Making Sense of Divorce

For Texas couples who are just embarking on the often-draining journey of divorce, it might be confusing at the outset. Divorce may seem like a simple parting of ways, but in marriages with children, shared property, or unequal incomes, there’s plenty of work to be done. While divorces often have varying degrees of lawyer involvement, which may depend on the couple’s willingness to work together, many of them share the steps of property division, child custody decisions, and consideration of alimony.

Property division is often a very involved step in the divorce process. Texas is a community property state, and accordingly, unless the couple has come to an agreement on its own, the court will divide the marital property equally between the two parties. Gifts made to one spouse and inheritances received during the marriage are usually not counted as community property.

Child custody decisions tend to be emotionally fraught unless the parents agree on a custody plan that also meets the best interests of the child as determined by the court. In some cases, usually, those where the parents indicate that they are able to have a working relationship, joint custody may be appropriate. Alimony may also be court-ordered. Generally, alimony must be paid if one spouse has a much higher income and the other needs some financial help. Alimony may be terminated once the receiving spouse is found to be cohabiting with a new partner.

For those who are uncertain about what divorce will entail, it may be helpful to talk to a lawyer who has experience in negotiating these matters. A lawyer may be able to offer advice and help make divorce go as smoothly as possible for the client.

Source: Nerd Wallet, “Divorce: Making Sense of the Confusion“, J. Kevin Stophel, June 03, 2014.

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