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Little Rock Family Law Blog

How an Arkansas divorce can impact your retirement

In recent years, more and more people in their 50s or 60s have ended their marriages. These so-called gray divorces are evidence of shifting cultural attitudes about the purpose and necessity of marriage. They can help people lead fulfilling final chapters to their lives. However, they can also have a profound impact on the ability of people to retire as planned.

Retirement requires careful financial preparations and budgeting, as well as many years of savings. However, your planned retirement probably included you and your spouse maintaining one household while reaping the benefits of two retirements, pensions or Social Security checks every month. Once you divorce, the amount you've saved will have to cover two households. That can prove challenging for everyone involved.

Who keeps the house when you divorce in middle age?

Divorce looks very different depending on how long you've been married and what kind of assets you and your spouse amassed during your time together. Whereas a young couple with few assets between them may not find it difficult to reach a fair property division agreement, a couple who divorces later in life, such as their 50s, probably faces a significantly different situation.

Many couples who divorce in middle age find that they have a number of assets to divide, but doing so equitably is not always simple. Furthermore, when couples have remained married for some time, one spouse is significantly more likely to face a spousal support order.

What does Arkansas consider grounds for divorce?

Many states have adopted "no-fault" divorces. In these divorces, both parties agree that the marriage is not salvageable, but the courts consider neither party to be responsible for the dissolution of the union. This allows for couples to quickly divorce without proving someone did something wrong. Even in cases of adultery and physical abuse, many people still choose no-fault divorces because it is faster to divorce when you don't have to prove to the courts why you should be allowed to divorce. Unfortunately for those living in Arkansas, the state does not currently allow for no-fault divorces.

Some couples who meet the criteria for divorce on legal grounds may also meet the criteria for an annulment, which is where the marriage isn't just undone, it gets declared legally invalid from the start. An annulment will only get granted if you and your spouse don't share children and there was an issue with your union, including undue influence, threats or even intentional misrepresentation by your spouse.

Is it possible to protect your assets from a divorce?

When you are thinking about marriage, it is only natural to think about divorce as well. Some people take steps to protect their assets before they get married by creating prenuptial agreements. Other couples create postnuptial agreements after they get married in order to protect their interests. Others, however, are creating financial trusts.

If you are considering divorce, you may be worried about what will happen to the assets you have spent years building. Will the financial trust you created be enough to protect your property? Is there any sure way you can protect the wealth you have worked so hard to accumulate? A divorce attorney in the North Little Rock area can help you take the necessary steps to protect your assets. Read further to find out more about how a trust is affected by divorce.

7 things you can do to make child custody modification easier

Child custody modification is beneficial for your child in most cases. The process might be rather stressful because you know your child's future is at stake. Consider taking these steps to prepare you for the mediation process.

Who gets what: Asset division in Arkansas divorces

Asset division is often one of the most hotly contested aspects of a divorce agreement. Each spouse may feel like he or she deserves a specific asset, such as the marital home. Even if both parties are trying to work together, small disagreements can quickly cause problems when deciding on how to divide the marital assets.

Working with an experienced divorce attorney is one of the best ways to protect your interests during a divorce. An attorney can be critical to your future, particularly if there isn't an existing agreement about division of your marital assets.

Which retirement assets should be used first?

For many Americans, one of the most present issues throughout their adult lives is amassing retirement assets. Once we leave the workforce, we can usually only rely on the resources we have saved for ourselves and our loved ones. That being said, many people spend much more time thinking about gathering assets than thinking about how they should spend them.

Most retirement plans involve multiple types of accounts and holdings and all of these come together to create the whole of our retirement assets. However, not all holdings are equal. Some are taxed more than others, so if you create a plan for sequencing the use of these assets you can maximize your resources. The question then becomes: Which assets should be used first?

What is different about a military divorce?

Most regular divorce proceedings are complicated affairs, but if a military couple decides to dissolve their marriage they must consider additional state and federal laws as they go about the process. These specific laws determine how either party can go about filing for a divorce and they determine how the process will progress.

It is not uncommon for military employees to move around the nation and the world. Because of this, you must make sure that you are familiar with the laws of the state in which the divorce is filed. Military divorces are subject to both state and federal laws, so your first consideration will be divorce requirements particular to that state. After that, you must consider whether or not the military service member involved is currently protected under the Serviemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Keep holiday custody stressors to a minimum

The holiday season is not always a time for happy family celebrations. Especially for divorced and blended families, the months between Thanksgiving and New Year's can be fraught with sadness, anger, disappointment and confusion. It's the duty of the parents to make the custody transitions from mom to dad to be as smooth and seamless as possible.

Ideally, this all should be succinctly addressed in your custody judgment. But perhaps you aren't quite at that stage of the process, and this year will be the first holidays your children will spend split between their parents. Learn how you can reduce the likelihood of tears and coax more smiles from them with just a little common sense and foresight.

Points to consider when modifying your child custody agreement

When you were engaged in divorce proceedings, you had many concerns jostling for attention: your kids, your home, your career. Though a trying process, establishing a custody agreement that satisfied both you and your former spouse was finally developed. The document addressed all variables that you anticipated would enter your lives. Upon signing the forms in your attorney's office, you hoped that would not have to revisit the issue of child custody again.

Unfortunately, even the best planning cannot anticipate changes in the future. Due to unseen circumstances that are either positive or negative, the courts of Arkansas recognize that not all original child custody agreements are destined to remain unchanged. An increase in salary or benefits of the noncustodial parent provides ample reason to request an alteration of the original custody agreement. Also triggering a change in the child support contract are circumstances that could endanger the safety of the child: drug addiction, child abuse or child neglect.

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