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Hartford Divorce Law Blog

Anyone can start an offshore account

In the lead-up to your divorce, a family friend warns you that one of the more common ways that people try to hide assets is by putting them into offshore bank accounts. They then "forget" to disclose those assets, which don't show up on their traditional bank statements. The friend advises you to carefully look into all potential places where assets could be held so that you get your fair share.

However, you feel like it's not an issue in your marriage. An off-shore account sounds like something only an international traveler would really have. Your spouse has never left the United States. While you are fairly wealthy, you just don't think they fit that profile. Isn't it hard to start an offshore account?

Pre-marriage student loan debt is separate property

Since many people get married in their mid-to-late 20s, they often bring student loan debt to the marriage. They may have just graduated in the last few years, and they each have loans to pay back. As a married couple, they work together on making those payments.

But what if you get divorced? Then what happens to the debt?

Why younger people often think alimony is outdated

Alimony is money paid by one former spouse to his or her ex after divorce. The entire goal is simply to support that person, and they can use it for everything from rent to grocery bills. Payments last for different amounts of time and see far different totals from case to case.

If you ask young people -- college students in their 20s, for instance, or young professionals in their 30s -- they'll be quick to tell you that they think the whole thing is outdated and no longer needed. Granted, that doesn't mean every young person holds this point of view, but experts note that it's more common among this age group.

Should you relax your child's rules after a divorce?

After a divorce, you may feel tempted to tone down the rules you give your child or children. You'll want to let them get away with more -- staying up past their bedtime, for instance -- because you know that the divorce is stressful for them. You think that relaxing the rules a bit will help them adjust.

It can, but you need to be careful with this. Children need structure and consistency. You don't want to give that up. In fact, it's best if you and your ex have a child custody arrangement where you both follow similar rules and give the children's lives a predictable structure.

Should you give up liquid assets in exchange for the house?

You'd really like to keep your home as you get divorced. The whole event feels rather chaotic and upsetting to you, and you feel like having some stability in your living situation will really help you move forward.

But your spouse owns a share of that house. He or she isn't going to let that go for nothing. Should you give up other assets -- bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, etc -- to keep the home?

Can your kids pick where they live?

Your spouse files for divorce, and the two of you almost instantly start arguing about custody of the kids. You both want them to live with you.

In the heat of the moment, your spouse says that you'll just have to ask the kids. After all, your spouse says, they get to pick where they want to live, and the court has to go along with it. It's not up to you.

Tips for paying child support

You make far more money than your ex-spouse, but they get custody of the kids five days a week. You mostly see the kids on the weekends, and your ex even gets some of those. You wish you were more involved, but that's what the court order gives you.

As a result, though, the court has ordered you to pay child support. Your ex has to cover a lot of daily costs and works to raise the kids, so you have to pay to offset some of these costs.

Study shows that judges still suffer from bias

If you end up going to court over your child custody rights, you know that the judge should not be biased against you based on your gender, race, age or any other such factors. For instance, the judge should not give preference to your ex because she is a woman and you are a man. Both parents deserve to have time with their children.

Your judge, most likely, also understands this. Modern courts are not supposed to give in to biases that have historically plagued this system.

Moving can be hard for young children

Young children often do not want to move, do not understand why they have to move and do not think of the new house as their actual home.

That's what happened to one woman when she moved into a new house with her 3-year-old son. Despite having his toys and other belongings at the new house, he still cried and said he wanted to go home. This went on for weeks. He did not understand that they could never go back to the house that he thought of as his home.

Asset transfers as a means of hiding those assets

Do you worry that your spouse is going to attempt to hide assets when the two of you get divorced? Maybe you think they do not want you to get your fair share, and maybe they have told you as much. If they're willing to break the law, what great lengths could they go to?

One of the most common ways that people do this is simply by transferring assets. These transfers put the assets in unexpected places, the courts overlook them, the individuals lie about them, and you do not get what you deserve.

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