Archive for January, 2016

Is There A Difference Between Alimony And Child Support?

Monday, January 25th, 2016

When a divorce trial has come to an end, and everything is settled and planned out, it is extremely common that one spouse will start paying the other spouse per the agreements made in court. Two of the most common sorts of payments are alimony and child support. It is important to note that these are two very different types of payments, not only in terms of where that money is supposed to go, but also how it might affect your taxes.

Alimony is the term used to describe spousal support. The spousal part of it really is what differentiates it from child support. Alimony is paid from one spouse to their ex so that the receiver can keep a certain similarity to the way they lived during the marriage that they had grown accompanied to during the marriage. Most divorce agreements include a form of support of the parties generates significantly more income than the other, and so logically the spouse who brings in more money will be the alimony payer. The person who is providing support is usually allowed to claim the payment as tax deductible, while the person who is receiving the alimony must file the support payments as income.

Child support is considered in its own, unique terms in divorce agreements, and not paired with any ruling about alimony. The idea of child support is self-explanatory; it is a payment that is intended to aid in the raising of children, therefore not more money for a spouse to spend. The supervisory parent whom the court has determined, who will have more time with the children commonly is the support-receiver, and will be spending overall more money on the children than the parent who is not looking after the children as much. These payments usually stop once the child reaches 18, or 21, depending on if they go to college and any monetary necessities stemming from that. Unlike with spousal support, you will not get a tax deduction for your child support and the parent who is getting paid the child support does not have to pay income tax for this support payment.

How Divorce Can Impact Your Credit Score

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Although we view divorce as something that not only affects us as people but also our finances, getting a divorce in and of itself will not affect your credit score or report. At least, not directly; the financial issues that stem from the divorce process, however, could very well impact your credit. This can be especially true if the divorce process includes joint credit accounts between the spouses, as that will significantly affect your future credit.

If you do have a joint credit account, you should certainly meet with your accountant and either close the account entirely or ensure that one of the names, either yours or your spouses, are completely removed from the account.

In a divorce decree, a court will often specify which of the parties is responsible for any accounts that had been opened during the marriage. Even in this case, if both names are on the account, they are both still under contract with the credit lenders, not just who was named responsible for the account.

What you should look out for is just prior to the actual divorce trial. Often, an angry spouse will try to financially harm their soon-to-be ex by making huge credit expenditures, with the intention of creating huge financial debts for the spouse, and ultimately destroying their credit history, which comes with its own set of awful consequences.

Are Pets Considered Property Or Family During Divorce In New York

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Pets are a big part of many couples’ lives; they serve as companions and cherished family members to both spouses. As such, many married couples find themselves fighting over the custody of the pet, much like how passionate parents will fight for custody of their children. However, there is a big difference between pets and children in the eyes of the court.

As of now, to the dismay of many, pets are considered property in divorce cases. As per any other battle over property, the court will decide based upon which spouse can provide evidence of sole ownership prior to the marriage, as well as which spouse provided care to said pet during the marriage and has the ability to provide the necessary care a pet requires once the divorce is finalized. Because many couples consider pets a “family member”, therefore adding much greater value to the pet.

Because of this, courts are meticulous in determining sole custody of the pet, and a lot of negotiation goes into a custody plan.

Information You Should Gather When Starting Your Divorce

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Filing for divorce requires a lot of work on your end, as a client. Just because you retained an attorney doesn’t mean that he is completely equipped with all the necessary information to represent your case in court. To make it easier on both yourself and your attorney, you should try to collect and compile large amount of documents that you can gather prior to any court proceedings.

A few examples of the types of divorce documents you would want to prepare are personal records, financial documents and property records, business documents and records, and miscellaneous things like photos, letters, cards, videos and the like. All of which should be strictly correlated to you, your family, and anything in particular between you and a family member, be it your spouse or child.

Personal records should pertain to the marriage, relevant citizenship status, and also the children in the marriage, if there are any. What is also important is that you have papers confirming that the court you are filing for divorce has the jurisdiction, which is the legal authority to hear your case based on factors such as subject matter and location. Some examples include birth certificates, immigration and nationalization papers, social security numbers/cards, and any marital documents like a prenuptial agreement that you have with your current spouse.

Financial documents contain the information concerning your and your ex’s income, savings, assets, current and past debts and expenditures that may be an integral part in later court proceedings like child/spousal support, alimony, and division of property agreements which you will inevitably get to. The documents you want to collect and look out for are income tax returns within the last five years, and income earned at work, including bonuses and payroll statements. In addition, retirement plans like 401(k)’s are vital to have ready when you begin your divorce process, as well as real estate deeds, mortgages, leases, loans, credit card statements, bank account information and any everyday expenditures (food, gas, clothes, utilities, etc.).

If you run your own business or run one with your spouse, you should make sure that you have all the tax returns, profit and loss records, financial statements, insurance policies, and agreements that the business is engaged. Also, business credit card statements and bank accounts should not be left out.