Vital Takeaways from Jeff Bezos’s High-Net-Worth Divorce

Vital Takeaways from Jeff Bezos’s High-Net-Worth Divorce

The dust has now settled on Jeff Bezos’s high-profile divorce, and it’s not only provided the public with a behind-the-scenes look at the life of the world’s richest man but also an insight into the ins and outs of high-net-worth divorce cases.

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Take the High Road for Thanksgiving After Divorce

Take the High Road for Thanksgiving After Divorce

For children caught in the crossfire of custody disputes, holidays can become a nightmare, not a time of joy. Parents owe it to their children to do the right thing. It starts with recognizing the importance of holidays in children’s lives.

The post Take the High Road for Thanksgiving After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


Divorce Based on Abandonment in Texas

Originally published by Family and Criminal Law Blog.

Why might I choose to file for divorce based on a fault ground?

Forty years ago, the first no-fault divorce was granted in California. Prior to this time, couples seeking a divorce were required to list a valid ground for divorce, which often included adultery, abandonment, and cruelty. If one of these grounds did not exist in the marriage, but the spouses nonetheless wanted a divorce, they were forced to fabricate a grounds for divorce. Recognizing a need for more honest and efficient divorces, California, and soon after every state in the union except for New York, adopted a version of no-fault divorce.

Most couples in Texas looking to file for divorce today will file for a no-fault divorce, in which the parties will list that the marriage cannot continue because the spouses can no longer get along in the marriage and there is no chance of reconciliation. However, per Texas law, several fault grounds for divorce continue to exist. At times, it can be advantageous or even necessary for a spouse to seek a divorce based upon one of these fault grounds. Below, our Midland, Texas divorce lawyers discuss divorce based on abandonment in the state.

Abandonment Can Influence a Custody Award and Division of Assets

Abandonment occurs when one spouse deserts the other spouse with the intention to end the marriage. Proving abandonment by your spouse can influence the court’s decisions when it comes to custody of your minor children. To successfully demonstrate abandonment, you will need to show that your spouse has been absent for one year or more. Further, filing for divorce based on abandonment might become essential if you cannot reach your spouse.

Family courts in Texas take the position that generally it is in a child’s best interests to have a relationship with both parents. However, where one spouse has abandoned the family, this will negate that presumption. A judge weighing the custodial rights of a spouse who left his or her family is less likely to award joint custody and will likely allow for just limited visitation.

Further, a judge may take your spouse’s abandonment into account when determining how your marital assets will be divided. Texas is a community property state and marital assets will be divided in accordance with what is just and right. While this typically means equally, where one spouse abandoned the family, a judge may be included to issue the other spouse a disproportionate share of the assets. Your divorce lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding your spouse’s abandonment to determine your best bet in filing for divorce from your spouse. Armed with full knowledge of your individual situation, your attorney can develop a divorce strategy that will benefit you and your family.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.


taking control of your divorce

Taking Control Of Your Divorce: Shouldn’t You Be In The Driver’s Seat?

taking control of your divorce


“He left with no notice. I had no idea he even wanted a divorce but I will be fine. I’ve hired a divorce attorney, one with vast experience in family law and I know he will take care of me and my legal rights.”

I recently heard these words from a therapy client I’m working with. She has an attorney and, in her mind, she will be “fine.” It’s a thought process shared by many going through the divorce process. It is also the first mistake most couples going through a divorce make.

Giving over control of their welfare to someone who isn’t an expert in them and their needs.

Divorce attorneys are experts in family law. They are not experts in finance, real estate, taxes, insurance, disabilities and any other issue that may be particular to your case. They are not experts trained in how to handle the personal needs of every divorcing client they contract with.

Every divorce has its own particular issues and if you, the client isn’t in the driver’s seat your future may wind up in the ditch.

In your everyday life, how often do you give over control of how your day goes to someone else? You don’t do it in everyday life, and you shouldn’t do it during divorce. To do so will mean negative consequences for you, your spouse and your children.

The LAST thing you want is a divorce attorney and Family Court judge deciding how you will live your life once the ink dries on the divorce decree.

Taking Control Of Your Divorce

Why People Give Up Control:

It’s a story I hear often. Someone has been left due to infidelity or, one or the other spouse drop the divorce bomb unexpectedly. People become angry, afraid and out to exact revenge and lose the ability to act in their own best interest.

They hire a divorce attorney; one they believe will be sympathetic to what they are experiencing and they wait for their “day in court.” In other words, most people give up control to an attorney because they are under the assumption that fairness wins out in Family Court.

If a divorce case goes to court a judge will make decisions on legally relevant facts of the case and not on what is important to you, the litigant, or what you think is right and wrong.

How To Stay In The Driver’s Seat:

1. Hire an attorney to advise you on the legal aspect of your case. Negotiate with your spouse on personal and financial issues that will affect you both post-divorce. As adults, you can drive the process and together decide what direction you go in with issues such as splitting marital assets, child custody and visitation and spousal support. It is possible to negotiate a fair divorce settlement without interference from your attorney or a Family Court judge.

2. If your attorney advises you on an issue you don’t have to take their advice. If your attorney suggests you accept a settlement offer that you don’t believe is in your best interest you have the right to explore other options. It isn’t uncommon for divorce attorneys to make mistakes or, encourage a client to accept a settlement that is not fair in an attempt to get the case off their desk. A divorce attorney is someone you consult with, they are not someone you have to allow to make decisions for you.

3. Seek outside help if you feel your attorney is in over their head. For example, if you and your spouse own a business you may want to hire a forensic accountant to advise you on how that marital asset should be split. There are many issues during divorce that may require input from an outside resource. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you aren’t sure and don’t be intimidated by an attorney who tries to limit your attempts to protect yourself.

4. Check your emotions! If you allow anger or hurt feelings to guide how you react to divorce you won’t make productive decisions. In other words, emotionally charged people rarely stay in the driver’s seat during divorce.

Take the high road, don’t allow your emotions to cause you to do anything that will one day reflect negatively upon you or have detrimental effects on your financial future.

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Divorce: A Letter to Those Who Wished Me Well

Divorce: A Letter to Those Who Wished Me Well

Thanksgiving is coming, and although there are many posts about divorce and the holidays, there rarely seems to be any about the unknown well wisher. This Thanksgiving, I decided to address these true unsung heroes of the divorce world.

The post Divorce: A Letter to Those Who Wished Me Well appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


7 Strange Divorce Laws Still “On The Books”

7 Strange Divorce Laws Still “On The Books”

Originally published by Hendershot, Cannon and Hisey, P.C. Blog.

At Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C., many of our blogs shed light into the intricate inner workings of Texas divorce and family law – from property division and child custody to spousal support, taxes, and more.

While divorce is certainly a serious subject where being well-informed is of crucial importance, taking a moment to reflect on some of the more unusual aspects of this practice area can provide a different perspective on your own issues, as well as a few laughs or food for thought.

Few things offer such an opportunity than a look into the most unique and unusual divorce laws.

7 Unusual Divorce Laws

In the U.S. and other countries around the world, there remain a number of strange divorce laws that are still technically in effect.

Whether they’re inexplicably bizarre, reminders of times gone by that haven’t yet been changed, or newer laws that address issues not ordinarily associated with the divorce process, these obscure laws are enough to make anyone think twice about their own cases.

Here are some of the strangest divorce laws still on the books today:

  1. Divorce is still illegal in some countries – Laws prohibiting divorce are some of the most tangible reminders of its historical evolution. Even well into the 21st century, a number of countries across the world do not allow spouses to divorce. In the Philippines, for example, divorce is generally illegal with the exception of certain circumstances, such as those involving Filipino citizens who marry foreign nationals and divorce in their spouse’s country of residence (but even when two Filipino spouses divorce in another country, their divorce won’t be recognized under their own country’s laws). In the Philippines, as well as countries that have just recently implemented some form of legal divorce (like Chile), terminating a marriage often requires spouses to navigate complex and lengthy proceedings. This includes having to prove a reason for divorce, as well as requirements that spouses be separated for several years before any formal separation or annulment is granted.
  2. Married on a dare? – Although there may not be many spouses who chose to tie the knot on a dare, those in Delaware who regret doing just that have the right to file for an annulment under a strange provision of the Delaware Divorce and Annulment Act. Among other qualifying reasons for granting an annulment, Delaware courts will grant a decree of annulment when one or both parties entered into marriage as a “jest” or dare.
  3. Marrying the same person four times – Though not common, there are cases of spouses who get divorced only to reconcile and rekindle their relationships later on, sometimes to the point of getting married again. While that’s understandable and perhaps part of the mystery of love, spouses on that trend should be careful of one unique Kentucky law prohibiting multiple marriages to the same spouse. Under state law that could have only been passed in an attempt to help couples stop the madness, it’s illegal for folks in Kentucky to marry the same person four times. For most people, however, that’s probably not a concern.
  4. Strange grounds for divorce – Today, all states in the U.S. have adopted some form of no-fault divorce, though there are still fault-based divorces and justifications for citing a reason to divorce (such as domestic violence or other issues that would impact case outcomes). While grounds for a fault-based divorce usually make sense (i.e. adultery, abandonment, or a criminal conviction resulting in incarceration), some states still have more unusual statutory provisions for permitting divorce. These include divorce on the basis of mistreating a spouse’s mother-in-law (Wichita, Kansas), or a spouse going “insane” up to five years after a marriage (New York). In Tennessee, you can even cite “attempted murder” as a valid grounds for divorce thanks to a law that permits divorce when one spouse tries to kill the other in a malicious manner (one example of “malice” cited in the statute is by using poison). There are also laws in other countries which provide some unique grounds for divorce. In Samoa, women can legally divorce their husbands for forgetting their birthdays, and in Saudi Arabia, married men who fail to bring their wives fresh coffee each day could very well find themselves served with divorce papers.
  5. Divorce can be simple for some societies – While the divorce process can entail a range of emotional and financial concerns in many countries, it can actually be pretty simple for spouses elsewhere. In Eskimo societies, for example, spouses who live apart from one another for any period of time can formally end their marriages. In Australia, Aboriginal women with husbands who won’t file for divorce (since women cannot file) have the option of simply marrying another spouse. An elopement instantly ends the previous marriage.
  6. Pet Custody – Child custody proceedings are among the most important matters in divorce, but what about custody of pets? While deciding who keeps the dog, cat, or other furry friend may not have been as much of a concern years ago, many people today view their pets as a part of the family. As such, there’s been a growing focus on “pet custody” and how family courts handle these matters upon divorce. In states with evolving pet custody legislation, family judges have discretion to consider the best interests of pets, rather than treating them solely as property.
  7. Marriage Laws – In addition to divorce laws, many states have laws addressing how spouses marry and even what they’re allowed, and not allowed, to do during the marriage. In South Carolina, for example, the state’s Offenses Against Morality and Decency Act makes it a misdemeanor for men over the age of 16 to propose to women as a means of seduction. There are also laws prohibiting married couples from sleeping nude in a rented room (Salem, Massachusetts), wives from wearing false teeth without the written permission of their husbands (Vermont), spouses from getting married if the county clerk issuing the marriage license believes either spouse is drunk, insane, or an imbecile (Mississippi), and even husbands from scowling at their wives on a Sunday (Colorado).

Help for Houston Spouses Seeking Divorce

If there’s anything worth taking away from these strange and arguably outdated laws, it is that divorce and family law, like any area of law and the societal views that shape them, are constantly evolving.

At HCH, we know staying apprised of current laws and issues that impact our clients is critical when it comes to providing personalized, quality representation. That includes everything from helping clients who attended college in a time of rising tuition rates address the division of student loans, helping older adults determine how their retirement accounts will be divided, and more.

If you are currently considering divorce in Houston or any of the surrounding areas of Texas, our award-winning legal team at Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C. is here to help. Call (713) 909-7323 to speak with a lawyer.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.


Divorce & The Stay-At-Home Mom: She Needs to Take These 7 Steps

Divorce & The Stay-At-Home Mom: She Needs to Take These 7 Steps

Being a stay at home mom while going through a divorce can be stressful and difficult, but you can stay ahead of the game and keep prepared by following this guideline and meeting a lawyer sooner rather than later!

The post Divorce & The Stay-At-Home Mom: She Needs to Take These 7 Steps appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


Why You Should Take Your Dream Vacation After Divorce

Why You Should Take Your Dream Vacation After Divorce

After your divorce, you need to focus on you. Take this time to think about self-care, self-love, and a little adventure by planning a solo trip.

The post Why You Should Take Your Dream Vacation After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.


become empowered after divorce

10 Things To Do To Become Empowered After Divorce

become empowered after divorce


Anyone can be more empowered to do anything in life that they want to do. To be able to become empowered after divorce there are few things that you need to do.

You do not have to spend money or try to do something that you might not be fit to do. Instead, it is all about looking within yourself and finding out who you can be.

Every empowered person knows a few things in life. These tips can help you to become more empowered and learn how to live your best life. You will be able to find the best possible you that you can be when you know how to look within yourself.

Do these 10 Things to Become More Empowered

1. Accept Yourself

Instead of worrying about stereotypes or things that you could do, realize that you are who you are and you’re doing the best you can do. Learn to be your personal best and be happy with being your best self. By being who you were meant to be you will find that you can accomplish the things in life that you feel are your purpose.

It isn’t uncommon when going through a divorce to suffer a loss of self-esteem. An angry ex can be belittling, demeaning, and judgmental. Don’t fall into the trap of internalizing what is said or has been said about you. Don’t define your worth as a person based on the negative input of another.

Only you can assign personal value to yourself. And, like I said, as long as you’re doing the best you can do, your worthy of acceptance.

2. Have Clear Core Values

Know what you believe in. Have values that you will stick to regardless of what is going on in your life. Be true to yourself and stick to these values no matter what you lose or gain because if you do not stay true to values that you have you are not being authentically you.

3. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

Instead of running from your mistakes you should take responsibility for what you have done wrong. Be willing to admit when you are wrong so that you can grow and learn from these mistakes.

Think back to all the mistakes you made in life and consider how they have strengthened your character and ability. Consider the plethora of skills that your mistakes have taught you, and also how they have shaped your knowledge, personality, your social development, and your life experience.

Mistakes are valuable. However, for them to be of value, you must first see them as a beneficial and critical part of your life that you cannot avoid and must instead embrace with an open heart and open mind. Who knows, your biggest mistakes could end up turning into your most glorious victories, as long as you are open to learning and growing from the experience.

4. Believe in Your Ability to Make Things Happen

You must believe that anything you put your mind to can be accomplished. You should also be willing to believe that your future is controlled by you and that you can easily change your future. Know that you have the power to control and change things in your life that others might not fully understand and that you can believe in something even when no one else does.

This is especially true for those financially devastated by divorce. Were you a stay-at-home mom who is now struggling to make ends meet? Are you a father who used up retirement funds in order to have more time with his children?

If you’ve found yourself in a rut you don’t believe there is a way out of, start looking up, making plans, setting goals and digging. We are all surrounded by options to change our situations, all you have to do is think outside the box and believe enough in yourself to make things happen for the better.

5. Always Show Gratitude

People who are empowered show that they are grateful for the things in their life. They appreciate all that they have been given and each person that they have come into contact with. With this attitude, they will be able to appreciate all of life’s gifts.

Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.

Gratitude improves physical health.

Gratitude improves psychological health.

Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.

Gratitude improves self-esteem.

Gratitude increases mental strength.

We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – rather than complain about all the things you think you don’t have or deserve. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

6. Do Not be Afraid

There are few things in life that one should be afraid of and empowered people have realized this. They know that fear is simply something that is there to hold them back and keep them from reaching their full potential.

So instead of fearing things, they confront them head-on with a consistent willingness to learn something new from the fear.

7. Don’t Play the Blame Game

No matter what is going on in your life, even if you do not feel that you are at fault and you think that someone else is to blame, don’t play the blame game.

You will find that once you start blaming others it becomes a pattern and a habit to avoid taking responsibility. This avoidance will keep you from achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams. It will also turn you into a perpetual victim and, take it from me, there is nothing more unattractive than a “victim.”

8. Learn to Say “No”

No is not an evil word or something that you cannot say. In fact, learning to say no is very empowering because you are learning to take control and stand for things that you believe in and can accomplish. Never feel guilty for saying no when you need to or want to.

As individuals when it comes to our time, saying “No” is one of the most powerful things that we can do in order to be effective in our most important tasks, taking care of our own personal needs, and not over-extending ourselves. Just say NO!

9. Be Willing to Learn Something New

There are many things in life that you can learn and many times that new lessons will come your way. Do not be afraid to learn something new because these new lessons will only help you to expand into a better person.

Take any opportunity that you have to learn something new throughout your life.

10. Keep Dreaming

Never stop dreaming. If you stop dreaming you will be giving up on the one thing that life cannot take from you. No one else can control or dominate your dreams. Make these your own and use them as a daily reminder of what you could possibly become.

My mother is 90-years-old and refers to herself as a “work in progress.” Holding onto the ability to hope, dream, and plan means you’ll remain, just like my mother, a “work in progress.”

These 10 are just the tip of the iceberg. How empowered you feel in life will depend a great deal on the issues you are facing in life. The main takeaway from these 10 should be and hopefully will be for you, is to never give up, never stop believing in yourself to handle whatever adversity life puts on your plate.

Empowerment refers to measures designed to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination in people in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way, acting on their own authority.

It is the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights. Becoming more empowered is something we all have the ability to do.

This article first appeared on

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01/10 7 Thanksgiving Crafts to Help Kids Through Thanksgiving After Divorce

01/10 7 Thanksgiving Crafts to Help Kids Through Thanksgiving After Divorce

Arts and crafts can help kids sort out their feelings and remember that they are still part of a family that cares about each other, even if it’s changed.

The post 01/10 7 Thanksgiving Crafts to Help Kids Through Thanksgiving After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.