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Dallas-Fort Worth Family Law Blog

Texas business owners can benefit from prenups

Divorce can have a major impact on a business. This is one reason why many entrepreneurs who are happy and confident in their relationships opt for prenuptial agreements when choosing to tie the knot. Not only can a prenup protect an entrepreneur in case of divorce, but it could also help to make the business more attractive to investors, venture capitalists and others.

In the first place, a prenuptial agreement is a form of protection. It can lay out clearly what parts of the business, if any, will be considered marital property. A prenup can include a waiver of business interest and a stipulation that business shares given to an ex-spouse in a divorce settlement would need approval from other business partners. When an entrepreneur has partners in their business, those partners may be co-signers of the prenup as they also have an important interest at stake.

Gather these documents as you close in on divorce

Divorce is a complicated process that will impact your finances, personal life and emotions. In a perfect world, you would file for divorce and move through each step in a timely and cordial manner.

While this may happen for some people, it's more likely that you'll run into challenges along the way. To help avoid setbacks, gather all the information you need up front. With the right documents in hand, you never have to worry about digging something up on short notice.

Student loan debt is taking a toll on more marriages

Money routinely ranks as one of the top reasons for divorce. A related issue that's increasingly affecting couples in Texas is student loan debt. While the average college-related debt is about $35,000, the number of borrowers owing $50,000 or more has been on the rise. Since overall college costs have spiked considerably over the past decade, it may not be much of a surprise that a third of borrowers who participated in a recent debt management website study attributed school loans and other financial problems to the end of their marriages.

Nearly 15 percent of respondents specifically cited student loan debt as the primary reason for their divorces. More than 40 percent of married individuals surveyed for another study reported fighting about money "somewhat often." This reflects the notion that financial stress is sometimes enough of a distraction to affect relationships. The study also revealed that nearly a quarter of borrowers preferred to keep details of their student loan debts from their partners, and almost 20 percent considered it acceptable to lie to their significant others about money-related matters.

Rules for parenting after divorce

Texas parents who are getting divorced might worry about raising their kids after custody and support issues are settled. While the tension that caused the divorce might still be present, parenting, which is about the children and not the adults, can be done peacefully and successfully by following some rules.

The first rule for parenting after divorce is to keep focused on the children's best interests. Even as child custody issues are debated and negotiated, the results should focus on how to make the transition to life after divorce easier for the children. The second rule is consistency. This includes deciding house rules that should be followed in both homes. To avoid conflicts between the parents, the house rules should be general while still providing space for each ex's parenting style. The third rule is open, honest and positive communication between the parents. Technology can be helpful here as parents can use text messaging and other apps to communicate about their children and avoid face-to-face confrontations.

Lawyers report increase in millennial prenuptial agreements

Texas residents in the 18-to-34 age group who are getting married might want a prenuptial agreement. The number of couples using these agreements has increased over a 20-year period. However, the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers has reported the rise in prenups among millennials as a more recent phenomenon.

With this generation, the average age at first marriage has risen. This means both individuals have more opportunity to acquire assets such as a home, a retirement account and other investments. Millennials may be particularly concerned about holding onto these assets after struggling through the recession, and a prenup can help them do that. Furthermore, many millennials do not place much importance on marriage. Only 42 percent said it was a life goal in one survey. Another survey found the average millennial willing to forgo marriage for seven years in exchange for a major promotion. With marriage occupying a less central place in their lives, fewer millennials may be willing to risk their financial futures on it.

Six financial surprises divorced women run into

A recent survey found that 46 percent of divorced women ran into financial surprises of one kind or another. To be more accurate, 38 percent of women aged 55 and above reported experiencing these kinds of surprises after getting divorced whereas approximately 50 percent of women in younger age brackets reported the same phenomenon. As a result, the women of Texas would do well to learn from their predecessors and prepare themselves financially in case they ever decide to go through with a divorce.

There are six financial surprises that seem to be the most prevalent amongst divorced woman. To start with, many women may be unaware of how much debt they and their soon-to-be ex-spouses hold. Furthermore, a healthy portion of divorced women is usually forced to return to the workforce, which is something for which they might not be prepared. Additionally, some divorcees overestimate how large their alimony checks will be, putting them under a financial burden sooner than they think. Another fallacious assumption some divorced women make is that they can keep the marital home. Underestimating the cost of health insurance can be debilitating to a divorced woman's finances. Finally, the process of getting a divorce itself is very costly, which is something plenty of women don't anticipate.

Child custody confusion can throw a wrench into your summer trip

There is no better time to relax and have fun with your child than on a summer vacation. Unfortunately, if you find yourself in the middle of a child custody dispute, you could run into a variety of challenges along the way.

Fighting with your ex-spouse about taking your child on a summer vacation is never fun. In fact, this has a way of killing your good time before you ever hit the road.

Common sources of money problems for spouses

Love forms the foundation of a marriage, but the institution also represents a financial union between two people. Fiscal stress and money disputes have long been recognized as leading causes of divorce in Texas and throughout the U.S.

An inability to pay bills or cope with unexpected expenses naturally creates tension between spouses. For couples living paycheck to paycheck, they can strive to reduce their stress by creating an automatic savings plan. Regardless of income level, spouses can set up automatic savings deductions from paychecks to begin building an emergency fund.

Drafting parenting plans during a divorce

Going through a divorce with children can be a difficult process for many Texas parents. A divorce or even a separation could mean that parents will no longer get to see their children every day or as normal. In many cases, parents may also have to do additional driving if they share custody, which can be tiring and time-consuming.

However, creating a parenting schedule for the children can help keep their home life stable. For many kids, the prospect of divorce may make them anxious for the future, especially if they do not know what to expect. Parents should put themselves in their kids' shoes when making decisions. If the children are older, parents may even consider involving them when it comes to making decisions about their parenting schedule. This allows them to be heard and helps to understand that their parents are taking their needs and wants into account. Parents of children who have special needs may need to take those particular needs into consideration.

How tax laws will impact alimony in 2019

During a divorce, an estranged Texas couple may have to determine how they will deal with alimony payments in addition to dividing up marital property. However, the 2019 tax laws may have a financial impact on alimony, so those who are looking to finalize their divorce in late 2018 or early 2019 should be aware of the changes

.Starting Jan. 1, 2019, the tax laws that will go into effect will have a major impact on alimony or spousal support. Under the 2018 tax laws, the alimony payments that were being made were deductible by the payer The recipient of alimony payments dealt with the taxes. Going forward, less alimony may be paid to the recipient.