November 2013 Archives

can I Make Support Payments Directly To My Child?

Child support payments are set by each state as a means of enabling a child to continue to enjoy a certain standard of living after parents are separated or divorced. Payments are intended to cover the child's basic needs, including educational fees, food, housing, health insurance, transportation, clothing and to some extent enrichment activities. As young children are not expected to manage their own finances, child support is entrusted to the custodial parent. In some cases a supporting parent may not want to make payments to the custodial parent, and, in rare cases, that is a possibility.


When you divorce in California, all of your marital assets are divided equally between you and your spouse. The statute of community property applies to all assets acquired during the course of the marriage. Assets such as property owned before marriage, inheritance and gifts may be considered separate assets and not subject to division.


Divorce can be a lengthy process. If there is a large estate or many contested issues, such as child support or custody arrangements, or if one partner is unable or unwilling to be communicative, a divorce can drag on without being finalized for years. This is not a problem as long as neither partner decides to remarry during this time and neither is worried about the accumulation of legal fees. Interestingly, there are complications when a couple believe their divorce is "final" and later discover this is not the case.


Planning a large, formal wedding can take a huge bite out of a busy life, not to mention a budget. As couples are living together for longer before marriage and postponing marriage until they have more developed careers, many are choosing to marry in simple, private ceremonies or elope on a romantic getaway. Eloping may seem like a romantic notion, though there may be legal reasons to reconsider.


A research paper known as the Bowling Green Study shows a significant increase in divorce among couples over age 50. According to the study, one in four marriages of middle-aged couples end in divorce. This trend follows the pattern of the baby boomer generation, the first large demographic group to marry, divorce and remarry in large numbers. It also shows that those in second or third marriages are more than twice as likely to divorce and suggests a number of reasons for this trend, including a shift in the social paradigm that normalized divorce. Though it is now common and widely accepted, divorce can have dire financial consequences for midlife and elder Americans.


A range of professionals including sociologists, demographers and public health officials recently attended the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, a group that studies trends in American society. During the conference researchers from Ohio State University presented findings of a study of marital separation, reporting that 79 percent of marital separations eventually lead to divorce.


Blended families have never been more common. As Americans marry, divorce and remarry in high numbers, the appearance of a stepparent in the life of a child no longer comes as a shock. However, the stereotype of the wicked stepmother of fairy tale fame has emerged and persisted for a reason. Children are uncomfortable with having their parents replaced. By taking proactive steps to foster a strong, healthy relationship between their children and a new partner, parents can avoid many of the pitfalls of competition, jealousy and resentment among family members.


In 2009, Stephen Jenkins, chair of the Council of the International Center for Research on Income and Wealth, confirmed what many suspected - that divorce makes women poorer and men wealthier. The study showed that the divorced men surveyed showed an increase a one-third increase in income, while women showed a one-fifth decrease in income. The trends on both sides lasted for several years and were compounded if the marriage had produced children.

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