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December 2018 Archives

Make these changes to your estate after divorce

After you get a divorce, one of the best things you can do for your future, your heirs and yourself is to update or completely redo your estate plan. Your estate plan likely took into account your spouse's wishes as well as your own, so there may be many aspects that involve them. Since they're now an ex-spouse, it's a good idea to rework those legal documents and make sure they're not going to be entitled to more than you want them to be.

Do You Need a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is designed to provide for beneficiaries who are disabled in some capacity. Oftentimes, the trust is set up to supplement the disabled individual's benefits that they receive from government programs, such as Medicaid or SSI. To meet the requirements of these government programs, applicants must generally have $2,000.00 or less in countable assets each month to qualify. The assets in a special needs trust are not readily available to the disabled beneficiary, so the assets are considered non-countable assets for Medicaid and SSI purposes. Because of this income eligibility limit, a special needs trust is drafted with specific language to avoid extending beyond that limit.

Are Texas Courts Taking a Closer Look at the 50/50 Possession Schedule?

Under the Texas Family Code, the "standard possession schedule" typically allows the possessory conservator to have possession of the child every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of the month and every Thursday night. The law presumes that this schedule is in the best interest of the child. Reasonably so, judges will often default to this possession schedule when finalizing divorce proceedings that involve minor children if there is no agreement between the parties.

Contested v. Uncontested Divorces in Texas

A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot agree on either getting a divorce or about the specific terms of the divorce, such as child support payments, property or asset division, debt allocation, and custody arrangements. Conversely, an uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree on all aspects of the divorce proceedings and do not need court intervention to help finalize the terms.

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