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Alimony: Records You Should Keep After Divorce

Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, are payments made from the the higher earning spouse to the lower earning spouse after divorce. Alimony is not always awarded in a divorce, courts today are trending away from it, but alimony is typically granted when one spouse earns significantly more than the other spouse, or that spouse has been out of the workforce for a period of time. It’s purpose is to allow the lower earning spouse to maintain their same standard of living while they work on becoming self-supporting. You and your spouse can agree on the amount of alimony and the length of time alimony will be paid. If you cannot agree, you can go to trial to settle the matter. If you are ordered to pay alimony, you are usually ordered to make monthly payments until: a date set by a judge several years in the future your former spouse remarries the judge determines that after a reasonable period of time, your spouse has not made reasonable efforts to become self supporting your children no longer need a full-time parent at home a significant event such as retirement occurs, which convinces a judge to modify the amount paid one of you dies. Alimony is tax-deductible for the person paying it, and is considered taxable income for the person receiving it. For this reason, it is very important to keep sufficient records, whether you are paying or receiving alimony. It is common for there to be disputes between the spouses about amounts paid or received, or sometimes the IRS challenges their claims. Without documentation of payments made and received, the...
Help Your Kids Deal With the Effects of Divorce

Help Your Kids Deal With the Effects of Divorce

When parents are going through a divorce, one of their biggest priorities is making sure their children get the emotional support they need. Ideally, parents would like to minimize the impact of the divorce as much as possible. In order to make the divorce easier on the children, parents should recognize how divorce commonly affects kids, and take the necessary steps to make the process as painless as possible. Research on children and divorce typically show that kids will experience a sense of loss. This feeling of loss can manifest in a variety of different ways, depending on several factors. For instance, younger children may show signs of regression in areas such as toilet training, or they may throw more tantrums. Older children and teens tend to experience their loss as depression, rebellion, or other changes to their sleeping or eating habits. Whatever the child’s experience is, parents play a huge part in easing their child’s pain. No matter what your child’s age is, the most important thing to do is to be cooperative and non-confrontational, and to continually ensure your child that you love them and that they will always have two parents. There are several other ways to properly communicate with your child while you are reassuring them. First of all, try not to vent to your child about your own frustrations regarding the divorce. It is fine to be open and honest about your feelings, and it may make your child comfortable enough to open up about how they feel. However, try not to stress your child out with details about your own difficulties. Even years...
Child Support and Taxes

Child Support and Taxes

Child support payments are not tax-deductible by the paying parent. In addition, child support is tax-free , and neither the paying spouse or the spouse receiving payments owes taxes on it. It is important to know how support is characterized in your marital settlement agreement, because it can significantly impact your taxes. Below is important information regarding child support and taxes. In your divorce agreement, any payments must be clearly designated as ‘child support” in order to qualify as child support. Sometimes, child support is lumped in with spousal support as “family support.” If this is the case in your agreement, none of the payment will be considered as child support for tax purposes. This can affect your taxes because family support and alimony is taxable as income to the recipient. The party would be receiving alimony which is taxable to the paying party, regardless of what the money is used for. It is important to designate separate child support in your divorce agreement if you want to receive nontaxable child support. If a parent wants to claim the child as a dependent on their taxes, the parent must supply at least half of the child’s financial support during the tax year. When parents divorce or separate, only one parent can claim the child as a dependent. The IRS prevents divorced parents from both claiming the dependent exemption by cross-referencing the dependent’s Social Security numbers. If parents live apart for the last six months of the year, have a written divorce decree, maintenance agreement, or separation agreement, there is another ruler that applies to the dependent exemption. If the...
Special Issues in Late Life Divorce

Special Issues in Late Life Divorce

A late life divorce includes many of the same challenges as a divorce when you are younger. However, older couples also face some unique, age-related issues as well, including health concerns, retirement, and greater emotional impact. One of the biggest differences in late-life divorce is the fact that you will have less time to recover financially afterward. If you are getting a divorce after 50, or are considering it, it is important to consider division of assets like your home, retirement plan, and Social Security When dividing assets in late life divorce,there is more to consider than just the market value of the asset. Some assets will be more useful to you later in life than they are now, such as your house. Your house could be of greater value to you since your age allows you to be eligible for real estate property tax exemptions. Your house could also be a more valuable asset since you could be eligible for a reverse mortgage once you are 62 years old, which could offer additional income. As you grow older you might want your house for tax benefits such as mortgage interest or exclusions from gains upon sale. The house might also be a more valuable asset to you since the house owner can qualify for public benefits such as Medicaid, and have access to equity and potential rent income. Another issue to consider in late life divorce is dividing retirement plans. Dividing retirement plans can be complicated, so it is important to consult with your lawyer. You may need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which is a separate court...

The Benefits of Having a Divorce Lawyer

When divorcing, there is no requirement to hire a lawyer. You may decide you want to file for divorce on your own, perhaps with help from court provided documents or online instructional guides. In a few situations, divorcing on your own might be acceptable, however majority of the time people should consider hiring a divorce attorney. Here are the top 5 benefits of hiring a divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney can help ensure that you get every asset you deserve in your divorce. You may be unaware that you are entitled to certain assets, and state laws do not always guarantee an even split of assets, depending on the couple’s situation. For instance, spouses are often entitled to retirement, and sometimes they are entitled to other income that the other spouse will receive in the future. A divorce lawyer is invaluable if you have any complicated issues to settle in your divorce, such as child custody and support issues, debt, assets, future assets, and other. If you are unsure how to settle any matter in your divorce, you need a divorce lawyer. Next, a divorce lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes. Often when a person is attempting a do-it-yourself divorce, they make mistakes due to the stress of the divorce, and due to the fact that the legal system is more complicated than they anticipated. It is easy to make mistakes for an inexperienced individual settling their own divorce. They might simply forget to address issues such as medical or credit card debt, or they may underestimate or overestimate the value of an asset, which can significantly affect...