According to a study by sociologists at the University of Washington, we are right in the middle of divorce season. From January to March, once the holiday season has come and gone, many couples decide to file for divorce. The study revealed that the nationwide yearly divorce rate is 11.67 per 1000 married people over the age of 15. In our state, the divorce rate is slightly higher than the average at 12.06 per 1000 married people.
If spouses have decided to call it quits, their long-term financial stability may not be the first thing on one's mind. However, experts advise that avoiding the following mistakes during divorce can help protect one's money and ensure that the post-divorce life starts off on the right foot.
Earlier this month, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, and wife MacKenzie, announced their intent to divorce. Bezos is known as the world's wealthiest man, with an estimated worth of $136 billion. However, Bezos and his wife reportedly did not have a prenuptial agreement, and may not have a postnuptial agreement either. Without these agreements in place, a high-asset divorce like theirs could get complicated as state laws often come into play.
Actor Forest Whitaker has enjoyed a long and successful career. His many pursuits in film and on television have brought joy and intrigue to the lives of Washington residents for decades. However, Whitaker has been in the news recently for something unrelated to his acting career: he recently decided to file for divorce from his wife.
The divorce of one's parents can be emotionally challenging for a Washington child. When one or both of their parents later decide to remarry, however, the child may be confronted with the difficult situation of understanding how to relate to their new step-mom or step-dad. Step-parents may also have concerns about what rights, if any, they have with regard to raising their step-children.
Having a child is more than an emotional commitment: it is a financial commitment as well. From making sure that a child has a safe place to call home to keeping them fed and adequately clothed for their surroundings can force a Washington parent to cut back on their savings as they invest more into the health and happiness of their child. Most parents relish in being able to take care of their families, but for custodial parents who are dependent on support payments, getting by when money is lean can be tough.
Since the United States Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex couples in the United States have been granted the right to have their marriages recognized in every state in the nation. Prior to the Obergefell decision, a same-sex Washington couple may find that their union was not considered valid if they traveled to a state where same-sex marriages were not recognized.
Paying alimony can be a cumbersome undertaking for someone who is trying to start their life over after ending their marriage. In Washington and other states throughout the country, payers of alimony have been allowed to deduct the money that they pay to their former spouse from their taxable income and therefore lower the amount of money that they must pay in taxes each and every year. However, in 2018 the federal government passed a huge overhaul of the tax system, and part of that overhaul addressed how alimony payments will be dealt with in the future.
Giving up time with one's child can be the most difficult part of a divorce for a Washington parent. After spending years of their child's life in the same home with them a parent can feel as though a part of their heart is missing when they must live in a place where their child does not reside. When a parent is not granted physical custody rights and does not have the responsibility of meeting their child's day-to-day needs, they may be able to secure visitation rights with them to protect their important relationship.
In generations past it was not uncommon for young Washington residents to head down the aisle toward marriage when they were in their late teens and early twenties. There were many reasons for this phenomenon, including the historic position of women as dependent upon their husbands for financial support and the higher rate of young people entering the workforce instead of pursuing their educations after high school. Now, however, young people have a world of options in front of them when they leave secondary school and are choosing to marry later in life.