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San Antonio Family Law Blog

Refinancing offers benefits after divorce

For many married couples, the marital home is their biggest asset. Thus, not paying sufficient attention to this asset during a divorce proceeding can be a major mistake. Refinancing following divorce in Texas may be beneficial for a couple of reasons.

First, refinancing can help to protect the credit of the spouse who has chosen to give up the home and take a share of the home's equity instead. This is important because in the lender's eyes, the spouse who no longer lives in the home is still liable for the mortgage unless the home is sold, the mortgage is paid off or the home is refinanced in the other spouse's name. Coming off of a home's title is not the same as coming off of its mortgage.

Divorce has impact on retirement planning

The process of getting divorced in Texas can be difficult for both emotional and financial reasons. The financial side of divorce may especially be intimidating for those who are about to enter their retirement years. However, some tips may help them to protect their best interests when dealing with divorce-related financial matters that impact their golden years.

First, reviewing options for claiming Social Security is important when navigating a late-in-life divorce. For divorced spouses, the benefits received from Social Security are not considered assets that can be divided in divorce court. Instead, for those who have been married for at least 10 years and who are at least 62 years old, they can collect benefits based on the records of the former spouse, even after getting divorced.

Divorce dispute may involve family home

The process of dissolving a marriage is hardly a pretty one. This is especially the case for spouses who cannot find common ground in areas such as asset division. However, the proper information may help to reduce anxiety as well as expedite the divorce process in Texas.

One of the biggest sources of conflict during divorce is the family home. The wife is usually the one who wishes to stay in the home due to her emotional connection to it. For instance, the children were raised there, or it is in a strong school zone. However, keeping up with the mortgage payments on one's own may be a challenge, especially if the other spouse was the primary or sole breadwinner.

Specific steps may help to make divorce process more manageable

Although life may feel effortless at the beginning of a romance, it can quickly become a challenging ordeal if two spouses decide to finally split up due to irreconcilable differences. Tempers can easily run high, particularly if the two spouses cannot see eye to eye on certain divorce matters. A few tips might help them to navigate the divorce process easily in Texas.

First, disclosing assets early on is important. In some divorce cases, spouses are tempted to hide their assets in an effort to keep the other party from enjoying them following the divorce. The problem with this is that if the court later learns that not all property was disclosed during the divorce proceeding, it can toss the deceptively created divorce decree, making it essentially null and void. The spouses will then have to return to court to handle their affairs all over again -- and this can occur even years after they thought that everything had been finalized.

Evaluating practice can be tricky for doctors during divorce

For highly paid professionals in Texas who own their own businesses, such as doctors, who are going through the dissolution of a marriage, the most important matter to consider is their practices' value. Many doctors in particular belong to group practices or partnerships today. A few tips may help them to protect their best interests when dealing with property division during divorce.

Several factors are important to consider when dealing with a high-value asset such as a medical practice. For instance, how the practice was funded, whether it was established during or before the owner's marriage, and whether stock was issued to participants are all essential questions to ask. The answers to these questions affect the practice's value.

Entrepreneurship can complicate divorce

For entrepreneurs in Texas who are married, their businesses may very well be their largest assets. If an entrepreneur's spouse desires a piece of his or her business in their divorce settlement, being sharp-eyed regarding its future growth potential and value is critical. Likewise, being cognizant of the business' debts or liabilities is important.

Obtaining a valuation of the business is an essential step in property division during a divorce proceeding. A forensic accountant may be necessary to pinpoint missing financial information before an appraiser provides a final valuation. Then, once an appraiser determines a business' value, the assets can be divided. However, figuring out whether to sell the business or split the business up can be complicated.

Achieving a smooth divorce is possible

Going through the marital dissolution process in Texas can be stressful for a number of reasons. However, one of the biggest areas of contention during divorce is finances. A few tips may help one to experience as smooth of a divorce process as possible.

First, creating a budget for the post-divorce period is critical. Both a spouse who was dependent on the other party financially during the marriage and the spouse who was the primary breadwinner will face different financial situations following their separation. Thus, new individual budgets are necessary to account for these changes.

Child custody may be decided in court or outside of court

Deciding who should get custody of the children following a marital split-up in Texas can be an emotionally overwhelming process. Naturally, both parents may desire for the children to live with them. A few tips may help with navigating a divorce proceeding involving child custody.

First, if two divorcing parents are able to find common ground, they may benefit from going through a process such as mediation. With mediation, they can work together to create a parenting agreement that reflects both of their wishes in addition to the desires of the children. Collaborative divorce is another process that allows parents to come up with an agreement they both like, with the help of a team of experts that includes counselors, for example.

Choosing whether to divorce the home, too, can be tricky

Once two spouses decide to get divorced in Texas, one of the biggest decisions they must make is what to do with their shared home. If they own the residence, one individual will likely be moving out of it. Alternatively, they may decide to sell the home and both move out as part of the divorce.

If a divorcing couple decides to sell their home, in some cases, they decide to sell the home a lot later. This often happens if they have children and thus agree that selling the house right away would not be beneficial. If losing the house would impact the children, the parents may simply decide to let the parent with custody of the children stay in the house and then split the equity when the home is sold at a later date.

Collaborative divorce offers some benefits

When the dissolution of a marriage in Texas is unavoidable, it is natural to feel anxious and fearful about going through the process. After all, if two spouses cannot get along, the divorce process can be hostile and unpleasant. However, it is possible to dissolve a marriage in a relatively amicable way thanks to an alternative to traditional litigation know as collaborative divorce.

In collaborative divorce, two spouses work together to achieve a resolution in a manner that is results oriented and positive. The two spouses come to an agreement on all of the details and reach a resolution without ever having to enter a courtroom. They begin the process by both signing a contract and vowing to be upfront with all of the necessary paperwork and finances.

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