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Sugar Land Divorce Law Blog

Why is it important to include a prenup in your marriage?

From dating to marriage, couples make serious and difficult decisions all of the time. Thus, it is not rare to consider the many 'what-ifs' in life. A couple's status can change from when they first meet, meaning that marriage can bring many ups and downs. Because income fluctuates, assets change, the size of a family can grow, a family business could be added and family inheritances could be collected, spouses should take steps to protect these assets now and for the future. No one can predict the future, or whether a marriage will last. This is where a prenuptial agreement can come in handy.

Why is it important to include a prenup in your marriage? While the term itself is a bit unromantic and shocking to some, couples should not focus on what they see in the media. Prenuptial agreements are not just for celebrities or wealthy couples. Because the divorce rate floats around 50 percent, it would be irrational to not consider a divorce a possible life event.

Will your spouse's drug abuse or alcoholism affect your divorce?

There are a lot of reasons why a person might seek a divorce. Sometimes, it's an extramarital affair. Sometimes, it's incompatibility. Years of living together may have left the two of you feeling bored and isolated. Another incredibly common reason that people seek divorce is substance abuse by the other spouse.

No matter how much you love someone or how dedicated you are to making a marriage work, drug and alcohol abuse can make staying together impossible. Between the financial strain substance abuse causes and the potential for negative interactions, it's easy to see how it ends marriages.

Understanding child custody laws in Texas

Parents are often faced with difficult decisions. Divorce is no exception. While young children might not realize how the divorce process can impact their life, the fact of the matter is that a child's life will be different post-divorce. No matter the age of a child, parents much decide what custody arrangement is best for everyone involved, even if losing parenting time, can be a difficult reality to accept. However, understanding your rights as they relate to the laws in your state is imperative.

In the state of Texas, child custody is termed conservatorship. Additionally, parents are not referred to as "custodians" but rather "conservators," and their legal rights and responsibilities are called "conservatorship." Unless parents are able to come to an agreement either via a method such as mediation, or simple negotiation, divorcing parents will need the assistance of a judge to determine the appropriate terms of a conservatorship.

Helping you reach an amicable child custody agreement

Children are a pivotal part of a family. Parents in Texas and elsewhere will likely move mountains to please their children and meet their needs. Much pressure and difficulty can be placed on this task during and after divorce. The transition from a one family home to a two family home is not only challenging for parents, but this foreign lifestyle can be emotionally taxing on the children involved. Thus, it is important for parents, no matter their stance or animosity with their exs, to consider the best interests of the children when developing a child custody arrangement.

Whether one parent seeks primary custody or both parents are on board with shared parenting, the divorce process requires parents to assess how a parenting plan could influence and impact the lives of their children. At the Law Office of Michael D. Traction, PC, our experienced legal team understands it is not an easy process to agree to a custody agreement; however, we are dedicated to serving parents in the Sugar Land area, helping them reach a favorable and amicable resolution.

Do you have the right to seek alimony payments?

When you're married to someone earning a much higher income than you, it's easy to feel like you're dependent on this person to maintain your current status of life. However, Texas family law may disagree.

The law in Texas prevents spouses from becoming financially dependent upon each other. In fact, if you want to leave your marriage, you have every right to leave it, and every right to avoid financial turmoil as a result of your decision.

A look at community property laws in Texas

Community property laws can have a significant impact on a divorce in Texas and other community property states. As opposed to states that follow equitable division of property rules which seek a fair division of property, community property states consider marital property to belong half to one spouse and half to the other. In general, property will be divided fifty-fifty during a divorce in a community property state such as Texas.

Property division can be a primary concern of many divorcing spouses so it can be helpful to understand it. Community property can include a variety of different types of property acquired during marriage such as a family home, cars, furniture, paintings and assets such as stocks, bonds and debt. Community property includes marital property acquired by the spouses during marriage. Community property includes wages and income earned by the spouses during marriage; a family home and furniture acquired during the marriage; interest income earned by business investments; and a mortgage on a family home.

Who can get alimony in Texas?

Alimony is common in many divorces and can be a significant concern for divorcing couples. As a result, it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand how alimony is determined and in what circumstances alimony may be awarded, if not agreed to by the divorcing couple. Divorcing couples may have a variety of question and concerns related to alimony.

Who gets alimony and how much alimony they get varies based on each situation. The spouse seeking alimony must demonstrate that they need alimony to qualify to receive it. To demonstrate that they are eligible to receive alimony, the spouse seeking alimony must be unable to afford to meet their basic needs. Their basic needs must be set at a reasonable minimum. In addition, one of two conditions must also be met for the spouse seeking alimony to qualify for alimony.

Creating a parenting agreement is a great idea

Did you know that most child custody cases can be worked out before going to court?

This may sound impossible as you move forward with your divorce, especially if you are not getting along with the other person, but it's good to know that you may be able to work out the finer details without battling your ex-spouse in court.

Understand how to handle retirement accounts during divorce

Negotiating the financial and emotional challenges of a divorce can be significant. The tax implications of a divorce are important to consider when dividing assets which is especially true when dividing retirement assets. If retirement account assets are not properly divided during a divorce, and potential tax consequences are not properly considered, it can result in problems later on for the spouses.

Retirement account assets are typically the most valuable liquid asset the couple may have. As a result, it is important that the number one concern related to dividing retirement assets during divorce, which is taxation, is properly addressed. When transferring from one spouse's IRA to the other's, it is important that the transfer is performed correctly to avoid penalties or negative tax consequences. IRA divisions must be completed as a transfer incident to divorce and can be completed for up to a year following the divorce settlement agreement.

How to navigate a high asset divorce

Dividing one household into two during the divorce process can be challenging and sometimes contentious. Divorcing couples may have important concerns related to property division, alimony, child support and child custody issues. High asset divorces can be especially complex so it is helpful for divorcing couples to understand the process and how to best approach a divorce between a couple with high net worth.

To begin with, it is important to refrain from allowing emotions to cloud the process. The divorce process can be understandably emotional but allowing emotions to create a contentious divorce process can interfere with reaching the best outcomes for the divorcing spouses during the divorce process. In addition, it is also important to fully disclose all assets and not hide assets. Because the divorce process is designed to reach a fair divorce agreement related to property division and other concerns, concealing assets is not helpful to the process.