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Austin Divorce Lawyers Discuss Divorce in Late Life

Austin Divorce Lawyers mom and daughterAustin divorce lawyers from Nunis & Associates understand that divorce is an absolute life event for most people, and that is especially true when the divorce occurs late in life. This is very true for individuals over 40 years of age who are entering into the post-convention stage of life. It is very difficult to rebuild a life when it is obvious that you may have more years behind you than ahead of you, but that does not mean that concerns for the future are not important. Many married couples realize and agree that divorcing after many years of marriage can still be a positive transition when all parties are acceptable to the move. But, there are specific legalities involved with actually going through the process of dissolution of a marriage. This situation is clearly true for married couples who have accumulated significant wealth throughout their relationship and are required to make a disposition of assets in the process of divorcing. Issues such as alimony can also be a component of the separation, and all states differ in how the courts view divorce. Sometimes divorce is merely dealt with as a business relationship when minor children are not involved. Because of this potential, it is always a good idea to develop a financial plan with the help of your Austin divorce lawyers for each ongoing life that provides adequate compensation for each party according to state marital property division laws.

Family Functional Position and Child Support

Many times the primary issue is the manner in which the family has functioned with respect to spousal roles. Even in these changing times, men can be the recipient of spousal support, but this still rather rare. Women who have been stay-at-home mothers and have not contributed to the household income will have a claim for recompense in the form of spousal support, known as alimony, as well as standing for an equitable division of property. Many times couples who have been married for years and have legal custody of their grandchildren will also have a child support issue that is also connected to functional family roles. This will also require a parenting plan between the divorcing parties that also include the rights of the minor children. Children rarely have an attorney in a divorce situation, and the court will usually enter in as the advocate for the children without a feasible and respective parenting plan with child support.

Division of Assets

In most cases of late-life divorce, the most important issue is centered on division of property. This is often also the most contested issue in filing for divorce, especially when the divorce is not amiable. Contested divorces are often emotionally driven and can include illegal action on the part of one or both parties, which can dramatically impact the court view when they are required to make final disposition of assets by judicial order. This is not a good situation for either party on most cases. The best solution to this process in Texas is always a plan laid out by your Austin divorce lawyers and agreed upon by both parties. There are three parts to determining an equitable division of community property.

Inventory of Property

Your Austin divorce lawyers will first explain that it is important to itemize and characterize all community property in a relationship before the divorce case actually goes to court. The court always views amiable divorce in a much better light. Fairness in property distribution is a primary indicator, but do not be too quick to decide on what is appropriate. Make an accurate inventory of all community property, including retirement plans. Additionally, make sure the inventory is as comprehensive as possible.

Value of Property

It is difficult to arrive at a fair dispersal of assets if they are not evaluated accurately. Your Austin divorce lawyers will help you in arriving at an agreeable determination of value of each and every item and then calculate a total asset amount. It is also very important that the list is all-inclusive because going back to court can be very costly for both parties. And remember, debt liabilities will also be included. In some cases debt is all that is itemized when the family has experienced financial difficulty, and debt should be handled with the same precision as assets.

Allocation of Assets and Liabilities

After everything has been tallied, the divorcing couple will divide the assets and liabilities. It is always a good decision to follow the advice of your Austin divorce lawyers who handle these cases on a daily basis. Divorces can get complicated, and emotional interjections can complicate the issues even more. In high emotion cases, it is always best to let the attorneys on both sides of the issue come to a conclusion on what and what not is attainable through a divorce proceeding. Let your legal counsel do their job.

What Is Separate or Community Property?

Anything owned in full by one of the divorcing parties is considered separate property in Texas; however, this must be proven clear and concise by supporting documentation. All other ownership issues are considered community property, including debt. It matters not whose name is on the document. The date of purchase or debt accumulation is the determining factor. Inheritances and gifts are also separate property, but proceeds from a lawsuit may be complicated issues. Compensation for lost income from a lawsuit is actually considered community property, so keep this in mind when itemizing assets. Property exchanged for other separate property is also excluded from co-ownership.

Divorce Mediation

Many times divorce mediation is necessary to come to an agreement on division of property in a divorce situation. Mediation will include your Austin divorce lawyers and often a non-partisan financial professional who can serve as an expert mediator with respect to property values and accounting principles. This is actually a solid decision in all divorce proceedings because both parties can be in informed agreement concerning possible outcomes of the divorce decree. Well-planned divorces tend to be appreciated by the courts, and agreeing to mediation to settle issues that an overworked judge may be required to arbitrate rarely works well for either party. Material case facts concerning the divorce grounds can make a difference with some judges, but usually not. Always remember that the court is the unwilling arbitrator who has many other positive uses for their time. If you act like children before the divorce goes to court, you will be treated like children by the court.

Dividing Retirement Benefits

Couples who have been married for more than 10 years will be entitled to certain equity in retirement benefits. This is also true for those over 62 years of age. However, this can be a complicated issue because the Social Security Administration will also have legal input into the qualified division of property or allowance of retirement benefits. This is also an area where your Austin divorce lawyers can provide excellent advice regarding how to divide property during retirement or in the event of being qualified to receive benefits from a former spouse when turning 65 years of age.

Reverse Mortgage

At the age of 62 couples are eligible for a reverse mortgage on a primary home. While this is controlled by specific laws and rules set forth by the federal government, this can still be a significant component of a divorce and included in the asset totals. Because of these legal stipulations, this can be a complicated issue. But, nonetheless, the asset potential can be very important when finalizing a divorce. It is always important to discuss this issue with your legal counsel and ask for advice on how this can affect the outcome of your final separation. Sometimes your adult children can also be very helpful in exploring the opportunities and options for keeping a home in the family, especially when it involves a primary home that holds significant value along with sentimental value.

Contact Austin Divorce Lawyers

It is always a sound decision to hire an experienced and effective divorce professional like the attorneys at Nunis & Associates in Austin who can help craft an acceptable and equitable divorce settlement when going through a complicated divorce that may have many extenuating or mitigating material case factors. Call Nunis & Associates at (512) 236-9696 and let them evaluate your divorce case for a fair and feasible divorce case settlement potential.


  • 801 West Avenue
    Suite 200
    Austin, TX 78701

    (512) 236-9696

    (512) 236-9695

  • Licensed to practice in Texas Courts, including all 4 Federal Districts of Texas. Primary practice in Central Texas: including Austin and Travis County, Georgetown and Williamson County, Bastrop and Bastrop County, San Marcos, Dripping Springs and Hays County.