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Getting a divorce? Some things to think about

For individuals in Louisiana contemplating a divorce, there are some financial and practical issues to think about. The costs of the divorce itself can vary greatly, and being caught up in full blown litigation over each and every issue can decrease the assets available to take care of your children, including saving for their college education. It is best to first rely heavily on your attorney to reach a good negotiated settlement on as many issues as possible, reserving protracted court hearings for things on which a negotiated settlement or compromise is not possible.

Spousal support might be necessary, depending on circumstances. These days, it far more common for either men or women to receive such support, although some mistakenly view it as only for ex-wives. In circumstances where the ex-wife has a higher income or the ex-husband is a stay-at-home father, it may be the ex-husband who receives spousal support. Such payments, labeled alimony by the IRS, are tax deductible for the payer and taxable income for the recipient.

The same goes for child support, with a survey of divorce attorneys indicating that 56 percent of them have experienced an increase in the number of cases in which mothers are required to pay child support to custodial fathers. Child support is neither taxable to the recipient nor tax deductible by the payer.

Being divorced almost always requires some financial adjustments as the same amount of income may now have to be stretched to support two households. That requires creating new post-divorce budgets. If a child visits both households, there may be items, including furniture, toys, clothes, or electronics that have to be duplicated.

It may be helpful for a non-custodial parent to give a child a special cellular phone to maintain ready and easy contact, and often the cost to just add another line to your existing cell phone plan is fairly nominal.

Source: Forbes, "What Every Man Needs To Know About The Financial Side of Divorce" Hayley Krischer, Sep. 27, 2013

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