Category : Alimony

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Strange Divorce Ruling

There have been a number of landmark cases that have set precedents for divorce and divorce laws. However, the majority of those were positive and propelled divorce into the 21st century. This being said, across the world, divorce is still seemingly catching up, and in a few rare cases, falling behind, thanks to the laws that were decreed so long ago before the new age of technology.

One instance of a set back in divorce laws is that of Mr. and Mrs. Prest, a case coming out

Pregnant Man Files for Arizona Divorce


You know times have changed when you see a headline starting with “pregnant man.” But in today’s world, where gender roles are continually being debated over, and the institution of marriage is being redefined state by state and law by law, it is no surprise that new scenarios in divorce will eventually come to the forefront.

The Blurred Lines of Marriage, Gender, and Divorce Laws

Transgendered couples’ laws are still in their infancy when it comes to marriage and divorce. So it’s no wonder that when it comes to a divorce in this type of situation, the lines are still completely blurred. Thomas Beatie, a transgendered man, was born a woman in his native state of Hawaii. He underwent an external sex change to become, for all intents and purposes, a man before he married his partner, Nancy, in 2003.

After learning that Nancy was unable to bear children, and still having female reproductive organs, Thomas bore their 3 children, making headlines when photos of him pregnant with a mustache were leaked online. Legally married in Hawaii, which recognizes same sex marriages, the couples have since moved their family to Arizona.

The Difference a State Makes

After moving to Arizona, to live the couple recently decided to file for divorce. While Hawaii recognizes their marriage as legitimate, they also recognize Beatie as a man. Arizona’s law, however, does not recognize same sex marriage and the courts have questioned the validity of their marriage. While Beatie’s lawyer has admitted that this scenario was new territory for Arizona law, he argues that if one state recognizes the legality of the situation, who is Arizona to refute the validity?

While it would technically be cheaper for Thomas to have the state not recognize his marriage and bypass having to pay any spousal support, he and his lawyer state that the case is not about the divorce laws themselves, but about validation for Thomas concerning his marriage.

This case, as with many others concerning either same-sex couples or transgendered couples, will continue to make headlines as they push the boundaries of the court courts and law structures. The social pressure on law makers to allow for same sex couples to experience the same rights in marriage as well as sharing in the divorce procedure has greatly increased in the last 10 years. Stories like this and others will grow more common as a collective push is made to increase the rights couples and transgendered marriages like Thomas’.

Pre-Divorce Filing Tips

Divorce is a messy business, but a business nonetheless. Entering into any business, one needs to know just how to survive and to stay afloat; otherwise, being in over your head is going to catch up, and fast.

One of the first things that needs to be done when entering into a divorce, that may be the hardest, is to try to separate the emotional aspects from the business aspects and be sure to get the help you need so you can get the best financial result possible. If a divorce is anything but amicable, the chances of an ex-spouse going for the jugular as far as finances is concerned is quite high. So here is a short list of things that you should do and think about before rushing to file for that divorce.

Finances, Finances, Finances

Understanding your current financial situation, in depth, is a key factor before entering into any divorce proceedings. Asking yourself questions like “What do I own and what do I owe?” are important. Be sure you know whose name certain assets are in, as well as whose name is on the debts. Credit can be ruined overnight if a spouse’s name is on a debt that is owned by the other spouse.

The Big Divide
Look into, properly allocate, and then separate your credit. Try to establish new credit in your name alone while removing your name from joint credit where possible. This will require closing joint credit cards and bank accounts. Start storing your own cash and assets in a new bank account. Setting up after the divorce is final will not be cheap or easy, so save for the immediate future now.

Think Ahead
Go over all wills and deeds; if your beneficiary choices are affected by the divorce, change them. also, consider your insurance needs: first, you’ll want to make certain that you’ll have uninterrupted health insurance. You may also want to consider requiring life insurance to guarantee continued alimony and child support, should your ex-spouse die prematurely. Decide now how college will be funded for any children involved within the dissolution. You can never plan too much. If you’re not the planning type, now marks a great point in your life to start.

The process of divorce is often a highly charged, emotional time. Don’t let the hectic, roller coaster of divorce lead you to make financial mistakes that can affect you for years to come. Plan ahead at all costs. Be rational and calm, especially in a dissolution that is less than amicable. Chances are, your ex-spouse is not thinking of your needs entirely, so look out for number one, and that’s you( and any children you may have).

How to Save Yourself from an Expensive Divorce


When it comes to divorce, we have all heard the horror stories of how it can get messy. Everyone has a friend of a friend who went through a year-long divorce process that ended up costing him or her thousands of dollars just to get out of the marriage. In years past this all was unavoidable. Depending on your situation you would end up paying a lawyer  tons of money, even if the divorce was amicable. Those days are, thankfully, gone.

Today, it’s the couples’ with the power. Understanding the steps in the process and therefore properly evaluating your decisions can be done without the input of a lawyer. Understandably some situations dictate the necessity of a trained legal professional, but the landscape of the divorce world has clearly changed, here are some tips to work towards an inexpensive divorce.

Keep Divorce Lawyers from Fanning the Flames

File this under the easier said than done category, but the divorce process can be a much smoother process once the couple comes together to work on the particulars. Lawyers are not only expensive, they can also bog down the process, scraping for every inch they can exploit in a situation. While it is understood they are working towards what they believe is the best possible outcome for you, they can be detrimental to your progress. In these cases, unfortunately, the battle can go on and on, until the clients run out of money and limp to the settlement table.

Worse, if there are children, the fight depletes not only your pocketbook, but also your children’s sense of security. Once the legal fight is over, trying to establish a normal ongoing parenting relationship between both parents and the children can be very difficult.

Shouldering the Decision Load

Weeding through the decisions that need to be made when seeking a divorce is tedious and most likely painful. But it really is in the divorcing couple’s best interest, whenever possible, to tackle these matters together, rather that bickering and fighting over everything through the jargon and manifesto of divorce lawyers. Working together or with an agreed upon third party (such as a divorce mediator) on crucial decisions can help you and your spouse come to quick , fair decisions on the important matters. Not to mention, this saves both time and money.

If you are able to resolve the big questions surrounding children, money, and property, then you just need to ask the court, in writing, to grant a divorce. In many states, you don’t even have to appear in court. Many courts now make it relatively easy for people to handle an uncontested divorce without a lawyer.

While some situations need a divorce lawyer, in today’s society more the of responsibility has been continually placed on the couple themselves. The rise of online divorces has given many couples the freedom to control their divorce process, making decisions with their spouses and getting through the process with both their savings account and dignity intact. Don’t allow yourself to put yourself in a deep hole when you’re already trying to get out of one. Do the research on your situation and find out if online divorce is right for you.

Caught Hiding Assets During a Divorce

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally complicated matter. Every divorce scenario differs, but each is the literal split in which tension has been building for some time, and in truth it can entice people to make questionable decisions. Filing for divorce is not a simple situation, and can be a long and tedious process. It is essentially laying everything on the table for the spouses to sift through everything accumulated throughout their years of marriage.  When it comes to the legalities of the divorce process things can get a bit tricky, especially with finances. In many cases a spouses might not disclose all their assets, or try to hide sources of money so it is not included in the fair split between the spouses during the divorce proceedings.

Withholding Assets

Discussing incomes, money, and assets within the divorce procedure can lead some to attempt to hide their value, or purposely mislead the courts and the spouse as to how much they are worth. Even though this is not an uncommon thing, full disclosure is the law and subject to severe repercussions. These situations most commonly include, but may not be limited to:

  1. Hide, understate, or undervalue certain marital property;
  2. Overstate debts;
  3. Report lower than actual income;
  4. Report higher than actual expenses.

Proof of Deception

According to a recent study by the National Endowment for Financial Education, financial deception in the divorce process is still a common occurrence. Part of the study took a look at divorce across the country and surveyed a number of divorced couples, and found 31% of adults who combined assets with a spouse or partner said they have been deceptive about money. Also within the study were other prominent findings, such as:

  1. Nearly three in five of those surveyed (58 percent) said they hid cash from their partner or spouse.
  2. More than half (54 percent) hid a minor purchase from their partner or spouse.
  3. An additional 30 percent hid a statement or a bill from their partner or spouse.
  4. 34 percent admitted they lied about finances, debt, and/or money earned.

When it comes to finances, people can make some amazingly unwise decisions. Divorce often becomes a time when people use emotional ammunition to convince themselves this deception is not only warranted, but justified. Keeping perspective and a level head during divorce proceedings can benefit spouses in ways they probably had not imagined. Keeping a level head about your divorce helps you qualify for an online divorce, allowing you to handle the splitting of assets honestly and quickly with your partner and can save you thousands in legal costs. Visit today and learn how you can save thousands and get on with your life.

The Three Ways to Divorce

Filing for a divorce is the beginning of a major change in one’s life. There are two components of the divorce process that are sometimes hard to keep separated. The emotional divorce, which might already have happened between the divorcing couple, and the official divorce proceedings, which is usually a ongoing. In the official divorce proceeding almost every aspect of the marriage and material goods is negotiated and divided in a way that either the couple sees fit, or the courts deem fair.

However, it is often the case that many couples, clinging to the intense emotional side of divorce, cannot come to a reasonable decision regarding spousal or child support, as well as the division of marital assets. Even with the help of mediation, the intensely personal situation can create a standoff between spouses. The standoff often then leads to the costly arbitration and litigation process. Let’s take a look at the 3 ways the standoff between divorcing spouses can be worked though.


Negotiations are the first step in the process of reaching an agreement between spouses on all the assets, custody, and potential support agreements. Think of the negotiations as taking your wish list regarding how you divide your assets and what your parenting responsibilities should be, and use that wishlist as your starting point. “It’s me and my lawyer versus you and your lawyer finding a compromise”– all with the goal of reaching an acceptable middle ground. Try to avoid the “it’s me and my lawyer versus you and your lawyer trying to get as much as possible,” because then you both will be are stuck in a stubborn, petty stalemate.

The purpose of negotiation is using it to avoid trial. When people file for divorce there’s an expectation that there will be some maneuvering and bargaining and, eventually, a settlement rather than full blown court trial. The typical pattern is to use the threat of trial to get people to bargain and stay out of court.


Arbitration is, in a way, similar to litigation, but it is outside of a courtroom. It is a private process. The divorcing spouses, together with their lawyers, pick a third party decision maker, who is usually a retired judge or senior lawyer with family law experience.

What happens in arbitration is the decision being debated between the couple is imposed by the arbitrator. Unlike mediation, no one helps the couple come to an agreement; the decision is made for them. And, usually, if you don’t like the decision it can’t be appealed, which means you can’t argue it out again for the decision maker to change his or her mind.


Litigation is usually the option of last resort. Going to court can be emotionally difficult and very expensive. The lawyers try to poke holes in your persona, showing that you are unfit. That’s why it is called the adversarial process. There is one winner, and one loser. It’s not a win – win situation. It’s a war and there are distinct sides.

Like arbitration, the decision is made by a third party. Unlike arbitration, you can’t pick your decision maker and the judge doesn’t always have family law experience. Another difference is that arbitration is private, and litigation is public. Being public means that there is a public, court record of the dispute.

Avoiding arbitration and litigation is the goal of most divorcing couples. Having to go through a long, dragged out process that ultimately may take the decision-making power out of your hands on very personal matters is simply unacceptable for most people. Today with the option of an online, do it yourself divorce, couples who make an agreement on the major issues of their dissolution can save tremendous amounts of time and money by doing it themselves. At we provide those couples who qualify for an online divorce with accurate and 100% legal divorce papers. Visit our site today and take the first step towards the next phase of your life.

Social Security & Alimony


It isn’t typical for an alimony case to be associated with the U.S Supreme Court, however, in one case from the state of Oregon this is exactly what happened. The dispute between spouses over alimony from Linn County, Oregon in 2009 finally came to a conclusion after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case entirely.

The case involved a spouse who was disputing the fact that he had to pay alimony of any kind, even though he was ordered to do so under the divorce statutes of the state of Oregon. The husband decreed that he couldn’t pay alimony as his only means of income came from Social Security benefits.

Many things can complicate the finalization of any divorce, especially in the areas of child support or spousal support. Even if the spouses generally agree on issues of property division, child support, or spousal support, the process is no easy task.  More often, there is some disagreement over issues, such as one spouse’s obligation to pay or how the division of marital debt should be accomplished.

In this particular case, both the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court refused to hear the case, which involved the husband’s obligation to pay alimony. The husband, whose only income is provided by disability benefits from the Social Security and Veterans Administrations, argued his VA disability benefits cannot be used to determine spousal support obligations because such payments are solely intended for the welfare of the veteran. He was technically true in his argument, but the family law court trumped this rule in favor of the wife in question.


The husband was ordered to pay $1,000 per month in alimony to his ex-wife based on the combined total of his SSDI and VA benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (FSPA) specifically states benefits for veterans are subject to divorce judgments; meaning whatever ruling the divorce court made would overrule all previous rulings or acts put into place. This federal law was passed in response to a Supreme Court holding in 1981 that protected military retirement funds from spousal support awards.

None of the appellate courts apparently found legal merit in the husband’s argument that the FSPA was not intended to be applied to disability benefits for veterans’ spouses.

Fighting his way all the way past multiple failed attempts, the husband finally took  his case to the U.S. Supreme court, where the case was thrown out. The husband was ordered to pay his alimony and in turn lost money through legal fees and court fees in order to have his case turned away again.

Being Amicable Pays Dividends
Resolving financial matters is a vital part of the divorce process, as both spouses have a vital interest in securing an independent future and maintaining their lifestyles to the best extent possible. This being said, however, fighting as far as the U.S Supreme Court, after failed attempts in smaller court, is just a waste of time. Laws are set in place to look out for the best interest of children and to financially support spouses after the dissolution is finalized. Moral of the story: Being amicable, making a plan, and agreeing, always works best.

Divorced Women Lose Health Insurance

Each year, thousands of couples file and go through the divorce process. While divorce has become notorious for bringing about long heated battles between husband and wife, there are other repercussions that can be more damaging than losing marital property. Health insurance is already a frequently debated topic in our nation with President Obama’s health care plan to bring about a new era in health care coverage. However, a recent study has shown that divorce of all things can affect a woman’s ability to retain their health care coverage. Let’s take a look.

Study Released

A study released by the University of Michigan and supported by the University of Michigan’s national Poverty Center shows a reoccurring problem for women after divorce. The study was analyzed and focused on nationally representative data ranging from 1996 to 2007. It had a range of ages in women from 26 to 64. The results of the study showed that 65,000 divorced women will lose all of their health insurance coverage in the months following a divorce. The reasons stated was that they no longer would qualify as dependents under their husband’s policies, and many reported being unable to afford the premiums that go with having private insurance. In spite of the financial hardships that can be a result of a divorce, many of these women do not qualify for Medicaid and other various public insurance options.

Reasons for the Repercussions

Women with employer-based jobs were said to have less trouble in losing their coverage. It was reported that women in moderate-income families face the greatest loss of insurance coverage. They are seemingly caught in the middle, while higher income women can afford private premiums and lower-income families qualify for public aid of certain kinds. Women and families in the middle can do neither.

It remains to be seen what the Affordable Care Act can do to potentially change this situation, or if it is something that will need to be readdressed separately as part of an overarching plan to get people insurance who were covered under their ex-husbands or even ex-wife’s plans. However, there are provisions that will potentially address this situation that may be of substantial help to those in need.

While divorce can be a socially and financially taxing time it doesn’t always have to be. At, we have all the information needed to learn about divorce laws and the divorce process. Pursuing an uncontested online divorce can be a way to save both time and money when entering into the divorce process. Visit to learn how you can pursue a cheap, online divorce today.

New York’s New Strange Divorce Law

New York has never played by common divorce laws adopted by basically every other U.S. state, so it’s no surprise the little stubborn state is making waves again. This time the Empire State is getting flack for their alimony laws. More specifically, the way New York divorce courts recognize degrees obtained during a marriage is under scrutiny.

Case in Point

In a Wall Street Journal article on the subject, an example of the unfair New York alimony laws was found in the divorce case between Tanya Finch and Kenneth Quarty. The couple married in 2000, around the time Finch started working on her nursing degree. The couple divorced in 2009, by which time Finch had received her nursing degree. During the divorce, Quarty requested and was eligible to receive a percentage of the money Finch would potentially earn as a direct result of the degree she earned during their marriage.

Quarty was able to obtain this “potentially” earned money upfront because of the New York divorce law that recognizes a degree or professional license as marital property. New York courts calculate the lifetime worth of the degree, and divide that value into two as a part of the marital estate. This practice and New York’s other strange divorce laws have been petitioned and submitted for review.

Who Really Owns Your Degree?

When people enroll in any college, university, trade or skilled craft course, they anticipate the moment when they will receive a certificate of completion with their name on it. However, based on the New York law, that certificate or diploma might as well be reprinted to state the alumnus’s spouses’ name as well as the alumnus’s. In fact, any employee may as well include their spouses name on their payroll account because the state of New York also views any profits from any career as marital property.

New York’s law is not unfounded completely because any spouses income is in theory supplemented and supported by the other spouse’s support, which can be as menial as washing dishes while the student spouse is studying.

Why, Oh, Why?

However, New York lawyers and divorcees are not fighting the order to pay spousal support or maintenance. New Yorkers are astonished by and fighting the courts’ ability to grant “potential income,” which is money a person has not earned yet. New York citizens are frozen stiff at the sheer amount of money they “owe” their divorced spouse, most of which they are not even expected to have at the time of ruling.

The New York alimony regulations were originally fashioned to level the playing field for low-income, dependent spouses of a divorce. Yet in these changing times, the inequality of the laws and regulations have been exposed. Currently, New York law makers are waiting for the Law Revision Commission report before taking measures to change this piece of legislature.

A Little Lesson About Taxes and Divorce

200264112-001Oh, tax season. The time of year when you can hear the clickety-clack of calculator buttons, and smell the nervous sweat on men and women alike. The only thing that could improve this glorious season is divorce.

…Said no one ever, not even tax specialists. In fact, the only thing that makes tax season worse is divorce (or is it the other way around?). But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, taxes can still be relatively simple as long as you know the basics. Where divorce is concerned, the tax basics are: deciding on a filing status, navigating the exemptions, and figuring out the tax refund.

Find Your Filing Status

Filing statuses are fairly cut and dry, so there isn’t too much confusion or misinformation about how to file your taxes. However, there are a few options available to couples who are separating or staying together.

Generally, a person’s legal filing status goes by what their status was at the end of the tax year. If you were legally divorced, or legally separated by or on December 31st, 2012, or living separate and apart for the last 6 months of 2012, then you will file as single or head of household. If you were still legally married by or on December 31st, 2012, then you will file as married.

However, married couples do have the option of filing taxes together or separately. So if you were still legally married by December 31st, and your and your soon-to-be-ex don’t want to file together, you may file as “married filing separately.” Just note that by opting to file married but separately, you are opting out of the tax benefits of filing as married; so if you and your spouse can tolerate each other it might be beneficial to give filing taxes together one more go.

Catch a Tax Break or Exemption

The most common and plentiful tax exemptions are for married couples with children; and the most common misconception divorced couples have about taxes is that they can both take exemptions for the child. Divorced couples can divide the exemptions, but there cannot be two people claiming exemptions for one child.

Most couples choose to alternate years claiming the children on their taxes. For example, the mother would claim the children on even years, and the father would claim the children on odd years. However, the parent with primary custody of the child usually claims the child every year. If the other parent pays for the child’s medical expenses, that parent may take those deductions.

Just as a little disclaimer, one child expense that is not tax deductible is child support. The parent paying the child support cannot take deductions for the payments made because child support is considered tax neutral.

The Tax Refund Raffle

That night, after filing taxes, everyone goes to bed with dreams of a big, fat tax refund dancing through their mind. Divorce does not dissuade this pipe dream of swimming in your tax refund, but here are ways to increase your little neat refund pile. As tax refunds go, married people with children they can claim as dependents have it pretty good.

As a divorcee, you may be hanging your head, but don’t despair for too long. Divorcees can get better tax refunds if they pay alimony, if they can claim any children as dependents, and more.

Have any more pressing tax questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll get to the bottom of it for you.