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Social Security spousal benefits and divorce

More Minnesota couples are getting divorced later in life when Social Security retirement benefits are a pertinent issue. Although the rules that govern Social Security benefits are complicated, most married people are aware that a lower-earning spouse can claim spousal benefits based on the higher-earning spouse's earnings. After a divorce, the lower-earning ex-spouse may still be allowed to claim spousal benefits on their ex-spouse's earnings.

The length of marriage is an important factor in determining whether a divorced person can claim spousal benefits. To remain eligible for spousal benefits, a divorced person must have been married for at least 10 years. The divorce must be two years old before a person can file a claim for Social Security spousal benefits.

When people don't pay child support: Negative credit impacts

It is unfortunate that many people in Minnesota either fail to pay their court-ordered child support completely or fall behind and become delinquent with their payments. Failure to pay child support as directed can lead to many serious consequences. In addition to court sanctions, people who fail to pay may also experience serious damage to their credit reports.

The law allows the agencies that are responsible for collecting child support to report delinquencies to the major credit reporting bureaus. While negative credit information will generally remain on a person's credit report for seven years, new reports for child support delinquencies may be made monthly. This could renew the negative information, making it potentially stay on the delinquent parent's credit for much longer.

The Legal Consequences Of Insider Trading

From outside appearances, Roomy Khan was a role model for the American dream. She grew up in a middle class family in India but moved to the United States to attend Columbia University. From there, she landed a series of highly coveted positions at IBM and Intel and eventually worked her way up to Wall Street, becoming highly successful. At one point, she had over $50 million in her bank account. Unfortunately for her, she earned most of the money through illegal insider trading.

Khan was recruited by her Wall Street boss Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of Galleon Group. It was to this company that she passed Intel insider information. After a while, she used the contacts and resources she gained at this job to go into business for herself. She was caught by the FBI eventually, but decided to work with them to try and bring down Rajaratnam. Because of her assistance, she was only fined a quarter of a million dollars and served one year of house arrest. Rajaratnam escaped charges as the FBI could not get enough evidence.

Different divorce options for couples

When a Minnesota couple is ending their marriage, they may not realize that they have many options when it comes to resolving their conflicts. These options potentially include an uncontested divorce, mediation, a collaborative divorce or litigation.

An uncontested divorce means that the couple comes to an agreement when it comes to splitting up their marital assets and child custody. If the couple can work together and the agreement is fair, the divorce can be handled quickly and relatively cheaply. Depending on the situation, an uncontested divorce potentially allows the couple to split amicably and remain friends. If a couple decides to try a collaborative divorce, there is usually an attorney and a financial adviser for each party. The teams will then attempt to help their clients reach an agreement. If the couple cannot come to an agreement, the case may head to litigation.

Taking the Child Tax Credit after divorce

Minnesota parents who are divorced might wonder how the federal child tax credit is affected by their custody and child support arrangements. It is important to note that the child tax credit can only be claimed by people whose income is under a certain limit. In 2015, that limit was $75,000 for people who were not married.

A qualifying child must be under the age of 17, must be claimed as a dependent and must be a U.S. citizen. Only one parent may claim this credit, and usually, it is the person who has primary physical custody and is using the dependency tax exemption. However, that parent may fill out Form 8332 that allows the other parent, usually the one paying child support, to claim the credit instead. That parent would then also be able to take the dependency tax exemption.

Online activity could pose problems in divorce court

Many Minnesota residents enjoy spending time on social media sites. They post vacation photos and share tidbits about their lives. However, most people do not realize that these seemingly innocuous online interactions could be used against them in divorce court.

Email, text messages and social media posts are admissible in court. If someone makes a claim in divorce court but posts conflicting information online, it can be used as evidence in a divorce proceeding. For example, a man told a court he didn't have a job and needed financial support from his wife, but he posted about his job and expensive vacations on social media. His alimony request was denied.

What to do with the house after a divorce

Divorcing may end a marriage, but it does not end shared financial obligations such as home ownership. Minnesota homeowners who are divorcing will need to figure out how to divide that asset. In some cases, people may feel too battered by the process to fight over the home and will want to relinquish it to their ex. Some couples decide to remain in the home and pay off the mortgage despite ending their marriage.

However, there are other ways around this. One is to sell the house and for the parties to divide the equity. This might not be a 50/50 split depending on who paid for home improvements and whether there was a prenuptial agreement among other factors.

Why planning for the possibility of divorce is important

It is practical for Minnesota couples to financially plan as if their marriages might end. While this may be an uncomfortable task, having a strategy in place to make certain each spouse will be financially okay if a divorce happens can help both to move forward.

In many cases, the spouses will have incomes that differ. Because of a division of responsibilities, one spouse may have had the role of making all of the important financial decisions during the marriage. This may mean that the other spouse may be woefully unprepared in the event of a divorce.

Jermaine Jackson getting divorced from third wife

Minnesota residents who were fans of the Jackson 5 might be interested in learning that Jermaine Jackson's third wife filed for divorce on June 23. The couple has been married for 12 years.

On Nov. 28, 2015, Jackson's wife, Halima Rashid, was arrested for domestic violence following an altercation the pair had in which the police were called. Reportedly, Jackson had spit on Rashid and she had bitten his leg. Prosecutors later dropped the case, stating that they couldn't figure out which of the pair was abusing the other.

Older people divorcing in large numbers

While Minnesotans may have heard media reports stating that divorce rates are falling, the trend among baby boomers to divorce in increasing numbers may be driving the overall rate to above 50 percent. Today's marriages are lasting longer, but people are also being more cautious about tying the knot and are getting married at much older ages than in prior generations.

A survey study conducted by professor Philip Cohen of the University of Maryland indicates that the divorce rate could hit 52.7 percent if current trends continue. The overall rate is largely attributable to people who are over the age of 50 divorcing in large numbers. Between 1990 and 2012, the divorce rate for people in that age group doubled. It tripled for people who were over the age of 65.

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