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Reasons to hire a divorce attorney

Reasons to hire a divorce attorney

It’s only natural to want to completely your divorce as quick and inexpensively as possible. While it’s true that you may save money by foregoing hiring an attorney, you may find the process more difficult without a legal background.

How does Connecticut rank in divorce rates?

For years, the common and alarming statistic was that half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. Although there was a period when the divorce rate was nearly that high, it came at a time when divorce had first become widely available and socially destigmatized. Since then, the divorce rate has been declining steadily for decades.

These days, the divorce rate is certainly lower than it had been. But the statistics can be hard to compare because marriage rates have also fallen. Many couples, especially millennials, are choosing to cohabitate instead of getting married.

Are you affected by the new alimony tax law?

Until this year, many divorcees had been enjoying the benefits of an alimony tax deduction. For more than 70 years, the deduction allowed the payer to deduct paid-out alimony on their taxes, which often helped ease the financial burden of these payments. Recipients, who are typically in a lower tax bracket, received the supplemental income with a slight tax hit.

Under a new law that went in effect this January, people who pay alimony will no longer be able to deduct payments on their tax returns, which will increase their taxable income. Conversely, the alimony recipient will no longer need to claim these payments as taxable income.

Millennial generation more likely to want prenuptial agreements

Millennials in Connecticut and across the country are using prenups a lot more often to cover property that is held separately, inheritances from family, business ownership interests and other assets. Part of the reason may be the millennial generation's tendency to marry later than previous generations did. Since 2005, the median age for marriage has risen to 29.9 from 27 for men, and the median age for women has risen to 28.1 from 25.5.

According to Pew Research Center, the millennial generation has expanded to include anyone born between 1981 and 1996. It's the youngest generation that can remember 9/11 directly and the first generation to enter the workforce during and following the 2008 recession. Pew went on to say that the state of the economy at the beginning of millennial careers had a significant influence on their financial decisions, including the choice to sign a prenup.

What the new divorce court appearance law means for you

Traditional divorce can be a lengthy process. Separating two lives typically takes time. This impacts more straightforward divorce cases that don’t involve children, joint property or alimony. Those cases must wait behind the more complicated cases like the person with a few items at the grocery store waiting behind the person with the full cart.

The state of Connecticut has begun work to change that.

Dividing the family business during a divorce

It can be a challenge for a Connecticut couple to determine how they are going to divide their business during a divorce. The divorce process already has enough emotional challenges on its own. When a couple throws in a business that both of them may have been emotionally invested in, the challenges can skyrocket.

Before making any decisions, a divorcing couple needs to sit down and get the facts. The most important fact is the exact value of the business. Until they have this information, they do not know what they are trying to divide. Next, each party has to determine what they want from the business. Does one individual want to run the business while the other one simply wants financial compensation for the part of the business they owned? Answering these questions will help a divorcing couple make decisions about what to do next.

Don’t hire the first attorney you meet

Many people take their time when making big purchases. You may test drive several vehicles or tour several homes before making the decision to purchase. The same process should apply to choosing an attorney to represent you during your divorce. It’s possible that the first attorney you meet may not be the best for your situation.


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

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