Blog | Helpful Tessmer Tips | Tessmer Law Firm
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Tessmer Tips / 31.03.2016

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....

Tessmer Tips / 30.03.2016

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...

Tessmer Tips / 29.03.2016

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...

Tessmer Tips / 28.03.2016

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....

Tessmer Tips / 25.03.2016

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....

Tessmer Tips / 24.03.2016

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...