Family Law Blog

How Long Does Rehabilitative Alimony Last?

Friday, July 27, 2018

There are many different types of alimony that may be used depending on the specifics of a divorce. However, most commonly, if you are going through a divorce, you may find yourself paying or receiving what is referred to as rehabilitative alimony or spousal support. Unlike permanent alimony, you may find yourself paying or receiving this for only a set period of time.

Rehabilitative spousal support is meant to not be permanent, but to "rehabilitate" a spouse so they can become self-sufficient after a divorce. However, as to how long it can last will vary. Sometimes, the courts can decide that it should be paid only for a set amount of time so the spouse can get back on their feet. However, rehabilitative alimony can also be tied to a specific goal such as graduating college or gaining sufficient employment.

Yet, if rehabilitative alimony is tied to a specific goal, it leaves room for a spouse to abuse that. They could take a year off their education or only take one class. If there is not a sufficient reason for this, you may be able to argue that you should no longer pay spousal support. Often in these cases, an ex-spouse will get a job and not have time for education, or not want to pursue it at all anymore. Usually, the rules for rehabilitative alimony can then be altered or dismissed depending on how much an ex-spouse is making at their new job or changing the rehabilitative alimony from "goal-based" to a set time limit.

While no one really wants to pay spousal support, doing so on a rehabilitative basis can often be preferable purely because it is not forever and they only need to pay for a set amount of time. If you are going through a divorce and want to make sure you are not paying spousal support forever, then contact us today.

Does a Custodial Parent Have to Show How Child Support is Used?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Child support can be a difficult issue. The idea is that non-custodial parents pay the primary caretakers so that they use that money to best provide for their child. Unfortunately, for some parents, they don't always use that money for their child, and it can leave non-custodial parents like they are being taken advantage of.

It is believed by many that child support should go to items that provide for the child, such as food, clothes, and toys. However, the truth is that child support can also technically be used for non-tangible items that go towards the child's well-being. Often child support is used towards paying rent, utilities, child care, and even the child's entertainment. Technically, these go towards caring for the child, but in doing so also aids the primary caretaker.

Yet, even knowing this, there are some that pay child support that want to know exactly where their money is going. Unfortunately, most agencies do not monitor this. The way child support is calculated reflects the reasonable needs of the child and the ability of the paying parent to support them. However, if you suspect the primary caretaker of not using the money to supply the child's needs, such as going on extravagant vacations without the child or funding a new alcohol or drug addiction, you can bring it up with the courts. Often these issues go hand-in-hand with neglectful behavior and it can then become a custody issue. Often this can result in re-assigning custody to the non-custodial parent if the issue is bad enough.

If you suspect that your ex-spouse is abusing your child support payments for their own pleasure instead of providing proper care for your child, contact us today. The Law Office of Jamra and Jamra can help you navigate the court system so you make sure you are not wasting your money and your child is being taken care of.

Does Remarriage Stop Child Support?

Friday, July 20, 2018

After divorce, time has a way of marching on. Even if you share children together, if you are no longer together, both the custodial and non-custodial parents may start to see other people and even consider getting remarried. However, does remarriage affect child support payments?

In many cases, it doesn't. You aren't paying for the care of your ex-spouse, you are paying for the care of your child. This means that even if a custodial spouse remarries, the non-custodial parent will need to continue the agreed upon child support payments. Often, if the non-custodial parent remarries, they will simply need to talk over their financial contribution to their child with their new spouse. If you are still actively involved in your child's life, you will still want to keep making payments until they reach the age of majority.

There is one occasion in which the non-custodial parent will be freed from child support payment responsibility, and that is if the new partner of your ex-spouse agrees to formally adopt the child. While many step-parents may like to formally adopt them, it does require the non-custodial parent to relinquish their remaining parental rights. Once this has been done, the non-custodial parent may be barred from contact with their child because they have no parental rights, which is why even though this is an option to escape child support, it is not always an option that non-custodial parents want to take.

It can be worked out with your ex-spouse, that if you are on amicable terms, you can still be involved in your child's life, but often they can very legally change their mind on this agreement later. While the animosity of divorce can fade with time, it is typically not a good idea to relinquish your parental rights of a child if you still want to be involved in their life.

For more information on child support, divorce, or other family law topics, contact us today to see what we can do to help you.

Will My Prenuptial Agreement Hold Up in Court?

Friday, July 06, 2018

Before any marriage, it is a good idea to consider the utilization of a prenuptial agreement. Although these agreements have a stigma attached to them where it looks like one spouse doesn't think the marriage will last, they are excellent tools in case it, in fact, doesn't work out. Often it works to protect both parties, but unfortunately, it isn't something that one spouse can use to give themselves an unfair advantage. A prenuptial agreement needs to be both reasonable fair and lawful in order for it to hold up in court. There are basic matrimony laws in which a prenuptial agreement cannot overcome. If you draft a prenup with gaining an advantage over your spouse in mind, there is a strong likelihood that it will be invalidated through the courts.

What You Can't Include in a Prenuptial Agreement?

If you want your prenuptial agreement to be upheld by the courts and not rendered invalid, you may want to avoid including certain aspects. Sometimes just certain parts of a prenuptial agreement may be rendered invalid, but if you put in too many inappropriate clauses, you risk the whole thing being thrown out.

  • Child Custody and Support - The court will always have the final say in decisions regarding child custody and the support provided by the other party, because it works in the best interest of the child and not the parents.
  • Right to Alimony - A prenuptial agreement cannot include a waiver for alimony in the event of a divorce.
  • Financial Incentives for Divorce - Despite the stigma, a prenuptial agreement isn't a document stating there will be a divorce, and thus it cannot have any financial incentives, or otherwise, encouraging divorce within. This also means detailing how assets will be split in the event of a divorce. Instead, it might be better to think a prenuptial agreement as a protection of assets you already have.
  • Rules About Personal Life - You want your wife to do the dishes every night? Is your husband in charge of all lawn work? While a comical and almost handy agreement, these sort of personal rules cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement. It limits personal freedoms and it will not hold up in court if you state that your spouse breached those terms.

So What is a Prenuptial Agreement For?

It is often better to think of a prenup as a protection for your current assets and not your future marital assets. For example, if you own family property or businesses, a prenuptial agreement can make sure they help stay in the family. It can also be a tool to protect a child's asset from a previous marriage or even protect yourself from a spouse's debt. Often in marriage, the assets are combined, but a prenuptial agreement helps make sure you retain what you had before in the event of a divorce.

If you want to learn more about prenuptial agreements or need representation in a divorce, contact us today.