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Hartford Divorce Law Blog

What should child support be used for?

You and your ex-spouse may have many arguments, but one that can come to rest is what child support can or should be used for. Child support, by definition, provides support for your child. That support may cover living expenses, medical bills, school fees and other items your child needs to live in a comfortable environment.

Every state has its own guidelines on how much a parent should pay when he or she is ordered to pay child support. The amount is important and should be paid as directed by the court, so the parent who primarily raises the child has the boost in income needed to support raising the child on his or her own.

How does a court determine custody arrangements?

When a child is involved in a divorce, the most important thing is to make sure he or she goes to a safe, supportive home environment with one or both of his or her parents. It's vital to note that a court may overrule either parent's wishes when it comes to custody, even if they've determined custody preferences on their own. This is because a court wants to guarantee a child's safety and that the child's best interests are at the heart of any custody arrangement.

Connecticut recognizes that children who grow up with both parents in their lives do better emotionally and psychologically in most cases, unless there is reason to restrict a parent from the child's life. For that reason, there is a presumption that joint custody is in the child's best interests.

Your prenuptial agreement could be threatened with new tax laws

Prenuptial agreements provide many protections to those who want to get married. They can protect you from your partner's debts and protect your assets from them if you want to get a divorce.

Changes in the way alimony payments are being treated in America could hurt many who signed prenuptial agreements including provisions about alimony. Alimony may be added to prenuptial agreements, dictating what a person pays to the other if he or she wants a divorce. Normally, provisions can be dismissed if a court finds them unfair. Now, with changes that make alimony nondeductible, judges have to consider how that affects those who signed prenuptial agreements when old laws were in place.

Separating your assets: Know their worth

When you get a divorce, one thing you need to understand well is the way your property will be divided. In Connecticut, the state follows equitable distribution laws. This means that each party is able to fight for an equitable share of the marital estate.

Marital property is the only thing that is divided during a divorce. There are some items that may remain separate property despite marriage, like separate bank accounts not used to fund the marriage or lifestyle, inheritances and purchases made before marriage. Typically, anything you obtain or purchase during your marriage is marital property, but there are a few small exceptions that you should speak with your attorney about.

How can you eliminate monthly alimony payments?

If you're getting a divorce, one of the things you may want to do is avoid paying alimony over time. It can be difficult to pay alimony month after month, especially if there is no particular end date. Never knowing when you can sever the relationship with your ex is hard and disruptive when you want to move on.

If a monthly reminder of a failed marriage isn't something you want to deal with, then you have other options. For example, you could opt to pay your spouse in a lump sum. This can be beneficial if you have the savings to do it. You'll pay your spouse in one payment, avoiding a future where you have to worry about making monthly payments to him or her on time.

Diagnosing parental alienation could help children during divorce

Parents are demanding that the courts do more to help prevent parental alienation, according to a news report from May 11. Parents' rights groups across the United States brought attention to an annual day to recognize the risk of parental alienation and to begin bringing attention to the risk of this happening in divorce cases.

Parental alienation changes children. It often encourages one to completely reject a parent due to the other parent's influence. Depending on the severity of the case, it could lead a child to reject an entire section of the extended family. The child may not wish to see the parent and may avoid reunification.

Avoid making these divorce mistakes

There are many mistakes you could make when going through a high net worth divorce. While no divorce is easy and many are not pleasant to go through, the reality is that you could lose more than expected if you're not careful about what you do next.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not heading to an attorney's office when they're served with divorce papers. Even though it costs money to have an attorney work with you, the likelihood is that it's going to be significantly less expensive than if you try to go it alone. When large amount of money, stocks, your business, assets and other factors are involved, there's no room for mistakes.

Should you buy a house together if you're not married?

If you and your significant other are unmarried but live together, you may still build up a collection of assets that you've purchased together. Unlike in a marriage, your assets aren't immediately divisible based on your shared interests, though, if you choose to separate.

When you cohabitate, you take a risk. You're not legally bound to the other party through marriage, and it can be hard to show who owns what out of your assets. How can you keep what is yours if the two of you break up?

How can parents lose custody or visitation rights?

Child custody arrangements can be some of the most difficult to make during a divorce. You want to create a fair parenting plan, but the thought of seeing your child less often than every day is something you don't want to agree to. Despite that, you and your spouse came up with an agreement you're happy with. However, when you reach court, that's not necessarily going to be approved.

Even if you and your spouse come up with child custody arrangements that work for you, there is always the possibility for the courts to deny visitation completely. For example, if the judge feels that the child is in danger when with one of the parents, he or she may prevent that parent from seeing the child or from visiting when unsupervised.

Can you take a tax deduction for paying alimony?

The end of alimony has hit couples in Connecticut and is starting to make waves, according to a recent report. After an alimony deduction has been available for splitting couples for the last 75 years, it is now no longer available due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Is this a good thing, or could it cause more problems? The reality is that the repeal of the deduction threatens people in Connecticut more than in other states. Prior to the bill, anyone who paid alimony was able to take a deduction for those payments on his or her taxes. That means that the alimony could reduce the amount owed in tax, giving them a break on taxes and helping them make alimony payments in full each month.

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