Grapevine Law Blog

Double Duty: How does your divorce affect your estate plan?

Going through a divorce is complicated and it can fill your plate. Unfortunately, your divorce might not be the only legal issue you have to think about at the time. Divorce affects many different areas of your life, including your estate plan.

You may not want to think about another legal issue during this time, but it is important that you consider your estate plan during and after the divorce process. But what exactly do you need to think about?

The factors that determine custody during divorce

When you are going through a divorce, inevitably one of the main concerns you will have is how custody of the children will be broken down between you and your ex. Every divorce is different so coming up with an easy answer to that questions is nearly impossible, but one thing is for sure, the judge will make the determination based on what is best for the children.

How is best interest of the child determined?

I’m young, do I really need a will?

It’s pretty common to put off planning for your end-of-life needs, especially if you’re young. Having a will is typically associated with older folks, so many younger adults find estate planning irrelevant for them at this stage in life.

However, young people, especially those with children, need a will too. In a will, you can appoint a guardian for your children in the event that the unthinkable were to happen. If both you and your spouse were to die, you’d have planned ahead for the care of your children, and most importantly, had control in the decision.

Can you have a successful divorce?

Many of the stereotypes surrounding divorce can be harsh, but ultimately some of them are true. Divorce is an intensely emotional process and not everyone winds up having a good experience. The results of a divorce can leave people unhappy and feeling unsuccessful. However, there are a few tips people can use to set themselves up for success before and during a divorce.

Preparation

Do you need a prenup?

For a long time many people considered prenups taboo. Some people thought it was improper to discuss them and sometimes it was considered an insult if your spouse requested you signed one. However, like many other industries, younger couples are changing the conversation surrounding prenups.

Statistics show that many more millennials are choosing to sign prenups before marriage, and for good reason. Could a prenup actually be a good idea for you, too?

Burt Reynolds leaves only son out of his will

Following the recent release of the details of Burt Reynold’s will, spectators quickly noticed one odd detail. Reynolds explicitly forbade his only child, Quinton Anderson Reynolds, 30, from inheriting assets through his estate upon his death.

However, the actor reportedly opted for a different estate planning maneuver to even the playing field.

A durable power of attorney prepares you for the unexpected

If circumstances arise that either physically or mentally prevent you from tending to your responsibilities as a parent, a homeowner or even a small business operator, it’s important to have a plan in place to keep things afloat.

In Texas, you can allocate someone as a general power of attorney to make financial decisions for you, such as transferring title to your car or property, managing bank accounts and providing money for your family. You can also designate the same person or someone else as a special power of attorney to make specific health care decisions for you.

Best ways to help your child through divorce

Divorce is not generally an easy process for anyone involved, but it could take a particularly hard toll on your kids. While it is important to take care of yourself during this time and resolve conflict with your spouse, it is equally crucial to make sure your kids are okay.

However, you might not know quite how to help them through this process. Here are a few tips for helping your kids navigate your divorce:

Not my pension! Is your spouse entitled to half your pension?

Pensions can be an emotional safety net for people and something that is very personal to them. Many times, those who benefit from receiving a pension are people who have done the most challenging jobs, such as police officers, firefighters, teachers and military personnel. Because of this, pensions are coveted and can feel like a reward for stressful work while on the job. However, when it comes to divorce, that is not the case.

The hard truth is any pension or retirement benefits that were acquired during a marriage is considered marital property and can be divided up during a divorce.

3 marriage dissolution alternatives

You and your partner are unique. You want your best interests represented while developing the foundation for great co-parenting. You want to keep costs low and move through the process quickly and with as little pain as possible.

If you fit that description, then you are a part of a rising trend in family law. More and more couples are choosing marriage dissolution alternatives such as mediation, collaborative law and arbitration to save time, money and relationships. Before embarking on this journey, you would be wise to brush up on the differences.

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Traci Hutton, Attorney At Law - Family Law Attorney

1235 South Main Street
Suite 250
Grapevine, TX 76051

Phone: 817-778-4543
Fax: 817-659-2991
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