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Your Ultimate Fortnite ‘Battle Royale’ May Be Divorce
While it should come as no surprise that the international phenomenon Fortnite is vastly popular amongst teens and adults, the creators likely did not intend for their online gaming masterpiece to shatter relationships.

According to Epic Games, Fortnite boasts 125 million players worldwide. This boom in popularity is clear when schools are banning certain dances (“flossing”) associated with Fortnite, and sporting events across the U.S. are littered with fans and players “flossing” – the dancer holds their upper body mostly still while moving their arms side-to-side across and around their body. However, the public hints at Fortnite’s fame leave out an important piece of the game: the suffering spouse.

Between squad missions and infiltrating “Tomato Temple”, the gamer spouses appear to be forgetting about their partners in favor of virtual reality. News outlets report recent Petitions for divorce, at least in the U.K., are frequently citing Fortnite as grounds for divorce. While the Texas Family Code does not include such specific grounds as “online gaming” or “Fortnite” as a basis to seek a dissolution of marriage, Fortnite could be pushing some spouses to make the decision to file for divorce.

If you have questions or concerns about divorce, you are welcome to contact the offices of Kirker | Davis at (512) 931-3213 to speak with an Austin-area family law attorney.

You can also learn more about our Austin Divorce Lawyer here.
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What Do I Do If My Spouse Inherited the House, But I Made All Payments?
If your spouse acquired the home through inheritance, a court may find that the home is characterized as that spouse’s separate property. However, you may be able to pursue a reimbursement claim for having reduced the principal amount of the debt owed on the home if funds used for the mortgage payments came from your separate estate or the community estate.

In a divorce proceeding, a reimbursement claim is usually sought when one marital estate has provided a benefit to another.

The estate pursuing a reimbursement claim for payments made towards the principal balance on a mortgage for a separate property home will need to trace the funds used to make those payments. Appellate courts have split regarding whether the community presumption applies in this situation, so it is best practice to keep a thorough record of these payments so that you can prove which funds were used to benefit your spouse’s separate estate.

The estate seeking reimbursement will likely not recover the entire amount of the payments made. Rather, the recovery will likely include an amount representing the reduction of the principal amount of the mortgage. In other words, the estate seeking reimbursement will recover the value of the actual benefit the other estate received. Be sure to maintain documentation of the mortgage and when it was acquired.

If you have questions or concerns about a potential reimbursement claim in your divorce, contact our office to speak with a Kirker Davis attorney.
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MY SPOUSE DIDN’T WORK, WHY IS MY SPOUSE OWED ANYTHING?
For breadwinners of the family who are considering divorce, it can be frustrating to think that a non-working spouse may be entitled to a significant portion of your hard-earned wages. Understanding Texas community property concepts can help you move forward with the process and prepare a reasonable settlement proposal.

In Texas, wages earned during the marriage are considered community property. It does not matter which spouse performed the work to earn those wages; each spouse acquires a one-half interest in those wages earned during the marriage. Therefore, if Spouse A earns $80,000 during the marriage, Spouse B’s community property interest in those earnings would be approximately $40,000. Similarly, if Spouse B earns $50,000 during the marriage, Spouse A’s community property interest in those earnings would be approximately $25,000. This rule also applies to retirement benefits either Spouse earned through their employment during the marriage.

Keep in mind that the phrase “earned during the marriage” is key. For example, if Spouse A had $100,000 in a retirement account the day before marrying Spouse B, Spouse B would not be entitled tO a one-half community property interest in those funds. However, in a divorce proceeding, it is Spouse A’s burden to prove that the $100,000 is separate property by tracing the funds and keeping thorough documentation of the account.

Establishing this separate property interest can be a challenge when Spouse A maintains the retirement account and the value appreciates over time during the marriage.

This would result in part of the account being subject to a separate property claim, and part of it being subject to division as part of the community estate.

If you are considering a divorce, be sure to consult an attorney who has an excellent working knowledge of Texas community property laws and the exceptions to the general rules. Visit our online chat feature or call our office to request a consultation.

For more information please visit our site.
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What Does “SAPCR” Mean?
A “SAPCR” is a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. More specifically, this type of lawsuit addresses the rights, duties, and obligations that a parent has with regard to a child. Here are some of the issues that will likely be addressed in a SAPCR:

Conservatorship
Will the parties be joint managing conservators, or will one party be appointed sole managing conservator?
Possession and Access
What type of possession schedule will the parties be entitled to exercise? When and where does pick up and drop off occur?
Child Support
What are the financial support obligations of the parents? Will one parent be obligated to provide child support to the other parent?
Right to Designate Residence/Primary
Who has the right to designate the primary residence of the child?

A SAPCR is usually filed in cases where the parties have never been married and no court order addresses the above issues. If a child has been the subject of a prior suit and a court order has been entered, a party may want to file a Suit to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship, otherwise known as a Modification suit.

If you have questions about what type of suit to file involving your children, call to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

For more information please visit our site.
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What To Do If My Ex-Partner is Not In Compliance With Our Order?
First, determine the severity of your ex’s violations of the Order. If possible, try to make progress by resolving any potential misunderstanding without court intervention.

If multiple violations have occurred, keep a log. Write down the date and description of each violation. Be sure to also include a log of the steps you have taken in an effort to correct the situation in an amicable manner. Saving text messages and email communications can be helpful in the event you need to pursue an enforcement action. Also, be mindful of the communications that you send. It is best to avoid sending rude and angry messages, even if your ex-partner is sending these types of messages to you. Always be mindful of how your communications might look when presented to a judge.

By following the above steps, you will be well-prepared to go to court if necessary. However, if you do consider pursuing an enforcement action, evaluate how strong your position is. Does your ex-partner have a basis for arguing that the two of you have entered into an agreement that contradicts the terms of the order? Is there a reason or motive for the violations? Asking yourself these types of questions will help you prepare for a potential hearing.

Consult an attorney to discuss options and strategy before pursuing an action to enforce the current order. See our online chat feature at www.kirkerdavis.com or call the office to schedule a consultation.

For more information, please visit our site.
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What is a Protective Order/Restraining Order?
In some situations, a court may grant emergency relief in the form of a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order or a Temporary Restraining Order.

If family violence has occurred, a party with standing based on a relationship might pursue a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order. Depending on the type of relief requested, the Respondent may have an opportunity to be heard by the court before the order is entered. For example, if a party requests that the court order the alleged aggressor to be temporarily removed from the residence, a court may recess the ex parte hearing and contact the respondent before the hearing resumes. This type of order is often referred to as a “kick out order.”

A Temporary Restraining Order may grant other types of temporary relief by imposing restrictions on the Respondent’s actions. For example, a Temporary Restraining Order may prevent a Respondent parent from removing the children outside of a particular geographic area or hiding the children from the other parent.

A verified pleading and affidavit including facts to support the requested relief are usually required for Temporary Ex Parte Protective Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders. If you have questions about these types of orders, do not hesitate to consult an attorney.

**CONTACT THE POLICE IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY**

For more information on our Austin Divorce Lawyers please visit our site.
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What Will Happen to Our Pets?
In Texas, pets are considered property in a divorce context. Therefore, a family pet may be awarded to one party in a divorce proceeding. You may be able to prove your pet is separate property if it was acquired prior to marriage, given as a gift, or acquired through devise or inheritance. However, if your pet was purchased during the marriage, you may encounter some complications.

As an alternative to relinquishing ownership interest completely, the parties may be able to reach an agreed possession and access schedule, though this is currently a gray area under Texas law and is a developing area within the law nation-wide. If you anticipate your divorce will involve contested issues regarding your pets, call our office to consult an attorney.

For more information on our Austin Divorce Lawyers, please visit our site.
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