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Abilene TX Divorce Law Blog

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. 

Mother continues fight in complicated child custody case

No parent relishes the thought of a custody battle, but some cases are exceptionally difficult to weather, in Texas and across the nation. Parents are usually so emotionally connected to their children that the thought of losing access to them can cloud otherwise good judgment. Unfortunately, that can lead to negative outcomes in child custody court, a lesson that one mother has learned the hard way. 

The case centers on an 11-year-old little girl whose parents were involved in a bitter child custody fight when the mother's grandmother shot and killed the child's father. The grandmother is currently serving a 55-year prison sentence. In 2010, the child's mother took the little girl to Florida to avoid a court-ordered visit with the child's paternal grandparents, which led to her arrest and the current case against her. 

Lisa Marie Presley may be able to seal child custody records

Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, recently won a small battle in her ongoing custody fight. Presley asked the court to seal documents in her child custody case for the purpose of protecting her 9-year-old twin daughters. Presley is in the middle of a longstanding child custody dispute with her estranged husband, musical director Michael Lockwood. Many Texas residents are following the story. 

The reason behind the request was stated as concern over salacious details that could come up in the course of the custody case. Specifically, Presley claims she found photos and videos of other children on her husband's computer, which was a source of concern. She hopes that, by keeping the records sealed, she can keep any disturbing details that arise during the case out of the public realm.

New law focuses on child custody and frozen embryos

The topic of what to do with frozen embryos after a relationship ends is becoming more and more common, in Texas and across the nation. As fertility treatments continue to expand, couples have more options than ever before when it comes to having a child. Those options, however, can lead to serious child custody disputes if the union ends before the embryos are used to have a child. One state recently passed a new law addressing the issue, and has sparked debate across the nation. 

The new law gives preference to the party who wishes to use frozen embryos to bring a child into the world, even if the other party strongly opposed such action. The opposing party would have no parental rights or responsibilities in relation to the child. That, however, brings little comfort to many. Few men or women would be comfortable knowing they have a child that they have no connection to.

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