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Little Rock Family Law Blog

How to establish paternity if you never married the other parent

While fewer people choose marriage before having children these days, there are still some benefits to the institution. For those with children, establishing paternity is one of the biggest legal benefits of marriage.

If you have a child during a marriage, the state presumes that the married couple are the biological parents of the child in question. That makes seeking custody and parenting rights, even after a divorce, simpler.

Dividing real estate during an Arkansas divorce

There are so many uncertainties in any divorce, especially when it comes to dividing your assets and debts. The more possessions and assets you have, the more complicated and unpredictable the process may become. You may find yourself wondering about certain assets, particularly the most valuable ones. Many times, that includes your retirement account and any real estate you own.

Worry about the family home is natural, but for many people, that's far from the only real estate acquired during marriage. People often buy vacation homes, investment properties for rental income or even land to hold for sale in the future when property values go up. Knowing how the courts often handle these assets can give you an idea of the most likely potential outcomes.

After your divorce, you can request child custody modifications

Divorce has a strong sense of finality about it. That makes sense, as it is the formal and legal ending to a marital union and a family unit. However, a divorce decree is not always the final word in terms of child custody and support. Situations changes, and the Arkansas family law courts allow parents to seek modifications to their custody agreements well after the finalization of a divorce.

A modification can help you change the terms of your custody order and parenting plan. Common changes include increased visitation or parenting time, decreased access for a parent engaging in poor behavior or even changes to the amount of child support paid.

Will your spouse's affair affect asset division in your divorce?

Adultery is a common reason for seeking a divorce in Arkansas and elsewhere in the United States. It is devastating to learn that your spouse was not faithful during your marriage. Not only is there emotional damage, there's also a risk of contracting incurable diseases if you were still intimate with him or her during or after the affair. Leaving a cheating spouse and filing for divorce is a common response to learning of an affair.

You may find yourself wondering if this affair will impact the outcome of your divorce. You probably want to hold your spouse accountable for the violation of your trust and your marriage. It's only natural to wonder if adultery will alter the property division process as you divorce.

Yes, your divorce is going to affect your wealth

Divorcing when you are 65 is a lot different than divorcing when you are 35. For one, at 35 you might have young children and divorce means dealing with child custody and support issues. At 65, the kids are usually grown and starting their own families. Also, your list of assets is probably a lot longer than it was when you were still in your 30s. You have had an additional 30 years to build your wealth. Owning high-value assets often leads to a more complex divorce, since property division is typically one of the major sources of contention.

When it comes to a so-called "gray divorce," asset and debt division is extremely critical. If you make a wrong decision, you could end up with much less than you need to see you through retirement. Fortunately there is a whole range of people beyond your attorney that can help. Your accountant, your financial advisor and even your therapist can help you stay focused and make the correct decisions in terms of your divorce settlement.

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.

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