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Houston Divorce And Family Law Blog

WNBA player to pay one-time, $400,000 alimony payment

For divorcing couples in Texas, the stress of making important decisions about their future can often be overwhelming. One of the common topics that needs to be discussed and settled is alimony. This is when one of the spouses is required to pay so much money to the other spouse to aid in financial obligations. Often, the paying spouse is the person who has made the most money and is in more of a "stable" position. While couples can opt not to require each other to pay alimony at all, there are many times when courts require this payment to be made. 

A current WNBA player for the Los Angeles Sparks has recently divorced from her husband who is a former player for Duke University. The couple shares custody of their 8-year-old daughter. As part of the agreements made during the course of their divorce, the couple decided not to require each other to pay child support. Additionally, the two-time WNBA MVP has been required by the courts to pay $400,000 to her former husband for alimony. This payment is a one-time charge and will not be required again. During the divorce, the WNBA star's former husband requested that she pay alimony. 

Fighting with a spouse before divorce

Couples decide to end their marriage for many different reasons, from infidelity to incompatibility. In some instances, a marriage is brought to an end due to relentless fighting or a single incident that left one party emotionally scarred. Moreover, fighting may also take place once a person informs their spouse of their plans to file for divorce, during the process of divorce, or after a marriage has already come to an end. With regard to fights and divorce issues, it is important to know your rights and move forward cautiously.

There are a myriad of stressors when it comes to family law, from a heated custody dispute to disagreements over the way that marital property is split up. If you are a parent, for example, and your child’s other parent is posting threats on the internet or leaving threatening messages, it may be a good idea to inform the court of this behavior. Divorce can bring up very strong emotions in people, such as intense anger and depression, so it is crucial to work through these issues in a methodical manner.

Separate and community property in Texas

When you are going through a divorce, there are likely to be many aspects that you feel need to be resolved. These might be related to your personal life goals, your relationship with your children and the division of your assets so that you can be sure of what will remain yours.

When looking into asset division in a divorce, it is important that you understand the specific laws that are in place in your state, because the law can differ widely across the country. Texas has community property laws, which means that all assets (and debts) that were acquired during the marriage are considered joint possessions subject to equal division in the event of a divorce.

How an approach to equal parenting can benefit your child

When you are facing a divorce and still coping with the emotional trauma of a dramatically changing relationship, it can be difficult to see your ex as a qualified parent. In fact, you may be tempted to focus on your former spouse's negative traits, faults and weaknesses. However, it is important to remember that he or she is also dealing with challenges and probably wants what is best for your children just like you want what is best for them. At Fabio + Merrill, we have helped many parents in Texas to negotiate beneficial child custody arrangements. 

One of the most critical points you should remember when you begin drafting a child custody agreement, is the needs of your children. Do everything in your power to keep their schedule as consistent as possible to avoid putting them in uncomfortable or stressful situations. Try to be aware of your ex and his or her schedule so you can arrange parenting time when it is most convenient for everyone involved.

How debt is calculated in Texas property division

Going through a divorce is always viewed as a difficult process because of the wide array of aspects that must be addressed. Property needs to be divided, child custody needs to be settled and this needs to be done while likely going through a grieving process with respect to the marriage, as well as attempting to keep up appearances with family and friends.

However, divorce does not need to be this difficult and complex. If the bigger, more daunting things are taken care of, you will start to find that managing the emotional side of things becomes easier, too.

Self-care can make divorce simpler, healthier and happier

Divorce is often associated with feelings of despair, depression and anger. Under many circumstances, couples resort to divorce only after they have exhausted all other efforts to try and amend their marriage. Because divorcing couples are left to try and separate all of their assets, finances and even time with children, the legal process of separation may seem painstakingly long in Texas. Despite bitter court battles seeming normal, couples have the chance to focus their energy on self-love as they work through their divorce in a healthy and effective manner. 

The American Psychological Association reports that by 20 years of marriage, nearly 50 percent of all couples find themselves divorced. When the decision to separate is made, couples should do their best to maintain amicable communication as they cooperate with each other and the court to resolve their differences one final time. In many instances, mediation is a viable option as couples are able to make decisions regarding their shared property in an environment that is controlled and objective to personal opinions. During a divorce, it is critical that individuals make time to properly care for themselves. This includes eating right, getting enough rest and taking time to pursue hobbies or activities that are interesting and fun. 

How can you manage your finances during a messy divorce?

If you and your spouse are currently going through divorce proceedings in Texas, you may have already begun to experience the stress that comes with making an onslaught of important decisions in a relatively short period of time. While divorce is a satisfactory option if you are looking to end your relationship with your former spouse, it also requires you to be flexible and willing to compromise on issues related to child support, alimony, separation of assets and other topics. Managing your money during this time can be difficult if you do not know where to begin, and failing to be proactive about making smart decisions can leave you in a dangerous place when things are finalized.

Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help protect your finances and to make sure you are not overspending unnecessarily. According to U.S. News, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Pay attention to your credit score. If it needs to be built up, consider applying for a credit card to help boost your numbers for future purchases.
  • Look closely at your income and decide where adjustments need to be made so you can continue to live within your means. Budgeting should be one of the first things you do.
  • Keep all of your most important financial documents organized. Take notes of expenditures you make so you have proof if it is needed during the legal process.
  • Save significant financial purchases until your divorce is finalized and you are comfortable in your new situation. 

Domestic incident tied to couple's pending divorce

For many divorcing couples in Texas, the process of separating is not without struggles, disagreements, compromise and sacrifice. In many instances, one or both people are required to give up a desired outcome for one that appeals to the needs and wants of both parties. Often, circumstances become increasingly challenging and hostile when a couple has had children together. 

This was the case in a recent incident of domestic violence in central Indiana after a couple's pending divorce was tied to a henious crime in which the mother killed her two young children. Court records showed that the children's father had filed for divorce from his wife only hours before the slayings. After her family was asleep, the woman killed both her 7-year-old son and her 3-year-old daughter before attempting to stab herself. All the while, her husband was downstairs sleeping. Throughout the course of investigations into why the woman killed her children, she had told authorities that her husband had filed for divorce and was planning to take their children. She did not want him to have the children so she opted to kill them. She was recently sentenced to 120 years in prison. 

Divorce after a car accident

When someone is hurt in a motor vehicle crash, various changes may come into their life. For example, they may lose the ability to walk, either temporarily or permanently, which interferes with their job or prevents them from taking care of other responsibilities and participating in activities they are interested in. Financial problems, mental trauma, and physical pain are some of the other consequences of a crash. Because these accidents can upend a person’s life in so many ways, there may be additional challenges they find themselves facing, such as the end of their marriage.

Couples may decide to divorce for many reasons, whether they have been constantly fighting due to financial hurdles and other problems or are no longer able to handle the changes that a car accident victim has to deal with, such as being immobilized or suffering from depression. Unfortunately, a car accident victim may find that their life has changed in so many different ways that recovering from an accident may seem impossible, but it is essential for them to keep their sights set on moving forward.

My partner wants a prenup. Do I have to sign it?

Many people associate a prenuptial agreement with divorce, and if your future spouse brings up the topic before your Texas wedding, it could leave you feeling anxious. However, your partner is not necessarily planning to split up; a prenup is good financial planning, and it can benefit you just as much.

As the Texas Bar Journal points out, Texas is a community property state. That means everything you and your spouse acquire from your first moments as a married couple belongs to both of you. The car that you purchase from your own bank account? That belongs to your spouse, too, and so do the contents of your bank account. It goes both ways, of course. Your spouse's assets are also yours. However, there are very few assets that are exempt from division in a divorce.

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