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Plano Prenup LawyerBusiness owners spend years working hard to build a successful enterprise from the ground up. This typically involves taking great financial risks, spending countless hours devoted to making the business successful, and many sleepless nights planning and anticipating things that could go wrong. The prospect of losing any or all of a business in a divorce can be devastating, especially if the business is the primary source of income and the prospect of a stable financial future without the business seems grim. Fortunately, a divorce does not necessarily mean that a business has to be completely divided; read this blog to get an overview of your options and then contact a Texas divorce attorney for help. 

Is Your Business Addressed in a Prenuptial Agreement? 

In a perfect world, you and your spouse would have signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement addressing what will happen to your business if you get divorced. If you are just now starting a business and want to protect yourself and your spouse, create a postnuptial agreement as soon as possible. Pre- and postnuptial agreements can protect a business’s assets and debts and are a great way to eliminate uncertainty and provide both spouses with stability if a divorce does happen. While you are married, make sure you manage everything with your business legally so close scrutiny of your business practices does not expose you to any liabilities. 

Handling a Business in a Divorce

Without a prenuptial agreement, a business is handled as any other marital asset would be. It needs to be accurately valued and divided fairly. However, spouses can be flexible about their property division arrangements if one spouse is interested in keeping the business. As long as the overall property division is fair, spouses can trade assets of equivalent value in order to retain full ownership of a business. They may buy the other spouse out or even set up a payment plan to do so. Some spouses even decide to continue co-owning the business after the divorce, although this will require a general level of cooperation between spouses and airtight business contracts that determine how major decisions will be made. 

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Wylie Divorce Mediation AttorneyDivorce is stereotypically one of the most acrimonious endeavors a person can go through. Because the two spouses often want mutually exclusive results from a divorce decree, and because each partner is usually carrying heavy emotional baggage, negotiating a fair divorce decree can be a very difficult process. 

At the same time, few spouses want a hostile divorce, especially when young children are involved. This is where mediation can help. Whether you need assistance resolving every issue in your divorce or have only one matter over which you and your spouse disagree, a Texas divorce mediator may be able to help. 

What Does a Mediator Do? 

A mediator is responsible for acting as a neutral third party during negotiations - in this case, divorce negotiations. The mediator will meet with both parties to lay down initial rules about how the mediation process will go and the conduct that is expected from either spouse. Then, they will speak with each spouse both individually and together to determine what each spouse’s goals are. 

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Murphy Divorce AttorneySpouses seeking divorce need to start collecting information before the process can begin. After all, even the most simple and straightforward divorces involve extensive paperwork and court appearances, and small mistakes can mean long delays. One of the most common questions Texas divorce attorneys get is regarding the difference between contested and uncontested divorce, and whether a couple qualifies for one or the other. It is important to understand the difference between the two, and that, even if you think you and your spouse agree on all the terms of the divorce, you speak to a divorce attorney before making any final decisions. 

Uncontested Divorce

As the name implies, an uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to all the terms of the divorce. Depending on the marriage, this can include the following issues: 

Murphy Divorce AttorneyWhile no two relationships are exactly the same, humans are creatures of habit. Over decades spent studying relationships, patterns emerge–especially about why relationships end. One couple in particular, John and Julie Gottman, believe they have identified six behaviors that occur when a relationship is falling apart. Used in a clinical research setting, they can predict which marriages will end in divorce with surprising accuracy. Here are six behaviors the Gottman duo observed that may predict divorce. 

Bad Starts to Conversations

When researchers see that a conversation begins poorly, such as with sarcasm or criticism, the rest of the conversation will go badly. Nearly 100 percent of the time, researchers could predict how a conversation would go based on listening to the first three minutes. 

The Four Horsemen

Named after the four horsemen that precede the biblical apocalypse, these types of negative behaviors–defensiveness, contempt, criticism, and stonewalling–can destroy a marriage by destroying the ability to have a productive conversation.

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Murphy Divorce Assets LawyerCouples getting married in Texas rarely see their marriage as a financial partnership. Yet when a couple gets married, state and federal governments do see their relationship as inherently financial in nature and many laws exist to support a couple financially during their marriage. While couples may not think much of this when they are getting tax breaks during their marriage, later on during divorce, finances can be a major point of conflict because the laws must be followed yet do not necessarily reflect a couple’s lived experience. 

Student loans are a great example of this. One spouse may have taken out enormous student loan debt for their personal education while the other spouse worked and put them through school. The spouse who earned the money during the marriage may see it as unfair that they later have to help pay for the student loan debt. Yet Texas is a community property state, which means that all marital assets and debts are seen as belonging equally to both spouses and must be split evenly during divorce. If you are considering divorce in Texas, make sure you understand the law regarding asset and debt division. Bear in mind that this blog does not constitute legal advice and that the best person to answer your questions about your divorce is a Texas divorce attorney. 

Is All of My Property Community Property in Texas? 

With few exceptions, all the property and debt a couple accumulates during their marriage is seen as community property. The exceptions are: 

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