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October 2018 Archives

Avoid the common financial pitfalls associated with divorce

Family law practitioners who assist persons in a divorce often observe certain common financial pitfalls that people may fall into. For example, one may want to maintain a Scrooge-like exterior when looking at new spending, especially for splurging and luxuries that can no longer be afforded. It is a common fact in Missouri and elsewhere that after divorce one does not have the buying power of two full incomes. The sacrifice both during and after the divorce may be a great relief in the future when an extra financial push is needed. 

Divorce strategies will evolve to meet new tax rules on alimony

Missouri and all other states will contend with a new federal tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that has many of its provisions becoming effective on Jan. 1, 2019. One change that has not been generally welcomed by matrimonial lawyers is the provision that takes away the alimony deduction from those who pay that kind of post-divorce spousal support. The law will also relieve alimony recipients from owing federal tax on this incoming monetary support.

A clean break or a slow transition to a final divorce?

Relationship therapists in Missouri and elsewhere generally see two points of view on whether a quick break or a gradual one is best in a pending separation matter. There can be some obvious drawbacks of rushing a divorce situation in a time of great stress just to get it done and out of the way. When children are involved, that attitude will likely be harmful and uncaring.

No one anticipates a divorce, but a prenup can ease the process

Most, if not all, Missouri couples who commit to marriage do so with the "until death do us part" bit in mind. However, when they consider reality, they might realize that prenuptial agreements are crucial for providing both spouses peace of mind. Drafting marital contracts before the marriage, when both parties genuinely want the best for their spouses, makes more sense than fighting over issues later. Once a couple has filed for divorce, each spouse wants what is best for him- or herself.

The divorce rate is declining drastically, thanks to millennials

There are many factors that contribute to divorce, including financial disagreements, lack of communication, infidelity and unrealistic expectations. However, one of the most notable factors is age. According to a new study, millennials are better at marriage than older age groups, which is causing the divorce rate to take a plunge. The divorce rate went down 18 percent between 2008 and 2016.

Child custody laws must target dangers of domestic violence

State legislatures in Missouri and other states continue to look for ways to improve the administration of child custody laws to make them even more supportive of the needs of the children. Although child custody law is guided by the all-encompassing mandate of deciding what is in the best interest of the children it doesn't always work out that way. Better legislation may involve a clarification of the goals of child custody law and more accurate wording of the provisions contained in the law.

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