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Divorcing as a Doctor in Texas

Picture this: a bustling emergency room, adrenaline pumping, lives hanging in the balance, and a doctor in a white coat heroically saving the day. That鈥檚 the doctor life, right? But hold on to your stethoscopes because today, we鈥檙e about to take you on a wild rollercoaster ride through the heart-pounding, chart-topping drama of divorcing as a doctor in the great state of Texas!

Short Answer: Yes, divorcing as a doctor in Texas is a unique adventure filled with legal twists, financial turns, and emotional loop-de-loops. Keep reading to uncover the secrets of this high-stakes operation!

In this article, we鈥檙e not just dissecting the medical mysteries; we鈥檙e diving deep into the complexities of divorce for our Texas healers. From child custody conundrums to the financial ER, we鈥檝e got your prescription for understanding every aspect of 鈥淒ivorcing as a Doctor in Texas.鈥 So, grab a coffee, cozy up in your favorite chair, and let鈥檚 get this show on the road!

Calling All Texas Docs: Divorce and Drama in the ER!

When people think about divorce as a doctor the first thought that likely comes to their mind is the money aspects of a case. Doctors provide many heroic services for our community but when it鈥檚 all said and done, I think most people consider the role of a doctor in terms of their income more than anything else. Being financially stable and being able to translate those hard-earned skills into a great income is one of the benefits of being a physician. However, it can also be one of the most difficult aspects of a physician鈥檚 life during a divorce.

If you are a physician who is reading this blog post and are either considering a divorce or have had a divorce filed against you then you have come to the right place. There are many considerations, but you need to make it this time both for yourself and for your family. Foremost among them is how you are going to divide the Community property up that is owned both by you and your spouse. What some doctors do not realize, just as most people, is that the property acquired during your marriage for the most part belongs equally to you and your spouse. It does not matter whose income was utilized to purchase the property. So long as it was purchased during the marriage it is Community property and is therefore divisible in your divorce with no advantages being given away to you or your spouse.

Community property basics for doctors

As a position come to like you don鈥檛 need me to tell you that some subjects are more complicated than they appear at first period Community property here鈥檚 an example of a subject that at first appears rather simply put is complex. Things begin looking simply when you consider that the presumption in a Texas divorce is that all property owned by you and your spouse at the time of your divorce is community property. If either you or your spouse wants to contend that certain property belongs in either of your separate estates then it is up to you, if challenged by the opposing spouse to be able to prove that this is the case.

Separate Property in Divorce: Gifts and Inherited Money

Property owned before your marriage by either you or your spouse is separate property. This is important from the standpoint of understanding that not all the property owned by the two of you will be divisible in your divorce. However, depending upon the length of your marriage it could be that most property the two of you are only will be divisible. However, if you owned real estate, personal property, or even portions of investment in retirement accounts before your marriage then you should be prepared to understand that those types of property would not be divisible in the divorce.

Additionally, indeed gifts made specifically to you or your spouse from the marriage or money inherited during your marriage from a relative also count as separate property. It would be wise to have the receipts and proof of how you came to own the property ready to go in case your spouse challenges you on this separate property designation.

However, in most cases, the property that you own will be classified as Community property. It doesn鈥檛 matter if you used your large physician鈥檚 income to purchase the property and your spouse has been a stay-at-home parent. That house, vehicle, vacation home, or other asset is classified just as much as your spouse鈥檚 property as yours.

Property Division in Divorce: Guidance for Physicians

The question for you as a physician is how the property in your life will ultimately the divided. This is the $1,000,000 question that, no pun intended, must be answered. To get a better idea about how your property is likely to be divided in a divorce scenario I would recommend that you speak with an experienced family law attorney with the law office Brian Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys can help guide you during this process to assist you in learning more about the division of community estate as well as the factors that a family court judge would likely consider when dividing up property.

One thing to note on this subject is that you and your spells are more likely than not going to be the ones who ultimately determine how your property will be divided. It is a misnomer and a myth, in general, to believe that a family court judge will decide your divorce. Statistically speaking it is much more likely that you and your spouse will divide your property either in an informal settlement negotiation or more likely in mediation. This allows the two of you to play a central role in dividing up your estate. So, the purpose of today鈥檚 blog post is to provide you with some degree of context for learning how a family court judge would consider how to divide up your property. The more likely scenario, however, is that you and your spouse play a more direct role than the family court judge.

Dividing up property based on parenting status

One of the important factors when it comes to dividing up Community property, at least in the eyes of family court judges, is regarding which parent is the primary caretaker of the children. The thought here is that the parent who has the primary obligation to take care of the children both has a greater need for property and assets daily but also will be receiving child support. This is probably the most complex of all these factors that we will be discussing today so I wanted to take some time to be able to talk them over with you so that you can understand better what you may be looking at when it comes to dividing up your community estate.

Challenges of Parenting for Physicians with Hectic Schedules

It鈥檚 no secret that doctors tend to have schedules that are more hectic than most people. As a physician, you may work in emergency medicine, own your medical practice, or even beyond call for surgeries at any hour of the day. As a result, your schedule requires a great deal of flexibility. While there is nothing wrong with having a job schedule like this it does not necessarily make it conducive for you to be the parent who cares for your children before and after school and take some to sporting events on the weekends. That role may be more ably filled by her spouse at least in this time in your life.

You may be asking yourself how this discussion has anything to do with how your community estate will be divided up. after all, aren鈥檛 these topics that are related to raising your children and their day-to-day life? This would have nothing to do with your property, income, and how a judge would likely divide up your community estate. However, there is a direct relationship between how your community states will be divided up and your role as a provider for your family. Here is how a family court judge could look at your situation and use your parenting roles to determine how Community property should be divided.

Child Support and Division of Community Estate

For one, the spouse who is going to become the primary caretaker of the children will also be receiving child support. The fact that your spouse is going to receive child support in other situations could later judge you to be more cautious about how he or she divides up your community estate. The thought is that because your spouse is receiving child support that he or she may not then also need to receive a disproportionate share of the community estate.

However, while this may be true when it comes to things like spousal maintenance or a division of your bank account, there are aspects of your community estate where your spouse becomes the primary caretaker figure to play a central role in the process. This discussion should begin with your family home and how it will be considered in the context of your divorce case. I am going to make some assumptions to outline some general points that I think will apply to many of you reading this blog post. However, remember that I have no specific knowledge of your case, in that the information we provide is intended for a general audience.

The family home in a physician divorce

The family home not only represents the center of your life in terms of housing your family and storing many memories for your family, but it is also important from the standpoint of it being a rather large percentage of your net worth and an investment in the sense that you and your spouse have likely poured some money into making improvements after purchasing the home. Not only that, but the family home contains most if not all your personal property that may also be divisible in the divorce. The decision about what happens with the family home in your divorce will be an important one.

Mortgage Considerations in Divorce

When thinking about the family house in divorce, consider the mortgage. You and your spouse should check if there鈥檚 still money owed. It matters if your spouse can afford to stay based on their income and the mortgage size. Also, think about if the house suits them after divorce. The house is a big prize, but it can be a financial burden if not considered carefully.

If your spouse becomes the primary caretaker for your children post-divorce, they might prefer to stay in the family house. This provides stability for the kids amidst the changes in their lives. It鈥檚 crucial to consider whether your parent can manage to remain in the house after the divorce. Take the time to think clearly about your options regarding the house.

Income Contributions and Loan Ownership

Consider that you鈥檝e likely paid the mortgage from your income. If so, your spouse might struggle to handle mortgage payments, even with good intentions. Another issue is whose name is on the loan. If both yours and your spouse鈥檚 names are on it, refinancing is necessary to remove your name. This isn鈥檛 guaranteed and could leave you liable for a loan on a home you don鈥檛 own. This situation is highly undesirable.

If your spouse can afford to stay in the home, there are options available. For example, you can draft a deed of trust to secure assumption. This provides some protection from the financial consequences of staying on a home loan for a house you don鈥檛 own. Essentially, you could foreclose on your spouse if they can鈥檛 pay the mortgage.

Mortgage Payments in Divorce

In that case, you could take over the mortgage payments yourself and seek reimbursement from your ex-spouse in the future. While not ideal, it provides some protection. If this situation applies to you, consider including a deed of trust to secure assumption in your case.

If you and your spouse decide to sell the family home, you鈥檒l need to work out the logistics of the sale and how to split the equity. This may involve negotiation and cooperation to reach a fair resolution.

Your post-divorce living arrangements may influence this discussion. If your spouse plans to buy a new home for herself and the children, she may need more upfront money for a down payment or other costs. You鈥檒l also need to discuss details like hiring a realtor and setting a sale price to ensure everything is addressed during the divorce process.

What about spousal maintenance?

Spousal maintenance, commonly known as alimony, is a relatively new topic for many people. Spousal maintenance is a payment made by you to your spouse to help him or her meet their minimum basic and reasonable needs after the divorce. How spousal maintenance is determined in your divorce will be a different discussion than how your community property is divided.

Historically, Texas divorce courts have been cautious about granting partial maintenance unless there was family violence. However, there鈥檚 been a shift recently, with more judges awarding spousal maintenance. It鈥檚 more likely in cases where a spouse can show they can鈥檛 support themselves due to disability. This physical or mental disability would need to be sufficient to keep him or her from entering the workplace.

Another factor to consider in this regard would be if your spouse will be the primary caretaker for one of your children who has a disability themselves. The same type of stock prices would go into play for this situation as we saw that would apply to your spouse if he or she had