When Your Child is Emancipated Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support?

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When Your Child is Emancipated Do You Still Have to Pay Child Support?

When you first hear that your child is becoming emancipated, hope can dawn on many a cash strapped parent and ex-spouse. One question usually comes to their mind. When your child is emancipated do you still have to pay child support? But the issue isn’t that simple. It’s more complicated. Your child support responsibility doesn’t automatically end due to emancipation. Instead, you have to petition the court in order to terminate child support. Proceedings from this point vary according to state law. Child support laws vary considerably from state to state. In some states the minute a child turns eighteen child support is over. Whereas in other states it’s when the child turns twenty one or it could even depend on when they finish college. Emancipation itself is a different issue, but the laws on child support will influence the court’s ruling. There are states that require child support be paid to an emancipated child. Even though an emancipated child is supposed to be financially self-sufficient the court could decide that they receive a stipend monthly until they become a certain age. The original child support order may run in tandem or be extinguished due to this. It pays to have an experienced attorney on your side to help navigate this complicated issue.

Make sure you attend your child’s emancipation hearing. Your input won’t be heard otherwise and they may make a decision that is unfavorable to you. It doesn’t matter whether or not you support your child’s decision to become emancipated. You will be able to give your testimony and take part in the decision making process. Your input will be considered. Have with you a copy of your divorce decree. The judge may ask to read it in order to get better acquainted with the case. If they see for instance that this father is paying $400 per month in child support, the judge may redirect that money to the child. Or the court may decide that each party should contribute $200 per month to the child. The age of your kid is one of the most important factors. This will weigh heavily on the judge’s head. If it is a seventeen year old boy the judge may believe that the money being paid to the child is warranted, even if they can support themselves. The judge may also consider the position of each parent. If a parent is against the emancipation they may not grant the child support to the child. If you are angry at your ex-spouse, don’t direct that anger at your child or let that anger cloud your good judgment. Make sure that throughout you have the child’s best interest in mind. For more advice on child support read, Child Support Dollar$ and Sense for NCPs: Practical Advice, Guidance, Resources, and Much More for Non-Custodial Parents Juggling Child Support Issues by Marty Vaughn.

10 Ways Long Term Separations Can Hurt Wives Financially

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10 Ways Long Term Separations Can Hurt Wives Financially

Long term separations can put you in a kind of limbo. For whatever reason either both parties are loath to say goodbye to the marriage but can’t seem to work out their differences or the financial and emotional burden of a divorce is too much for either party to handle right now. Whatever the reason if you find yourself in this kind of situation you aren’t alone. Long-term separations exist for many would-be couples right now. This phenomenon increased significantly during the Great Recession as parties who wanted to divorce were averse to doing so due to financial difficulty or even unemployment on the part of one or both parties. Some people take a weekend away after a heated argument or a few months away to get some distance and gain some perspective on a marriage. But these are considered short term separations. These can last a year, two years or more.  In the short term it can make a lot of sense in that you two are incompatible but by living your separate lives without officially divorcing you avoid the heart ache, the venom that might arise, and the draining emotional toll that a divorce can have on you, and your soon-to-be former spouse. Every decision however has a positive and negative side. The positive you have missed is called an opportunity cost in economics. In this situation waiting too long could have an adverse effect on your pocketbook.  How exactly you might ask? Here are 10 ways long term separations can hurt wives financially.

Number one, you can’t give any input as to how your assets are being allocated by your husband. How is your husband currently managing the finances? Certainly when a divorce settlement occurs you want to be able to receive that which you are entitled. But when living apart you don’t know how your husband is saving, or spending, racking up debt or taking good care of the bills, managing investments, making them, or selling them off. In a Community Property state if your husband is acquiring more debt you in turn are also acquiring it. Check into what kind of state you live in. if it is an Equitable Distribution state the only time you have to worry about this phenomenon is with joint credit cards or any other joint debt. Find out which type of state you are in. Second, your husband may use this time to hide financial assets so they don’t become a part of some future divorce settlement. Third, if your husband loses his job or his financial situation does a 180 your settlement may decrease significantly from what you may have originally acquired. Besides becoming unemployed he may be injured and go on disability. Perhaps he got into legal trouble and so there goes your savings. Fourth, your husband could move to another state, or even another country. Laws from one state to another and one country to another in regard to divorce vary radically, particularly when it comes to alimony. It usually only takes six months to a year to establish residency somewhere else. Moving to another country could make things far worse for your lawyer, complicating things further.

Fifth, the laws governing alimony could change in the state in which you live. Look into your own state law and any bills coming up mentioning alimony reform, for these have been changing the state of alimony and for the most part negatively impact the former wife in a financial sense. Sixth, your future former husband could meet someone. He may use those assets such as your joint savings to buy his new girlfriend lavish gifts, take her on vacations, to fancy restaurants and so on. He may even support her. Seventh, you may have to diminish your living standards during a long separation. Legally, you may have trouble acquiring alimony at the lifestyle which you were previously accustomed to. If you are receiving far less now to live on your soon-to-be ex could say that you don’t need that much since you’ve been living on such a prolonged period on a far more meager income. Eighth, if your husband runs into financial trouble of the legal kind, you could be on the hook for it too. Though you may feel completely different about him since the time you both said, “I do” in the eyes of the law you are still husband and wife. If your husband cheats on his taxes, is sued, or does some other kind of financial shenanigans those assets, though you feel entitled to your fair share, may go to pay legal bills, fines and more. Ninth, without a separation agreement if you depend on your husband to support you, there’s no legal protection against him cutting you off. Number ten, staying separated long term and floating in that limbo makes it hard to move on with the rest of your life. For more pick up a copy of, On Your Own Again: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Getting Through a Divorce or Separation and Getting on with Your Life by Keith Anderson and Roy Macskimming.

Managing the Cost of Divorce

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Managing the Cost of Divorce

A wedding is one of the most expensive events in your life, but a divorce is a close runner up. According to CNNMoney a typical wedding costs around $30,000. The Huffington Post reports that the average divorce costs between $15,000 and $20,000. Of course your wedding may not have cost that much and your divorce may not either. But these kinds of figures will stop your heart if you have to endure them. There are lots of things to pay for; legal bills, court fees, and if you need a forensic accountant or a private investigator your fees could skyrocket. It can be very easy to rack up the bills, particularly if your thoughts are clouded by revenge. Instead of an all-out war that may leave both of you financially barren, why not take a sensible approach, managing the divorce to cut the cost and give you both the chance at a brighter future? One of the most costly things is when a lawyer is used not to make sure that assets are split adequately but to get revenge. Chair of the family law practice at the law firm Brach Eichler, Carl Soranno says, “They go in with the feeling of revenge. Their lawyer is their champion. They love putting together 50-page certifications of all the bad things their spouse did — until about six months in, when you’ve spent your 401(k) or your child’s college fund.” Remember that divorce isn’t about the past, it’s about the future. Don’t sink $3,000 on legal fees fighting over who will buy your kids $200 jacket. If you can’t seem to put your emotions aside, see a therapist. It will be less expensive and healthier for you and your future.

If you are going to get a divorce, don’t go in blind. Do some research. Realize that divorce laws can vary from state to state, so find out what you can about your state’s divorce laws. This way when you need to hire a professional you know what you are talking about and won’t waste time. If you can, why not share pertinent information with your soon-to-be ex-spouse? Saving time is saving money. What’s more, lawyers usually charge by the hour, even with phone calls. Getting right to the point is important. So the more you know the less it should cost you. This doesn’t just mean in the legal sense. Get educated on financial matters as well. Really, divorce is a numbers game, particularly about finances. Do some research online. Look for some free courses. Talk to a financial planner. There are even financial planners out there today who handle divorce, called divorced financial analysts. Make sure they are certified with a good reputation. These planners can help you get a sense of what the assets are, how the negotiations should go, they can generate income and expense reports, and sort out matters to do with wills, insurance, taxes, credit and so on. One of the most time-consuming processes of a divorce is paperwork. You will have to gather it all together. Your attorney should know what you need. Talk to the financial planner as they will have advice on the subject. too. Bring all the documents you need when you have a meeting with your lawyer so as not to waste time and to save money. It makes your lawyer’s job easier and more efficient, too.

Look at your divorce as asset management. If you want $10,000 out of your joint investment but it’s going to take a year and $8,000 for you to get it, is it really worth it? Write down a list of what you really want, from your 401K to real estate, and sort it out with the financial planner and/or lawyer. Be as efficient with your lawyer as possible. Don’t think that your divorce will be different. Of course it might be. But it’s better to keep all your ducks in a row and be as organized and efficient as possible. To learn how to save yourself all kinds of hassles throughout the course of your love life, read The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In, or Moving On! by Michele Lowrance.

If Your Marriage Is Considered Legally Invalid, You Can Seek An Annulment Instead Of A Divorce

Old vintage dime store dolls: groom is caught with two brides.

You can have your marriage annulled if it fits the criteria of not being legally valid.

If you can prove any of the following, then you can be granted an annulment:

  1. Marriage occurred out of force or duress
  2. Marriage occurred with either spouse being mentally incapacitated or unable to understand what they were doing at the time
  3. Marriage occurred when spouse was still legally married to someone else (bigamy)
  4. After the marriage occurred, either spouse became incurably insane for 5+ years
  5. Marriage occurred and either spouse was unable to engage in sexual intercourse

You need to be able to prove at least one of these factors to qualify for an annulment.

This is according to the guidelines supplied by New York State laws.  Be sure to research your state’s laws concerning annulment before pursuing this option.

 

Child Support Is Based On A Strict Formula

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According to New York State government divorce laws, children under the age of 21 are entitled to support payments from the non-custodial parent.  The support is calculated after first calculating the gross income (income before taxes are taken out) of both parents.  Income may also include any benefits the parents may have from pensions, disability, retirement, fellowships, unemployment insurance, etc.

After calculating the incomes of both parents, the incomes are combined and then divided by a percentage based on how many children the parents have together:  One child = 17%, Two children = 25%, Three children = 29%, and so on.

For example, if one parent makes $30,000 per year and the other parent makes $50,000, then the combined income is $80,000.  If they only have one child together, the combined income of $80,000 would be multiplied by 17%.  This would amount to $13,600, which the custodial parent would only be responsible for 25% of, with the remainder left for the non-custodial parent to pay.  The non-custodial parent, having to pay 75%, would be obligated to pay $10,200 per year, or $196 per week.

The hearing examiner can order a different amount based on several factors, such as the financial resources of each parent and tax implications.

Formulas may vary depending on the state you live in, so it’s suggested that you do your research according to your state of residence to determine how much child support you will either be receiving or supplying. This is free information you can find through government websites.