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Houston Divorce Law Blog

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.

Common clauses in a prenuptial agreement

When a Houston couple is in the midst of wedding planning the last thing they likely want to think about is divorce. Wedding planning can be an exciting time for couples, but it can also be important for couples to think about their lives after the wedding and what may happen in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement is often a prudent measure that can ensure that a couple's wishes are honored if they choose to divorce at a later time.

There are many important issues that should be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. First, if there are children from a previous relationship, it is important to account for their well-being. A prenup can make sure they receive compensation or property in the event of a divorce. Also, since Texas is a community property state it is important to define what property is community and what is the individual's. A prenup can list out what property an individual has before the marriage and what should happen to property obtained during the marriage.

Grandparents' visitation rights

Many children in Texas are lucky to have families that love and care about them. In the event of a divorce, however, it can be difficult for grandparents who are stuck in the middle. They may still want to see their grandchildren after the divorce is finalized and it is often in the child's best interest to maintain these relationships regardless of child custody.

In Texas there is not a law that provides grandparents the right to visit their grandchildren. Generally, if the parents approve of the grandparents visiting, then they are allowed. But if parents restrict a grandparent's access to the grandchildren, the grandparent may need to obtain a court order in order to secure visitation. It can be difficult for a grandparent to obtain a court order allowing them to visit their grandchildren. There are generally four circumstances in which the court will hear a grandparent's visitation case. These are when the parent is in prison, found to be mentally incompetent, no longer alive, or no longer living with the child.

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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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