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Archive for January, 2013

Tax Plannning for Divorce (Part 3-Medical Expenses)

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Guest Post by John Ellsworth, Esq.

If you continue to pay a child’s medical bills after the divorce, you can include those costs in your medical expense deductions even if your ex-spouse has custody of the child and claims the dependency exemption. But the best thing to do is to have this also stated in your divorce decree or marital separation agreement.

Twitter Widow

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

MediaMonkey reports that Celia Walden, who is married to Piers Morgan, says she is a Twitter widow.

Morgan has over three million followers.  Walden, not a Twitter user herself,  told the Daily Telegraph, “Diana had three people in her marriage – I’ve got more than three million. And I’m tired of it,”

She says Morgan missed his daughter’s first step because he was on Twitter.

Men and Women Differ on Marriage Roles

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

A majority of young men and women want an equal marriage, sharing monetary contribution, housework and child care, reports Lisa Wade, PhD, from data gathered in Kathleen Gerson‘s book, The Unfinished Revolution.

However, when the demands of work and family interfere with their ideal marriage, men and women differed when Gerson asked them what marriage they would like if they couldn’t have their ideal equal marriage.

Seventy percent of the men wanted to be the primary breadwinner and have their wives concentrate of homemaking and the children.

Seventy five percent of the women said they would rather be divorced and raising kids alone than give up their careers and be a housewife.

Tax Planning for Divorce (Part 2-Exemptions for Dependents)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Guest Post By John Ellsworth, Esq

You can continue to claim your child as a dependent on your tax return if the divorce decree names you as the custodial parent. This is a very important rule for you to memorize.

If the decree is silent on that point, you would still be considered the custodial parent — and thus eligible for the exemption — if your child lived with you for a longer period of time during the year than with your ex. So if the child lives more than half the year with you, and your decree doesn’t mention who gets the exemption, then you get it.

Please keep in mind that it’s possible for the noncustodial parent to claim the exemption if the custodial parent signs a waiver pledging that he or she won’t claim it.

Divorce Quotes

Friday, January 18th, 2013

“Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.”

Selwyn Hughes

Tax Planning for Divorce (Part 1-Filing Status)

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Guest Post By John Ellsworth, Esq (Editor’s Note:  Today we start a new series of articles about tax planning in your divorce.)

If you and your spouse are separated but not yet divorced before the end of the year, you still have the option of filing a joint return. It’s when your divorce decree becomes final that you lose the joint return option.

Your marital status as of December 31 controls your filing status. If you can’t file a joint return for the year, you can file as a head of household after your divorce (and get the benefit of a bigger standard deduction and lower tax brackets) if you had a dependent living with you for more than half the year and you paid for more than half of the upkeep for your home.

If your divorce is still pending at as of December 31, you can either file a joint return (which always saves you money) or choose the married-filing-separately status.

Negotiation Tip: Segregation

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Some issues are just too big and complex to tackle all at once.  What to do about the children is a good example.

But you can eat an elephant if you take your time and take small bites.

That’s what you do in negotiations.  If you get stuck on a problem, start breaking it down into to smaller bites.  Separate the issues.

Segregate the big issue of “children” into custody and child support.

Then take custody and keep breaking it down.  Segregate custody into who will make the legal decisions, where will the child  live, and what will the time sharing schedule look like.

You can even break down legal decisions into separate pieces like who will decide which doctors to use, who will decide where the child goes to school and who will decide what religion to raise the child in.

Sometimes it’s easier to reach agreement with a series of small decisions than trying to tackle the whole thing at once.

Children and Divorce (Part 3 – Older Children)

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Guest Post by David Williamson, content writer at Coles Solicitors who writes on different law and legal topics. He is expert in writing about personal injury law, family law, divorce law, employment law and many other legal topics.

The effects divorce can have on older children, especially teenagers, can more often than not be more severe than on the very young. These children, when around the ages of 12 to 16, actively understand what is happening. They can often witness their parent’s distress, can see the disruption in the family unit and ultimately respect the process. This can lead to a fear of commitment and hesitancy when it comes to intimacy. This age range is also more likely to engage in sexual activity at an early age and frequent reports of depression are known to be an outcome. The result of this commonly swings two ways: Either the child matures extremely quickly, becoming a career of sorts for the jilted parent (if there is one), gaining an increased appreciation of money and gaining responsibilities ahead of their years. On the other hand, they can often project their parent’s misfortune on their own future and assume that they will achieve the same, unhappy fate.

When a child grows past these years, to around 16 or above, the effects are often minor. Of course, the child feels jilted and abandoned in some cases and confused as to the causal elements. However, they are mature enough to understand the situation and remove their personal feelings from the equation. Any deep or confusing emotional conflicts will ostensibly only last temporarily, and they will often support the family the best they can to ensure an appropriate outcome.

The single biggest factor, applicable to all age groups, is that of the level of aggression a child may witness between their parents. If there are common verbal fights, or even in severe cases physical outbursts, this will have major effects on all children, often causing permanent damage. If fighting is unavoidable then this should be conducted away from the children as, at the very least, the illusion of a ‘normal’ family unit needs to be partially maintained for the child to appreciate and respect normal human relationships.

Understanding these outcomes and ensuring appropriate steps to prevent them will help children adjust to the drastic changes imposed on them by divorce and help prevent any permanent damage.

Divorce and Children (Part 2-Young Children)

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Guest Post by David Williamson, content writer at Coles Solicitors who writes on different law and legal topics. He is expert in writing about personal injury law, family law, divorce law, employment law and many other legal topics.

The effects of divorce on the very young are still somewhat a mystery. Up until around the ages of 2 or 3, children are not going to remember the separation and show few signs of understanding the process. Therefore, the long term effects are, fundamentally, only conjecture.

Once they begin to age, however, up until around 8 or 9 years old, children will often demonstrate rudimentary and measurable signs of understanding the situation. They often take on board some feelings of responsibility and assume that the reason one of their parents has left falls to them. The consequences of this are a yearning for attention, often combined with a fear that the remaining parent will also ‘abandon’ them. This can result in lowered self-esteem and often cause a problematic sleeping pattern.

Mature children, around the ages of 9 to 12, often shoulder the responsibility of the situation more so than their younger counterparts. A common consequence during these ages is that of an increased imagination. Commonly, the child may imagine their parents are still together and take part in games or act out scenes of denial and a refusal to believe the situation that is unfolding before them; outside of their control. Anger may increase during this age range, whereas younger children may introvert, quietly sob and allow the feeling of abandon to push them into the fringes of their comfort zone, these more mature children will probably become more obvious with their feelings of anger and resentment.

Divorce and Children (Part 1)

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Guest Post by David Williamson, content writer at Coles Solicitors who writes on different law and legal topics. He is expert in writing about personal injury law, family law, divorce law, employment law and many other legal topics.

Divorce affects everyone differently. The two main parties, the husband and wife, are of course usually the ones most notably affected. Commonly though, friends, relatives and even neighbors can be drawn into the fray in the face of the developing animosity. However, whereas adults will, more often than not eventually move on and lead normal happy lives again, perhaps with a new partner, children often experience different outcomes.

Divorce and its consequences can leave permanent scars on the psyche of children. The way a divorce is conducted and understanding the short and long-term effects it could have on children is important to ensuring they don’t suffer because of their parent’s personal turmoil.

These effects can vary drastically. However, there are some very important outcomes relative to all age groups that are wholly worth maintaining, especially if you have children and are seeking divorce. The main element to remember when considering how a child may react to divorce, (regardless of age) is always thus:

‘Removing a parent from the equation kills the illusion of the solid family unit the child has been brought up to respect.’

The results of this can manifest in a variety of ways. The most common of these by far, though, is a striking drop in productivity. Children who are raised in divorced families statistically demonstrate a lack in productivity in both school and the home. However,  that’s not to say that all children experiencing divorce will behave in this way but statistically children are more prone to acting out when involved in divorce than those raised in a family where the parents remain married.

 
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