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League City Family Law Blog

Going to trial only option in some divorce cases

People in Texas who are going through a divorce must decide whether to settle or to go to trial. In most cases, the parties may be able to save time and effort by settling, but there are circumstances under which settlement is not a possibility. If it is clear to the parties that their case will not settle, it might make sense to get to it as soon as they can, rather than going through settlement negotiations.

Money is one of the major issues in many divorces, and time has a real dollar cost. The client expends financial resources during the time that he or she works with the attorney, and pays for the court's and judge's time as well. Court costs and attorneys' fees can grow rapidly during a trial. The cost of a case that is settled is generally lower than the cost of a case that goes to trial.

Studies find women less reluctant to seek divorce than men

Despite the stereotype that women are more interested in marriage than men, studies show that they are more likely to seek a divorce. In 2015, research from the American Sociological Association found that in more than two-thirds of divorces, women were the initiators. Women in Texas and around the country may seek a divorce because of a lack of support for their career and an expectation that they will do most of the child care and housework even if they work outside the home.

In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that even when both spouses worked, 20% of men said they did daily housework compared to 49% of women. Furthermore, in 2019, a journal reported on a study of 6,000 couples that found many men became distressed when their wives began making more money than them.

Strategies that help co-parents navigate new challenges

A divorce can cause a lot of pain. Having children makes things even more complicated, especially since parents have to help the child process their pain and still make good parenting decisions. Texas co-parents may be interested in learning some strategies to help them as they navigate through new challenges after a divorce.

Some of the problems that led to the divorce may make it difficult for co-parents to communicate. It may be helpful to use online tools or email to keep conversations documented and peaceful. The last thing a wise co-parent would want to do is use a child as a messenger. This could cause damage to the child and lead to messages being relayed incorrectly.

How an old calendar could assist a parent seeking child custody

Many people instinctively throw away an old calendar. Out with the old and in with the new. However, there is good reason for Texas residents to hold onto an old calendar if they are going to be filing for divorce or custody of their children.

When a person is going through litigation, they may experience brain fog. The countless questions that come from lawyers can leave a person's brain spinning. However, if a person wants to win a custody action, they will be required to replicate their child's health history, schedule and important events in their life. An old calendar can serve as a memory aid and help a parent provide details that can make or break their case.

Why some couples consider drafting a postnuptial agreement

Married individuals in Texas who are considering a financial reset may be interested in learning about a postnuptial agreement. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but it is signed by both spouses during the marriage as opposed to before it. It will protect assets that are accumulated during a marriage in case of future separation or divorce.

There are several scenarios where a postnuptial agreement may prove beneficial for a couple. One situation would be where one of the partners is anticipating receiving a large inheritance. Alternatively, it could be that one of the spouses is not the best at handling money, so the postnuptial agreement could help the couple establish new money routines. It may also be beneficial if a couple owns a business together that has grown to a significant size.

Divorce trends in January

Texas couples who were contemplating ending their marriage in December may go through with it in January. That is because the first month of the year is a notoriously popular time for married couples to call it quits. Studies show divorce filings rise from December to January, and people start searching for 'divorce" on Google more than ever.

Many people in the legal community call January 'divorce month" because so many people file their paperwork at that time. Though there may be some good reasons divorcing spouses choose January, many people think that couples are simply delaying the end of their marriage over the holidays. While families are busy getting together for celebrations, it may not be an ideal time to start the divorce process. Couples with children may also not want to let the kids know about the divorce until after Christmas.

How prenups can benefit engaged couples

While most couples in Texas like to focus on the excitement surrounding an engagement, it is also necessary to focus on the pragmatic side of the pending marriage. In order to ensure that both parties are on the same page regarding issues that could arise during the marriage or in case of a divorce, they need to discuss finances. Drawing up a prenuptial agreement before they tie the knot can be helpful for both parties.

Prenuptial agreements can address a variety of matters. They typically lay out how assets and liabilities would be divided if the couple decided to divorce. It can prevent a lot of frustration and expense. It will set rules that both individuals feel are fair as opposed to leaving decisions about how assets will be distributed up to a judge. Even if a couple decides that a prenuptial agreement is not right for them, they should understand how not having one would affect them in case they divorce.

How divorce impacts a person's finances

A divorce may cause emotional pain, and for women in Texas, the financial ramifications may be even more significant. This is because the typical woman makes 81% of what a typical man makes in a given year. Furthermore, women are more likely than men to obtain custody of their children. However, there are steps that individuals of either gender can take to ensure that they are as financial secure as possible before, during and after a divorce.

Prior to getting divorced, it can be a good idea to gather bank, credit card and other financial statements. Individuals may also want to open bank accounts that only they know about so that they have money to pay for their divorce. If possible, they close all joint accounts to ensure that the other spouse isn't able to accumulate new debt that both parties to a marriage could be responsible for.

Pros and cons of a strategic divorce

Some couples in Texas might wonder whether they would benefit from what is sometimes called a "strategic divorce." In a strategic divorce, a couple splits on paper in order to save on taxes or to help one spouse qualify for Medicaid. A divorce could also mean that there is more financial aid available for a child's college education. However, there are a number of potential drawbacks.

In many marriages, both spouses are insured through one spouse's health insurance benefits. A divorce could mean having to pay thousands of dollars in insurance premiums. A spouse who does not work outside the home would also lose the ability to get retirement contributions in an IRA. Furthermore, while a spouse must sign a waiver to allow someone else to be named the beneficiary on a 401(k), after a divorce, this is no longer necessary. Even in an amicable arrangement, there might still be a danger that after a major conflict, the ex-spouse could be removed as beneficiary. The couple might also be required to split a retirement account using a document called a qualified domestic relations order.

Setting boundaries with a difficult co-parent after divorce

Texas parents who have been through a divorce may face further challenges if they have a difficult co-parent. Unfortunately, divorce does not always mean an end to conflict, particularly when parents may need to maintain some kind of a relationship for years. However, there are steps a parent can take to set boundaries with the other parent if necessary.

In some cases, one parent may manipulate the other one into arguments. It is not possible to control another person's actions, so parents must learn to manage their own. They should recognize the patterns they tend to fall into in these cases and refuse to engage. They should also keep in mind that they can wait to respond or not respond at all to the other parent. Communication can be limited to matters involving the children. Parents may also want to think about blocking an ex-spouse on social media and only agreeing to communicate in one way. For example, they might use only email. There are also online portals and other software available to facilitate and document communication between divorced parents.