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Dallas-Fort Worth Family Law Blog

Difficult divorce issues

Many people in Texas walk away from a divorce feeling that they got the short end of the stick. Some parents are ordered to pay child support they cannot afford and face serious consequences when they fail to make payments.

A divorce can be devastating for individuals who lose their home, child custody and many of their possessions in a short time frame.

Keep the details of your divorce private with mediation

Divorcing couples often have many issues that they have to resolve in order to end their marriage. Setting terms for asset division, as well as addressing child custody issues, can become complicated quickly and result in additional stress. One of the most commonly overlooked concerns about a protracted, court-based divorce is the fact that the records of your divorce will become public.

The things that you and your spouse say about one another can become accessible to everyone from professional rivals to your children as adults. Mediation is a potential solution that both empowers you to get the outcome in your divorce you need and protect you and your privacy. If you worry about how public records of your divorce proceedings could impact your future, it may be time to consider mediation.

Study suggests living together pre-marriage boosts divorce risk

Couples in Texas sometimes prefer to test the waters and live together before making the decision to get married. While there is a certain logic behind this type of arrangement, a new study on premarital cohabitation and divorce suggests that couples opting to go this route are more likely to end up not living so happily ever after. For the study, researchers evaluated several decades of data from U.S. women in their first marriages who were 44 or younger. Their findings appear to validate what's termed the "premarital cohabitation effect."

This concept basically states that people who live together before walking down the aisle are more likely to face struggles during their marriage that may lead to divorce. Previous research on the cohabitation effect suggests it's not as relevant today, but the study's authors contend that such findings are only based on short-term assessments. Researchers admit that couples opting to go straight into marriage have an increased risk of divorce during their first year together because of the initial adjustment period.

Tips for helping children adjust to divorce

Divorce often requires a lot adjusting for children. However, there are ways for separating parents in Texas to help their kids make the transition. The first step is to make sure that children have as much stability as possible.

Keeping things routine can help children cope with the big changes that are happening in their lives. Parents may have different approaches to parenting, but they can still make an effort to keep some rules consistent between households. Unless a child is in danger of harm, it is important to support the other parent. This is actually a way of supporting the child. Even if parents disagree about a parenting decision, they should avoid taking sides in front of the kids.

How finances can end a relationship

In a recent SunTrust Bank survey, 35 percent of respondents said that money was a major point of relationship conflict. This is probably not a surprising statistic to most Texas couples. However, the relationship effects of money become more nuanced as data is further analyzed.

The Federal Reserve Board reports that the chance of divorce decreases as the discrepancy lessens between a couple's credit scores. Spouses with higher credit scores are also more likely to remain in committed relationships than those with lower credit scores. On the other hand, some attorneys report that people with higher incomes might be more likely to divorce for several reasons.

What goals can you accomplish through divorce mediation?

Once you decide to divorce your spouse, you'll soon realize that the process itself is full of many twists and turns. It's common to assume that your case will head straight to court, but this very rarely happens. Instead, you can first go through divorce mediation in an attempt to resolve all your issues.

Many people shy away from divorce mediation because they don't feel that they can get along with the other person for long enough to make any real progress. While this may be true to start, over time you could come to find that this is the best way to proceed. With more control over the process, you'll feel better about what the future will bring.

Tax law changes and divorce

Couples in Texas who are considering a divorce may be interested to know that certain important changes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will become effective in 2019. This means that couples have until the end of 2018 to get a divorce if they do not want to be bound by the new rules for how alimony and child support will be treated.

One of the changes brought on by the TCJA is the elimination of the value of the dependent and personal exemptions. It also increased the amounts of the standard deductions. As a result, determining who will be able to file as head of the household is very likely to be an issue that is discussed during divorce negotiations.

Divorce rates affected by profession

People in Texas are often well-aware that their jobs can affect nearly all areas of life, from mental and physical health to relationship satisfaction. However, career choices could also impact the likelihood of divorce, according to one study conducted on the Danish population. Researchers concluded that people who work around large numbers of other people of the opposite sex are more likely to divorce than people who work in a same-gender environment.

Of course, the study takes into account only opposite-sex partnerships and does not predict divorce outcomes for same-sex marriages. In addition, the Danish population can be very different than the American population in a number of ways. However, the researchers found clear results and a strong trend, particularly for men who worked around large numbers of women. While the effect also existed for women working in male-dominated professions, it was weaker and less powerful than that which existed for men. While other studies have sought to measure the likelihood of divorce based on mixed-gender communities, most adults spend a vast proportion of their lives at work.

Health and gray divorce

Texas residents who get a divorce will find that the process can have many health implications regardless of how old they are. However, for individuals who are over 50 years old, getting a divorce can result in a number of physical and psychological issues, particularly for older people who have existing medical issues.

There are a number of factors contributing to gray divorce, or the sudden spike in divorce rates for older adults. Women and men have longer life spans. In addition, women who earn an income can be financially independent and do not have to depend on having a husband to have access to money. Remarriage is another reason for gray divorce; for individuals who are in their second or third marriage, the rate for divorce to 2.5 times higher.

Prenups can work for most couples

Those in Texas who are about to get married could benefit from having a prenuptial agreement. They are generally valid as long as both parties to an agreement have the chance to review them with legal counsel. Anyone who owns a company prior to getting married may be able to preserve ownership of the organization with such an agreement. It may also keep a former spouse from being a partner in the company after the marriage ends.

When one spouse makes more than the other, the agreement can help the lower-earning spouse financially stable in a divorce. This is because it can stipulate how much alimony a person is to receive and how long it lasts for. Individuals who acquired a pet while married can use a prenuptial agreement to determine who gets custody of it if the marriage comes to an end.

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