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San Antonio Family Law Blog

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.

Supreme Court: Vets can’t be forced to share disability with exes

The nation’s highest court has spoken. On May 15, the Supreme Court issued a decision in a case that questioned whether courts can require veterans to pay their ex-spouses to make up for retirement benefits that are traded in for disability benefits.

The Court held that lower courts cannot order veterans to do this. As reported, this could result in disabled veterans sharing much less of their retirement benefits with their former spouses.

Military divorce rates high for women who serve

Men and women of Texas who serve proudly in the U.S. Armed Forces often accept that their military service complicates many areas of their lives. Many service members will agree that the part of life most seriously compromised by their military duties is their family life. The stress of deployment, unfamiliar environments, frequent moves and the resulting difficulty of forming lasting relationships all take their tolls on a marriage and family. Military divorce is a sad consequence of this stress.

Recent studies show that the rate of military divorce rose again this past year, ending years of steady decline. The overall divorce rate is 3.1 percent and represents the first increase since 2011. Among all branches of the military, the Marine Corps saw the greatest overall increase in divorce.

High asset divorce may stem from lack of partnership

Most married couples in Texas are not surprised to hear when researchers link divorce with money issues. Struggles or disputes over money have been a primary reason for divorce for generations, and hearing this in newer studies is not a shock. However, as the roles of men and women change in marriages, couples facing a high asset divorce may be interested in the conclusions of the latest research.

A growing number of women earn more than their husbands. In fact, about 29 percent of wives garner the higher salary, while 38 percent of wives are the primary earners. A Harvard Business Review study suggests that the rising salary of women correlates with the rising rate of divorce. Women seem dissatisfied with husbands who are less successful. Husbands, on the other hand, are more likely to suffer from anxiety and insomnia or to cheat on their wives if those wives earn a higher salary than the husbands.

Business valuation in Texas: 3 approaches

A Texas couple going through a divorce already has a lot to deal with. If they have children, custody and support may be primary concerns. Beyond that, the appropriate division of property is essential for both parties to be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living after the divorce. When assets include a business, a new complication arises, particularly if the business is considered community property. In order to decide how the business will affect the division of property, a business valuation will be required.

Whether the couple decides to sell the business or one partner opts to buy out the other's share, they will want to understand the full value of the business. A professional business valuator will use one of three methods. The most straightforward method is to add up the assets and subtract the liabilities. A valuator may also total the amount the couple would receive if they paid off the business's debts and sold the assets.

Alimony guidelines protect spouses who have few resources

Spousal support laws are changing rapidly throughout the country, although in some states, those supporting a former spouse may think the laws do not change fast enough. Nevertheless, Texas courts strive to determine fair amounts of alimony if such support is needed. Following the guidelines provided in the state's Family Code, couples may be able to predict how alimony will pertain to their circumstances.

A spouse may petition the court for post-divorce support by demonstrating that he or she is unable to afford the minimum standards for a reasonable lifestyle. This may be the result of a disability or because the spouse is responsible for the care of a disabled child born of the marriage. The court may also award alimony to a spouse who has been married longer than 10 years or who was a victim of abuse within two years of filing for divorce.

Supreme Court deciding case that affects military divorce

There are special rules that apply when a member of the military goes through divorce.

For example, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act is a federal law that allows state courts to divide military retirement pay as part of the property settlement portion of a divorce. It was adopted in the 1982 to provide some financial protection to former spouses of servicemembers.

Military divorce may mean declining communication with children

No matter the circumstances, divorce is a disruption to any Texas family. Plans, routines and finances may be thrown into disarray for a period of time until disputes are settled and new systems are put into place. In a military divorce, however, there may be special considerations to make. Because of the delicate balance of family life and military service, couples going through a divorce may face unique complications.

Even if a military couple's divorce left them with an agreeable custody arrangement, that schedule may become irrelevant if the servicemember is deployed or transferred to another state. Such a move may ultimately mean the loss of physical connection between a military parent and his or her children. The servicemember may fear losing custody altogether and may have to fight to maintain communication with his or her children.

After high asset divorce, wealthy men prefer to remarry

It is no secret that men and women often view marriage differently. As generations pass, the roles of men and women in a family evolve, and the attitudes about those roles change. A recent study of couples who have experienced a high asset divorce shows yet another shift in thinking about marriage in general. Texas couples may be interested in the findings of this study.

According to the study, most wealthy men are open to marrying again within five years after a divorce. While "love" is listed as the primary goal for 60 percent of that group, others did say they are looking for a beautiful woman to "spoil" or with whom to "share their wealth." However, in excess of 90 percent of those open to remarrying say they also expect their new mates to have established careers of their own. The study concluded that for all their money, most wealthy men do not want to be alone.

Business valuation may be necessary if joint owners divorce

For many in Texas, joining together as a couple goes beyond sharing a home and raising a family. Some couples decide that starting their own business is the best way to use their common talents. When both the business and the marriage are successful, things may be ideal. However, if the marriage doesn't last, the business may suffer, and in some cases, this may require a business valuation.

A business is an important asset that must be considered if a couple decides to divorce. If the couple did not plan for this contingency with a prenuptial agreement or an exit strategy, they may be forced to sort it out at the emotional height of their divorce. With this in mind, there are several options a couple may consider.

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Law Office of Rebecca Anne Gonzalez
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