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Montgomery County Family Law Blog

Understanding how alimony can impact finances after divorce

As Texas couples prepare to end a marriage, they are faced with a multitude of important decisions that must be made in a relatively short period of time, and often under stressful circumstances. Many of those decisions are related to financial matters. The choices made during a divorce have the power to shape the financial future of both spouses. One commonly overlooked topic is how alimony payments will factor into post-divorce budgeting.

Most Texas couples know that the spouse who is tasked with making alimony payments is able to claim those payments as deductions on his or her tax return. The recipient of alimony payments must claim those funds as income. This will impact each individual differently and is just one of many factors that can influence an individual's tax obligations.

Mediation's benefits continue long after divorce

Mediation isn't just for contentious divorces. It works in almost any divorce to reduce stress and help settle child custody, alimony and property division concerns in a way that is agreeable to both parties. It's a good idea, because the mediator knows the laws and educates everyone involved in the divorce.

Mediation's benefits can't be understated. They help ease a couple out of a marriage while encouraging them to find ways to work through disputes gracefully. In the long term, families with children need to work together, so mediation sets the stage for that to happen.

Prenups, divorce and estate planning all interconnected

Many Texas residents are aware of the recent passing of controversial media mogul Hugh Hefner. The 91-year-old founder of Playboy magazine lived a long life that was largely defined by his drive to create an enduring presence in the publishing world. Many of his personal choices were also called into question over the years. After two previous divorce experiences, Hefner was married to his third wife at the time of his death.

His widow is a model who is six decades his junior. Shortly after their marriage, it was announced that she had signed a prenuptial agreement prior to walking down the aisle. Reports also indicated that she was not added to her husband's will. As a result, there is a great deal of current speculation that she will receive little to nothing from his estate.

Understanding the tax ramifications of divorce

As Texas residents move through the process of ending their marriage, one of the things that is most often overlooked involves how one's tax landscape will change once the process is finalized. There are a number of important changes that will affect each spouse's tax obligations. Understanding those changes early in the divorce process can make it easier to negotiate.

The most obvious change involves each spouse's filing status. In the eyes of the IRS, a taxpayer is considered unmarried during the entirety of the tax year in which their divorce was finalized. That means that individuals will no longer have the option of filing under either of the "married" designations.

3 ways to sabotage your high net worth divorce

Without a doubt, ending a marriage is an emotional time. Texas residents facing a high asset divorce may go through a myriad of emotions. They may feel out of control, long for the past or just want to keep the peace and get through it.

It may be only natural to want to avoid conflict during this time. As such, one party may try to please the other to his or her detriment. The decisions made during this time have a profound impact on the future. Simply giving in to make things easier on everyone else could leave one party in a precarious financial position.

Do divorce courts really know what is best for your children?

More than likely, Texas parents who decide to end their marriages do so because the conflicts between them have become too much to sustain the relationship. They decide to go their own ways and file for divorce. As part of the divorce process, they need to determine how custody and visitation will be handled.

The courts still use the standard of ensuring the best interests of the children. For many decades, that meant that one parent (most often the mother) would receive primary custody and the other parent (most often the father) received visitation. This presumably protected the children from the conflict between the parents. Unfortunately, it also essentially took one parent away from the children.

Do you know how to prepare your finances for divorce?

Once you and your spouse come to the conclusion that divorce is the best thing for both individuals, you need to turn your attention to many details.

If you have children together, it's natural to focus on what you can do to ensure their well being.

What happens in a divorce when one parent is disabled?

When most Texas parents think of paying a child support obligation, they think about doing so from their work income. What happens if the noncustodial parent is disabled and unable to work? How is child support dealt with in a divorce under those circumstances?

Child support orders in these situations rely on a number of factors relating to the disability and from where the disabled parent receives benefits. If the disability is expected to be temporary, the court may issue an order for child support based on temporary disability payments, which can later be modified once the parent returns to work. More than likely, any payments received by the custodial parent under these circumstances will be less than would be ordered if the disabled parent was working. This needs to be taken into account when engaging in post-divorce budgeting.

What does your post-divorce budget look like?

Are you about to go from two incomes supporting one household to supporting one household on your own? Do you know how your divorce will impact your checkbook? You may be asking these questions yourself as you face going into a Texas courtroom to end your marriage.

You may want to take stock of the property and debts that you and your soon-to-be former spouse share. What does your financial picture look like right now? Do you have a house, cars and retirement accounts? Does your marital estate include stocks, bonds and other investment funds? You may even have retirement accounts that need dividing.

You may need this information for a parenting plan in a divorce

If you rely on a Texas court to make decisions regarding your children as you and the other parent part ways, it will use the "best interests of the children" standard to make its decisions. Even if you intend to work things out outside the courtroom, any agreement you come to will still require the approval of the court, which will still apply this standard. Understanding what this means for you during your divorce could help you and the other parent when creating a parenting plan.

Like other children, yours more than likely crave routine in order to feel secure. This is why the standard includes a review of the children's living arrangements to ensure they provide consistency for them. The courts also want to ensure that the children are safe from both external and internal dangers.

Vernier & Associates, PLLC Vernier & Associates, PLLC

Vernier & Associates, PLLC
2441 High Timbers Drive Suite 110
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Phone: 281-882-3271
Fax: 832-585-0955

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