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Dallas Divorce and Family Law Blog

Options for Dividing the Family Home in Divorce

After years of living in the same home and growing accustomed to your surroundings within the community, the thought of parting with a family home may seem daunting. For many families, the family home is the most valuable asset, and it is an asset that is not easy to simply cut in half.  While you might be perfectly content with staying in the home, some circumstances in life may leave you facing a difficult decision.

Should you and your spouse choose to take separate paths, you might have concerns over how best to handle the family home. Although this asset may hold a lot of value beyond purely financial, pursuing ownership of the home is one option among many others options that need to be considered in the context of a divorce.

Adjusting the parenting schedule for the summer

Summertime is a change of pace.  The school schedule goes away (for most, unless they have summer school), many children enjoy day camps and sleep away camps, and parents often enjoy a vacation or two with their children.  Under the Texas Standard Possession Order, the possession schedule changes in summer, too.

Research reveals that student loans may cause divorce

According to research, student loan debts may cause other problems in addition to massive debts. A heavy student loan debt load can create a lot of stress in a marriage relationship. Researchers have known for years that money problems, such as debt, causes stress in marital relationships. However, the most recent study shows that student debts are more harmful than other types of financial obligations. The Student Loan Hero study found that 33% of student borrowers believed their divorces were caused by money problems with 1 out of every 8 students blaming his or her student loans for causing marital issues leading to divorce.

The problem with a student loan is that it is usually larger than the average debt. The average student loan is more than $34,000. Some students even have loans equaling more than $50,000. Individuals graduating from college without any jobs in the real world may find it more than difficult to pay back their loans. A married student with plans to buy a house and have children may face insurmountable monetary issues.

Preparing for an Empty Nest Divorce

Graduation season is upon us. I am preparing to launch my firstborn from high school into the next phase of his life. It is an exciting time.

It is also a time of significant shifts in family dynamics. For many partners in a marriage who are watching their only child, or their youngest child, leave "the nest," it is not uncommon for this season of life to bring with it a period of contemplation, and a yearning for something else. For some couples, this may mean reinvesting in their marriage.

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.

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

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

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