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Abilene TX Divorce Law Blog

Putting kids first: How to manage out-of-state parenting

Divorce can be hard enough to begin with, though many families in Texas know all too well how especially tough it can be when children are involved. Most parents want whatever is best for their children and will strive to ensure that their kids' needs are put ahead of their own. However, that can be difficult to do even in the best of circumstances. If one spouse has to move away for any reason, it can make shared or joint custody difficult to manage. Though it may be necessary, out-of-state parenting can have adverse effects on children, as a recent interview with a teenage boy whose parents are divorced demonstrates.

The parents divorced when he was 4, and his mother eventually moved out of state. The parents shared custody, with the boy going to see his mother for holidays and during the summer. Though he assured the interviewer that he loved both of his parents, he conceded that he struggled with the differing values and rules that each of his parents held, as well as having to leave his friends and other relatives at the home he had with his father. Even at his young age, he recognized that his life would be easier if his parents lived closer together.

Is your child support order not working for you?

Raising children takes a lot of love, patience and money. If you have been through the divorce process, you and your ex likely have a child support agreement in place that, at the time of your divorce filing, made sense and worked for your children's needs. If that support order is no longer working for you, the state of Texas does allow you to seek a modification.

Let's face it, it is impossible to predict the future. When you divorced, there was no way of knowing how your income level might change over the years. There was no way of knowing exactly how your children's needs might change over time. A support amount was set solely based on your income level and children's needs at that time.

Dealing with child custody issues during the holiday season

The holidays are a time that Texas families want to be together, and parents want to create memories and spend time with their kids. This can be complicated, however, for families after divorce, and some parents may find themselves dealing with depression, anger and other emotions when their children are with the other parent. The Christmas season can make child custody issues quite complicated and difficult. 

One of the most important and practical ways that divorced parents can deal with hurt feelings and disappointment during the holidays is to let go of expectations. It is also prudent to be thankful for any time with the children, even if it is at a different time or on a different day than hoped. Parents will also find it helpful to spare their children from additional difficulties by refraining from talking bad about the other parent. 

The clock is ticking on alimony tax deductions

For Texas couples preparing for a military divorce, spousal support may play a central role in the negotiation process. Those couples should be aware that the ability to claim alimony payments as tax deductions is scheduled to come to an end at the close of this year. Understanding how that change might impact the bottom line for each spouse is important, and there is very little time left to make adjustments before the new rules kick in. 

Currently, spouses who make alimony payments receive a dollar-for-dollar tax deduction. However, for divorces finalized in 2019, that deduction will no longer apply. That will leave the paying spouse with a higher tax obligation. What many spouses don't understand is that, with more money going to taxes, nothing is left for the parties to divide. The tax change could leave the recipient with significantly less alimony than he or she anticipated. 

Texas woman celebrates divorce with a big bang

People respond to the end of their marriages in different ways. Some embrace the change and look to the future with excitement, while others pine and mourn for what once was and what could have been. Still others celebrate this new and exciting chapter of their lives in unorthodox ways. There have been reports of women burning their wedding dresses, but one woman in Medina County, went a step further following her divorce.

A day after her Texas divorce was finalized, ending a marriage that had lasted for 14 years, the woman celebrated the occasion by detonating 20 pounds of explosives and blowing her wedding dress to pieces. According to reports, she used an explosive called Tannerite, and people could hear the blast for miles around her family farm where the incident took place on a recent Saturday night. The woman stated that she has initially planned to simply burn the garment, but her father came up with the idea of using explosives.

What to do with the house in military divorce

The family home is more than just a building; it's often the repository of memories, especially for parents. When a military divorce takes place, some Texas spouses have a hard time coming to terms with moving on from the family home. That, unfortunately, can lead to some questionable decisions when it comes to what to do with this piece of real estate. 

Spouses should make every effort to approach the family home as any other investment. That, of course, is often easier said than done. The numbers should be the primary focus, not the memories held within the walls. Very often, keeping the home is not the best decision. 

Division of retirement benefits crucial in late life divorce

Texas military spouses who are planning to divorce have a long list of items to consider. Among those considerations is how to approach division of retirement benefits. It may be tempting to prioritize other issues over retirement matters, but doing so can put some spouses at risk of serious financial issues, especially in light of upcoming tax law changes that go into effect at the beginning of 2019. 

Spouses who divorce in 2019 will no longer have the ability to claim alimony payments as tax deductions. Those who receive alimony will no longer be able to claim those payments as earned income. While that means there's no tax obligation for spousal support payments, a spouse who isn't working will not be able to take advantage of retirement investments like an IRA or Roth account, as those can only be funded with earned income. 

Prepare in advance in case of child support payment delays

Texas parents going through divorce have a great many things to consider as they prepare for that process. Child support is one of the most important, as that financial assistance will help shape the custodial parent's budgeting for the months and years to come. Knowing what to expect is critical, and a family law attorney can provide a good estimate based on the family's finances. However, it isn't always possible to predict when those payments will start coming in. 

Securing a new credit card is one way to protect against unanticipated delays in child support, alimony or even property division outcomes. Preparing for life after divorce sometimes includes securing new housing arrangements, insurance and child care coverage. It is virtually impossible to fully predict how these expenses will be shaped. A credit card can help cover unexpected costs as the divorce moves forward. 

Ways to stay healthy during and after a military divorce

For many Texas spouses, the end of a long marriage can feel like a devastating event. That's true even in cases where both spouses agree that the marriage should come to an end. Walking away from a long partnership is difficult, and far too many people let those difficulties create mental and physical health problems in the years that follow. These tips can help you stay healthy and happy after a military divorce

One of the most important things to consider is the social connections that will provide support during and after a military divorce. Military spouses are often very good at forging new friendships and sustaining bonds with others. However, divorce can throw a wrench in a couple's social circle. Very often, even old friends don't know how to react to the divorce, and either take sides or avoid both parties. That can leave spouses feeling abandoned when they need friendship the most. 

Managing back-to-school with complex living arrangements

Back-to-school is in full swing, and many Texas parents are struggling to adapt to new routines. Every new school year presents scheduling challenges, but for parents who have complex living arrangements, it can be truly taxing. For parents who've gone through a recent breakup or divorce, finding a new way to approach back to school is important. 

Scheduling can be a nightmare, especially for parents who have kids in sports, music or other extracurricular activities. Even families with two parents in the home can find it hard to keep the schedule straight. Add in complex living arrangements, and scheduling can quickly become a primary source of contention among parents and stress among children. 

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