Should You Contest Your Divorce?

Law Blog

If you and your spouse have been contemplating or discussing divorce for some time, you may be anxious to file and get a fresh start on your new life. However, in some cases, delaying to file for divorce or contesting your spouse's divorce filing may be your best financial option. Read on to learn more about a few situations in which you may want to try to stall your divorce proceedings as much as you can.

You're about to pass the "decade of marriage" milestone

If your soon-to-be ex-spouse is a much higher earner than you are, you could benefit significantly by getting divorced after you've been married a full decade, rather than before. Divorcing after 10 years or more of marriage will allow you to collect up to half of your ex-spouse's monthly Social Security retirement funds once you reach age 62, as long as this amount is higher than the amount you'd be able to claim on your own record and you haven't remarried in the meantime. 

For the purposes of the Social Security Administration, the divorce must be finalized -- not filed -- after the 10-year mark. This means that if your spouse filed for divorce before your 10th anniversary, you'll still be able to collect on his or her earnings record as long as the divorce is not finalized until after your 10-year anniversary. Delaying the proceedings may be a good option to help secure your future Social Security income.  

You're currently funding your child's college education 

Your college student's ability to qualify for certain types of loans and other need-based aid will largely depend on the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) you and your spouse list on the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If your household income will take a significant hit once the divorce is finalized, this could potentially penalize your child by assuming a much larger income is available to help pay college expenses than actually exists, and could impact his or her ability to take out subsidized student loans or receive need-based grants at a time you're financially unable to pay these expenses yourself.

Because the FAFSA seeks only the prior year's tax information, it can take more than a year for your child's loan and grant options to accurately reflect your financial situation. For those whose children are just beginning college, it may make sense to proceed with the divorce -- but those with students already in college may wish to delay a bit. 

For more information about how you'll be affected by a divorce, contact an attorney like Lisa J Kleinberg.


31 August 2015

Business Law Basics: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.