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Omaha Law Blog

Collect and secure these documents before filing for divorce

Have you made up your mind about filing for divorce? If you have, one of the first things you will want to do is collect critical documents that will play a big role when working through the divorce.

Once you meet with your attorney, they will request copies of these documents. The information contained in these files will provide a clear picture of what you and your attorney will be working with when it comes to financial and property matters.

How do you protect yourself from a divorce?

Is there a way to "divorce-proof" your marriage before you get into it?

Not exactly. Divorces happen for all manner of reasons, but they basically come down to one basic factor: One or both members of the couple decides that they're unhappy and wants to move on. There's no way to prevent that from happening if it's going to happen -- but you can put yourself in the best possible position to move forward with ease.

Should you contest a will?

It can be quite a shock to find out that you're not receiving the inheritance you expected or are cut out of the will entirely while you're still grieving the death of your loved one.

It's perfectly understandable if you feel like the will is either a mistake, the product of some kind of fraud or manipulation or just plain unfair, but should you actually contest it?

New ruling puts retirement assets from divorce in danger

Typically, someone's retirement funds aren't in danger if that person files for bankruptcy. Retirement funds are generally exempted from bankruptcy proceedings. However, those exemptions may not hold true if the funds were part of the bankruptcy petitioner's divorce settlement.

A ruling by the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the 8th Circuit that affirms a lower court's ruling stands to have a significant effect on divorced individuals who need to file bankruptcy at any point in the future if they're hoping to keep the assets that came from a spouse's retirement plans.

Avoid the dangers of deathbed estate planning

When making your estate plans, it really is better to start planning early. Waiting until you're already ill or on your deathbed is often a big mistake that can leave your family in turmoil after you are gone -- and thwart your final wishes.

Here's why deathbed estate planning can go wrong:

Don't overlook the importance of taxes in your divorce

Dividing the marital assets fairly is a big part of any divorce process -- and that task is often complicated by the fact that you have to keep in mind the effects of taxation on any settlement.

Tax considerations in a "gray divorce" are particularly important because the divorcing couple is far closer to retirement than a younger couple -- which means they have less time to recover financially from a mistake.

3 tips for including stepchildren in your estate plan

A new marriage can bring second chances and new opportunities into your life. If one of the additions to your life through your marriage is stepchildren, you may feel a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. Being a stepparent comes with new responsibilities and concerns.

You may find that your stepchildren have a special place in your life now. Perhaps you even want to adopt them. If you think of your stepchildren as your own, you should include them in your estate plan. Here are some tips for leaving an inheritance when you have a blended family.

Behavior problems in the adopted child

Families that choose to adopt have a lot of love to offer a child -- which is why it sometimes perplexes parents when their newly adopted child seems to push them away or exhibits behavior that most people associate when unhappiness.

If you're one of those parents: Relax. This is normal. Therapists say that many children exhibit serious behavior problems after they are first adopted -- for a number of different reasons.

Study shows divorce rates in the United States are declining

The overall divorce rate in the United States is declining. Americans have long been aware that the odds of a successful marriage were, statistically speaking, only one out of two. That's not terrific odds, by any measurement.

However, a new study from the University of Maryland indicates that divorce rates have fallen a whopping 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. However, there's a catch: Divorce rates for older couples are still as high -- or even higher -- than always. It's the younger generations that are staying married.