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Frisco divorce lawyerGetting divorced in Texas changes a lot of things about family life. During the school year, the rigid schedules of school and extracurricular activities often prevent the option of flexibility - and the potential confusion and conflict that can come along with it. But during the summer, the changes that come with a divorce can become more obvious when children are out of school and both children and parents may have more time on their hands. 

If this is your first summer after a divorce, it is important to be prepared for a potentially challenging period. Even if with the best parenting plan, issues with visitation schedules (also known as possession and access schedules) can arise. Here are some tips for Collin County parents managing their first summer break after separation or divorce. 

Maintain Consistency

While the lack of regularity in your children’s schedules may make it tempting to be lax in your parenting agreement, experts say this is not a good idea, especially if you tend to experience a lot of conflict with your spouse. Try to keep a regular schedule and avoid situations that could expose the children to conflict or uncertainty. Consider placing a calendar in a visible location in your home so your children can see upcoming visitation dates and know what to expect. 

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Texas High Asset Divorce LawyerWhen two busy, ambitious people with successful careers and substantial asset ownership get divorced in Texas, special complications can arise due to the more valuable and complex nature of the assets. High net worth individuals, typically defined as owning liquid assets worth between one and five million dollars, generally have a more difficult time negotiating issues like child support, spousal support, and property division. Here are the ways that a high net worth divorce can affect these issues. 

Child Support

Generally, child support is determined using both parents’ net resources and how much time each parent spends with the children. For high-net-worth parents, net resources will include their income after taxes as well as bonuses, income from rental properties, capital gains, dividends, gifts, and more. While there is a cap on the amount of a parent’s net resources that can be considered when setting child support payments, a child’s actual expenses can make payments higher than the typical formula might suggest. 

Spousal Support

Spousal support is common in high net worth divorces because one spouse’s income often vastly exceeds the other spouse’s income, making the lesser-earning spouse financially dependent on the other for sustaining their lifestyle. Spouses can make a contractual agreement about spousal support payments, or a court can set it for them, but spousal support is not automatic and certain eligibility requirements may need to be met in order to qualify. 

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Frisco divorce lawyerDo-it-yourself projects are all the rage right now. Whether it is updating your home, training your new puppy, or even getting divorced, Texans love doing things themselves. Online software makes it possible to get divorced without the help of an attorney for around $500, making DIY divorces appealing to many people. However, as with all DIY projects, getting divorced by yourself is not a foolproof undertaking and mistakes can end up being very costly and difficult to resolve. If you are considering divorce in Collin County, Texas, here are a couple of things to keep in mind before you choose to do it yourself. 

You Could Save Money - But You Might Not 

The most common reason people seek a DIY divorce is that the expenses associated with hiring an attorney may seem overwhelming. However, it is important to note that divorce topics that initially seem simple can become quite complicated upon further investigation. Couples often end up needing to hire their own attorney when they realize negotiating issues like asset division and child custody is more difficult than they thought. If finances are a concern in your Texas divorce, keep in mind that you can often hire an attorney to provide services as needed. That way, you can handle the parts you are comfortable with and still get knowledgeable legal help for the rest. 

Your Divorce Could Go Faster - But an Attorney Is Likely the Fastest Option

Couples seeking a DIY divorce may also believe that filling out and filing paperwork themselves will save them time. However, legal paperwork must be filled out carefully and precisely. Small mistakes can require re-writing and, if you do not live close to a courthouse, you could miss additional time at work when you have to re-submit paperwork. Courthouse clerks are not allowed to provide legal advice, so when you have questions, it can take long, complicated research to ensure you have the answers you need. Alternatively, you could hire an attorney, who has experience in these issues, can answer complex questions right away, and can fill out the paperwork while you do other things. Even if your divorce is uncontested, having an attorney to ensure your agreement is fair and and likely to be approved by a court can save you from wasted trips to a courthouse. 

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shutterstock_556197010.jpgDuring the divorce process, a couple will need to divide multiple different types of marital property. In addition to physical property, spouses will also need to address ownership of financial accounts and other complex assets, including retirement accounts or pensions. When dividing retirement assets, spouses should use a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. Understanding the purpose of these types of orders and the benefits they provide will ensure that spouses can protect their financial interests during the divorce process and in the years to come.

Dividing Funds in Retirement Accounts

For employer-sponsored retirement accounts such as 401Ks, a person will have a certain amount deducted from their income before paying taxes. The money saved, which will grow through investments made by the plan holder, will usually remain in an account until a person reaches retirement age, and they will pay taxes when the funds are withdrawn. 

During their divorce, a couple may agree that some of the funds in a retirement account in one spouse’s name will be withdrawn and transferred to the other spouse. However, simply withdrawing the amount will result in penalties if the account holder has not yet reached retirement age, and taxes will apply to the withdrawal. To avoid this, the court may issue a QDRO that will specify the amount that should be withdrawn and transferred to the other spouse. When a QDRO is provided to the plan holder, penalties and taxes will not apply to withdrawals, and the other spouse can roll the funds over to their own account.

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denton asset division lawyerWhen a couple chooses to end their marriage and get a divorce, disputes related to property division can become complex and contentious. Spouses will be required to divide all of their marital assets and debts, and disagreements about how to do so can be difficult to resolve. However, matters can become even more complicated if one spouse is accused of hiding assets in an attempt to avoid sharing them with the other spouse. In Texas, this is known as “fraud on the community,” and a spouse who is accused of committing this form of fraud may face consequences.

Addressing Issues Related to Hidden Assets

Community property consists of all assets and debts that a couple acquired during their marriage. This property must be divided between the spouses in a manner that is fair, ensuring that each party will have the necessary financial resources going forward. However, there are a variety of ways that a spouse may attempt to conceal assets in hopes that they will not have to share them with the other spouse. Methods of doing so may include:

  • Physically hiding money or property - A spouse may conceal cash in certain locations, such as a safe in their home, a safety deposit box at a bank, or other hiding spots. They may also use marital funds to purchase valuable items such as artwork or jewelry and then undervalue these items during the divorce process.

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