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dallas divorce lawyerIn the celebrated drama “The West Wing,” President Bartlet muses that he does not “like the word "stress." It's a Madison Avenue word. It's something that can be cured with flavored coffee and bath bubbles.” Like the word “stress” the word “self-care” is far too often associated with commercialization and the perception that someone’s challenges can be addressed effectively if they only take 10 minutes each day to meditate using a specific app or they treat themselves to that new sweater that they have been eyeing. Yet, genuine self-care should remain a critically important focus, especially during times of peak stress, including the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, and when filing for divorce.

If you are filing for divorce, you do not need to engage in manufactured, Instagram-ready approaches to self-care. Your time and energy are far too valuable for that. But, you do want to take good care of your mind, body, and spirit at this time. If you do not, the stresses that you are both being exposed to and are absorbing could sap your resilience, lead to clouded judgment when making decisions about your divorce process, and leave you less ready to tackle the challenges ahead of you.

How to Integrate Self-Care into Your Approach 

Genuine self-care consists of efforts undertaken for your benefit, not to prove anything to anyone else. As a result, you will want to set some personal goals for yourself that will allow you to take good care of your body, mind, and spirit during this period of profound transition. Whether you commit to healthy eating, getting adequate sleep, hitting movement-based goals, seeking quiet time to reflect, and/or seeking out community support, focus on whatever it is that you need and how to integrate those efforts into your life in ways that will not cause additional stress.


dallas car accident injury lawyerSummer is fast approaching. If you have teenagers in your family, their summer will hopefully be full of genuinely joyful, enlightening, and inspiring experiences. Also, hopefully, they will remain safe while they are working jobs, visiting friends, participating in activities, and generally enjoying their downtime. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that a significant number of teenagers across the U.S. will not remain safe this summer. In fact, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are often referred to the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer. This distinction specifically concerns the rate at which teens experience fatal and catastrophic motor vehicle accidents during the summer months.

What Distinguishes the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer?

All year long, motor vehicle accidents represent the leading cause of death for American teenagers. Overall, inexperienced teen drivers experience the highest overall crash rate of any age group as well. The challenges that teen drivers face at any time of year spike in the summer, as they tend to be out on the road far more often, with more distracting passengers in their cars, and at times of the day and night when they are more likely to be home during the school year.

As a result of these influences and a host of other factors, the teen crash fatality rate rises by more than 25 percent during the summer, resulting in an average of 260 teens lost during each of summer’s three short months. Thousands more are seriously injured and traumatized as a result of catastrophic wrecks.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_184715771-min.jpgA child’s needs tend to manifest differently during the summer months than they do during the school year. While a primary focus of parents during all other seasons is their child’s academic situation, the summer may allow them to prioritize different experiences. For example, a child who does not get to see one of their parents much during the academic year may benefit from spending more time with them in the summer. Whatever the summer holds, if a child’s parenting situation is governed in part by a parenting plan, it is important for parents who are bound to honor the terms of that plan before spring becomes a mere memory.

Preparing for the Months Ahead

Many parenting plans contain special provisions that apply only in the summer. If your co-parenting relationship is governed by a parenting plan, you will want to review any such terms contained in your order. By evaluating the precise language – perhaps, concerning travel, scheduling, extracurricular involvement, or virtual visitation – you will be better prepared to honor them.

Conversely, if your review of these terms highlights circumstances that are no longer in your child’s best interests, it may benefit you to speak with your co-parent about modifying the terms of your plan. If you can mutually agree on alternative language, our firm can help you to formalize the change and submit it to the court. If your co-parent is resistant to the idea of a modification, we can help you to explore the risks and benefits of asking the court to intervene.


Who Gets the Dog in a Texas Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

fort worth divorce lawyerIn the State of Texas, there is no special pet custody statute that governs the methods by which a judge must determine which spouse keeps a dog in the event of a divorce. Instead, dogs, cats, and other pets are treated as property. As Texas is a community property state, this means that any pets acquired during the tenure of a couple’s marriage are classified as community property and are subject to the state’s property division rules accordingly.

In a community property state, divorcing couples are free to divide their marital property however they please, provided that they can reach mutually-agreeable property division terms. If negotiations or mediation do not result in a mutually-agreeable solution, a judge will be compelled to determine who gets the dog in a Texas divorce.

A Question of Ownership

As a pet is a form of property, the rules that apply to community vs. separate property in Texas generally apply to pet custody. For example, if one spouse owned the dog before a couple got married, the pet will likely be treated as separate property and will remain with that spouse in the event of a contentious divorce. Similarly, if the family dog was gifted to one spouse or inherited by one spouse during the marriage, the animal will likely be treated as separate property in favor of the spouse who first received it.


dallas child custody lawyerCo-parenting can be a challenging undertaking, especially before both adults and their children have settled into an established rhythm. As a result, it can be very helpful for divorcing spouses who share minor children to utilize different forms of technology when attempting to honor their obligations to each other and their children. The use of technology designed specifically with co-parents in mind may even be cited as an expectation in a divorcing couple’s parenting agreement.

Technology that Can Strengthen Bonds and Minimize Tension 

There are two primary forms of technology that can potentially assist co-parents in managing their family’s needs more effectively.

First, some apps can help parents to remain bonded and invested in their children’s lives when their children are residing with their co-parent. Apps that can help bring parents and kids together across the miles include:

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