Divorce On The Rise in Shrinking Middle Class

July 4, 2013
By Lauren Williams

In just about any divorce, the splitting spouses are focused on the division of assets. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. For couples with children, child custody may top the list. But there is more to a divorce than those two issues alone.

An experienced divorce lawyer understands that the tax implications, division of debt, calculation of child support or alimony payments and a host of other issues also must come into play. An attorney will be able to assess the individual’s situation and work to ensure the financial outcome is as beneficial as possible once the divorce is finalized.

Much has been made of the division of classes in America in recent months, with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement turning the “99 percent” against the “1 percent.” Divorce can be emotionally draining and painful regardless of the couple’s income level. Read more

Determining Income in a Family Law Case Where a Party is Dishonest

May 21, 2013
By Sean Smallwood

One issue that family law practitioners often face is where one party to a divorce will attempt to hide their true income or where they attempt to intentionally manipulate their income to appear lower during litigation. There are several reasons why someone would want to do this including: lower child support payments, lower spousal support payments, reduced financial responsibilities for children, and the list can go on. Most states have divorce and child custody statutes that address these types of issues and this blog post will attempt to discuss some of these in a manner which is not state specific.

In the case where a party to a family law case tries to hide income or is dishonest of the true amount of income they receive. There are many different types of employment where this can occur such as: business owners, barbers, or those who handle the books for their company to name only a few. Though each of these would have its own approach to counter, there are some basics that will usually tip off the court as to what is going on.

Every litigant to family law cases is usually required to file some sort of sworn statement of their income and assets often called a financial affidavit. Additionally, most states require parties to comply with certain mandatory financial disclosure which may consist of recent bank statements, past few years of W2’s and tax returns, credit card statements, and other similar basic financial information. If, upon a review of this information, it shows that the person earned significantly higher income prior to the litigation then there is an indication of some dishonesty or manipulation of income to warrant further investigation.

Should this become the case then an attorney can file a request for production of documents which would require the other side to gather and turn over more in-depth information to cover a much broader time period that the basic mandatory disclosure would as described above. In addition to this the lawyer may subpoena the parties employment and income records from their business or place of employment. Once enough documents are gathered and analyzed then you can sit the other side down for a sworn deposition where your lawyer can question them under oath as to the information acquired in order to nail them down to a single story about the income information.

After this the case will usually either settle or go on to a trial where your lawyer can ask the court to rule that the other party is hiding income, intentionally under employed, or has the ability to earn more than they do and ask the judge to impute that person at an income higher than that listed in their financial affidavit for the purposes of calculating support payments.

In most states family court judges are able to impute a higher income on an individual in cases where they have been dishonest about income, are intentionally under employed, or have an ability to ears substantially more than they currently do.

Divorce with Kids: Tax Issues That Matter

March 21, 2013
By Christian Denmon

Wise people know it is not the amount of money you earn, it is the amount you take home that matters. One way to increase your take home pay is to minimize the amount of taxable income you have. It is important to know what tax deductions and credits will apply to you after your divorce so you can calculate your net income and plan for the future accordingly.

This article explains the common tax considerations in a divorce with minor children, including child support payments, dependency exemptions, tax credits, and medical expense deductions. Read more

How Do Courts Determine “Best Interests of the Child” In a Custody Case?

March 5, 2013
By Shelby Nousain

While progressing through divorce proceedings there’s no doubt that one of the biggest decisions will be who gains custody of your children. During the proceedings the court will examine the situation of both parents and either order “joint custody” of the child, meaning both parents will share legal and physical custody, or sole custody of the child to a single parent.

The court bases this decision on what they deem as in the “best interest of the child”, but what exactly does this mean, and how does the court go about determine what’s best for the child? The overarching goal of the court is to place the child in a safe environment that they’ll thrive in physically, and emotionally. While each state has varying statutes for determining best interest, there are quite a few commonalities in how custody is determined. Here are a few of the most common aspects of the parent’s situation that will be reviewed to determine what’s in the best interest of the child: Read more

Proving Your Spouse’s Income for Determining Child Support

February 13, 2013
By Lauren Williams

Proving your spouses income for determining child support is essential for receiving a fair child support contribution. If the spouse wants to hide his or her income to avoid paying as much in child support it can be hard to prove.

Generally, courts consider income to include wages, income from a business the spouse operates, income from rental properties and income from investments. If a spouse’s income is in doubt, the court can order the spouse to produce pay statements, tax returns and other documentary proof of income. Courts also have the power to subpoena credit card records and bank accounts. The purpose of obtaining those types of documents is to find out how much the spouse is paying out every month in expenses. If he is paying out more than was reported as income, it can be used as evidence that his income was incorrectly reported to the court.

The lifestyle that is lived by your spouse can also be an indication that his income is higher than reported to the court. Calculate how much he is paying for mortgage or rent, vehicle payments, vacations, eating habits and other expenses. If that total is well above the income that was reported to the court, it can be inferred by the court that his income is higher. It would not be necessary to prove his exact income in this case. Read more

In Arizona, How Long Does a Divorce Take?

February 1, 2013
By David Michael Cantor

Individuals who file for divorce in Arizona must take certain steps and go through the proper channels. It takes a minimum of 60 days to get divorced in Arizona because the law states that the court can not issue a divorce until 60 days after papers are filed and delivered. Additional factors can affect how long it takes to get a divorce. These factors include disputes over financial assets, property division, child custody and other similar matters. The division of community property plays a major role in divorce cases. Community property is any personal or financial assets obtained during the marriage. The length of divorce can also depend on the court’s schedule. For example, if a court is backed up in divorce filings, it may take longer for divorce papers to get approved. Read more

What is Legal Custody in Arizona?

February 1, 2013
By David Michael Cantor

Legal custody in Arizona gives parents the ability to make decisions regarding their children after a divorce. Legal custody is also known as joint custody.

With legal custody, both parents have a say in their children’s academic education, religious education and their overall health and welfare. A husband and wife may request joint legal custody during their divorce proceedings. Having legal custody means that both parents have to put aside the differences they have with each other, and make decisions that are in the best interest of their children. For instance, if their child has a learning disability that is not being addressed at the school their child is attending; both parents can decide to find another school that will accommodate their child’s disability. If the school charges tuition, then both parents will have to make arrangements to pay the costs. Religious education is usually not a factor when both parents share the same beliefs. However, when one parent does not agree with another parent’s beliefs, joint legal custody becomes a very important factor in the divorce. Read more

Maintaining Health Insurance after Divorce

December 10, 2012
By Jeff Adams

Health insurance is a contract between the policy holder and the insurance company. Under the terms of the policy, the insurer will cover the financial responsibility the policy directs them to pay. A health insurance policy covers routine and emergency services and prescription drugs. The extent of the coverage depends on the policy. Health insurance is an important asset to have. In the event of divorce, one spouse or the other will be required to obtain their own health insurance. Read more

How Social Security Benefits are Affected by Divorce

December 6, 2012
By Lauren Williams

After a divorce is finalized, Social Security questions may be overlooked until an ex-wife reaches the age of eligibility for benefits. This is a common oversight of fiscal negotiation in divorce, but being informed can better prepare you for that time.

What is Social Security and Who is Eligible?

Social Security, in the United States, is a supplemental retirement system based on contribution throughout one’s working life. The original intention of the system was to establish a minimum level of financial stability for American retirees. The system has come under much criticism and speculation in recent years, but it still remains a resource for the elderly after they retire. The payout to those who are over the age of 65 is relative to the number of years they worked and the amount of wages they earned. Read more

Finding Hidden Assets in a Divorce

December 2, 2012
By Jeff Adams

The Truth about Assets and Divorce

Divorce is a complex process that is only made more difficult by being an emotionally taxing time for the couple being divided. In the heat of the struggle, emotions can drive people to commit unscrupulous acts of desperation or greed to shield assets from their spouse in an attempt to foster a lower divorce settlement. However, there are also times when a mutually amicable divorce can unintentionally lead to an unequal split of a couple’s assets because both parties were uninformed about what was and what was not an asset. Read more

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