Regele Law, LLC

Salem Oregon Family Legal Blog

Are parenting issues causing continual fights after divorce?

Arguing with a spouse or otherwise not seeing eye-to-eye may have contributed to your divorce. Of course, distancing yourself from your former spouse does not always prevent arguments even now because you have children together and are trying to co-parent.

Though co-parenting is commonly considered the best arrangement for Oregon children and those elsewhere because it allows them to build strong relationships with both parents, you and your ex may have a difficult time working out all the details. In fact, you may feel that your divorce did nothing to lessen the conflict between the two of you because you continue to fight over parenting issues.

How to approach a divorce objectively

After many years of marriage, couples in Oregon and elsewhere may realize that they aren't compatible with their spouses. While the divorce rate has fallen in recent years, this is not the case for those over the age of 55. For those who are 65 and older, the divorce rate has doubled since 1990. In addition to the emotional toll ending a marriage can cause, there are also financial concerns to think about when getting a divorce later in life.

Ideally, couples will try to work out an equitable divorce settlement through mediation. Doing so could save time and money while also helping to preserve a civil relationship between former spouses. There are several issues that will need to be discussed during settlement talks such as whether either party is entitled to alimony. It will also be important to determine how assets are split and how to decide if an asset is separate or marital property.

Most divorces are initiated by women

Divorces in Oregon and around the country are far more likely to be initiated by women than men according to several studies. After studying more than 300 married couples over a period of 16 years, researchers from the University of Michigan found that women initiate the process twice as often as men do. Other studies have put the figure even higher and suggest that women initiate eight out of 10 divorces. Education also appears to play a role. The American Sociological Association found that women who have graduated college take the first step to end a marriage 90% of the time.

Women sometimes seek a divorce because of money problems and financial insecurity, but they are more likely to take action because they are unhappy. Women tend to rely more on the intimacy and emotional fulfillment that marriage provides, and this can fade over time as couples fall into a routine and communicate less. The figures suggest that men are more willing than women to accept this state of affairs.

When fathers seek custody after a divorce

When fathers in Oregon consider divorce, they may hold back from leaving a clearly unhealthy relationship because they are worried about losing their relationship with their children. However, across the country, family courts increasingly favor joint custody and give both fathers and mothers an equal space to seek custody of their children. Even when physical custody rests primarily with one parent, joint legal custody is generally favored to recognize both parents' important roles in major decisions about the children's future.

Historically, fathers were often treated as less important to the social and emotional development of children. As fathers have become more actively involved in nurturing children, the family courts' approach to involved fathers have also changed. There are a number of factors that can go into a custody decision. In the case of a divorce where the child was living with both parents, there is usually a preference for some type of joint or shared custody. The situation may be more complex if the child had little or no relationship in the past with one of the parents.

Documents worth using during the child custody process

Noncustodial parents who want to win custody of their children will need to show that they have taken an active role in their children's lives. It may also be necessary to show that the custodial parent has made it difficult or impossible to do so. This can be done with phone and visitation logs that show when phone calls or visits occurred and how long they lasted for.

Custodial parents may want to use a lack of phone calls or visits as justification to deny expanded rights for the noncustodial mother or father. It is important to make multiple copies of any records that a parent will use to justify his or her position in a custody case. Furthermore, an individual has the right to review any paperwork used to justify a request for a custody hearing. He or she may include a rebuttal to those documents prior to the hearing.

Retirement and how division of marital property will affect you

Once you make the choice to file for divorce, you may then wonder how that decision will affect you as you move forward. Not only will you have to divide your marital property, you will also have to consider how this process will impact your retirement plans. Whether you are fast approaching your planned retirement date or you are new to the workforce, it's always prudent to think ahead. 

One important factor to consider as you walk through the divorce process is to think about how your choices will affect your life as years go by. What seems right in this moment may not actually be best for you in the long run. It's smart to seek guidance and consider both the short and long-term consequences of your choices while walking through the divorce process.

Advantages of prenuptial agreements

Some people in Oregon might think of a prenuptial agreement as something that is primarily for the very wealthy. While these may be the types of prenups that get the most attention in the news, couples with more modest incomes may also benefit from having one.

One element of the process of divorce is financial disclosure. This means that both individuals must release all information about their assets and debts. One advantage of a prenup is that this disclosure happens prior to the marriage. A prenup can spark a good conversation about how each person views money that can actually strengthen the relationship. This might be a particularly important step if one person in the marriage is going to handle the majority of the finances. When one person in a couple has little knowledge of the marital finances, that person may be at a disadvantage during the divorce process.

Student loan debt: complicated legal aspects to consider

In Oregon and across the United States, a married spouse who opts for divorce is bound to feel stress in one way or another. Besides the strain caused by divorce, there is anxiety about how to divide assets and properties in a fair way. Ascertaining which partner gets the house and which spouse obtains the family car is often problematic. When a spouse has a student loan debt, the natural question comes up as to who is responsible for the payments. One rule of thumb is that any debt acquired before the marriage is the spouse's private property.

Accordingly, a spouse who already had a $75,000 student loan prior to their marriage is still responsible for the debt after a divorce decree. However, the law is more complex when a student loan debt takes place during a marriage. In this situation, the student has a "marital debt." This marital debt is called community property in some states and equitable distribution in others. There are nine community property states in the United States; they include California, Nevada, Texas, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Arizona.

Unemployment during a divorce can be a thorny issue

Getting laid off or fired during a divorce can make an already difficult situation even more stressful for spouses in Oregon and around the country. It can also add a layer of complexity to spousal support negotiations. Spouses who are expected to pay alimony may not be in a position to do so while searching for a new job. On the reverse side, spouses who receive spousal support could need more money to maintain their lifestyle while unemployed.

In these situations, the courts will generally look into the causes of unemployment, and spouses who were laid off through no fault of their own are likely to be treated more sympathetically than those who were fired for misconduct. A family law judge may also ask an unemployed spouse to provide details about the events leading up to their job loss and records of their efforts to find new work.

Impact of divorce on Social Security benefits

Financial concerns are among the most important issues to understand and prepare for when Oregon couples are ending their marriages. According to the Social Security Administration, as much as 96% of workers in America are covered by Social Security. People who have been married may be entitled to retirement benefits, even if they themselves have never worked or have little in terms of earnings during the course of the marriage. If one of the spouses qualifies for benefits, the other may be able to claim up to half.

If the marriage lasted for a period of at least 10 years, a person can collect benefits based on his or her ex-spouse's Social Security record. In order to claim benefits, the person must be at least 62 years old and unmarried. Additionally, the person's Social Security benefit must be less than that of his or her former spouse.

What Will Your Relationships Be Like After This Is All Over?

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Regele Law, LLC
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Salem, OR 97301

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