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Houston Divorce Law Blog

Health plans and a divorce

For most Texas residents, health care is a critical issue. No one wants to go without health care coverage, and it can be very expensive to get it on your own. A person who is going through a divorce may need to know if they can stay on their ex-spouse's health care plan as a spousal support benefit.

When a marriage ends there are many changes to a person's life, including living situations, financial arrangements and health benefits. In many situations, one spouse's health care benefits are better than the other spouse's. When there is a divorce, a person may want to remain on their ex-spouse's health care plan.

Tips for having a successful divorce mediation

Houston couples that are going through a divorce know how stressful and emotional time this can be. Many couples go through mediation instead of a traditional litigation to finalize their divorce. There are some tips to help divorce mediation and collaborative law go well.

Most couples that are in the process of a divorce litigation alternative use mediation. Mediation is often a good way to settle a divorce because it costs less, it's faster, it tends to be calming and there can be less conflicts. Most mediators are experts at listening. A mediator is good at listening to both spouses and understanding how they both feel and what they both want in the settlement. A mediator asks lots of questions to find out what is important to both spouse, understand the legal issues and help the couple talk through issues.

Dissipation of assets during a divorce

When a Houston couple decides that they need to divorce it can be a very hard time for both parties involved. The emotional impact alone is incredibly traumatic to a person. Many times, couples can work through a divorce amicably and reach a resolution that benefits both parties. But, occasionally a divorce can get nasty and seriously hurt the two sides forever.

One way a divorce can turn out to be complicated and full of battles is if one of the spouses dissipates assets. This can occur if one spouse intentionally squanders marital property to hurt the other spouse. A person may spend all the money on a boyfriend or girlfriend, gamble it all away or spend it all knowing that after a divorce they will be able to make the money again. This can be a huge devastation to the other spouse who needs that money to survive after a divorce settlement.

Who gets the retirement plan in a divorce?

When a Houston couple is going through a divorce it is a terribly emotional event. It can be hard for a person who is going through a divorce to think about finances, but it's one of the most important aspects of a divorce and a divorce settlement. For many people, retirement accounts are one of their largest assets. In a divorce, it is important to understand who gets the retirement accounts.

There are many different types of retirement accounts and they all can be treated differently in a divorce. A 401K requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that divides the retirement account with the ex-spouse. A pension or other employer-sponsored plan each requires a QDRO. If a person has their own retirement account then that will need a transfer incident to move the funds around. The state laws or a prenuptial agreement typically dictate how these assets are divided among spouses.

Three things you can do to protect your money during a divorce

When a Houston couple is considering a divorce, it is an especially emotional and stressful time. There is so much that needs to be done but it can be hard to even think straight. One of the most important things that happens during a divorce is regarding finances. There are a few things a person can do to protect their money during a divorce.

There will be life after a divorce, so taking a few steps to protect your money during a divorce is important. First, it is important that a person's credit score is not affected by the divorce. A person's credit needs to be good so that they can open a credit card in their own name, get housing and help with other things after the divorce is finalized. Second, a person should open a bank account in their own name and start adding to it immediately. Third, consult with a financial planner and attorney to make sure the financial decisions that are being made will protect a person's future. There are many different financial decisions that can have a lasting impact on a person's future, including retirement accounts, tuition, debts, etc.

Does a postnuptial agreement make sense?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more popular among Houston residents who are engaged. But the lesser known postnuptial agreements are also becoming more popular. These may make sense for married Houston couples.

A postnuptial agreement spells out what happens to assets and debts if a couple is to be divorced. The postnuptial agreement is drawn up and signed after a couple is married. There are many reasons why a couple would draft a postnuptial agreement. One reason is if a spouse was guilty of infidelity during the marriage. Another reason would be for heirs of an estate or a family business to have that pass to them and not be affected by a divorce. Those who are giving their children an inheritance may not want their children's spouses to have any of that money, so a postnuptial agreement may be necessary. In addition, a family business may also need a postnuptial agreement to ensure the business will remain in the family and not be affected by a divorce.

What can I include in my prenup?

Although bringing up the topic of a prenuptial agreement, or prenup, with your soon-to-be spouse may be an uncomfortable conversation, especially with all the joys of a wedding and a lifelong commitment to your future, there is no denying that the benefits of a prenup are vast. But what can be included in a prenup? More than you may think.

What should you do if you've been served with divorce papers?

One of the most traumatic things that can happen to a person in the Houston area is going through a divorce. This is an emotional and complex time for everyone involved. So, if a Houston resident is served divorce papers there are some things that they should keep in mind.

If a person is served divorce papers there are probably several emotions that person feels which may include sadness, disbelief, relief, etc., depending on the situation. That person should take a few days to think about what just happened while reviewing the divorce petition to see when a response is necessary. A person should review the divorce documents to see what their spouse will want regarding property division, child custody and visitation and alimony. Texas law requires a response within 20 days to the divorce petition. The person who is being served will probably want to seek out legal representation at this time. This is also a good time to get financial paperwork in order.

Is there a good time to file for divorce?

When a Houston couple gets married, the last thing they want to think about is divorce. But, for many couples, divorce is something that will one day become a reality. There have been many studies done on when the most common times are to get a divorce but, for people who are considering a divorce, the timing should depend on several matters.

A divorce is one of the most stressful and emotional times of a person's life. Getting a divorce ranks right up there with the death of a spouse as one of the most traumatic things a person can go through. If a divorce appears it may be possible in the future, there are certain things a person may want to do to prepare before actually filing for divorce. The first thing a person should do is to assemble all of their financial paperwork. The financial portion of a divorce is one of the most important pieces and the paperwork should be thorough and accurate. Paperwork should include all bank statements, mortgage info, car payments, retirement accounts and all other financial information. Also, it is important a person establishes credit in their own name. After a divorce is finalized, a person will need to set up a house, buy items, etc. and good credit is necessary. It is also important to have a checking and savings account in your own name that is not tied to a spouse's. It may also be important to have money saved up to pay for the divorce and the time immediately after a divorce including legal fees, household expenses, bills, etc.

Angelina Jolie files for divorce

Divorce affects countless numbers of marriages in the Houston area each year. It affects people from all backgrounds, regardless of the number of years married. Angelina Jolie's surprise divorce announcement was all the news this past week, proving yet again that celebrities are not immune to divorces.

This past week the news outlets were full of stories regarding Angelina Jolie's surprise announcement of filing for divorce from Brad Pitt. The couple were married in August 2014 but have been together for 12 years. Jolie filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences and requesting sole physical child custody of their six children. Jolie is also requesting to keep various jewelry and any earning after the date of separation. It is estimated the couple has earned over 100 million since their 2014 wedding. It is not clear if the couple has a prenuptial agreement.

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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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