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Does the Divorce Rate Rise when the Economy Gets Better?

A married couple promises to stick together for better or worse, for richer or poorer. According to a recent study, after hard economic times and the economy starts to rebound, so does the divorce rate.

 

In a recent story in the LA Times, divorces plunged when the recession struck and slowly started to rise as the recovery began, quoting a study to be published in Population Research and Policy Review.

 

"From 2009 to 2011, about 150,000 fewer divorces occurred than would otherwise have been expected, University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen estimated. Across the country, the divorce rate among married women dropped from 2.09% to 1.95% from 2008 to 2009, then crept back up to 1.98% in both 2010 and 2011. The National Marriage Project earlier dubbed the drop in divorce "a silver lining" to the Great Recession, arguing that tough times were pulling many husbands and wives closer together. But some couples may have simply put off divorce until they could afford to part, researchers say. The economic uptick may have finally given them the freedom to split."

 

Food for thought.

Filed under Popular CultureTags divorce in the news, gray divorce, older Dallas divorce
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Top Ten Financial Tips for Women Divorcing in 2013

Forbes Magazine recently posted an article suggesting the "Five Best Financial Tips for Women Divorcing in 2013" We thought we would expand the list to ten. Most are activites to do BEFORE a divorce is filed. 

 

1.  Gather financial documents, such as tax returns, end of year statements from banks and brokerage houses.  End of year credit card statments may have a whole year of transactions.  Having good information before a divorce commences can make it go easier. 

 

2.  Assess your credit.  Get a copy of your credit report, and take steps to protect your credit.  The filing of a divorce may prevent you from taking some steps in this area.

 

3.  Open bank account and credit cards in your own name.  That way you have funds that are not accessible to your spouse, and a credit card he can't cut off.

 

4.  Begin to assemble a professional divorce team.  Hopefully, you will have something in your estate othe than tupperware and credit card debt.  Consulting with a divorce attorney, and perhaps others if there are assets or other issues that beg for analysis by experts, is a real good idea.

 

5.  Be watchful.  If you're think about a divorce, your spouse may be also.  And may already be on a missionto hide assets or income.  Look at the documents that come intoyour view, look at computer screens, and generally assess whether the flow of information has become restricted, or you hear cries how how "business is terrible."  The anecdoctal information you gather can help your divorce team immensely when the time comes.

 

6.  Keep track of and document significant events.  Your notes to yourself can later help construct a timeline that helps you and your team figure out what has been happening.

 

7.  Remember that you are married until the divorce decree is signed by the Judge.  There is no common law divorce, where you can feel free to take up a new relationship.

 

8. Get needed medical and dental work done while you still have coverage while you're married.

 

9.  Have a safe place to keep your documents that are outside the easy access of your spouse.  It doesn't do you any good to collect helpful if not critical documents if they suddenly disappear.

 

10.  Protect yourself--physically-- and your confidential information.  Don't allow yourself to be initmindated or worse.  911 is there for a reason.  Change your passwords that allow access to your computers, cell phone, social media, email, and finanacial sites.  Don't use passwords your spouse can  maybe figure out. Have your home and vehicle swept for bugs--and not the six legged kind.

 

The articles on the website explain in much detail what esle to expect in a Plano,  Ft.Worth, Denton or Rockwall divorce.

 

Most women find that a consultation with one of our Dallas Divorce Attorneys helps guide them through the pre-divorce-planning and information gathering stage of their life.  The Forbes article is here.

Filed under Family LawTags baby boomers, Dallas divorce attorney, Dallas divorce firm, divorce in the news, gray divorce, Ken Raggio, money problems, older Dallas divorce, retirement savings, Technology and Family Law
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Danica Patrick Announces Divorce

NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and her husband are divorcing after seven years of marriage, according to news outlets. On another end of the spectrum, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman recently announced they were separating after more than 30 years of marriage. Whether you're a race car driver, a teacher, a movie star or a stay-at-home parent, the decision to end a marriage is one of the toughest decisions our clients have to make. When thinking of divorce, consulting with an experienced family law attorney can help a client understand how the law will effect their family moving forward. 

 

At Raggio & Raggio, one of our attorneys will explain the law to you in understandable terms, not in legal jargon. We'll ask questions to get at the heart of the issue. We'll explain how a Texas divorce works and work to craft a customized legal strategy to help you best reach your goals.

 

Using Danica Patrick's case as an example, did she and her husband have a premarital agreement? If their divorce were to be in Texas, Texas law generally enforces premarital agreements. We'll see what happens in Danica's case.

 

 

Filed under Popular CultureTags baby boomers, divorce in the news, gray divorce
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The Whole Family in a Family Law case--with a Twist!

We are a family law firm-- including within our family.  The firm was, as you may know, founded by my brother's and my parents decades ago. And my son is now a lawyer inthe firm--a third generation Raggio.  So we're Family...in Family Law...

 

But we've found a case where  a couple's son--a lawyer--was allowed to represent his father against his mother in the divorce!

 

 In Reno, Nevada, Marie Liapis filed for divorce from her husband Theodore.  And Theodore hired THEIR SON Mark to represent him.  Marie didn't like that and asked the trial court to disqualify Mark, which it did.  But, according to the ABA Journal, the Supreme Court of Nevada disagreed, ruling that Mark could represent his father against his mother.

 

Talk about frosty conversation at the family gathering for Thankgiving!

 

Filed under Popular CultureTags baby boomers, Dallas divorce attorney, gray divorce, Ken Raggio, older Dallas divorce
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The Gray Divorce Paradigm: Boomer Breakups Increase Like Never Before

This article was excerpted in the November 2012 issue of D Magazine.

 

Leave it to the Baby Boomers to fuel their very own trend in divorce.

 

While the overall divorce rate is declining in North Texas, people age 50 and older are divorcing at an alarming rate. In 1990, the 50-plus crowd accounted for one in 10 divorces. In 2008, one in four divorces involved Boomer-age couples. Nationwide, more than 600,000 people age 50 and older got divorced in 2009.

 

“Gray divorces are a new and different kind of process,” says Ken Raggio, whose Dallas family law firm Raggio & Raggio has developed a protocol specifically to serve this growing market of older Dallas divorce. “The normal reasons people divorce – money problems, child issues and infidelity – aren’t the reasons most older people come to see us. They’ve raised their kids, made their money and now they want the last part of their lives to be more interesting and fulfilling.”

 

An AARP study in 2004 suggests that women initiate almost 70% of gray divorces served by the best Dallas family lawyers. As women survey their empty nests and face decades of healthy life, many decide their parental duties are complete and look forward to more excitement than a Law & Order marathon in the evening. Increasingly, they believe “til death do us part” is unrealistic with today’s longer life spans.

 

Family lawyer Barbara Van Duyne says gray divorces are of prime concern to Dallas divorce attorneys. “We started seeing a trend of our friends and colleagues getting divorced after 30 to 40 years of marriage. These are the couples you look at and wonder who would ever have thought they would break up? Once we become involved in the intricacies of the Dallas family law proceedings, we become aware of the unique issues, complicated concerns and emotional turmoil this age group faces.”

 

“Our job, in reality, is to make certain that our Dallas family law clients receive full value for their portion of the estate,” says attorney Tom Raggio. “Frequently this process can be less than obvious and requires more than a superficial analysis. In most cases, if they are retired or near retirement, this is probably the best financial condition they can expect.

 

“We look at retirement accounts and other savings,” Tom says. “There’s often real estate involved, and we have to get maximum value for that. We sometimes bring in a financial planner, especially if a Dallas divorce client has not been involved in managing money. We can use conventional litigation or collaborative law, but we have to be very careful with the money they have.”

 

The Dallas divorce attorney must give the client an honest appraisal of the assets they have to accomplish those goals. “The home used to be the real prize in a divorce,” says attorney Grier Raggio. “Now we look very closely at the home and whether our client is better off getting that or other assets.”

 

Jeff Raggio, Ken’s 27-year-old son and an associate at the Dallas divorce firm, says the firm’s older clients seem to be looking for the same bright future as the younger clients he and other Raggio attorneys represent. “It’s important to make this a hopeful process,” he says, “and this is something all of us work to achieve. A common thread across all age groups in divorce cases is that one or both parties realize the relationship is no longer working. Our firm helps clients on the journey to get their lives back on track.”

 

Those experiencing gray divorces should have plenty of company on that journey. One researcher predicts the annual number of over-50 divorces nationwide should exceed 800,000 by 2030.

 

As with all other Baby Boomer trends, there continues to be strength in numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under Popular CultureTags baby boomers, Barbara Van Duyne, Dallas divorce attorney, Dallas divorce firm, gray divorce, Grier Raggio, Jeff Raggio, Ken Raggio, money problems, older Dallas divorce, retirement savings, Tom Raggio
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