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Dallas-Fort Worth Family Law Blog

Divorce more common when woman earns more

Sharing finances can be difficult for many couples, and money is often a touchy subject that may lead to divorce for married partners. Not having enough money is not always the problem. Texas residents might like to learn more about issues that could arise when a woman makes more money than her husband.

Some research examining heterosexual couples suggests that a marriage is more likely to end if a man earns less money than his wife. While many ideals associated with traditional gender roles have fallen out of favor, preconceived notions may still exist that suggest a man should support a family and be the primary breadwinner. This seems to be true even when people no longer believe a woman needs to stay at home with her family.

How to plan a summer vacation after divorce

Going through a divorce is difficult on you, your ex-spouse and your children. Furthermore, even after your divorce is in the past, you could still run into challenges every now and again.

If you're interested in taking a summer vacation with your children, the first thing you should do is review your child custody agreement. This will provide you with a variety of information, such as whether there are restrictions on where you can travel with your children.

Insurance issues for stay-at-home spouses

A divorcing couple typically considers issues regarding real estate and child custody early in the separation process. However, there are other very important matters for divorcing spouses in Texas to take into consideration. One of those issues is insurance. Spouses with and without children should look into how they will handle health and life insurance after their divorce is finalized.

It's not uncommon for one spouse to cover the entire family on their employer-sponsored health insurance policy. Although this might be cost-effective while the couple is married, it could leave a stay-at-home spouse without coverage after the separation. COBRA is an option, but it's often too expensive for a divorcee to afford. The Affordable Care Act allows spouses with less income or pre-existing conditions to get coverage for themselves and their children.

Stay-at-home mothers and property division

Some women in Texas who get a divorce may be among the more than 25% of mothers who do not work outside the home. Among mothers with at least a master's degree, 10% stay at home. This choice is approved of widely with over 50% Americans saying they think the mother is a better caregiver for a newborn than the father. Despite this, not everyone agrees that the mother deserves an equal share of the marital assets in a divorce.

In a study designed by two Vanderbilt University professors, 3,000 participants read a scenario that involved a husband and wife who were getting a divorce after 17 years. The husband initiated the divorce. The wife had worked outside the home, but five years into the marriage, she had quit her job and had stayed home with the children ever since. After this, the details changed for different participants. Some got a scenario in which the mother had more education. The professions they had and property they owned also changed.

Silent marriage killers to avoid

Texas couples get divorced for many reasons, including infidelity and other major breaches of trust. However, according to relationship experts, there are several less dramatic reasons that marriages fail. These "silent" relationship killers can be difficult to spot, but couples who learn to recognize them before they take root may be able to save their marriages and avoid divorce court.

Experts say that conflict avoidance is one of the top silent marriage killers. While some couples may think it's good that they never fight, avoiding conflict can allow disagreements to fester into resentments. This can put a marriage into a death spiral. It's much better for couples to learn to solve conflicts in a healthy way. Another silent marriage killer for a spouse to avoid is invalidating their partner's emotions. People need to feel they heard and understood, and brushing off a partner's feelings can make them feel invalidated.

Hiring a divorce coach

When couples in Texas divorce, emotions often run high. This can sometimes lead to conflict in what might have otherwise been a straightforward, amicable divorce. This conflict might be caused by misunderstandings or a spouse who feels uncertain of what is happening, legally and socially. In these cases, a collaborative law approach might help.

In collaborative law, both parties to a situation agree to work together to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. In a divorce, this may mean that lawyers for both parties avoid taking an adversarial position and instead recognize that their clients want the same thing: To end their marriage with a fair distribution of assets and access to their children.

What to know about spousal support

As part of a divorce settlement, estranged spouses in Texas may receive alimony. Alimony payments are determined based on a number of factors including the length of the marriage and a person's ability to pay. The age and health of those involved in a divorce will also play a role in determining how much spousal support a person receives. A judge may also consider whether a spouse has any assets or children to support.

In some cases, an individual will receive maintenance payments on a temporary basis. During this period of time, the person receiving payments is expected to look for work or otherwise take steps to become financially stable. Once an order is issued, it may be modified if circumstances change. Payments can also come to an end for a variety of reasons. For instance, if a recipient gets remarried, there is usually no need for the payer to continue to provide support.

Things to know about a postnuptial agreement

As you move toward your wedding day in Grapevine, you may want to learn more about prenuptial agreements. If you and your partner are able to agree on the terms and conditions at this time, you can sign a mutually beneficial agreement and then move on with the rest of the planning process.

Like many, you may have missed the window to create a prenuptial agreement. Fortunately, you aren't out of luck. You can create a postnuptial agreement, which is almost the same thing.

Child custody modifications and the legal requirements

Divorce in Texas and elsewhere involves strong emotions. It is sometimes necessary for one divorced parent to appeal to the court for a child custody modification. A parent may have more than one reason for appealing to a judge. The court must follow one basic legal regulation requiring a judge to act in a child's best interests. This means that the court will not modify a child custody agreement without good cause.

If a child custody plan works well for the child, a judge does not agree to modify the custody arrangement. A judge looks at the issues with discernment before approving a modification. However, domestic violence gives the court a valid reason for modifying a child custody agreement. Violence occurring in the custodial parent's home causes a child to live in a dangerous environment. When danger has the potential to harm a child, the court may grant custody to the noncustodial parent.

Options for a business in a divorce

Texas couples who are going through a divorce and who are business owners may face a difficult choice to either sell or keep the business. The first step is getting the business appraised.

Once the owners know its value, they may decide to try to sell the business. This has the advantage of allowing each person to move on and perhaps start a new business, but it does not always allow for a straightforward dissolving of financial ties. Since the business might not sell immediately, the couple may still find themselves negotiating about how they will run it in the interim. This could involve one person remaining hands-on while the other person steps aside.

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