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Sugar Land Divorce Law Blog

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.

What factors may be considered in grandparent custody situations?

Grandparents' rights can be an issue of increasing concern as the composition of families change and families begin to look different. Greater numbers of grandparents may be raising children for a variety of reasons. Grandparents seeking custody of their grandchildren in Texas may wonder what factors may be considered when determining grandparents' rights to custody.

Laws concerning grandparents' rights vary by state but have also been impacted by significant court decisions so for grandparents seeking custody or visitation, which may be different considerations, it is important for them to understand the laws in their state. It is also helpful to know which factors will be considered for custody in the state where grandparents are pursuing custody but a general set of factors may be considered.

Co-parenting with a special needs child

While divorce is hard for the couple, it is often more difficult on the children. This is especially true if you have a special needs child that relies on a strong foundation. For example, a divorce can have very negative effects on a child with autism who requires a fairly standard daily routine to limit meltdowns.

The strain of raising a child with special needs may be part of the reason the relationship with your spouse collapsed. Even with counseling and a support systems, many couples with special needs children divorce. Part of limiting the disruption to your child's life is putting an effective parenting plan in place long before you finalize your divorce.

The family law process offers help with high asset divorces

The divorce process can become more complicated if the divorcing couple has a significant number of assets to divide. Divorcing couples with significant assets that are high in value may have understandable concerns related to property division, spousal maintenance and other divorce-related issues. Aside from dividing substantial assets, the divorce process can also be understandably emotional and challenging for couples.

In circumstances of a high asset divorce, it is necessary to disclose all assets and determine the fair value of the assets subject to division. Assets may include investments, real estate, stock options, retirement accounts and 401(k)s. It may be necessary to review tax returns and bank statements to establish income. Forensic accounts and valuation experts can help assess and determine the value of the couple's assets which may include a family-run business. What to do with a family-run business can also be a concern in need of guidance during a high asset divorce.

Understanding the benefits of a prenuptial agreement for anyone

There are a variety of misunderstandings associated with prenuptial agreements, the benefits of prenuptial agreements and what they do. Prenuptial agreements can be useful not just for the wealthy. Prenuptial agreements allow couples planning to marry to outline property rights and other considerations prior to their marriage. Couples entering a marriage may rightfully have a variety of concerns prenuptial agreements can address.

While prenuptial agreements can, indeed, protect the assets of one or both spouses, they can also serve a variety of other important uses including protecting one party from the debts of the other; clarifying financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage; determining how property will be passed in the event of death; and helping avoid long and expensive disputes in divorce circumstances. In situations when the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, state law will control the division of property if the couple divorces.

How divorce could impact your child with autism

Divorce is often a watershed moment for children and teens. It can change everything in their lives, from where they go to school and where they live to their feeling of security. When your child has specific struggles with emotional and social issues, divorce can have a lasting and confusing impact on the child. Autistic children often have intense emotions that they can struggle to communicate effectively at younger ages. As a result, these children need special support and engagement during divorce proceedings. Being proactive in your approach is the best way to protect autistic children.

If you know that divorce is inevitable, there are certain things you can do to help reduce the negative impact it will have on your autistic child. One of the most important things you can do is to retain the services of a Texas family law and divorce attorney who understands the specific needs of autistic children. The right attorney can offer you sound advice and connect you with resources to help ease the strain on your autistic child. From mediation to private counseling, there are many options available to help your autistic child deal with the changes in your family.

Overview of establishing paternity in Texas

Unmarried couples who have a child together may have different reasons for wanting to legally establish paternity, which is the process by which the child's biological father becomes the "legal" parent of the child and has all of the right and responsibilities Texas law provides or imposes on fathers.

For example, the child's mother may want to establish paternity so that she can get a court order for the father to pay child support, provide health insurance or otherwise take financial responsibility for the child. Paternity also entitles to the child to inherit from the father even when the father does not leave a will and gives the child access to survivors' and other benefits. The child's father, on the other hand, will need a paternity order if he wants to seek custody or court-ordered visitation rights.