Do you owe your ex your inheritance?

Your inheritance is a big part of your overall wealth. Your parents left you nearly $1 million when they passed away. That was not even 12 months ago. You already understand the ways that this money can change your life. You have not done anything with it yet, but you plan to.

Now your spouse has asked for a divorce, and they told you they want "their" $500,000. They also had ideas for how the money could change their future. They do not want to give that up. They claim your parents gave the money to both of you and they still want their half.

Are you protecting yourself against these divorce mistakes?

When going through a divorce, it's easy to slip into the trap of doing whatever it takes to quickly put this chapter of your life in the past. With this approach, you're more likely to make a mistake that costs you money and time, while also adding more stress to your life in the future.

Here are some of the most common divorce mistakes to protect against:

  • Neglecting to create a property division and debt checklist: Without this, you have no idea of what property and debts need to be divided in your divorce. This can lead to trouble such as your spouse hiding assets from the court, taking on debt that the other person brought into the marriage and losing out on an asset that you individually own.
  • Letting your emotions guide your thinking: You'll deal with many emotions in divorce, but it's imperative to remain cool, calm and collected when making key decisions. If you let your anger, sadness and resentment get in the way, you're likely to make a rash decision that doesn't benefit you.
  • Putting your kids in the middle: If you have kids together, you should be protecting them. You shouldn't be doing anything that puts them at risk, such as asking them to take sides.

How will you recover after your divorce?

It's natural to put so much time and effort into the divorce process that you overlook the fact that it'll one day be old news. When that happens, it's up to you to reinvent yourself to ensure that you create the life you've been dreaming of.

Here are a few steps you can take to help yourself recover after divorce:

  • Take time to think about the past: This doesn't mean you should dwell on the past, but it's okay to grieve every now and again. It can even be healthy if you do so with the idea of learning something about yourself and how you approach relationships.
  • Take up a new hobby: Forget about doing the "same old, same old" every day of the week. Get involved with a new hobby, whether it is traveling, rock climbing, knitting or something else you've always wanted to try.
  • Focus on yourself in the meantime: Don't jump back into the dating world because you think it's what you're supposed to do. It's okay to do so when you feel up to it, but don't let anyone or anything push you in this direction. There's nothing wrong with focusing on yourself as you attempt to make sense of what went wrong and how you want to live your life in the future.

Easy-to-follow child custody exchange tips

It sounds easy enough to exchange custody of your children with your ex-spouse but when you come face-to-face with this situation, it's anything but that.

Fortunately, with the right tips guiding you, it's easier to avoid conflict and ensure that your children are exchanged in a safe and comforting environment. Here are several tips to guide you:

  • Choose a public location: This minimizes the risk of an altercation, as the presence of other people can keep tension to a minimum. Common locations include your child's day care or school, shopping mall or a police station.
  • Don't show up alone: If you're concerned about your safety or worried about getting into a "he said, she said" argument, bring a trusted individual along with you.
  • Show up early: For example, if you're scheduled to exchange custody at noon, arrive at the exchange location at 11:55 a.m. It's only five minutes early, but it ensures you don't cause an argument related to arriving late.
  • Don't look for a fight: If you want to argue with your ex-spouse when exchanging custody, you won't have to look far to find a reason. Rather than do this, keep your cool, remain positive and stick to the basics when conversing.

Sharing your children with your ex this holiday season

The holiday season can present a variety of challenges to divorced parents. While you're sure to run into questions and challenges along the way, taking the right steps will help provide your children with good memories.

Here are three tips for sharing your children with your ex this holiday season:

  • Review your parenting plan and visitation schedule: You created this during your divorce, so it's available to guide you during the holidays. For example, your plan may outline where your children are to spend holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • Split holidays: When possible, consider if there is a way for you and your ex to split holidays, which allows both of you to spend time with your children. It's not ideal for either parent, but it's often the fair thing to do.
  • Spend the holidays with your children and ex: This isn't always possible, but it's something to consider if it fits into your schedule. You don't have to spend every waking minute of the holiday season with your ex, but partaking in some activities together is worth a consideration.

Examine your prenuptial agreement for weaknesses

These days, prenuptial agreements are much more common than they were for many years, and a growing portion of couples choose to protect themselves and each other before they marry. From a legal perspective, almost all couples benefit from a fair prenuptial agreement, whether they realize it or not.

When a couple uses a prenuptial agreement properly, they can remove several types of strain on their relationship and avoid messy conflicts if they choose to divorce later on.

The divorce process begins when you bring your feelings to light

Some people have been thinking about divorce for many months or years before they finally share their feelings with their spouse. Others don't take nearly as much time to lay their feelings out on the table.

Since the divorce process begins when you bring your feelings to light, it's important to take the right approach. Here are five things you can do to ease the tension of asking your spouse for a divorce:

  • Choose the right time and place
  • Prepare for the conversation, including what you want to say and how you'll deal with your spouse's reaction
  • Maintain your stance that divorce is the best way to proceed (don't change your mind)
  • Keep your safety in mind at all times, such as by asking for a divorce on the phone if you feel threatened by your spouse
  • Don't discuss the details of your divorce, such as matters of property division and child custody, during this conversation

When is it appropriate to ask for custody order modification?

Someone very wise once said that no divorce is truly final until all the children are grown. That's important to remember because you may find yourself revisiting your current custody agreement with your ex-spouse sometime in the future.

There's honestly no such thing as a "permanent" custody order involving underage children as long as there's a possibility that you or your spouse can ask for modifications. Naturally, however, the court doesn't like to change custody agreement too often or too much without a very good reason.

Emotional impacts of divorce on children

Children thrive in consistency, so, understandably, they often struggle when their parents divorce. This significant life change can seem like more than they can handle. They may feel intense and new emotions that they struggle to translate into language. Trying to help them through this can prove challenging, but it can also give them the skills they need to cope with changes throughout life.

One of the most important things you can do during this transition is to let your children know that both parents will still be there for them. If possible, you and your ex can sit down to tell your kids about the divorce together. This shows them that you are committed to being a parenting team.

What can hiring a divorce attorney give you more time to do?

To say that divorcing is a stressful and busy process for most Texans that go through with it is an understatement. Spouses have to spend hours upon hours preparing for their cases to make sure they get the most out of their asset divisions, child custody and spousal support. This can take away time that they need to perform other tasks related to the divorce or their everyday lives.

One way in which they can speed up the process is by hiring a divorce attorney. These legal specialists use their experience to help spouses formulate strategies that they’ll need for the proceedings and to take on the tedious paperwork that comes from it. Now that you don’t have to worry about handling everything that comes with the process by yourself, you can focus more on completing the following crucial tasks:

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