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Williamson County Family Law Blog

Is probate necessary in Texas?

Most Texas estates need to go through probate after a person dies. Probate is the legal process by which a deceased person’s estate is settled, including collecting (“marshalling”) assets, settling claims and debts, and distributing the net estate as provided in the Will.  If there is no valid Will, the assets will be distributed to relatives as provided in the Texas Estates Code.

Probate may be necessary for possessions with a title or deed, such as cars and real estate. In 2015, our legislature codified a long standing practice, previously known as a “Lady Bird Deed,” now in the statues as “Revocable Transfer on Death Deed.”  If such a deed is in place, the property will transfer automatically to the named persons, without probate. Many other types of assets can have “Pay On Death” (P.O.D.) or “Transfer on Death” (T.O.D.) provisions, such as bank accounts and brokerage accounts.  These provisions do what they say they do, and supersede contrary provisions of a Will.

Considerations for divorce in military families

Between young marriages, deployments, frequent moves and spousal sacrifices, military marriages face significant challenges. There are times when the marriage hurdles are overwhelming and the relationship ends. While no divorce is easy, military divorces have a few unique circumstances and additional legal elements.

 

Training is essential for collaborative divorce

Divorce doesn’t have to be a bitter battle. More Texas couples every day who are choosing to move apart with their lives are choosing a collaborative divorce over a hard-fought traditional divorce. It helps them to move on more quickly and inexpensively towards a good working relationship that is better for the children.

In order to be successful, however, a collaborative divorce requires a lot of skill. The attorneys need to be trained in the practice of bringing together all the talents necessary for a successful outcome and working to find collaborative solutions. If you are considering a collaborative divorce, here is what to look for in an attorney.

Why The Right Attorney Matters In Collaborative Divorce

You’ve heard about the collaborative divorce trend. You and your spouse are parting ways rather amicably, so you think that going through a collaborative divorce might be a plausible option for your family. You have heard that there are many benefits to divorcing this way rather than through litigation, but you still have questions.

What are the benefits of collaborative divorce?

Mental illness and divorce rates

Scientific research has confirmed what many people already assumed: Individuals with depression, anxiety, and other affective disorders divorce at rates far above the national average.

This isn’t surprising. But it is affirming. Individuals struggling with mental disorders have long been known to face difficulties in maintaining relationships. The self-doubt and related symptoms imparted by such illnesses make it hard, in many cases, to provide or accept support from a partner. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the research demonstrates “the adverse effects of mental disorders on life…across a diverse range of socioeconomic and cultural settings [and]…should be included in considerations of public health investments in preventing and treating mental disorders.” 

Battered spouses have hope in Georgetown and Austin

If your home has become a battleground, you probably feel frozen in place. It’s not normal, it’s not right, and it’s not acceptable in any way. But you are in the middle of it and don’t know what to do. You’d probably rather not think about it and carry on, pretending.

This is a common reaction. But it is the isolation which comes from this is what allows the situation to continue. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or have a loved one you suspect might be, the most important thing is to reach out and talk. There are resources here in Williamson and Travis counties who can get you through this to a better place.

Financial Planning For Blended Families

Divorce rates across the nation hover between 40 and 50 percent. In Texas, this converts to roughly 75,000 divorces per year. Many people are somewhat familiar with such statistics – reports on divorce rates are fairly common in the media.

Yet news about remarriage rates tends to go unheralded. The numbers are surprising. Simply put, it’s clear that remarriage is on the rise. The majority of divorcees remarry. There’s a bit of a gender gap –  64 percent of divorced men remarry, while only 52 percent of divorced or widowed women do so – but 40 percent of all new marriages involve at least one spouse who’s been married before, and there are at present 42 million Americans who have been married more than once.

Alcohol Addiction And Divorce

Individuals who struggle with alcohol addiction—or any sort of substance addiction— have a tougher time than most when it comes to maintaining a stable marriage. This isn’t news. Most folks would rightly guess that heavy drinking goes hand-in-hand with marital difficulties. What’s less understood, though, is the full range of consequences that alcohol addiction can bring about.

By some estimates, the divorce rate for those with alcohol addiction is three times greater than it is for the general population. In fact, nearly 50 percent of such married individuals ultimately end up divorcing. (The rates may be higher still when the wife is the one with the addiction.)

Picture books for families of service members

Military families face special challenges. You raise your children to understand that Mom and Dad have important jobs. You never want to see your child upset. It can be extra difficult when you work for our country. Military mothers and fathers may end up being deployed. You do what you can to comfort your child and help them feel better.

Picture books can be used as a tool to assist you in comforting your child.

"Gray Divorce" Rates Are Rising

Perhaps unfamiliar to many, “gray divorce” is a common term for divorce after the age of 50. Divorce is much more common with younger couples, but trends have changed in recent years. Divorce remains more frequent for those under 50, but the gray divorce rate has doubled since 1990.

These figures were released in a study by Pew Research Center earlier this year. It identifies that the after-50 rates remain about half that of the pre-50 age group. The divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Jim Jarvis have decades of experience with gray divorce. (We’re a little on the gray side, ourselves.)

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