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Cheyenne Family Law Blog

Prenups can be useful documents in divorce process

When a Wyoming couple or others around the nation decide to end their marriages, one of the many issues they must resolve is how to divide their marital property. Each state has specific guidelines about how this should occur in a divorce. However, many couples elect to create a prenuptial agreement to deal with how their property should be divided. Financial analysts believe that developing a prenup may be in some couples' best interests.

Experts are seeing an increase in clients who request information about such agreements. In the past, there seemed to be negative connotations when addressing these issues. Now, there are many factors that have created an environment where marital agreements are more commonplace. For instance, couples marrying later in life with children from previous marriages often see the need for a prenup. There are several other reasons why a couple could benefit from having one.

Unique approach to reduce delinquent child support payments

When a Wyoming couple or others around the country go through a divorce, there are countless issues to resolve. This is particularly true if the couple has children. Often, one parent is required to pay child support to the other to provide financial help in raising the children. Unfortunately, not every person who should pay child support does so. While these individuals may offer up a variety of excuses about why they don't pay child support, a judge in another state recently made efforts to squash one reason that is frequently given.

Persons who are behind in their child support payments often have to go before a judge. One probate judge constantly heard that the reason why support payments were late or not made at all was due to not having a job. The judge was exasperated to hear this excuse because he was aware of many employment opportunities in the area. He decided to make that excuse impossible to use in his courtroom.

Divorce issues: Celebrities include unusual provisions in prenups

There comes a time for many Wyoming couples and others across the country when they simply don't want to stay together in a marriage any longer. The decision to divorce is no respecter of persons -- people at any age or any socio-economic status can decide to call it quits in a relationship. When a divorce is eminent, the issue of property division is handled more expeditiously if a couple has a prenuptial agreement in place. While prenups are available to anyone, most celebrities consider them to be a prerequisite to a marriage. Several well-known couples have some interesting provisions in their marital agreements.

For example, Jessica Biel has a clause in her prenup with Justin Timberlake that guarantees she will receive $500,000 if he is unfaithful to her. If Beyonce were to get a divorce from Jay-Z, she would be paid $5 million for every child the couple has. Although Katie Holmes was set to receive $3 million for every year she was married to Tom Cruise, she has received just $400,000 a year for child support.

How to avoid contempt of court charges in a divorce

More and more people in Wyoming and other states choose amicable uncouplings if their marriages come to an end. After all, an uncontested divorce allows a couple to draft a settlement agreement that suits them both. However, both parties will have to meet legal requirements, and anyone who does not follow the court's orders might face contempt of court charges.

This is likely the last thing anyone wants to add to an already trying time. For that reason, it might help to be aware of violations that might lead to contempt charges and to avoid them. A child custody agreement requires both parents to comply with the court order. Failure to abide by, or interference with, the arrangements could jeopardize a parent's custodial or visitation rights. It also applies to grandparents who interfere with the relationship between the child and a parent.

New tax law creates changes for alimony, retirement savings

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was passed last year by Congress created many changes for individuals and businesses alike in Wyoming and all across the nation. In particular, those couples whose divorces will be finalized in 2019 will witness a major shift in how alimony will be taxed. While this change will be apparent when each subsequent tax season rolls around, it will also have farther-reaching implications into future retirement planning.

Most couples planning to divorce are aware that the party paying alimony can no longer deduct that amount from their taxable income. However, the person receiving alimony will not be responsible for paying taxes on it. This change becomes effective for any divorce agreement that occurs beginning Jan. 1, 2019. What many couples have not yet considered is how retirement accounts may be affected by the tax changes.

4 questions to ask yourself when considering divorce

It is a fact of life that not every relationship lasts forever. You may have certainly entered into your marriage with the intention of loving and staying with your spouse for the rest of your life, but over time, you have noticed that those original intentions may no longer suit the situation.

You may feel conflicted over the desire to end the marriage, and that feeling can affect anyone in this type of scenario. Divorce is a major life change, and you will likely find it helpful to consider how this action could affect the various aspects of your life.

Rebuilding retirement accounts after a divorce

When a marriage ends, it is important to take time to rebuild and heal one's self. Studies show that rebuilding financially is just as important after a divorce considering that many have to start over building retirement nest eggs. Residents of Wyoming and other states who are divorced run a high risk of not having enough money to see them through their retirement years.

Unlike other assets that are typically owned jointly, dividing individual retirement accounts and pensions after a divorce can be a long and drawn-out process. Splitting IRAs, 401(k)s and pension accounts requires legal documentation, and they can be divided 50-50 or swapped out for other marital assets. No matter how assets are split, both sides will end up with less money to see them through their golden years.

Financial surprises women face in a divorce

The end of marriage comes with many changes and financial surprises. A recent study showed that women in the middle of a divorce or those who are contemplating one were hit with financial challenges that they were not prepared for. Women in Wyoming and other states admitted that they had little understanding about household finances, debts and investments.

Women often encounter various financial surprises during divorce proceedings like the amount of marital debt, which can include mortgages, credit cards and student loans. Some were shocked at the high cost of securing health insurance and about having to return to the workforce. Others underestimated the amount of support they would receive and assumed they could keep their marital home.

Back child support can be deducted from Social Security

Past-due credit card debt, delinquent personal loans or medical bills are no longer a worry if a person is collecting Social Security benefits. However, if money is owed to the U.S. government in the form of child support, alimony or income taxes, benefits may be in jeopardy of garnishment. In Wyoming and other states, creditors can still take legal action against other assets to recoup debts owed to them.

Depending on the nature of the debt, the U.S. government can garnish as much as 15 percent of SSI benefits to repay it. By law, they are required to leave an individual $750 per month unless it involves federal taxes. If a person is delinquent on federal taxes, the government can take all SSI benefits to satisfy an income tax debt.

Realistic expectations during alimony negotiations

One of the most difficult-to-navigate processes of any divorce is negotiating spousal support. Experts say after everything else in a divorce has fallen into place, alimony is typically the last piece that completes the puzzle. In Wyoming and other states, preparation is often the best defense during complex alimony negotiations.

Having a keen understanding of personal finances and earning capacity can give a person the upper hand when it comes to negotiating a fair settlement. It is never recommended to waive one's right to alimony because, once waived, the opportunity is gone forever. Experts suggest that any person who relies on a paycheck to survive should keep the doors open to allow for renegotiations.

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219 East 18th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82001

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