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Don't Make A Move
Without Knowing Your Options

Newark Family And Estate Law Blog

An estate plan can help you plan for the future. With a well-written strategy, you can maintain control of your assets despite incapacitation or other serious changes in your life.

Keeping your plan updated will guarantee it continues to operate the way you intend. Significant changes in your life might require prompt and thorough modifications to your plan.

Life changes

There are numerous reasons why you might need to change your strategy. According to Bank of America, some reasons to modify your estate plan include the following:

  • You receive an inheritance
  • You give birth to or adopt another child
  • Changes to tax law
  • You divorce or remarry
  • You change your health care proxy or POA
  • You retire or develop a serious illness

Neglecting your plan after major events in your life may cause it to slowly fall apart. Without evidence of the changes you intend to make, the courts will follow the outline of your original plan. This can lead to disappointing outcomes that jeopardize the value of your assets and could result in them going to people you no longer associate with.

Periodic reviews

Even if you have not experienced any major changes, a periodic update will help you fine-tune your plan. Experts recommend this type of review every three to five years. You might consider involving your legal team in this review to provide insight into ways you can optimize your plan and improve its function.

Making changes in a timely manner can reduce the stress and confusion of trying to sort things out when it is too late. An updated estate plan can protect your money and provide comfort and clarification for your surviving family members.

The court may order one party to pay the other spousal support in a divorce. There are options for the court to order temporary payments or permanent payments.

The court considers numerous factors in its determination to require one party to pay the other spousal support. A formula generally determines the amount.

Main factors in determining spousal support

The court looks at the earning capacity of each partner to determine if they can maintain their lifestyle during the marriage. If there is a significant disparity in the earning capabilities of the spouses, the court will likely order the higher earner to make support payments. The court also considers the debts owed by the parties, the age and health of each partner, any history of domestic abuse and childcare requirements for dependent children. The court will attempt to balance the needs and obligations of both spouses to reach an equitable resolution.

Duration of payments

The length of the marriage determines the general rule for spousal support payments. For a marriage that has lasted ten years or less, the court usually is willing to order spousal support to last for half the duration of the marriage. If the marriage has existed longer than ten years, the courts are more likely to award permanent spousal support. To stop the payment requirement for permanent spousal support, the paying party must prove the supported spouse no longer needs the help at some point in the future.

Courts can use spousal support to help even the playing field for ex-spouses in the event of a divorce.