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Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyerIn the midsts of the holidays, not everyone is full of cheer and happiness. Thousands of homes across the country are in the middle of strife and anxiety, more than that associated with entertaining for the holidays. Recent studies show an increase in divorce cases following the holidays. Many psychologists offer possible reasoning for the rise.

Bad Gifts

In most divorces following the gift-giving seasons, the gift actually may be the straw figuratively breaks the camel’s back. Although the gift is not the primary reason for divorcing someone after several years or even decades of marriage, each year the other spouse has renewed hope that this year will be better. When a gift is given that solidifies incompatibility between spouses, many lose the faith of improving conditions. Unless the gift is truly outlandish, the recipient has predetermined based on other factors that unless their spouse “knocks this one out of the park,” the marriage is over.

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Cedar-Park high-asset divorce attorney, complex litigation, high-asset divorce, risk of divorce, money and divorce, marriage and money, divorce trendsAccording to a recent study, the more money a couple makes, the less likely they are to divorce. However, when couples who do have a lot of assets decide to divorce, the result often involves complex litigation regarding child custody and support, spousal support, and asset and property division.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Department of Economics at Emory University in Atlanta, took data that was collected for a different study. In the Emory University study, there were 3,000 participants. All of the participants had been married at least once, after 2008. Participants were asked dozens of questions about their marriages, including the length of time they dated their spouse, age of marriage, engagement ring, wedding and honeymoon expenses, and the duration of the marriage.

In the new study, Randy Olson, a fourth-year computer science graduate research assistant at Michigan State University, took all of the data from the Emory University study and crunched it. He discovered, among other findings, a direct relationship between the divorce rate and a couple's income. According to the numbers, couples who earn over $125K per year are 50 percent less likely to divorce than couples who earn under $25K per year.

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Posted on in Divorce

The holidays can be stressful for everyone. The season is spent buying expensive presents, travelling in cold weather and spending time with family members. These stresses can further divide married couples who may have relationship problems throughout the whole year. But couples often stick together through the holidays even if their relationship has run its course.  That phenomenon has lead attorneys to call January "divorce month".

Divorce SeasonResearch has also shown that January is the month to consider filing for divorce. An analysis by FindLaw.com has shown that between 2008 and 2011 there was an increase in divorce filings in the month of January. This increase sees an apex in the month of March and then tends back down through the rest of the year until September when it increases again.

The website also looked at search activity for their website and found a similar increase in the month of January. Phrases like "divorce", "family law" and "child custody" increased 50 percent from the month of December to the month of January. This increase peaked in the month of March. If people are not filing for divorce, they are at least considering the possibility.

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Posted on in Divorce

Unemployment Effect on Divorce RateThere are many factors that contribute to divorce, and more and more studies are being released as of late that point to non-traditional reasons for marital dissolution. One such study, as reported by the Huffington Post, examines martial satisfaction and employment status. "The examination found that when men are not employed, it heightens the possibility of either the man or woman leaving the marriage." The study did not report similar findings if it was the wife that was unemployed or laid off instead of the husband. With effects of the Great Recession still rippling through American society, this study would indicate that many marriages have come to an end because of unemployment or job loss.

The unemployment rate, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is dramatically higher today than it was a decade ago. In January 2003, for example, the unemployment rate was 5.8, a typical number for months that year. In 2013, on the other hand, the unemployment rate was 7.9. This was down from the height of the Great Recession, when the January 2010 unemployment rate clocked in at 9.8, nearly a ten-year high (the unemployment rate was the highest its been this decade in March and April of 2010, at 9.9 percent). According to the Census Bureau, however, the divorce rate actually declined from 1990 to 2009; from 4.7 per 1,000 people to 3.4. This was the most recent year for which this data was available.

Whether or not this data matches the study, researchers at the Ohio State University, led by Liana Sayer, found conclusively that employment status DID affect divorce rates. It may not, however, be directly dependent on employment status, but the effects of unemployment. "If marital dissatisfaction is great," reports the Huffington Post, "the loss of a job is just another reason to end the relationship." There are also emotional or societal effects of unemployment and divorce, such as "heightened negative emotions [and] broken societal expectations."

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Posted on in Family Law

reason to divorceMarriage requires upkeep. Romance, intimacy, and communication are three things that can become more difficult as time passes.  Issues and arguments will come up in every marriage. However, in some cases, you and your spouse may decide that divorce is the best option for you.

One cause of divorce is infidelity.  The bonds of love and trust are often irrevocably damaged when cheating occurs. In Texas, if you choose to file a fault based divorce, infidelity can affect things such as property division and alimony during your divorce settlement.

Another possible cause of divorce is physical or emotional abuse.  It can be harder to split from someone who exerts their power with cruelty. No one should excuse this kind of behavior and the abused spouse should seek to safely separate from the abusive spouse. An order of protection or a restraining order can be helpful in this situation.

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Posted on in Divorce

DivorceWhile it's a common fact that divorce rates have been on the rise since the 1950s, it's been several decades, according to the Huffington Post, since Americans have done much to curb the consequences of divorce on families. It was for the reason, reports the Huffington Post, that in 2001 interested parties "launched the Coalition for Divorce Reform (CDR), a non-partisan coalition of divorce reform leaders, marriage educators, domestic violence experts, scholars and concerned citizens." The goal of the coalition is to increase awareness about the consequences of divorce, and to put an end to a nearly-four-decade-long silence about frequent divorce.

By and large, the divorce rate has decreased since 2000, according to the Center for Disease Control, when it was 4.0 for every 1,000 people. In 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, that number had dropped to 3.6—yet this was an increase from 2008 and 2009 when the divorce rate per 1,000 people was slightly lower at 3.5. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the 1990s, the percentage of family households "maintained by divorced, separated, or never-married married had risen from about 70 percent in 1950 to 93 percent."

These statistics are why legislators in North Carolina and Georgia, according to the Huffington Post, are working with the CDR and are taking "bold and courageous steps toward reducing unnecessary divorce and promoting healthy marriages." North Carolina introduced the Healthy Marriage Act in March 2013, which reverses a law that mandates couples must live apart before divorcing. This law "encourages reconciliation and alleviates some of the financial burdens some couples face by being required to live apart." This act also changes the one-year waiting period to two, and requires couples that are parents to take courses on the impact of divorce on children, in addition to courses on conflict resolution and improving communication. The new bill does not change the waiting period for victims of domestic violence.

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Posted on in Child Custody
Pet Custody in Divorce IMAGEAccording to San Antonio Magazine, the "late author Nora Ephron once compared having a baby to throwing a hand grenade into a marriage." This could be one reason that more and more married couples are opting to not have children, and those that do are less likely to have more than two. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstract, in 1980 there were 28,528,000 families in America without their own children. By 2010, this number had risen dramatically to 43,615,000. Similarly, the average number of people per American family dropped from 3.29 in 1980 to 3.16 in 2010. Arguably, this makes divorce easier—couples without children who choose to split have far less issues to decide upon, namely child custody and child support. Yet couples without children aren't necessarily going it alone. For many childless couples, pets have become "replacement" children. And deciding pet custody issues can often be as complicated as child custody.

According to a publication released by the Michigan State University College of Law, "pets are considered to be personal property, capable of human ownership and control." This means that the laws regarding pet custody during divorce are meant to benefit the humans in the relationship, not necessarily the pet—unlike the laws regarding child custody. And yet because pets are beginning, in many cases, to be regarded as highly as children in some relationships, some courts are beginning to change the perception that pets should be regarded as property. These courts are, according to the MSU publication, "willing to treat pets more like children." This has, so far, been seen most often when considering custody of dogs. Courts have also, according to MSU, "awarded shared custody, visitation, and alimony payments to the owners."

If you or someone you know is considering divorce and have pet custody issues to decide upon, don't go through it alone. The most important first step is to contact a dedicated Texas family law attorney today. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The days of living separately before marriage are long gone in the United States, according to a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report  that was published on CBS News. The rise in cohabitation before marriage is initiated mostly by women, according to the CDC; "48 percent of women were living with their significant other but not married to them." This is, according to CBS, a "sharp increase from the 43 percent reported in 2002 and the 35 percent that reported the same situation in 1995." A sociologist at John Hopkins University told USA Today that before the recent numbers were released, it was thought that the United States "has long had the shortest cohabiting relationships of any wealthy nation." And now these relationships are lengthening.Cohabitation on the Rise, Can Lead to Divorce IMAGE

The CDC findings were calculated after following the relationships of nearly 12,300 women between the ages of 15 and 44 between 2006 and 2010. "Seventy-four percent of 30-year-olds said that they had cohabited with a partner. Fifty-five percent said they did it by the age of 25," according to CBS News.

While conventional wisdom might dictate that living together before marriage is a good idea to determine if it's possible for a couple to work together in the long run, a 2009 study reported on by NBC News found that "couples who shack up before tying the know are more likely to get divorced." In 2009, nearly 70 percent of couples cohabited before marriage—and this could lead to getting married for the wrong reasons. Feeling as if there's no way out of the bad relationship after cohabiting, the study suggested that people moved into marriage without being sure that the person was "the one." This, of course, can lead to divorce.

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