Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

San Antonio Law Blog

Pros and cons of latest child custody arrangement: Bird nesting

Bird nesting is a living arrangement that is gaining popularity among couples with children, and who have gotten divorced in Texas and elsewhere around the country. Simply put, the couple maintains a single home in which the children live, while the parents alternate who stays with them. A new sitcom called "Splitting Up Together," airing on national television, shines a comedic light on this unconventional child custody arrangement. However, before immediately agreeing to bird nesting, experts have highlighted some potential positive and negative aspects of the situation for couples to consider.

One potential benefit of the situation involves the value of the home. If a couple decides to keep the family home, it is likely to appreciate in value over time. However, proponents of the arrangement believe the children are the biggest beneficiaries. By being able to remain in their homes, they do not have to go through the potential trauma of moving. This allows something in the children's lives to stay the same while other things around them may be changing rapidly.

Shared parenting is often optimal solution for child custody

When a couple from Texas or anywhere around the nation decides to end their marriage, the parties involved are faced with many decisions. While many of these decisions are rooted in financial matters, child custody issues quickly become the major focus in the deliberations if the couple has children together. Many family experts are advocating a move away from the traditional custody arrangements and are more often suggesting shared parenting arrangements.

In the past, courts most often granted primary custody to one parent, and the other parent had some form of visitation rights. Typically, the primary parent was the mother, leaving the father with visits every other weekend and holiday. However, this arrangement is not ideal for the children, according to child advocates.

Did you forget to add your digital assets to your estate plans?

When it comes to estate planning in San Antonio, many people think they only need to worry about their physical possessions and money. Individuals who made their estate plans years before the Internet existed might not realize how crucial it is for them to update their estate plans to include digital assets

Gone are the days when everything was immortalized on paper and stored in physical files. Most transactions that happen in this day and age take place online. Do not assume that your loved ones will be able to access your financial and personal accounts if you do not give them permission, nor leave your log in details behind for them. Consider the following suggestions to keep your family from becoming stressed and frustrated while they should be grieving:

Divorce and the art of building a strong support team

Ending a marriage is typically an emotional and challenging process, regardless of how amicable it is. Anyone in Texas who is in the throes of divorce will likely soon realize that this is not a process to tackle without support. However, choosing one's support team requires careful consideration. Knowing that the necessary team members are there to help can alleviate the stress and anxiety typically associated with divorce.

While family, friends and acquaintances are usually keen to provide advice, it is typically based on what they experienced in their own divorces. They might mean well, but what many don't realize is that no two divorces are the same, and when it comes to legal advice, it is best provided by experienced legal counsel. Loved ones can provide the much needed moral support that is also essential.

Military divorce rate statistics published by the Pentagon

When a couple in Texas or elsewhere around the country decide to end a marriage, it can be a traumatic experience for those involved. If it is a military divorce, there may be a host of additional issues to address during the process. The Pentagon recently released data from 2017 regarding divorce statistics in the armed services.

For the past four years, the divorce rate among all service members has remained around 3 percent. For 2017, the rate was 3.1 percent, slightly lower than the 3.2 percent rate for 2016. The Defense Manpower Data Center determines the rate by using the number of married troops at the beginning of a fiscal year versus the number of divorces during the same period.

Claiming children as dependents following a divorce

As the deadline for filing federal income taxes grows closer, many Texas residents and others around the nation are scrambling to gather their information and complete the process. Everyone is always looking for ways to reduce the amount owed to the Internal Revenue Service. For those couples who have gone through a divorce, one major issue that must be resolved is who will claim the children as dependents on the tax return.

Claiming dependents can obviously can a major effect on a person's taxes. In some cases, both ex-spouses may try to claim a child on a tax return. This can create difficulties for all parties involved.

Child custody: How the end of a marriage might affect the kids

When a married couple decides to take separate paths in life, they may face a variety of difficult decisions, each of which could have an impact on their future. When children are involved, parents in Texas and elsewhere may wish to safeguard their kids by seeking an acceptable child custody agreement. While looking to their future might be important, parents may also find it essential to consider how the process of divorce could affect their kids, and they must determine how best to address any issues they experience.

The end of a marriage can be a stressful life event for all parties involved. However, for kids, a similar experience could be more difficult to process. The issues a child may encounter during this period can range anywhere from feelings of guilt or blame to emotional concerns such as depression and anxiety. In some cases, a child could also view divorce as a personal loss, perhaps feeling as though he or she will no longer have access to one parent.

How divorce after age 50 may affect finances

Planning for retirement is a task undertaken by many Texas residents and others around the country. Years and years are spent considering one's financial needs when the decision is made to leave the workforce after many years. Married couples certainly make these plans and decisions together. However, when a couple decides to divorce, retirement plans can potentially be thrown for a loop.

A certified public accountant and author references the term "gray divorce" to define those couples ending their marriages after age 50. She states that it is difficult for couples to begin having expenses for two separate households after taking care of finances together for so many years. A national research company reports that the divorce rate has doubled for those over 50 in the past two decades. Given this increase and the implications of divorcing at a later age, experts suggest working closely together to ensure that both parties come out of the split on solid financial footing.

Why you should consider leaving trusts to your adult kids

If you have adult children in the San Antonio area you want to leave an inheritance to, you might want to think twice about it. Your children are not as mature as you are. Also, they might not be as financially responsible as you would like them to be. It took you years to accumulate your wealth. If you do not want to entertain the possibility of your loved ones squandering it away, you should consider leaving their inheritances in trusts

Your loved ones may have certain ideas about what they plan to do with their inheritances. Their choices may not be in the best interest of wealth preservation. Here are a few reasons why you might want to put their inheritances into trusts for them. 

Pet custody often a contentious topic in a divorce

When a marriage comes to an end, there are countless issues a Texas couple or others around the nation must address. Obviously, if a couple has children, the question of custody is paramount in the deliberations. However, family law experts are beginning to see an increase in a different type of custody battle during a divorce. Couples are now becoming much more vocal about how custody of their pets will be handled.

The National Vital Statistics System report that there are over 800,000 divorce occurring each year in the country. While data is not available on how many divorcing couples have pets, a recent survey indicated that 68 percent of households have a pet. Attorneys are reporting that the issue of pet custody is coming up more frequently in divorce cases. Typically, neither spouse wants to give up spending time with a pet. Therefore, joint custody arrangements are developed.

A TOP-RATED LAW FIRM

At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, we have received a variety of honors and awards for our family law services. Members of our team have been listed as Top Lawyers in San Antonio Scene magazine. We take pride in the number of positive reviews we have received from satisfied clients. On AVVO, a lawyer rating website, we have received an 8.9 rating overall and many positive ratings from clients and colleagues.

  1. Top 10 Attorneys | American Jurist Institute | 2017
  2. Avvo Rating | 8.9 | Excellent
  3. Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2015 | Jamie Lynn Heggy Graham
  4. Reviews | Out of 12 reviews | Jamie Lynn Heggy Graham | Avvo
  5. BBB | A+ Rating
  6. San Antonio | Best S.A. | Lawyers | 2015
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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
310 South St. Mary's Street
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San Antonio, TX 78205

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