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Cheyenne Family Law Blog

Going through a marital split-up? Mediation may make it easier

A divorce is a life-changing event due to the emotional and financial complications it can cause. This is the case no matter how long or short you have been married. Unfortunately, dragging out the divorce due to animosity on both sides can make the process even more harrowing.

Many couples in Wyoming and elsewhere are choosing to avoid traditional divorce litigation these days and are turning to divorce mediation instead. Mediation enables a couple going through a marital split-up to feel in control when it comes to planning their lives.

Social Security rules ready for a number of divorce situations

All relationships are unique. That uniqueness extends also to divorce circumstances. The specific circumstances of one's divorce can lead to different outcomes for one's Social Security benefits. Luckily, the Social Security Administration had anticipated the wide variety of life circumstances and has developed rules that govern the various after-marriage situations that can apply to Wyoming residents. 

In order for an ex-spouse to claim on their ex's work record, the two must have been married for 10 years. In the case that a couple was married, broke up, remarried, and broke up again, they might be able to claim that they were married for 10 years. In order for the two marriages to count for the 10-year quota, they couple must have remarried within one calendar year of the first dissolution. 

How will a Thrift Savings Plan be split during property division?

A divorce can affect a person's various retirement accounts. Federal employees often utilize a type of savings account called the Thrift Savings Plan or TSP. Certain guidelines govern how the TSP can be handled during the property division portion of divorce proceedings. A recent news article gives details that Wyoming residents may find informative. 

No federal law exists that governs how the Thrift Savings Plan should be split between spouses in the event of a divorce. The division is then left to whatever agreement a person can make with his or her soon-to-be ex, or it will fall under the law of the state in which a person resides. In order to divide the TSP, a person will need to have a Retirement Benefits Court Order (RBCO), which is basically the divorce agreement document. The guidelines for the proper form of a RBCO can be found in the TSP guidebook.

Child custody dispute focuses on private mental health history

If a physician has determined that a person's mental health history does not affect their ability to parent, should that person have to release their health records? That is the question posed in a recent child custody case in which a mother sought full custody of her children. Her husband, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, was reluctant to offer up his full private details. A recent news article shares more details about the unusual custody case that readers in Wyoming may find interesting. 

The couple had been divorced for several years, but recently the ex-wife requested full custody based on her ex-husband's mental health status. Although her ex-husband was able to produce a document from his mental health provider stating that his diagnosis did not affect his ability to parent, and that he posed no danger to the children, the woman still requested that his full mental health records be admitted for the custody case. A judge agreed with the woman, but the man refused to offer his health records, citing privacy concerns. 

Does a military career equal military divorce?

The path a person chooses for their career can affect their life in many ways. It appears that some jobs by their very nature predispose couples to seek divorce. A recent news article highlights a review of U.S. Census data, and demonstrates that a military career can in fact lead to military divorce in Wyoming and all across the United States. 

In an analysis performed by a career website, it was found that military jobs took two of the top five spots for the highest rates of divorce. The number-one spot was held by first-line military supervisors, with a 30 percent divorce rate. Enlisted military tactical operations held another one of the first five positions on the rankings. Other slots were held by engineers, logisticians and automotive service technicians. 

Shared child custody normalized on children's TV show

Children's television shows can be an important tool to teach kids about a wider range of family arrangements. Traditionally, shows have stayed close to the concept of the nuclear or the blended family. A new Disney show tackles the topic of divorce and shows a family who shares child custody in a mature and peaceful way. For co-parenting families in Wyoming, the show can serve as a way to demonstrate to children that shared child custody can be a normal and healthy way for families to interact. 

National trends show that the divorce rate is declining, but that does not mean that the divorced, co-parenting family no longer exists. In fact, many families like this do exist, and having a TV show that reflects a common family structure can let kids know that they are not alone if they have divorced co-parents. In the show, the children will live with their mother, but the father will still be a big part of their lives. 

Who gets the season tickets to Broncos games in divorce?

Many Wyoming residents are avid sports fans, especially when the Denver Broncos are concerned. In fact, some people hold season tickets and travel the four or so hours it may take to attend games in person. One wouldn't think something like tickets to football games would be a source of marital problems; however, when divorce occurs, it's assets like these that often lead to contentious property division battles in court. Of course, if children are involved, custody, support and visitation matters may be challenging as well.

To achieve a fair and agreeable settlement, it's crucial to negotiate all terms as amicably as possible. The problem is, many divorces occur in the first place due to serious communication breakdowns between spouses. This often makes friendly negotiation seem impossible. Reaching out for support and arming yourself with as much information ahead of time as possible may help prevent lingering disagreements.

Divorce reaching new heights of social acceptance

Modern views are making way for new thoughts about partnership. A recent Gallup poll shows that most Americans do not object to divorce on moral grounds. Even unlikely groups, such as older people, married people and the religious are changing their views on divorce. Opinions on the negative effects of divorce have softened, in Wyoming and all across the country. 

The Gallup study compared views on divorce to previous conclusion taken in 2001 and earlier decades. Since the 2001 poll, the percent of people who do not object to divorce on moral grounds has increased 14 points. The majority of people, 73 percent, now feel that divorce is ok, a feeling that has been steadily on the increase since the 1950s. 

Allowing for the possibility of divorce brings out the best

Times change, humans evolve and relationship needs can transform over time. As people move into the modern age, they move away from what has been called a shame-based model of marriage. Allowing for the possibility of divorce, even though many may not take it, helps people show up to marry with the mindset that they can choose to do what is right for them. In Wyoming, as well as other states, preparing for divorce can be as important as preparing for the marriage itself. 

One therapist argues that the concept of a one-size-fits-all marriage is unhealthy and damaging. When people feel trapped in an arrangement that they can never escape, they are not able to be their best selves and experience misery. But when people know that they have an out from a situation that no longer serves them, one that they may have outgrown, they are able to make more informed choices about what is best for them. 

Alimony payments must be part of agreement to be tax deductible

The legally valid divorce or separation agreement is an important tool for divorcing couples. The terms negotiated in such an agreement can have lasting impacts for individuals. The tax implications of one alimony agreement are discussed in a recent news story which may provide some helpful information for persons considering divorce in the state of Wyoming.

The story mentions a couple who reached a divorce agreement. Prior to the divorce, the man had received a bonus that, after taxes, was in the amount of $155,000. He agreed to pay nearly half the bonus to his wife before the divorce was finalized. After the marriage was terminated, an alimony agreement was created that included a monthly payment amount, with a provision that included a percentage to be given to the ex-wife for any income that exceeded $12,500. The agreement did not mention the bonus that had already been given to the woman.

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Cheyenne, WY 82001

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