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alimony payments, Austin complex divorce attorney, high-asset divorce settlements, high-asset divorces, lump-sum settlement, spousal maintenance, complex litigation attorneyA common stipulation in high-asset divorces is alimony, also known as spousal maintenance. Alimony is money that one spouse is court-ordered to pay the other spouse. Unlike child support, alimony is completely up to a judge's discretion. In September 2011, Texas HB 901 amended the rules regarding alimony in this state, including increases to the amount and length of time a spouse may be entitled to spousal maintenance.

Traditionally, there are two ways alimony payments can be made in high-asset divorces—either periodic alimony (which is paid on an established schedule i.e. monthly) or in a lump-sum payment. There are benefits and disadvantages to each of these two methods, and an experienced complex litigation attorney can help determine which is best for your situation.

In periodic alimony payments, the payments are typically set for a certain period of time. Usually, alimony payments will end if:


Austin divorce attorney, Cedar Park complex divorce attorney, commit financial infidelity, complex divorce, complex divorce settlements, financial infidelity, high asset divorce, Round Rock family law attorneyAccording to National Endowment for Financial Education, one-third of people admit to financial infidelity in their marriage. Income, bank accounts, purchases, cash, and other financial information are just some of the items that may be hidden from a spouse. Not only can this have consequences on a marriage, it can also have a direct bearing on any complex divorce settlements should the couple's marriage end.

There are several ways people can hide income and assets from a spouse in order to avoid including them in the marriage estate. A spouse who is going through a high asset divorce and suspects the other spouse has committed financial infidelity should consider the following:

  • A spouses who are trying to hide money will transfer funds into a separate account that has just his or her name on it;


 Austin family law attorney, Equal Protection Clause, law unconstitutional, same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage ban, Texas Defense of Marriage Act, Texas law unconstitutional, unconstitutional, child custody battles, same-sex custody battlesA Texas judge recently ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. In February, a federal judge made the same ruling in a different case, striking down the state's marriage ban law.

The state case involves a couple who were married in Washington D.C. in 2010. One of the women became pregnant via artificial insemination. The baby was born in February 2013. Shortly after that, the couple split up and the biological mother sought to retain sole custody of the baby since the other woman is neither a biological or adoptive parent to the child. However, since Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages, there is no legal process in place to divorce.

According to law, children who are born in a marriage are considered a child of both spouses. This parental presumption also holds true in states that recognize same-sex marriages. In states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, like Texas, then the law says the parent who gave birth is the child's only parent.


discernment counseling, Austin family law attorney, marriage counseling, traditional marriage counseling, couples counseling, marital problemsMany couples on the brink of divorce will try marriage counseling as a last ditch effort to save the marriage. Quite often, one spouse wants to save the marriage (referred to as "leaning in") while the other spouse really wants out of the marriage (referred to as "leaning out"). The leaning out partner goes along with the marriage counseling but really does not try to work through their issues. Instead, the spouse points out that marriage counseling is not working and proceeds to file for a divorce.

However, a different type of marriage counseling has been developed by professors at the University of Minnesota and is being used in their Couples on the Brink Project. It is called "discernment counseling" and the goal is to help couples decide whether or not they should proceed with the divorce, try to save the marriage, or just separate for a while and then come back to decide. This is short-term counseling and not meant to replace traditional marriage counseling.

One of the benefits of discernment counseling is that it brings the topic of divorce to the forefront of discussion. Frequently in troubled marriages, one or both of the spouses have been seriously considering divorce, yet have not articulated that to their partner.


Texas Divorce Code, grounds for divorce, Texas divorce lawyer, Austin divorce lawyerAlthough Texas does allow for no-fault divorces, the Texas Family Code also allows for fault ground divorces. One of those grounds is adultery. In TFC  6.003, adultery in a divorce proceeding is defined as "voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one not the husband or wife of the offender". It's important to note even after the parties have separated and divorce has been filed, any acts would still legally be considered adultery.

Accusations of adultery are not enough to bring to court. You must provide solid evidence of the adultery. Text messages, emails, receipts, photos and any other evidence should be gathered and presented to the court. Adultery is also grounds for a judge to award a disproportionate award of the marital estate. TFC 7.001  states, "In a decree of divorce or annulment, the court shall order a division of the estate of the parties in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage." In a recent case that occurred in The Woodlands, an appeals court awarded the wife 81 percent of the marital estate after she proved that her husband had committed adultery. The couple decided to separate in March and the wife moved out of the marital home. The wife had hoped to reconcile and suggested counseling, which the husband refused. In June, she suspected he was having an affair, but really had no evidence at this point. The wife filed for divorce in August. In September, after finding another woman's underthings in the master bedroom of the marital home, the woman hired an investigator to gather proof of the husband's infidelity. Although the wife had already moved out and filed for divorce before she was able to obtain evidence that her husband was cheating, the court ruled that the husband was at fault for the breakup of the marriage.  The marital estate was worth $1.6 million. The wife received over $1.3 million and the husband received a little over $300,000. If you have discovered your spouse has been cheating and you are considering a divorce, contact an experience Austin family law attorney to make sure you receive the divorce settlement that you deserve.
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