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Tulsa Family Law Blog

How to keep the family home after a divorce

When an Oklahoma couples goes through the divorce process, they will need to determine how they will split up the family's assets, including items they obtained during the marriage. One of these items may be the family home, which is often the largest asset that is obtained during the marriage. If there are kids involved, a parent may wish to keep the home, which may or may not be feasible based on the parent's circumstances.

If one person wants to keep the family home, a home inspection must be completed to determine the value of the home. Then, it must be determined how much equity each person has in the home. To determine this, the remaining principal on the mortgage is subtracted from the value of the home. The equity is then divided between the former couple.

Considerations regarding child support and moving to another state

Oklahoma parents who pay or receive child support and are considering moving to a different state might question how this might affect custody and support issues. Logically, thinking about cost-of-living and a child's best interest, there might be a question of how constant support amounts remain throughout the country. They might be surprised that amounts vary widely due to other factors in how states calculate support payments.

When parents negotiate child custody & support, their first concern is maintaining the quality of life of their children. The federal government provides guidelines for establishing support payments. However, each state designs its own formula, and as a result, states do not always arrive at the same amount for families in similar situations.

Preparing for a custody dispute

Oklahoma parents who are getting ready to dispute custody must prepare for the court hearings. During the hearings, they should have a variety of documents ready to show the court that can support their case in front of the judge.

Even before the hearing, the judge will be expecting supporting documentation with the original written request. This written documentation includes a submission that clearly states the person's position and what they want the court to do. If the other parent has initiated the proceedings, their ex will receive the petition with the supporting documentation and have a chance to respond in written form. This response should also include supporting evidence.

Divorce doesn’t need to ruin your retirement

Throughout your marriage, you’ve planned for retirement tallying up your work benefits with your spouse’s to make the math come out right. It seemed it would probably work out fine.

Now comes a divorce and a lot of uncertainty. Typically, one of you will have more social security, more in an IRA, a better-defined contribution or even a defined benefit plan. If you go your separate ways, what will happen to those plans, that money, and the retirement you had imagined for so long?

Second marriages, prenups increasingly common

The number of people who are remarrying after their first marriages is on the uptick, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. The study shows that around 66% of people between 55 and 64 years old who have been previously married are getting remarried. That figure was approximately 50% in the 1960s. People in Oklahoma who are considering a second marriage should consider certain matters to ease financial tensions.

People who are marrying for the second or third time are likely to come into the marriage with more financial means than they had when they married the first time. They may also have financial issues to deal with as a result of a previous divorce. There may also be issues of children from previous relationships, and some legal planning might be necessary to ensure that the kids are not forgotten if something should happen to one of the spouses. To ensure that distributions are made properly, both to the children and the new spouse, individuals should consider a prenup.

The benefits of mediation

When a marriage falls apart, sometimes people are reluctant to seek out divorce because of the lengthy battle they assume will be the result.

Fortunately, for those not eager to enter a lengthy contested divorce, other options exist. Mediation is one such option, which has some unique upsides. Here are a few benefits to mediation:

Being an active non-custodial parent

Oklahoma parents who decide to divorce may have a number of questions to answer about child custody. While joint or shared custody is becoming a more popular choice for families, it is not necessarily the right choice for every family. Employment, housing, location and other issues may play into a final decision about how to handle custody for a particular family. However, just because a parent does not have primary physical custody, this does not need to mean that he or she is not deeply involved in and engaged with the child's life.

In many cases, non-custodial parents have substantial scheduled visitation to ensure that the parent-child relationship remains close. In other cases, people share legal custody, giving them equal authority in decision-making about the child's medical care and education, even though physical custody is not shared. Of course, child support is also a critical part of the picture and works to ensure that the child has the financial resources necessary to grow and develop.

Documents women investors may need before a divorce

Many newlyweds in Oklahoma have visions of spending a lifetime together. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If a marriage does come to an end, however, women investors with assets to protect are often advised to focus on their finances to make the transition back to single life less problematic. One way this goal can be accomplished is by having the right documents in place before beginning the divorce process.

The first document women investors are often advised to review before settlement discussions begin is their tax returns. The general recommendation is to have the three most recent returns plus supporting documentation, such as W-2s and 1099 forms. IRS Form 4506 can be used to request tax information. It's equally important for women investors to acquire documents that show any expenses paid through their company, so such information can be used to determine future benefits.

Court likely to consider many factors in determining support

For people in Oklahoma who are approaching or going through a divorce, it might be helpful to know what judges are likely to consider when making alimony or spousal support determinations. Judges are given a lot of leeway regarding what they might consider and their decisions are heavily depending on the facts of a particular case, but some general guidelines may be useful. The court will typically take into account all types of income or compensation from work as well as any other income.

Courts might consider each spouse's salary, employment perks, deferred compensation, bonuses, distributions from partnerships, retirement contributions or carried interest. Typically, the first place a judge will look is the person's most recent federal tax return, but he or she has the power to investigate more deeply. The court might look into income that hasn't been reported or investigate means that seem to exist beyond the person's tax return.

Protecting credit after a divorce

When people in Oklahoma decide to divorce, they are often aware that the financial effects of the separation will be significant. After all, major assets like the family home or retirement funds will need to be divided. However, the financial aspects of divorce can move beyond the direct effects of property division. Many people may not consider their credit as part of a divorce, but it can be a significant issue. If a spouse does not take action to protect their credit scores, they may witness serious damage during a divorce.

Of course, negative credit issues can affect a person's ability to get a loan or obtain credit for many years to come. At the same time, getting a divorce does not, in and of itself, make a person's credit worse. Marital status is not a factor in a credit score. However, other issues associated with the divorce can pose a serious problem. In the first place, the divorce decree that handles matters of asset division binds only the divorcing spouses, not their lenders. Therefore, if the decree includes a decision that one spouse is responsible for some types of joint credit payments, the original lender can still hold both former spouses responsible.

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