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Houston Divorce Law Blog

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.

What does the divorce process look like?

When a Houston resident makes the decision that their marriage may be over, they can feel overwhelmed with emotion. These are not easy decisions to make and it can be hard for someone to overcome their heartache and be able to think rationally. The divorce process involves many steps that take time.

When a person believes their marriage is over, they first need to consider where they should file for divorce. Usually a person files for divorce in the county or city where they live if they have met the state's residency requirements. A divorce petition will need to be filed. This is where a person decides if this is a fault or no-fault divorce. Papers are also filed regarding child support and child custody if children are involved in the relationship. Once the divorce papers have been filed in court they will need to be served to the other spouse which is when they are physically presented to the other person. Once a person is served with the papers they will need to answer them by the deadline. After this point the divorce enters into a mediation where the parties work out their differences in regards to property and children.

Are there ways to simplify a divorce?

Houston couples who feel their relationship is heading for a divorce may feel overwhelmed. A divorce can be a complicated and emotional time. There may be ways to simplify a divorce which can help make the situation a little less difficult.

One simplifying move a person can make is to open a bank account in their own name. This can help ensure that a person has their own money to get through the divorce in case the other spouse drains the joint account. If a person feels the need to explain in written form why they want a divorce it may be a good idea to run the letter by an attorney first. The ex may be able to use the letter against them in court proceedings. Also, it may be a good idea for both lawyers to meet early in the process to go over sticking points that may turn into big issues later. In addition, if motions need to be filed with the court, consolidating them and filing them all at the same time can save time for both the court and oneself.

Is a parenting coordinator necessary?

For Houston parents going through a divorce it can be an extremely stressful time. There are many intricacies of a divorce that vary from couple to couple. They can include property division, alimony and children's issues -- including visitation and child support. Children are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for parents who are divorcing and a parenting coordinator may be a good person to add to a divorce team.

Parenting coordinators work with parents to resolve their parenting conflicts outside of the courtroom. They come in handy for couples who are spending too much time and money on litigation. Examples of when the fighting goes too far include when parents argue over whether a child has an allergy when there is a doctor report showing the allergy or when parents fight over who is going to pay for school uniforms, or can't agree about what school is best for their child, plus thousands of other situations. The constant bickering between the parents can negatively affect the children and can lead to excessive money being spent on litigation.

A divorce financial advisor can be a smart addition

A divorce for a Houston resident is a major life event. No one ever expects their marriage will end in divorce but a large percentage of marriages will end in divorce. Although a divorce is an extremely emotional time it is very important for people going through a divorce to keep the financial implications of a divorce in mind.

Financial implications of a divorce are huge. Property and debt division is one of the biggest parts of a divorce and the most contested. A divorce financial advisor can be a good addition to a divorce team. There are many ways a divorce financial planner can be helpful. First they can conduct a comprehensive assessment of a couple's finances. They can review all assets and debts, property and pension and retirement accounts.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne reportedly heading for divorce

When a Houston couple believes that their marriage has ended it can be a traumatic and emotional time. A divorce has many complications including property division, alimony, and child support issues. Divorce affects everyone, including celebrities. This past week we have learned that Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are calling it quits after over 30 years of marriage.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have been married more than 33 years and have recently announced their divorce. The couple have three children together and Ozzy has three children from a previous marriage. Ozzy Osbourne was in the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. They appeared in a reality show called “The Osbournes” from 2002 to 2005. Ozzy has moved out of the family’s home.

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.

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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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