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Family Law Blog

Child custody decisions often difficult

Going through an Oregon divorce can be a stressful experience, particularly when children are involved. Child custody issues can potentially be contentious. However, it is critical for divorcing couples to remember that though they may be ending their relationship, their roles as parents remain. Understandably, the decisions that parents make regarding their children can have long lasting repercussions.

Counsellors acknowledge that children may be acting depressed or anxious when their parents are getting a divorce. Even if a 50/50 split custody arrangement has been made, the situation can still be overwhelming to a child. Often, unresolved matters in a marriage can carry over into divorce proceedings and create conflicts. Children are frequently caught in the middle when arguments arise.

Prenuptial agreements: Important documents to have in place

Planning a wedding in Oregon and elsewhere around the country often elicits romantic images and feelings of everlasting love. However, many experts are recommending that couples thoroughly discuss their financial situation prior to tying the knot. In fact, many suggest that couples get prenuptial agreements to avoid potential issues in the future.

While discussing the possibility of a divorce or death in the future is not pleasant, it is better to deal with the issues while emotions are not strained. A family and matrimonial law attorney offered explanations of different types of agreements that couples may elect to develop. These include prenuptial agreements, sunset clauses and postnuptial agreements.

Veteran with PSTD now fighting child custody issues

Citizens in Oregon and throughout the nation owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans who have bravely served our country. Many veterans, especially those who have experienced combat in war-torn areas, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Those veterans are encouraged to seek help for PSTD. One combat veteran sought help, but believes that his child custody case is suffering because of it.

The out-of-state man, a Marine corporal, served three tours of duty in Iraq, where he suffered three concussions. The man belonged to a support group for veterans dealing with PSTD. After the war, he earned two college degrees and worked as a substitute teacher. He and his wife got a divorce, but he remained involved in his two daughters' lives.

Retaining possession of an inheritance following divorce

It can be difficult, if not impossible, to predict what the future will hold. Over the years, many individuals in Oregon and across the country have reached a point in life, whether gradually or suddenly, where change is necessary. One of the more stressful and intimidating changes a person might face is the end of a marriage. Divorce can be challenging both emotionally and financially, but the latter may be less burdensome if certain precautions are in place.

One aspect of divorce that is often a highly debated topic is property division. During this process, assets will be split between the couple that has decided to part ways. There are, however, numerous factors that can influence exactly how assets will be divided. For example, if a properly executed prenuptial agreement is in place, it may dictate who will gain possession of each asset listed in the agreement.

Give PEACE a chance during a divorce

When an Oregon couple decides to end a marriage, peace is typically not a word that immediately comes to mind. However, divorce experts suggest that the process may work more smoothly if specific areas are addressed. The areas can be easily remembered by the acronym PEACE.

The first subject to consider is a parenting plan when children are involved in the divorce proceedings. It is important to develop a plan that deals with the issues of custody, visitation and support. Another area of concern is the equitable distribution of assets – not necessarily equal division. The parties must agree on a plan to divide assets from a marriage.

Parenting plans helpful when addresssing child custody issues

Going through a divorce in Oregon or elsewhere is an emotional experience. Those emotions are often heightened when children are involved. Child custody issues can turn divorce proceedings into contentious battles. However, it is beneficial for divorcing spouses to address co-parenting situations and develop a plan.

According to family consultants, consistency is key. One parent might have different behavioral expectations than the other. This could potentially cause great confusion for the children. It is important to work together to create something that works for each unique situation. This is critical in a divorce when children typically spend time with each parent in separate environments.

Prenuptial agreements a must for successful couples

When most couples get married, little thought is given to the possibility that their marriage might end someday. While no one is likely to be thinking of divorce before the marriage license is signed, it is definitely important for Oregon couples to consider preparing a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. The agreement is even more critical for those couples that are equally successful as individuals to protect their respective financial futures. Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, sometimes have negative connotations associated with them, but they are vital documents to protect divorcing spouses.

Experts state that prenups are designed to protect each partner in marriage rather than favor one party after a divorce. Assets brought into the marriage as an individual are protected. This is becoming more important since many couples are marrying later and have already accumulated certain assets. An agreement would also address those assets acquired as a couple to determine how they would be split after a marriage ends. 

Taxes can be affected by divorce

There are many emotional aspects involved when an Oregon couple decides to end a marriage. In addition, several financial considerations come into play during divorce proceedings. One area that can be significantly affected in a divorce is the couple's income tax return. Financial experts recommend taking a close look at the areas where divorce can have the most impact.

Filing status for those going through a divorce will change, depending on the date a divorce is final. Whether or not someone is still married on Dec. 31 determines if he or she should file for the entire year. If single or divorced parents file with head of the household status, they may realize some tax savings because of a wider tax bracket than for those who file as single.

Decline in divorce rate should not be viewed as good or bad

Many statistics are available in Oregon and throughout the country. When viewing data, there is a tendency to define a positive and negative direction of the trends. For example, unemployment numbers going down would be positive, whereas an increase in crime would be viewed as negative. However, experts are recommending that one particular statistic should not be viewed this way. They suggest that changes in the national divorce rate – either up or down – should not be considered good or bad.

There are discrepancies in the divorce rate among different organizations. Most estimate it to be between 40 and 50 percent. However, demographics can greatly affect this number. Life expectancy has significantly increased in the past 100 years, giving people more time to end a marriage. Couples over 55 are divorcing more, while younger couples are staying together more.

Divorce rates down across the country

People often make the statement that half of all marriages in this country will end. However, a recent study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research shows that the divorce rate has steadily declined in the last four decades. In fact, when studying marriages in Oregon and across the country, research shows that those rates are at their lowest in quite some time.

The study of annual statistics has been ongoing by The National Center for Family and Marriage Research since 1970. Findings from the study show that the country's divorce rate peaked in 1980. In 2015, the latest year in the survey data, the rate was the lowest it has been in 40 years. Researchers also reported on the number of marriages each year. Marriages rates have steadily declined since 1970.