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Houston Divorce Blog

Do these 4 things once the divorce is final

You thought you were prepared for it. Eager, even. So, now that the ink is finally dry on your divorce decree, why do you feel as if someone just gut-punched you?

You should realize that it is perfectly normal to feel as you do. Regardless of your motivations (or lack thereof) to get divorced, this is a loss that needs to be grieved just as any other does. Below are four things to do when forging a new path after divorce.

Divorce and the empty nest

Empty Nest Syndrome is when the last child leaves home and parents suddenly find that they are once again alone in the house. For many, it's something they may not have experienced for 20 or 30 years.

Parents with a house full of rowdy children may think it sounds great to have this empty nest and return to the way they lived when they were a young newlywed couple. They may dream about sleeping in every morning, relaxing to read a book after dinner and having more time for one another.

How are qualified retirement accounts transferred during divorce?

Adults who are going through a divorce will have a lot of factors to work through. One is how to divide the property. While it might be easy to decide what happens to smaller assets, larger ones can often be more challenging. One type of asset that can lead to significant problems is a retirement account.

Many requirement accounts, including a 401(k) and 403(b), require a qualified domestic relations order to transfer from one spouse to the other due to divorce. Individual retirement accounts use a different method, which is known as a transfer incident to divorce. When it comes to the QDRO, there are some specific points that must be covered for it to be valid.

Get your groove back after your Texas divorce

Divorce has a way of taking the wind out of even the most resilient of people's sails. When you pledged to love and honor your spouse until death, you meant those words sincerely. Later, when things changed irrevocably, you were brokenhearted over the failure of your marriage.

That is, indeed, understandable, and you have every right to grieve the loss of your marriage, as in many ways, it is like a death. But that is no excuse to give up on the goal of living your best life. If you are mired in regret and remorse, it's time to kick the "coulda, woulda, shouldas" to the curb and dive back into your life once again.

Common law, same-sex marriages under Texas law

Long before the legality of same-sex marriages became the law of the land here in the United States, heterosexual and same-sex couples had been shacking up and sharing their lives just as if they had walked down the aisle together. At some point after same-sex marriage was legalized, many of these couples wed.

As such, some are now divorcing, which presents some interesting questions regarding the dates they use when filing and answering petitions for divorce.

Decide which assets to pursue in your divorce settlement

Divorce is an emotional event in a person's life. Some people display their baser natures when going through a divorce. Especially if the divorce was unwanted or sprung on them out of the blue, spouses may attempt to retaliate via the divorce process.

This is almost universally unwise, but perhaps not for the reasons you might expect. When in the throes of a divorce, whether it is an amicable uncontested divorce or a hotly contested courtroom battle, it's important to keep your eye on the ball and bring your "A" game.

Postnups: The documents you don't realize (yet) that you need

Most people have heard of prenuptial agreements and have a working knowledge of why they are so handy. But fewer realize the benefits of postnups or why they really need one.

It's also common to believe that if you married without a prenup in place, you have no options. However, these legal documents can provide a framework for a marriage that can be beneficial to both spouses. Here's how they work.

Social media can be a helpful tool in your divorce

In a previous post, we talked about how social media can negatively affect you. However, there are ways it can work in your favor, too, especially if you have to collect evidence for your divorce.

While you know better than to post anything improper on social media (including photos, videos and information), your spouse might not. If you have access to his or her accounts or can see what he or she posts, this may be a good time to start collecting evidence, finding hidden assets and gathering information for negotiations.

Going through a 'gray divorce?' Read this first

In past generations, older couples with less-than-perfect marriages tended to soldier on together regardless of the level of dissatisfaction the spouses felt toward their respective partners. But while overall divorce rates in the United States are dropping, for those 50 and older, there is an uptick in divorce.

A divorce over the age of 50 can be harder to rebound from financially, as couples in this age bracket have fewer working years left to recoup any losses and build up their retirement pensions. In these situations, it is frequently the women who take the harder hits. Even if the woman in a so-called "gray divorce" worked throughout the marriage, chances are good that she earned a great deal less than her husband over many of those years.

Social media: Venting can result in serious trouble in court

Social media is a relatively new thing to come up in divorces. Prior to the 2000's, it was almost unheard of to have a spouse online spreading rumors or venting about his or her partner. Today, it's so common that it's almost something people ignore.

The problem with social media is partially that it has a history of everything you've ever done or posted. You might update it regularly to show what you did all day, or you might upload photos to share with friends and family members. Friends add photos of you, too. You have chats online, messages from others and share additional information out of the public eye.

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