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Are you struggling with the best way to ask for a divorce?

There's no perfect way to ask for a divorce, but at the very least there are steps you can take to minimize tension and set the table for what's to come.

If you're struggling to devise a plan, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Write out what you want to say: Don't just think about how you'll approach the subject with your spouse, write it down so you can review it before you have the conversation.
  • Stick to the task at hand: This conversation is simply to tell your spouse you want a divorce. It's not the time to discuss property division, child custody and other details of your divorce that have the potential to result in a serious disagreement.
  • Be honest with your spouse: If nothing else, you owe it to your spouse to be open and honest about your feelings and intentions. Now's not the time to hide your true feelings or give false hope.
  • Prepare yourself to remain calm: A conversation of this magnitude has the potential to quickly spiral out of control. If your spouse becomes upset and angry, you should remain calm and stick to your plan.

Consider a prenuptial agreement before marriage

While most people hesitate to think of a divorce before they even get married, a prenuptial agreement can help prevent future disputes if the marriage is not successful. While this type of agreement is not for everyone, it can help protect many different types of people and provide for an orderly separation in the future.

A prenuptial agreement can help someone who is coming into the marriage with significant assets. Ordinarily, these assets could be at risk in a divorce as they mix with assets from the marital estate. However, by agreeing ahead of time about the division of assets in the event of a divorce, someone can protect their assets and get peace of mind. This is especially beneficial when there is a second marriage and children from the first marriage are worried about losing their possible inheritance.

The importance of life insurance in a divorce agreement

When Texas parents of young children are contemplating ending their marriage, they often try to negotiate a settlement agreement that will deal with spousal and child support, among other matters. However, they often fail to take into account what will happen to the recipient should the payer die prematurely. One thing that should be considered is the procurement of a life insurance policy.

In the case of alimony, the parties will traditionally agree upon how much the monthly payments will be and for how long they will last. If, for example, the amount to be paid is $1000.00 each month and the duration is 10 years, then it would be relatively simple to determine the present value of $120,000.00 and to require the payer to have a life insurance policy in that amount. The payer would likely want to have the opportunity to reduce the face value of the policy over time as payments are made.

Is the easement to your property leaving you uneasy?

Maybe you weren't initially aware of it, or you were but had since forgotten that when you purchased your property, it came with an easement. Sometimes known as "rights of way," easements allow another person or entity access to property that is otherwise yours. The easement should be recorded in your local assessor's office. It's a good idea to get a copy of it so that you can reference it if there is ever a need.

Many times, the original easement was put in place several transfers of property ago. In fact, it might not even be in use today, although that doesn't necessarily negate the access rights. Still, access to an easement and the lack thereof can be the tinder that ignites a potential boundary dispute, so it is best to learn about your rights and responsibilities in the matter.

What to know about divorce trials

Texas residents who are going through a divorce may be tempted to take their cases to trial. This may seem especially attractive for those who don't believe that their spouses are negotiating in good faith. However, there may be several pitfalls involved with going to trial that individuals should be aware of. Perhaps the primary pitfall of taking a case to court is how much it will cost. It isn't uncommon for individuals to spend thousands of dollars in legal and other fees.

Those who go to trial will also need to stay close to their phones in case their attorneys call. Typically, a phone call means that a legal representative needs information as quickly as possible. Going to trial could mean having to testify in court or otherwise be present in court. A day that is spent in court could be a day that is not spent at work or caring for a child.

Choosing a co-parenting plan that works best for the children

Coping with divorce can be stressful for all parties involved. In Texas, it may be especially hard for the children to come to terms with living with only one parent at a time. Custody agreements and co-parenting plans seek to make this difficult process as suitable as possible for both the parents and the children.

Child psychologists recommend the 50/50 custody plan as a preferable arrangement for children to account for their physical, social and psychological development. Most people understand the 50/50 custody split as one parent having custody of the children for one week while the other parent has physical custody of the children for the next week. However, the 50/50 custody agreement can be adjusted to allow the children equal time and attachment to both parents during the same week.

Gray divorce on the rise, divorce overall declining

A number of studies have indicated that the divorce rate, in Texas and across the country, has declined in the past 20 years, but the rate for people aged 50 or older doubled between 1990 and 2010. The phenomenon has been called gray divorce. Divorce is very often a complicated and stressful process, regardless of when it happens; when couples get divorced later in life, though, there are usually more assets to deal with.

According to the owner of a relationship therapy organization, the two most common times for divorce are during the marriage's first seven years and after around 20 years of marriage. She went on to say that the biggest reason divorces happen later is due to emotional disconnection. The gray divorce trend may also be getting a boost from the lessened social stigma around divorce in recent years. A marriage and family therapist said there are hard reasons and soft reasons that people get divorced.

Do you need to bring a quiet title action for your home or ranch?

If you are like many people across the state of Texas, a significant portion of your personal wealth is likely tied up in your real estate holdings, whether you own just a basic family home or a ranch with substantial acreage. Protecting your ownership of that property involves maintaining the title until such time as when you choose to transfer the property to someone else.

Sometimes, particularly in circumstances involving deed transfers due to an estate or a divorce, homeowners need to initiate quiet title civil court proceedings to remove a mark from the deed to their property. In some cases, such actions are also necessary to remove liens that were already paid in full to a company that no longer exists or a person who won't remove the lien on their own for some reason.

Kids shouldn't suffer because of a divorce

When Texas parents get divorced, their children must live with the consequences of that decision as well. Therefore, it is important to have some idea of what they will be thinking when hearing the news for the first time. The first thing that a parent should stress is that the divorce is not the child's fault. It is also important to stress that he or she is allowed to love and have relationships with both parents.

If it is practical to do so, it can be a good idea to schedule family events on a regular basis. For instance, parents and children can have meals together every week or spend the holidays together. Spending holidays as a family can be more convenient as there isn't a need to schedule multiple family dinners or other events during that time.

Drawing Social Security benefits on an ex-spouse's record

Some people in Texas might not realize that they may be able to draw Social Security benefits based on an ex-spouse's contributions. The agency generally does not track this, so people might not be notified of their eligibility. This does not reduce what the former spouse receives in any way.

However, several conditions must be in place. The couple must have been married for 10 years or longer. The person claiming the benefit must not have remarried, but the ex-spouse can be. The divorce must have been over for at least two years, and the former spouse must be eligible for benefits. Otherwise, the former spouse must have begun claiming benefits. The person must also be at least 62 years old although waiting until retirement age will mean bigger checks.

Law Office of B. Diane Heindel, P.C.
407 E. 4th Street
Tyler, TX 75701

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Law Office of B. Diane Heindel, P.C.