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League City Family Law Blog

Researchers find many divorces happen for emotional reasons

Among the main reasons that some Texas coupled are getting a divorce are a lack of communication, a decline in trust or simply growing apart. These were among the reasons cited in a study that appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, prompting researchers to speculate that people are increasingly seeking emotional fulfillment in marriage. In fact, they point out that emotional and psychological reasons may have overtaken behavioral reasons, such as addiction, in prompting divorce.

A lack of love in the marriage was the reason given for a marriage ending by 47% of people. In second place, 44% said poor communication caused their divorce. In third place, people said their marriage ended because of a loss of trust or respect. Some research reports that respect is more important than love in maintaining a healthy marriage. In fourth place, people reported that they no longer shared the same goals or values despite years together.

How to approach social media in a divorce

People in Texas who spend more time on social media might have unhappier marriages. This was the finding of a Boston University study that found a link between social media usage and the quality of marriages. While married and even when contemplating divorce, people should avoid posting negative things about a spouse online. They may want to consider reviewing past posts and privacy settings. They may also want to remove people from the contacts list who are likely to cause problems.

Once the divorce is underway, this policy of discretion should continue. It can be tempting to vent about a spouse, but this is best done to family and friends offline. If a couple is divorcing amicably, they might want to make an agreement about when they will announce it on social media. Parents who are concerned about the privacy of their children may want to include guidelines in divorce paperwork about discussing them or posting their photos on social media.

Taking care of children after a divorce

One of the things Texas parents can do to protect their children after a divorce is to make sure that the children feel loved by their parents and stepparents. They should also be able to feel love for both of their parents and stepparents without having to battle issues of disapproval or guilt for doing so; parents need to avoid discouraging children from demonstrating open affection to a beloved stepparent.

After a divorce, children also have the right to express negative and positive feelings that their parents do not ignore. It is highly likely that the children will have a lot of emotional responses to the divorce, and it is important that their parents provide an environment in which those emotions can be freely expressed and validated.

Child support payments: every state has its own laws

In Texas and across the United States, divorced parents do not always make the same child support payments. In fact, payments vary sharply depending on the state in which the divorced parent resides. For instance, a parent living in one of the Rocky Mountain states pays the lowest child support payments. However, a parent living in the Northeast pays the highest payments. Furthermore, some state laws do not count the divorced mother's income. Child support payments are $100 higher in these states.

According to research conducted by Custody X Change, a move of only 28 miles could change a parent's child support payments significantly. A parent residing in Bennington, Vermont, may need to pay $519. However, a parent residing in neighboring North Adams, Massachusetts, may pay as much as $1,187 in child support payments. A parent residing in Virginia may only pay $402 a month to support their child. Since states make their own legal regulations about child support, each state has different formulas for calculating the payments.

Texas child custody case threatens 40-year-old federal law

A child custody battle involving a Texas foster couple who wish to adopt a Native American child placed in their care has raised questions about the constitutionality of a 40-year-old federal law. The Indian Child Welfare Act requires authorities to give Native American families priority in adoption cases involving Native American children. Congress passed the law to protect Native American communities and culture, but the federal judge who heard the case involving the Texas couple ruled that it was unconstitutional because it was based on race.

That decision is now being appealed, and Native American leaders are worried that other laws put into place to protect their communities could be questioned if it is affirmed. The constitutionality of the ICWA is also being challenged in federal courts by lawsuits filed by the states of Louisiana and Indiana. Many legal experts believe that the issue will eventually be argued before the Supreme Court.

USDA supports SNAP child support cooperation requirements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it supports child support cooperation requirements for people receiving support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often referred to as "food stamps." In order to receive SNAP benefits, the USDA is arguing that states should require SNAP recipients to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts. This can include requiring both custodial and non-custodial parents to make official agreements for child support as part of their eligibility to receive SNAP benefits.

There are around 40 million people across the country that benefit from SNAP. Around 37% of children in single-parent families live in poverty, and one contributing factor is a failure by the non-custodial parents to pay child support. Of course, poverty itself poses a challenge, as poor parents are both far less likely to have a child support order or agreement in place and far more likely to face difficulties in meeting their payment obligations. Studies estimate that there is a nationwide gap of $13.5 billion between what custodial parents should be receiving in child support payments and what they actually receive.

Choosing to dissolve the business during a divorce

Running a business as a married couple is no walk in the park. Owning and running a Texas business can be extremely stressful, even if the business is successful. However, trying to run a successful business while the marriage is falling apart can be even more frustrating, especially if the former couple can no longer work together amicably. At this point, former couples may have to decide if they can continue to run the business together or if one person needs to leave.

In some cases, former couples ultimately decide to dissolve the business. There are still some factors to consider before the dissolution is completed. This is a dividable asset, so the timeline for selling can be important. If the former couple can hold on to the business for a bit longer, they could potentially maximize their profits. If cash flow is a major concern and the business could go under, the former partners may have to sell the business before they are ready.

Female breadwinners may be at risk for divorce

If the wife is the breadwinner in a marriage, it could put a strain on the relationship. In some cases, a relationship may be doomed before a couple is even able to get married if a woman makes more than her significant other. This is in spite of the fact that 38% of wives make more than their husbands according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Harvard study found that couples are 33% more likely to divorce when the women is the primary earner in the relationship. This is partially because attitudes toward a man's role in a marriage have not changed while a woman's role has evolved in recent decades. A Pew study discovered that 40% of respondents felt that it was important for fathers to make money. Furthermore, 75% felt that women in the workplace made it harder for families to raise children.

Remember retirement accounts during a divorce

When going through a divorce, many people are focused on more immediate concerns regarding things like finances and child rearing. This means that potential retirement issues are not given much thought, but divorce can take a toll on retirement assets even if a couple is still relatively young. Texas residents might like to know about some retirement accounts to think about during a divorce.

When dividing retirement accounts during a divorce, a qualified domestic relations order may be needed. This is a relatively complex document, so professional help may be required when dividing assets this way.

The increase in shared child custody

Fathers of today in Texas now have a better chance of getting shared custody of their children after a divorce. According to one law professor, the evolving notions about the father's role in a child's life and social acceptance of divorce are two factors responsible for the higher rate at which family courts are awarding shared custody.

Legal custody is one type of child custody that gives parents complete authority to make decisions regarding their children's religion, education, health care and other aspects of wellbeing. The other type of child custody, residential/physical custody, concerns where the children reside at night.