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Houston Divorce Law Blog

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.

How does a divorce mediation work?

When a Houston couple decides that their marriage is over, it can be an extremely emotional time. The emotional stress and complexities of a divorce can bring hardship to a person. A divorce that goes through a divorce mediation instead of a litigated divorce can be a good alternative for many families.

Many couples choose mediation instead of a litigated divorce and there are good reasons why. Mediation allows for the couple to have much more control over the decisions that need to be made. Couples are able to work together to make decisions as far as child support and child custody, property division and other important issues.

Not having a prenuptial agreement can be a mistake

Newly engaged Houston couples are full of joyful anticipation of their upcoming nuptials. Couples may spend several months and thousands of dollars planning this joyous occasion. Dress shopping, flowers, cake, venue selection and many other details can occupy a couple's life. Although not nearly as romantic as selecting ceremony music, a prenuptial agreement may also be a very important item to plan in the event of a future divorce.

There are many reasons why a prenuptial agreement may be a good idea for a couple. Couples who have children from previous marriages, couples who are older and have significant assets, those who anticipate having significant income in the future and other couples can benefit from a prenuptial agreement.

Social Security benefits and divorce

A divorce is something that most people don't assume is going to affect them. No one gets married with the assumption that their marriage is going to end in divorce. But for many Houston couples, a divorce is something that will affect them both emotionally and financially.

When a couple believes that their marriage has ended, they can feel extremely sad, stressed and anxious about their future. At a certain age, a person knows they will be receiving Social Security benefits as a retirement benefit. For those who are divorced, it is important to know how a divorce can affect Social Security benefits.

Does a lump-sum alimony payment make sense?

When a Houston couple is going through a divorce, there are typically many different complications that need to be worked out. This often includes property division, child custody and support and spousal support. In divorce situations where spousal support is present, a lump sum payment may be a good strategy.

A lump sum alimony payment instead of monthly payments has become more popular recently. A lump sum alimony payment may be an option for many couples. It may happen if the spouse has the financial assets to make the payment and the recipient is a responsible spender who has good financial advice as to how to invest the money.

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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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