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Lebanon Family Law Blog

Dividing property and hidden assets

One concern for people in Ohio who are getting a divorce may be how property will be divided. In a California divorce, a 61-year-old woman who had been the main support for her family for 10 years was concerned because her husband wanted their home and half of her 401(k). Since California, unlike Ohio, is a community property state, the husband was probably entitled to half of the 401(k), but it is unlikely that a person would be awarded an entire house in any divorce unless it was the sole property of that person or part of an agreed-upon exchange.

The woman was also concerned that her husband was hiding assets and sharing information with his sister about their finances. Neither of these is allowed. While a person may be unable to open a spouse's mail, it is possible to note the names of financial institutions on envelopes, and this may help a forensic accountant trace assets. Fighting to stop the information sharing with the sister could be more costly than it is worth, but a letter from an attorney might be sufficient to stop it. All communications with the spouse should be documented.

Demographics of wage garnishment for child support

Ohio workers and other workers in the Midwest may be more likely to have their wages garnished than workers in other parts of the country. These were among the findings of a study conducted by the ADP Research Institute that was released on Sept. 27. The study found that more than 70 percent of garnishments were of men's wages and that those garnishments were largely for failure to pay child support. Women's wages tended to be garnished for other types of debt such as student loans.

The study identified men ages 35 to 55 who lived in the Midwest and made an average of $44,000 per year working at large manufacturing jobs as a likely demographic for wage garnishments. They were also more common among workers in the South. Both the South and the Midwest have more goods-producing employers, and these industries were more likely than the service sector to have wage garnishments.

Financial concerns for older divorcing Ohio couples

"Gray divorce" refers to divorce among older Americans, and it is on the rise. Although divorce rates are dropping overall, among people 50 and older, the divorce rate is twice as high as it was in the 1990s.

There are a number of particular considerations for older people getting a divorce related to the fact that they have less time to save up for retirement. First, divorce for this age group can be expensive if the couple ends up fighting over assets. Unfortunately, in some cases, that fight may be necessary to secure a person's financial future after the divorce. However, in many cases, a couple might be able to use mediation to come to an agreement that works for both of them.

Seeking a fair split of assets in a divorce

For Ohio residents going through a divorce, negotiating the division of assets might be a very uncomfortable aspect of the process. However, advocating for themselves might be the best decision they take, particularly if they keep certain things in mind that might protect them and ensure that the division is a fair one in the long term.

Some of the financial mistakes people make during the divorce process are a result of not being knowledgeable about the value of assets, how they compare to other assets and their tax implications. For example, many people wish to keep the home after a divorce, sometimes due to an emotional attachment to the property and an attempt to limit the changes going on. However, when calculating the value of the home, people should keep in mind the costs of its upkeep, which can be a burden that some people are not able to sustain. In the same way, keeping the home in exchange for other liquid assets such as retirement accounts, might not always be a fair division.

Study looks at link between jobs, divorce rate

People in Ohio whose careers involve transportation or night life may have a higher divorce rate than the national average. This was one of the findings of a study presented by FlowingData using information from the 2015 American Community Survey.

The study identified science and math-related careers as among those with the lowest likelihood of divorce. The national divorce rate in 2015 was 35 percent, but for actuaries, the rate was lower than 20 percent. Scientists and physicians also had a low rate at just above 20 percent while gaming managers and bartenders had a divorce rate higher than 50 percent. One commonality between the careers with lower divorce rates is that they offer a more regular schedule and a higher income. The study also found that divorce, income and the chance of a child becoming ill were correlated.

Protecting the future ability to retire

When Ohioans who have been married for years decide to get divorced, they need to try to protect their future abilities to retire. People should avoid making some common mistakes so that they can protect their retirement.

Because of the costs involved with getting divorced, some people make the mistake of withdrawing money from their retirement accounts in order to pay for it. This can cause them significant problems with their future ability to retire. If they are younger than 55 or 59 1/2, depending on the type of retirement account, their withdrawals may be taxed, and they may also have to pay a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.

Focusing on children could limit conflicts with ex-spouse

When parents in Ohio divorce, they often need to establish new relationships as co-parents. The emotions and issues that led to the split in the first place naturally encumber this task. However, specific strategies can ease tensions, especially if one party wants to focus on negativity.

Unless a history of abuse or addiction complicates the situation, a parent could reduce the chance of angry flare ups with the ex by always centering communication around the needs of the children. By keeping the best interests of the children front and center, a parent could find the motivation to ignore and divert the other parent's attempts to start an argument.

How to make sure alimony is tax deductible

In Ohio divorces, alimony is meant to help a lower-earning spouse make ends meet for a set duration or indeterminate amount of time. Fortunately, alimony payments may be deductible by the paying spouse as long as the order or agreement complies with Internal Revenue Service rules.

According to the IRS, alimony is only deductible if it meets certain guidelines. If it does not, then the spouse who pays it may not deduct it on their tax returns. If the alimony does comply, then the spouse may deduct it, potentially saving hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.

Co-parenting after divorce in Ohio

Divorce may change the structure of your family, but it doesn't change your role as a parent. Divorced parents are still responsible for child support payments, parenting time or a combination of both. While you may be rightfully concerned about how life will change, you can be assured that the law recognizes the importance of both parents in a child's life.

Each state is allowed to make its own rules regarding how child custody is arranged. What you heard from your friend in Indiana who recently went through a divorce may not be the same as what is allowed to happen in Ohio. How does the law shape child custody in our state?

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