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Jefferson County, West Virginia, Family Law Blog

Protect your retirement assets during divorce

Getting divorced can be difficult no matter a person's age or the length of the marriage. However, couples who are closer to retirement may have to deal with issues that are specific to their ages and unique circumstances. Specifically, how to secure financial stability for retirement after a divorce is often a central focus in these situations.

Most people in West Virginia begin saving for retirement early on in their careers. But what happens to the years or even decades worth of savings when a married couple decides to divorce? Like other marital assets, couples must divide their retirement savings. Doing so can be tricky though, particularly if one person started saving through a specific account before marriage and then continued contributing to it after tying the knot. The type of account can also impact how a couple divides their assets.

Financial infidelity can make divorce difficult

Financial troubles can be a significant point of stress for anyone in West Virginia, and at some point in their relationships most couples will argue over money. But how can couples differentiate between normal financial stressors and something more? Sometimes people do not realize that their significant others have a money disorder until years or even decades into their relationship, or until they file for divorce.

A Northwestern Mutual study found that money is the most common cause of stress for 44% of all adults. Money contributes to more feelings of stress than work or personal relationships, and over 24% of study participants said that financial worries caused them to feel depressed at least once a month. For some people, this is just a normal response to an extremely stressful financial position. For others, it is an actual disorder.

Child support important for stability after divorce

Most parents in West Virginia just want was is best for their children. Securing things like financial support after a divorce is often key to that hope. However, child support is not necessarily as cut and dried as some parents might think.

Figuring out the correct amount of child support takes time and a bit of flexibility. Judges generally consider things like parents' incomes and earning potential as well as parenting time and the child's standard of living. Judges also have the discretion to consider other factors that they deem relevant to the situation.

The other driver doesn’t have insurance. Now what?

Even if there are no injuries, car accidents can be painful. There may be mounds of paperwork to handle, repairs to deal with and often some sort of financial loss. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, things get even more complicated.

Remaining calm and following a few important steps can make sure the process goes as smoothly as it can.

Don't leave property division up to chance

Untangling years or even decades of shared marital property is not a small undertaking. Aside from the financial interests that both you and your ex have, there are probably also significant emotional investments involved. This means that dealing with property division is more complicated than most people in West Virginia might think.

It is possible that despite these complicating factors, you and your ex could reach an amicable agreement on your own. However, more likely than not, you will hit a few roadblocks during the process. Whether you are fighting for an asset important to your financial and emotional well-being or your ex is trying to complicate matters, property division can quickly go south.

Woman wants to stop paying alimony after ex won lottery

Although divorce formally ends a marriage, there are many factors that might continue to tie two ex-spouses to one another. From sharing children to making child support or alimony payments, many divorced couples are at least temporarily still linked together. However, there might be times when it is appropriate for a person in West Virginia to petition the court in order to have their alimony payments altered or even stopped altogether.

An out-of-state woman is apparently trying to find a way in which she could stop paying alimony to her ex-husband. The 53-year-old woman finalized her divorce in Oct. 2018 and has been paying him monthly alimony ever since. She was the primary breadwinner during their marriage of 15 years and is set to continue paying him support for about five more years.

What happens to my credit card rewards point during divorce?

While people in West Virginia might not be big fans of debt, it might be difficult to find a person who does not have at least one credit card in his or her name. However, having a credit card does not mean that a person has a lot of debt. Indeed, many people use credit cards wisely to take advantage of point reward programs. While this might be advantageous, problems can arise during divorce. How does one even begin to split a credit card rewards point?

First, couples should determine whether the rewards points are separate or marital property. If a person opened a credit card before marriage and earned reward points exclusively before walking down the aisle, then these points are likely separate property. However, points earned after the marriage would be marital property. Even if one person opens up a solo credit card account in his or her name only, points earned during the marriage are generally still considered marital property.

How can I help my kids cope with my divorce?

Sometimes parents who are going through divorce fear that their children will not be able to cope with the change. Although children may initially struggle with their parents’ divorce, research has shown that most children are able to bounce back within the first two years. However, divorcing parents who are concerned about their children’s recovery may consider several actions to help their children cope with the change.

Talk to your kids about the divorce

Child custody and co-parenting -- is it more work?

Effectively co-parenting after divorce can be difficult but worthwhile for parents and children alike. However, working together with an ex-spouse is not always as easy it may seem. West Virginia parents who are considering co-parenting or wondering if they need to modify their child custody agreement should keep some of the following in mind.

Maintaining consistent rules and boundaries across both parents' households is a common feature of co-parenting. This might seem like a good idea until one parent is tired or does not want to upset the children, and gives in. While this should generally be avoided, life does happen, and parents should be ready to address these issues in a respectful manner.

Make sure you are prepared for divorce

Deciding to end a marriage might feel easy enough -- a couple files, divides up their assets and then they are done. However, taking a casual approach to divorce can ultimately lead to disaster. Here are a few things that West Virginia couples may want to keep in mind during a divorce.

Social media commands a lot of time and attention, and it can be difficult to imagine a world where users do not share the smallest details of their day. But what if a person's social media feed does not match the details they provided during a divorce? Take for example a husband who insisted that he could not afford a proposed settlement even though it was fair to both parties. If his social media feeds shows him taking expensive vacations or enjoying an otherwise lavish life, his soon-to-be ex-wife could potentially use these as evidence that he can indeed afford the proposed settlement.

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