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McKinney Divorce Law Blog

Struggles over child support can affect any income level

Difficulties in making or receiving financial support for a child can have a huge impact on the well-being of the child. Child support is intended to ensure that a youngster has all that he or she needs to be healthy and well-adjusted. Texas parents who are struggling financially may have the right to seek modifications.

In spite of purportedly being financially sound, a renowned rabbi has been accused of being several thousand dollars in arrears for support of his college student son. According to records, when the mother and Marc Schneier divorced in 2005, he was ordered to pay $4,200 a month for the first year, which would be increased annually by $200 a month until the child enrolled in college. At that time, Schneier was to continue paying $3,200 until his son completed his studies. The support was to be used for living expenses. 

De Niro's ex looking to make actor take complex divorce public

It was recently reported that the publicity-shy actor, Robert De Niro, and his long-time wife, Grace Hightower, want to end their 20-plus year union. De Niro filed the petition anonymously in order to avoid public notice. In Texas and across the country, whenever high-profile couples seek a complex divorce, it's often difficult to avoid public scrutiny. 

De Niro filed the divorce late in 2018, listing the parties as "Anonymous v. Anonymous." In spite of the actor's intentions to keep the proceedings private, Hightower is reportedly attempting to goad the actor into appearing publicly to handle their divorce. According to her attorney, the actor initiated the divorce and will have to accept the publicity that is typically part of the process.

Baseball star, Miguel Cabrera, child support case resolved

Those who earn a living under the watchful eye of the public often find that their private lives are subject to public discourse. This also applies to such private matters as child support and custody cases. Though, he does not play for a Texas team, fans may have heard that Miguel Cabrera's child support case has been settled.

The baseball star has been ordered to finish paying for the mortgage on the home that he purchased for the mother of the children that the pair had together. The home's mortgage is reportedly estimated to be $1 million. In addition to paying off the house, child support payments were established at $20,000 a month. The mother, with whom Cabrera has fathered two children, was supposedly seeking $100,000 per month in support.

Mistakes can result in challenges to a prenuptial agreement

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there has been a marked increase in clients who are seeking assistance in drafting marital contracts. There are countless reasons why a couple would consider a prenuptial agreement, and the most common is usually to preserve assets in the event of a divorce. Texas residents who are contemplating these contracts may benefit from learning about mistakes to avoid.  

Both prenups and postnups are intended to direct how assets are divided in a divorce. Without either of these documents in place, the state laws will dictate property division. However, it is helpful to keep in mind that postnuptial agreements are less likely to be enforced and are even not recognized in several states. While a prenup is more likely to be upheld, there are mistakes that could result in a court dismissing the terms of such contracts.

There are ways to overcome alienation after child custody battle

There are many reasons why parents decide to divorce. In many cases, one spouse may realize that the relationship has become unhealthy due to the behavior of the other spouse. Unfortunately, if one parent tends to dominate in relationships, then relationships with children can be adversely affected once the issue of child custody has been settled. Texas parents who find themselves dealing with parental alienation can work to overcome this troubling issue.

After a divorce, one parent may attempt to control the interactions children have with the other parent. If a child feels that the best way to relate to the dominate parent is to shut out the other, he or she may do so in order to appease the controlling parent. The parent who feels left out may often feel powerless to repair the strained relationship. However, rather than trying to appease the child, it is recommended that the alienated parent try to see the situation from the child's perspective while also remaining confident in oneself.

Prosecutor criticized for new child support policies

For many single parents, the financial support provided by a non-custodial parent can make all the difference. However, there are many parents who are unable to meet their child support obligations due to financial hardship. In many cases, Texas parents have faced criminal charges and jail time when they have fallen in arrears with no means to catch up on their payments.

The vast majority of parents who are behind in their child support simply lack the income necessary to make these payments in a timely fashion. In many cities and towns, local police are sent out with warrants to round up those who are referred to as "dead-beat" parents because they are significantly behind in their payments. However, studies have shown that incarcerating these parents often does more harm than good for the children involved.

A properly executed prenuptial agreement worth the effort

Years ago, only the wealthy or celebrities entered into a pre-marital contract in order to protect family wealth. However, almost every couple can benefit from the protections that a properly drafted prenuptial agreement provides. Texas residents may benefit from learning more about how these contracts can serve them.

It is estimated that approximately one in three marriages will end in a divorce. Though the idea of discussing a prenup with an intended spouse may seem awkward, it is recommended that this conversation take place shortly after the engagement in order to ensure that both parties are in full agreement without accusations of coercion at a later date. In addition, couples are required to be open about all aspects of their assets when working on these contracts in order for them to be valid. Withholding information may result in a prenup being overturned in a contested divorce.

How is the division of marital assets approached in Texas?

In general, the manner in which marital assets are divided during a divorce depends on the laws of the state in which the couple resides. The majority of states subscribe to the equitable distribution approach, in which assets are divided in a fair, but not always equal manner. Texas, however, is one of the few states that adheres to community property laws, in which all marital property is divided equally among spouses during the division of marital assets.

Texas views all assets that are acquired during a marriage as being jointly owned by both parties. However, if it can be shown that an asset is the sole property of one spouse, that asset may retain its separate identity. For instance, assets that were acquired before a marriage or obtained through a gift or inheritance may be considered separate property.

Retired basketball star wins child support reduction petition

For many professional athletes, success on the playing field often translates into a healthy pay check and a comfortable standard of living. However, when a career comes to an end, so does the hefty salary and the ability to make possibly excessive payments for child support and other expenses. Regardless of one's current economic conditions, a sudden reduction in income could cause many Texas parents to struggle to meet their court-ordered obligations.

Recently, retired NBA basketball star, Matt Barnes, filed a petition requesting that his court-ordered child support payments be reduced from $20,000 a month to $7,500. He claimed that the drop in his monthly income required that his payments be reduced to a more manageable amount. The new amount would mean that each child would receive approximately $3,750 per month.

Couples report that financial issues play role in divorce filings

One of the biggest problems that crop up during a marriage is financial disagreements. One way to avoid some of the problems that couples encounter during a marriage and later divorce is to create a pre-marital contract. Texas residents who are curious as to how these documents can protect them may seek information from experienced professionals.

A recent study found that disagreements and struggles over finances play a significant role in nearly half of all divorces. It is suggested that the time to discuss financial goals and money management is before a couple weds. While many may think that a simple discussion over whether to open a joint bank account is enough to resolve potential conflict, in reality, financial professionals encourage couples to engage in in-depth discussions over their financial goals and the steps they need to take to accomplish them.

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