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Cincinnati Legal Blog

Can your habits lead to a divorce?

Most people who marry believe that they will stay married to their spouse for their entire lives. Sadly, that isn't always true. There are times when the best solution for everyone is divorce.

The reasons people in Ohio and elsewhere divorce are varied. Afterwards, some people say that there were "signs" they should have picked up on that indicated their marriage was on the rocks. If you're curious, experts say that there are certain habits that might predict a couple's likelihood of divorce. Though this list isn't exhaustive, these are several ways to tell that you and your spouse may not make it to forever. It may be a good idea to involve professional help if you think some of these describe your relationship.

Financial issues for older adults to consider in divorce

Older adults in Ohio may be more likely to get divorced than younger couples. The divorce risk now is more than twice as high for couples 65 and older than it was in 1990. The rate has also increased for people 55 and older.

There are a number of reasons why this is happening. Over the decades, a couple may simply be preoccupied with raising children and working. However, they might eventually find that they have grown apart. Divorce is more acceptable than in previous generations.

The fundamentals of estate planning

Ohio residents are sometimes reluctant to address estate planning issues because it can be difficult for them to contemplate their death. Another issue is the dizzying array of documents involved. Dealing with wills, trusts and powers of attorney can seem daunting to those unfamiliar with legal documents, but tackling these issues head-on ensures that loved ones will be provided for and can provide peace of mind.

One way to approach estate planning is to think of the beneficiaries who will be taken care of rather than the assets involved. A straightforward way to begin an estate plan is to draft a will and check the beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and insurance policies. Last wills and testaments are especially useful for parents as they can establish who will be appointed the guardian of their children if they should die. It is also a good idea to revisit these documents regularly or, at the very least, after a major life event like a divorce.

Lack of love, communication problems, top reasons for divorce

A study that came out in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy surveyed 2,371 people and drew some conclusions about the most common reasons for divorce. The people surveyed were from Ohio or other states, heterosexual and 45 years old, on average. Of the respondents, 44% said they had initiated the divorce, 40% said their partners initiated it, and 16% said divorce was a mutual decision. The four reasons for divorce most commonly cited by respondents were lack of love, problems with communication, lack of trust and drifting apart.

A lack of intimacy or love was cited as a catalyst for divorce by 47% of study participants. The survey was made up of open-ended questions, the answers to which were then categorized by researchers. The answers that ended up in the lack of love category included statements like "I did not love him, and he no longer loved me." Communication problems were among the primary reasons for divorce in 44% of cases. One of the people surveyed said her husband didn't talk much and that eventually led to divorce.

Adoption home studies can be stressful

The presence of a child in your life is like no other joy you can imagine. If you have longed for a child, you may have had different experiences that led you to open your heart to the process of adoption. Welcoming as your own a child in need of a loving, nurturing home may seem the most natural choice for you, but you should be prepared for a challenging process to gain approval from an Ohio or private adoption agency.

Just as biological parents spend many months waiting and preparing for the arrival of their children, so you will have a busy and intense period of waiting after you apply to be an adoptive parent. A large part of that wait will involve the completion of your home study.

Including an IRA in an estate plan

Many Ohio residents have invested a significant amount in their Individual Retirement Accounts over the years. These kinds of accounts allow people to save for retirement while taking advantage of tax benefits. Some people end up saving so much that their IRA funds outlive them.

Estate owners often want to simply give their IRA funds to their spouses after they pass away. Indeed, many people set up their IRAs to support retirement for both members of a marriage, even if the account was held in one person's name only.

The right co-parenting info is better than more info

You may have never expected to get a divorce, and you may have expected even less to get divorced after having children. Still, this is the direction your life went, and now, you are working to co-parent with your ex-spouse and hope that you are doing the best for your children.

Parenting is difficult no matter the circumstances. After the divorce, you may have wondered how you would ever get along with only having the children with you part of the time while also continuing to make decisions with your ex regarding the well-being of the kids. Though you are trying your best, co-parenting can certainly have its challenges.

Prenups can make divorce easier in the future

When many Ohio residents who are planning to get married hear the term "prenup," they may immediately assume that prenups are only for those who have significant assets, especially since they can add to the cost of getting married. However, prenuptial agreements can help protect both individuals' interests in the event that a divorce occurs down the line.

Essentially, when a couple decides to get a divorce, each former spouse will be required to make a list of income, expenses and assets in addition to liability disclosures. If listing all of the assets and liability disclosures is completed before the marriage, there is a possibility that the amount of arguments that may occur during the divorce is significantly reduced. If a couple is intending to get married but has already commingled assets and finances due to cohabitation, the prenuptial agreement gives a chance to determine what belongs to whom while both individuals are in a good place with each other.

The benefits of financial powers of attorney

Those who become incapacitated for any reason may not be able to manage their finances. However, Ohio residents and others can create a financial power of attorney to resolve this problem. A financial power of attorney is a person or entity who is allowed to conduct various transactions on an incapacitated person's behalf. Without such a document, family members may need to go to court to get permission to manage that individual's money.

A power of attorney can either be durable or springing in nature. A durable power of attorney lasts until a person dies or revokes the power granted to an agent. Springing powers of attorney generally go into effect after a doctor certifies that a person is truly incapacitated. The powers granted to an agent can be as narrow or broad as an individual wants them to be.

What makes a will valid in Ohio?

Whether you have recently relocated to Ohio or you have lived in the Buckeye State all your life, it is not likely that you have researched the estate planning laws in this state. In fact, the number of people who adequately prepare their estates before their deaths is quite low. When someone dies intestate, which means without a will, his or her loved ones often have a challenging time during probate.

You may want to protect your family from this frustration by drafting your last will and testament. Naturally, you would like to do this in the most cost-effective and personal manner possible, so you may have planned to sit at your laptop this weekend or relax with a legal pad while you consider how to divide your estate. However, taking these actions may create just as much chaos for your loved ones during probate.

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Kroener Hale Law Firm
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