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March 2018 Archives

Some divorce lawyers' best-kept secrets

The facts show that you have a 50/50 chance of staying married. When it comes to making a lifelong commitment, these odds aren't very comforting. One of the first steps you're most likely to take when you and your spouse lay divorce on the table is reaching out to a divorce attorney. Under Texas law, you do not need to be represented by an attorney for your divorce, but rest assured it is almost always the best option. 

More men are receiving alimony after divorce

In the previous post, we discussed why men get the short end of the stick when it comes to alimony. Reasons range from the stigma society has established about how emasculated men feel asking their wives for financial support, to the simple fact that courts are still a little biased towards granting men spousal support. Even though it has been traditinally more difficult for men to get alimony, the number is slowly rising as more husbands stay at home so that their wives can focus on their careers.

Why are men less likely to receive alimony?

Alimony, or spousal support, is an ongoing payment made by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse in the event of a divorce. And though the concept of gender equality has risen significantly in recent decades, the number of men awarded alimony as part of divorce settlement still lags significantly behind their ex-wives. 

How shared parenting is changing custody agreements

Options for child custody arrangements for divorced parents in Texas might include the children living in one home while the parents alternate staying there or schedules in which the child spends roughly equal time at each parent's home. In the past, custody schedules tended to favor mothers, and fathers might get visitation rights that allowed them to spend alternate weekends and perhaps a few hours on a weekday with their children.

The consequences of a gray divorce

There's never a good time to experience divorce in Texas. However, ending a marriage can have a greater financial impact on older couples. Successful retirement planning takes time, and couples calling it quits later in life have fewer years to rebound from the repercussions that accompany marital dissolution. Despite these potential issues, so-called "gray divorce" rates -- those involving spouses aged 50 and up -- have doubled since the 1990s.

MIstakes women make in a divorce

Divorce is one big financial and emotional whirlwind that can sweep your feet out from under you. And it turns out that divorces are especially difficult for women. In 2011, the U. S. Census Bureau reported that, "of the women that divorced in the last 12 months, 27 percent had an annual household income of less than $25,000." Although the statistics report is now several years old, little has changed in the intervening seven years. This shows that the standard of living drops dramatically for women. That's why it's important for women to tune in to their financial needs and plan ahead for an independent future.

Should you file for bankruptcy before your divorce?

If you and your spouse agree that the best course of action for your relationship is divorce, then prepare your wallet for the accompanying financial obstacles. Divorces can be as expensive as the two parties allow them to be. If you think some of the issues on the table may run up the legal fees and court costs, your divorce may make it impossible to meet your debt obligations. (Remember, no matter who holds the credit cards and loans, debt is also considered marital "property" and will be equitably divided among both spouses.) Filing for bankruptcy may be the right option before you file for divorce. 

Ah, the old hidden asset trick

We're all familiar with the quote, "Desperate times call for desperate measures," and if you're in the middle of a nasty divorce battle, you can relate all the more. So what happens when you have the sinking feeling that your spouse is trying to hide certain assets or parts of their income from you? If you've discovered a receipt for a purchase you don't recognize, don't have any access to bank statements each month, or your spouse is getting especially defensive during discussions about money, maybe it's time to dig a little deeper into your financial situation and make sure all assets are accounted for.

Using a trust to protect your assets in divorce

When you think of a trust, you're likely to think of it as a tool rich families use to pass their wealth from one generation to the next. But a trust is a multifaceted entity that serves a number of purposes, and they are being utilized more and more each day. It turns out that trusts can even help with protecting assets in the event of a divorce. But how?

Protecting your retirement through divorce

Continuing this series, we'll now discuss how to keep your retirement savings safe from derailing if you and your spouse get a divorce later in life. We know that divorce can take a toll on the finances, especially when those finances are now split between both parties. So, the more assets you can protect, the better. Here's what you can do to protect your retirement savings when faced with this dilemma.

Protecting your sole proprietor business in divorce

Your business is your baby. You poured long days and sleepless nights into its creation and growth. You fostered and nurtured it, spending resources you may not have had at the time, but believed so greatly that your business would be a success that you took the financial risk anyways. It even seem as if your spouse had very little to do with your success, but under Texas' marital community property laws, he or she will be entitled to half the ownership or half the value in a property agreement. If you are facing that concern, there are certain steps you can take in the event you are considering divorce, or are concerned it may be a possibility in the future. 

Does your spouse have a right to your inheritance in divorce?

If you're in the initial stages or well into the divorce process, you're probably concerned about many things. There are rising court costs, finding the right lawyer, and if you have children, you might be in the middle of an exhausting custody battle. The last thing you want to do is to add another stressor to your already overflowing plate.

Why does my personal property become marital property?

Texas is one of several states classified as a "community property state." That doesn't mean the entire population of Texas has access to your belongings whenever it so desires. Community property is just another term for marital property, assets owned jointly by a married couple. This means all of the stuff accumulated during the time you and your spouse are married equally belongs to both of you in the event of divorce.

How you can benefit from a post-nuptial agreement

Now that we're more familiar with what a reasonable prenuptial agreement looks like, let's take a look at what a postnuptial agreement is. This kind of legal document is similar to a prenup, except instead of creating it prior to marriage, a postnuptial agreement is deliberated during marriage--or if the couple is not married, a civil union. Postnups are a relatively new creation, only recently established in the 1970s. Though they are gaining more traction and popularity now amongst married couples, postnups may be trickier to uphold in a courtroom setting than the traditional prenup.

Will your prenuptial agreement hold up in court?

A prenup is a premarital agreement a couple creates to dictate what will happen to both spouse's assets in the event of a divorce. With a whopping 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, a prenuptial agreement seems like a great idea to protect property and financial worth.

Retirement funds of high value in divorce

When couples in Texas decide to divorce, the financial aspects of the end of a marriage can be the most contentious and difficult to address. Indeed, 62 percent of divorce lawyers surveyed in 2016 noted that retirement accounts are the most contentious issue faced by their clients. These accounts are often the largest single asset of a couple ending their marriage, and they are critical to both parties' financial health and futures.

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