Hartley Law Office, LLC

Hartley Law Office, LLC

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Dayton Family Law Blog

How does a QDRO work?

One of the most valuable assets that a Dayton, Ohio, couple may have between them is their respective retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, pensions and the like. Those who regularly contribute to these plans can amass tens of thousands of dollars as they get closer and closer to retirement.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that retirement plans are a big issue when an Ohio couple over the age of 50 opts to divorce or legally separate. While they are subject to a fair and equitable property division just like other assets and debts, there are some special rules and principles that apply to them.

Be aware of impending tax change to spousal support

One thing Dayton, Ohio, residents, as well as members of the military and their families who are staying in the area, need to be aware of is that divorce, and other forms of legal separation for that matter, can affect one's tax situation in many ways.

For instance, under current rules, the payment spousal support, which is also commonly referred to as alimony, qualifies the person making the payment for a federal income tax deduction. The person receiving these payments, on the other hand, must report them as income.

Don't forget to think about debt during your divorce

Divorce causes many financial worries - dividing property, determining spousal support, and legal costs among them. But it's important to remember that debts are not only included in divorce but are also divided differently, and often follow you even after the divorce is finalized. 

It may be better to walk away from the house

A previous post on this blog talked about some common errors in thinking that may make a Dayton, Ohio, resident's divorce or separation take a turn for the worse.

To add to that list, another common mistake is to not think through the short-term and long-term financial consequences of one's decisions and how they may affect would otherwise seems like a fair bottom line in a property settlement or, for that matter, a court-ordered division of property.

In the rush to divorce, don’t make these 3 mistakes

By the time a spouse files for divorce, it is very possible that the relationship ended a long time ago. One or both parties may have already moved out and on to new partners, for instance, or the marriage has been so broken for so long that the divorce process seems like little more than a formality.

Under these circumstance, getting through the divorce as quickly as possible can be a top priority. However, in the rush to divorce, people can make some serious missteps that make sense in the short term, but ultimately have painful long-term consequences.

Have you considered the advantages of a legal separation?

If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, one thing is certain: Divorce is final. Perhaps you are not ready to take this step; many couples are not entirely sure that divorce is what they really want.

There is another solution to the marital issues you have. You could opt for a legal separation, which offers certain advantages.

Special issues may arise in a gray divorce

The one age group in which the number of couples getting divorced has continued to increase is the group of men and women who are over 50 years old.

While generally the divorce rate has been dropping across the country, those Ohioans in the Dayton area who are willing to go through a so-called gray divorce are more plentiful. Across the country, the rate of gray divorcees has exploded from 1 out of 10 as of 1990 to 1 out of 4 within the last few years.

Putting a value on a family business

Many residents of Dayton, Ohio, and the surrounding area own small businesses that may have been in their families for years or even generations. Often, when people get married, both spouses participate in the family business, and they may even both own shares in the enterprise.

While it is always a good idea for people to know how to put a value on their business, as it can become necessary to sell it, take a loan, or the like at any time, valuing the business is particularly important during a divorce or separation. This is because if the business is marital property, a couple's interest in that business will have to divided fairly as part of the property division process.

Child custody and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

When divorced military servicemembers in Dayton are called to active duty, many have questions about whether or how deployment will affect their arrangements regarding custody of their children. To understand the legal context surrounding child custody and military deployment, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is crucial.

SCRA provides protection for servicemembers from certain types of legal actions that may be filed against them in the United States while they are serving on active duty. Importantly, it does not bar lawsuits or render immunity from them. It allows for the "temporary suspension" of actions that could "adversely affect the civil rights" of active duty military personnel. The suspension generally lasts until the servicemember is able to make an appearance in court once active duty status has ended.

Divorce mediation for Dayton residents (Part 2)

As we began discussing last week on our blog, Dayton residents may find that mediation provides some advantages over the traditional process (i.e., litigation) of ending a marriage. It can help ease tensions and lay the groundwork for a better co-parenting relationship post-divorce; it can also save money and produce an agreement more likely to endure over the long term.

However, divorce mediation is not designed for every situation. In order to be successful, there must be open communication and trust between the partners, and an ability to negotiate. Sometimes emotions are simply too high, resentment has become toxic or there is a history of betrayal by one or both partners. A mediator cannot force a settlement upon a couple, and in these scenarios it may require litigation to resolve the issues necessary to complete the divorce.

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