Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Divorce is increasing, not decreasing, says new study

Divorce is increasing, not decreasing, says new study

A new study sheds some light on the U.S. divorce rate, and what has really been going on over the past few decades. It was thought that the divorce rate was decreasing since the 1970s, but the new study paints a very different picture. According to the new research, "the age-standardized refined divorce rate increased substantially after 1990 and is now at an all-time high."

It's a startling revelation in some ways, but in others it may not mean too much. Divorce is actually a simple "device," if you want to think about it in those terms. It allows people who are married but realize that their marriage is no longer tenable to solve their problem.

That is the crux of the matter: divorce is a solution to a problem, not a problem that is in need of solving. People who are unhappy in their marriages and recognize that it is time to change are going to file for divorce regardless of the divorce rate. There will never be a magical number that the divorce rate needs to hit for people to stop divorcing. That world will never exist.

So in the real world where divorce happens all the time and it shouldn't be considered a problem, it is best for unhappy couples to consult an experienced family law attorney to help them get organized and prepared for their split. In some ways, this is more important for fathers who could be confronted with some complex child custody matters in their divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Is the US Divorce Rate Going Up Rather Than Going Down?," Robert Hughes Jr., March 6, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hiding assets during divorce? Prepare for a tax audit

Hiding assets during divorce? Prepare for a tax audit

Going through the divorce process can be a stressful experience. After all, couples are put in a position to split up nearly every aspect of the years they spent together. For some couples, addressing the financial aspects of divorce can become particularly contentious, since both parties want to maintain a sense of financial security after divorce.

From time to time, one spouse might be inclined to conceal marital assets during divorce in order to avoid splitting them. In addition to the possibility of a contested divorce settlement, this can also open the door to a tax audit conducted by the Internal Revenue Service.

Every year, people indicate their marital status on income tax filings to federal (and Georgia) officials. Because some people choose to hide assets during divorce, this could be viewed as a signal to initiate an audit. Even if both spouses have been transparent about their assets, and don't have to worry about tax violations, an audit is still an intimidating experience.

One other thing to keep in mind: Hidden assets might automatically be reported to the IRS. According to a report from Forbes, judges are legally bound to notify officials about potential inconsistencies in asset reporting found during divorce.

This may be of particular concern in divorces that involve a significant amount of assets. Transferring a large amount of funds, which is likely to happen in a high-asset divorce case, might be of particular interest for investigators looking to find issues in tax filings.

Ultimately, it may be best to work through divorce in an amicable fashion. By aiming toward a fair settlement, both spouses expect a stable post-divorce financial situation. Not only that, but this could prevent a whole host of unwelcome legal issues from springing up.
Source: Forbes, "Divorce Causes Tax Audits," Cameron Keng, Feb. 10, 2014