Articles from The Mediator

New Divorce Court Procedures

Connecticut is changing divorce court procedures to try to move cases faster.
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Backdoor to Roth IRAs

Congress is considering limiting high earners ability to convert monies to Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s.
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Family Finances — Involve Teens?

Financial advisors disagree about involving teens and young adults in family financial decisions.
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Remarriage: Combine Finances or Not?

Remarrying couples must decide whether to combine their finances or keep them separate.
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Remote Workers May Get Tax Surprise

Remote workers may now owe additional tax to the state where they work remotely.
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Connecticut Now Allows Remote Divorce

Connecticut now allows divorcing couples to complete their divorces remotely, without going to court.
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Social Media Gives New Meaning to Emotional Contagion

Emotional Contagion, first published in 1994 has new relevance, given the rise of social media.
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New Uses for 529 Savings Accounts

Recent tax law changes have expanded the uses for 529 savings accounts.
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Millennials Causing Declining Divorce Rates

Millennials divorce at a much lower rate than their Baby Boomer parents, according to a recent study.
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Revised Court Orders in Divorce

Important rules concerning managing family finances during a divorce are about to become a bit more flexible.
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Tax Stuff: Alimony Deadline

An important law regarding the tax-deductibility of alimony payments is about to change at the end of 2018.
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Marriage Update: More Couples Live Apart

More married couples are living apart than ever before, thanks in part to technology which helps them to stay in touch while they are apart.
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Retirement Savings Update: More Flexibility, More Plans?

Regulators are considering enacting more flexible rules for retirement savings accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s.
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Retiring Early Using the Age 55 Rule

The IRS Code allows participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans to get their money out before age 59-1/2 without the 10% penalty if they retire after age 55.
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Mediation Centers Open in Connecticut Courthouses

Connecticut has now opened mediation centers in two courthouses, which are available for mediation of family and civil cases from throughout the state.
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Speedier Divorces: Connecticut Allows Waiver of 90-Day Wait

Connecticut now allows divorcing couples who have an agreement on all terms of their divorce to waive the 90-day waiting period and get divorced sooner.
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Cost of the Ring and Wedding may Predict Divorce

Emory University researchers surveyed over 3,100 people who were or had been married, and found that spending more on the engagement ring/wedding cor-related with higher divorce rates.
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Social Security: Divorce Basics

If you are the spouse who made less money in the marriage and then get divorced, Social Security has a potential benefit for you.
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‘Nonadversarial Divorce’ Arrives in Connecticut

A new Connecticut law allows certain couples to get divorced more quickly and without going to court. It’s called “nonadversarial divorce.”
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Retirement Savings: Rollover Changes

Did you know that you can take money out of an IRA tax free and use it for any purpose, so long as you put it back into an IRA within 60 days?
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Under Pressure: Women Better Decision-Makers

According to researchers at USC and Duke University, when the going gets tough, it seems women may be better at making decisions than are men.
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Alimony Modification in CT: Now Harder to Get Increases?

In a unanimous decision the Connecticut Supreme Court seems to have made it more difficult to get increases in alimony in certain circumstances.
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College Savings: Grandparents’ Trap?

Grandparents have figured out that 529s are a great way to help with their grandchildrens’ college costs. But this may cause problems for students receiving need-based financial aid.
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Going From Attraction to Flaw

It's no secret that opposites attract. But the at-first attractive ‘opposite’ trait can become a real problem over time.
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Serving Papers on Facebook

Can you serve papers via social media? A New York court has recently said ‘sometimes, yes’, allowing service of legal papers using Facebook.
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Tax Stuff: Home Office Simpler

The home office deduction can be very valuable for those whose principal place of business is their home — even if it isn’t their only place of business. But calculating the deduction hasn’t always been so easy. IRS has issued new rules simplifying how to do this. Previously, you had to track actual home expenses…
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A Successful Marriage: Do Credit Scores Matter?

It seems everyone wants to know how best to select a spouse or long-term partner so as to avoid a break-up down the road. New information suggests that credit scores can be a predictor of whether a relationship will survive. Two Federal Reserve economists have examined the individual credit scores of millions of couples. Their…
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Revised CT Financial Affidavit: What’s New

Financial Affidavits are sworn statements each spouse must provide regarding their finances. They are critical in any divorce. The old two-page Financial Affidavit form has been replaced with two alternate forms, a long and a short version. The long form (six pages), is used when income or net assets exceed $75,000. The short form (four…
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Managed 401(k) Plans

Most people really don’t know that much about picking among the myriad of funds offered by a typical 401(k) plan. Enter the managed plan.
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He Won’t Go: Couples Therapy With One Spouse

Can you do couples therapy when one spouse, usually the husband, refuses to participate? More and more, the answer seems ‘yes’.
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What I Would Do Differently: Advice From Divorcees

A 25-year study following 373 couples found that 46% have divorced. 210 of them were asked what they’d do differently. Five key points emerged.
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Good News on Taxes: 401(k) Limits Increase

The IRS is making it easier for most Americans to put away more money for retirement through their 401(k) plans by raising the contribution limits.
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Marriage Rates at Record Lows

The Pew Research Center recently reported that fewer people in the U.S. are getting married.
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Less Expensive Lawyering Here? Limited Scope Representation

The Connecticut Judicial Branch recently proposed rule changes to enable Connecticut lawyers to offer LSR, or ‘limited scope representation’ to their clients.
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Income Tax Headache: Another AMT Patch

More people now pay Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), and many of them are hardly super-wealthy. This is because AMT is not indexed for inflation — so as income increases due to inflation, more people are ensnared by the AMT each year.
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Secret Spending in Marriages: More Common Than You’d Think

Money Magazine recently reported that almost 80% of married people hide some purchases from their spouses. And it’s the men who are more likely to do so!
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Conflicting Family Law Roles? Court Disqualifies Attorney

It was the client’s honest perception that a conflict was created which was ultimately persuasive to require disqualification.
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Unusual Tax Advice: Better to Pay Now?

The conventional wisdom is usually that if a tax is due, it is better to pay it later than sooner. But such advice is being stood on its head this year because of the possible expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.
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CT Supreme Court on Higher Income Child Support

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that the principles of the child support guidelines chart now apply to higher-income families.
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Later-in-Life Divorce Increases

So many people were surprised when Al and Tipper Gore divorced after 40 years of a seemingly ideal marriage. But recent evidence indicates that this is a growing trend.
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Your IRA: Convert to a Roth?

Most financial advisors agree that IRAs provide a great way to save for retirement. The IRS now allows you to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth, regardless of income.
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Two-Earner Couples: Road to a Happier Marriage?

The Pew Research Center recently reported that in one-third of marriages the wife now has more education than does the husband. And in 22% of marriages wives are now the primary breadwinners.
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CT Again Enforces Prenup

Asking for a prenup was once considered marriage poison. But not any more. Prenups are now more common, and many people use mediation to develop them.
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