A Professional Athlete’s Playbook to Divorce
When you’re a pro athlete or other celebrity, your career focus can easily lead to family issues, including divorce. Every high profile person headed for divorce should keep a few special considerations in mind to protect their privacy and help bring about the best possible result.
If you’re in this situation, see what you need to know here in this divorce playbook by Ramos Law Group.
Division of Property in Texas
Texas is a community property state, so any earning or endorsement deals secured prior to marriage are separate property and not subject to a just and right division by the family law court system. However, earnings or assets acquired after marriage are subject to division. If you are divorcing as a professional athlete, it’s vital to have a skilled legal team who can help protect your assets and get the best property division agreement as possible.
The State of Texas does not recognize the term “alimony”. The support mechanism the courts do use – “post-divorce maintenance” – is limited in scope and duration. This can be a very good thing for high-profile professionals, as one consideration in your divorce playbook should be to minimize spousal maintenance owed.
The amount of support, if any is ordered, is typically capped and limited for a specific period of time, dependent on the length of the marriage. The shorter the marriage, the shorter amount of time that support may be ordered. Post-divorce maintenance is also less likely to be awarded if there is a sizeable property settlement.
Professional athletes typically do not just earn a single paycheck. There are complicated salary structures which include weekly game checks, signing bonuses, performance bonuses, endorsement deal payments, etc. It can be difficult to ascertain the exact earnings of a professional athlete, as well as establish what money is community and what money is separate. The qualified team at Ramos Law Group, PLLC can help. Make a consultation the first step of your divorce playbook.
Another silver lining in the Texas divorce process for professional athletes is that the mandatory waiting period for a divorce to be granted is quite short compared to other states. Some states require a lengthy period of legal separation before a divorce may be granted. The State of Texas only requires 60 days from the date of filing until the divorce may be filed. This short period allows for an amicable divorce or agreed upon settlement be reached quickly (assuming the parties have an agreement) and a divorce can be completed in a little over two months.
Another thing that differentiates getting a divorce in Texas from divorce in other states is that the Texas Family Code has capped the amount of child support. There is a percentage based on the number of children, but only the first $8550 of a player’s monthly net income is considered for child calculation purposes.
Now, if you’re Tom Brady, it is likely that the needs of a child would exceed the normal guideline amounts and there are circumstances where a judge will order above-guideline child support amounts. But the Texas Family Code does have the child support guidelines in place and one does not typically see the enormous child support obligations in Texas that are ordered in states like New York or California.
Professional athletes building their divorce playbook will want to focus on their game and season and not have their divorce play out publicly in the press. Typically, family law cases are public record. The Texas Family Code allows for a litigant to file a Motion to Seal which can grant some anonymity to a high-profile athlete.
Work with Expert Attorneys
The Ramos Law Group, PLLC has a history of representing well-known and respected professional athletes, including NFL players. Mary Ramos and her associates are knowledgeable with a deep playbook and are well-equipped to handle any of the special concerns that come with a professional athlete going through a divorce in Texas.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation.