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Houston Divorce Law Blog

Modifying a divorce decree

As those who have gone through a divorce in Houston know, a divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for a family. Emotions are high and it can be hard to focus on the important aspects of a divorce settlement. A post-divorce modification may become necessary for one of the spouses.

A post-divorce modification can be brought by one of the spouses to change certain decisions in regards to their divorce. There are a few ways that a modification can be pursued. One way is through an appeal. A spouse can challenge the trial court's judge's decision by bringing an appeal to a higher court. The spouse files a brief which includes what they think is not fair in their divorce settlement and how the original judge incorrectly applied the law. A divorce settlement usually cannot be appealed if both parties agreed to the settlement.

Actress Kaley Cuoco cites prenuptial agreement in divorce

Prenuptial agreements have steadily increased in popularity among engaged couples here in Houston and all over the country. No longer just for the very rich or celebrities, prenuptial agreements make sense for many relationships.

Actress Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny on the hit television series "The Big Bang Theory," announced recently that she is getting a divorce from her husband of 20 months. Her petition cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for divorce. In recently court filings it was revealed that, a month prior to their wedding, the two parties signed a prenuptial agreement that described how they would divide their assets in the event of an eventual divorce. The agreement reportedly also provided that Cuoco would make spousal support payments to her ex-husband. If the court finds the agreement to be valid, it will save Cuoco and her soon-to-be ex-husband a lot of time and headaches as they go through the divorce process, because many of the big issues will have been resolved in advance.

Common mistakes that are made in a high asset divorce

Houston area residents who are considering a divorce know how emotional a time it can be. There are so many things to consider at the end of a marriage and it is not a pleasant situation. For those who are involved in a high asset divorce there is a lot at stake. There are mistakes that people make that should be avoided.

One mistake in a high asset divorce is that there may be assets that get overlooked. It is critical that all assets and liabilities are known. Important documents should be located including tax records, bank statements, investment statements, retirement and pension accounts, credit card bills, household bills and insurance. These all need to be accounted for. There should also be an inventory done on all property including valuable artwork, collections, cars and real estate. A valuation expert may be needed for business value, stock options or a professional partnership.

Collaborative law and Texas divorce

Many people in Texas who are considering a divorce may dread the process. Traditional divorce litigation can be time-consuming and expensive, and the adversarial nature of the process can lead to long-lasting feelings of frustration and resentment. The good news is that there are alternatives to the traditional litigation route. A collaborative law divorce works for many families and their unique needs. So what is the process for a collaborative law divorce?

During a collaborative law divorce, each party has their own attorney representing them. Each party will sign a contract at the beginning binding them to the collaborative law process. Each party will meet with their attorney privately and discuss their needs. They will need to communicate their child support and child visitation needs, alimony needs, property division desires and other important information. After the private meetings with the attorneys, the two spouses and their attorneys will meet regularly to negotiate issues. Other professionals may be brought in as well including financial planners and child support experts. If there are difficulties in the negotiation process, a licensed mediator may be brought in. A mediator is skilled at guiding the two parties together and working out important issues.

Child custody and child support during a divorce

Houston couples who are going through a divorce often think of this time as the worse time in their lives. Emotions are high and a person's anxiety can be through the roof. There are so many decisions to be made and they can all be very important for a family's future. During a high asset divorce, children can be the central issue.

When one parent wants to retain custody of the children, there are certain things they should keep in mind during the divorce process. They need to make sure that they have been taking their parenting role seriously. If one parent has been doing the heavy lifting with the children and their needs, they need to make the court aware of their sacrifices. In addition to sacrifices caring for the children a parent may have also made a career sacrifice. By staying home, or working less, to take care of the children, a person may have lost out on earning potential during their prime work years. By getting married and having children a person may have cut short a promising career or educational opportunities. This should also be brought to the attention of the court. Child support and alimony might be available from the other spouse in order to compensate for the sacrifice that the spouse made in their career.

Do you need help with a divorce?

When Houston couples get married, they believe their marriage will last forever. For many couples this is true, but a large percentage of them will end in divorce. A divorce can be a traumatizing time for couples and it is important that their needs, including needs with property division, are well-represented.

According to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit, over 82,000 divorces were recorded in 2010 in the state of Texas. Thousands of couples go through divorces each year. A divorce has many complicated aspects to it including child custody, child support, alimony and property division. A divorce requires planning, paperwork and communication between both spouses to work out all the differences.

The Ashley Madison hack and marriage in Texas

Recently, the Internet was roiling with the news that the Ashley Madison website was hacked and the dating site's customer list was published. Ashley Madison is a website where people who are interested in having an affair can set up a dating profile. The customers of the site believed their information would be kept private but, as we have learned time and time again information on the Internet can never be guaranteed as private. Since the data has been released, thousands of potentially cheating spouses have been revealed including many celebrities, doctors, professors and thousands more. Houston residents who have found their spouse on the list may want to know how divorce can be affected by the Ashley Madison hack.

In the past, a spouse who wanted a divorce would typically have to provide grounds for the divorce, and adultery was commonly considered sufficient grounds. Today, a divorce does not require a showing of fault. Most divorces simply require the parties to state that they have irreconcilable differences in their marriage.

There are many assets that need to be divided during a divorce

For many people in Houston, divorce is a huge, emotionally traumatic event. But people going through a divorce need to try to move past the emotions and keep in mind that divorce is partly about property division. There are so many assets that need to be divided during a divorce and it is important to remember all of them.

Most couples have complex property division issues. There are assets and debts that need to be allocated during the property division portion of divorce. Common assets include the home, investment accounts and cars. A person should also consider whether they have expensive home furnishings and art, rare coins, firearms, pets, wine collections and so on. Although one person may have shown no interest in these items during the marriage, they can all come into play during a divorce negotiation.

Retirement savings and divorce in Houston

Houston area residents who are thinking about a divorce know how complicated the divorce can be. Divorce is a highly emotional and traumatic time for everyone. It can be hard to think about anything except for the mental strain that a divorce can produce. But the property division of assets portion of the divorce is one of the most important. A person needs to make sure they understand the complex property division and keep in mind how they will be able to afford retirement.

Retirement savings is something that so many financial experts talk about. In the United States a high percentage of couples do not have adequate retirement savings and have no idea how they will maintain their lifestyle when they retire. Many times in relationships one of the spouses becomes the person who takes on retirement savings for the couple. In those instances the person who hasn't been involved in retirement savings can be in trouble if a divorce occurs.

Social media can harm a divorce situation

These days all kinds of people in the Houston area are on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others all contain many facets of our daily lives. But for those going through a divorce or have had a divorce, social media can become a problem.

Many people find social media to be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family and to update everyone as to what they've been doing. Social media can provide instant gratification for users, allowing them to share adventures and pictures that they post. But people can also run into legal problems. Child support, child custody, alimony and other issues can be tied to what a person posts on social media. If it's a person's weekend to spend with the kids and they're posting pictures of themselves having fun in Las Vegas, for example, that can hurt a custody agreement. If a person claims they are broke yet are posting pictures of themselves in a shiny new Corvette, that will not help their child support or alimony case.

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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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