Divorce is a difficult decision for anyone, regardless of age. However, for Millennials in Texas, divorce can come with unique challenges and considerations. In this blog, we will discuss some of the key aspects of divorce for Millennials in Texas.
Divorce Laws in Texas
First and foremost, it is important to understand the laws and requirements for divorce in Texas. To file for divorce in Texas, you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, and you must have lived in the county for ninety days prior to filing Additionally, Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that you do not need to prove that your spouse did anything wrong to file for divorce.
Dividing Debts and Assets in a Millennial Divorce
Once you have decided to file for divorce, it is important to consider the financial implications. For Millennials, this can be especially important, as they may have accumulated significant debt or assets during their marriage. Texas is a community property state, meaning that property and debt acquired during the marriage are generally considered to be owned equally by both spouses. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and it is important to consult with a divorce attorney to understand how it may apply to your specific situation.
For example, many Millennials come into a marriage with significant student loan debt. This debt is not divisible in a Texas divorce; it follows the person who benefits from the education. Credit debt is somewhat different. The spouse that signed the contract with the creditor will be responsible for the debt in the divorce even if the debt was accrued during the marriage. The Courts will not assign a debt to one spouse when the other spouse signed up for the credit card or loan. However, the Court may offset some other asset in the property division to equalize debt that was accrued for the family. For example, it might be unfair to award a spouse all the debt on a credit card that the couple used for monthly expenses for the couple or for gifts for the children. In such a case, the Court might award the spouse with the credit debt a larger share of some asset the couple owns to offset the debt accrued for the benefit of the other spouse.
Creating a Parenting Plan
Another important consideration for Millennials going through a divorce is the impact it may have on their children. Texas law requires that parents create a parenting plan that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each parent in regard to their children. This plan must be approved by the court and may include provisions for custody, visitation, and child support. Because Millennials are getting married after starting careers, it’s likely that both parents work outside the home. So, finding a parenting plan that works for both parents and is great for the kids is a challenge. An experienced family lawyer will be able to advise and negotiate for a custom possession schedule that works to keep the children happy, healthy, and balanced.
Self-Care During Divorce for Emotional and Mental Well-being
In addition to legal considerations, it is also important to prioritize self-care during a divorce. This may include seeking therapy or counseling to help manage the emotional and mental toll of the process. It is also important to lean on friends and family for support and to engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment. It is important to recognize that a divorce is an event that happens during a person’s life, but divorce is not the person’s life. The divorce is temporary. Keeping focused on goals, opportunities, and experiences during and after the divorce helps keep the divorce from becoming all-consuming.
Approaching Divorce with Clarity and a Positive Outlook for the Future
Finally, it is important to approach divorce with a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve. While it may be tempting to fight for every last dollar or asset, it is often in everyone’s best interest to come to a fair and reasonable settlement. This can help minimize conflict and allow everyone to move forward with their lives. While two people may not be good spouses, there is no reason they cannot be friends or at least effective co-parents. Choosing to complete a divorce without making an enemy of the other spouse goes a long way in maintaining a solid co-parenting relationship as well as your own mental and emotional health during and after the divorce.
In conclusion, divorce can be a challenging process for Millennials in Texas. However, by understanding the legal requirements, considering the financial implications, prioritizing self-care, and approaching the process with a clear understanding of your goals, it is possible to navigate this difficult time and emerge on the other side with a positive outlook for the future.
Millennial Divorce FAQ
What is different about property division for Millennials in a divorce?
The rules for divorce still apply, but many Millennials prioritize experiences over belongings. While previous generations amassed things during their marriage, many Millennials have amassed memories with trips and events rather than acquiring stuff. So in some ways, property division is easier, but if credit was used to fund the trips and experiences, there could be significant credit debt to account for in a divorce.
What overall considerations should a millennial have about a divorce?
Many Millennials are college educated with a degree. Consequently, there is often significant student loan debt. That means many Millennials actually have a negative net worth when factoring in all their belongings, assets, and debts. So we advise being thoughtful about the cost of the divorce litigation. Spending more than necessary on senseless litigation should be avoided to preserve as many assets as possible.
What is the normal parenting plan for Millennials?
A: Texas has a “Standard Possession Schedule” detailed in the Family Code. This is the plan many Courts will order once the Court decides which parent should be the “primary parent”. However, in many Millennial marriages, both spouses pursue a career and work outside the home. If the Standard Possession Schedule does not fit the parents and children, a lawyer can help negotiate a plan that works.