December 2013 Archives

Does Support Stop When The Paying Person Dies?

If your ex has recently passed away, do not panic. The spousal support and child support arrangements that were in place can still continue. These payments do not have to end with the end of your ex's physical life. Spousal support is designed to continue for as long as it takes a divorced spouse to adapt to the divorce and become self-sufficient.In many instances, courts do not specify the length of this period, and spousal support payments can continue until the person receiving payment dies or remarries. If the paying spouse dies before either condition occurs, the court can order payment to continue through the paying spouse's estate. This estate may contain money that can be used to directly pay or assets may be liquidated in order to gain the necessary funds. It basically comes down to the language contained in the court order regarding support. The parties are free to agree to terminate support upon the death of the payor, but absent such an agreement (which is often "snuck" into the divorce agreement by the paying spouse's attorney) the language of the court order might be either ambiguous enough to allow for an argument that the payments should continue after death, or maybe the order will simply say that outright. 

Custody: Stay together for the Children?

When dealing with issues of child custody, a question that arises with some frequency is: "Should we stay together for the children?" This is a question that has undoubtedly been asked over countless years by parents struggling with a desire to achieve personal fulfillment in the context of trying to balance that with the desire to do what is best for their children when determining custody.

Powerful Yet Voiceless: When Can a Child Have Input in Divorce?

We are often asked "when can a child have a voice in divorce?" Children are in an odd position when it comes to divorce. On the one hand, parents often fight tooth and nail to obtain custody of their children:  parents hire lawyers, retain child custody evaluators, and devote days to court hearings, all in an effort to receive more time with their children. In this context, children have incredible power in a divorce, because their dynamic and future is a great force that demands, and receives attention.

Who Pays for College Tuition in a Divorce?

In recent decades, many Americans have dramatically changed their views about college. College is no longer seen as an educational experience exclusively for the privileged. Instead, many Americans now believe that higher education is a fundamental right for everyone, regardless of socio-economic background. It has been reported that over 80% of high school graduates in America have some amount of college class experience. This viewpoint has resulted in a sharp increase in both college enrollments and the overall number of higher-education offerings. Everyone, it seems, is going to college, and as such there now seems to be a college for everyone. 

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