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Federal Way Divorce Law Blog

How to divide inherited IRAs

Currently, there is no clear guidance as to whether an inherited IRA can be split in a divorce. Washington residents don't have an IRS decision, private letter ruling or even a court case to help determine whether this is possible. Another question to consider is whether the inherited retirement account is to be considered marital or separate property. While inherited funds are usually considered to be separate, they could be commingled during the marriage.

Generally speaking, a regular IRA can be divided in a divorce without triggering a taxable event. In practice, an inherited IRA can be divided too as courts have allowed this to take place. Those who act as the custodians of the IRA are allowing the division to take place based on the court order. When such an event takes place, a former spouse is added as a beneficiary to the IRA along with the current beneficiary.

Managing emotions and your visitation rights

As a non-custodial parent, you could be facing all sorts of challenges each day. Perhaps you are struggling with depression following your recent divorce or maybe you have high levels of anxiety due to the financial changes that ending your marriage has brought on (child support payments, alimony, marital property division, etc.). However, custody issues and visitation can be especially difficult for a parent who has recently split up with his or her marital partner and it is essential for you to know what your rights are and take the appropriate course of action if you wish to spend more time with your child.

There may be different options on the table for you and every single case is different. If you are unable to spend time with your child, you may feel depressed or even angry. However, it is critical to handle these emotions properly and make sure that they do not get in the way of your ability to secure visitation. For example, if you have to appear in court, you should be fully prepared and do everything you can to put your best foot forward.

The impact of social media on custody proceedings

It is easy for those going through divorce proceedings to allow their emotions to get the best of them. Most dedicate a great deal of effort to remaining composed during actual hearings, choosing instead to vent their frustrations behind closed doors. This is fine, yet only if one does it wisely. Soon-to-be divorcees in Federal Way may be shocked to discover just how quickly and easily comments that they make in certain forums (such as social media) can be used against them during their proceedings. 

According to the Pew Research Center, social media use is commonplace amongst Americans, with the percentage of adults using such applications broken down as follows: 

  • Facebook: 68 percent
  • Instagram: 35 percent
  • Snapchat: 27 percent 
  • Twitter: 24 percent

The asset dissipation aspect of property division in divorce

If you are facing divorce, you probably realize that the more marital assets there are the more complex the process of property division will be.

You may feel concerned that your spouse will try to withhold property that he should rightly transfer to you, which is when the subject of asset dissipation may come up.

Co-parenting often requires compromise

Divorced parents in Washington may face a variety of challenges as they raise their children. For instance, it may be tough to reconcile the different parenting styles that each person may have. However, it can be easier to work together when both parents realize that their focus should be on the child. In some cases, this means being flexible and learning to develop positive relationships with each other.

Parents should also be aware of the possible damage that they can do to a child by holding grudges or otherwise engaging in long-term conflict. Ideally, children will have relationships with both of their parents regardless of how they feel about each other. However, parenting plans can be designed to ensure that the parents interact as little as possible. This could include picking children up at school or dropping them off at other public locations.

Timeline of a divorce

By the time a couple in Washington decides to divorce, both parties are usually ready to move on with their lives. For this reason, divorcing spouses often hope that they will be able to end their marriage quickly. However, there are a number of factors that can affect the timetable of a divorce.

Couples who don't have a lot of assets or children and have not been married for a long time may be able to obtain a divorce quickly, providing that they can agree on all aspects of asset division. Similarly, couples that do have significant assets or minor children may still be able to swiftly complete their divorce if they are willing to work together to settle these matters quickly.

Handling emotions during a military divorce

Ending a marriage can be difficult for any couple, regardless of their circumstances. For some, however, divorce can be especially tough. For example, military couples may face a number of unique challenges as they work to end their marriage and in this write-up we will look into the emotional impact of military divorce and some strategies that people can take advantage of to reduce these negative emotions.

There are all sorts of factors to consider when military couples end their marriage. Sometimes, one person in the relationship may be struggling with PTSD, or the divorce may be the result of an affair that occurred during deployment. Military members and their spouses often face high levels of pressure on a daily basis and a divorce can make daily life even tougher. By minimizing negative emotions such as anger, depression or anxiety, people in this position may be able to work toward a brighter future, find a more favorable outcome during their divorce and post-divorce family law matters and sleep easier at night.

What to do about the estate plan in a divorce

People in Washington who are getting a divorce may need to make some changes to their estate plan. For example, a person's spouse may have health care and financial powers of attorney in the estate plan. The principal may no longer want the spouse making health care decisions. The financial power of attorney gives someone control over all a person's assets if the person becomes incapacitated, so this may not be ideal during a divorce.

It is important for people to understand which estate planning documents they can change before the divorce is final. For example, it is usually not possible to make changes to beneficiary designations. It might be possible to change the will. Usually, a spouse cannot be disinherited. Sometimes, people will leave the spouse the minimum that the state allows. An aggressive move would be to disinherit the spouse with the knowledge that the spouse would have to spend time and money fighting the will to get any part of the estate.

When financial disputes lead to a divorce

Married couples decide to end their marriages for different reasons. In some cases, an affair may bring a marriage to an end, while other divorces are the result of a couple disagreeing on how to raise a child (such as sending a child to a particular college), moving, etc. However, financial matters can lead to divorce as well and many couples struggle with disagreements over how money is spent. For example, one parent may believe that their child should attend a more affordable college, while another is dead-set on a particular school even though tuition is very costly.

If financial disputes have led to your divorce, it is important to make sure that the right approach is taken. First of all, you should attempt to resolve these matters amicably, if you can. However, some divorces are quite contentious, regardless of one person's attempt to move forward with the divorce smoothly. You should carefully go over any financial matters that have led to your divorce and prepare for the potential financial consequences of ending your marriage. For example, you may be required to pay alimony or child support and the way that your marital property is split up could have a major impact on you as well.

What happens if you object to the relocation of your child?

Let us say that you have been divorced for a couple of years and are adhering to the stipulations of the parenting plan you and your ex established.

Now your former spouse—the custodial parent—wants to move 200 miles away, supposedly to be closer to family, which means your child will be relocated as well. You may have reasons to object to the move. How do you proceed?