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Houston Divorce Law Blog

Family pets and divorce

Many Houston families have pets. In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, between 37 percent and 47 percent of American households have a dog, with between 30 percent and 37 percent having a cat. When a couple decides to get a divorce, it can be hard to figure out who gets to keep the family pet.

A couple going through a divorce have many issues they need to work out. These may include child custody, spousal support and property division. Many couples may also need to figure out what to do with the family dog or cat. These animals are generally beloved family members, and deciding who gets to keep them can be contentious.

Can a parent relocate after a Texas divorce?

When a Texas couple gets divorced, there are many different things that need to be worked out. These include dividing property, spousal support and child support. After a divorce, many times one of the spouses wants to move away, especially for a new job. But, child custody arrangements may make it hard for a person to relocate in a collaborate law agreement.

In Texas, many child custody arrangements are created as a joint custody arrangement. In these arrangements, both parents share equal amounts of time with their children. Within this agreement, it often stipulates that the parents need to remain within a certain town or county. When this is listed in a child custody agreement, one parent cannot move into another county or state without permission. If they want to move to another area, they must seek a court order to change the custody agreement. If the custody agreement does not restrict where a parent lives, and one parent wants to move, the other parent may go to court and challenge that move.

A prenuptial agreement does not have to be something negative

When a Houston couple gets engaged, the least romantic thing they may be able to think of is creating a prenuptial agreement. Deciding on a date, venue, dresses, decorations, and everything else is way more exciting and romantic. But, taking the time to discuss a prenuptial agreement can be good for the marriage.

Many couples are still hesitant in creating a prenuptial agreement. They may think their fiancé will not agree to it and will then not want to get married or reveal the state of their finances. But for many couples, a prenuptial agreement makes sense. First, if a divorce occurs, a spouse will know what their financial obligations are ahead of time. The couple decides what happens to assets, a business, spousal support, etc. before the emotional and contentious time of a divorce. A couple agrees in advance what settlement makes sense to them and can thus make for an easier divorce if that happens.

Research shows specific times of the year when divorce increases

Many Houston couples will come to learn the heartbreak and stress that a divorce can bring to their life this year. No one enters a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but for many couples, this becomes reality.

New research suggests that there are certain times of the year when a couple is most likely to get divorced. The study by a major university analyzed divorce filings in that school's state over 14 years. It found that divorce filings consistently peaked in August and March. These times of the year are often when families have just had a holiday or had been on vacation together. The time spent as a family together during these times may be disappointing and prove to be the catalyst for a person to file for divorce.

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett finalize divorce

When a Houston couple gets married, they rightly believe their marriage will last forever. No one considers their relationship will end in a divorce, but unfortunately for many couples, this becomes a reality. Celebrity couples are also not immune from divorce.

Amy Poehler, the comedian and actress of Parks and Recreation and other popular shows, has finalized her divorce with actor and comedian Will Arnett. The couple separated in 2012 after 9 years of marriage and filed for divorce in 2014. The divorce court documents state that neither spouse will receive spousal support and will share joint custody of their two young sons.

Property division should be discussed with a divorce attorney

When a Houston couple gets married, the last thing they consider is whether their marriage will end in divorce. But for many couples, the end of a marriage is a reality. During this emotional time, there are certain items that should be discussed with a divorce attorney, including children and property division.

Depending on a person's situation, there are many different items that will need to be discussed with a divorce attorney. If children are involved in a relationship, the issues that may need to be discussed include child support and visitation, grandparents' visitation, college expenses, health insurance, claiming children on taxes and religious upbringing. The other big topic that is discussed in a divorce are property issues. These can include the family home and other properties, retirement accounts, home furnishings, cars, savings accounts, business assets, investment accounts and other personal property and assets. Spousal support, including how much and for how long may also be discussed.

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in Texas?

When a Houston couple is going through a divorce, one of the most contested areas to work out is property division. Property division can be difficult and complicated to navigate. Along with assets such as the family home, retirement benefits can also be large and a very important benefit to be divided.

Although retirement benefits may not be the first thing that comes to mind when sorting out property division in a divorce, they often can be large and should not be ignored. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is used to divide retirement benefits among spouses in Texas. Assets that are in a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or pension and accrued during the marriage are community property and can be divided in a divorce. The QDRO instructs the retirement plan's administrator how to pay the non-employee spouse and deposit that money into a separate Individual Retirement Account without penalty.

Dividing property in Texas, a community property state

When a Texas couple decides to divorce, it can be an emotional and trying time. Property division is one of the most important and contentious topics that couples need to work out. But how does property division work in Texas, a community property state?

Many people think that because Texas is a community property state, the marital property is equally divided between the spouses. In reality, property is divided based on a manner that is "just and right". There are several factors that are considered in order to determine what is equitable. Some of the main factors a court looks at are a spouse's earning potential and whether there are kids involved and who will be responsible for raising them. The judge can then order a 60-40 or 55-45 division of property and assets. Other factors that may influence an uneven division of assets include fault in the marriage, difference in ages, anticipated inheritance, among others.

Paying for college after a divorce

When a Houston resident is going through a divorce, the typical issues come up including who keeps the house, property division, debt division and the like. But for those couples who have children, college tuition should also be a topic of concern among other divorce legal issues.

College costs have gone up dramatically in recent years. The University of Texas at Austin is over $26,000 each year for in-state residents. Texas A&M is over $27,000 for Texas residents, and Southern Methodist University is over $67,000 each year. These figures can take a person's breath away and show that college costs need to be discussed in a divorce settlement. These are big costs that cannot be forgotten or ignored.

Divorce among the older population

When a couple gets married, the last thing on their mind is divorce. No Houston couple expects their marriage will end in divorce, but for many couples this will be the reality. A divorce can happen at any time during the marriage, but for those who are facing a divorce later in their lives, it can be difficult.

The divorce rate among all couples may be on the decline, from a peak in the 1970s and 1980s, but for those who are over 50 years of age it is rising. The rate among those over 50 has doubled between 1990 and 2010. Those who are over 50 may face unique challenges at the end of a marriage. The first challenge is that an older person who is divorcing can suffer a serious financial blow. A younger person has many years to recover financially, where an older person has the risk of ending up in poverty even if they receive spousal support. Another consequence of an older divorce is that a person who may not have been working prior to the divorce can have economic problems after the divorce as they try and re-enter the workforce after many years away.

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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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