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Refinancing the marital home can be difficult following divorce

For those getting divorced in Texas or elsewhere, solidifying their main goals early on is critical. One primary concern for some may be to keep the family home. However, retaining ownership of the marital home after divorce can sometimes be tricky.

A spouse who wants to keep the family home may benefit from refinancing so that the home is in his or her name alone. However, many issues and pitfalls may arise when trying to refinance the house. For instance, the majority of banks require spousal support to have been received for at least six months before they count it as part of the spouse's total income. The income figure is instrumental in determining whether he or she can refinance.

When divorce is envitable, protecting finances is essential

At times, continuing in a marriage can be difficult, and when it becomes impossible, getting divorced is the only option. Individual decisions, unforeseen events and even time can all lead spouses to make the decision to get a divorce. A few tips may help those navigating this type of family law proceeding in Texas.

First, immediately protecting one's finances and credit is paramount. After all, a future ex still maintains control over the other party's financial health directly after the decision to get a divorce has been made. An important step in protecting finances is to create a new car insurance policy that is not linked to the other party. This offers protection from the fallout of possible tickets or accidents.

When you have concerns about international custody

Custody disputes can create a lot of stress for Texas parents in the process of a divorce. If you also have worries about potential international issues, you may deal with a whole other set of legal questions.

When one parent lives or travels outside of the United States, the other parent may fear that he or she will take the children out of the country permanently. Getting them back can mean dealing with the legal systems of various countries. The Hague Convention provides a mechanism for systems in signatory countries to cooperate with one another to facilitate the return of children to their rightful residence.

Uncontested divorce offers many advantages

If getting a divorce is inevitable in Texas, the best situation is for both parties to be on the same page about the need for divorce. It can also be helpful if the two spouses are generally in agreement on how to handle potentially contentious matters such as asset distribution, child support, child custody and spousal support. In this scenario, it is possible to file for an uncontested divorce.

An uncontested divorce involves streamlined court procedures, which thus saves money and time. Another major advantage of uncontested divorces is that these types of proceedings can help to foster less conflict between the two parties getting divorced because they offer fewer chances for conflict to erupt. The two parties do not have to make as many demands for information from each other, and fewer proceedings are needed to resolve disputes.

3 reasons you should begin estate planning now

You may associate estate planning as something meant for those who are wealthy, old or terminally ill. While very relevant in these situations, it is better to make these end-of-life decisions now, no matter your circumstances.

You never know when it will be your time to go. Prepare now to protect your children, ensure your wishes for medical care and prevent disputes among your family members.

Understanding ancillary probate in Texas

Dividing and distributing property after a loved one’s death can be a stressful and complex undertaking. This is certainly true if the decedent owned extensive assets or failed to clearly establish a will. Either way, the estate may enter probate court, where representatives will be appointed to notify heirs, record an estate inventory, pay any debts and execute the appropriate property transference.

This process can become even more complicated when it involves property the decedent owned in different states. In such cases, ancillary probate may be applicable, and there are several things everybody should know about this process and its implications for estates in Texas.

Finances can be tricky to untangle in divorce

During the dissolution of a marriage in Texas, financial decisions can easily become complicated in light of the emotional challenges associated with a marital split-up. Even when a divorce proceeding starts out as a seemingly amicable one, it can quickly escalate into an emotionally charged, drawn-out battle. One area where making clearheaded decisions is especially important, however, is credit accounts.

First, having an independent identity in terms of credit is paramount. Getting copies of one's credit reports and reviewing them can help with understanding all accounts one has. Some accounts might be individual accounts, whereas others may be joint accounts. Perhaps one spouse is simply an authorized user on the other party's account. If individual credit accounts are lacking, applying for these accounts as soon as possible is important while joint income can still be used to qualify for them.

Divorce may impact retirement plans

Among adults in the United States, including in Texas, who are 50 years old or older, the rate of the dissolution of marriages is nearly two times what it was in the 1990s. That means more spouses calling it quits right before their golden years. A couple of tips may help those getting a divorce in their later years to protect themselves financially.

Gathering information about all retirement savings is essential early on in the divorce process. After all, this information will help to provide a big picture about how much money has been saved for retirement and what accounts/plans feature them. For instance, individual retirement accounts, 403(b) accounts, 457 accounts, 401(k) plans and pensions can all be sources of retirement income, and all need to be split during divorce.

Child custody disagreement can spark various emotions in children

Divorce is an emotional roller coaster that sparks varying emotions in those going through it. Even as parents in Texas struggle with anger and frustration when dealing with matters such as child custody, the children can also deal with anxiety and sadness. In some cases, the children try to hide their feelings, but their feelings will end up manifesting themselves in one way or another.

Even though divorce can be emotionally challenging to navigate, parents going through a breakup can help their children by trying to avoid blaming each other in front of the kids. If they feel that they need to criticize the other person, doing this with a therapist or a friend -- not at home -- may be helpful. When children hear their parents gripe about each other, they naturally feel as though the parents expect them to pick sides.

Estate planning when there are estrangement issues/no heirs

Many people in San Antonio believe that they must have good relationships with their loved ones or have children to benefit from estate planning. Instead of taking the time to write their wills and provide instructions as to how to handle their finances, health care and other important issues if they become incapacitated, they neglect them. You do not need to have a great relationship with your family members or have any children to enjoy the peace of mind and benefits that estate plans bring.

Here is a brief overview of how you can tackle estate planning when you and your loved ones are not on good terms and if you do not have any heirs.

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
310 South St. Mary's Street
Suite 2500
San Antonio, TX 78205

Phone: 210-272-7034
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