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stimulus__support_AdobeStock_408400886-300x200The government-issued stimulus checks were intended to help those eligible address some of the financial challenges brought on by the pandemic, but for divorced parents who share custody of their children and pay or receive child support, these payments have proven a major source of confusion in some cases.

Criteria used to determine eligibility in the first two rounds of stimulus payments sometimes resulted in both parents receiving payments for the same child, or receiving a stimulus payment along with additional tax credits for that child. The eligibility criteria surrounding the third stimulus payment has changed yet again, but it still affects those dealing with child custody and support agreements. To learn how read, “Child support and the third stimulus check: Let us clear up the confusion.”

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If you are recently divorced or currently going through the process, even routine matters like filing your annual tax return raises questions.

Can we still file jointly?

Must I add spousal or child support payments to my adjusted gross income?

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For many divorcing couples, co-parenting arrangements offer viable solutions to less-than-ideal situations by allowing each parent to maintain an active role in the parent/child relationship. These arrangements, however, are not without their challenges, and that was never more true than during the current pandemic.

Thanks to COVID-19. such questions as whether to send your child to school, allow him or her to participate in team sports, or attend an event can now elicit polarizing responses. What can parents do when strongly opposing viewpoints toward the pandemic threaten to impede their ability to honor the terms of their parenting arrangement? Read ”Co-Parenting Through COVID-19: Putting Your Children First” for some inspiration.

before_hiring_divorce_attorney_AdobeStock_121654723-300x200The past year brought unprecedented challenges that caused many of us to reassess various aspects of our lives – our jobs, our lifestyles, our relationships. For many couples, the challenges proved too much, leading them to contemplate divorce.

Terminating a relationship is a big step not to be entered into rashly. Before you hire a lawyer and sign your divorce papers, there are several things you should do to make sure the decision to divorce is right for you and your family. And, if it is, these steps can help ease your transition to your post-divorce life. To learn more, read “Decided to Divorce? Here’s Where to Start.”

divorce_transition_AdobeStock_232818797-300x200Transitioning from married life back to single life can be unsettling, especially when there are children involved. Nothing about your everyday life in the time leading up to your divorce is quite the same yet, for the sake of your children – and your own emotional health – it is important to move forward with a positive attitude.

Navigating the unknown is difficult in the best of times, let alone when you are feeling confused and emotional. But relationship experts say there are steps to focus on that can lead you on the path of making the best decisions for both you and your children. To learn more read, “5 Things Parents Should Do After Separating From a Partner.”

Best_Time_Divorce_AdobeStock_264599630-300x200A lot of questions come into play when you are contemplating a divorce. Many of those questions depend on where you are in life now. Have you and your spouse considered all your options? Are there children involved? What are their ages? Where do you stand in your career? Are you looking to change paths? Retire? The answer to any of these questions may sway your decision.

Taking steps to end a marriage you thought would last a lifetime is never easy, but is there any one time that is better than another for coming to this decision — an age at which it would be easier to recover? Read “What Is the Best Age to Get A Divorce?” to see how some experts weigh in.

Divorce_Trauma_AdobeStock_248309036-300x200No matter who initiates a divorce, it is a traumatic experience for all involved. After all, it represents the end of a lifestyle that you’ve envisioned for your future and the end of the family unit as you’ve come to know it. Unfortunately, divorce is not a quick process. It starts the moment you acknowledge the end of your marriage and continues through all the legal steps necessary to make the ending of your union official.

Rushing through your divorce to get it over with won’t help. Divorce trauma comes in waves and ignored, it can negatively impact your health and well-being. The best way to ensure that you’ll recover and be ready to build a new life post-divorce is to deal with each trauma as it hits. For some ideas on how to cope, read “How to Work Through the Trauma of Divorce.”

separation_and_stimulus_checks_AdobeStock_334809261-300x192The stimulus payments many people received to help ease some of the financial hardships incurred as a result of restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 virus were based on information the government obtained from recently filed income tax returns, specifically information relating to adjusted gross income and filing status. As a result, married couples filing jointly received joint stimulus checks, if eligible.

What happens for married couples who divorce or separate between the time they filed their latest joint tax return and the time they received their stimulus payment? Does marital status change who is entitled to the money? For answers read, “We’re getting divorced. Can I keep my husband’s stimulus check?”

Shared-Finances-AdobeStock_297795500-300x169Even when a couple grows apart, it doesn’t always mean they stop caring for each other, particularly if they had been in a long-term marriage. They may lead separate lives, both physically and emotionally, yet remained legally married because their finances are so intertwined that moving from shared to separate accounts is more complex than simply divvying up their assets. Fear and uncertainty prevent them from finalizing their divorce.

Understanding what to expect your financial future to look like after divorce, especially in terms of major issues like taxes, healthcare and even income, is the first step toward freeing yourself to move on with your new single life. To learn more, read “How To Free Yourself Financially From Your Ex-Spouse.”

Divorce_rules_AdobeStock_290827149-300x169People rarely think clearly or make their best decisions when emotionally upset and divorce ranks right up there as second on the list of life’s most stressful events. It’s no wonder because not only are you legally dissolving your marriage, but you also are experiencing an emotional separation from a way of life you’ve become used to. Sometimes that necessitates moving to a different house or neighborhood; cutting ties with extended family and friends or, at least, adjusting to the changing dynamics of those relationships; and learning to make decisions on your own where before you had a partner to help you weigh the options. All of this makes breaking up hard to do, as the song goes.

As hard as it may be, sometimes breaking up is inevitable. When it becomes obvious that divorce is the best – and quite possibly, the only – solution to marital problems, there are steps you can take to make the process a little easier so that you come out healthier on the other end. To learn more, read “6 Rules of Engagement for Your Divorce.”

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