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Houston Divorce And Family Law Blog

Wills and trusts allow one to plan for end of life

From the time a person starts school in Texas plans are being made for the future. Parents work for their children to have a better life and a chance at a promising career. The children begin planning for careers as they mature and begin to consider college and future plans. If people put as much thought into planning wills and other components for the end of their lives, they would be able to enjoy life and retirement with true peace of mind.

The stories of Aretha Franklin and Prince are by now familiar in that they passed away without having an estate plan in place, resulting in drawn-out legal proceedings to settle their large estates. There are certain steps that can be taken that will help ensure that one's final wishes are carried out. In addition to having an up-to-date will, appropriate life insurance can help provide income for a family. This may be particularly important when children are young. Regarding insurance and other accounts, make sure that beneficiary information is up to date as beneficiary designations are typically not superseded by instructions in a will.

Successful child custody arrangements are achievable

Divorce is seldom a simple process in Texas or anywhere else. When children are involved, the situation can become much more stressful and solutions more difficult to achieve. This can be particularly true where child custody is involved. The custody arrangement will almost definitely require contact with an ex-spouse, and that can be a challenging situation. One should always keep in mind the best interest of his or her child, and maintaining a civil relationship can simplify the situation.

There are some other measures that can be taken in an attempt to ease the stress that may be involved in sharing custody of one's children. It is important to always be respectful when speaking to or about the other parent in the children's presence. Studies have shown that children do best when maintaining a loving and respectful relationship with both parents.

Taking the "battle" out of a child custody battle

Going through a divorce comes with many challenges. When you put children into the mix, things tend to get even more complicated. Perhaps you are like other Houston parents in that you fear handling your child custody issues will turn into an all-out battle.

Some parents may have to go that route due to the nature of their relationship or some other circumstance that makes it necessary. However, if you are able, you could get through coming to a custody agreement and creating a parenting plan without feeling as though you went through a war.

Remember your estate plan when you divorce

If you are like a lot of people who get divorced in Texas, you may find the whole experience a bit overwhelming at times. This is completely understandable. Ending your marriage ultimately impacts every facet of your life and you will find yourself making decision after decision. In this situation, it can be all too easy to overlook some of the things that could benefit from your attention. Your estate plan is one of these things.

As explained by Forbes, there are some parts of your estate plan that you must keep on hold until your divorce decree is signed and finalized. There are some things, however, that you can do to update your plans as soon as you have separated from your spouse. Updating your health care advance directive and your durable power of attorney can be done at any time and it is recommended you do this sooner rather than later.

Is your spouse hiding assets?

As a person getting a divorce in Texas, you should understand that there are certain risks that couples with higher assets face that others don't. Some may be quite unexpected as well, such as the increased possibility of a spouse attempting to hide assets. While this is illegal, that doesn't stop people from doing it.

The Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) takes a look at some potential signs that a spouse may be hiding assets. These signs typically manifest in behavioral or habit changes. For example, a spouse may become more irritable when questioned about finances. They may refuse to share things that were previously open between the two of you, such as receipts or deposit slips. They may become more furtive, sneaky, or generally act in a secretive way.

Working out divorce arguments with mediators

Texan couples that have decided to split up will likely have a number of issues to work through during the divorce process. Because of how high tensions can rise when handling custody, alimony, or other such matters, couples may benefit from the aid of a divorce mediator.

What is a mediator, exactly? Encyclopedia.com states that they are a neutral third party whose job is to create a bridge of understanding between two or more additional parties. In terms of divorce, it is the mediator's job to facilitate discussion between everyone and ensure that the outcomes are acceptable by both halves of a couple. They can help do this by asking clarifying questions when necessary, requesting information to be repeated, and ensuring that one party is not talking over the other. They can also provide valuable input that is free from any bias from either side.

Adult children and their role in divorce

All across Texas, the number of "silver splitters" is on the rise. They are people in their retirement years who decide to get a divorce. However, what many of them don't consider the impact that their divorce can have on their adult children.

As the New York Times states, it's never too old for a child to be hurt by a parent's divorce. Adult children tend to be expected to handle a split better simply by virtue of no longer being young children. But while they may understand divorce better than their younger counterparts, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be easier for them to handle it in actuality. In fact, some early studies have shown that adult children may have a harder time adapting to changes. This is possibly because their family dynamics have been the same for a longer period of time.

Situations in which child support can be modified

When parents in Texas divorce, one parent will likely be called upon to make child support payments. While these payments can be crucial for supporting one's child, they can also potentially become a problem if the person paying support ends up with a changed financial situation. What do you do in those cases?

FindLaw examines the option of child support modification. This is the act in which child support orders are modified due to a change in financial circumstances. There can be many different reasons to request a modification. Most have to do with the supporting parent losing income in some way. This could mean that they lost their job or were demoted. In rare cases, the supporting parent may have gotten arrested. They may be a member of the military, navy or air force and were relocated elsewhere. They may have even married and formed a new family that they now must now support.

Avoiding common mistakes in your divorce

If you are heading toward divorce, the chances are good that you can look back over your marriage and identify mistakes you have made. Perhaps those mistakes contributed to the breakup, or maybe they simply made things difficult for you and your spouse. No matter the case, in hindsight you would probably avoid those mistakes if you could.

The same may be true for your divorce. It is far better to avoid the mistakes in the first place than it is to look back with regret. Some mistakes in a divorce can complicate the proceedings or leave you struggling for years after the divorce is final.

How estate planning benefits blended families

If you have been divorced or widowed and found a new partner, you certainly have many reasons to be happy about your future. Many people in Texas are able to move forward with a new marriage and create the life they have long dreamed of. However, before you walk down the aisle and say, "I do" yet again, you should make sure that your long-term plans are in order. A good estate plan is a must for remarried spouses, especially when one or both partners has children from their prior marriages.

Forbes explains that in lieu of a will or trust that clearly outlines what you might want your children or grandchildren to inherit, everything might go to your spouse if you die first. Regardless of what verbal agreements the two of you have made, your spouse could make different decisions once you have passed away. Many things could factor into this happening and you would not be able to predict these nor prevent their decisions.

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Houston, TX 77014

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