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Family Law Blog

Tax reform bill can affect alimony payments in divorce process

The tax reform bill currently in Congress is a hot topic in the state of Oregon and other states across the country. One issue addressed in the bill that is before the House of Representatives is the treatment of alimony. Since the discussion of alimony can be a potentially volatile subject in divorce proceedings, any potential changes in its handling is being closely watched.

As the law stands now, the person paying alimony may take an above-the-line deduction, whereas the person receiving it must count it as gross income. The former spouses may enter an agreement to alter their alimony's tax treatment. Typically, the payor of alimony would be in a higher tax bracket and thus would benefit from the deduction.

Avoid common financial pitfalls in divorce

When a marriage ends in Oregon or anywhere else around the nation, couples often find that their financial situation is negatively affected. Incomes are typically reduced, yet each household has its own set of expenses. Financial experts have identified several areas of concern for women involved in a divorce. However, men as well as women would be advised to avoid these pitfalls.

Advisors suggest that keeping the home in a divorce settlement is not always the best decision. Many expenses come with the house, such as the mortgage payment, repairs and maintenance. This could prove burdensome for one spouse to handle alone. Another area of possible concern is how assets are valued. Two assets may appear to be equal in a property listing, yet not be equal when potential taxes and other miscellaneous expenses are taken into consideration.

Shared parenting gaining support in child custody decisions

There are many issues to address when couples from Oregon or elsewhere around the country go through a divorce. If a couple has children, the topic of child custody is often one of the more complex issues that is discussed. Many psychologists and child experts are now citing that children fare better when parenting is shared with both mother and father, following a divorce.

Statistics show that mothers traditionally have been granted full physical custody roughly 80 percent of the time. Fathers often saw their children every other weekend and perhaps one night during a week. This pattern was supported because authorities believed that children would experience less stress because they would not observe conflict between their parents. However, more recent studies have caused many experts to question traditional custody norms.

Don't neglect financial planning in a divorce

When couples decide to end their marriages in Oregon or elsewhere around the country, there are many questions for them to address. However, the most complicated issues that arise during divorce proceedings often revolve around finances. Experts stress the need for both spouses involved to address several areas during the process.

Advisors emphasize the importance of thoroughly understanding one's financial situation. The first step would be to collect all information regarding assets and liabilities. It would be helpful for both spouses to develop a budget while going through the divorce. While it is critical to consider how immediate expenses will be paid, it is just as important to think about potential future expenditures.

Keep finances straight during a divorce

When a marriage comes to an end in Oregon or elsewhere around the country, there are many issues to address. Some of the most significant decisions made following a divorce likely involve finances. Though getting a divorce can be an ordeal, experts recommend keeping a level head and paying close attention to money matters.

In many instances, a person may be thrust into making financial decisions for the very first time. For this reason, advisors strongly suggest utilizing a variety of experts in the process. Depending on the situation, someone may seek the services of a lawyer, an accountant, a financial advisor or a counselor during the course of the divorce process.

Shared child custody arrangements result in lower stress for kids

Going through a divorce can be a trying experience for Oregon residents or others around the country, particularly if a couple has children. Discussions around child custody, living arrangements and financial support for the children can be intense, given the importance of the issues. Recently, child advocates presented research that shows children in shared custody situations are less stressed than those that live full time with one parent.

A study from an international university's demography unit routine found this lower stress level in shared custody situations, even if there was conflict among the parties. Researchers support living with both parents, if possible. When children rarely see one parent, they lose touch with them, as well as other family members and friends associated with that parent. This can cause a child to worry about those people and stress levels can rise, according to adolescent mental health researchers.

Divorce may have considerable tax impacts in Oregon

Most individuals worry about their finances at some point or another. A major catalyst that could spark this concern is going through divorce. Because ending a marriage means living on a single income and potentially losing and gaining assets during property division, understanding financial impacts may be vastly important. Oregon residents may want to pay particular attention to potential taxation.

If parties receive funds from retirement plans or pensions, they could face taxes on those funds. Many accounts of this type have specific taxation requirements, and if individuals are not aware of these stipulations, they may end up with less money than originally thought. This type of situation could also arise if people gain portions of investment accounts during division proceedings.

Millenials more likely to want prenuptial agreements

Many millennials in Oregon and around the nation are waiting until later in life to get married than those from earlier generations. As a result, more of them have steady jobs, own businesses or have amassed property. It is understandable that an individual would be protective of what he or she has earned. This holds true even where marriage is concerned. Prenuptial agreements are become more commonplace, particularly for those who have waited to tie the knot and come to a marriage with established assets.

Prenups are particularly beneficial when the couple has differing financial personalities. One partner may be conservative and focus more on savings and investments. Risk-taking may be the trait of the other partner and could cause a disconnect when it comes to finances. Having a document in place to divide assets and debts should a marriage end can reduce potential conflict in the future.

Can low IQ result in loss of child custody?

Not many would argue that it takes a certain level of intelligence to succeed in some areas of life. For example, someone wanting to be an engineer, doctor or scientist would need an IQ higher than the average of 90 to 110. However, how much intelligence does it take to raise a child? That is the question many in Oregon are asking as they learn of a recent child custody case.

A young couple had a baby about four years ago, but a friend reported to the Department of Human Services that the couple was neglecting the baby boy. The friend believed the parents were not intellectually able to recognize and provide for the child's needs. A case worker visited the home and found no signs of abuse or neglect from the parents, whose IQs measured around 70. Nevertheless, child protective services saw fit to remove the baby and place him in foster care.

Get the facts straight about divorce and money

Most Oregon residents typically consider the emotional impact that ending a marriage will have. However, the financial effects of a divorce can be significant for many. According to a personal finance website, there are several misconceptions regarding money and divorce.

A common belief is that one spouse's adultery will entitle the other to more money in the divorce process. The reality is that behavior typically has no effect on the amount of money someone receives in divorce proceedings. Divorce can come down to dividing up the assets between the ex-spouses. Experts cite an exception in that if one spouse has used the couple's money to pursue an illicit affair, the other spouse may be awarded more in the settlement.