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McKinney Divorce Law Blog

Strong economy boosts increase in high net worth divorce filings

When the economy is floundering, many unhappy couples are more willing to tough it out, rather than divide limited resources. However, when the economy is experiencing an upswing, unhappy spouses are more inclined to file for divorce. Texas residents who are contemplating a high net worth divorce may benefit from professional advice when seeking to divide some of their valuable collections.

According to a 2018 poll, an estimated 41% of respondents stated that money woes stress a marriage. Therefore it may seem reasonable that an improving economy would lead to less strain on a marriage. Instead, a healthy economy provides opportunities to rebuild financial wealth after a divorce. Along with liquid assets and investment accounts, these high net worth couples may also need to establish the monetary value of non-liquid assets that will also need to be addressed in the settlement agreement.

How will a job loss affect property division negotiations?

The process of going through a divorce includes critical decisions that may impact one for the foreseeable future. If, during the divorce proceedings, one or the other spouses loses a job, then there will be concerns over property division. Texas residents who are preparing for a divorce may benefit from keeping all possible scenarios in mind. 

One of the most important issues is the dividing of marital assets and whether support payments will be a part that is necessary. If either party loses employment, then it may change the way such payments are structured. There are steps to take in order to ensure that a fair settlement can be reached. One of the first is to document the reasons behind unemployment. If one loses a position through layoffs or other employer-based reasons, it is important to include any documents that support the reason provided to the courts.

Political figure ordered to pay back child support or face jail

Regardless of one's profession, the obligation to help provide for one's children is one of the most important matters in life. Though the majority of parents make every effort to ensure that they are in compliance with child support orders, there are parents who find themselves falling behind in these vital payments. Texas parents who are in need of assistance with either making payments or collecting these monies may seek relief through the family courts.

Recently, a former candidate for a state congressional seat was ordered by a judge to make a payment to his former spouse for child support or face a 10-day jail sentence. The judge has ordered the man, Steve Gill, to provide support in the amount of $170,000 by the end of May. He reportedly owes an estimated $245,300, which he has been ordered to pay. His former wife filed a lawsuit in January of this year after not having received support for an unspecified period of time. The amount owed includes medical expenses as well as college tuition costs. 

Some couples may benefit from a different prenuptial agreement

The decision to move in together is not one that most couples take lightly. Regardless of whether the decision is part of getting married, couples often must make adjustments in learning to tolerate or accept differences in taste and style when it comes to personal property. Texas residents who are either getting married or taking the next step by choosing to co-habitate may benefit from signing a different type of prenuptial agreement.

This contract has been referred to as a "pack it up" prenup. The idea is supported by a storage and moving company as a way of helping couples handle disagreements over personal effects. Couples who are living together often find themselves at odds over how to decorate a new home and how to deal with clutter from their partner.

USDA takes steps to help improve child support compliance

Studies show that the poverty rate for children from single-parent families is significantly higher than for children who live in two-parent homes. Though there are measures that have varying success in ensuring that custodial parents receive child support payments, more may need to be done to improve the lives of these children. Texas residents who rely on assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) may also benefit from increased compliance with child support orders.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently issued a statement requesting that individual states revise program rules to help enforce compliance with child support requirements. The agency is recommending that both custodial and non-custodial parents sign an agreement that they will seek to cooperate with existing support orders or will enter into an agreement regarding these essential payments. This recommendation would apply to both parties whenever either applies for benefits from the nutrition program.

Discussion and compromise suggested for some childcare expenses

When parents divorce, working out issues over child custody and support may be one of the hardest negotiation points. In general, these orders are based on the parent's ability to pay along with which parent will spend the most time with the child. However, in spite of the most equitable agreements possible, there will likely be unexpected childcare expenses that Texas residents did not include in their settlement. 

No matter how thorough a child custody and support order may be, almost every family will experience a situation where a child either wants or needs an activity or possession that was not anticipated. In many families, either one or both parents may be financially burdened by both the divorce and post-marriage life. It is recommended that rather than having one of the parents make threats of going back to a judge, parents are encouraged to work out the problem through open communication.

4 Key lessons for a high net worth divorce

When the Bezos' announced their impending divorce, the story was carried on every news outlet. Though there have been many high net worth divorce filings among the wealthy and newsworthy, this one garnered much attention based on the value of the assets on the line. However, there are four key points from this divorce that may serve any Texas resident. 

A high asset divorce means there is much more at stake than in the average dissolution. As such, a divorcing couple may be tempted to fight for their share during the property division. Instead of preparing for battle, the Bezos' elected to make a joint public statement announcing their divorce and their desire to seek a future as friendly co-parents. With this in mind, the first step in approaching a divorce is to have a narrative ready. This narrative may prevent the public disclosure of personal issues and prevent friends from having to choose sides.

New trend in prenuptial agreement geared toward protecting pets

To many people, their pet is more than a possession; it is a fur-covered child. For that reason, the question of who gets custody of the dog during a divorce or separation is becoming more contentious. Countless Texas residents have found themselves facing having to say goodbye to a beloved pet when the relationship ends. For that reason, more owners are seeking to draft a new type of prenuptial agreement referred to as a pet-nup.

According to Direct Line Pet Insurance, approximately 30,000 divorce battles involve a dispute over pet custody. The change in the importance of pets to their owners is reflected in the willingness of spouses to fight for ownership. For that reason, many owners are drawing up either a prenup or a cohabitation agreement to settle the matter beforehand.

Property division and retirement accounts can get complicated

The decision to divorce was probably made after much careful consideration. Likewise, when it comes to the property division settlement, Texas residents are encouraged to approach this process carefully. Though this is a community property state, the division of certain assets can quickly become complicated.

One area where the division of assets can become troublesome is retirement accounts. There are several different classifications, and the rules and potential costs of dividing these accounts may have different implications for the parties involved. When it comes to federal regulations and the Internal Revenue Service, retirement and pension plans fall into two distinct categories: those that are classified as qualified and those that are not. Qualified accounts required a Qualified Domestic Relations Order signed by a judge before they can be separated into two accounts. A 401(k) is the most common type of account subjected to these rules.

Artist forced to pay child support arrears for teen daughter

Most parents work hard to ensure that their children are provided with everything they need to be healthy and succeed in life. In single-parent families, the courts typically order the noncustodial parent to make regular child support payments to help supplement what is provided by the primary caregiver. Texas parents who are experiencing difficulty in meeting their child's needs may seek assistance from the courts.

Recently, the Attorney General in one state announced that the state had finally obtained back child support from one man who was purportedly an estimated $29,000 in arrears. The father, Richard T. Sloane, who is a renowned artist, made the payments that were reportedly overdue for the past decade. The man is the father of a 14-year-old girl who resides with her mother.

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