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McKinney Divorce Law Blog

Property division can decimate retirement savings

The end of a marriage brings many significant changes in life, including personal finances. Regardless of how amicable a Texas couple is or how much wealth they have, property division will affect all aspects of their financial lives, including long-term savings. A divorce could end up decimating retirement savings which is why it is beneficial to give careful consideration to any choices made during this process.

Retirement is an especially important consideration when both parties are age 50 and up. Gray divorce involves two people who are approaching retirement age, and the terms of their property division order may impact their plans for the golden years, when they stop working and pursue other goals they have. Studies find that over half of the households that go through a divorce are facing financial risk during their retirement.

Making child custody work well for each member of the family

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is how this choice will impact the youngest members of the family. Parents experience difficult emotions and hardship during a divorce, but they should never let these things add more complication to what they are going through. There are specific things that Texas parents can do to make this time of transition easier and child custody work better for their kids. 

Divorce is hard for each person in the family. Kids are not to blame for their parents' decisions, and they should never feel like they are. This is why parents should avoid fighting in front of the kids and calling each other names. When there is conflict, they should exhibit problem-solving skills and mutual respect for each other, and they should not undermine the importance of the other parent in the lives of their kids.

Property division considerations for a gray divorce

Divorce is a financially complex process, and Texas couples will have to divide all of the assets accumulated over the course of the marriage. This can be especially difficult when two people are older or have been married for a long time. Gray divorce, which is a divorce involving two spouses over the age of 50, can be particularly complicated when it comes to property division.

One important consideration when dividing marital property is to consider tax penalties. Newer tax laws mean that the spouse who is paying alimony is no longer getting a tax break, which mean he or she may be motivated to negotiate a lower spousal support payment in exchange for a higher portion of retirement savings or other assets. The other spouse will want to consider the potential tax penalties that may come with retaining a valuable asset.

Fathers often have to fight for fair child custody order

Children benefit when allowed to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce. Most courts agree that joint child custody is best, yet Texas fathers often still find they have to fight for equitable parenting time and fair terms. Mothers are not necessarily better parents than dads, but there are some who think it is best for mothers to have primary custody, especially when the kids are young.

When parents are together, dads are frequently expected to have a hands-on role with their kids. They help with bath time, feeding and bedtime routines. To suddenly stop that interaction during separation or after a divorce can be harmful to the mental and emotional well-being fo the kids. Dads are completely capable of being loving, caring and hands-on parents after divorce or during a time of separation.

Millennials are approaching marriage and divorce differently

Millennials do many things differently than their parents and the generations before them, including their approach to relationships and finances. In fact, this specific generation is drastically changing up how they look at marriage, divorce and sharing financial responsibilities. By waiting longer to get married and often opting for prenuptial agreements, they are even changing what it looks like to get divorced. 

Some Texas couples may decide that drafting a prenup is not necessary because they are not wealthy. What many do not realize is that these agreements can do much more than just decide what will happen to marital property if a couple divorces. Millennials may not be exceptionally wealthy, but they often use these agreements to outline how they will divide their debt if they split up.

A solid child custody order is the key to co-parenting well

Kids can experience upheaval and emotional duress when their parents go through a divorce. To minimize the emotional and mental trauma a child may experience during this time, Texas parents may opt for a child custody arrangement that allows them to co-parent together. The key to making this work well is a thorough custody order and a commitment to the best interests of the children above all else.

One of the most important factors in co-parenting is making sure there is consistency between homes. With this type of arrangement, kids will spend periods of time in each home, and parents will want to be sure there is relative continuity of lifestyle. This means communicating about what is going on with the kids and handling issues such as school work, discipline and other matters in similar manners. 

Property division: Important issues regarding IRAs

There is one age group in Texas and beyond that has been filing for divorce at a greatly increased rate over the past two decades. People who are ages 55 and older are in this group, and many of them have determined they would rather start afresh on their own in life, even at an older age, than stay in unhappy marriages. Property division is often a complex topic in later-in-life divorces, especially regarding taxes and Individual Retirement Accounts.

If one or both spouses tapped into IRA assets through a 72(t) distribution, trying to split the remaining assets between spouses in divorce can be quite complicated. Such situations often spark challenges, such asĀ how to avoid modification when splitting an account from which 72(t) payments are being made. IRAs are not part of qualified domestic relations orders but are still subject to division in divorce proceedings.

Texas child custody: Which option is best for your kids?

When a married couple in Texas or elsewhere decides to divorce, the decision undoubtedly has a significant impact on their children's lives. Whether there is one or more children involved, parents must forge a child custody agreement when they take legal steps to finalize their divorce. There are typically numerous options available to resolve any disagreements parents might have regarding where their children should live or other important issues.

The court typically believes most children fare best in divorce when they maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents. A good parent has his or her child's best interests in mind. Therefore, spouses who are willing to avoid litigation and cooperate and compromise as needed for the sake of their children may wish to consider alternative dispute resolution as an option.

Sole custody: Reasons a Texas judge might rule in your favor

When Texas parents decide to divorce, they typically understand that their decision is going to have a significant impact on their children's lives. Many parents want to make the process as painless as possible, so they agree to file a no-fault divorce, then amicably workout the terms of their agreements. In other cases, however, an extenuating issue might prompt a concerned parent to file for sole custody of his or her children.

A parent who does so is tasked with convincing the judge overseeing the case that legitimate reasons exist for making the request. Just cause for not wanting the other parent involved to have physical or legal custody of the children in question must also be shown. In most cases, the court believes a shared custody arrangement is best for kids, so a parent might have his or her work cut out to prove otherwise.

Keep child custody litigation and your child's therapist separate

Children are typically resilient and can adapt to new lifestyles after divorce when they understand that they are not to blame and that their parents love them and want to support them as they process their emotions. However, many parents in Texas and elsewhere have found it helpful to enlist additional support from outside sources, such as their child's teachers, guidance counselors, or, in some cases, licensed therapists. If a child is seeing a therapist, it might be a mistake for parents to try to drag him or her into their child custody litigation.

If there is already an existing court order, it no doubt specifies who has legal custody of any and all children involved. In most cases, the court sees fit to grant shared legal custody unless there is a justifiable reason not to. When both parents have legal authority to make decisions in a child's life, it is best for both parents to discuss and help choose a licensed child therapist for their son or daughter.

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