Family Law Blog

What Can’t Prenuptial Agreements Cover?

Friday, October 27, 2017

What Can’t Prenuptial Agreements Cover?

Before tying the knot, it benefits both parties if they sign a prenuptial agreement to protect their individual assets. Prenuptial agreements don’t mean that you expect a divorce to happen, merely that you acknowledge that people might change and your directions in life might head in opposite ways. However, while you can put a number of different provisions in a prenuptial agreement, sometimes some really quite wacky ones, there are some things that a prenuptial agreement can’t dictate.

There are only a small handful of items that you can’t put in your pre-nup, but they are still important to know. Clauses you can’t put in your pre-nup include:

  • Custody of Children – If you decide to have children together, your prenuptial agreement cannot dictate who gets them in the event of a divorce. Typically this must be worked out by the couple at the time with the court dictating who can provide the better home life.
  • Child Support and Visitation – Like custody, a pre-nup cannot set an amount of child support that one party must pay nor can it set visitation rights. These based on court decisions.
  • Anything That Encourages Divorce – This is an incredibly vague clause that can cover a number of things. A common example is that while you can define individual property, you cannot put in how it is split in a divorce since that is basically saying it will happen.
  • Anything That Is Illegal – If you have an underground gambling den or are the Don of a Mafia family, you should probably leave that out. Courts can’t overlook illegal activities.
  • Anything That Is Unfair – Like things that encourage divorce, anything unfair is another cover-all clause. The best example of this is alimony. While you technically can set alimony in a pre-nup, a judge can completely throw it out if it is deemed to be unfair to one side.

If you are getting married soon, a pre-nup can be an awkward thing to bring up, but it can protect both sides. To create prenuptial agreement or check that your existing one is valid, contact us today.


What to Do When Spousal Support Payments are Late?

Friday, October 20, 2017

If your ex-spouse has agreed to make spousal support payments, then you have a reasonable expectation that those payments will show up on time. After all, this isn't fun money, spousal support is awarded because you became accustomed to a certain standard of living or just plain old need those payments to live on your own. So if your ex-spouse is no longer sending regular payments, what do you do?

Your first step needs to be obtaining the court order that awarded the payments. If you and your spouse agreed to a deadline or the court set one, then you have proof that they are knowingly ignoring a court order. Do note that if you have a voluntary agreement of spousal support, if you did not get it written and notarized, this will make receiving payments near impossible.

Once you have found the valid court order that demands payment, the quickest and most efficient way to make sure a spouse makes their payments on time is to seek wage garnishment. If they have knowingly been skipping payments, then it will not be a difficult court battle to win what is called an Income Withholding Order that garnishes wages. However, if your ex-spouse has lost their job and cannot make payments, your spousal support payments may be put on hold.

If your ex-spouse has stopped the spousal support payments that you need, contact us today. Divorce and spousal support non-payment is a tricky business and both sides of a divorce can benefit from having a knowledgeable lawyer by their side.

Informing A Child About The Decision To Divorce

Thursday, October 12, 2017

If you have a child, and you and your spouse have decided to get a Divorce, it is likely you are pondering the best way to go about informing your offspring about the changes they are about to endure. Letting a child know that their parents are about to go separate ways can be a bit challenging, and extremely heart-breaking. Here are some points to keep in mind when starting the divorce process.

Be Sure To Let Your Child Know The Reasoning

Without getting into specifics, let your child know why you are deciding to get a divorce. Alerting them that you do not get along with your spouse as much as you did in the past or that you both believe you will be happier apart may not make your child feel better, but they will realize the truth in these words may lead to you having less stress and an overall positive outlook in the future. Let your child know they are in no way responsible for the divorce. Hearing this from their parents is important.

Work Out A Plan For Visitation If Possible

Do your best to work with your soon to be ex-spouse regarding the time each of you spend with your child. A sit-down discussion one-on-one about their well-being can be enough to get both parties to realize that your child should not be used as a pawn or for negotiating purposes. Their lifestyle and what is to happen soon should be foremost on your mind, as well as your spouse's. Keep their interests in mind with any decision you make throughout the divorce process.

Keep Things As Close To Normal As Possible

It is a good idea to stick with the same routines as much as you can. Incorporate visitation time with the other party into the schedule, making sure your child is well aware of the dates and times they will be seeing your spouse. Do not speak poorly about your spouse to your child, no matter how angry you are. This will help to keep your child from feeling as if they have to pick sides, leading to possible depression as a result.

The divorce process is extremely difficult. Pick up the phone and contact us to find out more about child custody, visitation rights, in addition to property and asset distribution today.


Social Security and Divorce: What Happens To The Benefits When You Split?

Friday, October 06, 2017

Social security is meant to help support you when you reach retirement age, and if you get married then you and your spouse's social security benefits are entwined. But what happens if you get divorced? Well, it really depends on how long you were married as the Social Security Agency points out.

10 Years is The Sweet Spot

If you were married for ten years, or longer, then it is possible to receive benefits based on your spouse's income. As long as you:

- Are 62 years of age (or older)

- Have not remarried

- Your ex-spouse is entitled to receive either retirement or disability benefits, and those benefits are greater than what you would receive for your own retirement or disability

If you meet the above qualifications, then you could be entitled to one-half of your ex-partner's social security benefits. Additionally, if you have remarried but you divorce, your marriage is annulled, or your partner dies before you reach the ten-year mark, then you could become eligible for benefits under your former partner's social security once again.

It's also important to remember that your ex-partner doesn't necessarily need to be receiving social security in order for you to claim your portion of it. If your ex-partner qualifies for social security (whether or not they're currently receiving any benefits), and you have been divorced for at least two years, then you can start receiving your benefits as soon as you qualify for them.

Divorce complicated social security, but the system can be navigated with relative ease if you pick up the phone, and contact the agency in question. They're typically more than happy to answer your questions, and walk you through the process until you're comfortable with how it works.

For more information on divorce, division of property, and how you can move on with your life after your split, simply contact us today!