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Hurst Retirement Asset Divorce LawyerGetting a divorce can be a complex and stressful process, and there are a variety of issues that will need to be addressed before a marriage can be legally dissolved. Many of these issues will be related to the property division process, and disputes can arise between spouses about who should get what pieces of property or who will be responsible for certain debts. Of the different types of complex property issues that may need to be resolved, determining how to divide assets such as retirement savings accounts or pension benefits can be especially complicated. It is important for spouses to understand the applicable state laws that address the division of assets and the steps they can take to protect their financial interests.

Texas Law on Dividing Marital Assets

Under the Texas Family Code, all property acquired by either spouse during a couple's marriage is considered to be community property that is subject to division in a divorce. This includes any funds saved in retirement accounts or benefits that were earned during the course of the marriage. In Texas, all marital property is subject to “equitable division.” This means that the court will divide property between spouses in a manner that is considered to be "just and right." To determine how property should be divided, a variety of factors may be considered, including each spouse's age, health, earning capacity, education level, job-related skills, and more. Assets will not necessarily be divided 50/50 between the two parties; instead, the court will look at each party's individual situation and determine a way to divide assets as fairly as possible.

Retirement Assets and QDROs

Retirement accounts are considered marital property in Texas, and thus, they must be divided alongside other property during divorce proceedings. Retirement assets that may need to be addressed include 401(k)s, pension plans, IRAs, stock options, annuities, and deferred compensation plans. The ways these assets may be divided can vary depending on a couple's individual situation. For example, each spouse may maintain ownership of a 401(k) or IRA that is in their name, but if one spouse's account has a higher balance, some of the funds in their account may be transferred to the other spouse.


Hurst, TX Child Support and Alimony LawyerWhen parents decide to divorce, the process of separating their lives, establishing new living arrangements, and determining when children will live with each of them can be difficult and confusing. In addition to the practical concerns related to when parents will spend time with children and other child custody issues, financial matters will play a major role in these cases. One of the most important financial issues that must be addressed is child support. In Texas, there are several factors that could affect a child support agreement in a couple's divorce. It is important to understand these factors and how they could influence the outcome of a divorce case. 

Types of Income

The primary factor used to determine child support is the income of the parent who will be paying support. In general, the "noncustodial" parent, or the parent who has less visitation time with the children, will pay child support to the "custodial" parent. Multiple types of income may be considered, including wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, royalties, dividends, capital gains, severance pay, unemployment benefits, retirement benefits, Social Security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, annuities, or income received through the rental of a property. Certain types of deductions may be made, including federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and union dues, to determine the parent's "net resources."

Calculating Child Support Payments

The amount of child support that a parent will pay is determined by a formula that multiplies the parent's net resources by a specific percentage. The percentage that is used will be based on the number of children the parents share:


Hurst, Texas Asset Division Divorce LawyerIn today’s world, it is increasingly common for couples to handle the divorce process collaboratively and amicably, without significant intervention from the court. This can work well when there are few conflicts or intractable disagreements that get in the way of negotiation, but there are other scenarios in which trying to resolve a divorce without litigation is simply too dangerous. One common example is a situation in which one spouse is not being honest with the other as their marriage is coming to an end. When many people think of deception in a marriage, they think of affairs and cheating, but there can also be a financial side of deception in the form of hidden assets.

Hidden Assets and Income

When a spouse attempts to hide assets before or during the divorce process, they usually do so in an effort to prevent them from being considered community property, and therefore subject to division in the divorce. This puts the other spouse at a major disadvantage unless they can work with an attorney to discover that the hidden assets exist and take legal action to rectify the situation.

There are several warning signs that your spouse might be hiding assets, including but not limited to: 


b2ap3_thumbnail_hurst-texas-grieving-process-help-divorce-lawyer.jpgAmong the many challenges you may face when getting a divorce, going through the grief process in the midst of the transition can be difficult, especially when so much is vying for your attention. Distractions abound during the split, and the demands can easily pull your focus from taking time to recognize and manage the stages of grief as they surface. Your fluctuating emotions and high levels of anxiety during the divorce process can only be ignored for so long, however, before your mind and body force you to deal with the inevitable mental toll.

Indicators of Grief

You may be familiar with the five stages of grief, as defined by the Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the mid-20th century. The five stages include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. As with any other loss in life, the loss of a love and a marriage can trigger the grieving process, although everyone experiences it differently and at different intervals. For example, it is common to experience the stages in various orders, such as jumping from anger to depression, then back to anger again.

Some signs you are experiencing the effects of grief include:


Unique Considerations in a Military Divorce

Posted on November 29, 2022 in Divorce

Bacalis, TX military lawyerIf you or your spouse is serving in the U.S. military, or has done so in the past, you know that military life can differ from civilian life in many significant ways. If you decide to divorce, virtually all aspects of the process, from the division of assets to determining child custody arrangements, will be handled somewhat differently than if you were both civilians—especially if either of you are still serving.

The Jurisdiction Question

Normally, a Texas court maintains personal jurisdiction over a divorce action when one or both spouses have resided in Texas for at least six months (and for at least 90 days in the county where the divorce action was filed.) This is also true in military divorces, but it is important to keep in mind that serving while keeping a permanent address in Texas is considered maintaining residence in the state. However, in order for a court to have jurisdiction over an active military spouse, the serving spouse must be served with a copy of the action and summons, so there is no question as to their knowledge of the proceedings. In the past, it was not uncommon for a service member to come home and discover that their spouse had divorced them without their knowledge!

It is also possible under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (50 USC 521) to postpone the proceeding for the entire length of a service member’s tour of active duty plus an additional 60 days if the proceeding is likely to be difficult and complex. It is in the discretion of the civilian court to decide whether or not to do so, but it is often granted, especially in times of war and elevated military conflict.


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