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Dallas-Fort Worth Family Law Blog

Correlation found between some jobs, divorce rate

Texas bartenders, flight attendants and casino workers may be more likely to get a divorce than people in professions such as actuary or physician. A survey presented by FlowingData drawing on data from the 2015 American Community Survey found that while actuaries had a divorce rate lower than 20 percent and that of physicians was just above 20 percent, the divorce rate for bartenders and gaming managers was higher than 50 percent. Overall, occupations that focused on science and math tended to have considerably lower divorce rates than the 2015 average of 35 percent while those in jobs that dealt with transportation or night life had higher ones.

A higher income and a more regular schedule may be among the elements that lower the risk of divorce in the jobs that show lower rates. Several occupations popular in rural areas, including fishing, forestry, military careers and farming also had low divorce rates.

Social Security benefits after divorce

Many Texas divorces affect the Social Security benefits of one or both parties. Social Security tends to be an asset that is not as often thought about as more tangible benefits like real property or investments. Even so, understanding the impact a divorce has on Social Security is a vital part of post-divorce financial planning, especially for those over the age of 62.

The most important factor in Social Security after divorce is the timing. If the marriage lasted 10 years or longer, people can claim their former spouse's benefits on their record. This is an important fact, and it may mean that delaying a divorce until the 10-year mark makes the best financial sense if it is possible for a couple to do so. People can also claim 100 percent of their former spouse's benefit upon that person's death. This holds true even if the decedent remarried and left that new spouse behind.

Background on the collaborative law divorce process

Texas spouses may be considering the collaborative law divorce process to finalize their divorce settlements. The benefits of collaborative law are what tend to draw people to resolving their divorces in this fashion. Couples tend to settle their divorces faster, more economically and less stressfully through collaborative law proceedings than through other methodologies.

That said, most people don't know a lot about collaborative law, so it's beneficial to learn a little bit of background on collaborative proceedings.

How to prepare for mediation

Some Texas couples who decide to divorce might want to use mediation as a way to reach decisions on child custody, property division and other issues. Since the aim of mediation is to reach a solution that works for both people, couples may be more satisfied with the outcome than if the decision was made by a judge. However, in order for mediation to work best, there are several things a person should do to prepare.

Emotional preparation is important. Some people may be surprised by how much the process brings up strong feelings. However, this is not a reason to end the mediation. If necessary, people can ask for a break in order to compose their feelings if necessary.

Co-parenting can be a difficult yet achievable task

Co-parenting after a divorce can be a difficult process for Texas estranged couples. Because people can have a variety of emotional reactions to their ex-partner, these can be easily reflected in the parenting relationship as well. Sometimes those difficulties can be as simple as pain over the past marital problems, but sometimes they can reflect serious concerns about abuse, irresponsibility, alienation of the children or addiction.

This kind of difficult co-parenting relationship can add even more problems to the already complex environment of a divorce. However, there can be a few guidelines to help former partners do what's best for their children, even when one of the parents is difficult or problematic.

Millennials and prenuptial agreements

Millennials in Texas and other parts of the country are moving on with their lives, getting jobs, getting married, and having kids. Like all couples who get married, they hope that their union will last a lifetime. However, many are also realistic and are more inclined than their grandparents and parents to have a prenuptial agreement.

The reasons why this generation is more likely to insist on a prenup are complex but also understandable. Getting a divorce was more commonplace during the decades in which the millennials grew up, so they are aware that not all marriages last. In addition, this demographic tends to marry later in life, which presents some unique personal finance issues.

Divorce can bring major change for women's finances

When preparing for life after a divorce, Texas women may need to take extra care of their financial health. Divorce doesn't only affect the emotional ties that bring a marriage together. It affects a wide variety of financial issues.

Following a divorce, adjusting to the new financial climate solo can be a major change in anyone's life. The situation is different than it was for women decades ago, as fewer women are stay-at-home moms and more women have strong careers. However, in general, after the end of a marriage, women's average household income drops by 41 percent. This is almost double the decline experienced by men.

Familiarize yourself with the types of child custody

Are you going through the divorce process? Are you concerned about the impact this will have on your life, such as your relationship with your child or children?

It's important to familiarize yourself with the many types of child custody, as this will help you make informed and confident decisions as the process moves forward.

Positive aspects of a prenuptial agreement

Texas residents who are planning on getting married might wonder whether they need a prenuptial agreement. There are a number of reasons that one person might want a prenup including to protect children from a previous marriage or to shield an existing business. While a prenup might seem as though it is contrary to the ideas of a wedding, it can actually be an opportunity for couples to discuss and clarify their attitudes about money, spending and saving.

The two people may be entering the marriage with different income levels and assets, and a prenup can help them decide how they will handle this disparity. A prenup can also protect one partner if the other is entering the marriage with significant debt. Couples can talk about how they will handle finances during the marriage. They can also talk about priorities and what they prefer to spend their money on, and they can do so in an environment that is relaxed.

How to be an effective parent after a divorce

While a stable marriage may be ideal for Texas families, it is not always possible for parents to stay together. In some cases, parents may not even get married before they decide to go their separate ways. If parents do decide to get divorced or end their relationship, it is important to engage in effective co-parenting to preserve the best interest of their children.

When parents work together to raise their children, the offspring receive the stability that they need. The child has a consistent schedule, consistent boundaries and feels confident that both parents will be there when needed. Typically, this results in a child who is able and willing to meet the challenges that life may present.