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Avoiding unfair divorce demands in South Carolina

Many divorcing spouses try to resolve matters outside of court in order to keep costs to a minimum. While this may be a good solution for some, others might try to avoid the court system in order to manipulate the situation. An individual who feels that the other party is making demands that are out of line might need to discuss their situation with a lawyer.

Marital property can be subject to division during a divorce. Issues such as one spouse staying out of the workforce for an extended period to raise children could figure into the process of dividing assets. It may be reasonable to keep inheritances and personal gifts out of consideration, but if such resources have been used to finance a family home, the funds might be subject to division because of commingling. Dealing with a family home can be challenging regardless of how it was purchased. Deciding who will live in the home could produce further tensions.

When should women file for divorce?

South Carolina couples may be interested to learn that most people file for divorce in March and August, according to a study. January is also so popular for divorce that "Divorce Monday" has become a New Year's tradition for many family law firms.

Why are January, March and August so popular? Mostly because these months mark the end of emotional times of the year, such as the holidays, Valentine's Day or summer break. However, divorce experts say the time of year people choose to divorce should be based on financial considerations, not emotional ones. This is especially true of women who are divorcing.

Deciding who gets the house in a divorce

Arguments over matters like child custody and spousal support can quickly become heated during a divorce, but South Carolina couples are often able to put their animosities to one side when the subject being discussed is the future of the family home. The primary residence is usually the most valuable marital asset, and it may be prudent to sell the property and divide any proceeds between the spouses.

Family court judges may choose to take this path when spouses are unable to reach an amicable divorce settlement, but these decisions can be difficult when the couple involved have young children. The best interests of the children involved is the primary concern in these types of cases, and judges may be swayed by research showing that the upheaval and psychological trauma of the divorce process can leave vulnerable children with emotional scars that never completely heal.

Debunking child custody myths

Family court cases in South Carolina can range greatly in nature. When divorce and child custody matters include a history of domestic abuse, the judge will prioritize the children's best interests. However, the manner in which such issues play out might surprise the parties involved. In fact, there are several myths regarding child custody decisions.

Common sense might suggest that a child custody decision involving an abusive parent might involve placing a child with the non-abusive party and limiting visitation rights for the other parent. However, the emotional impact of going through domestic abuse and divorce could involve fear and depression that interfere with the non-abusive parent's ability to care for their child. A judge might deem that parent unable to handle primary custody. In some rare instances, this could leave no alternative but to place the child with the other parent.

Managing a college savings account after a divorce

South Carolina residents considering a divorce or going through the process may be concerned about the fate of any long term investments that they made while married. It is possible that some savings accounts might be lost during the divorce or misspent by one of the departing spouses. Even investments such as savings for a child's college education may be at risk.

Many divorcing couples deal with this issue through a separation agreement. This is a signed contract between the former spouses that is often created before the divorce is finalized. It should cover gray areas and provide binding instructions for future use of savings account funds.

Points to consider when dividing retirement accounts

South Carolina couples over the age of 50 may be more likely to divorce than couples in their age group in past years. In 1990, fewer than half the number of couples over 50 divorced compared to today. While the main concern among younger couples who divorce might be child custody, for older couples, the focus is often on retirement accounts.

Divorcees need to keep a number of points in mind when they consider how their retirement accounts will be divided. For example, some types of retirement accounts, such as pensions and IRAs, are taxed when money is withdrawn while others, such as a Roth IRA, are taxed at contribution. Therefore, the value of retirement accounts after tax should be considered. Furthermore, people should keep in mind that the amount of money they make will affect which tax bracket they are in. Therefore, they might want to consider having each person take a different pre-tax amount to make the amount roughly equal after taxes.

Property division and the value of a business

Divorces can often be stressful and complicated. This is especially true when one or both spouses own a business in South Carolina. Along with other property, the business may need to be divided between the spouses. The first step in the division process will be to determine an accurate value of the business.

A complex business or the request by a third party, such as a judge or an arbitrator, for the value of the business, might mean that a full valuation is needed. This is the most accurate way of assessing the value of a business. It is also the more expensive and time-consuming option.

Divorce, video games, and co-parenting matters

Co-parenting after ending a marriage can be impacted by the manner in which South Carolina parents have approached their divorce. Those who work together through mediation or collaboration often seek solutions that will encompass the goals of both parties while keeping the best interests of a child in focus. However, those who have gone through a court battle could continue to experience major contentions over matters that are not particularly serious. The issue of screen time and video games, for example, might be a significant concern for some parents and a minor interest for others. Moderating a child's screen time when they are away from home could depend on the co-parenting relationship.

Custody and visitation decisions made by a judge tend to be based on a child's best interest, but these decisions are not likely to focus on every possible scenario that could be faced in either parental home. One of the best ways to provide a framework for moderation and limitations with a child's screen time is to discuss the issue with the other parent. Although one's view might be different, a compromise could be reached to ensure that a child's routines are not negatively affected by game play.

Child support for future Olympic athletes

Many South Carolina residents watched television coverage of Michael Phelps and Gabby Douglas competing at the Rio Summer Olympics. The two athletes are both at the top of their game, and they are both children of divorced parents. Phelps and Douglas are a reminder that children can still accomplish great things after their parents end their marriage.

A divorced parent who believes that they may have the next little Phelps or Douglas will probably have a lot of athletic expenses each month. Paying for extra coaching, traveling to compete in tournaments and purchasing sports equipment can add up. In some cases, a divorced parent who is paying child support may have to pay extra to cover the child's athletic expenses.

Divorce and custody cases make relocating less likely

In the past, it was fairly common for people to move to other states in order to get better jobs, to have better living situations and to have brighter futures. Since the mid-1960s, however, the U.S. migration rates have significantly declined. A study points to the idea that divorce and child custody have a strong impact on why people in South Carolina and around the country are choosing to stay put rather than to move.

A researcher at the University of Connecticut looked at data concerning divorce and child custody along with migration rates. Migration for this purpose is defined as a person moving from one state to another. He found that divorce and child custody cases were strongly correlated with a reduction in the migration rates. Parents who have gone through child custody cases are especially less likely to move.