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San Antonio Family Law Blog

Divorce later in life can have huge financial repercussions

The rate of marital dissolution has nearly doubled for people age 50 or older since the 1990s. In fact, this rate has actually tripled since that period for people age 65 or older. Unfortunately, divorce this late in life can have major financial consequences for individuals in San Antonio.

The reality is, people who divorce when they are older are usually not as financially secure as widowed or married older adults are. In fact, research shows that, for this group, poverty rates tend to be high, and benefits from the Social Security Administration tend to be low. Part of the reason for this is that, when people divorce as older individuals, they do not have much time to recover financially from the divorce.

Divorce during pregnancy is possible

Getting divorced in San Antonio can no doubt be challenging at any stage of adulthood. However, it can be especially difficult for those who are pregnant. Still, it is possible to successfully navigate the divorce process during pregnancy. Here are a couple of tips for managing pregnancy and divorce at the same time.

For starters, it is critical for pregnant women who are contemplating divorce to meet with attorneys right away. A Texas attorney can explain to a pregnant woman her rights during and after the divorce process. The attorney can also explain the father's rights when it comes to parenting time and child custody.

Divorce affects 401(k) savings

In addition to being difficult to cope with emotionally, dissolving a marriage can pose financial challenges. Naturally, people in San Antonio might wonder how divorce will affect their retirement savings. Here is a glimpse of how courts handle the splitting of retirement funds during the divorce process.

For starters, two people who are getting divorced need to consider the steps they took before walking down the aisle. Specifically, did they take time to draft a prenuptial agreement? If a prenuptial agreement is in place, it will determine how their retirement funds will be handled during the marital breakup. However, if no such agreement has been established, then one spouse's 401(k) must be split between the two parties.

Finance-minded divorce planning can be advantageous

The marital dissolution rate has decreased from nearly 50% to 39% from the 1980s to now. Nonetheless, divorce sometimes is unavoidable because two married individuals cannot resolve their differences. Although divorce can certainly take a toll on people financially in San Antonio, a little finance-minded planning can go a long way in minimizing the negative impacts of divorce.

For starters, it may be helpful to seek the assistance of a financial planner before embarking on the divorce process. The reason for this is that these individuals can help a person who is going through divorce to have a firm understanding of the assets they own as well as their liabilities. This is essential for both parties, but it is particularly critical for the spouse who was not heavily involved in the household finances. This is the person who, for example, did not pay the bills, create the budget, or make contributions to investment and retirement accounts.

Divorce impacts Social Security benefits

Breaking up with a spouse can no doubt be stressful at any age from a financial standpoint. However, it can be even more difficult for those nearing retirement. Here is a rundown on how Social Security retirement benefits work for individuals who have gone through divorce in San Antonio.

As a general rule of thumb, a divorced individual can receive Social Security funds based on the work record of his or her ex-spouse. The great thing about this is that the benefits that he or she receives have no impact on the benefit amount that the ex-spouse gets. The divorced party is eligible to receive half of his or her ex's full retirement total if he or she starts getting benefits at his or her full age of retirement. In addition, if the ex ends up dying first, the divorced party may receive the full benefit amount that he or she would have received. However, obtaining these benefits is possible only if the divorced individual meets certain criteria.

Loving and Caring Order

Petitioner and Respondent are ORDERED to encourage and nurture the relationship between the children and the other party, taking good faith measures to ensure visitation and refraining from doing anything to undermine the relationship between the other party and the children. Petitioner and Respondent are ORDERED to do everything within his or her power to create in the children's mind a loving and caring feeling towards the other party. 

Children's Bill of Rights

Children love their parents and want to be with them. Even in times of great stress, parents have a responsibility to conduct their legal affairs in a manner that will protect their children from adult conflicts.

At a minimum, children are entitled to the following Bill of Rights:

1. Neither parent shall deny the child reasonable use of the telephone to place and receive calls with the other parent and relatives.

2. Neither parent shall speak or write derogatory remarks about the other parent to the child, or engage in abusive, coarse or foul language, which can be overheard by the child whether or not the language involves the other parent.

3. Neither parent shall permit the children to overhear arguments, negotiations or other substantive discussions about legal or business dealings between the parents.

Strategies can help with coping with grief during divorce

Going through the dissolution of a marriage can no doubt be difficult financially. However, it can be just as tough to swallow emotionally. Here are some strategies for coping with the grief that accompanies the divorce process in San Antonio and elsewhere.

First, it is a wise move for individuals who are going through divorce to accept that their marriages are over. Only then can they fully embrace the divorce process and all of the responsibilities that come with it. It may also behoove these individuals to seek expert help, such as that from a life coach or therapist. These types of professionals can help divorcing individuals process their feelings and keep them on track for achieving their life goals outside of marriage.

Joint child custody can be a relatively peaceful process

The process of getting divorced is not easy for people at any age, but it can become doubly complicated for parents who share young children. Conflict can easily occur in the area of child custody, particularly if the parents have joint custody, where they must make decisions regarding the children's upbringing together. Still, some tips might help to make joint custody a positive experience for all involved in San Antonio.

For starters, it is imperative that both parents show each other respect. For instance, they should not badmouth the other party in front of the children. This will help them to have a more conflict-free co-parenting situation.

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Law Office of George C. Ruiz, PLLC
1120 Buena Vista Street
San Antonio, Texas 78207

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Fax: 210-455-6889
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