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Houston Divorce Law Blog

Basics of a military divorce

When a couple has decided that their marriage will be ending in a divorce it can be an emotional rollercoaster. For military families there are certain special rules that apply to a divorce and mediation. It is important to take the time necessary to learn about the special issues that can be involved in a military divorce.

When a spouse is a military member, both state and federal laws govern the divorce. Active duty military members cannot begin divorce proceedings until at least 60 days after their active duty has ended. Military pensions and the court the couple wind up in may be governed by federal laws. State laws would cover alimony, child support and other property division issues. Many times military members have three options for where they can file for divorce. These include the state where the spouse filing for divorce lives, the state where the military member is stationed or the state where the military member has residency.

Divorce expenses to consider

When a Houston area resident is going through a divorce it can be hard to look past the emotions and consider the financial aspects as well. A divorce is an extremely emotional time and it can be difficult to make any financial decisions at that time. There are some things a person should consider during the divorce process.

First, property values are extremely important in a divorce settlement. Property division is one of the major contentious issues that spouses face. Each spouse should fill out a financial statement that lists assets and what they think they are worth. This can help identify which items may need special valuation. Filling out this form can result in less delay and identify important differences before mediation begins. Second, decide what to do with the family residence. If one spouse wants to keep the house, an immediate refinance to get the other spouse off the mortgage may be a good idea. Knowing the current and future costs of the house and what other housing may cost is also important. A divorce may be a good way to downsize housing costs as well.

Divorce mediation can be beneficial for both partners

When a Houston couple believes their marriage is heading for divorce emotions can be at an all-time high. A divorce is often costly and traumatic for both partners. For some, it may make sense to pursue alternative options to traditional divorce, such as divorce mediation.

Instead of hiring an aggressive attorney who will threaten their former spouse, file numerous court orders and turn the divorce into an emotional and financial pit, there are a few alternatives that can turn a divorce into a more stable situation. The first is using mediation. A divorce mediator will work out a fair settlement between both spouses by being a neutral third party. They can help the couple work out child custody issues and child support, property distribution, alimony, taxes and retirement benefits. All of this can be done at a far lesser cost than traditional litigation and in a shorter time period. An additional benefit of mediation is that the terms of the divorce remain private.

Credit cards and divorce

Houston area residents who are going through a divorce know how traumatic and emotional of a time this time can be. A divorce introduces couples to the concept of property division. Property division includes both assets and debt that the couple has accumulated.

Almost every couple has credit cards in both their own names and as a joint account. In a divorce situation these can add complications. Credit cards can be held individually or jointly. Because Texas is a community property state, the individual debts of one spouse may appear on both spouse's credit report. A joint credit card is the responsibility of both spouses.

What is an annulment?

When many Texas residents hear the word annulment they may assume it is one and the same as divorce. Although an annulment does signify the end of a marriage, usually after a short period of time, there are circumstances that need to be present in order to have a marriage annulled.

An annulment in Texas is invalidating a marriage. There are two grounds for annulment in Texas. The first ground for annulment is void annulment grounds. This is where a person is married to a blood relative such as father, mother, sister, brother, uncle or aunt. It can also happen if a person is already married to someone else.

Assets attained before marriage can complicate a divorce

When a couple enters into a marriage in Texas divorce is likely the last thing on their mind. No couple expects that what appears to be a perfect match may wind up in divorce court. But for a large percentage of couples, divorce becomes the best option available to them.

One of the major components of a divorce settlement is property division. Often property division is complicated, especially for couples who enter the marriage with their own assets. Although most people assume that the assets a person has before the marriage will remain theirs after the divorce is finalized and will be kept separate in property division, this is not always the case. One example would be a person who enters the marriage with a brokerage account and continues to contribute to the account when married may find that the account is now community property during the divorce because it is property that was acquired during the marriage.

Frances Bean Cobain files for divorce

To some Texas residents it may seem like every week there is another report of a celebrity divorce. This week is no different as Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of legendary rocker Kurt Cobain, is reportedly in a divorce from her husband.

This past week Frances Bean Cobain announced that she has filed for divorce from Isaiah Silva whom she has been married to for less than two years, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple was married in June of 2014. People magazine reports that Cobain is open to paying spousal support but none of her late father's estate which is valued at $450 million will be given to him. The divorce filings have indicated that Cobain is asking the court to not include premarital assets, which include her father's inheritance, to be included in the settlement.

Things to learn from celebrity divorces

Celebrity divorces can seem like a common occurrence to many Houston residents. These divorce stories are often heavily publicized and make appearances in magazines and news shows on television. One of the latest celebrity divorces that is getting a lot of press is Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck's divorce was announced right after their tenth wedding anniversary. In some states, the end of a marriage that occurs after a tenth anniversary can mean that spousal support may be in a greater amount than if the marriage was shorter. Also, after a couple has been married ten years, a spouse can receive social security benefits and military benefits.

Is your marriage headed for a divorce?

Many Houston couples may find the marriage statistics in the U.S. to be quite dismal. Although most couples believe their marriage will last forever, disputes emerge and a divorce may become the best option.

Each divorce is unique. A divorce is generally a time when emotions are at an all-time high. It can be hard for a person to think logically with their future in mind. A divorce will force each person to start over in their life so it is important that each area of concern is well thought out.

Is your divorce heading to court?

Although many divorces are handled outside of the courtroom in Houston, some do need to have a court date to be resolved. When certain aspects of a divorce cannot be resolved, like child support, division of assets, alimony, etc., a court date becomes inevitable. Certain tips may help divorcing spouses prepare for the court date.

When a divorce court date becomes inevitable because of a dispute, emotions can be at an all time high. There are some things to keep in mind before the court date occurs. First, it is important to know what the rules are surrounding the procedure. Discovery is the first part of the divorce process after the court steps have been taken. This is the time when spouses will need to share all relevant information. Depositions may be taken, case information statements, and questions answered in written form.

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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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