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Reno Nevada Family Law Blog

Military couples face higher divorce rates

Nevada couples who are contemplating divorcing may be affected by their careers. Work and financial stresses can be some of the major factors in the end of a marriage. U.S. Census data has tended to underline this common knowledge, with certain careers standing out as having a higher likelihood of experiencing divorce.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that military careers are towards the top of the list in terms of high divorce rates, at least with respect to people 30 or younger. The stress of deployments and dangerous tasks can be difficult for any relationship. More than that, military families often marry younger than others, and military careers often require a number of moves around the country. These factors are exacerbated by serious mental health concerns like PTSD after a deployment in combat.

Common myths about divorce

Nevada couples who are considering ending their marriage may get a lot of well-meaning advice from family, friends and acquaintances, but some of that advice may be inaccurate. For example, people may think a no-fault divorce means that a person's misconduct is irrelevant. However, in some limited cases, financial misconduct by one spouse could affect property division.

A couple might hear that they can easily calculate child support by looking at state child support guidelines. However, determining child support can be very complex for reasons including variations in how income is determined and what other factors are taken into account. Another myth is that two spouses can be represented by the same attorney in a divorce. This is not the case, and if an attorney offers this, the couple should seek more ethical counsel.

Child custody and deportation

Immigrants fearing deportation and their families and friends in Reno may want to be aware of a new trend in child custody preparations. Though lacking documentation to legally stay in the United States themselves, many non-citizens are loathe to return to their home countries with their children. They cite ongoing violence and gangs as a constant threat. Another goal is to provide their children with better education and work opportunities than is available elsewhere.

Children born in the United States are granted citizenship status, but this does not mean their undocumented parents can remain in the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can remove these parents if they are caught, and the situation can become worse if there are also criminal charges. However, some parents are taking steps to protect their children and assets by transferring child custody and signing over control of their assets.

Blended families can prepare for the future

Many divorced Nevada parents find each other later in life and plan to come together as a blended family. They will not be alone, as a 2015 study found that 16 percent of children in the United States live in blended families that include step-siblings, half-siblings and step-parents.

When planning to build a blended family, there are major legal and financial considerations for parents to keep in mind in order to protect the best interests of their children. Parents who remarry after years of raising their children separately often have accumulated assets, including real estate and investment accounts.

Making tax-deductible alimony payments

If a Nevadan owes alimony to a former spouse, that support might be tax-deductible. According to a decision by the U.S. Tax Court, however, the payment can only be deducted if it's specifically mentioned in a divorce or separation agreement.

The man whose case went before the tax court failed to specify a certain spousal payment. He and his wife had divorced in 2007, but before the divorce, he paid her a portion of a bonus he earned in 2006. The two signed an agreement regarding the payment of the bonus and how he would claim it on his taxes. A later spousal support order specified that he would pay temporary support in the amount of $3,270 per month plus a percentage of his monthly income if it went above $12,500. The spousal support order did not mention the bonus, so the tax court decided that he could not claim it as a deduction.

7 ways to make divorce easier on your kids

Divorce can be particularly difficult for children, no matter what their age. Unlike adults, they lack the tools to deal with the grief that comes with this major life change. Children may worry that they will lose their parents' love or feel that the divorce is somehow their fault. They may have difficulties adjusting to a new schedule or with transitioning between parents.

Luckily, this isn't a hopeless situation for parents. There are things you can do to help your children deal with the divorce and to ease their transition into a new routine.

Learning about different types of guardians

When a Nevada resident becomes incapable of making his or her own decisions, a guardian can be appointed. A guardian may be considered either a testamentary guardian or a temporary guardian. A testamentary guardian is someone who is appointed under a parent's will to look after a minor child or an adult child who has special needs.

This appointment is made as part of a properly created will. However, a judge will still have to determine that the named guardian is fit to look after the child. If no appointment is made, state law will generally determine who the child's guardian is. Temporary guardianship may take several different forms. For instance, limited guardianship allows a person to make a narrow range of decisions for an adult who suffers from developmental disabilities.

How to make financial preparations for a divorce

Nevada couples who are ending their marriage might be worried about how it will affect them financially. By taking stock of finances before the divorce is underway, people can begin to understand how property might be divided and what a budget might look like when they become single. Tracking household expenses and gathering documentation, such as bank statements and tax returns, may help in this review of finances. Gathering documents might also help in the event that the other spouse is reluctant to share financial information later in the process.

In many cases, people will get advice from others, and while their intentions may be good, the advice can also be misleading. Some people might base it on their experiences in different situations. More reliable counsel may be available from legal and financial professionals.

Co-parenting doesn’t come naturally

When you got married, you didn’t plan to get divorced. When you had children with your then-spouse, you didn’t plan on raising them in two separate households. Unfortunately, it happened and here you are, learning how to manage this new life. While you weren’t prepared for any of it, one thing stands out: co-parenting isn’t easy.

Being on the same page as another person when it comes to decisions about how to raise children is challenging under the best of circumstances. When you and the other parent had a contentious divorce, where there is still real pain and hurt, co-parenting may seem impossible.

Tips to help kids adjust to divorce

When children in Nevada experience their parents' divorce, they rely on their parents for emotional support and guidance. Although parents are dealing with their own challenges, they also need to manage the situation for their children. To begin the transition to a new kind of family life, the parents should inform the children about the divorce. They do not have to share many details, but it's important to explain that they still love the children.

After breaking the news, each parent should continue to check in with the children. Questions could arise as each child contemplates the situation, and parents should make themselves available for conversation, even if a child is not reaching out.

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