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Houston Divorce Law Blog

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.

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.

Family pets and divorce

Many Houston families have pets. In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, between 37 percent and 47 percent of American households have a dog, with between 30 percent and 37 percent having a cat. When a couple decides to get a divorce, it can be hard to figure out who gets to keep the family pet.

A couple going through a divorce have many issues they need to work out. These may include child custody, spousal support and property division. Many couples may also need to figure out what to do with the family dog or cat. These animals are generally beloved family members, and deciding who gets to keep them can be contentious.

Can a parent relocate after a Texas divorce?

When a Texas couple gets divorced, there are many different things that need to be worked out. These include dividing property, spousal support and child support. After a divorce, many times one of the spouses wants to move away, especially for a new job. But, child custody arrangements may make it hard for a person to relocate in a collaborate law agreement.

In Texas, many child custody arrangements are created as a joint custody arrangement. In these arrangements, both parents share equal amounts of time with their children. Within this agreement, it often stipulates that the parents need to remain within a certain town or county. When this is listed in a child custody agreement, one parent cannot move into another county or state without permission. If they want to move to another area, they must seek a court order to change the custody agreement. If the custody agreement does not restrict where a parent lives, and one parent wants to move, the other parent may go to court and challenge that move.

A prenuptial agreement does not have to be something negative

When a Houston couple gets engaged, the least romantic thing they may be able to think of is creating a prenuptial agreement. Deciding on a date, venue, dresses, decorations, and everything else is way more exciting and romantic. But, taking the time to discuss a prenuptial agreement can be good for the marriage.

Many couples are still hesitant in creating a prenuptial agreement. They may think their fiancé will not agree to it and will then not want to get married or reveal the state of their finances. But for many couples, a prenuptial agreement makes sense. First, if a divorce occurs, a spouse will know what their financial obligations are ahead of time. The couple decides what happens to assets, a business, spousal support, etc. before the emotional and contentious time of a divorce. A couple agrees in advance what settlement makes sense to them and can thus make for an easier divorce if that happens.

Research shows specific times of the year when divorce increases

Many Houston couples will come to learn the heartbreak and stress that a divorce can bring to their life this year. No one enters a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but for many couples, this becomes reality.

New research suggests that there are certain times of the year when a couple is most likely to get divorced. The study by a major university analyzed divorce filings in that school's state over 14 years. It found that divorce filings consistently peaked in August and March. These times of the year are often when families have just had a holiday or had been on vacation together. The time spent as a family together during these times may be disappointing and prove to be the catalyst for a person to file for divorce.

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.

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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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