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TX divorce lawyerIn Texas divorce cases, child support is often one of the most crucial issues that will need to be addressed. This support will ensure that children will have the financial resources to address their daily needs. However, parents may be unsure about exactly what is covered by child support and whether additional support may be ordered to provide for different types of expenses. By working with a family law attorney, parents can make sure issues related to child support are addressed correctly, and they can determine how they can best provide for their children’s needs.

Medical and Dental Support and Variances from Child Support Guidelines

In Texas divorce and family law cases, child support is calculated by multiplying the net resources of the obligor (the parent who will be paying child support) by a certain percentage that is based on the number of children being supported. Child support calculated using these guidelines is meant to cover children’s ongoing needs, including food, shelter, clothing, childcare, transportation, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to the amount of child support calculated using the guidelines provided in Texas law, parents will also be required to provide both medical support and dental support. A parent will be required to obtain health insurance and dental insurance coverage for children or pay the reasonable cost of coverage obtained by the other parent. Reasonable costs of medical insurance cannot exceed 9% of the obligor’s annual financial resources. Reasonable costs of dental insurance cannot exceed 1.5% of the obligor’s annual financial resources.

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TX divorce attorneyWhile couples can get divorced at any age, people over the age of 50 are one demographic that has seen large increases in divorce rates over the past few decades. There are a variety of reasons for the rise in “gray divorce” cases, including a higher likelihood of financial autonomy for women, the ease of finding new partners through online dating, and an increased social and religious acceptance of divorce. Whether a couple has been married for a long time or has a high net worth, they may need to address some unique issues in a gray divorce that may not necessarily apply for younger couples.

Divorce Issues for Spouses Over 50

Some of the unique concerns that couples may face in a gray divorce include:

  • Child-related issues - Older couples may not necessarily need to address issues related to child custody or child support, since any children they have are likely to have reached adulthood. However, they may need to update their estate planning documents to address any decisions made about inheritances received by their children following the death of either spouse.
  • Property division - Complex property litigation may be needed to address the assets a couple has accumulated during their marriage. The family home and any other real estate property will need to be properly valued to determine how it will be divided. Couples may also need to address assets like vehicles, valuables such as artwork or jewelry, and financial accounts or investments.
  • Retirement - Spouses over the age of 50 will likely be concerned about whether they will be able to retire as planned. Any retirement savings or pension benefits that either spouse earned during their marriage will need to be divided along with other marital property, and in most cases, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) can be used to do so. It is also important to understand that a person can receive Social Security benefits through their ex-spouse, and this may be helpful for those who did not work or earned less than their spouse during their marriage.
  • Spousal support - Following a marriage of at least 10 years, one spouse will usually be eligible to receive support payments from their ex-spouse if they do not have the means to fully support themselves. If a couple was married between 20 and 30 years, spousal support will usually be paid for up to seven years, and for marriages of more than 30 years, spousal support may be paid for up to 10 years.

Contact Our Austin Gray Divorce Lawyers

If you are over the age of 50, you may need to address multiple different types of financial issues during your divorce, and you will want to understand your rights and your legal options. At Powers and Kerr, LLC, we can provide you with the legal representation you need, and we will help you negotiate a settlement that will allow you to maintain success throughout the rest of your life. For dedicated legal help, contact our Austin, TX high asset divorce attorneys at 512-610-6199.

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TX divorce lawyerIf you are a business owner, you need to understand that getting divorced could have a significant impact on your ownership of business assets, the income you earn through your business, and your ability to continue operating your company successfully. For business owners, divorce often involves complex property litigation as they determine how to divide their marital assets and debts. Those who are looking to protect a family business or professional practice in the case of divorce should consider creating either a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement.

Addressing a Family Business in a Prenup or Postnup

A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a legal agreement signed by a couple before getting married. This agreement will detail how certain matters will be handled if their marriage ends in divorce, and it may include decisions related to marital assets such as family businesses. A postnuptial agreement, or postnup, functions the same as a prenup, but it is created and signed after a couple is already married.

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may address a business or professional practice in the following ways:

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TX custody lawyerWhen parents get divorced, they will need to address multiple concerns related to their children, including how they will share in making decisions about how their children will be raised and when children will live with each parent. While parents will often disagree about how to handle these matters, they may be able to work together to resolve their differences and reach agreements on how to meet their children’s needs. However, some contentious divorce cases can involve complex child custody disputes, requiring parents to take legal action to protect their rights and their children’s best interests. Parental alienation is one issue that may play a major role in these disputes, and a parent will need to understand how to respond in these situations.

What Is Parental Alienation?

It is common for divorcing parents to feel some negativity toward each other. However, it is also important for them to recognize that their children deserve to have positive relationships with both parents. Unfortunately, some parents try to harm their children’s relationships with the other parent. This may be done intentionally, such as by making negative comments about the other parent or blaming them for the divorce, and a parent may hope to have children take their side and ask that custody disputes be resolved in their favor. Parental alienation may also be more passive, such as when a parent reacts negatively when a child talks about enjoying their time with the other parent.

Parental alienation is not always easy to recognize. Children may already be feeling unhappy about their parents’ divorce, so negativity towards a parent or resistance to spending time with them may be attributed to emotional stress or difficulty adjusting to changes in their lives. However, a parent will want to watch out for the following signs that may indicate that the other parent is attempting to alienate their child against them:

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TX family lawyerA divorce will involve multiple different types of financial issues, and child support is one of the key areas that will need to be addressed. These payments will ensure that a parent will be able to provide for children’s needs going forward. However, the amount of child support that is set at the time of a divorce may need to be adjusted at a later date if parents or children experience changes in their lives. Parents who are looking to make changes to these financial obligations will need to understand when child support modifications can be made and the process that will be followed when addressing these requests.

Situations Where Child Support Modifications May Be Warranted

There are a few different types of cases where a parent may ask to modify child support. Modifications may be made if:

  • At least three years have passed since the child support order was established, and calculating child support under the state guidelines based on the parties’ current circumstances would result in a difference of at least 20% or $100 from the amount that is currently being paid.
  • One or more of the parties involved in the case (including the parents or the children being supported) have experienced a “material and substantial change in circumstances.”

In most cases, modification requests will be based on a change in circumstances. These changes may include an increase or decrease in the income earned by the parent who pays child support, changes to children’s needs, or updates to children’s living arrangements.

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TX alimony lawyerSpouses who are going through the divorce process will need to address multiple different types of legal and financial issues. The laws surrounding divorce can be complicated, but by working with an experienced attorney, a person can gain a full understanding of their rights and obligations, and they can determine the best ways to achieve their goals. Spousal support, which is commonly known as alimony and referred to as spousal maintenance in Texas law, is one issue that spouses will often have questions about. These questions may include:

When Is a Person Eligible to Receive Spousal Support?

Typically, a spouse will only be able to receive maintenance if they do not own enough assets, including marital property awarded to them during their divorce and separate property owned independently of the other spouse, to reasonably provide for their minimal ongoing needs. If this is the case, spousal support may be awarded in the following situations:

  • The couple was married for at least 10 years, and the spouse who is asking for support is currently unable to earn a sufficient level of income to provide for their needs.
  • The spouse who is asking for support has a physical or mental disability that has caused them to be unable to earn a sufficient level of income.
  • The spouse who is asking for support is the custodial parent of a child that has a physical or mental disability, and providing care for the child has caused the spouse to be unable to earn a sufficient level of income to meet their needs.
  • The spouse who would be paying support was convicted of a family violence offense within two years before the divorce petition was filed or during the course of the divorce case.

As part of their divorce settlement, spouses may also agree that one party will pay spousal support to the other. This is known as contractual alimony.

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TX high asset divorceUPDATE: To avoid financial issues during divorce, spouses should take care when making any major decisions about money or property, including entering into any major transactions. To ensure that marital property can be fairly divided between spouses, the parties should fully disclose all relevant financial information related to their marital assets, as well as all forms of separate property. Spouses should not sell, give away, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any physical items, financial assets, or other forms of marital property. If a spouse does so, they could face consequences as described below.

Unfortunately, when a person commits fraud against their spouse, this may lead to the loss of assets, limiting the financial resources that are available during the property division process. To prevent this, a spouse may ask the court to issue a temporary financial restraining order. This type of court order will prevent both spouses from making any major financial transactions or taking any actions that could cause financial harm to their former partner. Spouses will be permitted to make regular expenditures to cover the costs of daily life, and as they work through the divorce process, they can ensure that the majority of their marital assets will not be affected, allowing them to reach a settlement that is fair and equitable for both parties. If you believe that a temporary restraining order is needed in your divorce, or if you need to address other complex property issues, an Austin divorce lawyer can provide you with legal help and representation.


When it comes to a high asset divorce in Texas, both parties need to take care when selling or disposing of anything that might be considered marital property. In other words, do not sell all of your jewelry or expensive electronics and keep the money hidden from your estranged spouse. If you do this, a court may consider such actions “fraudulent” and penalize you when making a final division of the marital estate.

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TX family lawyerThere are many different types of situations where a person may fear for the safety of themselves, their children, or other family members or people who live in their home. Whether a person in a family has been the victim of domestic abuse, or conflict between divorcing spouses has escalated to the point of physical violence, those who are in danger of harm can take action to address this issue and prevent a person from abusing, injuring, or threatening them. People in Texas who are in this type of situation will need to understand their options for receiving a protective order that will help keep them and their family safe.

Types of Protective Orders

Those who are in need of immediate protection can file a petition in court for a temporary protective order, which is also known as an “ex parte order.” If a judge believes, based on the information contained in an application for an ex parte order, that there is a clear and present danger that a person will commit family violence, they may issue a temporary protective order without holding a hearing. This order may prohibit a person from taking specific actions, such as committing domestic abuse, contacting the petitioner or their family members, or entering a shared residence. Temporary protective orders can remain in effect for 20 days, and they can be extended for additional 20-day periods if necessary.

In cases where a person has been arrested on family violence charges, a criminal court judge may issue a Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection, and this type of order is mandatory in situations where a person allegedly inflicted serious bodily injury while committing family violence or used a deadly weapon when committing domestic assault. A Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection can prohibit a person from committing any further acts of family violence or communicating with members of their family or household in a way that is threatening or harassing. A person may also be ordered to stay away from a family member’s home, school, or workplace, and they may be required to turn over any firearms they own or a concealed handgun license. A discretionary order can remain in effect for 31 to 61 days, while a mandatory order can remain in effect for 61 to 91 days.

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