. We talk about Texas divorce and family law. This month’s topic is premarital agreements in a Texas divorce.

 

Premarital Agreements in Texas: A Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast

  • What is premarital agreement?
  • What are some reasons for wanting a premarital agreement?
  • What can a person accomplish with a premarital agreement?
  • Is there a simple form that a party can use to have a premarital agreement?
  • What is required to have a valid premarital agreement?
  • We will describe some situations and issues involving premarital agreements.

So long as the terms do not violate Texas law, there are seemingly endless opportunities to determine who gets what at the end of a marriage when making a valid and enforceable premarital agreement in Texas.

Too often people make the mistake of assuming a premarital agreement is only for the wealthy. In fact, there are many from all incomes and backgrounds who appreciate the sense of knowing what outcome they may expect in the event the premarital agreement is enforced in connection with the termination of marriage.

People getting married who have or expect to receive inheritances or trust income may be under direction of their immediate family members to preserve money or property in a certain way and under certain conditions. Those on their second or later marriage may use a premarital agreement to protect the children of previous marriages in the event of divorce or termination of the marriage.

Divorce and the family business
Richard Sutherland on Premarital Agreements in Texas

For additional general information, please read about Wichita Falls, Texas Family Law on our website.

Attorney Richard T. Sutherland practices family law and commercial litigation in Wichita Falls and all over Texas. Since being licensed by the State of Texas in 1976, Richard Sutherland has been an active member and leader in many legal organizations including the State Bar of Texas. He is a frequent speaker and continuing legal education contributor. Sutherland is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin and the Oklahoma City University School of Law.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

Discovery in Texas divorce

Discovery in Texas divorce

The process of answering questions and disclosing information needed to settle or litigate your divorce petition is called discovery in Texas divorce. Each party can seek information from the other to get a more accounting of assets, liabilities and issues involving the children and parties in the marriage.

It is common that one of the spouses was the recordkeeper during the marriage and had access to all the information about finances and accounts. There may be requests for information in discovery documents to which one spouse might not have access. In other cases, spouses fail to or refuse to provide the requested information. Where needed the court can order a spouse to comply with discovery or face penalties. Subpoenas may also be issued directly to banks and institutions for records.

Discovery in Texas divorce
Discovery in Texas divorce

Different forms of discovery

Depending on the size of the marital estate or complexity of issues in the divorce, especially concerning children, the discovery process can be short and simple or more complex and litigated. Some or all the following forms of discovery can be used in a Texas divorce. Written discovery requests may be sent to the opposing party up until 60 days before trial and the responses to discovery requests must me made within 30 days unless otherwise ordered by the court.

  • Depositions. At a deposition, the other lawyer asks you questions and a court reporter is present to make a record later to be transcribed. In depositions the attorneys get the parties to lay out their testimony on issues in the divorce, which may be useful later in settlement or trial.
  • Interrogatories. A set of interrogatories is a list of written questions to identify relevant information such as the name and location of bank accounts and property. Where you work, and your income information may also be asked in an interrogatory.
  • Request for Admissions. Another written discovery option is a request for admissions in which the party to divorce is asked to admit or deny a specific statement such as admit or deny that you have a post office box where you are receiving some of your mail. The individual must respond in writing and admit or deny the statement within 30 days or it is deemed admitted by the court.
  • Request for Disclosure. A very common written discovery tool is a request for the disclosure of information about a person or party to the divorce and their legal theories as to why they should receive what they seek in the divorce. Who they may call to testify as witnesses in hearings and trial is also information sought in a request for disclosure.
  • Request for Production and Inspection. The request for production concerns the bank statements, tax records and documentation about income and assets that are organized and turned over to the law firm for review and inspection. When there are documents or items that cannot be produced for inspection in digital or paper form, they may be made available for inspection at a set time and place, such as the inspection of a safety deposit box at a bank.

How to prepare information for your lawyer

Be as organized as you can when preparing your discovery responses for your lawyer’s review so that they can prepare the proper discovery responses. The information you provide such as tax returns, bank and credit card statements and documentation about land and property is used by the lawyers and court to establish and properly distribute the assets and property of the marriage.

The better you can separate and organize your information, the more time and money you can save so your attorney and their staff can process your information. For example, statements organized in date order and fastened separately or in a folder or binder make information easy to find.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

Divorce and the family business

Divorce and the family business

Divorce and the family business interests can become complicated, especially when spouses are both shareholders. In a Texas divorce, the court applies statutory rules regarding the process of determining what property and assets are classified as community or separate property for purposes of distribution in the divorce. See our article and podcast about Community Property for more information.

In the Wichita Falls area there are many small businesses owned by families and it is common for siblings and other family members to own shares. How shares are owned and what rights and duties are attributed to the shareholders may depend on the family business bylaws and other legal documents and operations. A well-written shareholders agreement should address spouses and what may happen in the event of death or divorce.

Does your spouse own equal shares?

If you and your spouse own equal shares in the business and you divorce, there may be unanticipated outcomes. Many of us assume our spouse will not be interested in the shares of a small family business, especially where those shares are not worth as much as cash in hand in lieu of the shares.

The failure in logic may be the assumption the spouse wants out of all aspects of you and your life. A scorned spouse with a legal right to retain their shares in the business can make your life difficult for years to come.

The jilted spouse may feel less awkward about sticking around when it comes time to vote on something like the payment of dividends. Where it had never been a problem before the divorce, your ex may be one of the deciding votes not to pay dividends, for example.

Why buying your spouse’s shares over their value makes sense.

To prevent your former spouse from sitting next to you at the board of directors table, you might want make an attractive offer they cannot refuse. If at first you offer a fair price for their shares and they refuse, increase your offer.

Even if you feel as if you are coming out on the short end of the stick and are overpaying for what you already consider overvalued shares, the peace of mind and future security in the family business can be worth your cost in the divorce.

In divorce cases involving family businesses there are a variety of ways shares are held. How you received your shares has much to do with whether your spouse will have a claim to part of the business.

Divorce and the family business
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law Family Law Practice Areas Including High Net Worth Divorce and Divorce and the Family Business.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

Community and Separate Property in Texas

Richard Sutherland Podcast: Community and Separate Property in Texas

This is The Wichita Falls Family Law Podcast, with Attorney Richard Sutherland. We talk about Texas divorce and family law. This month’s topic is community property and the division of the community estate in a Texas divorce.

 

Community and Separate Property in Texas: A Wichita Falls Family Law podcast

  • What is community property?
  • What is separate property?
  • Devise or descent: What is the difference?
  • Community vs. separate property: Why it matters
  • Does property need to be jointly titled to be community property?
  • Is income from separate property still separate property?
  • Legal presumptions about the character of property
  • How does the Texas court divide the community estate in divorce?
  • Do fault and non-fault-based grounds affect entitlement to community property?

Texas courts divide the community estate in divorce based on the statute which instructs the court on dividing the community estate. It provides that the court shall divide the community estate in a manner which is just and right, with due regard for the rights of each party and the children of the marriage, if any. The court has great discretion in how it can divide the community estate, but its discretion is still limited by some factors as discussed in this podcast.

About Community Property generally: Texas law defines community property as being the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Separate property is defined as being property owned or claimed by a spouse before marriage. Property acquired by a spouse during marriage by gift, devise or descent and the monetary proceeds for an injury sustained by a spouse during the marriage, except for lost earnings and medical expenses.

Community and Separate Property in Texas
Community and Separate Property in Texas

For additional general information, please read about Wichita Falls, Texas Family Law on our website.

Attorney Richard T. Sutherland practices family law and commercial litigation in Wichita Falls and all over Texas. Since being licensed by the State of Texas in 1976, Richard Sutherland has been an active member and leader in many legal organizations including the State Bar of Texas. He is a frequent speaker and continuing legal education contributor. Sutherland is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin and the Oklahoma City University School of Law.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

High net worth divorce

High Net Worth Divorce

There are a variety of complex issues in high net worth divorces cases in Wichita Falls and the surrounding area. Attorney Richard Sutherland offers an overview of some of the high conflict problems people have involving complex finances, child support and spousal maintenance, and how to isolate differences that can be resolved in mediation and what needs to be litigated in court.

Complex Finances

High net worth divorce lawyers frequently address valuation issues involving investments and family shares in business interests. In a divorce, there may be questions about what money was earned during the marriage and is community property versus separate property. Complex calculations and valuations are often accomplished by your divorce lawyer hiring business and divorce financial professionals.

Hidden assets may be traced by a legal investigator trained in high net worth divorce asset issues. In some cases, the assets could be at risk of transfer or disposal and a restraining order might be needed to prevent disturbance to assets. Safe deposit boxes and their content alone can be the subject of contested litigation.

Child Support & Spousal Maintenance

In a high net worth divorce case, financial issues involving child support and spousal maintenance can involve the exceptions to general Texas family law rules. For example, in Texas there is a maximum cap on guideline child support. There is a limited exception where the court can order additional support for the proven needs of a child, which may be involved in cases where a child might have a limiting disability.

Spousal maintenance can be ordered in marriages of ten years or more and are absolutely limited by the Texas Family Code to 20% of the paying spouses average monthly gross income or $5,000, whichever is less. The maximum duration of spousal maintenance is 10 years for marriages of 30 years or more. Shorter marriages have shorter durations of payments if they are ordered.

Mediation & Litigation

An experienced high net worth lawyer can evaluate complex divorce issues and work with their client on a strategy that makes the most sense and considers the client’s bottom line. While some issues can be settled in mediation, others may require a trial to a judge or jury. During the discovery process where the parties in the divorce exchange income and asset information there may be questions about certain asset valuations and other assets that seem to be missing from discovery disclosures. It is important to hire a divorce and family law attorney who knows how to untangle a web of complex issues.

Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Habeas Corpus, Modifications, Enforcements, Interstate Family Law, Pre & Post Marital Agreements, Child Support, Interstate Family Support, High Net Worth Divorce in Texas
Richard Sutherland Attorney at Law Family Law Practice Areas Including High Net Worth Divorce

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.

 

Do I need a temporary court order for child custody?

You might need a temporary court order for child custody.

Parents researching and preparing for divorce quickly learn they might want a temporary court order for child custody. If you and the other parent agree about all the issues involving the children, you may not need a temporary order. For most, however, issues involving children including custody and support are handled in temporary orders hearings not long after a divorce case is filed. In Texas family law what is loosely referred to as custody is called conservatorship. To learn more about managing conservatorship, listen to our recent podcast about Texas child custody and conservatorship.

Do I need a temporary court order for child custody?
Do I need a temporary court order for child custody?

What is a temporary hearing for divorce?

A temporary hearing is for temporary orders for child custody, child support and other issues that need to be resolved so that everyone knows where they are going to be and how they will be supported during the divorce case. After the temporary hearing, the temporary orders issued by the court will be binding on you and the other parent until the divorce is concluded after a final trial or settlement agreement with a parenting plan.

Preparing for a temporary custody order hearing:

Local courts have time limits on temporary custody order hearings. For example, in Wichita Falls, the Wichita County Court rules limit hearings regarding managing conservatorship to two hours. Preparing for a temporary hearing for divorce, attorneys and their clients work to find areas where the parties can agree on certain issues. For example, if you can agree on certain issues involving the children, the attorneys and court can focus more time and effort on resolving the high conflict problems.

For information about Texas divorce and family law please call Attorney Richard T. Sutherland in Wichita Falls, Texas by dialing (940) 691-2100.

You can follow Attorney Richard T. Sutherland on social media and find useful articles and resources for you and your family. Richard Sutherland is on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. For a virtual library of blog articles and podcast interviews about Texas divorce and family law please visit WichitaFallsFamilyLaw.com.