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Reasons Why Couples Divorce

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collin county divorce lawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to wed, most of them truly believe it will be for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, the high rate of divorce in this country attests to the fact that this is simply not the case. There are many reasons why couples decide to call it quits. According to national statistics, more than 20 percent of couples will have divorced or separated in the first five years of their marriage. For those couples who make it to the two-decade mark, more than 50 percent have ended their relationship.

Multiple studies show that there are reasons couples cite as the cause of their breakup that tend to show up over and over again. The following are some of the main causes of divorce that people say drove them apart.

Cheating

Infidelity is one of the biggest issues that cause a spouse to file for divorce. And it is not just physical affairs that can signify the end of a marriage. Many spouses cite emotional affairs as just as damaging to their relationship as physical ones. With the popularity of social media, many people are reconnecting with old loves or meeting new people online, which has caused a significant spike in the number of marriages shattered by cheating.

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plano divorce lawyerIn many marriages, both spouses are aware that their marriage has reached an end and the only solution is to file for divorce. There are, however, some spouses who are blindsided when they are served with a petition for divorce. If your spouse has surprised you with divorce papers, it is imperative to contact a divorce attorney immediately to ensure that your marital rights are protected. This is especially true if your spouse has less than honest intentions of surprising you with the divorce.

Hiding Assets from Spouses

According to national statistics, approximately two of every three marriages experience issues with hidden assets. If your spouse decides to file for divorce first, it gives them the advantage of time in which they may attempt to conceal property. Though there is very little actual advantage in filing first, some spouses do use the element of surprise in hiding assets, or in trying to do what is referred to as “conflicting out.” This is when a spouse meets with all the divorce attorneys in a certain area in order to establish an attorney-client relationship, thus leaving the other spouse with no available attorney to engage.

The most important thing you can possibly do if served divorce papers out of the blue is to seek any and all household information and make sure you have it on hand. Making copies of things like tax returns, insurance policies, bank statements and similar documents can go a long way in helping ensure you your fair share of the marital estate.  

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plano divorce lawyerThere are many couples who go through a divorce who battle over everything from child custody to who gets the silverware. The divorce is so contentious that the couple cannot agree on anything, dragging out the process and leaving a judge to figure out who gets what. But more and more divorcing couples are able to work together and come up with an amicable, negotiated divorce settlement. This alternative dispute resolution usually means the process goes much quicker and is much more cost-effective since attorney fees are usually at a minimum.

Parties Who Can Benefit from Collaborative Divorce

The people who can most benefit from mediation or other alternative dispute resolution are those that can still have a civil relationship. This type of divorce involves working together without the benefit of a judicial referee. Consequently, spouses need to be able to sit down at a table together and speak rationally enough to come to an agreement.

Mediation involves the couple making the commitment to communicate, negotiate, and work together in reaching a mutual agreement that both spouses will benefit from. This collaboration is not only better for the divorce process, but if the couple has children, it is also a good foundation to establish for co-parenting.

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plano divorce lawyer Dividing up the assets of the marriage is one of the most important tasks that the parties have in a divorce. It also happens to be one of the most complicated. In Texas, judges use the community property standard. This means that all property and assets the couple own are owned equally, regardless of which spouse earns the income.

Although the assets are divided in a 50/50 split, all of the assets need to be valued. Other factors the judge may consider when determining alimony and asset division include how much each spouse’s income is, how much each spouse contributed to the marriage, what their standard of living was, and what each spouse’s future earning potential is.

Valuing Assets

In order for the judge to make these decisions about property division accurately, they must know what all the different property is worth. In many cases, this is a simple enough process. Valuing a bank account is as simple as looking at the balance sheet. Even something like a car is easy enough to value. Cars are bought and sold often enough that determining the fair market value of the car is mostly about research. There are other assets that are tougher to value. These include unique assets, and assets that have rapidly shifting values.

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Wylie Divorce LawyerAsset division can often become fairly contentious in a Texas divorce. Texas follows a community property division system, which means that everything the couple owns is split 50/50, regardless of the circumstances of the divorce.

However, many couples have property that go beyond just the financial value, but instead hold significant sentimental value, such as a piece of art or jewelry. How do the courts address these types of asset division issues and how can you and your spouse avoid a drawn-out fight over who gets to retain the item?

Item Details

The little details about the item can make a difference. For example, the date, or approximate date, of acquisition can often decide who actually has ownership of the item. If you or your spouse acquired the item before your marriage, it is your (or their) property, with no obligation to share or commingle.

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