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Divorce Law

The Financial Effects Of Cohabitation Agreements When The Parties Are Married Or Not Married
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: September 4, 2015

Today, it is very popular for unmarried couples to live together. Some of these couples eventually opt to marry, while others break up and go their separate ways or choose to live together without marrying for years or even decades. These couples do not get to take advantage of the benefits that married couples receive, such as the automatic joint ownership of the property that is obtained during a marriage. However, many of these couples do own property together and when an unmarried couple with property decides to end their relationship, issues regarding the property’s ownership and each partner’s right to the property can arise. To address these issues before they arise, many couples opt to sign cohabitation agreements. Like a prenuptial agreement, couples can use a cohabitation agreement to determine which party will retain specific assets if the couple…Read More

How Do Post Judgment Personal Injury Awards Affect Child Support And Alimony?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: September 2, 2015

When you are injured in an accident, you could receive a compensation settlement through a personal injury claim. This money is meant to cover your expenses related to your injury, such as your medical bills, lost wages, and disability aids. When a married individual receives a settlement for a personal injury claim, the money from that settlement is considered to be marital property. Like other forms of income and shared assets, the money that comes into a household through a personal injury settlement may be subject to division between the spouses during their divorce. But what about a personal injury award you receive after your divorce is finalized? Can this affect your alimony or child support obligation? The answer is yes. Changed Circumstances You may petition to the court to change the amount of alimony or child support that you…Read More

How Can I Get my Abusive Spouse Out of Our Home?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: August 31, 2015

If you are in immediate danger of suffering from domestic violence, you need to get out of your home now. Worry about getting him or her to leave the house later – at this moment, your top priority should be your safety. Using A Restraining Order After you have gotten yourself away from your abusive spouse, the next step is to obtain a restraining order against him or her. You will need to petition to the court to receive a restraining order, which is granted by a judge. A restraining order can require your spouse to stop contacting you and require him or her to remain further than a specified number of feet of you at all times. If you remain in the marital home and have a restraining order in place, your spouse is effectively barred from the home.…Read More

Cohabitation And Property Division Among Unmarried Couples
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: August 19, 2015

Over the past few decades, it has become socially acceptable and popular for unmarried couples to live together. Some of these couples eventually do marry and others live together for years, even decades, without ever formally committing to a marriage contract. This poses a problem when a cohabitating couple ends their relationship. In many of these cases, the couple has purchased property together or has other shared assets, such as a bank account. Unlike married couples, whose assets are divided by the court during a divorce, unmarried couples do not have legal protections in place for their assets. How Is An Unmarried Couple’s Property Divided? Because unmarried partners do not have access to the rights afforded to married couples who are going through a divorce, their property must be divided piecemeal in court. These decisions can be unpredictable because they…Read More

The Reason For Having A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) For Your Pension Or 401k
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: August 17, 2015

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a legal order that changes a retirement plan’s ownership to allow an individual other than its original holder to receive money from it. A QDRO may change a retirement plan’s ownership to an individual’s spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent. A QDRO defines the beneficiaries, also known as “alternate payees” of a retirement account and outlines how each beneficiary may receive payments from the account. This can be through child support, alimony payments, or property transfers. When A QDRO Is Signed QDROs should be signed before a couple’s divorce is finalized but more often than not they remain incomplete at the time of the divorce due to the necessary steps required convert a Domestic Relations Order into a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This order is part of the couple’s property division. In…Read More

When Divorce Is The Best Option For Parents
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: August 3, 2015

Sometimes, a relationship just doesn’t work. You might try all that you can to maintain a relationship with your spouse, from couple’s therapy to new strategies for working and living together and still find yourselves unhappy with each other. When this is the case, it might be best for you to end your marriage. Although it might seem like a good idea to stay together for your children’s sake, the truth is, it is often healthier for children to adjust to life after a divorce than it is to remain in a household where both parents are miserable and continually fighting in front of the children. Consider the following statements to determine if divorce might be right for you. Your Relationship Is Gone If you find yourself seeking comfort with friends, your hobbies, your relatives, or other sources instead of…Read More

What To Do if your Former Spouse Refuses to Pay Child Support
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: July 31, 2015

Following a divorce, a noncustodial parent may be required to make child support payments to the custodial parent to help pay for their child’s care. This money is meant to cover goods for the child, such as food, clothing, and personal needs as well as offset some of the expenses that the custodial parent incurs, such as housing and utilities. When a parent does not pay his or her required child support, the custodial parent can take legal action against him or her to get the money that their child needs. If your former spouse has been consistently late with his or her child support payments, talk to him or her about it before taking legal action. Your former partner might be experiencing financial hardship and cannot afford to make his or her child support payments. If this is the…Read More

Finding Hidden Assets During The Divorce Process
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: July 29, 2015

The key to a straightforward divorce is a willingness to be open with your former partner about your assets. If you or your spouse can not openly discuss your assets and debts with your attorneys or a mediator to divide them fairly, your attorneys may have to go through a process known as discovery. How Can An Individual Hide Assets? There are many different ways an individual can attempt to hide assets in an effort to spare them from being divided as part of his or her divorce. Some examples of these methods include: Purchasing expensive items, such as office décor or electronics. Hiding cash or goods in a safe deposit box. Moving assets into another individual’s name. Overpaying the IRS with the intention of receiving the excess through a return later. Underreporting income to the IRS. Opening secret bank…Read More

Am I Obligated To Pay My Ex’s Student Loan Debt?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: July 24, 2015

Usually, no. In most cases, individuals who took out student loans did so before they married, taking on the debt alone or co-signing with their parents for it. Because they obtained this debt before marriage, it is considered to be singly-held property. But if you co-signed with your spouse when he or she took out a student loan after you were married, you could potentially be held responsible for it. There are certain circumstances under which the court may determine that you are liable for your former spouse’s student loan debt, such as the following: If you co-signed for the loan. If the loan was used to partially or fully pay for your shared living expenses, such as your housing, utilities, or food bills. If the resulting degree altered your standard of living or moved you into a higher tax…Read More

How Can a New Relationship Affect my Divorce Settlement?
  • By: Eric Hannum, Esq.
  • Published: July 15, 2015

If you are currently working through the divorce or considering ending your marriage in the near future, it is in your best interest to avoid entering a new relationship until your divorce is finalized. This is because even if you feel your relationship with your spouse is over, your marriage is not over until the divorce process is complete. Dating before your divorce is complete is committing adultery, which can affect your spousal maintenance, property division, and child custody agreements. Remarrying after your divorce can also affect your divorce settlement. If you are receiving alimony, marrying a new partner will end this payment. Living with a new partner can also affect your alimony payments. This is because moving in with a partner significantly changes your financial circumstances, often providing you with greater buying power and assets. How Can A New…Read More

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