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Rhode Island Family Law Blog

Alimony & Taxes

Alimony affected taxes in the past. Alimony has been a deduction from income when the payor files his/her income tax return. If the payor earned $100,000 in a year and paid $1,000 a month in alimony, his/her taxable income would be $88,000. The $12,000 per year alimony would be added to the recipient's income and he/she would pay taxes on the alimony received.

Taxes - Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit came into existence with the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Taxes need to be considered when negotiating a divorce when there are children. Previously in divorces, parties considered who would claim the children as dependents on an income tax return. The Rhode Island Child Support Guidelines suggests that the custodial parent would claim the exemption.

Workers' Compensation - Receive benefits even when no lost time

Receive workers' compensation benefits even if you have not missed a day out of work. Sounds crazy? It is not.

Workers' Compensation - Receive benefits even when no lost time

Receive workers' compensation benefits even if you have not missed a day out of work. Sounds crazy? It is not.

Living with a Narcissist?

Living with a narcissist may be difficult. Through almost 40 years working with people where one of the parties is a narcissist, I learned that psychologists and other mental health professionals have a lot more knowledge about people with narcissistic attitudes or tendencies than I will.  Yet, I have worked with couples in divorce mediation where one of the parties is a narcissist nd have found ways to help lead them to a reasonable settlement of their divorce issues.

Cohabitation, Children and Governmental Benefits

More people enter a Cohabitation Agreement.  Fewer couples are marrying as more live together without the formality of a marriage. Cohabiting couples buy or rent homes together, plan their futures together and bring up families together; often, people think that the only difference is a marriage certificate.

Divorce, Child Custody & Nesting

A rarely used option in child custody arrangements is "Nesting". When divorcing and co-parenting, the parties decide to each reside in a new residence and keep the children in the former marital home. Instead of the children going from Mom's home to Dad's home, the children remain in the home while the Mom and Dad go back and forth into the former home.

Cognitive Dissonance in Divorce

Cognitive dissonance is the fancy term for the stress that occurs when a person holds two contradictory thoughts, beliefs, values, opinions or attitudes. This often occurs during the divorce process.  If I believe that I am a good person and I do something truly bad, the discomfort I feel is the result of cognitive dissonance. People have an internal desire to feel that their actions, beliefs and ideas are consistent. Cognitive dissonance develops when a person takes two opposite beliefs or actions.

How can you deal with emotional stress post-divorce?


Some people in Rhode Island probably set aside thoughts about divorce because they don't want to deal with the emotional stress that comes along with going through the legal process. Instead, they stay in a marriage that they're unhappy with, which can make things worse in the long run. So, how can our readers get past this mental hurdle? Are there any ways to prepare yourself for dealing with the potential emotional stress you might feel in post-divorce life?

Using an experienced divorce mediator to help you resolve issues produces less stress that you find in a litigated divorce. You resolve issues in the office of the private mediator instead of the hallways and court rooms in the Family Court building. In the confidential setting of the mediator's office, you can discuss your concerns and fears as well as reach results in less time that it would take in a litigated divorce. Be able to express your needs, concerns and wants, and solving issues quickly reduces stress.

According to a recent article, there are several tips that people might want to take note of as they head into life after a divorce. No one will tell you that divorce is easy; there aren't many uncontested divorces out there. So, after the conflict and stress of going through divorce proceedings involving real estate issues, property division, custody plans and spousal support, what are you to do with all that stress?

When is it time to consider mediation in a divorce?


Many divorces are uncontested: the parties have few assets or debts to argue over and they have no children. These divorces can be relatively easy to complete. However, other divorces can be quite contentious. There may be many different assets in question, including complicated issues like business interests and retirement accounts. And, there will likely be children involved in these types of divorces, leaving the soon-to-be ex-spouses to fight over child custody and child support.

Many Rhode Island residents probably think that if a divorce is this contentious, courtroom litigation is the only option. However, there may be another way: divorce mediation. So, when is it time to consider mediation in a divorce?

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