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McKinney Divorce Law Blog

Division of marital assets doesn't have to cost a Texas fortune

Divorces can be a very trying time for couples who are seeking to separate their once-entangled lives. No longer sharing the same residence is usually the least of a once happily married couple's worries. The division of marital assets, which can include retirement accounts and other savings plans, can be quite costly if not handled correctly during the divorce proceedings. Texas residents can ensure that their financial future is safeguarded from unnecessary tax implications with simple steps that have been put into place early on during the divorce.

Many retirement plans, whether employer implemented or self-started, will become eligible for payouts at the age of retirement, but also become subject to income taxes upon withdrawal. By securing a qualified domestic relations order during divorce proceedings, the ex will receive a designated percentage of the retirement plan, either pursuant to a settlement agreement or awarded by the court after trial. This order, called a QDRO, provides for the division of an employee benefit plan or pension plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), while maintaining the tax-deferred status for both parties. 

More Texas Millennials are seeking a prenuptial agreement

Many young Texas residents are putting off marriage until their later years. By doing so, they seem to be more focused on building careers and wealth before tying the knot. Coming into a marriage with assets and wealth can make some feel uneasy and lead couples to the discussion of a prenuptial agreement.

With millennials putting marriage on hold until they feel they are financially stable, some see the need to seek a prenuptial agreement to ensure their future financial stability. By building up wealth through hard work and possible business ownership, those getting married want to protect what they have worked long and hard to acquire and build. Not only do they want to protect what they bring into the marriage or may inherit, but they also wish to protect any future financial earnings and possible inheritances.

Texas man owes child support for a child that is not his

The birth of a child is often a wondrous and highly anticipated event for the parents. Planning and preparing for the arrival of the newest member of the family can be an exciting time when names and nursery colors are chosen. For some Texas residents, the situation may be less than perfect when the sweet bundle of joy makes his or her appearance. The parents may be in the process of a divorce or if the parents weren't married, the relationship may have recently ended, leaving the primary caregiver seeking child support and/or a custody agreement.

A Texas man is baffled at his recent court dealings when he learned that he has to pay over $65,000 in back child support. He was served papers by a local deputy only last year that claimed he has another child with an ex-girlfriend. Child support payments began to be automatically taken out of his check, and he sought a paternity test, which found that the child was not his biological child. Apparently, he has only met her on one occasion.

A complex divorce can bring out the worst in Texas residents

Many Texas couples build their lives and wealth as a team. Working together, they find a need in a market and work tireless hours to turn an idea into a tangible product. Building the dream and the financial empire can take years and sometimes an emotional toll on couples. Some fair better than others, and the relationship deepens and the respect and love grow along with the business. In some cases, as such with a couple who is filing for divorce after 67 years of marriage, overtime, the relationship breaks down and the marriage dissolves, leaving attorneys to manage the complex divorce.

An 88-year-old woman in another state has recently filed for divorce from her long time husband. She cites infidelity and verbal abuse as the main reasons for severing the ties. The 89-year-old husband refuses to believe that his once very adored wife has any reason to divorce him.

Joint custody in Texas helps kids feel secure after a divorce

Making the decision to follow through with a divorce in Texas can be stressful on the adults in the dissolving marriage. When children are involved, the feelings can range from guilt to regret, to anger and hatred and everything in between. Parents can intentionally decide to make the divorce much easier on the kids by looking at the idea of co-parenting with joint custody. This decision can have lasting positive effects on the children and create a family bound that isn't tarnished with accusations and inappropriate tactics.

Telling the little ones about the divorce together will help the kids to feel like they don't have to choose sides. Allowing them to ask questions and using positive communication is a great way to help ensure that they aren't left feeling isolated and their feelings invalid. When sharing custody, parents can make sure that they do not bring up any negatives regarding the other spouse in front of the children.

Co-parenting can blur child custody boundaries for Texas parents

Divorce can be a complete and total separation from an ex-spouse's life. For those couples who have children, however, that separation never truly comes unless one parent chooses to leave the child's life. For those adults who choose to remain in the child's life, the process of setting up and enforcing child custody arrangements can be a contentious spot within the divorce, creating a divide between parents and possibly between parents and kids. Many Texas residents are utilizing co-parenting as a means to keep a feeling of family intact for their kids. For adults who have a narcissistic ex-partner, co-parenting can be more of the same brutal torture that was endured during the once blissful marriage.

Choosing to co-parent with an ex who is controlling can be extremely taxing. Some may think that a divorce will lessen the anger and manipulation of the ex-spouse, but having to share the custody of children can bring out the worst in some. A once-demanding ex-partner can use the children as a means to control the ex-spouse by using negative comments and fear to manipulate and steer the outcome of any situation, including the divorce itself.

Drafting a prenuptial agreement to fit individual circumstances

Engaged couples can get easily overwhelmed with the planning of the actual wedding event. From choosing the perfect Texas venue to finding the best tasting cake, nailing down all the details can be a time-consuming, all-encompassing life event. But little details, like a prenuptial agreement, can often be overlooked and could have heartbreaking consequences later down the road. In the unfortunate event that a couple should divorce, a properly executed agreement can help lessen the guilt and anger that divorces can sometimes create.

There are key items to consider when sitting down with a knowledgeable family law attorney to draw up a prenuptial agreement. Defining what is brought into the marriage by each spouse and keeping that, as well as any interest or value that accumulates over time on the assets, as separate can help couples to lay a clear understanding of what is not on the chopping block should a divorce present itself in the future.  Clearly stating that any gifts given to a spouse, regardless of monetary value, will remain the sole property of the receiver can help to thwart off any revenge taking of items should a divorce become bitter.

Social media can impact the division of marital assets in Texas

Social media has become a part of daily life for most Texas residents. With the ability to share one's day with the click of a button or touch of the screen, many Americans are turning to social media as a way to keep connected with loved ones and friends. But as with any platform that one may use to share their personal life, couples going through a divorce may wish to keep some things off of the screen, especially when it comes the division of marital assets that one may want to keep out of the divorce.

It is a little known fact that sharing pictures of daily dealings in one's life on social media then become public domain and can be used by anyone for whatever purpose they see fit. This includes text messages, emails, pictures and private messages, which are all admissible in court and can even be subpoenaed. If a party in a divorce proceeding is trying to hide part of his or her income or how his or her money is being spent, the pictures and updates on Facebook and Twitter can be used to prove otherwise.

Is a social media prenuptial agreement right for Texas couples?

Divorces can be messy and spouses can sometimes turn to unfavorable tactics when emotionally hurt. With the ever increasing popularity of social media, the opportunity to seek vengeance in a very public way may seem like a means to achieve personal justice without having to physically be present with the other person. Many Texas attorneys are urging newly engaged couples to look at a social media prenuptial agreement.

Recently, many divorce attorneys have noticed an increase in social media bashing for couples either prior to a divorce or while the couple is going through one. This type of public shaming or degrading can really wreak havoc on a person's reputation. The posting of unflattering or shameful pictures and certain comments can really harm a person and be seen by family members and prospective employers. What was once a private matter has now been aired for the world to see and share .

Child custody in Texas doesn't have to alienate a parent

When a Texas marriage dissolves, the life that once was is often broken apart, and piece by piece, divided and made into something that the now single ex-spouse can use towards making a new life. With material things, this is sometimes the easiest part. When children are involved and child custody cannot be worked out between the two parents, the stakes are higher and the tactics can sometimes be down right vicious. As of late, a new trend is coming to light that has recently divorced and now single parents very worried.

Many divorces are settled amicably and do not require intervention from the courts. In the case where abuse is alleged, by either spouse, the aggressor may claim that the other parent is alienating them from their children. When estrangement is claimed, the judge is sometimes swayed and the outcome of the case can change drastically.

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Allen, TX 75013
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