Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage (Divorce too)

The right to marry is about a lot more than tax equality. But in dollars and cents, the right to file joint tax returns is nothing compared to what happens when a relationship dissolves. When a married couple splits, there’s no limit on the money or property the two can transfer tax-free between them. See IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals.

Marriages end, and even our Byzantine tax code recognizes that it is unfair to tax either party. Dividing the assets is not a sale for tax purposes. That means no income tax to either party.

What’s more, there’s no gift tax either, unless the spouse receiving assets isn’t a U.S. citizen. Compare this tax-favored divorce to what happens when an unwed couple splits. It’s all taxed.

Written by Robert W. Wood. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website

Divorce: Kids’ Health Is Compromised By Parental Divorce

Divorce is hard, especially on kids.

And according to Dr. James Sears of “The Doctors” TV show, parental separation can also compromise kids’ mental and physical health.

“Some of the things I’ve seen are depression, anxiety, oftentimes changes in sleep habits, nightmares, insomnia, bed wetting, distress,” he said on Thursday. “The lack of sleep and poor nutrition is a perfect recipe for an immune system that isn’t going to work as well and kids get sick more frequently — about 20 to 30 percent more frequently kids will get sick if there’s divorce.”

So how can you make the transition easier for everyone in the family?

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here.

The high cost of same-sex divorce

While same-sex couples across the country fight for the right to marry, others are fighting for the right to divorce.
A patchwork of state marriage laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act has made the process of unraveling a relationship extremely difficult — and expensive.
A same-sex couple who marries in one state and later relocates to a state that doesn’t recognize the marriage, for example, may be unable to get a traditional divorce. Often, they either have to move to the state where they married to establish residency or dissolve the marriage outside of the court system. Some states call this a dissolution of marriage instead of a divorce.
In most cases, this means filing a civil lawsuit — or multiple lawsuits. With no threat of a trial or a judge to make a ruling, couples often get stuck in negotiations and the lawyer fees can really pile up, said Kevin Maillard, a law professor at Syracuse University specializing in nontraditional families.

Written by Blake Ellis. To read the full article, click here.

Pros and Cons of Long-Term Separation

A recent study concluded that while the vast majority of married couples who separate will eventually divorce (within three years), approximately 15% remain separated indefinitely, even past the 10-year mark.

Why would a couple choose to do this? Or, to put it another way, are there actually advantages to long-term separation over divorce?

More on the Study’s Findings

First, let’s take a closer look at the results of the study conducted by Dmitry Tumin, a doctoral student in sociology at The Ohio State University, and Zhenchao Qian, a sociology professor at OSU.

The researchers reported that an overwhelming majority, nearly 75%, of separated couples who either remained separated without divorcing or later reunited were Black or Hispanic. Moreover, those in long-term separations were more likely to lack a college education, be “more disadvantaged,” and have more children than those who ended up getting a divorce. Interestingly, the study found no statistical correlation between religious affiliation and the decision to divorce or remain separated.

Written by Michelle Fabio. To read the full article, click here.

Military Divorce and Separation Child/Spouse Support and Garnishment Issues

Each of the military services have regulations which require members to “provide adequate support” to family members. However, here’s the rub: The military has absolutely no authority (without a court order) to *force* an individual to pay such support against his/her will. If a military member fails to provide support, the military can (and does) punish an individual, but such punishment is usually covered under the Privacy Act of 1974, and the military is not allowed to discuss the punishment with anyone. Obviously, this upsets a lot of spouses who claim nonsupport, and feel that the military is not doing anything to help them. Unfortunately, the military’s hands are tied by law in this area.

Exactly what constitutes “adequate support” differs from service-to-service. For example, Army Regulation 608-99, “FAMILY SUPPORT, CHILD CUSTODY, AND PATERNITY, requires a soldier to provide an amount equal to BAH Type II, at the “With Dependent Rate,” at the with dependent rate, unless there is a court order or written agreement providing for a different amount. If the soldier has more than one support obligation, that amount is divided equally among the supported parties. For example, if the BAH Type II with depenent rate for a soldier’s rank is $400 per month, and he separates from a wife and child, he must pay $200 per month each, unless there is a court order or written agreement stating otherwise. This is not an “absolute” requirement, however — the regulation contains provisions which allow the commander to waive requirements in certain cases, such as when the spouse makes more money than the soldier, or the soldier is a victim of abuse, or the family member is in jail.

Written by Rod Powers. To read the full article, click here.