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Fighting Like Cats and Dogs…Over Cats and Dogs

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Pet Custody during DivorcePets can be a source of excitement, happiness, and comfort. They are often seen as members of the family, which is why many people refer to them as their “furry children.” In fact, a pet often acts as a surrogate child for many younger married couples, who delay having children until they are financially ready.

Having a “child-like” pet with your spouse can be wonderful—until you get a divorce.

As reported in the Huffington Post, there has been a significant jump in “dog fights” between divorcing couples disputing custody of family pets. A recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 27 percent of divorce lawyers have seen a rise in the number of couples fighting over pets in the last five years.

The results of the survey showed that 22 percent of the divorce attorneys saw courts more often allow pet custody cases. Twenty percent felt that the courts have increasingly deemed the pet to be an asset.
[Read more…]

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Can the IRS’s Innocent Spouse Relief Save You from Paying for Your Ex’s Mistakes?

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Tax Return Paperwork When married, it is nearly always financially advantageous to file a joint tax return. However, what was once a benefit can become a disaster if you divorce and are later audited.

When you and your spouse file jointly, each of you becomes individually liable for the full amount of any taxes due, including interest and penalties.

Unfortunately, this means that you may be held responsible for the full amount of any unpaid taxes even if your spouse earned all of the income and claimed improper deductions or made other errors on your joint income tax return. According to the IRS, this is the case “even if a divorce decree states that a former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns.” [Read more…]

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“In Sickness and in Health, ’Til Death Do Us Part” Isn’t Quite True

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woman getting a check up by a doctorWhen you got married, you and your spouse promised to love and support each other for the rest of your lives, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness and health.

Unfortunately, however, you might now be finding that your spouse isn’t holding true to his vows.

A recent article in WebMD reported, “The marital vows to stay true ‘in sickness and in health’ seem to apply more to wives than husbands when one of the spouses becomes seriously ill, according to novel new research.’”

The research found that the risk of divorce increases when the wife—but not the husband—experiences a health crisis, whether it is cancer, heart problems, lung disease, or stroke.

About 50 percent of the marriages in which the wives were seriously ill ended in divorce. [Read more…]

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More Women Over 50 Getting Divorced

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Women Filing for Divorce in Charleston, SC | Attorney The Peck Law FirmIf you’re a woman 50 years of age or older and you’ve decided to divorce your husband, you’re not alone.

Most people know that the divorce rate is high; however, few people realize that the divorce rate among “baby boomers” has increased dramatically.

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports, “Among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past two decades.”

This data comes from the U.S. Vital Statistics Report and the U.S. Census Bureau, compiled by a pair of Bowling Green State University sociologists. While overall, divorce rates have declined since the 1980s, the rate of “gray divorce” is the highest it’s ever been. [Read more…]

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Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights?

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Grandparent's rights | Family Law Attorney | Charleston, SCBeing a grandparent in Charleston can be one of the more rewarding experiences in your life. Like most grandparents, you enjoy spending time with your grandchildren and you want to visit them regularly.

Perhaps, something has changed in your relationship with your son or daughter. They may be threatening to keep you from seeing your granddaughter or grandson. [Read more…]

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Protecting Your Children in a Charleston Divorce

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Too often in a divorce, the gloves come off – and the split gets ugly!Charleston, SC Divorce Attorney Ken Peck

If the children get caught in the divorce “cross-fire,” they can suffer severe emotional damages.

By putting the needs of your children first and working with a skilled child counselor and an experienced Charleston divorce lawyer, you can minimize many of the negative effects of divorce on your children.

Angry parents frequently engage in a behavior that is called “parental alienation.” As explained in a recent article in Psychology Today, parental alienation can have very damaging long-term impact on a child.

In my practice as a child custody lawyer in Charleston, I have seen many examples of parental alienation, including:

[Read more…]

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Supreme Court’s Decisions on Same-Sex Marriage Laws Lead to SC Court Battle

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Supreme Court - The Peck Law FirmRecently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two important decisions regarding same-sex marriage.

The headline-making rulings concerned Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law that denied federal benefits to married same-sex couples. The Supreme Court declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional and struck down DOMA. [Read more…]

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