Renken Law Firm have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury.

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Enforcing Texas Orders

Renken Law Firm, PLLC represent clients seeking to enforce the terms of a divorce decree or custody order. You may need to seek to enforce an order when the other parent has failed to pay their court ordered child support or if you have been denied visitation with your child.  We have extensive experience with both seeking relief for these types of issues and also defending against these types of cases.  Having an experienced lawyer who has handled both sides of the issue provides you a unique attorney who can reasonably anticipate what the other side may attempt to do.  If the non-custodial parent refuses to pay court ordered child support  or you have been denied visitation, contact us.  If you have been accused of nonpayment or denying the opposing party visitation, a possible contempt outcome is jail time. Do not go to court alone, contact Renken Law Firm, PLLC.

Enforcement for Delinquent Child Support

Child support arrearages not only can lead to wage garnishment, property liens and loss of tax refunds, they can also result in loss of your license to drive, fish, hunt, sell real estate, teach or practice medicine. Whether your problem involves modification or enforcement of family law rights, our lawyers can advise and represent you.

Enforcement / Contempt of Court Actions

When a parent refuses to honor visitation orders, fails to pay child support or fails to comply with other court orders, the parent is in contempt of court. In most circumstances, it is important that a child is supported by and has meaningful relationships with both parents. That is why it is so important to follow custody, visitation and support arrangements. Failure to do so can jeopardize the child’s well being. If a parent willfully and recklessly avoided complying with orders when it was feasible to do so, the parent may be charged criminally with contempt and could face potential jail time, fines and other consequences. Our attorneys help clients pursue court orders of enforcement.  We also defend against actions where enforcement or contempt cases are brought against you unjustly or for spite.

Child Support Enforcement Actions

If you are facing a child support enforcement action initiated by the Attorney General, Renken Law Firm, PLLC can answer the complaint and try to transfer your case to family court, where your options for a realistic payment plan will be somewhat broader. If you are the parent trying to enforce the terms of a divorce or paternity child support order, we can help ensure that your right to payment is brought current as quickly as possible.

Latest News

Can I Divorce My Spouse if They Are Incarcerated

Can I Divorce My Spouse if They Are Incarcerated?

February 27, 2024

A Detailed Exploration from The Renken Law Firm, Houston: Navigating Divorce with an Incarcerated Spouse The path to divorce is never straightforward, and it becomes significantly more complex when one of the spouses is incarcerated. The Renken Law Firm in Houston recognizes the unique challenges and emotional toll that this situation can impose on individuals seeking to dissolve their marriage under such circumstances. Our comprehensive guide is designed to demystify the legal landscape, offering clarity and support through each step of the divorce process in Texas, especially when dealing with the added complexities of incarceration. Deep Dive into Texas Divorce Laws Texas’s legal framework accommodates various grounds for divorce, enabling a tailored approach that reflects the specifics of each case. Understanding the nuances of these laws is pivotal for anyone navigating through the dissolution of a marriage, particularly when it involves an incarcerated spouse. Fault vs. No-Fault Divorce: A Strategic Choice In Texas, the law delineates between fault and no-fault grounds for divorce, allowing petitioners to choose the approach that best suits their situation. Fault Grounds for Divorce: When opting for a fault-based divorce, incarceration of a spouse presents a specific ground. This path is applicable under circumstances where the incarcerated spouse has been convicted of a felony, served at least one year in a state or federal penitentiary, and where the conviction stands final after the exhaustion of appeals. Opting for fault grounds can influence aspects of the divorce such as asset division and may have implications on custody arrangements, making it a strategic choice in certain scenarios. No-Fault Divorce: The more commonly pursued route in Texas divorces is the no-fault option. This approach does not require proving wrongdoing by either party. Citing “insupportability” suffices, which refers to a discord or conflict of personalities that irreparably breaks down the …

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Navigating Life's Changes How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

Navigating Life’s Changes How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

February 23, 2024

Family law is a branch of legal practice that deals with issues related to family relationships, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption, among others. It can be one of the most emotionally charged areas of the law, affecting deeply personal aspects of individuals’ lives. In such times, having a knowledgeable and empathetic legal guide is invaluable. The Renken Law Firm in Houston, Texas, offers comprehensive family law services, understanding the complexities and sensitivities involved in these matters. This blog post explores the various ways a family law attorney can assist you, ensuring your rights are protected and your family’s well-being is prioritized. Guidance Through Divorce Proceedings  Divorce is not just a legal ending of a marriage; it’s a complex emotional journey that affects families on multiple levels. Navigating this process requires not only legal expertise but also a compassionate understanding of the emotional dynamics at play. Family law attorneys play a pivotal role in guiding individuals through these turbulent times, ensuring the legal process aligns with the emotional and psychological needs of all involved. The divorce process can be daunting, filled with legal jargon, paperwork, and court proceedings. A family law attorney demystifies this process, providing clear, step-by-step guidance from the initial filing of the divorce petition to the final decree. They offer strategic advice on managing sensitive issues such as asset division, which often involves complex negotiations over property, retirement accounts, and debts. The goal is to reach an equitable division that respects the contributions of both parties to the marriage. Spousal support, or alimony, is another critical area where a family law attorney offers expert advice. Determining whether spousal support is warranted, its amount, and duration requires a thorough understanding of state laws and the financial realities of both parties. Attorneys work diligently to ensure that …

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Understanding the Role of a Divorce Mediator

Understanding the Role of a Divorce Mediator

February 13, 2024

Divorce is a complex and emotionally taxing process that often involves navigating a labyrinth of legal, financial, and personal issues. In such challenging times, the guidance of a professional who can facilitate a constructive dialogue between parties is invaluable. This is where the role of a divorce mediator comes into play, and professionals like Dawn Renken at The Renken Law Firm excel in guiding couples through their divorce proceedings with empathy, understanding, and expertise. The Essence of Divorce Mediation Divorce mediation is a confidential and voluntary process that allows couples to resolve their divorce-related disputes outside of court. A mediator, like Dawn Renken, acts as a neutral third party to help both spouses communicate their needs and negotiate an agreement that works for both parties. The goal of mediation is not to reconcile the couple but to reach a mutually acceptable settlement that addresses key issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. The Role of a Divorce Mediator Dawn Renken’s role as a divorce mediator encompasses several critical responsibilities, all aimed at facilitating a smoother transition for both parties involved. These responsibilities include: 1. Facilitating Communication: A Deeper Dive The role of a divorce mediator in facilitating communication cannot be overstated. Dawn Renken, through her expertise and compassionate approach, creates a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, where the air is filled with understanding rather than contention. This environment allows spouses to articulate their needs, hopes, and apprehensions in a manner that is both respectful and constructive. In the heat of divorce, emotions run high, and communication barriers can easily arise. Dawn Renken’s skillful mediation techniques break down these barriers, enabling a flow of communication that might otherwise seem impossible. She employs various strategies, such as active listening, paraphrasing, and asking open-ended questions, to ensure that each party …

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Navigating Divorce in Houston A Guide to Finding the Right Attorney

Navigating Divorce in Houston A Guide to Finding the Right Attorney

February 7, 2024

Divorce is a challenging and emotional journey that requires careful legal navigation. In Houston, where the laws and procedures can be complex, finding the right divorce attorney is crucial to ensuring your interests are protected and the process goes as smoothly as possible. The Renken Law Firm in Houston stands out as a beacon of support and expertise for those navigating through these turbulent times. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the essentials of seeking a divorce attorney in Houston, offering insights, advice, and why The Renken Law Firm should be your first choice. Understanding Divorce Law in Texas: A Deeper Dive In the state of Texas, navigating the complexities of divorce law requires not only a fundamental understanding of the legal framework but also an intimate knowledge of the specific statutes and requirements that govern the dissolution of marriage. Texas law presents a unique landscape for divorce proceedings, characterized by its distinct options for filing—namely, fault and no-fault divorce. These options are not merely procedural; they carry significant implications for the division of marital assets, arrangements for child custody, and determinations regarding spousal support. Choosing between a fault and a no-fault divorce is a decision that can fundamentally influence the outcome of a case. A fault divorce, for instance, necessitates proving that one party is to blame for the failure of the marriage due to reasons such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or other legally recognized grounds. This route can impact the court’s decisions on asset division and support in a way that may favor the petitioner. On the other hand, a no-fault divorce allows couples to dissolve their marriage without attributing the dissolution to either party’s misconduct, often leading to a more amicable and sometimes quicker resolution. Given these complexities, the role of a skilled attorney becomes indispensable. …

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Understanding Different Types of Child Custody in Texas

Understanding Different Types of Child Custody in Texas

January 30, 2024

A Comprehensive Guide for Parents By The Renken Law Firm, Houston Navigating through divorce is a complex and emotional process, especially when children are involved. Understanding child custody is essential for parents facing separation. The Renken Law Firm in Houston offers a concise yet comprehensive guide to help parents comprehend the various types of custody available in post-divorce scenarios. This guide delves into the nuances of legal and physical custody, including sole and joint arrangements, and specialized forms like split and bird’s nest custody. Our aim is to illuminate the paths available for custody decisions, assisting parents in making choices that prioritize their children’s well-being. With our expertise, we strive to support and guide parents through these challenging times, ensuring informed decisions that benefit the entire family. Understanding Child Custody Child custody refers to the legal and practical relationship between a parent and their child, including the right and duty to care for and make decisions for the child. After a divorce, determining who gets custody is often one of the most critical decisions. In Texas, like in many other states, courts focus on the best interest of the child when making custody decisions. Detailed Overview of Types of Custody in Texas Legal Custody Legal Custody refers to a parent’s authority to make significant decisions in their child’s life. This encompasses choices about the child’s education, such as selecting schools or tutors, healthcare decisions including medical treatments and health insurance, and religious upbringing, which involves determining the religious practices and institutions the child may be a part of. Sole Legal Custody: In this arrangement, only one parent has the exclusive authority to make these important decisions. This is often granted in situations where one parent is deemed incapable or unsuitable to participate in these decisions, or in cases where parents …

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Attorney for Custody Battle in Houston

Attorney for Custody Battle in Houston

January 23, 2024

Navigating through the intricate landscape of custody battles can be a daunting and emotionally taxing journey for any parent. Understanding what this process entails, the factors considered in custody agreements, and how an attorney can guide and support you is crucial. At The Renken Law Firm in Houston, we specialize in family law and are deeply committed to providing our clients with the knowledge and assistance they need during these challenging times. Understanding Custody Agreements What Do Normal Custody Agreements Look Like? In Texas, custody agreements are typically referred to as “Conservatorship” and involve two main components: physical and legal custody. Physical custody determines where the child will live, while legal custody involves the rights to make decisions about the child’s education, health, and welfare. There are generally two types of custody agreements: Sole Managing Conservatorship (SMC) and Joint Managing Conservatorship (JMC). In an SMC, one parent has the majority of the custody rights, whereas in a JMC, both parents share these rights, although not always equally. JMC is more common, reflecting the state’s preference for shared parenting responsibilities, unless it’s determined to be against the child’s best interests. Factors Considered in Custody Agreements When deciding custody arrangements, the court’s paramount concern is the child’s best interests. Several key factors are taken into consideration: In-Depth Consideration of the Child’s Age, Physical, and Emotional Needs The age of the child plays a critical role in determining custody. Infants and toddlers, for example, might have different attachment needs compared to teenagers, who require more freedom and independence. The court assesses the child’s developmental stage to ensure that the custody arrangement aligns with their psychological and emotional growth. Additionally, if the child has special needs, whether they are physical, emotional, or educational, this becomes a significant consideration. The court looks at which parent …

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Navigating Divorce in Texas A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

Navigating Divorce in Texas A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

January 17, 2024

Divorce is a challenging and emotional process, especially when children are involved. Understanding the intricacies of divorce laws in Texas is crucial for parents seeking to navigate this difficult journey. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key aspects that parents should know before filing for divorce in Texas, covering custody arrangements, visitation schedules, co-parenting strategies, and other relevant information. Grounds for Divorce in Texas: Texas allows for both fault and no-fault divorces. No-fault divorces are granted when the marriage becomes insupportable due to conflicts or discord between the spouses. Fault-based divorces may be pursued on grounds such as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or felony conviction. It’s essential to consult with a family law attorney to determine the most appropriate grounds for your specific situation. Child Custody in Texas: One of the most crucial aspects of divorce involving children is determining child custody. Texas recognizes two types of custody: Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Courts in Texas may grant joint legal custody to both parents, allowing them to share decision-making responsibilities, or sole legal custody to one parent if it is deemed in the child’s best interest. Physical Custody: Physical custody involves determining where the child will reside. Similar to legal custody, physical custody can be joint or sole. Joint physical custody allows both parents to have significant periods of physical custody, while sole physical custody grants one parent the primary residence, and the other may have visitation rights. Factors Considered by Texas Courts: When determining child custody, Texas courts consider various factors to ensure the child’s best interests are prioritized. Some of these factors include: The child’s emotional and physical needs. Each parent’s ability to meet those needs. The stability of each …

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Navigating Child Custody in Houston Texas

Navigating Child Custody in Houston Texas

January 5, 2024

Child custody cases can be emotionally charged and legally intricate, often leaving parents and grandparents with numerous questions and uncertainties. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore child custody in Texas, shedding light on how custody is decided, circumstances under which grandparents are granted custody, the process of revising a custody agreement, and the invaluable role an attorney like Dawn Renken from The Renken Law Firm in Houston can play in these delicate situations. Additionally, we will address common questions to provide a thorough understanding of child custody laws in Texas. Understanding Child Custody in Texas: A Detailed Exploration Child custody laws in Texas are founded on the fundamental principle of prioritizing the best interests of the child. This legal standard serves as the compass guiding courts in their determination of the most suitable custody arrangement for the child. A nuanced understanding of this principle is essential for parents navigating the complexities of custody disputes in the Lone Star State. The court’s evaluation is multifaceted, taking into account a spectrum of factors that collectively contribute to the child’s overall well-being. Firstly, the court assesses the child’s physical and emotional welfare, aiming to ensure that the chosen custody arrangement promotes a stable and nurturing environment. This involves scrutinizing each parent’s ability to meet the child’s basic needs and provide a home conducive to their healthy development. Stability is a pivotal consideration in the court’s decision-making process. The judiciary recognizes the significance of a consistent and secure living environment for a child’s overall growth. Factors such as the stability of each parent’s living situation, employment status, and financial stability play a role in shaping the court’s perspective on the child’s future prospects within each parent’s care. Moreover, the court delves into an assessment of the ability of each parent or guardian to …

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Exploring Child Custody With The Renken Law Firm in Houston

Exploring Child Custody With The Renken Law Firm in Houston

December 21, 2023

Child custody battles are emotionally charged and complex, requiring careful consideration of various factors to ensure the best interests of the child. In Houston, families often turn to The Renken Law Firm for guidance in navigating these challenging situations. In this blog post, we will delve into the factors that influence custody decisions and address the concerns of stay-at-home parents seeking sole custody. Factors Considered in Child Custody Decisions When determining child custody, courts prioritize the child’s well-being and aim to create an arrangement that fosters a stable and nurturing environment. Various factors come into play during custody evaluations: Child’s Best Interests: The paramount consideration in any custody decision is the best interests of the child. Courts assess factors such as the child’s age, physical and mental health, educational needs, and emotional ties with each parent. Parental Fitness: Courts evaluate the physical and mental health of each parent to ensure their ability to provide a safe and stable environment. Issues like substance abuse, criminal history, and domestic violence can significantly impact custody decisions. Parental Involvement: The level of involvement each parent has in the child’s life is crucial. This includes the willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent, involvement in education and extracurricular activities, and overall commitment to parenting. Stability and Continuity: Courts often favor maintaining stability and continuity in a child’s life. This involves considering the child’s existing routines, relationships, and community ties. Co-Parenting Ability: The ability of parents to cooperate and communicate is essential. Courts assess the parents’ willingness to collaborate in making decisions for the child and their ability to foster a positive co-parenting relationship. Can a Stay-at-Home Parent Obtain Sole Custody? Being a stay-at-home parent without a job does not automatically disqualify one from obtaining sole custody. Courts recognize the valuable role of …

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A Comprehensive Guide to Mediation vs Traditional Approaches in Houston

A Comprehensive Guide to Mediation vs Traditional Approaches in Houston

December 13, 2023

Divorce is a profoundly challenging and emotional journey, marked by complex legal considerations and deeply personal decisions. The approach chosen to navigate this process can significantly impact both the outcome and the overall experience for the parties involved. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the nuanced differences between divorce mediation and traditional divorce, the indispensable role of a mediator, and the multifaceted benefits of choosing mediation—especially for couples with children. What is the difference between divorce mediation and traditional divorce? Divorce mediation and traditional divorce represent divergent paths toward resolving the dissolution of a marriage. Traditional divorce typically involves each party hiring an attorney, with negotiations often taking place within a courtroom setting. Litigation, formal hearings, and a judge’s final decision are common elements of this approach. Conversely, divorce mediation entails the involvement of a neutral third party—the mediator—who acts as a facilitator for communication and negotiation between the spouses. This mediation process unfolds outside of the courtroom, fostering a more cooperative and less adversarial environment. Mediation, by design, encourages open communication and empowers couples to make decisions collaboratively, contributing to a more amicable resolution. In contrast, the traditional divorce process often intensifies conflicts, resulting in a more contentious and costly journey. Do both parties need a mediator during divorce? While it’s not mandatory for both parties to have separate mediators during divorce, the essential aspect is the presence of a neutral mediator who collaboratively works with both spouses. The mediator’s role is pivotal in facilitating communication, guiding the couple through discussions, and aiding in the resolution of various aspects of the divorce. The advantage of having a single mediator lies in the promotion of a balanced process where both parties feel heard and understood. This collaborative approach contributes to an efficient and less emotionally draining experience, …

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The Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Mediation with Renken Law Firm in Houston

The Comprehensive Guide to Divorce Mediation with Renken Law Firm in Houston

December 7, 2023

Who Should Consider Divorce Mediation? Divorce is a challenging process that can take an emotional and financial toll on couples. For those seeking a more amicable and collaborative approach to ending their marriage, divorce mediation can be an excellent option. This alternative dispute resolution method is particularly well-suited for couples who wish to maintain control over the decision-making process and foster a cooperative environment. Mediation is most effective when both parties are willing to engage in open communication and negotiation. If you and your spouse are committed to finding mutually agreeable solutions and are willing to work together to reach a resolution, then divorce mediation could be the right choice for you. One of the primary advantages of mediation is that it allows couples to tailor solutions to their unique circumstances. This flexibility makes mediation a suitable option for couples with children, as it provides a platform to discuss and agree upon child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and parenting plans collaboratively. Additionally, mediation can benefit couples with complex financial situations, as it enables them to work together to find fair and equitable solutions to the division of assets and liabilities. Choosing divorce mediation reflects a commitment to minimizing conflict and finding common ground. If you value open communication, a cooperative approach, and the ability to customize solutions to your specific needs, divorce mediation may be the ideal choice for ending your marriage on more amicable terms. Is Divorce Mediation More Affordable? Cost is a significant factor for many individuals going through a divorce, and mediation often proves to be a more affordable option than traditional litigation. In a litigated divorce, each party typically hires their own attorney, leading to higher legal fees and court costs. Mediation, on the other hand, involves a neutral mediator who assists the couple in reaching …

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10 Ways to Make the Holidays Easier On Your Kids After Divorce

10 Ways to Make the Holidays Easier On Your Kids After Divorce

November 28, 2023

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, especially during the holiday season. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your children’s well-being and make the holidays as special as possible for them. The Renken Law Firm in Houston understands the importance of fostering a positive environment for your children during this time. Here are ten thoughtful ways to make the holidays easier for your kids after divorce: Maintaining open and effective communication with your ex-spouse during the holiday season is paramount. Foster a proactive dialogue to discuss and align on various aspects, including holiday plans, scheduling, gift-giving, and the continuation of special traditions. Clear communication ensures that both parents are on the same page, promoting a harmonious and stress-free environment for your children. The establishment of fresh holiday traditions holds immense potential in aiding your children’s adjustment to the changes brought about by divorce. Delve into creative and meaningful activities such as baking cookies together, engaging in volunteer work, or crafting a special ornament annually. These new traditions can serve as bonding experiences, fostering positive memories for your children during this transitional period. Flexibility in holiday scheduling is a key component of creating a balanced and fulfilling experience for your children. Explore the possibility of alternating holidays each year, allowing your children to spend quality time with both parents during special occasions. This adaptive approach ensures that your children can maintain meaningful connections with each parent, promoting a sense of stability and inclusivity. In the intricate web of holiday plans, placing your child’s needs at the forefront is essential. Tailor your holiday activities based on their age, preferences, and emotional state. By considering these factors, you contribute to the creation of a positive and enjoyable experience, alleviating potential stressors and allowing your child to relish the holiday season. While embarking on …

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How Can I Make My Divorce Easier on My Child

How Can I Make My Divorce Easier on My Child?

November 20, 2023

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process, and when children are involved, the stakes are even higher. The impact of divorce on children can be profound, influencing their emotional well-being, academic performance, and future relationships. However, there are ways for parents to navigate this difficult time with sensitivity and ensure that their child’s well-being is prioritized. In this blog post, we will explore five detailed ways parents can make their divorce easier on their child, emphasizing the importance of handling the situation delicately and avoiding unnecessary involvement of the child in personal feelings. 1. Open Communication and Honesty: Building Trust through Transparent Conversations One of the most crucial aspects of making a divorce easier on your child is maintaining open communication and honesty. Children are perceptive, and they can sense tension and changes in their parents’ relationship. It is essential to have an age-appropriate conversation with your child about the upcoming changes in the family dynamics. The Importance of Transparent Conversations Explain the situation in simple terms, assuring them that the divorce is not their fault and that both parents still love them. Be honest about the changes they can expect, such as living arrangements and visitation schedules. Encourage them to ask questions and express their feelings, providing a safe space for them to share their thoughts. Building Trust and Emotional Security By fostering an environment of trust through open communication, children can better understand and process the changes happening around them. This transparency lays the foundation for emotional security, helping them navigate the complexities of divorce with a sense of stability. 2. Maintain Consistency and Routine: Providing Stability Amidst Change Divorce often brings significant changes to a child’s life, and maintaining a sense of consistency and routine can provide much-needed stability. Work with your ex-spouse to establish a …

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Can Infidelity Affect My Ability to Gain Custody in a Divorce

Can Infidelity Affect My Ability to Gain Custody in a Divorce?

November 17, 2023

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process that can have far-reaching implications for all parties involved, especially when children are in the picture. One concern that often arises during divorce proceedings is the impact of infidelity on child custody arrangements. While the legal system primarily focuses on the best interests of the child, it’s important to understand how infidelity can influence custody decisions and how the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney can help navigate this sensitive situation. The Role of Infidelity in Custody Battles Infidelity, or marital misconduct, can play a role in divorce proceedings, including child custody disputes. However, it’s important to note that family courts prioritize the well-being of the child above all else. Thus, the mere presence of infidelity does not automatically determine custody outcomes. Courts consider various factors when determining custody arrangements, such as the child’s age, emotional bond with each parent, each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment, and the willingness to foster a healthy co-parenting relationship. How Infidelity Might Impact Custody Impact on Parental Decision-Making: Courts may question the judgment of a parent who engaged in extramarital affairs, particularly if the actions exposed the child to emotional turmoil or instability. If the infidelity negatively affected the parent’s ability to make sound decisions for the child, it might influence custody decisions. Emotional Well-being of the Child: If the infidelity caused emotional distress to the child or created an environment of hostility between the parents, it could be considered when determining custody arrangements. Courts aim to create a nurturing and supportive environment for the child, and any factors that disrupt this environment might be taken into account. Co-Parenting Dynamic: Successful co-parenting requires effective communication and collaboration between both parents. If infidelity has led to irreconcilable differences or a lack of trust between the …

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What Options Do I Have for Divorce in Texas

What Options Do I Have for Divorce in Texas?

November 15, 2023

Exploring Paths to Resolution with The Renken Law Firm in Houston When the foundation of a marriage starts to crumble, individuals often find themselves facing one of the most challenging decisions of their lives—seeking a divorce. In the state of Texas, the process involves navigating through a unique set of legal procedures and considerations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various options available for divorce in Texas, shedding light on the distinctive aspects of filing for divorce in the Lone Star State. Understanding the Landscape of Divorce in Texas 1. Traditional Litigation: The Conventional Route One of the most common ways to dissolve a marriage is through traditional litigation. In Texas, this involves filing a petition for divorce, initiating a court case that follows a set legal process. Each party hires their own attorney, and the case proceeds through the court system. This method is often chosen when couples are unable to come to an agreement on critical issues such as asset division, child custody, and spousal support. While traditional litigation can be effective in resolving disputes, it tends to be time-consuming and costly. The adversarial nature of the process can further strain relationships, especially when children are involved. 2. Uncontested Divorce: Finding Common Ground On the other end of the spectrum is the option for an uncontested divorce. This approach involves both parties reaching an agreement on key issues without going to trial. While it may seem ideal, achieving an uncontested divorce requires a high level of cooperation and communication between spouses. This option is quicker and less expensive than litigation, providing a more amicable resolution when possible. 3. Collaborative Divorce: Cooperation Over Confrontation A middle ground between traditional litigation and uncontested divorce is the collaborative divorce process. In this method, each spouse hires an attorney trained in …

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How Can I Reduce the Impact of Divorce on My Children

How Can I Reduce the Impact of Divorce on My Children?

November 9, 2023

Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally taxing experience for all parties involved, especially when children are in the picture. Parents often wonder how they can minimize the impact of divorce on their kids and help them navigate this difficult transition with resilience and strength. At Renken Law Firm in Houston, we understand the importance of prioritizing your children’s well-being during this challenging time. In this article, we will outline the best practices to avoid involving your children in the turmoil, stress the significance of maintaining a healthy routine, and offer guidance on how to talk about your divorcing spouse without negativity. Avoid Involving Your Children in the Turmoil Divorce can bring forth a range of emotions, including anger, resentment, and sadness. However, it is crucial to shield your children from the turmoil and prevent them from becoming collateral damage in your marital dissolution. Here are some best practices to avoid involving your children: 1. Maintain a Unified Front: Regardless of your feelings towards your spouse, it is vital to present a united front to your children. When you are together, try to maintain a civil and respectful demeanor. Avoid arguments or conflicts in their presence, as this can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. 2. Keep Adult Conversations Private: Never discuss the details of your divorce or your feelings about your spouse in front of your children. Create a safe space where they can openly communicate without feeling pressured or burdened by your emotional baggage. 3. Limit Exposure to Legal Matters: While it’s important to keep your children informed about the divorce, do not involve them in the legal aspects or disputes. They are not equipped to handle these issues, and doing so can lead to confusion and anxiety. 4. Encourage Open Communication: Create an environment where your children feel …

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10 Things That May Complicate Your Divorce

10 Things That May Complicate Your Divorce

November 8, 2023

A Guide by The Renken Law Firm in Houston Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged process, but certain factors can make it even more complex. Whether you’re navigating the dissolution of a marriage amicably or dealing with contentious issues, understanding the elements that can complicate a divorce is essential. In this blog post, we’ll explore ten factors that can add complexity to your divorce and explain why you should consider reaching out to a top Houston divorce attorney like Dawn Renken for guidance. Children One of the most significant factors that can complicate a divorce is having children. While your primary concern should be the well-being of your kids, child custody and support issues can create contentious disputes between parents. Deciding on custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and financial support can be emotionally charged. A skilled family law attorney like Dawn Renken can help you work towards a fair and balanced resolution that prioritizes the best interests of your children. When children are involved in a divorce, their emotional and psychological well-being should be the top priority. Unfortunately, disagreements between parents on custody arrangements can escalate into prolonged legal battles. This not only places emotional strain on the children but can also be financially draining for both parties. Dawn Renken’s extensive experience in child custody cases allows her to guide parents toward amicable solutions that take into account the best interests of the children. High-Value Assets If you and your spouse have accumulated significant assets during your marriage, such as real estate, investments, or a business, dividing these assets can be highly complicated. Valuing these assets, determining equitable distribution, and ensuring you receive your fair share require the expertise of an experienced divorce attorney. Dawn Renken can provide valuable guidance to protect your financial interests. Divorce involving high-value assets is …

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If My Spouse Cheated, Do I Have to Split Assets 50-50

If My Spouse Cheated, Do I Have to Split Assets 50/50?

November 5, 2023

Understanding the Impact of Infidelity on Divorce in Texas Divorce is undoubtedly a highly emotional journey, laden with legal complexities. When infidelity enters the equation, it triggers a common query: Do assets have to be divided equally? In Texas, the backbone of asset distribution lies in community property laws. However, these regulations remain silent on infidelity’s role, leaving individuals wondering how it affects property division. In this blog post, we set out to provide a comprehensive and accessible understanding of divorce law in Texas, with a specific focus on the intricate interplay of infidelity and its influence on the division of assets throughout divorce proceedings. Our goal is to offer clarity and guidance to those dealing with the intricate dynamics of divorce, especially when infidelity is a factor. Understanding Community Property Laws in Texas To comprehend the impact of infidelity on asset division in Texas, it’s crucial to first grasp the foundation upon which the state’s divorce laws are built – community property. Texas is one of a handful of states that follows the community property principle. This means that, in the absence of a prenuptial agreement, most property acquired during the marriage is considered community property and is subject to equal division between spouses in the event of divorce. Community property includes a wide range of assets, such as income earned by either spouse during the marriage, real estate, personal property, and even debts acquired during the marriage. However, there are exceptions, such as gifts and inheritances, which are generally considered separate property and not subject to equal division. Infidelity and Fault in Texas Divorce Now, let’s address the central question: how does infidelity impact the division of assets in a Texas divorce? Texas is a no-fault divorce state, which means that spouses do not need to provide a …

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How Fast Can I Finalize a Divorce in Houston

How Fast Can I Finalize a Divorce in Houston?

November 2, 2023

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally taxing experience. It’s a significant life event that can have long-lasting consequences, both emotionally and financially. When contemplating a divorce, many individuals want to know how long the process will take and what they can do to expedite it. If you’re in Houston, Texas, and considering divorce, you might be wondering: “How fast can I finalize a divorce in Houston?” The answer to this question depends on various factors, but one thing is certain: working with an experienced attorney can significantly accelerate the process. Understanding the Texas Divorce Process In Texas, the divorce process is not one-size-fits-all. The duration of your divorce proceedings will depend on various factors, including whether it’s a contested or uncontested divorce, the complexity of your financial situation, and the presence of children. Uncontested Divorce: If you and your spouse can agree on all aspects of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and support, you can opt for an uncontested divorce. This is generally the fastest way to finalize a divorce in Houston. With an experienced attorney by your side, you can navigate the paperwork efficiently and ensure that all necessary documents are filed correctly, reducing delays. Contested Divorce: When spouses cannot agree on one or more aspects of the divorce, it becomes contested. Contested divorces often take longer to finalize, as they require litigation and negotiations. Having an attorney represent your interests is crucial in this scenario to help you reach a resolution as quickly as possible. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf, present your case effectively in court, and work towards a favorable settlement. Complex Cases: If your divorce involves complex financial matters, high-value assets, or a particularly acrimonious relationship with your spouse, it may take longer to finalize. However, with the guidance of an experienced …

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Dividing Property Following a Divorce in Texas

How Can I Protect My Personal Assets From Divorce in Texas?

November 1, 2023

Marriage is a beautiful union of hearts, but it’s also a legal contract that can have significant consequences for your personal assets if it ever ends in divorce. In Texas, community property laws dictate that most assets acquired during a marriage are considered joint property, potentially subject to division in a divorce. However, there are proactive steps you can take to safeguard your personal assets and financial well-being. One of the most effective ways to protect your interests is by crafting a comprehensive and custom-tailored prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Understanding Community Property in Texas Texas is one of the few states in the United States that follows the community property system. Under this system, assets acquired during a marriage are presumed to be community property, which means they are owned equally by both spouses. This includes income, real estate, investments, and even debts acquired during the marriage. While community property laws can seem daunting, it’s essential to remember that there are ways to protect your personal assets within this framework. Protecting Your Personal Assets Prenuptial Agreements A prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a “prenup,” is a legally binding contract signed by both parties before getting married. It outlines the division of assets and liabilities in the event of a divorce, ensuring that your personal assets are protected. Prenups allow you to specify which assets will remain separate property, exempt from the community property rules. To draft an effective prenuptial agreement, consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can help you identify your specific assets and objectives. A well-drafted prenup can provide clarity and peace of mind, making the financial aspects of marriage less stressful. Postnuptial Agreements If you’re already married and didn’t create a prenuptial agreement, don’t despair. Postnuptial …

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Divorce can be an emotionally and financially taxing process, but mediation can offer a more amicable and cost-effective alternative to courtroom battles. In this blog post, we’ll explore the critical do’s and don’ts of divorce mediation. We’ll also introduce you to experienced divorce mediator and attorney, Dawn Renken, of The Renken Law Firm in Houston, who can help couples navigate this process and make thorough and informed choices when drafting a divorce agreement. Divorce is never easy, but divorce mediation can make the process smoother and more manageable. Unlike traditional divorce proceedings, which often involve lengthy courtroom battles, mediation allows couples to work together with a neutral third party to resolve their differences and create a mutually acceptable divorce agreement. When done right, mediation can save time, money, and emotional distress. However, divorce mediation isn’t a walk in the park. It requires open communication, patience, and a willingness to compromise. To help you navigate this process successfully, here are 10 things you should never say or do during divorce mediation: 1. Refusing to Communicate Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful mediation. Refusing to talk or listen can hinder progress and lead to a more protracted and contentious divorce. It’s essential to be open and honest about your concerns, needs, and preferences during mediation. Dawn Renken, an experienced divorce mediator, is skilled in facilitating constructive communication between divorcing couples. She can help create an environment where both parties feel heard and understood. 2. Letting Emotions Take Over Divorce is an emotionally charged process, but it’s crucial not to let your emotions dictate your actions during mediation. Outbursts of anger or resentment can escalate conflicts and hinder resolution. Instead, try to remain calm and composed. Dawn Renken specializes in guiding clients through the emotional challenges of divorce, helping them focus on their long-term interests rather than short-term emotions. 3. Failing to Prepare Preparation is key to a successful mediation. Failing to gather and organize your financial documents, legal papers, and other relevant information can lead to delays and misunderstandings. Dawn Renken can help you prepare for mediation by ensuring you have all the necessary documentation and information at your fingertips. 4. Being Inflexible Mediation involves compromise, and being too inflexible can hinder progress. While it’s crucial to protect your interests, it’s also essential to understand that some give and take will be necessary to reach an agreement. Dawn Renken has extensive experience in helping clients find middle ground and make compromises that are fair and reasonable. 5. Bringing Up the Past Dragging up past mistakes, hurts, or grievances during mediation is counterproductive. It can create tension and prevent a positive resolution. Dawn Renken can help keep the focus on the present and the future, guiding couples toward constructive discussions that lead to productive solutions. 6. Playing the Blame Game Blaming your spouse for the divorce or trying to make them feel guilty won’t help during mediation. In fact, it’s more likely to create animosity and impede the process. Dawn Renken can act as a neutral mediator, keeping discussions on track and preventing blame from becoming a roadblock to resolution. 7. Disregarding Your Children’s Well-Being If you have children, their well-being should be a top priority during divorce mediation. Failing to consider their needs, feelings, and interests can lead to contentious custody battles and long-term emotional repercussions. Dawn Renken is well-versed in helping divorcing parents create a custody and visitation plan that prioritizes their children’s needs. 8. Making Unrealistic Demands Mediation is about finding realistic and mutually beneficial solutions. Making extravagant or unrealistic demands can lead to an impasse. Dawn Renken can provide insight into what is legally and practically achievable, ensuring that both parties understand the boundaries and possibilities of their divorce agreement. 9. Hiding Assets Concealing assets during mediation is not only unethical but also illegal. It can result in severe legal consequences and damage your credibility in the eyes of the mediator and the court. Dawn Renken can help ensure full financial transparency during mediation, preventing disputes over hidden assets.

The Renken Law Firm has worked hard to earn a reputation for efficiently practicing diligent and focused legal services. During the course of our representation, you can expect expert legal advice in the areas of divorce, separation planning, custody disputes, child support cases, grandparents rights, prenuptial agreements, attorney general cases and enforcement actions. Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as prenups, are contractual agreements made between two individuals prior to their marriage. They establish the framework for how assets, debts, and other financial matters will be handled should the marriage end in divorce or due to the death of one spouse. Prenuptial agreements provide a level of financial security and peace of mind to both parties by outlining their rights and responsibilities. When considering a prenup, it’s essential to work with a knowledgeable Prenup Attorney in Houston, like the experts at The Renken Law Firm, to ensure that your agreement is comprehensive and tailored to your unique needs. The Importance of a Prenuptial Agreement Prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy or those anticipating divorce. They can be invaluable tools for protecting individual assets, managing financial expectations, and ensuring a fair resolution should the marriage end. Here’s a breakdown of what is typically included in a prenuptial agreement: 1. Property Division One of the primary purposes of a prenup is to specify how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a divorce. This includes real estate, personal property, bank accounts, and investments. The agreement can outline whether certain assets will remain separate property, and which will be considered marital property, subject to division. By clearly defining these terms, you can protect your financial interests and avoid potential disputes in the future. 2. Spousal Support Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be a contentious issue during divorce proceedings. A prenuptial agreement can specify the amount, duration, and conditions under which spousal support will be paid. This allows both parties to have a clear understanding of their financial responsibilities, reducing the risk of prolonged legal battles. 3. Division of Debts Debts incurred during a marriage can be a significant source of concern if the relationship ends. Your prenup can outline how debts will be divided, whether they are considered marital or separate, and who will be responsible for paying them. 4. Inheritance and Estate Planning A prenuptial agreement can address how inheritance and estate planning matters will be handled. It can specify whether certain assets are to be kept separate and secure the interests of children from previous relationships. 5. Business Interests If you own a business or have a stake in a company, a prenup can help protect your business interests. It can outline how the business will be managed and whether your spouse will have any ownership rights in the event of divorce. 6. Financial Responsibilities Your prenuptial agreement can include provisions detailing each spouse’s financial responsibilities during the marriage. This may cover how household expenses will be shared, savings and investment strategies, and other financial matters that will affect your day-to-day life.

Divorce is an emotionally charged, life-altering event. When a marriage reaches a point where it can no longer be sustained, the process of legally ending it can be intricate and emotionally draining. While Texas law provides for various divorce options, understanding the different types of divorce is crucial for making informed decisions. In this article, we will explore the various divorce options available in Texas, from uncontested to contested, mediation, and more. Additionally, we will highlight the invaluable role of an experienced divorce attorney like Dawn Renken from the Renken Law Firm in Houston, emphasizing how they can help make the process smoother and ensure you don’t overlook important details. 1. Uncontested Divorce An uncontested divorce is often the most straightforward option for couples who have reached an agreement on all significant aspects of their separation, such as child custody, property division, and alimony. This type of divorce is generally less time-consuming and costly than other alternatives, as it minimizes the need for court appearances and lengthy legal battles. An experienced divorce attorney like Dawn Renken can guide you through the process, ensuring all legal requirements are met. Their role is to make sure that the agreement is comprehensive and that no crucial details are overlooked, thus preventing future disputes or complications. 2. Contested Divorce Contrary to uncontested divorce, a contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot come to an agreement on one or more critical issues. These disputes often lead to court proceedings and can be lengthy and emotionally taxing. In a contested divorce, a skilled attorney becomes crucial in protecting your rights, ensuring a fair outcome, and representing your interests in court. Dawn Renken’s experience in contested divorces allows her to navigate the intricacies of Texas divorce law effectively. Her insight into the legal system can prove invaluable in resolving complex disputes and advocating for your rights. 3. Collaborative Divorce Collaborative divorce is an alternative to traditional courtroom battles. In this process, both parties work together with their attorneys to reach a mutually beneficial settlement. This approach can save time and money while preserving relationships and reducing emotional stress, especially when children are involved. An experienced attorney like Dawn Renken can help you through this process by providing legal advice and ensuring that all legal requirements are met. Their guidance can lead to a more amicable resolution, which is especially important when co-parenting in the future. 4. Mediated Divorce Mediation is another non-adversarial option for couples who wish to avoid the courtroom. In a mediated divorce, a neutral third party, often a certified mediator, helps couples negotiate and reach an agreement. This approach encourages open communication and collaboration while addressing concerns and needs of both parties. Having a divorce attorney like Dawn Renken on your side during mediation can be advantageous. Her legal expertise ensures that your rights are protected and that any agreements made align with Texas divorce laws. Additionally, her presence can provide guidance and reassurance during a potentially challenging process. 5. Default Divorce In some cases, one spouse may not participate in the divorce process or may be unreachable. In such instances, Texas law allows for a default divorce. This process typically moves forward with minimal involvement from the absent spouse, making it necessary to ensure all legal steps are correctly followed. An experienced attorney like Dawn Renken can help you navigate a default divorce to ensure that all legal requirements are met, minimizing the risk of complications down the road. Her guidance can expedite the process and provide you with the resolution you seek, even in the absence of cooperation from your spouse. 6. No-Fault Divorce Texas allows for “no-fault” divorces, which means that neither party has to prove wrongdoing or assign blame for the marriage’s dissolution. Instead, one or both parties can simply state that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities. While a no-fault divorce may seem straightforward, an experienced attorney can help ensure that this process is executed correctly and that the necessary legal documents are filed. Dawn Renken’s expertise can prevent any issues that might arise from improperly handling the paperwork. 7. Fault Divorce Although Texas recognizes no-fault divorces, some situations may warrant pursuing a fault divorce. Grounds for fault divorce in Texas can include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, or a felony conviction. This type of divorce typically requires the gathering of evidence to support the allegations of fault. Dawn Renken’s experience as a divorce attorney can be invaluable in building a strong case for a fault divorce. Her knowledge of the legal requirements and procedures ensures that your claims are well-substantiated and your interests are protected. 8. Annulment An annulment is different from a divorce, as it legally declares a marriage void or null from the beginning. Grounds for annulment in Texas include bigamy, impotence, fraud, or underage marriage. An annulment can be a complex process, and having an experienced attorney is crucial to present a convincing case before the court. Dawn Renken’s experience and legal acumen can be instrumental in successfully pursuing an annulment in Texas. Her expertise in the intricacies of the legal system can guide you through the process and ensure your interests are protected.

What Is Divorce Mediation? For couples that have come to the decision together to divorce, mediation provides an alternative method than traditional courtroom divorces. Mediation involves a neutral third party: the mediator. The mediator works to help both spouses work through divorce issues and communicate while trying to make decisions that impact their futures. Divorce mediation has become increasingly more popular because it is private, affordable, and allows both parties to have more control over the final outcome of their divorce agreement. Divorce mediation is a great option for divorcing couples where both parties are willing to put their emotions aside and work together to amicably end the marriage. Family law attorney, Dawn Renken is a licensed mediator who can provide helpful legal advice throughout your divorce case. This includes resolving disputes, creating a child custody schedule, settling on child support payments, property divisions, and much more. Why Choose to Mediate Your Divorce? Although judges often order divorcing couples to participate in mediation before going to trial, you have the option of mediating on your own—either before you file for divorce or at any time after. Mediating your divorce has a lot of advantages over litigating it (fighting it out in court). ost. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial. Settling the case. Most mediations end in settlement of all of the issues in the divorce. Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential, with no public record of what goes on in your sessions. Freedom. Mediation allows you to arrive at a resolution based on your own ideas of what is fair in your situation, rather than having a solution imposed upon you based on rigid and impersonal legal principles. Advice still available. You can go to mediation and still choose to have a lawyer give you legal advice. Control. You and your spouse—not the court—control the process. Communication. The mediation process encourages communication between you and your spouse, helping you avoid future conflicts. Successful mediation makes the rest of your divorce easier: Because you’ve done all the hard work of hammering out the details in the mediation, you can file an “uncontested” divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and faster than litigated divorces (divorces where the couple battles in court). With an uncontested divorce, you’ll save money on attorneys’ fees and the costs of going to trial. Also, many courts fast-track uncontested cases because everything has been worked out in advance, meaning that a judge will be able to finalize your divorce faster than if you’d gone to trial. There are many reasons that make divorce mediation attractive to couples but it is not for everyone. In order to have a successfully mediated divorce, both parties must be willing to work together and compromise in a civil exchange to come to an agreement. Reaching an amicable divorce can be difficult in relationships where spouses do not share similar goals or ideas about property division, child custody, or other important aspects of their divorce. Additionally, in situations where emotions are high and discussions are strained, mediation may not be the most efficient manner to reach a divorce agreement. There are other options such as collaborative divorce, arbitration, and of course litigation for couples that mediation does not work for. Contact us today to get the answers you are looking for about divorce in Houston, TX and surrounding areas. Experienced Family Law Attorney in Houston, TX Our team proudly serves the Greater Houston area. All marriages are different, making each divorce equally unique with its own set of needs that must be addressed. Our team is dedicated to helping you and your family move forward without legal matters complicating your life. Contact our law office to explore your options for traditional marriage divorce and common law divorce, and find out how we can help you resolve any legal problems you are currently facing.

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