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El Paso Legal Blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Tax planning before divorce

Taxes can play a serious role in divorce in Texas and should be considered in the first steps of planning. For example, legal federal tax stratagems can shift income from higher-earning spouses to the spouse with less income and play a role in divorce litigation and the shaping of the decree.

Congress never wanted to encourage divorce or discourage marriages Accordingly, it never made child support deductible or taxable.

Parental alienation syndrome in Texas news again

Here at The Law Office of Douglas C. Smith in El Paso, we represent parents — including those in the military or their spouses — in matters of child custody, conservatorship, parenting plans, visitation and relocation. In any major issue involving a minor child’s life, especially concerning his or her residence, time with each parent and important decision-making, the court is guided by the child’s best interest

The Jones case 

Don't navigate a divorce alone

No one enters a relationship with the end in mind. Unfortunately, many marriages eventually reach a breaking point for one reason or another. Finally making the decision to divorce is one of the most stressful and emotionally devastating situations a person can go through. Even in times of such distress, however, understanding the basics of what a divorce entails can help make the process go as smoothly as possible given the gravity of the situation.

Instead of requiring a specific reason for divorce or holding a particular party at fault, most states (including Texas) allow a divorce to be categorized as "no fault." When there is no overt blame to be place on either spouse, a no-fault divorce allows an individual to file for divorce even if the other part in the relationship doesn't agree.

Texas denies car registrations over child support

Parents with possession or custody of their children still confront many potential problems. However, the State of Texas has options to help parents seek delinquent payments for child support.

The State has used its most recent legal tool to deny vehicle registration for over 14,500 non-custodial parents since a new law began in September 2016.This new law allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to deny vehicle registration to parents who are six months late in making support payments. The Office of Attorney General issued denials on 18,693 cases involving 14,779 parents without custody.

When your spouse talks about divorce

Hearing the announcement or facing the intuition that a spouse wants to divorce brings reactions of anger, denial, confusion and sadness. Compounding this turmoil is the importance of taking the first steps with dealing with divorce and answering the question of what next.

Overcoming anger is the first step with moving on and resolving divorce legal issues. Finding an unbiased confidant with whom one can discuss feelings who has no interest in the couple is important. Family members and friends are biased and should be disqualified. An experienced therapist, however, can provide this support.

Tax planning and divorce

Almost half of all American marriages end in divorce. But like most other life-altering events, there are still tax consequences. Financial planning for the tax consequences associated with property division should take place well before the decree is issued.

A spouse should address the designation of beneficiaries or the person who receives their money after death from a 401(k), pension plan or other qualified retirement plan. Normally, the spouse was named as a beneficiary many years ago after a very short time of reflection.

Helping you resolve child custody and support issues

When you start a family, it is difficult to not be constantly devoted to the needs of your children. Children are a blessing and provide much meaning in the lives of parents. While being part of a family is often a dream come true, problems and issues could enter the family life, making it difficult to maintain. No family is perfect, and some family issues are not resolvable. However, when parents divorce, they need to address the needs of the children involved.

Divorcing with children means considering the best interest of the children. When determining the best custody arrangement or whether to request child support, this means thinking about the present and future needs of the children. At the Law Offices of Douglas C. Smith, our experienced legal team understands the sensitivity of this family law matter; therefore, we are dedicated to helping El Paso parents properly resolve this divorce issue.

Non-parent ordered to pay child support

Texas child support guidelines require parents to pay support regardless of whether they have custody or parental access. However, a court in Houston recently ordered a man to pay child support although DNA test results showed that he was not the biological father of his ex-girlfriend's child.

The former girl-friend told a court in 2003 that he was the only possible father of this child who was born 16 years ago. Texas began assessment of child support payments. The support debt is $65,000. The man claimed that he was held responsible for child support, not from parentage, but from deductions from his paychecks in 2003. Along with his attorney, he claimed that there were only three $31.00 deductions when he was employed at a dealership.

Military divorce: interplay of retirement and disability benefits

Here at the El Paso, Texas, Law Office of Douglas C. Smith, we regularly represent people involved in divorces where one or both spouses are affiliated with the U.S. military such as those connected with Fort Bliss. For clients like this, it is important to engage a lawyer experienced specifically in military divorces because these cases involve a unique and complex intersection of federal military law and state family law.

New U.S. Supreme Court holding impacting military divorces 

Child custody is complicated for those in the military

Child custody disputes are never easy, but parents who are in the military face special challenges. Because military personnel move frequently, child custody issues may involve the laws of multiple states.

When children are moved to another state, that state assumes jurisdiction over child custody matters unless a court order was issued before the move. This may pose obstacles where military personnel are stationed in another state but must file in the state where the children reside. States also have different waiting periods for divorce and a military spouse may have to pay out of a basic housing allowance until the divorce is final.

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