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Military divorce not surprisingly linked to job stress

Texas couples are probably no longer surprised to hear statistics about high divorce rates in the country. They may even have their own opinions for the reasons why so many marriages end in divorce. With the high population of military families in Texas, many may assume that military divorce rates are even higher than those of the civilian population. A recent study shows this assumption is not far off the mark.

The research examined divorce rates for those under 30 working in various industries. Among those with the highest rate of divorce are first-line military supervisors, especially enlisted servicemembers. In fact, 30 percent of those in this line of employment divorce before the age of 30. Perhaps not surprisingly, three of the top 10 occupations with the highest divorce rates are military.

Secrecy and separation may lead to military divorce

For many Texas spouses, strengthening their marital bond often occurs at the dinner table when they share the details of their days. Those daily experiences allow the spouses a glimpse into the time spent away from each other and provide a certain amount of decompression as the spouses express their feelings about the day's events. However, for those in the military, sharing details of daily events may not be possible, and this void may contribute to the high rate of military divorce.

Servicemembers with high security clearance may be especially bound to secrecy, preventing them from the intimacy of sharing the most basic conversations with their spouses. In fact, for some, the person they must be at work is very different from the person they are at home with their spouses. This dichotomy may become a wall between them. When civilian spouses cannot enjoy the simple connections other couples share – such as stopping by the office for lunch or asking about a spouse's day – they may simply pull back from communicating at all.

High asset divorce may require thorough appraisal of assets

When business partners go their separate ways, they typically obtain an objective valuation of their interests in the company to ensure each partner receives a fair share of the payout. When dealing with a high asset divorce, a similar valuation may be necessary. In fact, many spouses in Texas may not even realize the full value of their assets, and this could hinder them from receiving what they deserve and need for a comfortable future.

One area of a couple's finances that may require professional valuation is investment-related interests. Stock options, for example, may carry contingencies of which one spouse may not be aware. Since valuation of investments is more specialized than valuating a business, divorcing spouses may seek the advice of an attorney with experience in complex divorces who may have access to resources for complicated valuations.

Alimony raises concerns for many divorcing spouses

For many going through a divorce in Texas, it seems like no decision goes the right way. Naturally, you would hope to be able to keep as much money and as many assets as possible to take into your new life, but the sad fact is that community property will likely be divided in some way. Perhaps the most misunderstood ruling in some eyes involves alimony.

If you are ordered to pay spousal support, you may feel unfairly burdened. However, if you are granted alimony, it may be a relief. Like many approaching divorce, you may have many questions about this often maligned factor in marriage breakups.

Mistakes women over 50 make during a divorce

Female members of the babyboomer generation are more confident in their finances than any other generation of women in history. Yet, in a recent survey conducted by Allianz Life Insurance on women and money, over 64 percent of divorced respondents over 50 suffered post-divorce financial crises.

There are a variety of different reasons for this, including certain financial traps that women over 50 often fall into during the divorce process. As much as you may want to avoid conflict and move on with your life as quickly as possible, take care to avoid these common mistakes:

Business valuation includes intangible factors

The spouse of a business owner facing divorce may be justifiably concerned about how the business will impact the divorce proceedings. If no prenuptial agreement exists, the business is likely subject to property division according to Texas community property laws. This means that a business valuation may be necessary in order to determine how the business will be apportioned between the owner and the spouse.

Counting inventory and pricing equipment is only part of finding the value of a business. In addition to the tangible assets and liabilities, a business has value in its public reputation, known as goodwill. A business in good standing with satisfied customers and a recognizable brand may have significant value in its goodwill above what can be calculated in its accounts. However, because goodwill is intangible, its valuation may be subjective.

Rules change for retirement pay after military divorce

Texas men and women who serve in the military have long protested laws regarding the division of their retirement pay during divorce. Military divorce comes with unique rules meant to protect both servicemembers and their civilian spouses, and this involves the splitting of military retirement pay by as much as 50 percent. Although states have some leeway in deciding how much a civilian spouse receives after a divorce, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision may change that.

Currently, if a veteran is eligible for disability pay rating 40 percent or less, the vet must relinquish an equal amount of his or her retirement pay to avoid taxes. This means that if an ex-spouse receives a portion of that retirement pay, and it is cut so the vet can receive disability, the veteran must replace the  former spouse's portion with part of the disability pay. Many states interpreted this to mean that reimbursement should take place even if the vet does not receive disability until years after divorcing.

Planning ahead for high asset divorce

While there are certainly marriages that end suddenly and without warning, many spouses in Texas are aware that divorce is imminent long before the papers are filed. Spouses can take advantage of the early inklings of a breakup to make crucial preparations for the future. In a high asset divorce, there is often a great deal at stake. Planning for the future can ensure a more positive financial transition into post-divorce life.

For many couples who deal with business overheads, investments and other complex finances, it may be second-nature to keep track of expenses on a daily basis. However, if this is something a couple has not done, or if only one spouse has been responsible for the budget, it is a good habit to begin as soon as possible. Additionally, any financial record-keeping will be helpful when the court begins its determinations regarding support payments and asset division.

Business valuation may be avoided with careful planning

Marriage and business certainly have many common characteristics, especially when they are coming to an end. If an entrepreneur is facing a divorce, however, the last thing he or she may want is for the business to get caught up in the division of assets. This could easily mean the demise of an enterprise he or she has labored to build. Nevertheless, without taking precautions, Texas business owners may find themselves facing business valuation and the division of their hard-earned assets during a divorce.

One of the most practical ways business owners can protect their interests is to have prenuptial agreements to clarify the ownership of business assets from the start. In lieu of this, business owners can still take steps to protect their interests by scrupulously separating the assets and expenditures of the businesses from the family accounts. Additionally, entrepreneurs who restrict their spouse's involvement in the business may have an easier time protecting their assets than those who employ their spouses or include them in the operations of the company.

Talk show host will pay $1.5 million in alimony

For some people, celebrities are like their own family. Fans follow the news for details about their careers, their wealth and their love lives. The latest headlines regarding a celebrity tell of a seemingly outrageous divorce settlement that may leave many shaking their heads in disbelief. Those in Texas who are going through divorce themselves may even feel some concern about any alimony ruling a court may order for their situation.

Aisha Tyler is co-host of the TV talk show, The Talk, which features a panel of women discussing parenting, celebrities and other topics geared toward the daytime viewer. Tyler also owns a small entertainment production company and a communications company. She and her husband had been married for 20 years before deciding to divorce due to irreconcilable differences.

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Law Office of Rebecca Anne Gonzalez
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