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Houston Divorce Law Blog

There are four different methods to divorce, Part 1

Most people think of divorce as a singular process. You are married, then you decide to file for divorce which ends the marriage. But divorce isn?t so simple, and it isn?t approached that formulaically. There are several alternative methods to get divorced, not all of them traditional litigated divorce. This post will go over the pros and cons of do-it-yourself divorces; follow-up posts will discuss the other methods.

Postnuptial agreements continue to gain popularity

Some couples who did not enter into a prenuptial agreement before marriage are taking a look at creating the postnuptial variety. Interest has begun to build even for couples who have been together for decades. While it is a relatively new area of law, the postnuptial agreement may be as important in helping to save a marriage as it is in speaking to the division of assets in case of divorce.

Divorce Requirements in Texas

Once you have decided to get out of a bad marriage, it's time to start the actual process of divorce that would separate you from your spouse in the eyes of the law. In Texas, one of the spouses has to be a legal resident of the state for at least months in order to file for divorce. Also, the person needs to have resided in the country for a full 90 days before filing the divorce documents. If it so happens that one spouse is a Texas resident while the other spouse is located in a different state or even country, the non-resident spouse can file for divorce in the other location.

If a resident of Texas is a member of the military and has been working in another region of the world, that person will still be considered a resident. If a person is not a resident of Texas, but has been stationed in Texas for at least 180 days, that person will be considered a resident of Texas with regard to rules pertaining to divorce. In case of pregnancy, Texas courts will refuse to finalize the divorce until the baby is born. This precaution is taken to make room for orders regarding the baby that are to be included in the final ruling.

Preparing for a High Asset Divorce

Divorces are rarely pleasant experiences, and the level of animosity rises when there is a great deal of money at stake. That is why certain preparations need to be made to ensure you get your share from the divorce proceedings. Sift through the records of your marriage, such as photos, receipts and other assets you own. If you have made any expensive purchases, make sure you carry the full documents relating to the buy. Keep a file containing wills, trusts, bank statements, loan details etc. and place it in a safe location.

Keep track of all the costs that go into the divorce proceedings, such as hiring a high-asset divorce attorney. Keep an eye out for any tactics your spouse may use to hide assets. Valuable property may be claimed to be 'lost' or 'misplaced', but this is likely a ploy conceived as an effort to keep you from laying claim to the property. You deserve to receive your share from the divorce, so don't pass up a particular asset during the asset division process just because you don't like it. The asset can always be sold later for a profit. It's better to think in terms of finance, not sentiment.

Divorcing later in life can lead to some complicated issues

With many in the Houston area growing older, people may feel like they would like to make a new start with the time they have left. Divorce among older couples is on the rise, but that can lead to problems for these spouses.

In many divorce situations, especially among older people, one spouse, typically the woman, has not worked in a significant amount of time. A divorce can complicate the finances of those who have not worked. If this is the case for a person's divorce situation, there are certain things they should keep in mind.

Pet custody addressed in the first state law of its kind in U.S.

With divorce now common, family laws in most states have managed to adapt in ways that maximize the wellbeing of children. An increasing number of states, for instance, are encouraging some form of shared custody. The reasoning behind this is that it is generally in the best interests of children to maintain strong ties to both parents, when possible.

Financial considerations during and after the divorce process

There is no doubt that divorce impacts all affected parties emotionally, physically and financially. Unfortunately, because no two divorces are exactly alike, there is no "rule book" that spouses can follow in the wake of a decision to divorce in order to guarantee that they will emerge from the process emotionally, physically with financially stability.

The benefits of prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements have many different benefits, including the protection of assets but they have many other helpful advantages as well. In general, prenuptial agreements outline property rights before marriage. There are many misunderstandings associated with prenuptial agreements and their benefits so it is helpful to have a good idea of the ways they can help couples in a variety of different situations.

Prenuptials agreements are useful for the protection of one party's assets; for protection against one party's debts; for determining how property will be passed upon death or divided upon divorce; and to enumerate financial responsibilities during the marriage. Without a valid prenuptial agreement, it is important to keep in mind that property will be divided according to state laws upon divorce which may create different outcomes than what the couple wishes and can also lead to costly divorce disputes.

Your divorce doesn't have to get ugly

If you are getting divorced or thinking about filing for divorce, you may think that you need to start arming yourself for battle. After all, most divorces we read about in the news or on social media seem to depict a painful, expensive and combative process.

However, the truth is that you don't have to go through contentious courtroom conflicts. With alternative dispute resolution methods like collaborative divorce and mediation, you can minimize the bitterness and conflict of divorce. So how do you know if these are good options for you?

Top reasons why your prenup could be contested

When two people divorce in Texas, one of the most contentious processes they go through is the division of assets. To make this process a little easier, many people choose to have a prenuptial agreement in place before they get married. This document allows soon-to-be spouses to set rules for distribution, spousal maintenance and other financial matters that can cause great turmoil in the event of a divorce.

However, just because you have a prenup in place doesn't mean it will ultimately be enforced. In fact, there are many reasons why your prenup could be contested. 

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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