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Fort Worth Family Law Blog

Social media could be invaluable during a divorce

Social media activity has been known to result in complications when Texas couples get divorced. One spouse may attempt to use their ex's posts or photos against them to get custody, spousal support or additional property. However, when used responsibly, social media could benefit someone while they go through the divorce process.

Social media connects like-minded people who may never meet each other in person. Divorce can be stressful; few people experience it more than twice in their lifetime, so it's not uncommon to have a lot of questions. By connecting with others who have faced a similar situation, people who are getting divorced may be able to get the support they need as well as answers to their pressing questions.

Divorced parents and long-distance bonding with children

Texas parents who are divorced and who live a long distance from their children might wonder how they can keep their bonds strong. While they may have less time with their children, they can focus on ensuring that the time they do have is quality. This means their time together should be mostly one-on-one time. This is not the time to introduce the child to people the parent is casually dating. Only once a relationship is serious should these introductions happen, and even then, parents should prioritize their visiting children.

Parents may have regular phone time scheduled with their children, but they can call outside those times as well. They can also use postcards or email, text and social media to send messages to their children. These messages should be positive or ask questions about specific things in the child's life, such as how they did on a test at school.

How divorce impacts business assets

When business owners in Texas get divorced, they may be putting the future of their companies at risk. This is because a spouse may obtain a portion of the company or its assets as part of a final divorce settlement. If a company has multiple owners, everyone's future could be influenced by the outcome of a divorce even if they aren't directly involved in it. One way to avoid a potential disaster is to have a buy-sell agreement.

A buy-sell agreement allows an owner to be bought out for a specified price in the event of a divorce. The agreement may also dictate whether a former spouse is allowed to own a share of the company or have other rights. Having a plan in place ahead of time may allow business owners to concentrate on running their companies during the divorce process.

How can a parent help a teenager cope with divorce?

Parents who are going through divorce often worry about the effects the change will have on their children. Each child may have a unique reaction to the news, but there are also some trends within various age groups.

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers may show regressive behaviors, and grade-school children may lash out against the world. However, it can be difficult for parents to determine when a teenager’s behavior is a reaction to their parents' divorce and when it is typical teen moodiness.

A few signs a marriage is in danger

While divorce may come as a relief for some unhappy spouses in Texas, the decision to split up is usually not so easy. However, there are a couple of red flags that indicate a marriage is headed for divorce.

When a couple stays together simply because they feel it is better for the children, they often have disrespectful, combative and unhealthy attitudes toward each other. These relationships often end in divorce when the kids grow up and move out. While divorce is not the solution for all couples, the children should not be the main tie that keeps them together.

Planning for the future after divorce

People going through divorce in Texas may struggle with difficult times. The emotional, practical and financial consequences of the end of a marriage can lead to depression, uncertainty and isolation. Even though divorce is almost always a challenge, there are a number of steps that people can take in order to help themselves move forward and get through a difficult time. The period after divorce offers a chance for a fresh start, and that new beginning can be hopeful and positive for many people.

The financial aspects of a divorce can be some of the most significant. After all, property division can have a major impact on people's bank accounts, investment funds and retirement plans. People may be tempted to be more reckless financially after ending a challenging marriage. However, the immediate post-divorce period can be a bad time to make financial decisions. It can be a good time, however, to seek out a financial adviser to help people revise their plans and create a new financial vision for a single future.

Texas may let you adopt your steppchildren

It sometimes takes a while for couples to realize one spouse might adopt the other’s children, becoming a stepparent as well as a parent in the eyes of the State of Texas. Occasionally, a blended family with two sets of kids might all become legal parents and children together. Once you see the potential emotional, financial and legal benefits, they can be hard to forget.

But every state presents its own obstacles, requirements and process. Texas does stepparent adoption its own way and, like other states, its rules may or may not turn out to be hurdles that can be cleared in your situation.

Study find happier newlyweds less likely to divorce

When Texas couples consider ending their marriage, they often wind up struggling over issues related to money. Whether they're dealing with retirement funds, the family home or ongoing support, issues over asset division can be some of the most significant in any divorce. After all, the financial effects of a divorce can linger on long after the personal and emotional issues have been resolved years before. Because of the importance of these issues, many people think that finances are a major cause of marital unhappiness and stress. While this may be the case for some people, one study found that other issues were more indicative of future problems,.

Researchers at two universities aimed to look at reasons for marital dissatisfaction and divorce. They noticed that most studies had primarily involved middle-class couples and wanted to look at the potential effects of socioeconomic status on marital satisfaction. Therefore, they identified 431 couples living in a lower-income area to study over several years. Participants received an eight-question survey in 2009 as newlyweds and answered the questions each year until 2014. The researchers found that lower-income couples' happiness was not primarily affected by their income. Instead, the major issue seemed to be how happy they were when first married.

People should avoid assumptions about will happen during divorce

Not every marriage in Texas stands the test of time. Spouses can grow apart and choose to live separate lives. Family law directs the terms of a divorce, but each divorce represents a unique transaction. People should not assume that their child custody arrangement, alimony agreement or division of property will mirror those of other people.

Many men believe that courts will automatically grant child custody to women. This assumption leads some men to avoid asking for custody. The law views the best interests of the children as the highest priority. A father who wants to raise his children or has already been involved in their care has a right to petition for custody.

Financial impact of gray divorces

In Texas, an increasing number of seniors are choosing to get divorced. Divorces after age 50 are called gray divorces, and they have more than doubled since 1990. These gray divorces can present unique challenges for older adults. Since they are closer to retirement and have potentially amassed substantial assets during marriage, the property division process can be more difficult.

According to a study that was completed by researchers at Bowling Green State University, older couples who get divorced often see their household wealth decrease by half. Older women who get divorced experience financial declines that are nine times greater than married wives.

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