Fabio & Merrill

Houston Divorce Blog

Can you prevent divorce from destroying your future?

While the idea that your divorce could help you to regain your independence and provide a solution to the ongoing marital conflict, it can also be unnerving to think about how your future has been altered by your decision to part ways with your spouse. As you begin working through the process of separating a life built with another person in Texas, it is imperative that you take action to prevent your divorce from destroying your future. 

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to use your divorce as an excuse to hold off on making any decisions at all. While it is dangerous and in some cases, illegal to move too many things around during your divorce that is the shared property of you and your ex, you can certainly begin to make preparations as soon as you file for divorce, to start planning for your future. Examples of things you may do include finding employment if you were previously the primary caretaker of any children or dependents, start saving any money you earn, take action to build and strengthen your credit score and take proper care of your emotional and physical well-being. 

Are you divorcing in retirement? Steps to protect your finances

Regardless of your age, divorce requires extreme attention to detail when it comes to your finances. This includes your assets, debts and retirement income, among other details.

When divorcing in retirement, which has become more common, it's imperative to understand the steps you can take to protect your retirement income.

Approaching the divorce process during pregnancy

Bringing a marriage to an end can be tough for any couple, but there are certain times when this process can be particularly complicated and worrisome. For example, someone who is expecting a child may have many questions related to their divorce, such as how custody will be distributed and the amount of child support that will need to be paid. Moreover, pregnancy can be a difficult time in one's life for other reasons, whether they have to take time off work or have various health-related concerns. It is imperative to approach your divorce properly if you are pregnant or your former partner is expecting a child.

Because pregnancy can be stressful and may change your life in many ways, it is especially important to take the right steps to work through the divorce process as smoothly as you can. You should try to have a clear understanding of your legal options and know which decisions will protect your interests. You may be able to work with your ex throughout the divorce, or there may be hard feelings and the divorce may be very contentious, which can be especially difficult during pregnancy.

High-asset divorce and investments

Whenever a marriage comes to an end, all sorts of family law issues may arise for both parties. Those with kids may encounter a number of stress-inducing legal issues, such as disagreement concerning the way in which custody should be divided, as well as child support. However, people who have a high net worth may have a particularly complex divorce, especially when it comes to the division of marital property. If you have considerable investments, you may be worried about what will happen to these assets in the wake of your divorce, and it is pivotal to prepare.

In some instances, investments may be considered marital property and the court may split these assets up. In other cases, one’s investments may not be considered marital property, thereby exempting the investments from division. It is essential to review the ins and outs of the property division laws in your state and try to develop a better idea of what may happen to your investments as you navigate through your divorce.

What property is exempt from division in a Texas divorce?

In Texas, a family court judge will consider all possessions acquired by a couple during the union as marital property. As in any other state, marital property in Texas is subject to division in a divorce. However, Texas is one of the few states that recognizes community property laws. Per community property laws, a judge must divide all marital property and income equally upon divorce or death, whereas in equitable distribution states, a judge will divvy up property in a way he or she considers fair. That said, is there property that is exempt from Texas's marital property laws? FindLaw says yes.

In a community property state, the courts apply an "inception of title rule," which means they consider an asset's status at the moment a party acquired it. For instance, if a person acquired a vintage vehicle prior to tying the knot, that vintage vehicle would remain that person's after divorce. If a person bought a vacation home after getting married, the vacation home would be the property of both spouses' regardless of which party used his or her income to purchase it. 

Emotional issues associated with property division

People frequently view property division with a great deal of consideration given to the financial impact of dividing marital property. However, some may overlook other aspects of property division which can be equally challenging, such as various emotional considerations that arise as a result of this issue. For example, some people may have a great deal of anxiety over addressing property division in court or losing key assets. Others may struggle with depression once marital property has been divided, whether they feel as if their former spouse should not have received certain assets or they are upset about losing items with sentimental value.

Divorce can be tough from an emotional point of view, and this is particularly true with regard to property division. From stress to feelings of sadness and even anger, these emotions can make it harder for someone to move forward after a bitter divorce. There are some strategies that can help people cope with these emotions, or minimize the emotional toll of property division altogether. First, preparation can be immensely beneficial and it is pivotal for people to do all they can to get themselves ready for court and the challenges that lie ahead. Property division laws should be reviewed and some benefit from consulting an experienced attorney.

Who is at risk for a gray divorce?

As the Institute for Family Studies points out, gray divorces are on the rise with baby boomers leading the pack for most divorces over 50. Facts such as this lead many older married couples to wonder, are their marriages in trouble? If you worry about the state of your Texas marriage, IFS's gray divorce statistics may interest you, as many yield common patterns among divorcing couples.

As the IFS report indicates, more than one-third of gray divorces occur among couples who are in marriages of over 30 years. That rate drops to just 12 percent for those who have celebrated their 40 anniversary. However, that is not to say that if you and your spouse have been together for more than three decades but not quite four you will get divorced, and nor does it mean that if your marriage has lasted for more than 40 years you are in the clear. As the study goes on to further explain, there are a lot of nuances when it comes to gray divorce statistics.

Are you familiar with these divorce myths?

When going through a divorce, it's important to separate fact from fiction. If you neglect to do so, you could make a mistake that costs you time and money, while also adding more stress to the process.

There are a variety of divorce myths circulating, all of which can complicate your situation. Here are six of the most common:

  • Mediation won't work: There are times when divorce mediation doesn't work, but you shouldn't assume this from the start. Even if you're at serious odds with the other individual, you have the opportunity to work through your issues in mediation.
  • You'll lose everything: Regardless of the reason for your divorce, property division should be fair and equitable. Even if you're responsible for the divorce, it doesn't mean you'll lose everything. You have the opportunity in mediation to negotiate and compromise.
  • Your ex-spouse can keep you from seeing your children: While you may not win physical custody of your children, you should be able to settle on a visitation schedule that allows you to spend time together.
  • Mothers have more power than fathers: This may have been the case many years ago, but the law has evolved in more modern times. Now, decisions regarding custody are based on the best interests of the children.
  • Divorce always results in hostility: There are times when this happens, but through collaborative divorce or mediation it's possible to avoid additional battles. With this approach, your focus is on resolving conflicts, as opposed to blaming one another.
  • Your children choose whom they live with: Depending on the age of your children, they may have some say about where they live. However, as noted above, child custody decisions are based on the best interests of the children.

What if your spouse is caught hiding assets during your divorce?

Texas is a community property state, meaning the court divides a divorcing couple’s shared assets in a manner that it deems fair. In an effort to tip the coffer in his or her favor, your spouse may, unfortunately, take steps to hide assets from the divorce process. If caught, however, this could have a serious impact on the outcome of your case.

During your divorce, you and your spouse may be required to disclose your assets and debts, including those you share and those that are yours alone. Hiding assets during the divorce process, or neglecting to report them, is known as fraud against the community.

What can I do about divorce ruining my credit?

As you may know, divorce can create financial difficulties. Now you must get by on one income, and your credit may suffer for it. In fact, as many Texans know, getting a divorce can be ruinous to one’s credit – even if it is a relief to get out of a miserable marriage.

Bankrate explains that the end of a marriage can be especially hard on women’s credit reports. If you stayed home to raise the children and take care of the house during your marriage, you might not have enough credit in your own name. As you try to adjust to making ends meet by yourself, you may find it difficult to pay your bills on time. Your ex-spouse might not be paying his or her share of the marital debt, which can also negatively impact your credit.

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