General Information


millennials
The divorce rate in the United States is actually dropping. The trend for divorce for the past decades was continually rising. Most people thought the millennials would be more impulsive. Many think the decline of old-school values would lead to more marriages ending in a break-up. But instead, the millennials have gone the other direction. From 2008 to 2016, the divorce rate declined by 18%, and the trend is likely to continue. Why are Millennials more committed nowadays? A More Careful Approach While it is a positive development, the reason behind the drop in the divorce rate is not due to a return to traditional values. These are due to increased awareness and lessons learned—a deeper understanding of what marriage is and the far-reaching consequences of divorce. Along with the decline of divorce, there was also a rise in the marrying age. The millennials are taking a more cautious approach towards marriage. They now have personal goals and they have set certain milestones that they want to reach even before they think about marriage.  Most millennials want to have financial stability before they marry, and it is likely because they understand marriage more. While this may sound cynical to some, this generation’s knowledge about the demands of marriage has led to their decision to delay it. Many of the millennials have experienced the divorce of their parents, and they have realized that even if their parents had a genuine love for each other, the financial demands of raising a family took its toll on the relationship.  Hesitating to Commit The trials of marriage are not limited to the financial aspect, as even the affluent have high divorce rates. Despite the slowly rising trend of open marriages and other mutual agreements, the notion of marriage being a lifetime, exclusive commitment still […]

Committed, Cautious Millennials Lower US Divorce Rate   Recently updated !


mortgage
When you’re going through a divorce proceeding, the last thing you need is misinformation. You have to be aware of all the terms of conditions that are being discussed. It could dictate the quality of your life in the foreseeable future.  The legal terminologies that are being thrown around should be clarified by your lawyer. You need to make sure that you fully understand any agreement that you sign on to. In the tedious process of dividing the property, it is important to learn every slight detail. Mortgage Deed Vs. Property Title For most couples, the family home is the most significant piece of property. Because of this, it is the most complicated to divide. It is important to know the difference between a mortgage deed and a property title; this will have implications on the division. A mortgage refers to a loan agreement wherein the debtor uses the title of his property to secure a loan from the bank of another creditor. In this arrangement, the transfer of title is void once the loan is paid in full.  The mortgage deed is evidence of ownership of a property that is under mortgage terms. If one spouse wants to obtain true ownership of their marital home, they can execute a “quit claim” deed. This deed will relinquish the ownership of rights of one ex-spouse making the other spouse the sole owner, but it will still not take away the obligation of either spouse in terms of their loan agreement. In this case, the mortgage is still named to both spouses. The only way for a spouse to be eliminated from the ownership of the house is for the other spouse to execute a buyout of the rights.  True Value It is always good practice to determine the actual or current […]

Understanding the Difference of a Mortgage Deed from a Property Title of a Marital Home   Recently updated !



mulitiple personality spouse
Marriage is one of the biggest decisions you can ever make in your entire life. It follows that it is an equally significant decision to end this marriage. The cost is tremendous, but there are situations wherein ending the union could be the only rational choice. Such is a situation if your spouse is mentally ill. When your spouse suffers from Multiple/Dissociative Personality Disorder Until recently, mental illness has not been given the attention it deserves. There are still many conditions that the fields of psychology has not yet figured out. Some of these conditions could make a person become a threat to his/her spouse and their children.  It can be threatening if your spouse exhibits the symptoms of multiple personality disorder (also called Dissociative Personality Disorder). Persons with this disorder can sometimes manifest symptoms wherein they are not aware of their own identity or current situation. Panic attacks can be expected too. If it happens often enough, can a spouse use this as grounds for divorce? Mental Illness as Grounds for Divorce Confinement to a mental institution is a “no-fault ground” for divorce. Even in this case, the confinement must last for three years. The petitioner will have to establish two things: That the disorder has reached an extent that it will no longer improve; and That even if does improve through therapy, there is a strong possibility of relapse.  To prove these states, the petitioner must secure the official diagnosis of licensed psychiatrists and therapists. The court may request other experts in the field to give a diagnosis. Cruelty as a Fault Ground In the absence of the required conditions stated above, then the petitioner can use the fault ground of cruelty. Texas law does not clearly define the notion of “cruelty”. It depends on how the case is […]

My Spouse has Multiple Personalities, Can I Divorce?   Recently updated !


prenup
In case you’re wondering what a post-nuptial agreement is, it’s basically just like a pre-marital agreement. The only difference is that pre-marital ones are signed before the marriage and post-nuptial ones are signed after the wedding. Usually, the motivation between a prenup agreement and a post-nuptial agreement are not the same. In Texas, you are allowed to sign a post-nuptial agreement that includes part or all of your community property. The separation of one spouse’s income or both spouse’s income is commonly a part of such agreements as well. This means that when you sign the agreement, you agree that your spouse’s income will be his or her separate property and your income will be yours as well. Furthermore, this means that if a divorce were to occur, your spouse will not be able to claim any part of that income. If you sign a prenup or a post-nuptial agreement, the court will not try to ‘meddle’ in your affairs at the time of your divorce, if you were to divorce. Turning Separate Property Into Community Estate If you want your separate property to be a part of your community property, you can also specify this condition in your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. When you sign the agreement, the separate property will automatically become part of the community estate. This is of course different from transferring the title of your property to your spouse. Requirements for Post-Nuptial Agreements So you think that you and your spouse are into this idea of signing a post-nuptial agreement. What must you do? First, you need to comply with the requirements set by the state of Texas. If you fail to meet these requirements, your post-nuptial agreement may not be considered valid and therefore cannot be enforced. So what do you need? The post-nuptial […]

What a Post-Nuptial Agreement Can Do For Your Family



cheating on facebook
Social media has provided strong manifestations that resulted to taking steps into infidelity. According to the information gathered and analyzed by Mckinley Irvin, a Pacific Northwest family law firm, 1 out of 3 divorces has online affairs as the reason. The director of the Social Media Graduate Program at the University of Florida, Andrew Selepak said that social media makes cheating easier because the people have the tools to get in touch with the people from their past. This normally occurs when an old flame posts something on their profile such as their photo and it will pop out of the timeline of people, or normally, Facebook, through its algorithm, will suggest a person to become friends with “someone you may know.” Facebook is considered the “Tinder” of past significant others, or people one  briefly dated, according to Selepak.  However, social media also makes getting caught easier. Photos, posts, and messages leave a trail especially to someone is not knowledgeable in covering their social media tracks. Social media as evidence in divorce court In most cases, logging out of their account is something a cheating partner forgets to do. This leaves the door wide open for the other partner who is already suspicious which will enable him or her to gather all the evidence they need in the event that they do decide to file for divorce. A lot of lawyers nowadays who take on divorce cases uses social media, especially Facebook, as the main source for tracking down infidelity. A private investigator will be hired to gather the social media accounts of the client and get as much information from the social media of the opposing party as possible. A secret account, specific post, or simply a lead can all be found in one social media alone, which is […]

Facebook: Prevents or Causes Marital Infidelity?


discovery cases
In a divorce proceeding, details and information are important; which is why discovery is part of the process. Issues like custody, child support, alimony and distribution of property can greatly affect the lives of everyone involved.  Information is important, both sides should be enlightened on the discovery. What is Discovery? Discovery simply refers to the acquisition of information pertinent to the case. If your lawyer needs information, he can send a request for discovery that he will use in the case. Some of the details may be: Details on the children Property and financial status (includes the assets and liabilities) Any clarifications on the allegations in the proceedings This is under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 194.  There are different types of discovery. Some of the more relevant types are: Request for Admission This request will require the parties to admit or deny the truth of certain statements. Respondents must respond within a certain time period, usually 30 days.  Sworn Inventory and Assessment This pertains to a list of all the assets that the requested party can recall. After a party submits a list, they may be asked to assign a value to the listed assets. Interrogatories This refers to a serious of questions addressed to the other party, requesting for detailed and truthful answers. Questions include anything deemed important in the divorce proceedings: Details about the employment status amount of money in the bank accounts; Financial institutions wherein the party in question has money stored or invested. This is not as limited as a list of assets and liabilities.  Request for Production and Inspection This is one of the more sensitive discovery requests. It is a request for the other party to produce documents in order for the requesting party to inspect them. This could be bank documents, […]

Discovery of Information in Texas Divorce Cases



life insurance
Divorce is probably the last thing on your mind on your wedding day. There is the talk of “forever” and “for better or worse,” and even just a thought of the marriage not working would be unacceptable. After the wedding bliss wears off, the reality of marriage sets in. The truth is, over 40% of marriages end in divorce. Despite the increasing options for married couples for counseling, therapy, retreats and other solutions to try and extend the life of the marriage, many of them still end in separation.  Preparing for Life Alone The numbers won’t lie, divorce is a real possibility. When a couple separates, there are huge implications, both emotional and financial.  For the financial aspect, there is an option to obtain a life insurance policy. You can actually demand that your ex-spouse avail of a life insurance policy. The reasons for this is to ensure the continuity of the following:  Alimony payments Child support Financial obligations like a mortgage for the marital home and business obligation The court should make it clear that these are the only causes for compelling an ex-spouse to have insurance. In the absence of these, there is no reason to force another to avail of a life insurance policy. Options for Existing Life Insurance Policy Holders For those who already have life insurance policies even before the divorce was filed, one of the big questions is the beneficiary. The spouse is almost always the main beneficiary, so divorce is likely to affect that. It may not be in your best interest to have your ex-spouse as your beneficiary since that means he/she will receive all the benefits of your policy. You can change the beneficiary of your policy to someone you still trust. For the Providing Parent Even if you are convinced […]

Life Insurance in a Divorce Settlement


#metoo
The rise of the #MeToo movement has brought sexual abuse and harassment incidents into the light of the day. It has now penetrated the cloak of marriage. High profile husbands were even exposed. More Attention for Wives Exposure to celebrity husbands’ sexual abuse is a milestone. Especially since they were previously untouchables. Advocates of the #MeToo movement will be quick to point out that it is only the first step. The primary goal is to help protect women. Thus, it would be better if more attention was given to the wives who experienced sexual abuse.  The media has still continued to cater to a patriarchal society. It gives attention to domestic violence but primarily turns a deaf ear to spousal sexual abuse. The #MeToo movement has already brought attention to it. There are also laws that specifically target marital rape.  These laws have notable loopholes, but they are still a step in the right direction considering the pressing concerns of human trafficking and violence towards women. Still, the desired change to eliminate the culture of victim-blaming is far from a reality.  America Lags Behind The #MeToo movement is a global cause. The emphasis is focused on American women since the United States has a long way to go in gender equality. For a country that was deemed progressive, it ranked 51st out of 149 countries.  The sad truth is that despite the technological advances, like the rape kit, to turn the needle on sexual abuse, there are still numerous rape victims that have not been served justice.  #MeToo Makes a Difference The #MeToo movement has brought American women to confront and evaluate their relationships. Many of them have realized that their marriages are unhealthy and that they have a choice to speak out and walk away. This is the primary […]

#MeToo Effect on Marriages