Fabio & Merrill

Houston Divorce Blog

Inheritance, divorce and "commingling" assets

Imagine your uncle Frank left you a sizable inheritance. The money was a surprise and an important boon that helped you get through a financial rough patch. Now that you're getting a divorce, however, your soon-to-be ex wants a piece of the inherited assets that remain.

Does your spouse have the right to receive part of Uncle Frank's inheritance money? In some cases, your spouse might be able to take some of the money. In other cases, you will keep all of it. The answer depends on what you did with the money after receiving it.

Former NBA All-Star headed for a divorce

Family law experts in Houston often counsel people to consider a creating a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. The problem that many may have with a prenuptial agreement might be that it gives the impression that the one asking for it has doubts that the marriage will last (and that is the last thing one should be thinking going into such a relationship). Such a move may be viewed as selfish, yet in reality, having a prenuptial agreement may offer financial protection to both parties to a marriage. 

Consider the case of former NBA All-Star Scottie Pippen, whose wife recently filed for divorce (this actually marks the second time the couple has initiated divorce proceedings, as Pippen himself sought a divorce in 2016 before the couple decided to attempt to reconcile). While it has yet to be confirmed, it is believed that the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, as Pippin's wife has asked for alimony and for the court to handle the couple's property division proceedings. 

Spousal support dispute erupts between A-Rod and ex-wife

Alimony and spousal support can easily become one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce case in Houston given the perception that such a benefit is often viewed as being punitive. Many think it is viewed as a prize that one spouse wins from the other, when in reality it simply is meant to help an economically disadvantaged spouse support themselves in the immediate aftermath of their divorce. Ultimately, the hope is that their circumstances change to the point of no longer needing it. Conversely, the financial situation of the one paying it may also shift to the point of where a payment obligation is no longer feasible. 

That is the argument currently being made by former Texas Rangers star Alex Rodriguez. Now that he no longer draws income from the then-record $275 million contract he signed with the Yankees, he claims that he should no longer have to pay the same amount in spousal support. Rodriguez pays $115,000 per month in both spousal and child support. In addition, his ex-wife was awarded the couple's multi-million-dollar mansion as well as a cut of his career earnings in the couple's divorce settlement. Currently, Rodriguez draws income from several projects, including analyst work for both Fox Sports and ESPN. 

What are the conditions for which alimony is awarded?

In a divorce in Texas, you may bring up the topic of alimony or spousal support. This is money paid by one spouse to the other to help provide for financial needs. The court may order you to pay or you may receive it. However, spousal support is not always ordered in every case. The law has specific instances in which the court can require alimony.

The basic requirement for a spousal support order, according to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, is that you do not have enough finances to support yourself and you need extra income from your ex-spouse. When looking to see if you have enough money to support yourself, the court looks at property you own. If you could sell property to provide an income, the court considers that.

Accurate financial records can help you with property division

For many couples in Texas considering a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is how the courts will handle their property. The asset division process can be quite intimidating, especially because it usually takes control away from the parties divorcing and gives all the power to the court.

Unless you have a prenuptial agreement on record or you and your spouse have been able to come to terms regarding asset division prior to filing for divorce, chances are good that the judge in your case will have the final say on who gets what in the asset division process.

Divorce, Mortgage and Taxes

For divorcing couples in Texas who own a home together, that home and its corresponding mortgage commonly represent the couples' largest financial asset and liability, respectively. Determining how to split those two things during a divorce is no easy task, especially when emotions come into play as can happen with a family home.

If one person wants to remain in the house, whether for the sake of the children or for their own needs, MortgageLoan.com recommends that a fresh mortgage is applied for and received. This new home loan should be in the name of the person who will retain the house only, not in both spouse's names. This is the only way to absolve the other spouse from financial responsibility for the home.

How do you go about dissolving a business during divorce?

You have recently filed for divorce in Texas and while you are optimistic about how this decision will affect your future, you are concerned about the fact that your soon-to-be-ex is also your business partner. In this difficult position, you are faced with the uncertainty of dissolving a once-ideal business partnership. Depending on what you and your former spouse decide, one of you may also choose to exit the partnership to keep the business intact. 

Once you realize that your divorce is absolutely going to happen, it is critical that you begin modifying operations at your business right away in terms of partnership agreements. Every effort should be made to keep day-to-day functions relatively unchanged to allow your organization to continue as usual. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, you should make sure that all shared responsibilities have been adequately completed or otherwise suspended until a new agreement is formed. 

Knowing when to start dating again after divorce

When people decide to get divorced from their spouse in Texas, their life is immediately filled with lots of important decisions regarding their future. One of the questions that may cross their mind is whether or not they will ever be involved in a romantic relationship again. While dating may come easier for some than others, it is critical that people allow themselves enough time to fully process the changes in their life and accept their new normal before they jump into a serious relationship again. 

According to Web MD, when people are in the process of getting divorced, some of the things they can do to facilitate healing include the following: 

  • People should take the time to reevaluate their needs. This period of rediscovery may uncover a different side of themselves that they have forgotten about. This time can also be used to pursue new hobbies or strengthen talents that may have been neglected.
  • In the relationships they still have, people should strive to be present and embrace their role. In many cases, this may mean being the best parent despite not being married to their child's father or mother anymore. 
  • They should allow themselves time to feel emotions, experience feelings and work through difficult problems. Often, this may require professional therapy or counseling to encourage positive and effective coping mechanisms. 

Child support agreement still unsolved for Pitt and Jolie

Children of divorced parents in Texas often face significant emotional trauma as their parents work to assign parental responsibilities, custody agreements and child support arrangements. More often than not, they may find themselves torn between the conflicting accounts of their parents. 

In a case that is making national headlines, renowned actor Brad Pitt and his ex-wife Angelina Jolie have been embroiled in a bitter dispute regarding the support of their children. In what was mostly a private case until recently, their vehement disagreement about who should be responsible for the costs of raising their children has become a very public situation. Sources claim that it was initially Jolie who came public about the battle between herself and Pitt in regards to child support. Her legal teams claim that he has not made any notable or worthwhile payments for child support since their divorce began. 

Can student loans lead to divorce?

Finances are generally the leading cause of stress in a relationship according to SunTrust Bank. Money and stress tend to go hand in hand for many Americans, and this can intensify when involved in a relationship. Student loan debt has no mercy and "for richer or poor" may not cut it.

Student Loan Hero has recently reported that more one-third of borrowers said college loans any other financial stress contributed to their divorce. Student Loan Hero surveyed more than 800 divorced adults and found that 13% blame student loans specifically for ending their relationship.

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