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El Paso Law Blog

Second marriages and prenups

Texas residents who are getting remarried in their 50s or 60s may find that completing a prenuptial agreement may be in their best interest. People who get remarried later in life are likely to have accumulated homes, retirement assets and businesses. They may also have children from a previous marriage for whom they would like to ensure will receive assets that are intended for them if the new marriage ends in divorce.

People who use a prenup for a second marriage can detail how they will support themselves financially throughout the marriage. Also, a plan can be included for when retirement assets are to be used. The responsibility for paying for household expenses can also be detailed in the prenup and can be proportional to each spouse's assets or income. The in-depth discussions and the written commitment in the prenup regarding these issues can be very helpful for couples.

Receiving or paying large alimony amount is an option in Texas

Figuring out the financial aspects of a divorce can be tricky whether you have several high-value assets or a modest number of assets. However, your situation can quickly become complicated if you or the other party will end up paying alimony.

If you are the one who will have to pay alimony, you may understandably feel worried about how much of a financial toll this will take on you month after month in the years ahead. Meanwhile, if you will receive alimony, you might have concerns that you will not get the full amount to which you are entitled each month. One way of addressing these concerns is to opt for a large payment of alimony during your divorce proceeding in Texas.

College expenses and divorce

Parents in Texas should be aware that getting a divorce can impact how they handle financing their children's college education. However, if they plan carefully, they can make sure that their children are able to pursue their higher education dreams after a divorce.

One certified divorce financial analyst states that the best time for parents to plan on how to deal with paying for their children's college is while they are still married. Once the divorce process starts, planning for college can be significantly more difficult as there is likely to be fewer financial assets available.

About the child's best interest standard

Texas parents who are in child custody disputes should be aware that the decisions courts make regarding child custody are based on what is in the best interest of the children. This standard means that the custody arrangement that will be ordered will best address the needs of the children. There are multiple factors that will be considered by the court before a decision is made, and they in some cases vary from state to state.

Usually, the court will consider any evidence that pertains to parenting ability. The parent who is requesting custody will have to be able to adequately address the emotional and physical needs of the children. These needs include shelter, medical care, loving support, food, clothing and overall parental guidance. The mental and physical well-being of the parents are also factored in when the type of custody arrangement that is best for the children is being decided. Consistency is another important factor that the family court will evaluate. The ideal arrangement will provide the best chances for the children to have consistent routines regarding living arrangements, child care, school and access to extended family members.

Divorces on the rise among older couples

In general, divorce rates in Texas and other parts of the country have fallen off over the years. The one big exception to this trend is with older couples. So-called "gray divorces" have more than doubled over the past 25 years. And it's not just older couples in second marriages experiencing this phenomenon. In fact, more than half of all older-couple splits involve individuals who were married for 20 years or more.

As for why gray divorce rates are on the rise, there are a number of possible contributing factors. For some older spouses, the sense of happiness and fulfillment is more important today then it was when they were first wed. The stigma attached to divorce is also disappearing. And women no longer have as much incentive to stay in a bad marriage for economic reasons because of increased opportunities and options. Plus, the increased acceptance of online dating has likely played a role in the ability of older couples to seek better relationships.

How divorce works with military members in Texas

Getting a divorce when one or both spouses are in the military can present some unique challenges. If one spouse is on active duty and stationed overseas, the process may take a lot longer than usual. Since there are different divorce laws in Texas than there are in California, where a military spouse is stationed when separating also matters. In some states, there are relaxed residency requirements.

Military couples should learn as much as they can about the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act before going through a divorce. Military guides explain that states get to decide issues related to child and spousal support, custody and a variety of other issues. The USFSPA does provide some important exceptions related to asset division, including the classification of retiree pay as property.

Community property law applies in Texas

After much deliberation, you are finally parting ways your spouse, and the freedom you feel could not be more refreshing. At the same time, you worry about who will end up with various assets.

The state of Texas is a community property state, which means that it approaches property division differently from most other states during a divorce proceeding. Here is a look at what you and your future ex can expect when it comes to dividing your property in the Lone Star State.

How to divorce strategically

Wealthy individuals in Texas and throughout the country need to be strategic when it comes to their divorce. Ideally, they will have a set of priorities as to how the divorce unfolds. For instance, it is generally a good idea for former spouses to not talk poorly about each other at work. This may limit the chances that others will as well. It is important to consider the impact of a divorce on a business.

It is possible that a divorce could cause a CEO to become less productive or less likely to take risk. If shares of the company are sold because of the end of a marriage, it could mean a CEO has less control over his or her organization. Typically, divorce cases are settled out of court. Settlements are common because they can be handled in private and at a lower cost compared to a trial.

How differences in looks can affect marriage stability

Some men in El Paso married to women who are significantly more attractive than they are may be more helpful to and attentive toward their wives than men whose wives are less attractive, but this still might not be enough to save their marriage. However, if the man and woman were friends for some time before starting a relationship, the impact of disparity in attractiveness tends to disappear. These are among the findings of several studies that have looked at the relationship between the success of a marriage and the attractiveness of the couple.

According to an article in "Psychology Today," significant disparities in attractiveness can eventually lead to divorce. One study found that women who considered their spouses less attractive were also less committed to the relationship and more likely to flirt with other men. Another study found that the issue was not with the commitment level of the more attractive partner but with jealousy from the partner who was less attractive.

What to do with the house after the divorce

Couples in El Paso who are engaged in divorce negotiations likely have assets that they can easily divide. Other assets, such as the house that they co-own, are not as easy to divide. Of course, the option exists to sell the home and divide the profits, but one of the two spouses may have an emotional attachment to the home. Alternately, there may be a child involved, so for the sake of continuity in the child's life, parents may decide it's best to let one of the parents stay in the home.

Just because one of the spouses ends up with the home does not necessarily mean that they are in the best financial position. For example, the house may have a mortgage payment and utility payments that were easily manageable when there were two salaries. After the divorce, there may now only be one salary, making a once affordable house an expensive burden.


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