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McKinney Divorce Law Blog

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.

High net worth divorce: Issues of concern for many women

There are many reasons why a Texas couple might decide to end their marriage. Sometimes, financial issues are a big factor although most advisers say the decision to divorce should not be solely based on money. Especially in a high net worth divorce, financial matters may be of particular concern, however. It is helpful to carefully review finances and to know where to seek advice and support before heading to court in a high asset divorce.

Women are, generally speaking, more informed and astute regarding financial matters nowadays than the average woman might have been in decades past. In fact, long ago, most women were comfortable letting their spouses handle everything financial in a marriage. Lacking information regarding one's own financial status, as well as a spouse's assets and liabilities can place one at a great disadvantage in divorce proceedings.

13 arrested for non-payment of child support

When two parents in Texas are not in a relationship with one another, one of them may be responsible for providing financial support to the other. This typically happens when one parent has primary custody of shared children and is therefore responsible for their day-to-day needs. Sometimes, the paying parent neglects to make proper child support payments. The reasons for doing so may be understandable, but they don't change the fact that children need those funds. One out-of-state county recently decided to crack down on parents who aren't making proper payments by launching an operation to target the issue.

The county sheriff's office saw that there were a number of parents who failed to pay child support, and it responded by creating operation "Pay Up." The first day, law enforcement arrested 13 people for non-payment. Representatives say that they intend to serve and collect several other warrants. The county sheriff said that 15 people still owe over $60,000.

A prenuptial agreement may predetermine who gets the family pet

Many couples across the state who choose to wait to have children or decide not to have children at all make a significant financial and emotional investment in their "fur babies" -- and this trend is nationwide, not just here in Texas. Their pets are their children and that does not change even if they do end up having kids at some point. For this reason, individuals about to be married are increasingly using a prenuptial agreement to address what happens to the family pet should a divorce occur.

It just might surprise some Texas residents how many divorce cases turn ugly when it comes to determining the fate of the family pet. Couples can spend thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time in court over this issue. In fact, Direct Line Pet Insurance estimates that up to 30,000 divorces across the country that end up in court have something to do with the family pet.

Potential sale of robotics company may affect high asset divorce

Divorce is often a difficult process for anyone here in Texas. Those who have a high level of assets may find it to be particularly challenging. It can be tough to determine the right way to divide assets, particularly if the married couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. There are even instances where one spouse may attempt to hide or shield assets from the other spouse so that it is not subject to the divorce agreement. This is what one woman alleges about her husband, saying that he is attempting to sell off his robotics company for less than it is worth ahead of their high asset divorce.

The husband is one of the people who wrote a portion of the original code for Google. He also founded a robotics company that his wife claims he is trying to sell to an overseas company. She alleges that the $400,000 he wants to sell it for is not nearly what the startup company is worth. She believes that the company is worth at least tens of millions of dollars, perhaps even hundreds of millions.

How to handle child custody during the holiday season

Many families here in Texas and around the country are gearing up for the winter holidays. That could mean travel, shopping for gifts or get-togethers with extended family. For some, it means working around a child custody schedule to give parents the determined parenting time with kids. Some families have no trouble navigating through, but others have difficulty for many reasons. Experts have advice for parents who are trying to have time with their kids while sticking to a custody schedule during the holidays.

Making a schedule that makes sense for everyone involved is the best way to handle parenting time during the holidays. Some families find that it makes sense for each parent to have custody of their children during the holiday on alternating years. Others decide to split the time equally. Their choices may be contingent on several factors, such as how old the children are, what each parent's religious beliefs happen to be and even what parenting time looks like for other breaks during the school year. In any case, having the parenting time schedule legally documented may save parents a lot of confusion or unhappiness.

Parents in one county receive help for back child support

For parents, the most important consideration in their lives is ensuring that their children receive everything they need to thrive in life. Unfortunately, many parents experience difficulty in either making or receiving child support monies in a timely manner. Texas parents who are struggling in this area may have a basis for requesting modifications to their orders in certain circumstances.

In many states, there are a series of increasingly negative consequences for parents who fall further behind in their payments. One of the tools states use to encourage parents to make their payments is to suspend their driving privileges. Unfortunately, parents who lose their driving licenses are often hampered in their efforts to maintain employment, thereby falling even further behind in supporting their children.

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