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Separate versus community property, alimony major divorce issues

Dissolving a marriage can be stressful from both an emotional and a financial standpoint. Regarding finances, a tricky area in Texas may involve trying to figure out what is separate versus community property. However, the financial challenges of divorce can be particularly overwhelming for the spouse who earned significantly less than the other party or perhaps did not earn money at all. This is where alimony comes in following divorce.

Divorce typically means that a single household will end up splitting into two, thus doubling some of the couple's costs -- for example, housing. However, other costs that may increase might not be as obvious at the outset. These include the costs of having school uniforms or even sports gear at both parents' homes for the children.

Of course, if the two divorcing spouses have equal incomes, they can simply divide these costs. However, if one spouse has been financially dependent on the other one, alimony can serve as a bridge that helps the dependent spouse to more easily transition to a future in which he or she will have to be financially independent. While the spouse is receiving alimony payments, he or she can focus on completing job training and eventually landing a job that will make him or her self-sufficient.

Alimony is a divorce issue that a married couple in Texas can resolve through an alternative process to traditional litigation, such as divorce mediation or informal negotiations. The couple can also work toward a divorce settlement agreement that satisfies both sides when it comes to the handling of separate versus community property. However, if they cannot find common ground, they have no choice but to allow a judge to decide how to address these issues for them in the Lone Star State.

Source:, "Divorce Just Got More Complicated", March 30, 2018

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