Has the US Divorce Rate Dropped to an All Time Low?

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Divorce Rate In The US Continues To Drop Amidst Covid Pandemic

divorce rate marriage pandemicThe American Community Survey data released from the census Bureau recently revealed that the divorce rate in the USA has hit a record low. According to the data, 14.9 out of every 1000 marriages ended in divorce which is the lowest rate in 50 years. It is projected, that even though we are in the midst of the pandemic, the drop of divorces is likely to continue. Lower divorce rates translate to longer marriages. The new Census Data, reports that the average marriage length has increased almost one year in the recent decade. In 2010 the mediation duration was 19 years, and the length has increased to 19.8 years in 2019.

Journalists have speculated that there is a rise in divorce as a result of the pandemic, and there have been many headlines declaring it true. However according to Brad Wilcox, a University of Virginia sociology professor and the director of the National Marriage Project at the university, this is simply not true. He was recently interviewed by UVA Today. Wilcox believes that the pandemic may have given spouses a new appreciation for their spouse. It has … Read More... “Has the US Divorce Rate Dropped to an All Time Low?”

My Divorce Timing – Should I File Now or Wait Until After the New Year?

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Covid-19 Pandemic Just One Of Many Factors That Lead To Divorce In 2020

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The timing of filing for a divorce can be a complicated decision. There are many factors to consider even in the normal Non-Covid times. But now there are even more factors to consider!

First off, in Ohio it is now too late to file a divorce or dissolution and get it finalized before the end of 2020. So, if that was your hope, you have missed that window of time.

I have been meeting with clients helping them formulate exit plans and discuss the timing options for filing their divorces. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Are You Safe?
     

    Needless to say, that the presence of domestic abuse is a huge factor to consider. If there is ongoing abuse, formulating an immediate ;escape plan’ should be a top priority. Figure out where you can move on a minute’s notice – perhaps temporarily stay with a family member, friend, co-worker, safe haven facility, or a church member? The existence of abuse may trump all the rest of the considerations mentioned below.

  2. COVID-19 Factors:
     

    Virtually everyone I meet with these days is grappling one way or another

Read More... “My Divorce Timing – Should I File Now or Wait Until After the New Year?”

LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End

Alert Key Legal Update

New CARES Act Provision Allows Early Retirement Money Withdrawl From Retirement Account Without Penality During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Are you aware that the CARES Act  made significant changes to the rules about withdrawing money from accounts? If COVID-19 and the pandemic has created an extreme hardship on your financial situation, you MAY have an option that you have not yet considered – but only through the end of 2020. Not many Americans have taken advantage of this new provision thus far.

As you may know, the general rule was that, you couldn’t take money out of your retirement accounts before you were 59 1/2 without incurring an “early withdrawal” charge or penalty. That 10% tax penalty was included by the IRS to discourage folks from taking money  out of their retirements early.

CARES Act Changes:

  1. If you meet the criteria, you may withdraw up to $100,000 per person from certain qualifying retirement  accounts without owing the 10% penalty. NOTE: This does NOT waive income tax owed on the withdrawal amount.
  2. You may ONLY withdraw the amount needed to overcome a specific group of defined hardships such as defending a foreclosure action, home repairs from a disaster, or medical
Read More... “LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End”

Can I Complete My Ohio Estate Planning Documents Remotely During COVID-19?

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Ohio Wills Cannot Be Completed Through Remote Technology, But What About Other Ohio Estate Planning Documents?

ohio estate planning documents covid-19More individuals are focusing on estate planning during the pandemic, but people are also more concerned about venturing out during these unusual times.  A question that is coming up often is whether one can complete their Ohio estate planning documents remotely through Zoom or some other software.  The answer is yes and no.  Some ohio estate planning documents  only need to be notarized to be valid and remote notarization is now available here in Ohio.

A general durable power of attorney in Ohio only needs a notarization to be valid.  Ohio health care documents (livings will and durable power of attorney) need either two disinterested witness signatures or a notarization to be valid.  A document related to the transfer of real estate such as a deed or transfer on death affidavit needs to be notarized.  However there is a fair amount of a technological learning curve if one wants to try to get documents notarized remotely. There is also a separate charge involved for the service.

Last Will and Testament Must Still Be Completed In Person

What about a last will and testament … Read More... “Can I Complete My Ohio Estate Planning Documents Remotely During COVID-19?”

Using Zoom for Legal Consultations is Very Easy at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues

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Setup A Zoom Meeting For Legal Consultations at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues

ANNOUNCEMENT: Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues Offering Consultations Via Zoom. Setup A Zoom Meeting Today With One Of Our Attorneys

zoom meeting estate planning divorceThe pandemic has no doubt changed all our lives in many ways. With the quarantine orders and social distancing each of us have had to reconcile and adapt our lives. Avoiding unnecessary personal contact with others is important for many of us.

Nonetheless, our lives continue on despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The quarantine situation (and life over the last 5 months) has only made it more evident to people in “shaky” marriages the harsh realities of their relationship, and in many cases their need to terminate the marriage and obtain a divorce.

OBTAINING LEGAL ADVICE DURING THE PANDEMIC WITH ZOOM MEETING

DIVORCE HELP:

I have been handling divorce cases for over 40 years. I have seen lots of different divorce situations. I can tell you that life today is incredibly difficult and complicated. So many folks are out of work and struggling to maintain a family and their health. Even something that use to be straight forward, like sending kids to school, is now complicated with … Read More... “Using Zoom for Legal Consultations is Very Easy at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues”