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Social Security Considerations After Divorce

Posted On: June 18, 2019

Before making an election on your Social Security benefits it’s important to know what your options are. Make sure you seek advice and do your own research. For most people seeking benefits now, their election will be permanent. Did you know if you are divorced you are entitled to your ex-spouse’s security benefits? Most people are unaware that notwithstanding a divorce they may be entitled to their ex-spouse's Social Security benefit. If you were married for at least 10 years and then divorce, and are unmarried at the time you apply for your benefits, you are entitled to half of your ex-spouse's benefit if it is greater than your own.  However, if you were born after 1954, whatever election you make will be permanent and cannot be changed.   This does not affect your ex-spouse's benefit nor is your election affected by their remarriage. In fact, if you are eligible, you can collect on your ex-spouse’s benefits even if he or she hasn't yet applied for them, so long as you’ve been divorced for at least two years.

However, if you are remarried at the time of your election, you are not entitled to  your ex-spouse’s benefits. You may, however, be able to collect your new spouse’s benefits if you’re at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving Social Security benefits. It’s also important to know if you chose to collect early you will lose a significant portion of your benefit. In the event your new marriage ends due to death, divorce, or annulment, you may again be eligible to collect on your first spouse’s benefits.  If you were married more than once and divorced more than once and each marriage was for more than 10 years you can choose which ex-spouse’s benefits to utilize so long as it is more than your own.

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7 Expert-Backed Reasons Why You Should Get Married After 30

Posted On: June 03, 2019

Approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Today’s generation generally appears less interested in marriage, and for those getting married, they are choosing to getting married later. Gone are the days of people marrying in their early 20s. According to the most recent estimates, the average age of first marriage is now late 20s. Most people only start to get an idea of who they really are and what is important to them some time after 25. It is easier to find a relationship that will last if you know yourself better.

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What Should Stay-at-Home Moms Get at Divorce?

Posted On: May 28, 2019

Traditionally, stay at home moms have been looked at as guaranteed to win child custody.  However, obtaining their full share of the marital pot has always been problematic.  Not withstanding the evolution of shared custody, and men being recognized as entitled and able for child rearing when it comes to the money aspects of the marriage, stay at home moms often still receive less than half of the marital pot.

The breadwinner of the family inevitably believes that they are always entitled to the lion's share of the marital assets.  The non-tangible benefits of the stay at home spouse in rearing children, taking care of all household responsibilities, and enabling the bread-winning spouse to actually increase earning potential is often forgotten, negated, and never given it’s true worth. It may be time for a more equal split of the marital assets.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Naomi Cahn, Forbes.

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The Emotional Toll of Being an Adult and Seeing Your Parents Divorce

Posted On: May 20, 2019

No matter what age a child is when their parents divorce, a litigated divorce can not only be toxic for the family but financially devastating.  The impact to older child of a gray divorce (a divorce later in life) is surprising not less impactful because they are older.  Gray divorces have doubled since the 1990s. Whenever a divorce occurs litigation is not the answer. Not only is a Collaborative divorce less toxic it is also extremely less expensive that a highly contested divorce. 

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Julie Halpert, Considerable.com

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7 Silent Killers That Can Lead To Divorce In Relationships

Posted On: May 20, 2019

Keeping a primary relationship alive and well requires hard work and dedication. Respecting your partner and being open, honest and objective when conflict arises is imperative. Many would also be surprised how some simple acts of kindness and consideration toward your partner will strengthen a relationship.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Kristine Fellizar & Andrew Zaeh of Bustle.

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We Divorced - And Our Family Thrived

Posted On: May 07, 2019

How do you get through a divorce and have your “family” survive?  More people have begun to understand that divorce does not have to be a total destruction of a family.  There is a better way.  Navigating your divorce through mediation or the collaborative process is the first step which leads to a future that mends the family.  Collaborative divorce gives a family the additional support to make choices that will benefit everyone.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Wendy Smith Baruc, Mother.ly

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These Are The Biggest Money Surprises When You Get Divorced

Posted On: May 06, 2019

Unfortunately, this article is correct.  There are many unforeseen and unexpected financial impacts to a dissolution of a marriage.  You should not only be cautious of capital gains implications when selling a marital home, but if the marital home is being transferred to one party, it is important to do a title search to make sure there are no Judgments and Liens, and the party is truly getting the equity that is believed to be the consideration for the transfer in equitable distribution. 

There should be no tax on the equitable distribution of certain assets, but as this article indicates, depending on cost basis and capital gains, significant tax impact consequence could be incurred.  Another good point that this article makes is the true impact of the cost of children.  Child support, although a statutory creature, only covers room and board, which obviously does not cover the myriad of expenses in raising a child, not to mention how those costs increase as the child ages and the ultimate cost of a college education. 

In addition, now that there is no deduction or tax write-off for maintenance, the tax implications are even greater and more must be considered in negotiating a settlement with respect to the tax implications and impact on the parties. 

It is very important to have a skilled attorney and tax expert review your dissolution so you know exactly what you are getting and the tax implications of your decisions.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Chris Taylor, Considerable.com

Concetta Spirio: A compassionate and aggressive lawyer providing the highest level of legal representation for over 30 years.

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The Dread of Waiting for the Supreme Court to Rule on L.G.B.T. Rights

Posted On: April 29, 2019

Last Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear three cases that seek to determine whether existing federal law bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

Although marriage equality enables one to legally marry a partner of the same sex, it could get you fired - even denied housing. 

Federal courts have been divided on the question of whether Title VII bars discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Two of the cases that the Supreme Court plans to take up are cases of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. 

As currently constituted, the Supreme Court appears likely to resolve the contradictions by ruling that the Civil Rights Act does not ban discrimination against L.G.B.T. people. 

This would be a tragic set back that could take years or possibly generations to undo.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Masha Gessen, The New Yorker

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