Family Law Blog

Adult Children Can Find It Difficult to Cope with Parental Divorce

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Parental divorce is a traumatic and stressful time for children. Studies show that divorce can have an impact on children, when parents separate during childhood. But what happens when adult children have to deal with parents going through a divorce? Such situations are actually becoming increasingly common because of the increase in senior divorce.

According to statistics, the number of gray divorces or senior divorces has actually doubled since 1990. Older couples getting divorces now constitute approximately 25% of all divorces in the United States.

Increasing senior divorce rates mean that many adult parents have to deal with the fact that their parents, who have been married for many decades, are now making the decision to separate. Obviously, the trauma and stress involved when you're an adult watching your parents separate is very different from the experiences of a child. The concerns that you have as an adult when your parents divorce, are unique.

However, divorce lawyers in Los Angeles do see that when adult children watch their parents get divorced, there can be a much longer- lasting and deep impact, because adult children may have many more memories of their family, than younger children. Adults may find the prospect of meeting the mother’s or father’s new romantic partner even more stressful and painful.

Additionally, adult children may be placed in the uncomfortable position of having to become referees when their divorced parents argue with each other at family events and celebrations. The focus at these events may shift from celebrating to keeping the parents away from each other. Some studies indicate that adult women seem to take a much longer time to get over the emotional trauma of a parental divorce, compared to adult males.

Co-parenting with a Problem Parent

Friday, July 18, 2014

Co-parenting is one of the most ideal child custody arrangements after a divorce in Beverly Hills. There are a number of advantages, including increased access to the father, and greater involvement of the father in the child's life. However, these arrangements can be difficult when one parent insists on being difficult.

Not every co-parenting arrangement is smooth and problem-free. Sometimes, parents try to create problems with their attitude, bad behavior, and lack of concern for the child. If you are in an unfortunate situation, where you are co-parenting with a parent like this, you will find coping a challenge. However, you have to place the best interests of the child as top priority, and must continue to engage with the other parent as best as you can for the sake of the child.

That does not mean unnecessary communication. However, it does mean that you continue to maintain open communication, and share information about the child with the other parent. Plan parent conferences where you discuss the progress of the child and problem areas that need to be rectified.

Realize that you can't do anything to change the behavior of your partner, and do the best with what you have. Use phone calls, e-mails, or SMS to keep in contact, if communication becomes problematic.

The one thing that you cannot do is stoop to the level of the other parent. No matter how bad the behavior is, it's important for you to make a stable difference in your child's life. It may not seem like a child sees much, but you can rest assured that your child is observing the behavior of his parents, and will appreciate the efforts that you make to be a stable and calming influence for him.

What Happens to Your Business during Divorce?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Among the many assets that you can expect to be on the division table during a divorce, the most painful one to part with is your business. You have invested many years of effort in building your business and making it successful. Although divorce can be traumatic even when there is no business involved, it can become much more complicated and stressful when there is a business to be divided.

If you own a business and are currently involved in divorce proceedings, then you know that this is probably the most valuable asset that you own. Division of this asset depends on whether the business was community or separate property. Typically, the business may be considered a combination of separate or community property.

If the business is considered community property, then you need to come to a compromise, and work together to make sure that the business does not suffer. One option is to sell the business, and divide the proceeds. This is one option that divorce lawyers often recommend. However, this isn't always easy, because disposing of a business is difficult and takes time. Besides, you have to ascertain the value of the business. Additionally, if you sell the business, at least one of the spouses is going to be left without a source of income or employment.

Another solution is to divide the business itself. A third option is for the couple to continue operating the business as partners together. This may be seem uncomfortable for the partners, but there's increasing evidence that partners who were married earlier actually make good business partners, provided they are able to keep their personal lives separate from their business.

The court may also award the business to one party, and order him to pay the other party his share of business. The court will determine the value of the business in such cases.

What Is a Co-Parenting Agreement?

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Parents, who have decided to get divorced or separated, and have decided to live in two separate homes can sign a co-parenting agreement that allows effective co-parenting.

A co-parenting agreement, as the name suggests, spells out clearly all the roles, obligations and responsibilities of each parent in the agreement. What does a co-parenting agreement contain? You may decide have a co-parenting agreement in which you agree to share all information about the child with each other. That includes medical information, the child's extracurricular activities, and information other child's school activities.

You will share with your other child's other parent, information about the child's vaccination records, and emergency medical procedures. In a co-parenting agreement, it's very important that parents work closely together to make sure that the child attends all of the extracurricular activities that he is signed up for without any problem. Each parent must have access to information about the activities the child participates in, the venue, people conducting the activity and so on. All school-related information should equally be shared between the parents. That data includes school progress cards, homework, extracurricular activities, school cultural events and programs, and parent-teacher conferences. As part of a co-parenting agreement, you will also agree to mutually make major decisions about the child jointly.

You may think that all of this is a given, and that you don't need an agreement to spell it out. However, you would be surprised at how quickly matters can sour when two parents are living apart, but taking care of their children together. You may encounter misunderstandings, especially when the two of you begin dating other people, and other potential step-parents, begin to enter the picture. It's best to have everything clearly defined in a co-parenting agreement that you have both signed.

People in Unhappy Marriages at High Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Americans, who are in unhappy marriages, are much more likely to report symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Those are the findings of a new study that clearly find a link between a higher cardiac disease risk and marital friction.

Researchers have known for a long while now that unhappy marriages or conflict at home can increase stress and have negative influences on a person's health. In fact, studies earlier have clearly found an association between a negative health impact, and marital stress. This study only corroborates that fact. The researchers analyzed a group of 280 healthy, middle-aged adults, and found that those who reported negative influences in their marriages were at a higher risk of reporting greater carotid artery thickness. The study's findings were published recently in the Psychosomatic Medicine journal.

When the hostility level in a marital relationship becomes too much to ignore, persons may be placed under severe stress. Marital strain is a contributing factor to several lifestyle conditions, including diabetes and hypertension, and is also linked to an earlier risk of death. Other studies have found that divorced people are much more likely to develop chronic illnesses, and also have a higher risk of premature fatality, compared to married couples. However, that only applies to those cases in which the married couples actually had happy marriages. If you are in a hostile marriage, it makes sense to get out of an unhappy situation, and start all over again.

Often, people who are stuck in unhappy marriages continue to remain in the marriage only for the sake of the children. However, there is no evidence to show that children in a home, where the parents are clearly not happy with each other, benefit from being in a situation like this.

Can Divorce Parties Help with Closure?

Monday, June 16, 2014

It is a new trend that’s catching on across the country. New divorcees are throwing parties to celebrate the end of their marriage, and sometimes, in a trend that reminds one of conscious uncoupling, those parties are actually being jointly hosted by the couple.

Most of the parties however are being thrown by individual husbands and wives, after the end of their marriage. Event planners across the country are reporting an increase in the number of requests for such parties. The highlight of the divorce party is the divorce cake. Interestingly enough, the design of the cake seems to reflect the environment in which the marriage ended. Some of the cakes feature miniature brides with weapons, and depressingly black icing. However, not all of these divorce parties are all gloom and doom. Very often, couples actually prefer to celebrate the end of their marriage and mark the beginning of this new phase in their life with enthusiasm, positivity and optimism. Many couples want to celebrate the fact that this is a new phase in their life, and possibly even a new phase in their relationship with each other.

In an interesting diversion of this trend, couples are actually hosting divorce parties together. That typically happens when the couple has had an amicable split, and wants to continue maintaining a relationship with each other on friendly terms, and prioritizing the children above all else. In these parties, the note is very positive and optimistic.

Los Angeles divorce lawyers find this trend towards divorce parties encouraging, because it possibly does allow the people involved to move towards closure. Treating divorce as if it's shameful or something that should push you into months of depression doesn't help with closure.

Many Older Couples Choose Not to Marry, Cohabit Instead

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Couples above the age of 50 constitute an unlikely demographic in the United States-they form a growing proportion of people who don’t marry, and live together instead.

According to Census Bureau data, many baby boomers now avoid marriage for a variety of reasons. For one thing, many baby boomers have already experienced one divorce, and would rather not go through one again. Additionally, there are other more practical reasons why baby boomers may not choose to get married. Money is at the crux of many of these decisions. For instance, if you are divorced, and choose to remarry, you lose the alimony payments that you received from your earlier divorce. You also stand to lose pension payments and Social Security benefits from your former spouse. Widows may lose survivor’s pension benefits.

There are still more practical reasons why baby boomers choose not to get married a second time. A second marriage makes inheritance and estate division more complicated. Baby boomers may want to protect their assets, so that these go to their own children.

Getting married again does seem like a crazy idea even for those in the higher income group. In these cases, another marriage could simply mean being placed in a higher tax bracket, which becomes more expensive. No wonder many older couples are perfectly content to live together, than get married again.

However, cohabitation isn't without its challenges. Even seniors, who live together in a cohabitation arrangement without marriage, must understand that there are financial risks involved. To avoid these, sign a cohabitation agreement with your partner. It clearly outlines your rights and obligations towards your partner, as well as limitations on these. The agreement should make clear who pays the household expenses in your joint living arrangements, and all your assets including the home must be properly titled.

Divorce Tied to Excess Weight Gain in Children

Monday, June 02, 2014

Children can be exposed to emotional trauma when their parents divorce. A new study finds that children of divorced parents also struggle with excessive weight gain.

The study was conducted in Norway, and analyzed a group of 3rd graders. This analysis found that boys whose parents were divorced, were approximately 63% more likely to be obese or overweight, compared to boys whose parents were married. These boys also had a staggeringly high risk for abdominal obesity. They were approximately 104 percent more likely to suffer from this condition.

The researchers believe that they have found a link between obesity and divorce, but say that they cannot confirm that divorce was the only cause of this weight gain. For instance, the study did not take into consideration how long the parents had been divorced, and did not account for the presence of other factors that affect weight gain, like diet and exercise.

However, considering that child obesity is a public health problem not just in Norway, but in many other parts of the developed world, including the United States, doctors, parents and pediatricians need to take the findings of the study seriously. One reason why children gain weight when their parents get divorced is the lower supervision that accompanies a divorce in the family. Parents, who are trying to work through their trauma and the division of responsibilities of parenting, may not be able to give their children enough attention. Additionally, children may become stressed when a divorce becomes toxic, and that could lead to children overeating for comfort.

Whatever the reason, when a divorce turns hostile or becomes acrimonious, there can be long-term consequences on the children. Speak to a qualified divorce attorney about divorce mediation before you head to divorce court.

IRS Targets Tax Discrepancies in Alimony Payments

Friday, May 30, 2014

Those alimony payments that you have been receiving from an ex-spouse are soon likely to come under the microscope. According to the Internal Revenue Service, it intends to sharpen its focus on alimony deductibles and alimony claimed as income on tax returns.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which happens to be an Internal Revenue Service watchdog, recently conducted an analysis of nearly 570,000 tax returns for 2010. The Inspector General has released a report which seems to indicate that there is a very large gap between the deductions that are being claimed by alimony payers, and the corresponding income that is being claimed on their ex-spouses’ tax returns.

Overall, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration claims that over a five-year period, the volume of revenues that the agency has lost because of such discrepancies could be in the area of $1.7 billion. About 47% of tax returns that were analyzed indicated the presence of discrepancies between deductible alimony as well as alimony claimed as income.

The analysis also found that many people who claimed alimony as tax deductibles failed to provide the correct tax identification number for the receiver of the alimony. The Internal Revenue Service intends to target this area, and it has announced that it is adjusting the current audit filters that it has in place to identify high-risk returns, and is also in the process of developing other measures to address this gap in alimony taxes. The agency also has plans to make sure that penalties are levied whenever a taxpayer does not provide an accurate tax ID for a person collecting the alimony.

Most persons going through a divorce don't bother to consider the tax consequences of the divorce. However, it is important to consult with your tax consultant to understand how alimony and other aspects of your divorce will affect your tax returns.

Shared Custody of Children on the Increase

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Fewer child custody arrangements these days involve the mother getting sole custody of the child. In an increasing number of cases, parents are settling for joint or shared custody of their children.

According to a new study which analyzed Wisconsin Court Records between 1988 and 2008, the number of mothers who were awarded sole custody of their children after divorce, dropped dramatically from 8% to 42%. During the same period of time, there was a significant increase in the number of joint custody arrangements.

Equal shared custody arrangements during the same time increased from 5% to 37%, and unequal custody increased from 3% to 18%. There was little difference in the proportion of cases that involved father-only sole custody. These cases hovered at approximately 10%.

The study's findings may be slightly misleading. They don't seem to cover children born into single-parent households. About 45% of American babies are currently born to unmarried mothers. The study only included those families that were split up after divorce.

In a shared custody arrangement, the parents decide to share medical, legal, financial, and other decisions involving the child. Physical custody of the child may be split approximately 50/50. It is not possible to accurately divide the amount of time that the child spends with each parent.

But the study does seem to confirm that it is no longer a given that the mother will be granted sole custody of the children during a divorce. Joint custody is far moving towards the center, and in the future could actually be considered the norm. For decades, mothers were awarded sole custody, because of the general belief that they were better caretakers. In recent years, the interests of the children have taken the forefront during proceedings to determine the outcomes of such disputes, and those interests very often involve time spent with both parents equally.