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What Happens to Student Loan Debt During a Divorce?

During a divorce, the matter of dividing a couple’s marital debts is given just as much weight as dividing their assets. While “marital debt” usually translates for most couples to mean debt from credit cards, for a growing number of college-educated spouses, there is another issue to contend with: student loan debt. Just what happens to student loans during a divorce? A recent Wall Street Journal article looking at this issue did a good job of breaking down the most common scenarios:

The debt is separate. If you or your spouse went to college and took out loans before you got married, in general, this debt is almost always considered separate debt and will not be considered part of a marital settlement.

The debt is shared under the terms of a prenuptial agreement. When couples sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married, there can sometimes be language included that addresses debt either spouse brings into the marriage, and what will happen to this debt in a divorce. Read the fine print carefully! In New Jersey, full financial disclosure is required under law at the time you sign your pre-nup in order to legally enforce it. This means that you should know exactly how much student loan debt your spouse carries before you sign on any kind of document agreeing to share in paying it off.

The debt is considered marital debt due to refinancing. If you and your spouse took advantage of low interest rates and refinanced your loans by rolling your separate debts into a single joint account, it will likely be considered a joint marital debt and be divided between the two of you.

The debt is considered marital debt due to how it was used. If your spouse took out a student loan debt and part of that student loan debt went towards paying your famiy’s living expenses, your spouse may be able to make the case that part of the debt’s repayment should be on your shoulders.

Just how common is student loan debt? Currently, college students who took out loans and earned bachelor’s degrees in 2012 graduated with an average $29,400 in educational debt, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, and those earning advanced degrees were typically on the hook for even more. Now multiply that by two (spouses) and you can see why this issue is a growing concern.

For more on marital debt and whether you’re in the clear when it comes to certain debt issues on the part of your spouse, see our blog: Telling The Difference Between Marital & Separate Property.

Mother’s Day for Single Moms

It’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas, but Mother’s Day still can carry with it much of the same kind of emotional baggage that holidays and other family celebrations do when you are separated or newly divorced. Is this your first Mother’s Day since your split? Things may be very different this year, but one thing is the same: You are still a mom and you still deserve a special day.

How can you celebrate your new status as a single mom? Here are some ideas for how to create a day filled with joy. On the other hand, are you a dad wondering how to help your kids honor their mother, even if she is no longer your wife? We’ve got tips on how to make that happen, too.

For Single Moms

1. Have Fun on a Budget: Did past Mother’s Days always include eating out in a restaurant? If it was your ex who always orchestrated things, check out the many “mom discounts” out there for this Sunday — many restaurants run “moms eat free!” brunch specials to sweeten the deal for Mother’s Day. Museums, theaters, stores, and other mom-friendly locations may also offer discounts on Sunday when mothers show up with kids in tow. If your kids are old enough to be aware of Mother’s Day and want to celebrate it with you as a fun family day, these deals and discounts can help make it happen — while still staying within your budget.

2. Start New Traditions: If every single Mother’s Day, your husband gave you a rose bush to plant in the garden, think of new ways to mark the day. Perhaps Mother’s Day becomes the first beach day of the year, or the day you and your kids plant a vegetable garden in the back yard, or the day you spend together heading out to see one of the new summer blockbusters. Establishing new traditions can be a powerful way for families to embrace post-divorce life together.

3. Find Another Mother in Need of Celebrating: Is your own mother close by? Have another single mom friend? Have an empty nester aunt who could use a little company? Get together for a picnic lunch out in the beautiful sunshine and enjoy the company. Having other people around can also be a distraction for kids — and you — to help keep your mind off comparing the day to years past.

4. Take Time for Self-Care: Does your ex-husband have the kids today? Turn your Mother’s Day into Mamma Gets Her Groove Back Day and take some time just for you. Go get that mani-pedi you know you deserve, read a good book, see a funny movie (even a funny movie about divorce), get a massage, or just go for a long walk in nature to clear your head. You deserve it, mom!

Single Dads: Helping Your Kids Celebrate Their Mom

1. Remember that Mother’s Day is Also About Your Kids: Take into account that your children may be wondering what you are going to do to help them celebrate their mom, even if she is your ex-wife. If you have custody of the kids starting Friday after school, ask your school-age kids if they made anything for their mom at school — and then make sure this gets to her! It might be nice, if the kids could drop them off in person on Sunday, if possible. If the kids are in the habit of leaving their belongings behind at your place, make sure — at minimum –that these gifts get packed up to take home.

2. Help Them Do Something Special: Have them pick out cards for their mother, or make cards. Making something special for Mother’s Day doesn’t have to mean spending extra money, if that is a concern. Have your kids make coupon books for their mother with coupons for fun things like, “one bear hug” — it’s really the thought that counts. To avoid confusion for your children, be clear in everything you say about these gifts and cards, that the sender of them is the child. . . Try to use language like, “Your card for your Mom is really nice.” or “Why don’t you pick out something that you can give to your mother.” If you say, “Let’s get something for Mommy,” the problem you could potentially be setting up is that your child thinks you are in on the gift-giving. He or she may ask you to sign the card or be there to give the gift. If you do want to do these things, fine. But just understand the mixed signals this could possibly send to your child.

3. Consider Making An Exception: In an article for the Huffington Post, WLG’s Bari Weinberger wrote about negotiating extra time with children around the holidays. No matter how tense things are between the two of you right now, can you step back for a minute and think what allowing your children a few hours to go out to brunch with their mom on Sunday morning could mean for them? This solution might not work for everyone, but this Mother’s Day, at least try to consider what is truly best for the children of this mother. And then consider this: Father’s Day is only six weeks away and if you extend the favor now, you may just get it repaid next month!

NJ Court Says Child’s Interests, Not Accreditation, Decides School Choice

Fighting with your former spouse over your child’s education costs? A recent New Jersey Appellate Division court decision may give you some guidance on how a judge might view your dispute.

The case in question, Rothstein v. Warschawski, involves Chana Rothstein and Benjamin Warschawski, who were married in 2004 in Maryland. Yael (fictitious name), the couple’s only child, was born in 2005. In 2010, Rothsein and Warschawski divorced. Rothstein moved to New Jersey with her daughter and remarried soon after. Warschawski moved to Illinois.

In their divorce settlement, both parents had agreed to split the costs of Yael’s religious education as part of their child support arrangement, but a dispute arose when Rothstein requested Warschawski pay his share of the Hebrew school she had chosen. The school was accredited by the Hebrew Day Schools association. Warschawski objected and demanded that Yael be registered at a school accredited by a secular accreditation organization such as MSACS.

As reported by the NJ Law Journal, Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Barbara Stolte eventually sided with the father, and ordered Yael be withdrawn from her current school and placed into an unspecified school that has been accredited by either the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools or the American Montessori Academy. Before making her decision, Judge Stolte did not conduct a hearing on what would be in Yael’s best interests.

On the grounds that a “best interest” hearing should have taken place, Rothstein appealed the decision. On Tuesday, a New Jersey appeals court ruled in her favor, citing that a judge cannot force a divorced mother to take a child out of the unaccredited school of her choice and enroll her in an accredited school without first determining what would be the best interests of the child. “Even in cases in which religious training is not added to the mix, a court tasked with resolving a dispute between divorced parents over school selection must engage in a sensitive, fact-intensive analysis focused on the best interests of the child,” Appellate Division Judges Carmen Alvarez and Mitchel Ostrer wrote in their decision.

Just what does “best interests of the child” involve when it comes to school? The judges said Stolte should follow the language set forth in another case, Levine v. Levine, 322 N.J. Super. 558 (App. Div. 1999): “In the context of the best interests of a child, any evaluation of a school district is inherently subjective. Just as a student cannot be summed up by IQ, verbal skills or mathematical aptitude, a school is more than its teacher-student ratio or State ranking. The age of its buildings, the number of computers or books in its library and the size of its gymnasium are not determinative of the best interest of an individual child during his or her school years. Equally, if not more important, are peer relationships, the continuity of friends and an emotional attachment to school and community that will hopefully stimulate intelligence and growth to expand opportunity.”

Does your child support arrangement contain agreements concerning schooling costs?

Including Personal Provisions in Child Custody & Support Agreements

Don’t want your former spouse smoking around your children when they are in his/her care? Committed to homeschooling? Raising your children on a vegetarian diet?

If you are considering mediation as a way to reach a resolution in your child custody or child support matter, whether it is part of your divorce settlement, or a separate matter brought up outside of divorce, one of the key benefits of negotiating with your spouse over child custody and child support is mediation’s ability to create a truly custom agreement.

Some of the terms parents have listed as “musts” for custody or support agreements? Here are a few of the many items parents have successfully requested:

1. While the child is a minor, no piercings or tattoos without both parents’ consent.

2. Any future legal costs incurred on behalf of the minor child, including bail and lawyer costs, must be split by both parents.

3. Requests to split the costs of contact lenses and braces for a minor child, if not covered by health insurance. Putting it writing can be a way to head off any arguments that these types of items are cosmetic/unnecessary for health.

4. No smoking inside/in car/around children; no exposure to secondhand smoke in the home.

5. No drinking to the point of intoxication on the part of either parent when in the presence of the child; not appearing in an intoxicated state around the child. This can be issue, even during supervised visits, if one parent if affected by alcoholism.

6. Splitting the costs of buying a car for the child.

7. Requiring special diet restrictions to be followed wherever the child resides, including kosher, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free and other diets for food allergies.

8. Restrictions on screen time, including time spent watching TV or playing on the computer regardless of which parent the child is spending time with.

9. Splitting the cost of a smart phone and smart phone plan, including texting. Or likewise, placing a ban on texting.

10. Requests for maintaining restrictions on clothing choices for boys or girls wherever the child resides. Parents may agree to no baggy pants or “low riding” jeans for boys, no midriff tops for girls, etc. This dress code is then written into custody agreement.

Do these sound over the top — or do they make sense? Did you make any special requests? Did your spouse?

Actor Jon Cryer’s Ex-Wife Demands $80K/Month Increase in Child Support

photo credit: Amanda FordJon Cryer, star of CBS’s long-running sitcom, Two and a Half Men, and one of the highest paid actors on TV, is being asked by ex-wife Sarah Trigger to increase his child support payments from $8,000 per month to support their minor son to $88,000 per month.

The main reason for the child support modification request? Trigger says the couple’s income disparity is making it impossible for her to maintain the luxurious standard her son had become accustomed to when Cryer and Trigger were married, and afterwards, when Cryer had majority custody of their son. When Trigger was awarded $8,000 monthly in child support by the California courts, she had custody only 4 percent of the time. In a new agreement, her child custody time has been increased to 50 percent. Cryer reportedly makes a staggering $2 million per month, while Trigger has been struggling to find work as an actress.

In her filing to have child support increased, Trigger describes that her son attends the prestigious Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where students drive luxury cars to school, go on expensive family vacations, and have over-the-top birthday parties “at expensive places like Sky High Sports and invite the whole class.” Because Trigger is not able to provide these things for her son, she feels he is at a disadvantage.

“The reality is that when the child is with his father, he’s able to compete on a level playing field with his peers, and when he’s with his mother, he’s not,” her attorney explained in a NY Daily News report.

Does she have a case? The answer may be yes. “The child needs to be able to compete with his peers 100 percent of the time, and that means mom being able to afford to buy the things his peers receive,” her attorney commented, “I don’t think it’s really healthy for there to be such a disparity. This is really about the child’s best interest.”

What if Cryer and Trigger lived in New Jersey? The state’s rules for handling high net worth cases could mean that a parent with Cryer’s income would need to increase support payments in order to meet the “reasonable needs of the child.” According to an Appellate Division decision of the New Jersey Superior Court ruling in Strahan v. Strahan, “the dominant guideline for consideration is the reasonable needs of the children, which must be addressed in the context of the standard of living of the parties. The needs of the children must be the centerpiece of any relevant analysis.” In other words, issues such as one parent not being able to provide the child’s expected standard of living may be taken into consideration.

Trigger’s new petition has a court date early next year, but private child support mediation talks to resolve the matter appear to be ongoing.

Extracurricular Activities, Graduate School on the Line in New Jersey Child Support Decisions

In New Jersey, two recently decided court cases show just far-reaching state family law is concerning the burden of parents to pay child support costs, especially in the area of education.

In the first of these new and notable cases, a two-judge appellate panel of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled last month that a father must pay 50% of his daughter’s law school tuition bill because of an agreement contained in his divorce decree. According to the National Law Journal, the father in this case had agreed in his divorce terms to shoulder half the cost of his daughter’s higher education (see our related article, “Who Pays for College?”. At the time of his divorce, his daughter had just graduated from Rutgers University with her undergraduate degree. When she announced, following the divorce, that she had been admitted to Cornell Law School, which costs $225,000 to attend, the father offered $7500 per year, the equivalent cost of instate tuition at Rutgers Law School.

As the Journal reports:

John Livingston and ex-wife Patricia Rossi divorced in 2009 after 26 years of marriage. They have two adult children. The daughter, identified only as J. in court records, graduated from Rutgers University several months before the divorce.

The settlement stipulated that the mother and father each would pay 50 percent of J.’s law school costs after scholarships were factored in, as long as she maintained a C average. Just before the divorce, however, the daughter cut off all communication with Livingston.

Several law schools accepted the daughter in 2012 and she chose Cornell, even though the school offered her no scholarship. The annual cost for tuition, books and living expenses would be $74,580, according to the opinion. Livingston declined to pay a portion of her costs when asked, but offered to contribute $7,500 a year if the daughter went to Rutgers School of Law instead and lived at home. He complained that his daughter had not consulted him in her law school choice.

Rossi in September 2012 asked a court to enforce the settlement, and Livingston filed a cross-motion seeking to have the law school language vacated or modified. The trial court judge sided with Rossi.

Livingston appealed, and lost. The Court ruled that because his divorce settlement obliges him to pay half — 50 percent — he is responsible for approximately $112,500 to help his daughter attend Cornell.

In the second case, involving a dispute over extracurricular activities, the father of an accomplished fencer attempt to get out of paying for tournament, equipment and other costs even after signing off an agreement in his divorce that he pay for all “reasonable extracurricular activities,” was stopped by a NJ appeals court.

According to the New Jersey Law Journal, plaintiff Jayne Valenti and defendant David Bassinder never married but in 1985 had a son. When they ended their relationship in 2008, Bassinder agreed to pay $1,200 a week in child support and $1,800 a month to cover Valenti’s mortgage. Bassinder also agreed to cover his son’s educational expenses, which included the $25,000-a-year tuition at a Monmouth County prep school, and “reasonable extracurricular activities.”

In 2010 and 2011, Bassinder paid for or reimbursed Valenti for fencing costs, which included tens of thousands of dollars for equipment, coaching, camps, lessons and out-of-state tournaments. In July 2012, Valenti asked Bassinder to reimburse her for the $2,953 it cost to send the son to a national fencing competition in California.

Following this, a court motion was filed in which Bassinder demanded an accounting of all the child support he had paid to Valenti for the previous year. He also said it was “not reasonable” to expect him to cover the costs of all the tournaments. Valenti argued that this dispute over the fencing costs was related to other disagreements the two were having, and not about the money and payments.

Ocean County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Wauters sided with Valenti, finding there were no changed circumstances justifying refusal to pay. Bassinder appealed, but Appellate Division Judges Mitchel Ostrer and Harry Carroll affirmed on March 6 that he still needs to pay for his son’s extracurricular expenses.

“In this case, the undisputed evidence established that defendant reimbursed plaintiff for [the son’s] tournament expenses from as early as November 2010 through early 2012,” they wrote inValenti v. Bassinder.

The takeaway here for any parent concerned about affording child support payments? Read the fine print carefully on any divorce or child support document before signing.

Robin Thicke & Paula Patton Separation: Deciding Custody of Very Young Children

In Hollywood yesterday, it was announced that singer Robin Thicke and his wife, actress Paula Patton, have decided to separate after nine years of marriage. The couple met and began dating as teenagers. Wed in 2005, the couple have one young child, a son, who is three years old.

When parents separate, it is typical for a temporary (pendente lite) child custody order to be put in place. The order establishes parenting time until the couple reconciles or decides to move forward with divorce (in which case a final child custody order is decided).

What kind of plan might be viewed as best when a child is still a toddler, as is the case with Thick and Patton, or even younger? Deciding custody arrangements for a child demands putting the best interests of the child first. For infants and toddlers, this often means looking at the child’s primary attachment. Has the child, up until the parents’ separation, spent more time with one parent who has acted as primary caregiver? How active is the other parent in the child’s life? What kind of attachment has the child formed with the second parent? Are there any special circumstances that should be taken into account, such as an infant who is still breastfeeding?

Unless exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise, the goal of the custody arrangement/parenting time plans is to make sure the child has access to both his parents. With this said, some examples of parenting time plans for very young children include:

– Nesting: In this scenario, an agreement is reached to have the child remain in the family home; each parent then cycles in and out when it’s their parenting time. For example, if one parent has a Wednesday evening dinner and weekends from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, the parent would come to the family home for that time. Depending on the arrangement, the other parent would vacate the premises to allow the child and the parent alone bonding time.

Some psychologists favor this approach because it may help reduce anxiety in young children when visiting the other parent in unfamiliar (for now) surroundings. Celebrity mom Mayim Bialik is using “nesting” in her shared custody arrangement with her ex-husband and has spoken publicly about how this approach has helped her two sons adjust to divorce. Parents may decide to nest when their children are younger and then transition to a more traditional “two home” plan as their children enter their school age years.

– Shorter, but more frequent visits: For infants and younger toddlers (two and under), it is sometimes thought best for the child to have access to other parent in very frequent, but shorter visits so as not to interfere with issues such as breastfeeding or sleep patterns. In this scenario, the child’s residence may be primarily with one parent, with the other parent allowed to visit the child at the house every day for several hours, but usually not overnight. In the end, the amount of time the parent spends with the child typically works out the same amount of time as the standard 3 overnights per week. As time goes on and the child grows older, this arrangement can be modified.

– Two homes: Because custody really is decided upon on a case by case basis, if the child’s developmental maturity level appears ready to accept a two-parent home, this may be deemed what’s best. In the case of Patton and Thicke, according to reports, their son has traveled with his mother to film shoots (Patton and her son are currently staying in Vancouver, Canada while she works on a movie), and has traveled extensively with both parents around the world. These kinds of experiences may have made their son more adaptable to new situations. Similarly, if the child has a nanny who is willing to travel back and forth between the two parents’ homes, this too may be seen as a reason why a more standard parenting time plan would be be appropriate, even for a three year old.

Whatever plan the pair comes up with, it’s only temporary until they reconcile or move ahead with a divorce. In the event of a divorce, psychologists and other developmental experts may be called to offer expert testimony on what’s best for their son as a final custody arrangement is negotiated.

Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group Cover Story for New Jersey Legal Leaders – Top Rated Lawyers

Congratulations to Bari Weinberger and staff at Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group! We’re pleased to announce that Bari and the rest of the Weinberger team are a featured lawyer/law firm cover story for New Jersey Legal Leaders – Top Rated Lawyers, an annual supplement compiled by ALM publications.

Where can you find it? The supplement will be distributed in upcoming issues of the Wall Street Journal, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and Inside Jersey magazine. Publication dates are listed below.

We couldn’t be prouder of the cover story detailing the tremendous growth and leadership taken by Weineberger Law Group in the New Jersey family law community. Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group is now the fastest growing law firm in New Jersey solely focused on the practice of divorce and family law. However, at the same time the firm continues to grow and expand, with offices now open in both Morris County (Parsipanny) and Monmouth County (Freehold), the firm’s reputation for individualized attention and individualized care of clients’ needs is also on the rise. How do we do we do it? Pick up a copy of the supplement to find out!

You can find New Jersey Legal Leaders – Top Rated Lawyers in the following publications. Please note the dates.

Inside Jersey
– In stores and newsstands on or before 8/27

Wall Street Journal
– included with the paper on 9/4

The American Lawyer
– publication mail date: 8/27

Corporate Counsel
– publication mail date: 9/13

National Law Journal
– publication mail date: 9/2

Get all your information online? The cover story is available there, too! Check out the following locations:

Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group on Law.com

NJ Star Ledger

Give it a read and please let us know what you think!

Prenup Thrown Out In Court After Verbal Promise to “Rip It Up”

In New York, a Brooklyn Appellate Court panel has ruled that Peter Petrakis, a successful real estate investor, “fraudulently induced” his wife, Elizabeth, to sign a prenuptial agreement four days before their wedding. In a move that’s being hailed as precedent-setting, the prenup has now been thrown out and the couple’s divorce will proceed without the financial stipulations the document had outlined.

Peter, according to accusations, threatened to call off the couple’s wedding unless Elizabeth signed the prenuptial agreement his lawyers had drawn up. In her own testimony, Elizabeth claimed she felt bullied and coerced into signing because her dad had already paid $40,000 for a reception and she didn’t want him to lose out on so much money. Elizabeth also claimed that Peter verbally promised to “rip up” the prenup once they had kids. They eventually had three.

In response, Peter claimed he never made the promise and also denied any coercion on his part in getting Elizabeth to sign.

However, after examining arguments from both sides, the panel found Peter’s credibility to be “suspect” and ruled to strike the couple’s prenuptial agreement as invalid. The Appellate Court ruling now paves the way for Elizabeth to make claims on Peter’s estimated $20 million in metro area real estate holdings.

Why the Petrakis case is of note — and what is potentially groundbreaking about the ruling — is that it represents the first time a court (in NY) has accepted a verbal promise over what is written in a prenuptial agreement.

Could this have any impact on prenuptial agreements drawn up here in New Jersey? As Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group divorce attorney Carmela Novi blogged about in September, according to current rules, the “justness” of a prenup is determined at the time the couple seeks their divorce, allowing for modifications in certain cases where health or financial circumstances have changed for spouses. This does open the door for spouses to challenge the prenup on other grounds at the time they divorce, though it’s unclear what kind of response the courts would have to the kind of “he said/she said” claims involved in the Petrakis case.

But something to keep your eye on? A new bill before the New Jersey legislature could drastically change how prenuptial agreements are evaluated and enforced in the state. If the bill is eventually passed, judges would be required to evaluate prenups for conscionability (fairness) as of the date they were executed, which may be decades before the divorce. This could potentially shut out claims such as those made by Elizabeth Petrakis if the document is found to be above board and agreed to long before the marriage ends.

Bottom line: Prenuptial agreements are becoming more and more common in today’s financially complex world. To create a document that lasts, be sure that you — and your spouse-to-be — seek legal counsel before agreeing to any premarital document.

Study: Divorce Rates Now Doubled For Older Couples

A few months back, our own Bari Weinberger appeared on CBS-2 to discuss the growing trend of “gray divorce” among the Baby Boom generation. Now, thanks to a new study from researchers at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, we now have hard statistics to back up just how many adults over 50 divorced in recent years. In short, it’s probably a lot more than anyone could have guessed.
According to the results, published recently in the Journals of Gerontology, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 fully doubled between 1990 and 2010. Using statistical data pulled from U.S. Census reports, researchers were able to show that in 1990, there were only 4.9 divorces per 1,000 married people over 50 years of age. By 2010, this rate had grown to 10 divorces out of every 1,000 married people over 50. When just looking at raw numbers alone, in 2010, approximately 600,000 people aged 50 and above ended their marriages.Over the past two decades, the divorce rate among the general population has essentially leveled off, making it all the more perplexing why exactly older adults are divorcing in such growing numbers. A partial explanation may be that many of these “gray divorcees” have already been down this path before — the rate of divorce was 2.5 times higher for those in remarriages versus first marriages. Researchers also found that the longer a couple had been married, the less likely it was that they would divorce.Are you contemplating a divorce now that you’re older (and perhaps wiser)? For people in their 50s, 60s, and beyond, common issues faced during divorce are less likely to involve child custody and other parenting-related matters, and more likely to focus on division of assets, including retirement accounts, and spousal support. When going about your divorce, here are a few issues to consider.How experienced is your attorney in handling retirement-related issues? If you get the sense that your lawyer works mainly on child custody issues, or family-related matters, ask some direct questions about their experience and financial savvy in making sure IRAs, 401Ks, and other retirement accounts considered “marital property” are equitably divided as you plan for life after divorce — and after retirement.As we wrote in a previous blog post, divorced individuals may also be able to claim part of their former spouse’s Social Security benefit if certain conditions are met. This is also something you will probably want feedback from your lawyer concerning, so do your homework to make sure this person is capable of truly representing your best interests.Could there be any lingering child-related issues to address? If you are in your 50s, you may not have any little ones in diapers anymore. But if your son or daughter is in college or grad school, and you’re still footing the bill for school, or still have your child on your health insurance plan, these are also issues that can come into play when ending your marriage. If you will continue to support the child, what percent will each of you contribute? Will the fact that one of you needs to carry a family health insurance plan at work to cover the child play into negotiations over other money issues?What about your will? Your thoughts may be solely focused on being able to hold a divorce decree in your hands, but what about your last will and testament? As you go about your divorce, think about how certain changes, including home ownership and other physical assets, changes in your stock portfolio, and the amount in your bank account might change who you leave your estate to and how you will assign items.If your spouse is currently named as your sole beneficiary, you will no doubt want to revisit this — but be aware there can more to this decision than simply swapping out the name of your spouse for the name of your adult child or children. Our article on post-divorce estate planning covers this issue in greater detail.What questions about divorce when you’re older do you have? We would love to hear them!