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Lafayette Family Law Blog

Divorcing? Start thinking now about next year's tax season

Tax season is finally over. But for those couples currently weathering divorce, next year’s tax season may already be a pressing issue. Post-divorce taxes can be unquestionably tricky. In addition, the tax liabilities resulting from certain approaches to property division may affect you for years to come.

As a result, it is important for couples who are divorcing to start thinking about next year’s tax season now. It is critical that you analyze your current income, debts, budgeted expenses and other financial matters in order to see how they will impact next year’s tax liabilities. And it is imperative that you and your attorney talk about how your proposed approach to property division will affect your taxes as well.

Is conscious uncoupling a valuable concept?

A great deal of media attention has been focused around the concept of “conscious uncoupling” in recent weeks. This phrase seemed to become ubiquitous on television and on the Internet after Gwyneth Paltrow used it to describe her split from Coldplay musician Chris Martin. Many individuals have responded negatively to this phrase and to Paltrow’s announcement for a number of reasons. However, it is worth asking whether the concept of conscious uncoupling itself holds any value for individuals considering or facing separation or divorce.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the term “conscious uncoupling” was first coined by a therapist based in Los Angeles. In essence, the concept encourages couples to “release the trauma of a breakup, reclaim your power and reinvent your life."

Recommendations for productive co-parenting relationships

If you are newly separated and even if you have been divorced for some time, you may be finding it difficult to communicate civilly and productively with your child’s other parent. Regardless of what your child custody arrangements look like, you and your co-parent will almost certainly be compelled to communicate regularly, provided that you have both elected to remain active in your child’s life. But how can you communicate civilly and productively if there is bad blood between you?

Thankfully, you do not need to remain in a loving and committed relationship in order to parent your child effectively as a team. If your co-parent is abusive, threatening or is otherwise behaving in unacceptable ways, please contact an experienced family law attorney. Otherwise, you may be able to co-parent more productively and civilly simply by employing a few fairly straightforward strategies.

Better understanding your child after you have divorced

We have previously discussed the fact that nearly all children of divorced parents eventually heal from the divorce process and are no worse off in the long-run than children of married parents are on average. In fact, many children of divorced parents benefit from the experience of divorce in the sense that many become more resilient and develop better relationships with one or both parents than they would if they remained living in a house colored by constant tension.

This is important news for divorced parents to keep in mind. However, the challenges of divorce, of tension-filled child custody arrangements and of separation from one of his or her parents at any given time can wear on a child in the short-run. If left unaddressed, these challenges can do some long-term damage. As a result, it is important to understand where your child may be coming from and to provide your child with ample access to both you and perhaps a counselor in order to discuss emotions and issues as they arise.

Consider taking a few wise steps before saying 'I do'

From the time we were children, most of us probably took for granted that we would get married someday. But as we get older, the idea of getting married “someday” can turn into getting married “as soon as possible.” A number of pressures – both social and biological – may cause us to rush into marriage without taking time to carefully consider whether we are truly compatible with our betrothed.

Maybe you’re getting older and want to have children. Perhaps your long-time partner is demanding a deeper commitment. Whatever the urgent reason may be, it’s hard to make a rational decision under that kind of pressure. For this and many other reasons, it may benefit you to draft a prenuptial agreement if you are feeling at all like your decision to marry may be at all rushed.

Gray divorce trend is continuing to expand

Baby boomers have been setting trends and defying tradition for decades. Perhaps it is unsurprising, then, that boomers are also changing the demographics of divorce. Unlike the generations that have come after and before them, many members of the baby boom generation have chosen to seek divorce later in life.

There is even a term to describe the phenomenon: Gray divorce. In 1990, individuals over the age of 50 accounted for only about 10 percent of the divorcing population. Just over two decades later, approximately 25 percent of individuals getting a divorce are aged 50 or older.

Divorcing when you and your spouse run a business together

When a couple decides to end their marriage, numerous aspects of their lives are necessarily affected by their split. Finances, relationships with loved ones and living space are almost universally affected whenever couples choose to divorce. However, for some not even work provides a haven from the effects of divorce.

When a couple runs a business together, the business itself and each spouse’s position within the business are at least somewhat affected by the couple’s divorce. In some cases, the business is divided as a matter of property division. In other cases, the business remains unchanged but one spouse buys the other out of his or her share and position. In rare cases, couples opt to remain at their posts and continue to manage the business like they did before the divorce but with additional boundaries and legal protections put into place.

Basics of stalking charges in domestic violence cases

You may believe that if you are in a romantic relationship with another person that you cannot be charged with stalking that individual. You may similarly believe that if you are in a romantic relationship with another person that you cannot seek to have stalking charges brought against that individual. Each of these assumptions is untrue.

Whether you are being stalked and otherwise abused or whether you can be perceived as stalking another, it is important to understand that basics of stalking if you are on either end of a domestic violence case. Especially if any restraining orders are affecting the relationship, stalking can be considered a serious crime.

How divorce can inspire a 'glass half-full' perspective

Going through a divorce can be a heart-wrenching experience. You likely began your marriage so sure that you would never have to navigate this particular challenge in your life. But for whatever reasons, you and your spouse have decided to divorce.

Some people never truly thrive in their lives after their divorce has been finalized. However, when individuals choose to take excellent care of themselves, to keep themselves open to opportunity and to keep moving forward in healthy ways, they can ultimately emerge from the aftermath of divorce with a more positive perspective than they have ever had before.

Approaching the divorce process from a place of integrity

If you Google the word “integrity” the search engine will provide you with two definitions. First, it will tell you that this noun means “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” Second, it will tell you that integrity means “the state of being whole and undivided.”

If you are deeply angry at your spouse, you may not initially want to approach your divorce from a place of integrity. You may not even feel that you are capable of seeking one or both definitions of integrity at the moment. However, seeking out an integrity-based approach to your divorce is almost certainly a good idea. Why? Because this approach is most likely to have a positive impact on your divorce settlement and will likely leave you feeling as little regret about the process as possible.

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