Divorce Law Blog

Divorce, Children, and the Holidays

Divorce & the Children

You may find it hard to believe but more than fifty percent of the marriages in the United States end up in divorces. The situation is especially atrocious in the case of second marriages where around sixty-seven percent of them wind up in separations. I know, it might sound quite depressing and reasonably frustrating, yet it’s the truth. And this complex phenomenon that is known as ‘Divorce’ has its own ostentatious effect on the related parties – the man, the woman and their children.

Societal expectations, independence, depression, career, financial reliance, dreams, lifestyle and other associated issues – so many issues might very well be related to the splitting up of a family. Be that as it may, whatever the reason is, we can’t just avoid the intricacies involved with this stressful experience we call divorce. Our intentions should focus on eliminating stressful obstacles along with better management of the various factors that could psychologically affect all the people in your family.

The circumstances that trigger a divorce definitely correlated with problems – not being able to get along, communication gap, obnoxious relationship, psychological stress, monetary setbacks and so forth. Parents happen to be the ultimate pillars of support for their children. Kids are accustomed to think that their parents are going to solve all of their worries for them. From their adolescence, they get used to depend on the father and mother for different rationales – if they needed to buy something, they tend to go to their fathers. On the other hand, mothers typically take care of their indoor needs like favorite foods, homework and other related issues.

Children in Divorce – Dependency on their Parents

All things considered, divorce has always been an awfully disturbing experience for the kids. The scenario is particularly true for the kids aged somewhere around 6 to 10. They already spend quality time with their parents and became content with their existing environment. They happen to develop the accustomed dependency on their parents for their various needs. Now when they face the separation of their parents, the terror of unknown changes and an uncertain future envelops them with immense anxiousness. More often than not, kids with divorced parents as a result of improperly managed stress tend to have a challenging upbringing.

However, the after-effects and psychological consequences  a child commonly faced in a divorce have drastically changes over time. Nowadays, kids don’t need to suffer the customary and assumed emotional setbacks like those of earlier decades. These days, parental conflicts can be resolved in  much more positive way where both of the parents can focus on the needs and wants of the kids even after their divorce. However, the accumulated emotional suffering, the frustration, the anger, the helplessness may still be present through observing loud behaviors.

Young men, as a rule, can’t stifle their irritation and exacerbation and get into the conflicts with others while young ladies have a tendency to get more discouraged and hermetic. In each scenario, both physical and psychological development of the children gets disrupted considerably. The fact is, the sense of parent substitution can lead them into a very complicated situation. Getting accepted and used to the new family and environment might be pretty challenging. It takes a lot of time and effort from all the related parties to come and live happily under the same roof. A qualitative and quantitative association can help the children to believe in relationships and facilitate their future conviction and bonding.


Divorce and the Holidays

Spending holiday time with parents on always holds a great deal of importance for the kids. Be that as it may, it can be hard to appreciate these holiday occasions with a pending divorce and keeping up the dynamics between two or more families.

The parents should not force the kids to spend time with them without their consent. For the children, a well-planned schedule can prompt an exceptionally productive celebration on any occasion. Since they have to spend the holiday/s between two households, an advance planning to coagulate the gratification will allow everyone to be happy with the upshot.

For instance, in the case of celebrating Christmas, spending time with both the parents together would be the ideal scenario for the kids. However, this development might not seem to be viable in most cases. In this manner, spending the Christmas Eve with one parent and the rest of the day with another may be an ideal situation for the kids. This particular scheme can change with each alternate year with the parents.

The parents should not belittle children’s expectations amid this ensemble of separation and occasions. Reading a book, making videos together, cooking in concert, playing and taking selfies – so many things can make a holiday memorable and the parents should take every bit of the chance to make it successful.

These days, thanks to the technological headways, getting in touch became so much easier with the support of video chatting and other related messaging alternatives. Therefore, parents, who stay in a different state or country, can easily get connected through those smart devices.

With regards to gifts, the parents better be acquainted with the wish list of the kids and prepare them accordingly. Nonetheless, it is recommended not to produce something out of the ordinary so as to hide the guilty conscious.

The parents ought to attempt to minimize the stress that comes with holidays. Allowing the kids in the planning process and highlighting their yearns in the plan should keep them cheerful during the holidays.

The parents must not talk negatively about each other. Moreover, they most certainly should not fight in front of the kids or within their perceptible range. Reassure the children know that, yes, things are changing but together you will overcome the situation and that everything will be ok.  Parents are not supposed to share their emotional outbreaks with the kids. It will ruin the entire holiday vibe and the atmosphere could most certainly turn into a negative one. Be mindful that your emotions and actions affect those around you but more importantly they can and will affect your children’s holiday season for better or for worse, it all depends on you.

Parents should bring them into an enthusiastic group discussion into action regarding their interests, schools or other extra-curricular activities with a table of sumptuous foods. They should let the kids act on their own accords and share their opinions concerning the current occurrences and their surroundings. The parents also need to enjoy themselves with the kids and take care of their other relatives and friends in the meantime. It’s all about setting the appropriate environment and an outline for joyful recollections.

By Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer



Four Common California Divorce Consultation Questions

As one of the premiere Los Angeles divorce lawyers in the city with more than a thousand cases under my resume I finally decided to start blogging. I recently made a video touching on “What to Expect at Your Divorce Consultation.” Here is a paraphrased excerpt of my divorce advice from that video.

Does It Matter Who Starts the Divorce Process First?

The person who starts the divorce first is called the petitioner and the petitioner goes first in a trial.  The spouse being petitioned is called the respondent. There are pros and cons to being the petitioner or the respondent. The petitioner gets to set the tone of the trial because they are going to put their case on first. The respondent essentially gets the last say because they present their case after the petitioner has already presented their case to the judge. So there is a difference in being the petitioner or the respondent.

It’s not enough to be the one to initiate the divorce if you are unsure about get a divorce. However, if you are sure about moving forward with the divorce then just go for it. Don’t worry if you are first or second, that should not be your foremost concern.  But as mentioned before there is a slight advantage to being the first (petitioner.)


Importance of Financial Expertise in a Divorce

Being a Los Angeles divorce lawyer for about 18 years now, I also have extensive experience as an account.  I was a professional auditor and have an MBA in accountancy and worked many years in that practice prior to becoming a divorce lawyer. Having that experience is very helpful in the divorce world with the legal implications and analysis of a divorce case. I am able to learn about a couples’ financial situation by reviewing their tax returns.

Everything hits the tax return in some way. If you work back from a tax return, if you understand how to read a tax return then you can work backwards from there and understand where the income streams are coming from and can identify all the assets of a community (property.) Community property is what the spouses have accumulated during their marriage.


You Don’t Want Your Spouse to Get Anything?

That’s not going to happen. Any divorce attorney that says or implies otherwise is not giving you honest counsel. What you need as a divorce litigant is an attorney who is going to remove all the divorce myths and all the stories you’ve heard from friends and family, clear all that folklore away and tell you what really is going to happen.

The reality is it is not reasonable to say “My spouse is not going to get anything.” The correct way to approach the divorce is to ensure that YOU get what you ae entitled to under law. Should there be grey areas of the law situation where you need extended litigation you want an attorney that will pursue it in an ethical and diligent way and that will get you the most favorable financial and emotional outcome.


Child Custody in Divorce

The children are always the most important part of a divorce. It is not practical to fight for the other parent to not see the child unless there is a real threat to their safety and well being. Under California law there is wide range of what is considered acceptable parenting. What might not be acceptable to you might be considered acceptable parenting to the court or judge.

In divorce situations that warrant an investigation of one or the other parent’s allegations about the way their partner is parenting the children we have an “evaluation.” Evaluations get to the bottom of what’s going on in the family situation or your spouse’s particular parenting style. Ultimately these evaluations serve to make the parents better skilled at communicate and more sensitive to the best interest of the child.

To Be Continued..

What to Expect at Your Divorce Consultation

What to Expect at Your Divorce ConsultationAttorney Charles M. Green explains aspects and possible dynamics of a Los Angeles divorce consultation. http://greenlawcorp.com/ He addresses common questions, concerns, and scenarios regarding Divorce, Child Custody, and other California Family Law issues. Mr. Green also touches on Financial and Real Estate concerns in relation to the divorce process.http://ow.ly/ZVUA301Rvib

Divorce & Taxes : 10 Things You Need to Know

1. Get a CPA and/or tax attorney to look at your settlement.

No matter what your line of work or level of education, there are some things you shouldn’t tackle yourself. A post-divorce tax return is one of them. And both parties in the divorce should find tax attorneys, who will consult separately with their clients. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do this together, no matter how amicable the divorce might be.

2. It’s best to file jointly while in the process of divorcing.

Filing singly before you have to (that is, after the divorce is final) will cost you in taxes, and it will cost both of you. File together until you are divorced. Once that is completed, you should file singly with the IRS.

3. Negotiate the refund or payment of taxes in advance of filing.

Depending on the time of year your divorce becomes final, the amount of a tax refund that goes to you and/or your ex can add up. If, for example, you separate in September, you might agree to split the refund in quarters; three-quarters being split equally, and the last quarter going to you or your ex directly, depending on the settlement agreement. By the same token, if you owe the IRS money, you might split the liability the same way.

4. Split your property with your taxes in mind.

Some properties, like real estate, are not taxable in a divorce settlement. The same is true of some stocks. Determine what items are taxable and which ones are not before you start trying to estimate your taxes and your income. You must be very exacting in determining value of any properties you’re including in the settlement.

5. Your kids are not taxable footballs.

One of you will be able to write your children off as deductions. The other will not. You need to negotiate this as part of your divorce settlement. In many cases, the partner making the most money will take the deduction, but sometimes the incomes are very close, or there is some disagreement about the child deduction. Occasionally, splitting spouses will agree to switch off from year to year on deducting the children. This should all be negotiated at the time of settlement (or can be left to the judge to decide), and not left until you have to file a tax return for the first time after the divorce.

6. Alimony is taxable, but child support isn’t. Except when it is.

Actually, the way it works is this: The person paying child support in the divorce agreement does not get to deduct the payment, but the person receiving the support does not have to pay taxes on it. With alimony, the situation is reversed: The person paying can deduct the payments, while the person receiving it is taxed on what they received. So from an alimony tax standpoint, it is better to give than to receive.

7. Lump sum payments are possible, but tricky.

Sometimes, a divorce agreement is drawn up in a way that allows the person paying alimony and/or child support to make one lump sum payment rather than monthly or quarterly installments. This is allowable, and sometimes advisable (it places a cap on the amount of money going from one party to the other), but it can make your tax return more complicated, something no one is happy about doing. If you don’t calculate it perfectly—another reason to hire a competent tax attorney—the IRS will tax your lump payment as it would tax normal alimony, which will drastically increase the amount of tax you are required to pay. It’s necessary to get your CPA and tax attorney on the same page here and be sure to let the IRS know what you’re doing.

8. Expect the unexpected.

Divorces between people who once vowed to love each other until death do they part can be extremely contentious. Unreported income and hidden assets are often alleged in divorce proceedings, with the spouse not running a business claiming unreported income should increase the stated value of the family business and the amount of alimony and child support. The higher something is valued, the more tax must be paid on it. Be prepared for claims, and don’t agree to invalid ones.

9. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over. Sometimes, not even then.

Just because your divorce is final, you shouldn’t expect all tax issues to be settled. Keep your tax preparer and tax attorney on the job for at least a few years after the divorce, since issues will continue to arise. Professionals can anticipate difficulties, but it becomes more difficult if they weren’t involved from the start.

10. It should go without saying—be careful and exact.

Everything in a divorce settlement is subject to an IRS review, and this becomes more of an issue the higher the income of the parties involved might be. The larger the number, the greater the possibility of close scrutiny. Anything the government considers improper or questionable can lead to a review or an audit, neither of which is the least bit desirable. Make sure when divorcing that you dot all your financial “i”s and cross all your “t”s before filing with the IRS.