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Austin Texas Family Law Blog

The unique challenges of divorcing a servicemember co-parent

Co-parenting after divorce is never without its challenges. However, military families often experience additional complications because of the unique lifestyle that comes with being a servicemember. Divorce can be particularly challenging for the non-military parent.

Developing a parenting plan when one parent is deployed overseas for months at a time can be especially challenging. Even if you have shared custody of your kids, the parent who's in the military may be unable to see, let alone care for, the kids for long stretches of time. You may need to modify your agreement from time to time based on the military parent's assignments.

Yes, a divorce can be amicable and respectful

As a couple who is already struggling with your marriage, something you may be considering is divorce. Together, you fight and argue, and you're both tired of the strain that creates in your lives.

If a divorce is something you're considering, there are some things you will need to think about. To start with, you and your spouse should sit down and talk about how the divorce could impact your finances. Even if you want to divorce, there may be times that are more appropriate to do so, like at the end of a school year or prior to a new tax year.

What divorcing parents can learn from adult children of divorce

If neither you nor your soon-to-be ex grew up with divorced parents, you can't fully understand how your children may feel about their parents splitting up. This is true regardless of how many books and articles you read about healthy co-parenting.

You can gain valuable insights from other adults whose parents were divorced. Although their experience as children of divorce may have been decades ago, children's feelings about their parents breaking up haven't changed significantly over the years.

Inpatient recovery programs and child custody

For many people who are battling drug and/or alcohol addiction, spending time in an inpatient rehabilitation facility is their best chance for getting clean and sober. However, if you're a parent, checking into rehab may mean losing custody of your children -- at least temporarily.

Single parents whose co-parents aren't in the picture or who are unable to provide a temporary home for their kids because they have own issues may need to turn to other trusted family members to take on the responsibility. If they have no one, the state's child services professionals may need to find them a foster home.

Why shared custody is beneficial for infants

The decision to divorce when you have an infant is usually an especially heart-wrenching choice. However, some couples determine that it's best for them and their family to go their separate ways even if they have a new baby.

In the past, it was often assumed that it was best for mothers to have sole custody of an infant. Studies have shown, however, that this isn't necessarily what's best for the baby, and that infants can, in fact, benefit when both their mother and father are involved in their lives.

Achieving a fair divorce settlement as a stay-at-home parent

If you have dedicated your parenting years to raising your children, you will consider this as a full-time job. While it may not earn monetary payment, it is as important as any other work. As a stay-at-home parent, it is likely that you will have depended on your spouse financially while you fulfilled this role. While financial codependency can work very well within a marital unit, problems can arise if one spouse files for divorce.

If you are worried about your financial future after a divorce, it is important that you understand how divorce law applies to stay-at-home parents in Texas. You have the right to be recognized for your household contributions, and you should not have to suffer financially.

How do we raise the kids? Deciding a child's faith amid divorce

When couples of different religious faiths divorce, the decision about in which faith to raise the children may become a point of contention. Even parents who attend services only on major religious holidays and who haven't spent much time passing their faith and its traditions down to their children can suddenly become extremely concerned about their children's religion in divorce. Often, parents who aren't getting primary custody of their kids begin to fear that their kids will grow up solely in their custodial parent's faith.

Regardless of how physical custody is shared, decisions regarding a child's religious upbringing are not affected. Each parent has the absolute right (protected by the U.S. Constitution) to educate their child in the religion of their choice during their times of possession of the child. 

Can you benefit from a certified divorce financial analyst?

As you go through a divorce, you're going to be making financial decisions that could impact you for the rest of your life. Moreover, you have to make these decisions at a time when your emotions are probably all over the place.

Your family law attorney can help you work toward the best possible financial settlement as well as the child custody and support agreements you're seeking. However, it can be helpful to have a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) on your team as well -- particularly if you're dividing significant and/or complex assets and if you haven't been the one in the marriage handling the finances.

Don’t overlook the potential financial implications of divorce

It doesn't matter if you're considering divorce or already moving forward with the process in Austin, your financial situation is likely to take up a lot of space in your head. Regardless of your assets and liabilities, it's critical to have a plan in place for dealing with everything that comes your way.

There are many potential financial implications of divorce, including the following:

  • Children: If you have children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, consider how this will impact your finances. For example, one parent may be required to pay child support to the other. Just the same, there may be questions about who pays for future educational expenses. And that's just the start.
  • Tax consequences: There is more to property division than what initially meets the eye. For example, the division of retirement assets, such as a 401(k) or IRA, is likely to impact your tax situation now and/or in the future.
  • Life insurance: Many divorcing couples have to figure out how to best deal with active life insurance policies. As a general rule of thumb, the spouse who owns the policy should receive the policy. If you maintain life insurance after your divorce, double-check your beneficiary (as you probably don't want it to remain your ex-spouse).
  • Estate planning: Any major life event, such as divorce or marriage, calls for you to review your estate plan. For example, you may want to remove your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, to ensure that they don't receive anything upon your death. Also, review your health care power of attorney, as giving this power to your ex may not be in your best interest.

Bezoses announce divorce settlement in separate tweets

It's been less than three months since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife announced that they were divorcing. As we noted on this blog, the announcement caused some nervousness among Amazon shareholders and people who work for his many other business enterprises.

However, despite the huge amount of assets at stake (some $130 billion), Bezos and his wife MacKenzie appear to be settling their divorce as amicably as they announced it in a joint statement on social media. In separate statements on Twitter this month, they announced some significant agreements in their divorce settlement.

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