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Cheyenne Family Law Blog

Child support modification may take place after a disability

Having a child was one of the highlights of your life, and after going through divorce, you were likely overjoyed to have the custody outcomes ruled in your favor. Of course, you understand that raising a child can have numerous costs, and you rely on child support from the other parent in order to provide for your child as best as possible.

Recently, you may have learned that your ex suffered an injury that has left him or her with a disability. As a result, the other parent may face an income change due to having to take time off from work either temporarily or permanently. While you certainly feel some sense of empathy for your ex's situation, you likely also have concerns about how this change may impact the child support you receive.

Negotiating a settlement in a military divorce

For those considering ending their marriages, the procedural process is the same whether one is a civilian or military personnel. However, there are some extenuating factors for those who are contemplating a military divorce. Military couples in Wyoming and elsewhere should have a basic understanding of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act. The USFSPA provides federal guidelines to states on issues such as military retirement, spousal support and child support.

For an ex-spouse to qualify and receive direct retirement payments through the Defense Finance Accounting Service, a couple must have been married at least 10 years, overlapping 10 service years. The maximum payment amount to a former spouse cannot exceed 50 percent of the retirement pay. Those who do not meet eligibility requirements for DFAS may be entitled to receive a portion of retirement benefits through the divorce settlement agreement.

A divorce does not have to wreck retirement

Some compare the end of a marriage to be as destructive as the Great Recession on retirement accounts. However, some retirement experts say there may be retirement savings during a divorce. In Wyoming and other states, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order may allow a spouse to receive money from a 401(k) account without penalties for early withdrawal. These funds are subject to regular income tax, and experts recommend saving the payout for retirement.

The associate director at the Center for Retirement Research said divorce pushes a person's retirement risk up by 7 percent. Half of working-age households are at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living, according to the National Retirement Risk Index. There could be challenges to ensure retirement security, with statistics showing about 40 percent of marriages ending in divorce today.  

Divorce is difficult, but mediation may make it easier for you

Wyoming couples know that the divorce process is complex, emotional and difficult for every member of the family. For your family, however, there could be a better way to walk through the process of ending a marriage. Through mediation, you can resolve your divorce disputes and move on toward a strong post-divorce future in a timely manner.

Mediation is a legal way to resolve complex disputes while maintaining respect and cooperation between parties. This useful option could help divorcing couples who want to go through the process peacefully and avoid the difficulty of litigation. Before you make important decisions for your future or move ahead with divorce, consider the benefits of mediation for your divorce.

Should parents retain child custody while in treatment for drugs?

The opioid crisis continues its grip on cities all over the country. Many states are seeing a surge in foster care numbers as parents lose child custody rights because of substance abuse. In Wyoming and other states, agencies are reconsidering whether parents should keep custody of their kids during treatment. In the past, some states have removed children from homes where parents are suffering from addiction, citing it as child neglect.

New programs are allowing children to remain with their parents while the parents seek treatment. The goal is to encourage parents to seek help while reducing the amount of trauma on the child. Experts agree that children do better when they are with family versus the foster care system, and they can serve as an inspiration for mom and dad to get clean.

Personal growth and development are possible after divorce

Many experts believe a marriage can still be seen as a success even when it ends in a breakup. They recommend embracing the experience and the circumstances surrounding it and using it as an opportunity to develop and grow. Couples in Wyoming are discovering that a divorce does not constitute failure but staying in a relationship that is emotionally and mentally draining is.

According to some, marriage is meant to help people grow and challenge them to let go of immaturity and selfishness. It is important not to fear it, but to embrace it and grow from it. Sometimes, one or both partners may change so much they determine their marriage is not allowing them to live their life. The best outcome for couples who have stopped growing their relationship may be to make a mature decision to divorce.

Mistakes to avoid during divorce negotiations

Every person's situation is unique when it comes to the reasons for ending his or her marriage, and each person's experience is different. However, there are a handful of mistakes made during divorce negotiations that are common occurrences. Couples who are considering divorce in Wyoming should have realistic goals and a strong understanding of their current monetary conditions to avoid future financial blunders.

One objective of a divorce is determining the division of property, possessions and assets. Determining whether a marital home should be kept or sold can be an emotional issue, but now is the time for one to consider future financial implications. Before agreeing to a settlement, a person should consider future events and changes that could happen such as a disability or job loss. Attorneys can address potential changes and recommend ways to protect clients from unforeseen circumstances that may arise down the road.

Tips for surviving the financial aspect of divorce

For couples ending their marriage, managing joint finances is far from simple. Aside from the emotional turmoil divorce can cause, it can also cause financial turbulence. Experts suggest having a game plan and consulting with a professional along the way to ensure the best financial outcome during these difficult times. For those in Wyoming, working with a divorce lawyer and a financial expert can help ensure the best outcome with regards to joint debt and finances.

Experts suggest closing all joint accounts once the divorce has been filed. Each party should remove all traces of the ex from checking and savings accounts and open new individual accounts. It may be wise to track financial expenditures, including support payments and medical expenses. Creating a budget that outlines all expenses will help avoid unnecessary spending while transitioning from two incomes to a single income.

Shared parenting may be the new normal in child custody cases

Couples are changing the way they parent their children after divorce because of new shared parenting laws. The intent of these laws is to provide a legal presumption of equal rights for both parents in child custody proceedings, with the goal of establishing equal custody time when appropriate. Fathers' rights groups in Wyoming and many other states are pushing lawmakers to consider shared parenting arrangements during custody decisions.

The National Parent Organization, a fathers' rights advocacy group, has asked that a bill be reviewed by state governments to integrate shared parenting. In 2017, over 20 states have given consideration to the shared parenting bill.  Under the proposed uniform law, both parents would play an active role in their children's lives. Some feel that by taking careful screening of each case out of the court's hands, the bill would put parents interest above the best interest of the child.

When child support is not getting paid

As part of your divorce decree, your ex received an order to pay child support to you for your children. He or she may have started out paying monthly as per the terms of the child support order, but months or years down the line, you are no longer getting paid. What can you do?

Did you know that the state of Wyoming offers child support enforcement services? It does this because state officials know and understand how important it is for children to get the financial support they need. How can you access these services?

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

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