Marital satisfaction rates with lower income couples

Many New York couples are familiar with the idea that marriage begins full of enthusiasm and happiness and then those feelings slowly decline over the years as the honeymoon effect ends. Research suggests, though, that marital satisfaction can last many years after the couple exchange vows.

Studies that have been done on marital satisfaction are usually conducted with middle-class, predominantly white couples. A recent study performed by researchers at the University of Georgia and University of Texas looked at how socioeconomic status and marital satisfaction were connected. Their study involved more than 400 couples in lower-income neighborhoods. The couples involved were contacted multiple times over many years and were asked to respond to questions that measured their marital satisfaction.

The couples were divided into three groups. These included high, moderate, and low marital satisfaction groups. Researchers found that marital satisfaction was stable in couples who had shown high or moderate initial levels of satisfaction in marriage as multiple years went by. The least satisfied group were individuals who showed low satisfaction initially in marriage. The study showed that wives who had exhibited low levels of satisfaction initially in marriage were the most likely to experience the sharpest decline in satisfaction throughout the years.

The researchers concluded that most spouses who had initial high levels of satisfaction in marriage maintained those high levels of satisfaction despite being at an economic disadvantage. The honeymoon phase was long over, but the satisfaction rate was still pretty high.

Individuals who experience low levels of satisfaction in marriage often turn to divorce as a solution. An individual who is considering divorce may wish to speak with a family law attorney. The attorney may be able to represent their client in divorce proceedings, draw up documents and visitation schedules when child custody is involved, or facilitate mediation to resolve disputes.

Stats about marriage in New York

Across the United States, a little over 48 percent of those over the age of 15 are married. This is according to data from the Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey that was reviewed by Wall Street 24/7. It found that 44.6 percent of New York residents were married, which was 49th in the country. However, it found that it had a marriage rate of 7.3 per 1,000 residents, which was the 12th highest in the country.

Furthermore, its divorce rate of 2.7 per 1,000 residents was the 13th lowest in the nation. The divorce rate nationally is 2.9 per 1,000 residents as of 2017. That figure has fallen since 2000 when four people out of every 1,000 were getting divorced. Although fewer people are choosing to end their marriages, fewer people are choosing to get married as well.

Only 6.9 people out of 1,000 were married in 2017, and that compares to 8.2 for every 1,000 residents in 2000. The marriage percentages for each state were determined by using an average of population statistics for the past five years. To qualify as married, a person could not be separated or legally divorced at the time the study was conducted. Those who were getting a divorce at the time of the study were considered to be separated.

Those who are going through the process of ending their marriage may benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. There are a variety of legal issues that will have to be addressed, such as property division and, in some cases, parenting arrangements, and an attorney can often help in negotiating a settlement agreement that covers these matters.

Post-divorce taxes and dependents

New York residents who claim dependents on their tax returns shouldn’t encounter many complications. However, in cases in which multiple parties are claiming the same dependents, such as when divorced or separated parents both claim their children, and are claiming any related tax credits, the Internal Revenue Service will have to take a closer look at the returns and make a decision about whose claims should be honored.

There are multiple tax advantages to claiming dependents. The taxpayers may be able to file as a head of the household. They may also claim a number of tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

Beginning with the 2018 tax year, the personal exemption has been removed due to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. However, the Dependent Care Credit can still be claimed by qualified taxpayers, and the Child Tax Credit has been doubled to $2,000. Being able to claim dependents may improve a taxpayer’s tax situation.

In cases in which multiple taxpayers are claiming the same dependents and no separation, custody or divorce agreement exists that specifies who should claim the dependents and any related tax credits, the IRS will apply a number of rules to determine which claim allow and which claim to deny. The rules that are used examine many factors, including the relationship between the taxpayers and the dependents, the residence of the dependents and, if necessary, the income of the taxpayers.

An attorney who provides family law services may work on behalf of parents who are seeking a divorce and want to obtain favorable settlement terms regarding issues related to their children. The attorney may be able to negotiate terms that allow clients the right to claim their children on their tax returns.

The benefits of keeping calm during the divorce process

When a couple in New York starts going through the divorce process, they have the power to decide if the divorce is going to be amicable or adversarial. Experience shows that when a couple is able to go through the divorce process in a peaceful, organized, and amicable way, the end result is often better than if it is a battle all the way through.

Each party must do their part to keep things peaceful. While people cannot completely control the way that their soon to be ex-spouses will react during the divorce process, they can control their own behavior. During the course of the marriage, spouses know what will set the other person off and the warning signs that show that they are getting upset themselves. If a situation seems volatile, each spouse needs to take it upon themselves to not engage and not do anything that is going to add to the toxicity of the interaction.

Sometimes, spouses will need to take a break, walk away from the negotiation table, take a deep breath, and think for a moment about what they want to say and do next. There are a lot of strong emotions involved. The tendency may be to react on impulse. Doing this will only make the situation worse. Instead, stepping away from the situation, taking a break, and then coming back to the negotiation table may make things go smoother.

During the divorce process, an individual may benefit from seeking advice from a family law attorney. A family law attorney might represent their client during the divorce process. They may be able to provide their clients with information on things like property division, valuation of assets, and other practical issues that may be of benefit during the divorce process.

Planning for college costs during a divorce

When New York couples decide to divorce, the financial effects of ending the marriage can be particularly serious. However, these consequences aren’t necessarily limited to the divorcing spouses; they can affect their children as well. When parents make the decision to split, it can be an important time to review financial plans in order to protect the children’s college funds and develop a strategy for savings. College tuition is already a significant concern for many parents, especially as the costs of attending a university continue to skyrocket.

However, careful planning can help to ease the burden of paying for school, even when parents have divorced. Because few people want to consider divorce when they are married, 66 percent of couples do not have a financial plan to handle a separation or partner’s death. As a result, plans to pay for the children’s university education are often based on the idea that both parents will be working together to save the needed funds. In the 2017-2018 academic year, tuition, room and board and fees cost an average of $20,770 for a public university and $46,950 for a private university annually.

Many students pay for a university through a combination of parental assistance, student loans, scholarships and grants. Financial aid packages are often calculated based on parents’ participation, so it can be important to plan. Some parents may negotiate college payments as part of the divorce settlement itself while others may focus on more immediate needs like child support for minor children.

Paying for a university can come after child support and spousal support obligations have come to an end, but it is important for launching a child’s next stage of life. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing parent to include negotiations about college costs as part of the divorce settlement.

The risk of marrying out of one’s league

New York men and women who are preparing to tie the knot may be interested to learn that those who marry partners more attractive than them may have a higher risk of getting divorced. According to a variety of research, couples who do not match in attractiveness may have marriages that are less successful.

For example, a study found that women who find their male partners to be less attractive were more likely to flirt with other individuals. They were also more likely to report that they felt less committed to their relationship. Some research suggests that jealousy on behalf of the less attractive partner can cause issues within the relationship.

However, some research found that men who married more attractive women tended to be happier than men who married women within their league. For example, the men were often more helpful and effective when it came to resolving problems that their significant others were facing. Another study suggests that couples who started out as friends prior to starting a romantic relationship may find physical attractiveness to be not as important as those who enter a romantic relationship prior to being friends.

Although attractiveness can be a part of the reason a couple may decide to get divorced, there are many other issues that can contribute to the decision. For example, money issues and incompatibility can also a vital role in the dissolution of a marriage. A divorce and family law attorney may assist with reaching a solution when it comes to division of marital property, child custody proceedings and support enforcement proceedings. If the divorce is uncontested, the attorney may walk a person through the different options, such as divorce mediation or litigation.

Drunk driving fatalities more common among youth

Drunk driving takes the lives of thousands of people every year in New York and across the country. Around one-third of all traffic accident fatalities are linked to driving under the influence, and some people are at particularly high risk of dying in a drunk driving crash. Young people under 24, people with previous drunk driving convictions and motorcyclists are the most likely to lose their lives in these car crashes. Drunk drivers may crash into other vehicles at high speeds, causing catastrophic injuries including head trauma, blood loss or organ damage.

When people take a drink, the alcohol remains in the bloodstream until it is filtered out by the liver. The liver filters alcohol at a rate of approximately 1 ounce every hour. In some cases, people with compromised livers, including long-term alcoholics, may process alcohol much more slowly. The blood alcohol concentration test used to indicate when a driver is drunk measures how much of the blood supply consists of alcohol. In most states across the county, people with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher can be charged with drunk driving. While it may seem like a tiny amount, this quantity has been shown to lead to poor judgement when operating a vehicle.

There are a number of reasons why young people are more likely to die in a drunk driving crash. If young drivers are themselves drunk, their relative lack of driving experience may lead them to make worse decisions than older drivers.

Car accidents can lead to devastating outcomes, including severe injuries and permanent disabilities. People who have been injured in a crash due to someone else’s drunk, distracted or dangerous driving may want to work with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may be able to help accident victims pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

Laws regarding grandparent child custody

New York parents and grandparents who have questions about child custody should be aware of regional custody laws. In some regions, grandparents are allowed to petition a court for custody of their grandchildren. Even if the court does not award custody, grandparents may petition a court order for visitation rights when the parents do not allow them to see their grandchildren. However, not all regions have statutes that protect grandparents’ rights, and national laws generally protect parents’ rights to raise their children without interference. Many courts consider grandparent child custody an infringement of parental rights.

When determining whether to award custody to grandparents, courts take the relationship between parents and their children into consideration. The courts will generally presume that the parents should not lose custody unless the grandparents are able to prove that the child would be better off with them. For example, when parents are neglectful, courts may award custody to the grandparents. However, some regions have put laws in place that limit grandparents’ custody rights.

Even in regions with strict parental rights protections, there are certain factors that may lead a court to award custody to the grandparents. For example, if the parents are unable to properly care for the children, and the grandparents could provide a suitable home, the grandparents may be awarded custody. In the case of parental death or parental abuse, the grandparents may also be granted custody.

Parents and grandparents who are concerned about child custody laws may consider working with an attorney with experience in divorce and family law. An attorney may be able to evaluate the parents’ or grandparents’ region and determine which laws apply in their individual circumstances.

How the TCJA will impact divorce

Alimony and child support payments are two issues that can be great sources of contention between divorcing spouses in New York. Soon-to-be exes should be aware that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has a significant role in how the two issues will be addressed for divorces that are finalized on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

The TCJA, which was passed in December 2017, includes provisions regarding alimony and child support. The changes in the tax law mean that couples who get divorced after the end of 2018 may find that their divorce is more expensive than they thought it would be.

For divorce agreements that are signed after the end of 2018, alimony will be considered a simple transfer of property and will have no income tax significances. Divorcing couples won’t be required to structure their alimony so that it is in compliance with tax law. Individuals required to pay alimony won’t be allowed to deduct the support payments from their taxable income. The recipients of alimony won’t have to report the money they receive as part of their taxable income.

While not having to report the alimony payments can be considered advantageous for the recipients, judges may take this into consideration when ruling on support. The amount awarded may be lowered to compensate for the deduction being removed for the payer.

An attorney who handles divorce and family law cases may work to protect the rights and interests of a divorcing client. If necessary, litigation may be used to resolve disputes regarding alimony and child support.

Study highlights the links between work and divorce

New York residents who work in fields dominated by the opposite sex are more likely to divorce according to a study published in the medical journal Biology Letters. This was the conclusion that a team of researchers reached after studying Danish population data gathered over several decades. Earlier studies in this area have primarily focused on men who live in communities with disproportionately high numbers of women. The research team from Stockholm University wanted to find out if having a large number of prospective sexual partners in the workplace had the same negative affect on long-term relationships.

The results of the study suggest that several factors in the workplace make divorce more or less likely. Working in a field dominated by the opposite sex was found to make divorce more likely for both men and women. The researchers say that they took known risk factors such as education, income and age into consideration.

The researchers discovered several other links between employment and divorce. Workers in fields like hospitality and entertainment that call for significant amounts of social interaction tend to divorce more frequently than those employed in more subdued sectors, and marriages are especially vulnerable when social interaction in the workplace is combined with gender imbalance. Education also seems to pay a role. Men with university degrees who work in female dominated industries are much more likely to divorce than their male colleagues who did not attend college. However, the opposite is true among women according to the study.

Even the strongest marriages can be undermined by mistrust and suspicion when one of the spouses involved works in close proximity to attractive members of the opposite sex. Attorneys with family law experience may suggest post-marital agreements to spouses who wish to avoid this pitfall. They could point out that the legal security provided by such agreements generally strengthens relationships and provides both spouses with peace of mind.