Community Property


budget at home
If there’s one thing that ruins relationships, it’s money. That’s simply one of the first things couples—whether married or not—talk about when they start living together. It’s always a case of “who will pay for what,” and finding the right balance for the both of you. Are you moving in with your partner soon? Then you should start taking notes on how you can divide the expenses—for the sake of your future home and your relationship. Split your accounts and work out the percentage you’ll give Keeping your accounts separate is still the best option in any relationship. This will make it easier for couples to control their own earnings and avoid conflicts that come with having a joint account. What you need to do and agree to a certain percentage to allot to your housing needs while, of course, being considerate of how much you make individually. But let’s say you decide to put aside 30 percent of your salary for bills and necessities. Once that’s set, you have to commit to that. Recognize who makes more and who makes less This is in relation to the previous point. One should acknowledge if they are making more or lesser than their significant other. That way, you can pinpoint which expenses will fit your salary—whether it’s paying for the electricity, water, Wi-Fi, or buying groceries. That said, you still have to follow the allotment percentage you’ve agreed on. Again, it’s all about finding a balance in taking care of your home. Save, save, save When you’re done dividing tasks and expenses, you have to get along in this category. Saving money is key to living together. If you are spending too much on unnecessary things and not keeping your part of the agreement, this will cause problems in the long […]

How to Divide Expenses at Home when Both of You are Working   Recently updated !


postnuptial
In the past few years, people are entering marriage at a later age. They seek to explore first and pursue their individual ambitions. As a result, many of them already have assets prior to marriage. Many of them have an interest to protect their assets. This is also why prenuptial agreements have become more popular. Revisions in the Prenuptial Agreement Prenuptial agreements clarify property distribution, which can help narrow down the community property in case of divorce. The couple specifies some properties as separate property with a prenup. Of course, subject to conditions of the law.  Couples can actually revise the agreement by making a postnuptial agreement. These agreements actually exist, although they are not as common (and usually involves less drama) than the prenuptial counterparts. It will allow the couple to take into account the changes in each other’s circumstances after the marriage. Other circumstances like an incurable disease can force the couple to make preparations in anticipation of death.  Postnuptial Agreements and Spousal Support Spousal support is usually in postnuptial agreements. The state of Texas has very strict conditions for spousal support. Usually, those with marriages that lasted less than ten years are prohibited to petition for alimony. A postnuptial agreement can remedy this. The postnuptial agreement allows the couple to specify the amount/percentage of income to be paid. Couples can also extend the duration or totally eliminate spousal maintenance in the event of divorce. Agreements on Family Business Another major change in a couple’s life is when they venture into a family business. The post-nuptial agreement may be a business plan in case the couple would end up in divorce. It is only practical to address possible issues that may arise, specifically the designations of the couples in the company.  The postnuptial agreement can specify the delegation of […]

Divorce Issues: Prenups Need to be Revised After Life Events



credit score
A credit score is basically a measure of the chances of a person being able to repay debt. Credit scores are especially important when it comes to financial matters. For example, the better your credit score, the better your chances of being able to apply for a loan. For some people, credit scores are important and can help them a lot in dealing with their finances. This is why people who watch their credit scores make sure they don’t do anything that might negatively impact it. But should a divorce be one of those things to look out for? Divorce and Credit Scores If you’re wondering if getting a divorce will affect your credit score, the straight answer is no. A divorce will not have any direct impact on your credit score. Do you and your spouse share things such as accounts or debt? Credit scores are affected by whether you can pay your debt or bills for your credit cards. This follows that whatever goes on in your joint account can affect it too. Even if you pay on time, if your ex shares a joint account and doesn’t, both credit scores are affected. But if you do not have any shared accounts, debt, or other similar things, you don’t have to worry. What You Can Do If you’re worried about having your divorce affecting your credit score, the best thing you can do would be to sort out any shared accounts and debt that you have with your spouse. Before getting a divorce, you can opt-out of your joint account with your spouse, especially if you’re worried about how their spending might affect your score. Be sure to sort out all the debt as well before getting your divorce. If you get it done before it’s settled, then […]

Will a Divorce Affect My Credit Score?


attorney's fees
As the old saying goes, “All is fair in love and war.” Marriage and divorce are similar to both. If it’s war, then to the victor belongs the spoils. This is where a fiercely fought trial would take its toll and having a skilled attorney really counts.  Of course, hiring the services of a top law firm or lawyer will also entail high attorney’s fees. Are you willing to invest in a high retainer fee if you are partly assured of getting favorable conditions?  It would be easier to make that decision if you can make your spouse pay your attorney’s fee. How to Make Your Spouse Foot the Bill It is easy when both spouses agree to the divorce. However, in cases when the couple’s finances are tight and only one spouse has individual income, the other might be placed at a disadvantage since they might not be able to pay for an attorney’s retainer fee.  There is actually a remedy for that. If you want to hire a private attorney, then you can make an arrangement wherein your spouse will pay for your lawyer.  Remember that the State of Texas recognizes community property. That means any income, retirement or bank accounts of the couple will be considered the joint estate of the two of them. If for some reason, one party is unable to gain access to the funds, they can file a petition for a court order.  You can ask your attorney to file a motion and there will be a hearing to wherein the judge can order that the other’s attorney’s fees will be shouldered by the community property on the interim. Lawyers’ fees are part of the consideration that the court uses when they compute how to divide the community property. Factors the Court May […]

Making Your Spouse Pay Your Attorney’s fees



snooping around
While most think that being married means being one with your spouse, it doesn’t mean that you shed your individuality. Yes, you will share many things with your spouse, but no, you do not become one. Each of you has rights and you can even invoke this against the other. Setting boundaries is not meant to put a wall between you and your spouse, it is a healthy mechanism to preserve your individual rights – and sanity! Trust and respect are the foundations of a good and lasting marital relationship. If you trust your spouse, you should respect his or her rights. And even if you don’t want to, you still have to. After all, it’s what the law mandates. The Texas Constitution recognizes and protects personal privacy from intrusion that is unreasonable. Texas protects individuals against numerous forms of invasion of privacy. This includes public disclosure of private facts, among others. You cannot invade the privacy of your spouse A person cannot intentionally intrude upon another’s seclusion, solitude, or private affairs through physically invading their property or by eavesdropping on a private conversation via microphones, wiretaps, or spying – even when married to each other. Also, snooping around is a big no-no. Snooping around between spouses has been increasing as the technology for modern surveillance becomes more accessible and affordable. Marriage does not remove an individual’s right to privacy A case in Texas ruled by the state’s Court of Appeals stated that there is nothing in Texas law that suggests that the right of privacy is only applicable to people who are unmarried. The actions of a spouse in recording the other spouse who the former believes is in complete privacy, could be considered as an invasion of privacy. This violation is considered a tort that could entitle the […]

Right to Privacy Between Spouses


wasteful dissipation
There are many different circumstances surrounding a divorce, and because of these, the relations between the two ex-spouses are diverse. Those who have already agreed to separate are amicable, and may only be fixing up the loose ends.  However, there are divorce petitions that are based on strong accusations. This could actually lead to a lengthy and vicious struggle. Even the distribution of property is disputed. There will be many reactions borne out of spite, and this is usually where wasteful dissipation of assets occurs.  What is Wasteful Dissipation It is when one spouse engages in wasteful spending of the money that the couple loses shared community property. It also refers to an effort to conceal assets. These activities usually occur during the divorce proceedings as the spouse realizes that he could lose the assets. It could also be during the marriage itself, which could make it one of the reasons for divorce.  Wasteful dissipation can refer to activities like gambling, partying, drinking or taking drugs. It also includes engaging in extra-marital affairs and giving away expensive gifts. Even neglect to preserve assets (such as non-payment leading to foreclosure) can be considered as wasteful behavior. Shopping sprees or extensive traveling can be “frivolous” expenditures.  In short, if there are expenses or transactions that benefit only one of the spouses, it is wasteful.  Courses of Action  If you believe your spouse is engaging in wasteful dissipation, file a request for a temporary restraining order. You can file this along with the divorce. The court can issue a temporary restraining order even as the divorce proceeding starts. If the wasteful behavior starts after the divorce is filed, then you can request for a separate TRO at any point in the proceeding. These TROs will prevent him/her from transferring assets or withdraw huge […]

Wasteful Dissipation of Assets in Divorce



student loans in divorce
People in the United States have student loans. There are some who continue their education after marriage, for promotion or because they want to pursue a new career.  While there are many reasons why married people incur student debt, the question remains: what happens if the couple divorces? Will they share the liability of the student debt?  Student Debt in the Context of Community Liability Texas Law is very clear with its principle of community property. Any amount of money or assets that are earned/acquired before the marriage is separate property—or belongs to the individual. Any money or assets required after the date of marriage is community property. The couple will divide such assets equally. Mortgages for the family house and car loans for vehicles acquired after the marriage will be community debt. On the other hand, a student loan is in furtherance of one’s education. Judges would likely deem it as a separate debt, even if the student loan was taken during the marriage.  While it seems easy enough, student loans cover broad items, and this may cause some disputes and complications.  Student Loan Complications Student loans are any debt taken up to pay for expenses associated with studying. This includes tuition fees and also room and board expenses and even transport expenses. This broad coverage can be a gray area that leads to contention that the debt should be community property. An example is when the part of the student loan was used to purchase a vehicle. The vehicle must be used during the marriage to be community property. The ex-spouse whose name the loan was taken out, can bring the matter to court. A court order will be issued that divides the responsibilities of the debt—perhaps not equally, but to a certain degree if the judge can […]

Student Loans in Divorce


cohabiting
Alimony is enforced after specific conditions in the Texas Family Code are satisfied. Courts in Texas ask for one spouse to offer support to the other spouse financially after their divorce. The recipient-spouse must first be qualified for the alimony.  One situation is upon the death of the recipient spouse and another is the remarrying of the recipient spouse. Spousal support can also terminated if the recipient-spouse cohabits with another. What is Cohabitation? When two people intimately involved are living together on a regular basis, they cohabit. This implies that the cohabitation rule is susceptible to many interpretations which can get really complicated. Spousal maintenance can end even if the recipient-spouse does not live full-time in the house of their intimate partner. There is no specification with regard to the frequency of house-sharing that may cause the termination. Gathering Proof Proof must be gathered first by the payer-spouse to terminate the spousal maintenance they are paying to the recipient-spouse.  The caveat in evidence gathering is that it is more costly than the alimony payments they are trying to terminate. The payer-spouse must gather evidence to prove that the recipient-spouse is in a relationship that can be considered as marriage-like. This includes proving the intimacy and shared finances between the recipient-spouse and their new partner. Providing credit card bills, bank statements, and a shared phone plan may also be necessary. The pieces of evidence may be in the form of photos, videos, or testimony of a witness. Gathering evidence like these may require the services of a private investigator and their services are definitely not cheap. This is the reason why the payer-spouse needs to talk to their lawyer. There is no need to go to court if the length of the period of the spousal maintenance is reasonable or no […]

Support When Cohabiting in Texas