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3 Tips for Navigating Taxes When Filing for a Divorce

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Filing for a divorce is always a hassle. Dealing with taxes while in middle of the divorce process just makes things more confusing. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Know Your Filing Status

Your filing status depends on your marital status on December 31st of the year you’re filing for. If you were already divorced then, you should file as a single. If you were married, you’ll file as married. If filing as married, you can file either jointly or separately.

Communication Is Key

You may not want to ever talk to your spouse again, but it’s important that you communicate about filing taxes. You don’t want one of you filing jointly and the other filing separately. You also don’t want both of you filing separately and each claiming your children as dependents. This is a sure way to get the IRS knocking on your door for an audit. Also, remember that joint returns have joint liability for any funny stuff.

Child Support and Alimony

If you’re paying child support, that is not tax deductible. If you’re paying alimony, however, that is deductible. If you are receiving alimony, then that is reportable income. Keep in mind that if you are paying interim support without a court order specifying that you pay alimony, then you can not report it as alimony. There are some other instances where alimony may not be deductible, so learn about the rules.

Need help with filing for a divorce? Contact us for legal help today!

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Family Law: Divorce isn't war. It's the beginnings of Peaceful Negotiations

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Have you ever felt like you were the only person in a conversation? The other person seems uninterested, detached, or distracted? Or maybe it just feels like they are listening only well enough to see where the breaks in conversation are going to open up, and they are just waiting for their turn to talk. Chances are if you are in the midst of a divorce right now, you might not have felt like your soon-to-be former spouse was ever listening. What makes you think they are going to listen now? Why should they? After all, you are at war.

Divorce isn't a war. The war was your marriage, and now you are beginning the process of peaceful negotiation. Now is the time you both can continue on with your lives and are able to follow your own paths, without getting in each other's way. When navigating the mediation table, you might feel like you are in a similar situation as you were during your marriage. A lot of people are talking, but nobody is listening. The problem is both of you want to be right. You know you are right!

Not listening might have played a part in the end of your marriage, but that doesn't mean it has to continue into your new found life. The best way to listen is to stop talking just to hear yourself. The first step in getting someone else to listen to you is to listen to them. Stop talking. Wait. If they are still talking, wait until they are done, re-engage in the discourse, or allow your attorney to intervene.

Are you seeking a resolution in your family law case? The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The worst thing is that it makes both of you crazy. Mediation just seems to be pouring gasoline on the nearly dead embers of a campfire. But this isn't a war. This is a chance for you both to start new patterns and your parting of ways can be civil and dignified. If you have children, it is the least you can do for them. If not, it is the very best you can do for each other.

Contact us if you want to have your voice heard in mediation. This process is a long and difficult one, but it shouldn't drive you crazy. Break those patterns and start somewhere new today!

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Parallel Parenting in Family Law

Thursday, August 03, 2017

When you go to family court or mediation, in typical situations, the system deems that the best outcome for your children is to have both parents involved in their lives and for the parents to work things out amongst themselves amicably. This situation is also known as "co-parenting." If parents have difficulty getting along, the court may order for the parents to undergo co-parenting counseling. Ideally, parents come out of counseling knowing how to respectfully talk to each other and cope with relinquishing complete control over their children's medical, education, nutrition, and other needs.

But oftentimes, achieving that best-case scenario seems impossible. Instead, you may find that the other parent is such a nightmare to work with because they insist on negating everything you do or say just for the sake of it. Or you may find yourself in a situation where the other parent is trying to actively cut you out of parenting altogether, as you are unjustly accused of a litany of unfounded allegations.

In enduring such a contentious situation, sometimes the most prudent action you can take is to forego co-parenting, and instead, opt for parallel parenting. In parallel parenting, parents have minimal contact. That is, parents do not communicate with each other directly unless it's necessary, and only with regards to the care of their children. Research shows that parallel parenting allows high-conflict parents to maintain relationships with their children without dragging them into the parental conflict. Such a situation also allows parents to undergo a cooling-off period, where tensions lessen over time. Eventually, parents may even be able to engage in co-parenting.

Does parallel parenting sound right for your situation? There are some logistics to consider. For instance, will you and the other parent divide responsibilities over medical, educational, and other major requirements? Or will you continue to share major responsibilities and only split tasks for day-to-day routines? Another item to consider is how you will communicate. For example, is an application like Our Family Wizard appropriate?

qualified attorney can discuss these many nuances, and work towards obtaining an agreement or court order that best reflects your family's needs. An experienced attorney can also let you know what has worked for other similarly-situated families in the past.

Need a consultation with an attorney for your parenting plan? At Law Offices of Elena Mebtahi, we offer free phone consultations.

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What to Do When One Spouse Takes Advantage of Alimony

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When a relationship is dissolved, alimony is determined by a number of factors. The amount of alimony that one spouse has to pay to another can be determined by gross income such as wages, benefits, dividends from investments, and any similar sources of income that one party gathers through their various interests. In some cases, alimony is a permanent payment through various circumstances, but in most cases, alimony will be paid until the spouse receiving the payment can find gainful employment. Read More


Is a QDRO Necessary in a Divorce?

Thursday, July 06, 2017

When it comes to divorce, there are a lot of assets that need to be addressed and often split. However, we tend to focus on the immediate assets, like what is in our bank accounts. Yet, so much more important are the ones we won't need until much later in life - the retirement accounts. These can be tricky to split and even trickier to make sure that everyone can withdrawal their set amount when it is time. Read More


Child Support & Child Support Arrearages: Have Your Circumstances Changed?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The child support system was created to give children the financial assistance and support they need in order to survive. However, many people find several flaws in the system. It seems that many parents are handed out an excessive amount of penalties that they cannot afford to pay. If you are the person that says you cannot afford the child support payments that you have been ordered to make, there are some things you can do. Read More


Divorce And Summer Break: What Are Your Plans?

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Whether you have recently separated from your spouse or your divorce has been recently finalized, the separation or divorce will have a lasting impact on everyone's life for many years. One of the things that many people find difficult is co-parenting, especially during the different breaks in the year. Summer breaks can be difficult for many recently divorced couples because neither side is used to making schedules on when and where the children will be at all times. Read More


Family Law: Four Tips to Help Your Adopted Child Adjust

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Adopting a child can be a chance to have the family you always wanted but couldn’t have. Most people want babies so that they easily fit into their lives. However, older children need love and families too. They can be a bit more challenging and require some adjustments. Read More


4 Ways to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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Divorce Options from a Divorce Attorney

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Divorce is always a difficult decision. Once the decision has been made, one should consider the different types of divorces available before making a final decision, noting that divorce laws vary from state to state. There are many legal questions to consider including custody, support payments including custody, alimony and child support, and division of property and assets. There are several types of divorces and options to consider. Read More



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