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Phoenix Arizona Family Law Blog

Planning for retirement amid late-life divorce

Its no secret that the end of a marriage can have drastic effects on finances. Arizona citizens that divorce later in life may have questions about retirement and what will happen to the money they've been saving for the majority of their adult lives. The following tips can help late-life divorcees boost their savings for the retirement that is nearing on their horizon.

It is advisable for those that divorce later in life to think about working an extra year or two before retiring. Those that are already retired may want to consider re-entering the workforce in a part-time position to bolster savings. Every year working only equates to more money in savings. When long-term marriages end, spousal support may also be awarded. This can be extremely helpful to boost retirement savings.

High-profile couple settles lengthy divorce

For couples in Arizona and elsewhere, the end of a marriage is a life-altering experience that can quickly become stressful, traumatic and definitely expensive. When a celebrity couple decides to divorce, it can quickly turn complicated due to the division of multiple properties and other aspects non-celebrities generally don't face, such as royalty rights. However, like all divorces, celebrity divorces are sometimes settled quickly, allowing both parties to move on.

Recently, a long, drawn-out divorce involving famous singer Mary J. Blige and her former spouse, Kendu Isaacs, made headlines when the ex-spouses finally settled their differences. According to reports, Blige and Isaacs filed for divorce in mid-2016 after 13 years of marriage. The couple were supposed to appear in court recently, but court documents say that their divorce has been settled.

New decision from Division One Court of Appeals stands to have substantial impact of Arizona's legal decision-making laws

The Court concludes that "final decision-making authority" is the same as sole legal decision-making and that a Trial Court cannot make a determination for the parents regarding school choice. In such circumstance, parents with joint legal decision-making must mutually make such decision or Petition the Court for determination of which parent shall be designated with sole legal decision-making on the issue of education and once such determination is made, the parent designated with sole legal decision-making on education can unilaterally make the decision of school choice. No. 1 CA-CV 17-0069 FC

Those delinquent on child support payments may face jail time

Parents have a duty and obligation to support their children. When parents separate, child support laws ensure that the financial needs of the children are met. In Arizona and across the country, the penalties for unpaid child support can be steep. Refusal to pay child support can have negative consequences for the noncustodial parent; however, it often affects the children the most.

As prices for food and other necessities continue to rise, single parents often have trouble making ends meet. For example, a mother of three in another state says she is struggling to meet the basic needs of children because their father is severely delinquent on court-ordered child support payments. The woman alleges that she has not received payments since 2013.

Respectful divorces are often possible through mediation

No matter how or why it happens, divorce is rarely simple or easy to bear emotionally. Even when a couple intends to split amicably, litigating the divorce before a judge in a courtroom can make an amicable divorce very difficult to achieve.

This is because, in part, traditionally litigated divorces often are inherently adversarial. Spouses appear in court with their legal teams and argue for favorable terms before a judge who may penalize one side or the other for poor behavior or other issues. Not only may litigating a divorce in court elevate tensions between spouses, the process may drag out much longer than necessary if the court is overloaded. Litigation also generates hefty legal fees and court costs, which may exceed far beyond the couple's means.

Financial tips for those considering late-life divorce

In the event of a separation, common stereotypes paint a picture of middle-aged spouses at odds with each other. These days, however, more and more people are divorcing later in life. According to recent statistics, the divorce rate for adults over the age of 50 has doubled in the last 25 years. Known as "gray divorce," a special set of challenges await those who end a marriage later in life. The following tips can help those currently facing this situation in Arizona to better prepare themselves financially.

One of the most important things for those considering a late-life divorce can do is to create an inventory of assets and identify individual versus joint assets. Any joint banking accounts or ventures may need to be examined. Life insurance is also a very important thing to review. For example, an ex-spouse may be required to pay alimony, and the death of this person during the alimony paying period can be financially devastating to the alimony recipient. It is recommended that the recipient request to be named owner and beneficiary of a life insurance package to cover this possibility.

New tax changes could ignite alimony battles during divorce

Most people know that ending a marriage can be an expensive process. However, tax reform could make divorce even more expensive in Arizona and across the country. The new tax laws have to do with alimony payments. Alimony, often called spousal support, is a court-ordered payment from a higher-earning spouse to a dependent spouse following a divorce. A change in the way alimony is taxed could make divorce negotiations more challenging.

Current tax laws give a tax break for those that pay alimony. Payers can subtract money paid out to a former spouse from his or her taxable income. However, new tax laws include a provision that does away with this tax break. This controversial provision could spark battles between divorcing couples since those that pay alimony will lack incentive to be more generous toward a former spouse.

Divorcing Couples May Clash Over Bitcoin

Divorcing couples are being warned to disclose all their assets amid fears that some may use digital currencies such as Bitcoin to hide their wealth.

Knowing and understanding child custody arrangments

When spouses choose to end a marriage, one of the biggest concerns is the custody of their children. Although custody laws vary from state to state, all child custody laws were put in place to protect and meet the needs of children. In Arizona, custody laws have been updated to better meet the needs of children. All parents would benefit by knowing the different types of custody.

Legally, there are two main types of child custody: physical and legal. However, many alternative custody types exist. The two types of custody that most people are familiar with are sole and joint custody. In sole custody, one parent has legal and physical custody. Joint custody can sometimes mean equal custody, but in other cases children may spend more time with one parent who is considered to have primary physical custody.

Unique challenges face those who divorce young

Statistics suggest that separation is inevitable for a lot of Arizona couples. Stereotypes dictate that divorce only happens to middle-aged couples that have been married for years. However, some couples decide to marry young, and divorce can happen to young couples as well. Unique challenges can arise for those who divorce while in their 20s.

When young couples marry, they never think about the end of the marriage. Any person who experiences a divorce may seek guidance and emotional support from peers. However, those who divorce in their 20s typically do not have many friends that can relate to their situation since most of their peers may not be married, much less divorced. This can often lead to a feeling of isolation.

Reppucci & Roeder Attorneys at Law | 5727 N. 7th Street, Ste. 205, Phoenix, Arizona 85014 Phone: (480) 900-5538 Map & Directions
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