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Dallas Divorce and Family Law Blog

Motherhood: Holding On and Letting Go

Watching Prince Harry and Meghan marvel at their newborn Archie reminds me of the moment I met our newborn, William, for the first time. My role in this world changed, as I became responsible for the life of another human being. I remember riding home from the hospital with our newborn in the car, thinking how much the world had changed from the moment I walked into the hospital. For the first time in my 28 years of life, the world seemed to be such a dangerous place: reckless drivers, deathly germs everywhere, soft toys that could suffocate. Being a new parent is terrifying, exhausting and exhilarating - all at the same time.

Co-parenting an infant requires a lot of cooperation

More than likely, when you envisioned having a child, you never anticipated that your relationship with your baby's other parent would end, especially when your child was just an infant. For many new parents, that is a reality.

Now, your primary focus is your new baby, and making sure your child has everything he or she needs to have the very best start at life.  This means making sure that each parent has the chance to spend time with your new arrival and bond with your baby. As all new parents learn, parenting an infant presents challenges you never envisioned before you had your baby.  Learning to co-parent when you and your baby's parent are separated creates a unique set of challenges that can be overcome with the right mindset.

More Millennials and women want prenups

While some feel hesitant about discussing or agreeing to a prenuptial agreement, more people are warming to these financial planning tools. In particular, one generation is the reason for an increase in prenups: Millennials in Texas and other states are signing more prenups.

According to an American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers survey, 62 percent of attorneys questioned said that more people are requesting prenups. About 51 percent attributed the increase to millennials. The millennial generation includes individuals born during the years of 1981 to 1996, so people between the ages of 22 and 37 are the ones requesting more prenups than their predecessors.

Divorce and claiming dependents

The majority of Texas residents who claim dependents on their tax returns will not experience any complications with having their returns accepted. However, complications can arise in situations in which multiple taxpayers claim the same dependents and related tax credits, such as when separated or divorced parents both decide to report their children as dependents. When this occurs, the Internal Revenue Service will have to review the returns in question and determine which claim should be honored.

There are incentives for being able to claim dependents. If they qualify, the parents may be able to file as the head of their household, which can provide a sizable standard deduction. They may also be eligible to claim certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Protecting the interests of the kids by seeking co-parenting tips

Going through the end of a marriage can be a stressful and daunting process. Regardless of what led you and your soon-to-be ex to decide to part ways, you might worry about how this experience will impact your life and wonder how long it will take the two of you to be able to maintain a civil relationship.

In some cases, being civil might not be a concern, as you could be eager to move on and open a new chapter in your life. However, if you have children together, learning how to put feelings aside and make decisions based on the needs of the kids could be key to learning how to co-parent effectively.

Protecting your business in divorce

Being an entrepreneur, and having the freedom to create and control your own business can be extremely rewarding. However, when your marriage is on shakey ground, it can also leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed - not knowing what will happen to the business in the event of divorce.  This is why it is so important to get information early on in the planning process, so you can make smart decisions about your business, and your divorce.

What kind of planning you will need to do to protect your business in the event of a divorce will depend on many factors, including: the type of business entity you own, whether the shares are transferable, whether you have partners or other shareholders in the business, when the business was formed. 

For instance, if the company was formed before marriage, it may be possible to establish that the business is separate property. If that is the case, it is imperative that the owner of the business keep good records of financial contributions and withdrawals made during the marriage.

Prenuptial agreements can address certain issues

Prenuptial agreements present Texas couples with an opportunity to understand each other's financial situation and make decisions about what should happen during a divorce. People who know that they will receive an inheritance often have an interest in separating these assets from the marital estate prior to exchanging vows. Potential income disparities between spouses resulting from one party's choice to forgo a career and stay home to raise children might also be covered by the contract in regards to compensating the unpaid individual in a divorce settlement.

Sometimes after a marriage a spouse unexpectedly receives an inheritance. Such a development could not have been anticipated when the original prenuptial agreement was negotiated. A person concerned about how a divorce could influence a sizable influx of money has the option of addressing the issue with a post-nuptial agreement. This contract would supplement the existing prenuptial agreement. Ideally, an inheritance received after marriage would be addressed before the assets become mingled with marital assets.


     When you are married and living in the State of Texas, there are rules that apply to your marriage, unless you enter into an formal agreement known as a premarital agreement (before marriage) or marital property agreement (after marriage).  Here is a list of common rules spouses are often "surprised" to learn apply to them:           

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Hargrave Family Law Jennifer S. Hargrave, P.C.

Hargrave Family Law
4201 Spring Valley Rd.
Suite 1210
Dallas, TX 75244

Phone: 214-420-0100
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