Family Law Resources

lie-about-finances (1)

Retirement Account FAQ's

Attorney Jillian French, Texas Super Lawyer and partner at Vaught Law Firm, was featured several times by Ask the Lawyers™ Quick Question for her knowledge of property division in Texas. In these short videos, she discusses how retirement accounts are treated in a Texas divorce. If you have any additional questions about property division, please do not hesitate to call us to schedule a consultation at 512-342-9980.

Can I Go After My Ex’s Retirement Accounts After Our Divorce?

In this Ask the Lawyers™ Quick Question, Attorney Jillian French discusses whether your spouse can go after your retirement benefits.

If a retirement account was not disclosed or not put in the divorce decree then your spouse could claim it as an undivided or undisclosed asset. That is something that is provided for in the Texas family code, and they could come after it.

How Do You Divide a 401K and IRA Accounts in a Texas Divorce?

Attorney Jillian French explains how retirement accounts are divided in this Quick Question by Ask the Lawyers™.

For a 401k, those are typically going to be referred to as qualified plans and so those would be divided through what's called a qualified domestic relations order. For IRAs, those are typically divided through the divorce decree and then most of them require a copy of the divorce decree and then additionally a form, typically something that the plan itself creates, and then they want the form to be filled out with a copy of the decree.

How Are Retirement Benefits Divided in a Texas Divorce?

Jillian French, a Texas divorce attorney, explains how retirement accounts are divided in another Quick Question by Ask the Lawyers™.

They are usually divided through some sort of domestic relations order, either a qualified domestic relations order or just a regular domestic relations order, depending on the award to the other spouse based on a just and right division of the property.


The Dos and Don’ts of a Smooth Divorce

As divorce lawyers in Austin will tell you, there is nothing to be gained by intentionally trying to make life miserable for the other party.

• Try to remain on speaking terms, and if that is not an option, choose a neutral form of communication, such as texting.

• Consider mediation. This is a lower-cost alternative that helps with communication and preparation of the necessary paperwork. Even if you do require divorce lawyers in Austin, the use of a mediator can be an important step for getting ready for court.

• Write down your budget. Finances are a very big part of every divorce case. Having a clear and honest budget will make things go smoother, and being able to find the financial paperwork you need ahead of time will make things go faster.

• Protect the children. Divorce is stressful for children. Avoid fighting in front of them. Avoid putting down your spouse in front of them. The exception is if you are in an unsafe situation. If you or the children are at risk, contact law enforcement and exit the situation as quickly and safely as possible.

• Protect your mental health. Now is not the time to binge eat or neglect your health, even though you are feeling extremely stressed. Go for walks, drink water, take some time to meditate – do the things that support your mental health so you can better handle the road ahead.

Don’t do this if you want a smooth divorce

When you block divorce proceedings, either willfully or because you simply don’t want to deal with it, you are making a bad situation much, much worse. Divorce lawyers in Austin discourage you from doing the following:

• Being combative. When feelings are hurt, especially if one is feeling betrayed, it is natural to want to become combative. This, however, can spin out of control very quickly and can turn into a situation of power/financial/physical abuse. Your divorce lawyer in Austin is always on the side of the law and cannot tolerate any behavior that puts your or your spouse’s wellbeing at risk.

• Hiding important documents. This is a big issue that can lead to costly delays and a lot of serious problems. Don’t hide or alter documents, such as the deed to the house, car titles, bank statements, employment or business income, etc.

• DIY divorce. You don’t actually save any time or money with a DIY divorce because divorces, even quick ones, are incredibly complicated. Divorce lawyers in Austin know the laws about divorce in this state and what you are – and are not – entitled to. There are also firm rules when it comes to the custody of minor children and the division of estates. It is easy to mistakenly break a law you are unfamiliar with.

Rely on Divorce Lawyers in Austin

Divorce is never pleasant, but with the help of divorce lawyers in Austin, you can get through the process faster, with a more favorable custody arrangement, and with the assets you deserve. Contact Vaught Law Firm, P.C., if you are in the Austin area and are planning a divorce. We specialize in family law and will provide the expertise you need.


Virtual Visitation Rights: A New Trend in Child Custody Cases

Robin Williams, in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, realizes a parent’s worst nightmare: Following a divorce, a court order prevents him from ever seeing his children. He realizes he cannot live without seeing them and concocts an elaborate plan — he impersonates an elderly nanny to care for them after school — just to remain in their lives.


Types of Divorce in Texas

In the State of Texas, if one party wants a divorce, the divorce will eventually be granted. Often one of the spouses wants to continue to work on the marriage and the other spouse is ready to move on. The court cannot compel anyone to marriage counseling.

photo-1554224155-1696413565d3 (1)

What Is Discovery & Why Do I Need it?

Discovery is the way that your lawyer asks the opposing party and their lawyer for information on your case. There are several types of discovery. Each type is useful for requesting different types of information.


Difference between annulment and divorce

When two spouses marry each other, there is a valid marriage. Sometimes, because of a legal defect, the marriage is subject to annulment. If the defect is timely challenged in court, the marriage is “voidable”.


What is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a process that brings two spouses together to negotiate their divorce settlement with the help of their own lawyers and a trained mediator.


Do I Need a Divorce for My Common Law Marriage in Texas?

Also known as an informal marriage, Texas recognizes common law marriage as a legal option for couples in the state. Not all states recognize common law marriages. Common law marriage does not require a marriage ceremony or for you to submit a marriage license to the Clerk of Court.

Understanding QDRO In Texas Divorces

Understanding QDRO In Texas Divorces

During divorce proceedings, retirement benefits may need to be divided. Only the retirement benefits that were accrued during marriage are available for division. For Texas divorces, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is necessary to divide retirement benefits.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive family law resources & updates instantly in your inbox. Enter your email to enroll.