Child-Support: Fair or Fail?

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Michael looked at me with a stunned glare. I re-ran the child support calculations again. After some (but not all) of his taxes were considered, the calculator showed the same number, 25% of his income for child support. “I knew I was going to pay; I just didn’t know it was going to be that much!”

Primary bread-winners repeat after me: you agreed to pay the bills during the marriage and you are stuck paying after the divorce.

Many times, the amount isn’t unfair, but rather the fact that you are forced to pay an ex-spouse (who probably gave you some emotional scars). And, on top of that, you have no ability to control how that money is spent (or if that money is even spent on the child — or her endless shoe collection).  Continue reading “Child-Support: Fair or Fail?”

Top Questions Asked By Bread-Winners In Divorce

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Everyone who is married at some point thinks about divorce. The longer the marriage, the more at stake: children, property, debts, and a lifetime of joy and sorrow.

Here is my run-down of the four most common questions that I hear from primary income earners when facing or contemplating divorce: Continue reading “Top Questions Asked By Bread-Winners In Divorce”

This #1 Mistake Can Break Your Bank In Your Divorce

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Andy was desperate: he owed more than half a million dollars in back child support and his ex-wife was seeking enforcement, including a violation for failure to pay, which would land him in jail for up to six months. They had been divorced for about 10 years but at the time, he had agreed to pay through the nose.

“I felt bad,” he explained. “I was the one leaving the marriage, and at the time I was doing really well at work.” His feelings of guilt landed him with high payments and no assets (he gave her the house too). His payments became untenable when the economy soured and his job was cut.

This is called Divorce Guilt and it can plague the spouse who is seeking the divorce.   Continue reading “This #1 Mistake Can Break Your Bank In Your Divorce”

Men: The True Price of a Bad Divorce?

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The other day at lunch a client was telling me that he couldn’t figure out what he did wrong: “I never cheated. I never drank. I never hit her,” he lamented. “What happened? Why is she so angry?”

I see it all the time: male clients completely surprised when their wives ask for a divorce. More importantly, when the case turns nasty — often involving family offense allegations or arrest — male clients might lose advantages that they had going into a case. Bad divorces can cost you time with the kids and extra money in support and legal fees.

Here are my top tips for men to help avoid the price-tag of a contentious divorce and strive to find an amicable solution: Continue reading “Men: The True Price of a Bad Divorce?”

Top Financial Failures That Can Lead To Divorce

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How do you talk dirty? For some reason, talking about money can feel dirty. People avoid it, especially in romantic relationships because it can lead to arguments. One of the benefits of marriage is the financial advantage of two incomes and shared expenses. When couples cannot have the “dirty money” talk, their marriage suffers, resentment and distrust builds and the relationship fails.

Here are the three types of relationship “money” failures that I frequently see in my office: Continue reading “Top Financial Failures That Can Lead To Divorce”

Top 5 Tips: How To Prepare For Your Divorce In The New Year

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As the holidays wind down, statistics show that the start of the New Year brings a spike in the number of new divorce filings. In fact, divorce lawyers call the first working Monday in January “Divorce Day,” due to the increased number of calls. Best estimates reveal that one in five married couples is considering divorce after the holidays Continue reading “Top 5 Tips: How To Prepare For Your Divorce In The New Year”

Waiting for the Holidays to Divorce? You Aren’t Alone.

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This holiday season, you are thinking: “Just one more time.” One more time around your mother-in-law’s nasty snide comments; one more draining day of yule-tide “merriment”; and one last New Year’s hurrah. After the confetti settles, the weight of the relationship will be too much. In fact, the stress could do you in. So you will say “never again,” and spend the next year (or more) getting divorced. And you are not alone. Continue reading “Waiting for the Holidays to Divorce? You Aren’t Alone.”