Using Kids as Pawns in Divorce

  • February 11, 2021
  • Evans & Herlihy

Using Kids as Pawns in Divorce is Harmful to Everyone There are no winners when children are drawn into divorce conflicts. Divorce is stressful enough for parents and children, but when parents use their kids as pawns, they may be subjecting them to irreparable harm. Children are caught in the middle and may become confused. Their sense of security and self-esteem may be damaged, and they may wind up blaming themselves. By putting children in a situation where they feel they have to choose between their parents, parents further destroy their relationship with each other and are unable to cooperate and co-parent in a manner that is in the child’s best interests. Children may resent and withdraw from their parents, creating long-term r[...]

Can Text Messages Be Used in a Divorce?

  • January 28, 2021
  • Evans & Herlihy

As divorce attorneys, we hear the question, “can text messages be used in a divorce?” quite frequently. Asking it makes a lot of sense. Think for a moment. You likely spend a significant amount of time on your cell phone. Today, more than ever before, many of us use texting as our primary form of communication with our friends, our families and, quite often, our significant others. In fact, newly dating couples tend to use text messages to get to know each other and even plan their dates. These texts are often fun and flirty. Cell phones offer an effective and efficient way to communicate. Unfortunately, as you are probably aware, conversations over text are not always happy and positive. In fact, many of us are more li[...]

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

  • November 13, 2020
  • Evans & Herlihy

Divorce can be one of the most devasting and adversarial experiences couples go through, but the process is made easier when a divorce is uncontested. So, what is an uncontested divorce? If you and your divorcing spouse can communicate and agree on the issues, Texas allows you to file for an uncontested or “agreed” divorce. This is a simplified process that is relatively fast, and you may qualify if you meet the criteria that includes: Both spouses agree to a divorce and on the “grounds” for the divorce You do not have minor children together, own property together, have retirement benefits to divide, or seek alimony There are no ongoing bankruptcy cases. Even if your divorce is uncontested, one spouse still has to get [...]

Handling Joint Custody Arrangements in the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • October 30, 2020
  • Evans & Herlihy

Joint custody can become more complicated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both parents should be flexible and prioritize their child’s well-being ahead of their own needs and any animosity they may feel toward the other parent. If you are having conflicts over child custody, Evans & Herlihy is here to help. Physical and legal custody (or "conservatorship" as Texas law calls it) describes your legal relationship with your child if there’s a court order. Most orders have both parents as Joint Managing Conservators (JMCs). A court will go this route unless there’s a reason not to (such as domestic violence, drug use, mental illness). In this situation, both parents make decisions about their child’s education, medical treatment, and o[...]

Domestic Violence Resources in Austin to Contact for Help

  • May 1, 2020
  • Evans & Herlihy

Cities across the country have seen a frightening rise in domestic violence cases since the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic began, according to numerous reports. In Austin, calls to a local domestic violence hotline jumped by 15% during a single week when stay-at-home orders were first put in place, according to an article in The Statesman. And as the weeks go on, domestic violence incidents will almost certainly grow. Because of the significant jump in abuse incidents, we wanted to make community members aware of domestic violence resources in Austin, the state and the nation. Spouse abuse, child abuse and abuse of any vulnerable person are not okay. It is important that you know where to turn for help if you or a loved one is being abus[...]

The Rights of the Father

  • May 13, 2019
  • Evans & Herlihy

Fathers have more rights today than they had years ago when mothers were almost always granted primary custody of the children, but many divorcing fathers still must struggle to obtain them.  This can happen even though in today’s world both parents often work, fathers may be the stay-at-home parent and may actively participate in their children’s lives, and the importance of children having a father’s presence has been recognized. Children who do not have a father in their lives suffer many negative effects, such as being more likely to use drugs or drop out of school. Texas law recognizes the father’s equal right to be considered as the primary conservator, and courts are more likely to award custody to fathers than they u[...]

The Rise of Digital Spying in Divorce

  • February 12, 2018
  • Evans & Herlihy

When marriages turn sour, some people turn to digital surveillance to monitor their spouse’s behavior. According to an NPR report, some family law attorneys say that digital spying has become so common, it’s changing how they handle divorce cases. People are using GPS monitors, software, and other devices to monitor not only the physical location of their current or ex spouse, but also their online activity. One partner may be trying to gather evidence that could help them prevail in a divorce. But in at least one case, a woman’s ex-husband was using a GPS device to track her movements long after they had split. Prosecutors couldn’t charge the ex-husband with a crime, as he and his wife had joint ownership of the car. Lack of[...]

Reasons to Modify Your Divorce Decree

  • June 3, 2016
  • Evans & Herlihy

Most provisions of a divorce decree cannot be modified; however, either spouse may ask the court to modify orders pertaining to their children, in some situations. In order to modify child support, visitation, or conservatorship/custody, the petitioner must prove to the court that a “material and substantial” change has occurred since the initial divorce decree. Following are some of the common reasons people modify their divorce decrees. Physical location Visitation and conservatorship agreements are, to some extent, based on geography. A visitation agreement created when parents lived in homes 10 miles apart will need to be modified if one parent moves to another city or state. In such cases, some parents are able to work togeth[...]