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Claiming dependents in a divorce

The ability to claim a child or another dependent on a tax return can have a profound impact on the ability to claim deductions or credits. It can also impact a person's chances of claiming Head of Household status. If there is no custody or similar agreement in place, the IRS will use a series of rules to determine which person gets to claim a person as a dependent.

First, if the dependent is a child, parents are generally given preference over those who aren't the child's parents. In the event that parents share custody equally, the parent who has the highest adjusted gross income generally gets the credit. This is because the person with the higher income is thought to have done more to support the child. The same rule comes into play if a parent doesn't claim the deduction but someone else does.

What may happen to a business in divorce

People who own a Connecticut business may be concerned about how to protect it in a divorce. Some people might choose to create a prenuptial agreement that makes the business separate property, or it might name a certain amount the spouse will receive. Couples who own a business together may want a prenup in which they agree to continue operating the venture even if they get a divorce or in which one agrees to buy out the other. A post-marital agreement can serve a similar function if the couple is already married.

Another option is to establish in the company's organizing documents that the business is separate property that cannot be transferred in the divorce. It is important to keep records about how the business was funded since using marital resources to start it may mean the spouse has a greater claim on it. Similarly, a spouse who does any work for the company should be paid fairly to avoid a claim that the division should be more equitable to account for that.

How do you adopt your step-children?

Deciding to adopt your step-children is a big step in creating a family. Making the choice to make your children legally your own is exciting and worthwhile. However, the process can be a little complicated. It may be important for you to educate yourself about the procedure of step-parent adoption so you know how to prepare.

General outline of the process

How to get the kids to adjust to two homes after divorce

Divorce causes a lot of stress and emotion for both parents and kids. Helping your kids adjust to their new lives post-divorce may be one of your main focuses. There is no question that divorce will disrupt all family members, but there are ways to make the transition easier.

Adjusting to alternating between in two homes will be one of the major changes for your children. This new living arrangement may be a little tough for everyone at first, but it can work if you focus on a few simple things that can help the kids.

7 key divorce communication tips

The key to a smooth collaborative divorce, in many ways, is excellent communication. You must be able to work with your spouse, and you have to talk about this process. That communication allows you to work toward joint goals like dividing up your assets, planning out a custody schedule for your kids, and all the rest.

Naturally, communication may be tough when you're actively ending your marriage. Perhaps poor communication led to the divorce in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to improve communication moving forward:

  1. Don't have public conversations on social media. Keep things to yourselves. Don't overshare or "vent" when feeling frustrated. Putting everything online only makes it harder to trust each other and it can stir up an emotional response.
  2. Stay calm for these discussions. If you feel angry or distressed, take a time out and agree to start the conversation back up again later.
  3. Remember that your tone is as important as the words that you say. If you come across as spiteful or insulting, your spouse is going to react to that as much as your actual words. Don't undermine the entire conversation by conveying emotions that you'll later regret.
  4. Give your spouse time to respond. If you bring something up and he or she wants time to think about it, don't demand an answer right away. Understand that these are big decisions for both of you. They deserve proper consideration.
  5. Use the types of communication that make it easiest. Some people prefer to speak in person so that they can really feel connected to the conversation. Others feel like face-to-face meetings are harder, and they can be calm and rational in text messages and emails. Find what works for you.
  6. Focus on the future, not the past. Don't get caught up complaining about how you acted over the last year or why the divorce is happening. Just focus on things like child custody, asset division and the like. Plan for what your lives can become and make joint decisions that get you to that goal. Don't spend the time arguing or letting old issues derail your progress.
  7. Remember that the goal is not to "win," but to work together. You both want a successful resolution that works for both of you -- and that centers around your children. If you have this goal in mind, it makes it easier to compromise and cooperate, which you'll need to do.

Will you lose benefits during a separation?

You can tell that your marriage is no longer what you wanted it to be. You and your spouse seem to argue about everything. Perhaps your spouse was unfaithful or admitted to wanting another relationship. Maybe you both seem to dread going home after work because you do not want to spend time together.

You decide that the best thing to do is to take a break. A separation can give you both some space. Then you can really think about what you want your life to be like and where you want it to go.

Changing your mindset can eliminate child support tension

Your spouse asked for a divorce. You had no idea it was coming. You thought that your marriage was going well. Yes, you had moments of disagreement, but what couple doesn't have that? It shocked you when you found out your spouse wanted to end the whole thing.

Then you found out the real reason: Your spouse was getting involved with someone else. Maybe it was a co-worker or a friend or someone from a social group. As that relationship took off, your marriage was a casualty.

How can you bring up a prenup without getting dumped?

A prenuptial agreement is something you have always wanted, ever since you started thinking about marriage. You have nothing against your significant other; you actually decided you wanted to use a prenup before you met them.

You just think it makes no sense to enter into a legal contract without having some say in how that contract works. By using a prenup, you get to protect yourself and make your voice heard. That is important to you for many reasons.

Even if you aren't married, you still have parental rights

Shared custody for unmarried parents was once an uncommon occurrence. For unmarried couples with children, the mother almost always assumed custody of the children. Thankfully, social attitudes have changed in recent years.

More people than ever before decide to have children with someone without the additional complication of marriage. If that relationship ends, you may end up feeling like you are losing not just your partner but also your child. Thankfully, that does not mean to be the case. You have rights as a parent, and your child will typically also benefit from an ongoing relationship with both parents.

5 tips for parents with shared custody

As you and your spouse work your way through a divorce, you can tell that it is hard on the children. You think it will be better for them in the end, considering what your relationship with your spouse was like before, but you know that you need to focus on the kids moving forward. You have to make this whole transition as smooth as you can for them.

The key is to really think through the ways you can do this well in advance, so that every decision you make can center around the needs and best interests of the kids. Here are five tips that can help you as you and your spouse move into a shared custody parenting arrangement:

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