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Estate Planning For Married Couples – Issues to Consider

Marriages are as old as civilizations themselves. Many cultures have understood the sanctity of marriage from the earliest times. A legal marriage between two people that involves some legal obligations and involves certain privileges between each individual, formerly confined in the U.S. to a marriage between a man and a woman. The idea of marriage, therefore, predates civilization itself. Not only did marriage evolve from within cultures and societies, but cultures and societies themselves have evolved over time in relation to the ideas, needs, and desires of their members.  Visit us to know more about An Affair Of The Heart — Intensive Marriage Retreats

Marriage, therefore, has undergone changes and adapted over the centuries, and while many of these changes have been for the better, there are some troubling changes that have occurred. One of these concerns the changing roles of wives and husbands. While traditionally, in most cultures, it was the husband who provided the primary breadwinner of the family, this is not always the case in modern society and is beginning to change. Today, many factors causes couples to divorce, such as erectile dysfunction that can be treated, cheating which can be counseled, among other issues.

The increasing divorce rate is another concern for married couples today. Living together before marriage was not always so acceptable, and now, living together after marriage is often not so much desired, especially if children are involved. In addition, divorce laws have also become more lenient, and some states have even eliminated the requirement that a joint divorce decree must be accepted by all parties. This is not a problem for those who wish for a simple divorce, but it can present a problem for those who wish for an amicable settlement of marital disputes. Again, this is where the involvement of an attorney comes into play, especially when one or both partners are unwilling to enter counseling.

In many states, married couples who choose to divorce will need to file jointly. Those who are concerned about sharing assets and raising children may find that they do not wish to make any joint payments to any of their creditors, which could result in significant tax deductions. However, those who are concerned about sharing assets and contributing to their spouse’s retirement account may consider applying for a exception, which is available to some married couples. These exceptions allow the lower paying spouse to make contributions to the retirement account of the higher paying spouse, thus reducing the overall tax burden for the higher earning spouse. Those who choose to file separately may still want to retain certain retirement accounts, and these should be considered when discussing any potential marital property settlement issues.

One area that is especially sensitive to issues of property and finances is the purchase of a home. Although both partners may have substantial assets that will be transferred into the newly created marriage settlement, there may be limits on how much of the assets can be transferred. For example, one partner may be able to purchase a home within a specified price range, while the other partner’s price may not meet the predetermined limit. Also, the newly created marriage settlement will likely involve an undertaking and lien, which may restrict the transfer of funds to a specific use.

Another issue that tends to concern many married couples is parental responsibility. Many parents feel that they have a legal duty to provide for their children, even if they are not financially supporting them. Some jurisdictions, such as the state of Texas, have statutory provisions that require parents to contribute toward their children’s education. If both partners are willing to work together to find a solution that meets their parental responsibility obligations, and one or both spouses are working, then both partners may be able to benefit from the shared parental responsibility provisions of a will.

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