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Rhode Island Family Law Blog

Debating the possibility of divorce when you have kids

Nearly all married parents who have serious problems in their relationship debate whether it's better for their children if they remain together or divorce. Divorce is nearly always upsetting for kids to some degree. However, living in a home where parents are constantly fighting or not speaking isn't healthy either.

So how do parents decide whether ending the marriage is best for the kids (and themselves)? Of course, every situation is different. Do the pros of staying together outweigh those of divorcing or vice versa?

Requirements for tax-deductible alimony payments

If your divorce agreement requires you to pay alimony to your ex-spouse, one good piece of news is that it's likely tax deductible for you. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specific requirements for alimony payments to be deductible.

These requirements are fairly straightforward and haven't changed in some time. However, there's still confusion for too many people.

Build your social life after divorce at your own pace

Many people don't feel like socializing while they're going through a divorce. You may value the company of a close friend with whom you can share your emotions over lunch. However, getting out there and socializing with larger groups of people -- assuming that you used to do that -- can be difficult.

Following are some important things to understand about your post-divorce social life.

Should you sell the house when you divorce?

One of the biggest decisions couples make in a divorce is what to do with their home. There's no one right or wrong decision that's best for every couple.

Some decide to sell it right away and split the proceeds. One spouse may buy out the other and keep ii or ask for the house in exchange for a reduction in spousal and/or child support.

Asset valuation is important to your divorce settlement

Before divorce, obtaining an accurate valuation of your assets is necessary to make sure you choose the right settlement. If you own a business, it's particularly important to obtain a fair valuation. For example, you may choose to have a fair market value or to use the business's book value. It's a choice you and your spouse should make when hiring someone to evaluate your property.

Remember that there are many different things that need a clear value. For instance, the office space, furniture, computer equipment and even office supplies count in the value of your business property. Any land you own should be valued at its historical cost. If you have an inventory, you need to record the value at its purchase price, not at the price at which you intend to sell. In some cases, it's possible to have the inventory's value lowered, like if it's damaged or obsolete.

Sharing your kids with your ex during the holidays

If you're facing your first holiday season as a newly-separated or divorced parent, you're likely doing so with some sense of sadness and anxiety. No matter what your custody and visitation agreement is with your spouse, the kids are probably going to be spending some part of their Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations with their other parent.

However, you can still make the holidays fun and memorable for the kids as well as for yourself.

Divorce is filled with teachable moments for your kids

Sometimes the worst events and circumstances can provide the best teachable moments for our children. Divorce is one of those. As stressful as this time may be for them, if parents model positive behavior, kids can learn a lot about how to handle conflict in a constructive manner, deal with negative emotions and work with people they may not see eye to eye with. These are all skills they will need as they move into adulthood.

Coping

Women do themselves a disservice by avoiding money talk

"We need to talk."

That's the phrase that women need to embed in their minds when it comes to money issues. However, too many women still adhere to social taboos that make them uncomfortable confronting the men in their lives about money issues -- whether that man is a business partner, money manager, romantic partner or spouse.

Various factors go into alimony support orders

One of the factors that is present in some divorces, but not all, is the possibility of spousal support. There are many different considerations that go into the order for these payments. Whether you are the party requesting the support or the party who might have to pay, you should understand some of the factors that might impact these payments.

Spousal support payments might be lowered or stopped if the party who is requesting or receiving support is living with someone as a couple. This can't be a basic roommate situation, there has to be more to the story. Typically, your ex and the person he or she is living with have to share expenses and have what is construed as a permanent agreement.

The stages of emotions during divorce can cause conflict

Divorces have the potential to be incredibly conflicting. You may have trouble dealing with your spouse, even though you once loved each other. It's no secret that divorces are emotional, and for that reason, you need to learn how to manage those emotions during your case.

When emotions are out of control, it makes a divorce case difficult. You may not want to participate and drag out the divorce yourself, or you could find that your spouse won't agree to anything you want. In those cases, mediation can help you address your emotions while also addressing your divorce by taking the emotions out of it.