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Tucson Family Law Blog

Study looks at link between occupations, divorce

Arizona residents whose jobs involve night life or travel may have a higher divorce risk than people whose jobs involve science or math. This was one of the findings presented by FlowingData based on data from the 2015 American Community Survey.

The survey found that bartenders and gaming managers had a divorce rate that was higher than 50 percent while professions such as actuary, physician and clergy had divorce rates that were under 25 percent. In 2015, the average divorce rate was just over 35 percent.

Maintaining consistent rules for children of divorced parents

Divorced parents with shared custody in Arizona face the challenge of setting consistent rules for their children. Considering the negative impact of contradictory rules coming from separate households, parents should be willing to work together to come to a consensus.

Conflicting rules coming from divorced parents can leave children mentally and emotionally confused. While a parent can resort to using the court system to try to force their ex-spouse to set rules that are in harmony with their personal beliefs, the outcome of taking this matter to court is always uncertain. A preferable outcome may be attained by the divorced parents working together to set consistent rules from household to household.

How to avoid conflict with a hostile parent

When Arizona parents of young children get a divorce, they are never truly separated. In most cases they will necessarily need to interact with each other for co-parenting purposes. When one parent is behaving badly towards the other, it presents a situation that tests the diplomacy skills of even the mildest mannered personality. During those times, parents must keep reminding themselves that the best interest of the child applies.

Divorce professionals have given some guidelines to remember in dealing with a hostile co-parent. Professionals will remind the calm parent to avoid setting off the other. This includes remembering what issues are particularly sensitive to the other parent and avoid raising them. Most importantly, they should not be raised in the presence of the children.

Alimony payments can be tax-deductible

Arizona couples whose marriages are ending can benefit from arranging to treat spousal support in specific ways in order to make the payments tax-deductible. The subject is the source of frequent disputes between the IRS and divorced taxpayers, but there are ways that people paying alimony can help to ensure their payments are properly deductible.

There are seven requirements for spousal support payments to be deductible on federal income taxes. First, the payments must be made according to a written agreement for separation or divorce. In addition, the payments must be made to or on behalf of the former spouse. Some payments to attorneys or mortgage lenders can be counted if they are specified in the written agreement or made on request.

DNA testing to establish paternity

Some Arizona residents may have read about some high-profile paternity cases. For example, an early girlfriend of Mick Jagger's took him to court over the paternity of her daughter, and the two eventually became close. The founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, was also forced to acknowledge paternity of his daughter after a DNA test.

If parents are not married when a child is born, the man is not automatically considered to legally be the father and may not be listed on the birth certificate. It may be necessary to have a DNA test in order to establish paternity. Once paternity is legally established, the father is then responsible for child support.

Many women leave marriage at a financial disadvantage

Dissatisfaction and other emotions drive people to seek divorces in Arizona. However, the decision often inflicts more lasting financial damage on women than men. Due to the gender pay gap and other factors, women may have limited resources when they begin their newly single lives.

Overall, women make lower wages than men, even in comparable careers. For example, the average salaries for male and female personal financial advisers are $1,714 a week and $953 a week, respectively. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women earn $0.82 for every $1 earned by men. Unpaid caregiver duties for children and the elderly typically fall upon women, which removes them from the workforce for long stretches of time and reduces their lifetime earnings and Social Security benefits.

Prenuptial agreements may be a good thing

Arizona residents who are planning to get married might be concerned when their partners want them to sign prenuptial agreements. Discussing one does not mean that the partners are planning for their marriages to fail and may offer benefits to the marriages and both parties.

When people get married, they essentially enter into agreements with each other. This affects the financial interests and rights of both parties, and it makes sense to ensure that those interests are protected both during the marriages as well as if they come to an end. Many couples use prenuptial agreements to plan how to handle their financial responsibilities and roles during their marriages, which may help to reduce potential conflicts.

Affording the family home after a divorce

When an Arizona couple is going through a divorce, dividing up the property can become a point of contention especially if both individuals have separate goals. For example, one person may wish to retain ownership of the family home if there are children involved, as this can help keep their home life stable while everything else is changing. While keeping the home can be beneficial, there are some financial hoops a parent going through a divorce may have to jump through.

The decision to try and keep the family home is often highly influenced by emotions, especially if the divorce is not amicable. The reality, however, is that keeping the home may simply not be financially possible. Those who want to keep the marital home will most likely have to refinance the mortgage on their own. If they do not have their own income and have not yet begun to receive alimony payments, they may not be eligible for a new mortgage.

Divorce and health care insurance

Arizona couples who are considering a divorce may be interested in putting their plans on hold due to the state of health care in the United States. Some people are concerned that they may not be able to get health insurance after their divorce due to pre-existing conditions and a potential increase in costs.

There are major concerns regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a piece of legislation that would repeal the ACA. Some of the drafts include an amendment that would allow health care insurers to be able to disregard protections given by the ACA as long as they at least offered a plan that was compliant under the ACA. However, this plan would likely include high premiums. Even if the amendment was not included, insurers would still be able to narrow the number of benefits the insurers provide.

Stressful careers contribute to divorce

A person's job may be a deciding factor in their marriage, and stressful jobs have been linked to higher divorce rates. Arizona residents may want to take these statistics into account as they examine their marriage and career options.

According to an analysis of census data, stressful careers increased the likelihood of divorce by as much as 30 percent. The hardest-hit were military careers, especially in the air force, logisticians and automotive service technicians. These careers all had similar features that contributed to divorce, including stressful work environments, long hours and the possibility of frequent time away from home.

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Law Office of Michael A. Johnson, P.C.
177 N Church Avenue
Suite 311
Tucson, AZ 85701

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