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Dallas Divorce Law Blog

Google co-founder divorces wife after 8 years

Texas investors may have heard that Sergei Brin, the co-founder of Google, has officially divorced his wife of eight years. A judge in Santa Clara County approved the divorce settlement in May 2015. The couple first separated in 2013 and, around that time, Brin was having an affair with an employee who worked in the Google Glass division.

The couple continues to live close to each other and are raising their two children in a cooperative fashion. It was reported that Brin and his ex-wife had a prenuptial agreement in place, which means that the divorce shouldn't impact Google significantly. Brin is estimated to have a net worth of $30 billion. His former wife is the founder and CEO of a human genome startup, and Google was an early investor in the company.

Shared parenting offers benefits

When Texas parents are going through a divorce, child custody is often a concern. In the past, it was often the case that one parent would end up being awarded primary physical custody of the children, with the other parent having limited time with the kids on weekends and certain holidays. Most often, it was the mother that was awarded custody. Unfortunately, these agreements sometimes left noncustodial parents and children feeling like strangers to each other.

A change has started to emerge around the country, with society developing different ideas about the parent-child relationship and the importance of children having ample time with each parent. As a result, there been a move toward shared parenting in which each parent gets to spend significant amounts of time with their child or children. While this isn't always possible, in many cases where there isn't a lot of conflict between parents, shared parenting can make a great deal of sense.

Polygamist sect leader grants child custody to wife

Some Texas residents may have heard of Warren and Lyle Jeffs, two brothers who head a radical sect of the Mormon church. While Warren Jeffs is considered the leader, he is currently in prison, and his brother Lyle is in the process of going through a divorce from his first wife. Because the sect encourages polygamy, it is believed that she is one of several wives. In April, a judge granted her primary custody after hearings in which she said she feared her children would be taken away from her.

The couple have a 14-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old son, and they will see their father during the summer and every other weekend. According to the mother's lawyer, many large trucks have been leaving the church compound, and he believes that children are being moved.

The interplay of divorce and Social Security

Many Texas residents have likely heard that famous actors Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck appear to be ending their marriage. The pair has indicated that they plan to complete their divorce prior to having been married for 10 years, dividing up assets worth nearly $150 million.

One interesting aspect is that by divorcing before their 10th anniversary, they will be forfeiting the right each have to receive spousal benefits through Social Security when they retire. While with their wealth it is unlikely either of them will need to rely on Social Security to fund their retirement, it of course plays a big factor for many other couples.

Understanding divorce finances

Many people in Texas forget to think carefully about their future financial well-being while they are planning to end their marriage. Although divorces can be very emotional, it is vital for spouses to consider how their marital assets will end up being divided during the process. If people decide they simply don't want to think about these and other financial matters, they could end up paying for the oversight for years to come.

In many marriages, one spouse takes on more responsibility of the household finances and marital assets. Even if a spouse is not used to handling the financial assets, they should become familiar with them before and during a divorce. The greater a spouse's understanding of their marriage's finances, the better equipped they will be to negotiate for a fair divorce settlement.

Jon Gosselin wants primary custody of only 1 of his 8 children

Jon Gosselin, the divorced father of eight children that appear in his ex-wife's TLC reality show "Kate Plus 8," has expressed an intention to ask for primary custody of only his 11-year-old daughter. This high-profile celebrity custody case illuminates issues of interest to Texas residents grappling with child custody issues.

It has been reported that Gosselin said that his 11-year-old daughter complained that her mother was cruel for reportedly forcing her to appear in new episodes of the television show. Citing her accusation, Gosselin plans to attempt to alter the custody agreement that granted primary custody of all eight children to Kate Gosselin when they divorced.

International parental child abductions

Unfortunately, some Texas parents who have gone through a divorce are affected by situations in which their child is wrongfully taken abroad by the other parent in order to evade child custody and access orders. Although this type of behavior is illegal, some parents still flaunt the court orders and take their children away.

The problem is a pervasive one, with nearly 8,000 cases reported to the U.S. State Department between the years of 2008 and 2013 alone. In order to combat this global issue, 93 countries have signed on to a treaty pledging to help return children who have been abducted and brought within their borders.

How to protect property without a prenuptial agreement

For many Texas couples who go into a marriage with money or assets, prenuptial agreements are one way that they can make sure their own assets are protected in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement isn't the only way to keep assets protected if a divorce occurs. Instead, anyone who is getting married but can't get a prenuptial agreement signed can take steps to keep their money protected.

One important thing that anyone must do keep money and assets safe is to keep them separate from marital assets. This means keeping money in a bank account in only the owner's name and keeping real estate titled in only one spouse's name. Keeping assets separate means not allowing any assets owned prior to the marriage with marital assets like pay. Gifts and inheritances given to one spouse during the marriage can be placed with assets owned prior to the marriage as long as the gifts and inheritances were intended only for one spouse.

Shared parenting and child custody in Texas

For many years, the popular thinking in child custody and divorce cases was that children should live primarily with one parent, while visiting the other infrequently, such as every other weekend. The idea behind this was that a child would be stressed out by constantly going between two homes.

A recent study demonstrates the opposite, however. The Swedish study, reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health on April 27, instead found that children fare best when they spend more equal amounts of time with both parents in a shared parenting arrangement.

Calculating child support in Texas

The Texas legislature has established child support laws in an attempt to provide financial stability for children growing up in Texas with one parent. While all Texas parents have a legal obligation to support their children, child support is commonly at issue in divorce, visitation and paternity cases. Accordingly, family courts are often called upon to calculate amounts and enter orders governing payment.

Judges are granted wide discretion in calculating child support payments. The primary criterion is the best interests of the child. That said, the legislature has created guidelines for use by the courts. For a parent who has no children outside the proceedings, the guidelines suggest 20 percent of the parent's income be paid as child support for one child, and 25 percent for two. For six or more children, the guidelines suggest a minimum child support payment of 40 percent of the parent's income.

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