When marriages fail, two people who were once in love can find themselves skirmishing over seemingly insignificant and petty things. But one possession can stir the same sort of feelings one has for his or her children: pets. According to HuffPost, only two states, Alaska and Illinois, don’t see pets as property that could potentially be sold in a divorce. Fighting over who gets the dog, cat or other pet can be as intense and divisive as any other divorce-related disagreement. And if the two sides can’t agree, a judge may decide who gets the pets and when the other ex can visit them. Read more about how these sometimes petty problems get solved at HuffPost.
The state of the marriage union is discussed by two top Chicago-area family lawyers in this podcast from The Chicago Bar Association on the Legal Talk Network featuring Miles N. Beermann and Kimberly Cook. Hosts Jon Amarilio and Jennifer Byrne ask about the current state of marriage and divorce in America, as well as their guests’ experiences on the front lines of this contentious area of the law. Beermann and Cook also talk about how they might have handled some high-profile celebrity divorces.
If you or any of your clients have been considering divorce, the recently passed tax changes may provide another reason to file. The 76-year-old deduction for alimony payments will be wiped out next year by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Losing that deduction has family lawyers telling their clients to act now. Politico takes a look at how:
Potential divorcees have all of 2018 to use the alimony deduction as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with estranged spouses. The deduction substantially reduces the cost of alimony payments — for people in the highest income-tax bracket, it means every dollar they pay to support a former spouse really costs them a little more than 60 cents.
Many family attorneys are criticizing the change, saying it has the potential to make divorce negotiations even more acrimonious. Eliminating the alimony deduction is forecast to generate $6.9 billion in federal revenue over the next 10 years. Read more about how the tax law will affect divorcees at Politico.
When it comes to avoiding divorce, perhaps we should start at the beginning: the first date. According to HuffPost, divorce attorneys are especially keen at spotting red flags that could lead to trouble if romance blossoms into marriage. Perhaps a divorce attorney isn’t the first person one might think of seeking dating advice. But perhaps they should be among the first! Find out the nine questions singles should ask on a first date here (and see if you recognize any of these divorce attorneys offering advice).
The tradition of a father getting once or twice-a-month weekends with his children following divorce may be changing. The Washington Post reports that more are agreeing to collaborative parenting in their divorce. Legislatures in 20 states will consider bills to encourage shared parenting or make it a legal presumption, even when parents can’t agree. It follows years of lobbying by fathers’ rights advocates who say divorced fathers feel estranged from their children and overburdened by child support payments. Read more about the trend in this story at The Washington Post.
A House-sponsored tax reform measure making its way through Congress proposes to end the tax deduction for alimony. That would eliminate a tax break for the ex-spouse who pays alimony, and the tax hit for the ex who receives it, according to CNBC. Divorce lawyers may want to rush through any pending cases before the end of the year because of the uncertainty surrounding the proposal, according to one divorce attorney who said his phone started ringing as soon as news about ending the deduction made the news. Read more about how family attorneys are reacting to the possibility in this story at CNBC.
Divorce can take a terrible toll on those who choose to end a marriage. But making financial missteps during the process can make matters even worse in the long run. Depending on how intertwined your finances are, you may want to hire a financial advisor as well as a family law attorney to help guide you through the process of unwinding your marital assets. CNBC has a list of five financial mistakes you’ll want to avoid if you’re going through a financially-complicated divorce.
After a marriage draws to an end, the divorcing couple must begin the trying work of untangling their legal, financial and child custody lives. While some believe the process will go well enough to consider mediation, the rest must hire family law attorneys. How does a couple know if mediation is right for them? Lifehacker has a list of eight signs divorcing couples should look for if they suspect that mediation won’t work for them.
Crowdfunding to raise money through websites such as GoFundMe and Kickstarter are fairly commonplace. However, a new crowdfunding website not only helps raise money for honeymoons, but also for divorces. Plumfund.com allows newlyweds to ask for donations to help pay for honeymoon expenses. And if it doesn’t work out, couples breaking up can also seek crowdfunding for their divorces. Plumfund says “it’s simple” to create a divorce fund to seek support for legal fees, household items and living expenses. Is it a good idea to turn to crowdfunding to pay for divorce? CNBC takes a look in this story.
Business owners who get divorces sometimes put their businesses in jeopardy. It’s possible to save the business in a high-stakes divorce if you take steps early. One common issue is that many business owners often start their marriages with little income or savings. Jacob Maslow looks at four ways to protect your business in a divorce in this article at Legal Scoops.