After Your Divorce – Keep Moving Forward

Unless you’ve gone through a divorce before, it’s not very clear what you’re suppose to do after the divorce is final. You may be counting down to that marked day on the calendar when your divorce is final, and thinking all the conflict, cost and collateral damage will be over. While you’re waiting for that day to arrive you may dream of the day when it’s over and you can take a long vacation by the beach, relaxing and soaking up the sun. Why not! You certainly deserve a dream vacation after surviving the grueling process. The truth is no two marriages are alike. Just like no two divorces are alike. The divorce process will be similar no matter where you live. Most divorces can be very difficult and hard to deal with. Anyone going through a divorce will tell you it is like being on a roller coaster for a while, but it does get better after your divorce is over and you begin to create your separate life. To keep moving forward after your divorce, the first step is to get organized. Gather all your bills, a calculator, a pencil, a calendar, your checkbook and your divorce judgement. Blueprint Your Divorce Judgement Your divorce judgement says what is supposed to happen, but you are responsible for making it happen. To make matters more complicated, there is not one place to go to get it all done. You must separate your bank accounts, deal with your debt, and divide up your stuff. That means you are the one to cancel credit cards, fill out forms, request name and...

Steps for Dividing Marital Property and Assets

Texas is a community property state. That means anything and everything you acquired during the marriage is shared, equally. The process for dividing marital property and other assets in a divorce can be a big hurdle for some. In a Texas divorce, the court is required to divide the property in a “just and right” manner. As you go through your divorce, you may be thinking that means “half of everything” belongs to you. But the law has more distinction than that. The court is not required to divide the property equally but must divide it equitably, and may order a disproportionate division if it has a reasonable basis to do so. A trial court may consider a number of factors in dividing marital property. Factors include the nature of the property, income disparity, business opportunity, relative financial conditions and obligations, education, physical condition, age, fault in the break-up, the benefit the innocent spouse would have received if the marriage continued, the size of the separate estates, and the probable need for future support. Steps to take when determining, valuing, and dividing marital property and assets in a divorce include: Step 1: Before dividing marital property and assets, a comprehensive list of all property and other assets needs to be determined. List each property, whether separate or joint, include everything you own. Step 2: Each asset will need to be determined if it is community property or separate property. Community property includes all property you and your spouse have at the time of the divorce (except for property that a spouse can prove is a separate property of one...

What about the pets?

Getting a divorce impacts all the family members and more than likely that includes a very special pet of one kind or another  – furry, feathery, or scaly. No matter if they live in the house or outside, it’s important to know what to expect as you make plans for a new life. Texas law takes the position that pets are property, not family members. Even though your pet might sometimes feel like a child, decisions about what is to become of domestic animals after a divorce are very different from child custody determinations. Texas is a Community Property State  Because community property laws affect property and other valuable assets, they can have a profound effect on a spouse’s future when they are forced to part with an asset which was thought to be separate property. Absent a prenuptial agreement between the couple, the state law in which the couple was married will dictate how property will be distributed. In property division, debts and assets of the divorcing partners are split up. If you and your spouse are arguing over custody of the dog, the judge will treat Bruno as just another asset. That means the court will put a price tag on Bruno — particularly if he’s a purebred or otherwise valuable breed — if you acquired the dog during your marriage. If you had him before you married, or if someone gave him to you as a gift or inheritance, he’s your separate property and the court won’t get involved. If Bruno the dog is treated as community property, and if you get the dog in the divorce,...

5 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to have a Prenuptial Agreement

Fact: Disagreements about money are the leading cause of divorce. Couples who argued about money early in their relationship, regardless of their actual incomes or net worth, were much more likely to end up in divorce court. On the other hand, couples who talk to each other honestly about how much money they have and are likely to make in the years ahead, and how they choose to spend their money, are more likely to stay together. Money Talk: It’s Not Easy, But It’s Important! At this point in your relationship it could seem pointless. After all, couples marry for love, not money, so who needs to work out the financial details and property division of a break-up that the couple hopes will never happen? According to U.S. News, even married couples may want to consider revisiting what would happen in the event of a divorce. Having conversations about finances can be tough. How we view money, just like how we view politics, religion, or child-rearing, shapes the way we see the world and experience family life. It also taps into our deepest emotions and childhood memories. Because of that, many people don’t talk about money before the wedding. And they too often learn the hard way that this was a costly and heart-breaking mistake. It doesn’t have to be that way. A prenuptial agreement can prevent this heartache and expense. It’s primarily about money—what assets you and your future spouse have prior to the marriage, and what you would take from the marriage due to death of your spouse, or divorce. Prenuptial Agreements Mean the Financial Burden is Shared...

Divorce Season Begins in January

“To everything there is a season,” and that includes divorce. Another year has ended. We’ve rung in 2017. Divorce lawyers now face what is often their busiest month of the year — January, known among legal professionals as “divorce month.” According to MarketWatch.com divorce statistics surge on the first Monday of the year and continue to rise throughout the month. The same is true in the U.K. where 20% of couples plan to divorce after the holidays (facts based on a survey of 2,000 spouses). Most couples file for divorce between January and March. For emotional and financial reasons, the holidays are not a good time for divorce. However, now that the holidays are over, divorce attorneys are busy providing clients with legal advice and filing divorce petitions. If Your Divorce Season Has Begun, Should You Rush into Divorce? Even though you’ve held off and may be ready to go full bore on the divorce, many important decisions lie ahead. You want to give full consideration, weigh your options and make sure you decide wisely. Some of the choices you make can affect you for a lifetime. Types of Advice to Seek from Your Lawyer Of course the advice you seek may depend on whether you’re merely considering whether to divorce or not or have reached a firm decision to end the marriage. Here are some factors to cover: Strategy What should you say or not say to your spouse or to other people? Will staying in your home be a threat if your spouse is likely to threaten physical violence? Are there possessions you have that you should...

Timing Your Divorce and the Holidays

Timing your divorce so it misses the holidays is an important thing to consider. While we love the holiday season, many people also find it to be hectic and stressful. The extra tasks of Christmas decorations, shopping and attending holiday parties packs a lot of activity into your limited 24-hour days. What if you’re also dealing with divorce over the holidays? Divorce is typically a big bundle of stress and the most life-changing event you’ll ever experience. For many people, divorcing during the holiday season only compounds the stress of the holidays and stress of divorce. If you’re considering dissolving your marriage, you might want to postpone divorce filing until the holidays are over. There are emotional and practical reasons for doing so. Practical Reasons to Delay Filing for Divorce If your spouse receives a significantly large Christmas bonus, it would fall under marital property instead of separate property during divorce. (See Texas statutes on property division.) You can share the costs of mortgage/rent, utility bills, holiday gifts and other household expenses. With time already looking scarce during an activity-packed season, it’s one less time-grabbing activity you have to deal with. Emotional Reasons to Delay Filing for Divorce Loneliness and depression over the holidays is common, and keeping the family together may help you emotionally get through December — especially if you can keep your focus on the joy of the season. Divorce is typically tough on kids (at least on the short term), and you want the holidays to be happy occasions and not a time for future bad memories. Reasons to Go through with Divorce Keep in...