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Cheyenne Family Law Blog

Blended Retirement System may affect military divorce

The retirement plan of U.S. military service people is changing next year, reports one news outlet. They write that, in 2018, the pension plan will be reduced, and the Department of Defense will then begin automatic and matching contributions into Thrift Savings Plans for service members. Some say the change may have unforeseen effects on divorce settlements. Although divorce rates are dropping, the new change could potentially affect many people in Wyoming. 

The military has introduced a new plan, called the Blended Retirement System. The plan begins Jan. 1, 2018. It introduces new guidelines for pensions, retirements accounts and bonuses. Members who have 12 years or less of military experience will have the option whether to continue with the current plan or switch to the new one. The decision must be made by the end of 2018. 

A new theory about divorce in families

Researchers have been trying to figure out the reasons why humans do what they do for centuries. As new science emerges, theories change, but there will always be debate. New research on the topic has emerged from two universities. People in Wyoming may be interested to learn about the recent study claiming that divorce runs in families due to genes. 

Researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden attempted to analyze the reasons why marital breakups seem to plague families. They studied the behaviors of adopted individuals and found that adopted people were more likely to mimic the habits of the biological parents rather than the adoptive parents. The researchers have concluded, based on their analysis, that genetic factors determine a person's likelihood of ending a marriage. 

Considering every possibility before negotiating your divorce

If you are facing the end of a marriage, you might have concerns about how divorce might affect your financial future. You may consider this area of life to be crucial, and wish to take steps to protect yourself from suffering undesirable consequences.

The division of property will inherently have an impact on your financial standings. Before entering negotiations, you might find it beneficial to consider the potential ramifications of every available option, as they could have a considerable influence on the decisions you make during divorce proceedings.

How will a job change affect alimony payments?

A person's life path is rarely a straight line to a predetermined goal. Few people expect to divorce a spouse, and fewer still expect to have a drastic reduction in income over the course of a career. Nevertheless, these situations happen on the roller coaster of life, and big changes can affect a person's life greatly. Some individuals in Wyoming may be wondering how divorce and career might affect them -- specifically how an alimony payment would be affected if the person paying has a reduction in income. 

An alimony agreement, once settled by the judge, is a binding legal agreement. The agreements are subject to review and possible modification if a person can demonstrate a change of circumstances. The change in circumstance must have occurred after the original order was entered by the court, and it will be up to the person who asks for the change to prove that the change is significant and permanent. 

Property Division: Divide retirement accounts carefully

The end of the marriage comes with a series of endings and separations. One of the separations comes when the two individuals separate any joint savings and retirement accounts. Property division can be tricky, and it isn't always easy to know what is equitable. Plus, there are tax rules and Social Security rules to be conscious of. People in Wyoming considering divorce may wish to research the best strategy for dividing assets before making any major financial moves. 

Some individuals may be tempted to dip into the retirement accounts to pay for the costs of the divorce, but this is not recommended. Not only is it possible that a person will pay a tax penalty, but there is an additional ten percent penalty if a person withdraws from the retirement fund before the judge orders the assets divided. Financial advisors recommend that couples preserve the savings for now and instead begin to tally the amounts of the various accounts in order to get the full picture of the financial situation. 

Shared child custody may be best solution

Children deserve the very best and most fair treatment possible since they lack control over their lives. A young child is innocent and should be able to focus solely on growth and development so that he or she may thrive as an adult. As divorce becomes a more normalized part of culture, evidence-based research is emerging about how to best support children through divorce. Parents facing child custody questions in Wyoming may be interested to learn about research pointing to the positive benefits of shared custody. 

A Swedish University paired up with a research institute to look at health and behavioral patterns of many types of children in order to determine if one particular custodial arrangement demonstrated better outcomes. The study looked at thousands of children over many types of family backgrounds. They based the mental health findings on reports from teachers and parents. 

Choosing a divorce attorney

At the end of a marriage, it is likely that a person has many loose ends to gather up and issues to settle. In Wyoming, one of those issues is choosing the right divorce attorney. It's best to avoid simply choosing the first lawyer in the phonebook, or the one recommended by a family friend. Knowing what to expect from an attorney can help an individual choose the one that is most compatible with the person's needs. 

First and foremost, however, a person is typically his or her own best advocate. While it may be tempting to turn over all the important decisions to a professional, the lawyer is not the one who will have to live with the results of the settlement. Like any significant expense, it makes sense to shop around. Be sure to interview a few lawyers to get a feel for their styles and services. 

Both parents important in child custody

New research shows that a child's relationship with mom and dad is equally important. Gone are the days of defaulting to single custody for one parent with visitation for the other. With an important exception for keeping a child away from a parent that is abusive or neglectful, the general rule, borne out by research, is that shared child custody is the best option for the child. Individuals in Wyoming who desire to split caregiving with their ex can take some hope from one scientist's recent research. 

A professor at a noted university reviewed 44 previously published studies on end-of-marriage conflict and its effect on kids. Traditionally, courts have tended to favor one parent keeping custody as a way to limit the child's exposure to parental conflict, believing that to be in a child's best interest. Actually, research suggests a child's relationship with both parents is more important for long-term well-being. 

Divorce: Can my ex use my texts against me?

In the golden age of smartphones, almost everyone has information and communication at their fingertips. You use your smartphone for calling, texting and surfing the internet, but can your smartphone also be a weapon against you during divorce proceedings?

If your texts are relevant to some factor in your marriage dissolution, an attorney can subpoena your text messages. In some cases, he won't need to, and in other cases, he won't be able to. Wyoming is a no-fault divorce state, so state residents will not have to prove infidelity or some other marriage fault to legally break up.

First steps when facing divorce

Ending a marriage will usually need to be handled strategically as well as emotionally. In Wyoming, when facing a divorce, there are a few important first steps to take before signing any agreements and moving on with one's life. A person will need to get his or her house in order, metaphorically speaking. Divorce, when approached in an informed way, can be handled so that any frustration regarding the transition is minimized. 

The first part of ending one's marriage is based on information gathering. It makes sense to research the different options available for obtaining a divorce. This is a good point to retain an attorney that fits one's needs and goals. Once that occurs, it usually time to inform any friends and family who don't already know of the intention to end the marriage. 

Zubrod Law Office, P.C.
219 East 18th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82001

Phone: 800-801-0989
Fax: 307-778-8225
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