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Plano Family Law Blog

Divorce and bankruptcy is a complicated mix

We have said many times that divorce is one of the most difficult challenges that an individual can face. Unfortunately, it is common for couples filing for divorce to also have financial issues, which may even be the basis for the split. In addition, the fallout from the divorce can also prompt one or both parties to file for bankruptcy protection. Regardless of how divorce and bankruptcy are connected, the divorce gets even harder and more complex when bankruptcy is involved before, during, or after filing for divorce.

Tips for sorting it out

Fact finding and discovery in the digital age

There is a period of time during the divorce process where each side works to prepare and exchange information for discovery. In the past, this meant financial records, proof of deceit or misbehavior, depositions (sworn statements), interrogatories (your recollections) and requests for admissions, production of documents and tangible things, and disclosure of basic information about claims and witnesses in the lawsuit.

Looking at the digital footprint

When is it appropriate to change a child support order?

Divorce brings about significant changes in a person's life, and those changes do not necessarily stop simply because the divorce process is final. There are many challenges that can continue to affect your life after your marriage is over, and sometimes, it may be necessary to seek a change of terms in your divorce order. 

Modifications are sometimes necessary, but they are not always easy to get. However, if you think you need to make changes, it would be in your interests to learn how to go about this process the right way. Verbal agreements and informal changes are not legally enforceable, and they can lead to complications and disputes down the road. 

High asset divorce may be easier than you think

The divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos is notable for many reasons, but most focus on the fact that world's richest couple is dividing their estate in half despite Jeff's business interests and earnings. This is obviously by choice - there was no prenup or postnup. While there is a $137 billion estate to divide in half, per community property rules where they filed in Washington as well as here in Texas, it may not take nearly as long as many predict.

According to Bloomberg, the divorce could be a quick and low conflict. There is no minimizing the trauma of terminating a 25-year marriage as well as the impact it will have upon the couple's four children. Nonetheless, there is more than enough money to go around, which means there is less reason to fight over it.

The challenges of PTSD, parenting and child custody

Living through a truly traumatic event often leaves its mark on the victim. It can feel as though life will never be the same no matter how hard you try. Even if you seek out treatment, you must still go through a process that takes time, and certain aspects of your life may never be the same.

Sadly, during that time when you struggle with what happened to you, the relationships in your life can also suffer. Your spouse may decide that living with someone with post-traumatic stress disorder is too much for him or her. Even after trying everything, the two of you can no longer live as a couple.

Common forms of mediation

Many are aware that mediation is a common form of alternate dispute resolution that enables parties to resolve matters outside of court. While it is used in different legal contexts, it is particularly well suited for family law because it enables the parties to resolve differences in a less confrontational manner.

There are many benefits to this format. Most notably, it avoids the cost of a long drawn out court battle, but is also less stressful because it involves the two sides working towards a solution. Those who wish to keep the details of their divorce private also use mediation because it can reduce the number of Court hearings and there is some public record any time a case goes to court.

Do I need an attorney for my custody case?

If you are heading toward divorce, you may think you have matters under control. You may be fortunate to be in agreement with your spouse over how you will divide your assets, and you may have a good enough idea of how Texas laws provide for fairness and protection throughout the divorce process. You may even feel you and your spouse can work out a custody arrangement that is manageable.

You and your spouse may be able to reach an amicable divorce and custody arrangement without the help of legal counsel, although seeking legal advice can prevent you from unknowingly agreeing to a settlement that is not in your best interests. When it comes to the custody of your children, however, there are certain circumstances where it is not advisable to proceed without the representation of an attorney.

Students may want a prenuptial agreement

There are a lot of statistics about how millennials are waiting longer to get married or staying in a committed relationship that does not include a plan for marriage. However, love is often unpredictable and can strike before the couple finishes college or graduate school. While students famously live on a shoestring budget and often do not have fulltime employment, it is still worthwhile to consider a prenuptial agreement.

Why a prenup if there are not substantial assets?

World's richest couple splitting fortune equally in divorce

In a move that leaves some wondering if he is insane and leaves others tipping their hat, Mr. Bezos plans to split the family's $137.1 billion fortune in half as part of an amicable divorce. The couple filed for divorce in Washington State, which like Texas adheres to community property law in the state. This means that all marital property is divided in half, putting MacKenzie Bezos's settlement at $66 billion.

The announcement of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos' divorce spread like wildfire across the internet. It was not long before even the President weighed in on the new notoriety of the Amazon CEO (and owner of the Washington Post). Less surprisingly, the National Inquirer quickly released a story about texts between Jeff and his most recent girlfriend, former television news anchor Lauren Sanchez. 

Postnuptial agreements can fill a gap for many couples

If issues or disputes have arisen in your marriage, you may be regretting the fact that you did not ask for a prenuptial agreement. Such contracts can be invaluable for resolving conflicts before they even come up, and many successful marriages can credit a well-constructed prenuptial agreement for addressing those issues.

However, all is not lost if you missed your chance to sign a prenup. You may find that a postnuptial agreement can help you meet your goals and open productive lines of communication between you and your dysfunctional spouse.

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