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TX divorce lawyerDivorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, particularly when it comes to dividing assets. Retirement benefits are often a significant part of a couple's financial planning, and they are just one of many important factors to consider during a divorce. It is important for divorcing spouses to understand the various types of retirement benefits they may need to address, how these assets may be divided, and what factors are involved in the process.

Types of Retirement Benefits

There are several different types of assets that spouses may rely on to provide for their financial needs when they retire in the future. Each of these assets may be treated differently during a divorce. Here are some common types of retirement benefits:

  • Defined contribution plans - These plans are funded by an employee, usually by deducting a certain amount from their income and depositing these funds into a retirement account. A person's employer may also make contributions on the employee's behalf, such as by matching a certain percentage of the amounts deposited into an account. Examples of these types of plans include 401(k) accounts, Thrift Savings Plans, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
  • Defined benefit plans - These plans provide a guaranteed benefit to employees upon retirement. The amount a person will receive will usually be based on a formula that takes into account factors such as their average salary and their years of service. Examples of these types of benefits include pensions and annuities.
  • Military retirement benefits - People who have served in the U.S. military, including active-duty servicemembers, retirees, and veterans, may be eligible for benefits that will provide them with income after they retire.

Dividing Retirement Benefits Between Divorcing Spouses

If retirement benefits were earned or if contributions were made to retirement savings accounts during a couple's marriage, these assets will be considered marital property that will need to be divided between spouses during the divorce process. In many cases, spouses are able to negotiate agreements in which the funds in retirement accounts will be divided fairly along with other marital assets. Funds may need to be transferred from one account to another during this process.


Cooke County Restraining Order LawyerIn Texas divorce cases, protective orders are not uncommon. Unfortunately, domestic violence and other circumstances that place the safety of others in jeopardy are, too often, key factors in a person’s desire to file for divorce in the first place. 

While getting a divorce may be an important step in distancing yourself from a partner who places you or your children in harm’s way, the divorce process can sometimes take a long time. For people who need protection sooner than later, there are options, known as protective orders, that can keep children out of their partner’s reach before the divorce is finalized. 

Who Can Obtain a Protective Order?

In Texas, there are five situations in which someone may be eligible for an order of protection. In order to obtain a protective order in Texas, one of the following details must be true: 


TX family lawyerThe divorce process can be emotionally and financially draining. When you and your ex cared for your children together under one roof, it may have been easier to work together to take care of your family’s financial needs. However, things change significantly after divorce, and both parents may struggle to make ends meet.

If your ex has not been paying child support, this can cause a great deal of difficulty for you. It may be hard to understand why your ex would be avoiding payments, but here are some common reasons that may explain why the money you need for your child is not coming your way:

Changes in Finances

Your ex might not be paying child support because they do not have the money to give. The amount of child support payments specified in a divorce judgment is based on the paying parent’s net income at the time of the divorce. Issues such as a job loss or large medical expenses can affect how much your ex is able to pay. If you think this may be the reason why you are not receiving child support, you may wish to talk to your ex or even request a modification so that they can at least pay what they are able to. Setting a payment that your ex can afford is better for everyone than you not receiving any payments at all.


TX divorce lawyerThere are a variety of financial issues that can play a role in a divorce case. When one spouse believes they will be at a financial disadvantage after the end of their marriage, they may ask for ongoing support from the other spouse. In Texas, spousal maintenance (sometimes called "alimony") consists of financial support paid by one spouse to the other spouse after divorce. However, not every divorcing couple will have to deal with spousal support. This form of support will only be appropriate in certain situations, and there are a number of factors that will affect the decisions about whether maintenance should be paid, how long it will last, and the amount that one spouse will pay to the other.

Situations Where Spousal Support May Be Awarded

A family court judge may award spousal support in the following situations:

  • One spouse cannot meet their own financial needs due to a physical or mental disability.
  • A parent who will have primary custody of the couple's child or children needs financial assistance because the child has a disability that requires ongoing care and supervision, and this will affect the custodial parent's ability to work and earn an income.
  • A couple was married for at least 10 years, and one spouse is unable to earn enough income to provide for their own needs. This may be due to a spouse remaining at home during their marriage and focusing on household responsibilities rather than pursuing career opportunities.
  • One spouse has been convicted of an offense involving family violence or received deferred adjudication without a formal conviction. If an offense involving spousal abuse or child abuse was committed during the couple's marriage and within two years prior to when the divorce case was initiated, or if an act of family violence occurred while a divorce case is ongoing, the person who committed the offense may be required to pay spousal maintenance to the other spouse.

In order to determine whether or not spousal maintenance is appropriate in a particular case, the court will consider several factors, including but not limited to:


Texas divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to get a divorce, there are several different ways it can go. While every divorce has their own set of unique circumstances, there are certain constants in the divorce process no matter what has occurred in the couple’s marriage. One constant that anyone who has decided to divorce their spouse should adhere to is seeking out the legal advice of an experienced Texas divorce lawyer, regardless of whether it is a friendly divorce or a contentious one.


Before you are even permitted to file for a divorce in Texas, you must meet certain requirements. The primary qualification you must have is residency; Texas mandates that you have lived in the state continuously for at least six months and that at least one of the spouses must have resided in the county in which the divorce is being filed in for a minimum of 90 days. As long as this residency requirement has been met, one of the spouses can file a petition of divorce.

In the petition, the spouse must cite a reason why they are seeking to end the marriage. Although Texas law does not require a person filing for divorce to have an attorney representing them, it is always a smart idea for your own protection to at least consult with an attorney to ensure that you are proceeding correctly.

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