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Temple, Texas, General Practice Blog

Avoid these potential holiday child custody disputes

Settling on child custody arrangements during the holiday season is easier said than done. You have one set of plans in mind, but your ex-spouse may have another. This can lead to a variety of concerns, all of which you need to work through as quickly as possible.

Here are three potential holiday child custody disputes to plan for:

  • Traveling with your children: If you have plans to take your children out of town, such as to visit relatives in a different part of the country, discuss it with your ex-spouse first. Also, refer to your custody agreement to ensure that you're permitted to do so.
  • Sharing time: You'll want to spend as much time as possible with your children during the holidays. The other parent will likely feel the same way. If your parenting agreement spells out how to share time during the holidays, rely on this to keep you on track.
  • Gifts: This sounds harmless enough, but disputed gifts can cause a lot of stress during the holidays. For example, if your ex asks you not to buy a particular gift but you do so anyway, an argument could ensue.

Be kind to your pet with your estate plan

Your pets depend on you. You probably notice this most when they wake you up just before your alarm to let you know they need to go out, or when they hover around the food dish to remind you they cannot feed themselves. While these reminders may be nice, you probably don't need them to tell you what they need.

Like many loving pet parents, you know how to care for your pets, and when they need medical checkups, grooming or a certain special treat. Have you considered who will provide this care if your pets should outlive you?

Simple ways to prepare your finances for divorce

Once you decide to divorce, it's time to think about a future in which you are no longer married. There's a good chance that your financial situation will change as a result of your split, and you will need to make some adjustments.

There are a few simple ways to financially prepare for divorce:

  • Create a budget. List your income and expenses, as this will give you a clear view of your situation moving forward.
  • Make changes to your spending habits. If you won't have access to as much money as you did during your marriage, it's safe to say that your spending habits must change.
  • Open separate checking accounts. Also, you shouldn't use a joint credit card as you move through the divorce process. The same holds true of joint bank accounts.
  • Realize that you won't get everything. Property division is a big part of any divorce. You hope to get a fair share of assets, but you must realize early on that there's no way of getting everything.
  • Don't make a big purchase just yet. You may be tempted to buy a new home shortly after your divorce is finalized or get a fancy car to cheer yourself up. There's time for these things in the future, once the dust of your divorce settles.

Do I need more than just a will?

It is natural to put off making decisions when the process requires you to think seriously about difficult matters. This is why less than half of those in Texas and across the country have an estate plan or even a simple will. You may be among those who have delayed addressing those upsetting questions or even considering whether a will is enough to adequately provide for your family's needs.

For many people, a will is enough to meet their goals for their loved ones after they die. However, your situation may have certain elements that require more careful consideration in the form of an estate plan.

These common causes of distracted driving are all dangerous

There is never a time when distracted driving is acceptable, as it can cause an accident that results in injury or even death. However, even with a variety of laws in place, some people decide to partake in this behavior.

Here is a brief list of common causes of distracted driving, all of which are extremely dangerous:

  • Daydreaming: When you aren't thinking about driving, but instead concentrating on something else, it increases the risk of an accident.
  • Cellphone use: There are many ways to use a cellphone when driving, such as texting, talking or browsing the internet.
  • Passengers: Most people find themselves driving with others on a regular basis. This is ok but don't become so caught up in conversation that you stop paying attention to the road ahead.
  • Eating or drinking: Many people are in the habit of eating and drinking while driving, especially if they are running late.
  • Adjusting controls: From the radio to the climate to the GPS, cars are full of more controls than ever before. It's imperative to make adjustments before putting your car in drive.

Motorcyclists face unique problems on the road

As a motorcyclist, there may not be anything more exciting to you than getting on your bike and hitting the road. Even so, you always need to remember that you face a variety of unique problems that could result in an accident.

Here are some of the potential issues to concern yourself with:

  • Drivers who don't share the road: Some people just won't share the road with motorcyclists, which greatly increases the risk of an accident. You must always be on the lookout for these people.
  • Visual recognition: Since you're driving a motorcycle, not a motor vehicle, you're a smaller visual target. This makes it more challenging for other drivers to see you.
  • Road hazards: There are not too many hazards that a motor vehicle can't handle. However, as a motorcyclist, things such as potholes, debris and gravel can cause an accident.
  • Riding skills: Driving a motorcycle takes more skill than a motor vehicle. You must be familiar with safe driving techniques, defensive driving methods and what to do in the event of an emergency.

What if my neighbor's water runoff damages my property?

Your home is at the center of your life. The many hours you spend at work are partly to pay your mortgage, maintain and repair your property, and furnish your home with those things that make it warm and comfortable. You expect to deal with normal wear and tear, and you may even anticipate damage from a Texas storm or other act of nature. One issue many homeowners dread is water damage.

If a pipe bursts, a toilet overflows or the roof leaks, you will likely end up with damage to your walls, ceiling or floor. If you catch it in time, you can limit the damage, but you may still be looking at a costly repair. When the water comes from a source beyond your control, such as your neighbor's property, the situation is altogether different.

These 5 co-parenting tips will improve your situation

After a divorce, co-parenting is often the most difficult challenge you will face. You want to spend as much time as possible with your children, but you realize that your ex-spouse has the same goals.

With a parenting agreement in place, it's easy to understand your legal rights to parenting your child after a divorce. However, this doesn't always tell the whole story in regards to co-parenting.

Why is a home inspection so important?

Purchasing a home is an exciting and terrifying adventure. On the one hand, you are investing in a property that your children and grandchildren may associate with many joyful memories. On the other hand, you are taking on a large, expensive burden that could be the source of many frustrations.

One way to minimize the potential for unpleasant surprises in your new home is to hire an inspector to carefully examine the house before you sign any closing documents. A home inspection is not a requirement for purchasing a home in Texas, and many homebuyers think they will save some money by waiving their right to an inspection. However, the benefits of obtaining a home inspection may be worth the cost.

3 common myths regarding estate planning

Estate planning myths can cause a lot of problems. People often buy into what they hear casually, even if they never got legal advice or did any deep research on their own. This can lead to critical mistakes that they regret later in life.

To help you avoid this scenario, here are three common myths to watch out for:

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Harrell, Stoebner & Russell, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Temple Office
2106 Bird Creek Drive
Temple, TX 76502

Phone: 254-935-3036
Fax: 254-771-2082
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Killeen Office
2210 E. Central Texas Expy.
Suite 102
Killeen, Texas 76543

Phone: 254-432-7058
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