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Cheyenne Family Law Blog

Wyoming is an equitable division state

When you and your spouse tied the knot, you may have signed a prenuptial agreement.  If so, then you've likely already discussed the topic of property division laws in Wyoming. If you were more focused on planning a meaningful ceremony and building dreams for the future (not wanting to consider the possibility that things may not work out the way you'd hoped then you may be treading into unknown territory when it comes to how to divide your assets now that you've decided to divorce.

There are only nine states in the entire nation that operate under community property laws. This means when residents of these states divorce, the court automatically divides their marital property 50/50 between them. Courts typically define marital property as any income, possession or assets you or your spouse acquired during the marriage. (Unless, of course, you have a prenuptial agreement separating ownership of a particular asset.)

Child support payments made easier with new program

As families figure out the details of separation and divorce, most parents will want to focus on strategies that support and benefit their children. Even if the parents are not able to maintain their marital relationship, they will want to take actions that serve the best interests of their children. In Wyoming, a common consideration for divorcing couples is the child support agreement. One program in another state has increased collection of child support payments by making access to payments much easier. 

The program allows parents to make child support payments at local convenience stores. The participating stores are popular and plentiful, giving the parents a greater opportunity to access a payment site without additional hardship. This program evens allows the option for parents to pay child support payments in cash. This step supports accessibility for parents who otherwise are unable to send support via their bank accounts or other electronic means. 

Divorce preparation includes property division concerns

It can be tough to figure out all the vital details during a legal matter. Those in the know seem to agree that it is important to utilize professional services when needed to decide how to handle property division and allocation of assets during divorce. Residents of Wyoming may choose to take advice from a recent article that gives tips on how to prepare one's finances for divorce. 

The number one piece of advice given in the article is that individuals should consult with a licensed divorce attorney from their state of residence. The reason for this consideration is because divorce laws vary from state to state, so the information found online or gathered from well-meaning friends can be inaccurate when it comes to the specifics of the individual seeking divorce. Another tip recommends a careful tracking of one's own finances so that one has an accurate picture of his or her financial needs and responsibilities, both in the present time and what they may be in the future. 

Supreme Court ruling clarifies military divorce issue

An issue of how military pensions are distributed in divorce has gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Previously, in Wyoming and beyond, it was unclear if a disabled ex-spouse is responsible to make up the reduction in an ex-spouse's retirement benefits when the military pension is reduced due to receiving disability pay. The policy has varied from state to state, making the specifics of military divorce murky. Recently, the Supreme Court made the issue clearer by ruling that disabled ex-spouses do not have to make up any shortfalls if military pension payments are reduced for disability payments.

When a military person retires, he or she receives a pension. A military person is also entitled to disability pay if qualified. If disability income is paid, the pension is reduced proportionate to the amount of the disability income received.

Helping children cope with divorce

Deciding to end a marriage can be a stressful experience for Wyoming couples and others around the country. It is particularly difficult when there are children involved, no matter what the ages. Experts stress the importance of considering how a divorce will impact the children. Though it may be hard for the separating couple, it is imperative that children are given ways to deal with their parents' divorce.

While not every detail needs to be shared, children need to know what is happening. Parents should explain the divorce process, keeping the dialogue at an age-appropriate level. It is critical to maintain open communication and answer any questions a child might have. On the other hand, parents should offer information if a child is not approaching them with questions.

Many older couples are seeking divorce

A national center that frequently provides information on social issues, public opinion and demographic trends recently reported that more older couples are deciding to end their marriages. According to data, in the past 25 years, divorce among those 50 years old and over has doubled. Many Wyoming couples and others around the country seeking a divorce have been married a long time and have adult children.

In several instances, experts report that one partner has determined that he or she simply does not want to stay married to the other. However, when couples have been married many years, it is more difficult to sort out financial issues. This has created a situation where many couples don't' file for a divorce immediately, but rather live separately for an extended period of time.  These so-called legal separations can prove beneficial for many couples.

What can we learn from a celebrity divorce?

When a high-profile marriage ends, residents in Wyoming and around the country typically witness many of the details of the split played out in the media. When celebrities divorce, the process can be very contentious unless discussions regarding division of property occurred prior to the wedding. However, one practice many celebrities follow can help couples, no matter what their income level.

Prenuptial agreements are common among individuals with high salaries, extensive property holdings and investments. Increasingly, financial advisors recommend prenups for couples of all salary ranges, especially if it is a second marriage or if children are involved. However, if a prenup is not necessary, many of the issues addressed in the process are beneficial to anyone embarking on marriage.

6 ways to prepare yourself for divorce mediation

If you are considering a divorce in Southeast Wyoming, you and your soon-to-be ex might choose to steer clear of litigation and save time and money by opting for a mediated divorce. This will allow you to be in charge of the important decisions that will affect your post-divorce lives and your relationships with you children. While mediation can avoid the trauma of court battles, you may feel anxious about it due to your unfamiliarity with the process.

Research about this process may prepare you and relieve the stress of anticipation. The goal of mediation is for a qualified divorce mediator to provide a platform for you and your spouse to negotiate any contentious issues or concerns you might have. The mediator will facilitate open communication and encourage compromise when necessary -- but he or she may not provide legal advice.

How a "gray divorce" can affect finances

Over the past 25 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of older couples from Wyoming and others across the country that have decided to end their marriages. In fact, the divorce rate for those over 50 years old has doubled during that time. This so-called "gray divorce" can bring challenges to those involved, along with new opportunities.

Those going through a divorce should evaluate their financial situation. For example, if alimony is awarded in the divorce, the income of an earning spouse may be decreased. That spouse's income level could be cut in half, plus there may be no funds available to save.

Advice for those about to enter the divorce process

Nearly everyone here in Wyoming knows at least one person who ended his or her marriage. Because of this, there is often no shortage of advice from friends and family when it comes to divorce. Even co-workers offer advice. The problem is that every family is different, and what worked for one person -- or didn't work as the case may be -- may not be right for another person. However, there are some universal tips that everyone entering in the divorce process can benefit from.

First, as soon as divorce is contemplated or discussed, documentation regarding the family assets and debts should be gathered. Get copies of important papers now before they get "misplaced" or "lost" by the other party. This does not only apply to financial records, however. Copies of birth certificates, school records and medical records are just as important.

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

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Fax: 307-778-8225
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