Tessmer Law Firm, Author at Tessmer Law Firm - Page 10 of 30
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Author: Tessmer Law Firm

Heather Tessmer, owner of Tessmer Law Firm, P.L.L.C., was a recent finalist in the NAWBO San Antonio Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards (ESA) Inspirational category. Honoring women business owners in the San Antonio area, the coveted ESA is the only award presented exclusively to women entrepreneurs by their peers. The Inspirational category recognizes women who have achieved business and personal success in the face of adversity or overwhelming obstacles, while exhibiting courage, perseverance and determination in reaching their goals. The 2016 ESA Gala was held April 2nd at the Eilan Hotel. Pictured here are Ms. Tessmer and her daughter, Abigail.   ...

Picking up and starting over after the loss of decades worth of plans is the most crushing aspect of divorce after age 50.  Change that touches every aspect of your life can be emotionally devastating.  It is natural to grieve. You have, after all, spent half a lifetime together, if not more.  But put conscious effort into moving forward and make the second half of your life worth living. You can now make choices and be open to opportunities that you may not have considered before divorce. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends.  Stay active and involved in your...

Consult with a qualified attorney, even if you feel your situation is simple. Don’t make any agreements before you are fully informed. Even though you may agree to something and you know you can change your mind about it, don't set up that expectation. By negotiating too early, you may create barriers and expectations that make later negotiations more difficult. Spouses need to be on an even playing field with both knowing what they have and what their range of options are. That will save money and heartache down the road....

In all cases, “gray” divorce or otherwise, make sure that any tax issues are reviewed prior to finalizing.  This ensures that neither spouse ends up owing a tax bill that could have been reduced, or avoided entirely. To split some assets, a divorcing couple will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which is designed to protect the couple from owing taxes when retirement funds are transferred from one to another.  This is not a “do-it-yourself” document.  A QDRO must be properly written, or you can incur tax penalties.  This is another good reason to consult a qualified family law...

Retirement savings become especially important in a “gray” divorce. It is best to try to avoid accessing retirement savings before retirement, if possible. Spouses in a “gray” divorce have fewer working years left to contribute to separate retirement savings accounts, and less time to recover from any depletion of retirement accounts. Early withdrawals from retirement funds can result in penalties and fees for withdrawals before age 59 ½ as well as potential increased taxes and delays in retirement. Both spouses may have to delay their retirement or adjust their standard of living to either contribute more to their savings now...

In Texas, alimony is called spousal support or spousal maintenance.  Spousal support provides a spouse with periodic payments from the former spouse's future income that continues after the divorce. Spousal support is not automatically ordered.  Many factors are considered by the Court when determining if spousal support is appropriate, such as each spouse’s financial resources, education and employment skills, and the length of the marriage. To find out if you may qualify to receive spousal support, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney....

Social Security rules are complex, and a “gray” divorce or remarriage can affect your benefits. Although the court cannot divide Social Security benefits, many people going through a “gray” divorce may qualify for benefits based on their spouse’s earning history.     Under current Social Security rules, in order to qualify for benefits based upon a former spouse’s record, you must have been married for at least 10 years before divorcing; be at least 62 years old; remain unmarried; have a former spouse who is qualified for benefits; and be qualified for a lesser amount of benefits based on your record....

This topic causes a great deal of anxiety and concern in divorce clients in the “gray” divorce age group. The financial stakes are high. Here are some suggestions:   Immediately begin exploring your options for health insurance coverage;  this is one of the biggest concerns and biggest budget items for those 50+ years of age. Project accurate living expense needs for post-divorce. Consider asking your attorney to consult with a financial planner during divorce. Be aware of your own tolerance for risk. Accept that your lifestyle may change. Some people simply have to return to the workplace or work for a longer...

Before your divorce, you may have insurance policies, a Will or Powers of Attorney that benefit the other spouse, or that name the other spouse as an executor. Before filing for divorce, you may want to make changes. Sometimes changes are prohibited after a divorce is filed, so check with your attorney. You may not want your soon-to-be-ex-spouse to have powers under a health care or general power of attorney — especially not when there is a lot of conflict and life/death decisions are at stake. During your divorce, an Estate Plan can be a relevant part of a property settlement...

Start with an accurate list of necessary and discretionary living expenses. You must know how much income you'll need — whether that is spousal support, passive income from assets, or employment. With less time to bounce back from the economic upheaval associated with divorce, accurate budget projections are crucial in the “gray” divorce. We encourage clients to work with a financial professional or financially savvy friend or family member who can challenge their assumptions and categories of expenses. Doing so is cost effective and produces a more precise outcome....