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Montgomery County Family Law Blog

Understanding financial situation paramount during divorce

Getting divorced remains one of life's most challenging experiences. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with financial matters. For this reason, before embarking on the divorce process in Texas, it is critical to understand debt and income situations, current monthly expenses and anticipated future expenses. Gather this information ahead of time may help smooth the process.

Income includes all anticipated bonuses and wages, as well as monetary arrangements for those involved in partnerships. A recent tax return may help with determining how much money the parties are making. Likewise, a credit report may help with discovering all of the debt obligations that must be addressed during the divorce process -- for instance, debt on credit cards, student loans, car loans and mortgages.

You will go through either a contested or an uncontested divorce

Getting divorced is a not a black-and-white process. The reason for this is that your divorce circumstances are not the same as those of other married couples who are seeking divorce. For instance, whereas other couples may have to go through contested divorces, you and your spouse may be able to take advantage of uncontested divorce in Texas.

Contested divorce is where both parties cannot come to an agreement on how to resolve their divorce issues. In this situation, they must go to trial, where a judge will assess their situation and decide for them how to resolve it. Unfortunately, sometimes, the judge's decisions regarding spousal support or property division, for example, are not in alignment with what one or both of the parties would have wanted.

Financial woes a major reason for divorce

Money continues to be a major source of conflict for couples in Texas and elsewhere. As a result, it is a top reason for divorce in the United States. Massive debt and financial infidelity frequently drive couples to part ways.

In some situations, one spouse may be more apt to save money versus accumulating debt. Meanwhile, the other spouse may have a tendency to spend large sums of money and rack up significant debt on credit cards. These two philosophies can readily cause irreconcilable differences that lead to divorce.

Getting ready for a future of shared custody with your ex

The modern Texas family courts do everything they can to make divorce as straightforward and simple for families with small children as possible. Unfortunately, divorce can still be very difficult for children and teenagers. Many families unintentionally exacerbate the negative effects of divorce on their kids by taking a contentious approach to the process.

If you want a divorce, you and your ex probably don't have a great relationship right now. However, your children will need you both to become the best parents you can be. You have to find a way to work together as co-parents who focus more on the needs of the children than on your own emotional reactions to the failure of the marriage.

Fathers play important roles in children's lives post divorce

During the process of getting divorced, two parents in Texas may understandably be worried about how they will approach child custody. In the past, dads were often treated as peripheral figures, with mothers taking center stage and receiving primary custody. However, today, more emphasis is being placed on allowing fathers to play active roles in their children's lives post divorce.

According to research, divorce can actually help fathers to become better dads -- a suggestion that is transforming custodial norms today. According to experts, fathers often have more varied experiences with their children following divorce. This is because when a divorced father spends time alone with the children, he has more of an opportunity to connect with the children on an emotional level -- something that only the mother may have done prior to the divorce.

Feeling empowered while getting a divorce is possible

Breaking up with a spouse can feel like a formidable obstacle in Texas. In addition to dealing with the emotional aspect of divorce, individuals who are getting divorced may face financial quandaries as well. A couple of tips, however, might help them to feel empowered and protect their best interests long term while going through divorce.

For starters, it is wise for those who are interested in getting divorced to know their financial statuses before filing divorce papers. They can find this out by look at their retirement policies, insurance policies and tax returns. In addition, they may want to put together lists of their assets and liabilities, as this is the first step in deciding how to divide them fairly.

Specific tasks are important to complete following divorce

Getting divorced in Texas can be financially and mentally challenging. Fortunately, the moments after divorce can offer some much-needed relief from the hustle and bustle of a divorce proceeding. Nonetheless, those who have just gone through divorce may want to make a few important moves to put themselves in the best position to succeed after divorce.

For starters, those who are newly divorced might want to make certain that their legal matters are all squared away. This includes, for example, ascertaining that the qualified domestic relations order has been implemented, if retirement funds were divided during the marital dissolution process. This type of order, which a judge signs, is used to split retirement plan money or pension plan funds.

Divorce and job loss can be difficult to handle at same time

Experiencing the loss of a job in Texas can naturally be frightening. However, losing a job and getting a divorce at the same time can seem like a formidable ordeal to get through. A couple of tips may help individuals who are in such a situation to pursue the most favorable outcomes possible in light of the circumstances.

In some cases, divorcing individuals lose their jobs because their companies decided to institute layoffs. As they seek spousal support, these individuals can argue that they are not at fault in their job loss and that they are working hard to look for new job opportunities. This may put them in the best position possible for acquiring the spousal support they need while they are unemployed.

Child custody and summer vacation: Tips to avoid trouble

Summer vacation is an opportunity for you and your children to spend quality time together. It's not a time to argue with your ex over details related to custody and visitation.

Since your ex-spouse is likely to put up a fight, it's important to understand the many steps you can take to plan and enjoy every aspect of your summer vacation. Here are some things to do:

  • Settle on a vacation schedule as soon as possible: The sooner you do this, the sooner you can share it with your ex. This lessens the likelihood of planning a trip that interferes with your ex's plans.
  • Review your custody agreement: Remember, you can't do whatever you want in regard to summer vacation. Your custody agreement may include conditions that limit what you can do. For example, it may note that you're not permitted to travel outside the state or country with your children.
  • Talk about the details: You don't have to provide your ex with every detail of your trip, such as how much it costs, but those associated with your children should be shared. For example, let them know when you're leaving, where you're staying and when you're arriving back home.
  • Don't cut off communication during your trip: If your ex has questions or concerns while you're gone, address them to the best of your ability. Also, make it clear to your children that they're encouraged to stay in touch with their other parent. They can do so via text, phone and email, among other channels.
  • Compromise: If your vacation schedule is making life difficult on your ex, see if there's a compromise that will make you both happy. It's not something you necessarily want to do, but it's in the best interest of maintaining a healthy relationship.

Asset division can impact net worth after divorce

Besides dealing with child custody, one of the most sensitive aspects of the marital dissolution process is dealing with finances. This is especially true for those who have major investments in business ventures, real estate, mutual funds and stocks, as the divorce process can drastically impact their net worth. Here is a look at how the asset distribution process is handled in Texas.

Texas is one of nine states that follow the community property principle. According to this principle, two people who are getting divorced must split their assets 50/50 when they get divorced. This is the opposite of what happens in the other 41 states, which follow the equitable distribution principle. In an equitable distribution state, asset division is much more subjective, with the divorce court looking at factors like the spouses' personal needs and the length of their marriage to decide how to divide their assets.

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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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