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Tucson Family Law Blog

Pros and cons of staying together for the children

Some Arizona parents who are considering divorce might wonder whether they should stay together for the sake of their children. There are a number of factors to take into account in making this decision.

Postponing divorce may be the right idea if there are compelling financial or other reasons to stay married. There may be more benefits to staying together than splitting up. Couples may also be cognizant of the effect divorce can have on their children including the likelihood that they will later divorce as well. Couples may also still be working on the marriage. This can take a great deal of time, but it is best to be certain before moving ahead with divorce. However, if a person makes the decision to stay in the marriage, it is important to be realistic about the sacrifices.

Predicting divorce

There is no way to determine with complete accuracy which Arizona couples will get divorced. However, social scientists have determined that there are certain factors that can determine who may be more likely.

The age at which a couple gets married is a factor that can contribute to a divorce. According to research, teenagers and individuals in their mid-30s who marry are more likely to get a divorce than couples are whose ages range from the late 20s to early 30s. The odds of people who get married after the age of 32 years old divorcing increases each year by about 5 percent.

Sometimes divorce is the best option

When Arizona residents get married, they usually do so with the intention of spending a lifetime with their partners. However, for some couples, the periods of strife within the marriage might seem overwhelming, and the option to divorce might be something they begin to consider.

While some couples can work through their issues, just over 50 percent of couples cannot, and these marriages end in divorce. There are some reasons, however, that might make divorce the best option, particularly if the ex-spouses can be forgiving of themselves and their partners and can begin the process in a more amicable fashion.

Relationships that begin online could be more stable

People in Arizona who met online might have more stable relationships than those who met offline. One study used a model to predict that marriages that were the result of using online dating sites would last longer than those in which couples met in other ways.

This model has been backed up by other research, including a 2013 study that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This study found that 5.9 percent of couples that met online broke up compared to 7.6 percent of those that met in other ways. The study also found that the divorce or separation rate among the more than 19,000 couples that were married after meeting online was only about 7 percent.

Making a decision to divorce

The decision to end a marriage can be a difficult one. However, there may be a few situations that could lead people in Arizona to conclude that divorce is the best option.

For example, if a spouse is an alcoholic or drug addict and will not get treatment, a person may conclude that it is no longer possible to continue in the marriage despite still loving the spouse. A person might reach this conclusion after a spouse has had yet another run-in with law enforcement and promised to get treatment. However, the spouse may have a pattern of entering treatment and then relapsing.

Study of wage garnishment for child support and other reasons

A study released on Sept. 27 by the ADP Research Institute examined 2016 payroll data from 12 million workers and looked at wage garnishments. Some Arizona workers may be among the 7 percent throughout the country whose wages are garnished. More than 70 percent of people who face wage garnishment are men. Most of these garnishments are for unpaid child support. For women, wages are usually garnished for other types of debts such as student loans.

The study found that in one group, men in the Midwest who work in large manufacturing companies and are between the ages of 35 and 55, 26 percent had garnished wages. These men had an average income of $44,000.

Financial complications of gray divorce

The divorce rate for those aged 50 or older has approximately doubled since the 1990s. This means more Arizona residents than ever before are facing the financial hardships that come with a so-called gray divorce. There are many ways in which these sorts of divorces are more costly and more complicated than those earlier in life.

The consequences of a gray divorce are often more dire than a divorce of younger couples. It can be more difficult to recover from a gray divorce because assets and income potential are more fixed, and future employment opportunities may be limited. The money and other assets a person retains may determine his or her entire financial future.

Tax changes for people who divorce

The end of a marriage leads to many Arizona couples feeling anxiety and uncertainty for the future. Divorce affects their living arrangements and finances. They will need to find ways to adjust to their new lifestyles. They will also be facing a variety of income tax consequences and changes.

If spouses have their divorce decree by the last day of the year, the IRS considers them unmarried for the entire year and they thus can no longer file a joint return or use the married filing separately status. The party who has custody of the children may file as head of household. The other will have to file as a single person.

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.


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Tucson, AZ 85701

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