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Research show women file for divorce much more often than men

It might come as a surprise to couples in South Carolina that women file for divorce in rates much higher than men. In some studies, the rate of women filing for divorce is 80 percent while in others, it is slightly lower, at 69 percent. With the divorce rate at around 50%, it might be important to consider the different reasons why women might choose to file for divorce.

While there are clear reasons that often come up when a couple decides to end their marriage, such as escaping abuse, hurt over cheating or problems with substance and alcohol dependence, there are additional reasons that might lead to a wife filing for divorce. One of these reasons is the marriage not living up expectations. The reality of living together, dealing with the routine of work, home and kids, might lead to a woman feeling like the marriage has lost what made the relationship special. This is similar to another reason, which is the loss of romance once a couple marries. The little things that might be construed as romance, such as a man bringing flowers to his significant other are often lost after marriage as people settle into their new normal.

SECURE Act may change estate planning for IRAs, 401(k)s

The estate plans of some South Carolina residents may be affected by a rule that has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and which is likely the pass the Senate unanimously. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act will require most beneficiaries to withdraw the entire amount of an IRA within 10 years of the owner's death. The previous rule offered significant tax savings to beneficiaries by allowing them to take distributions over a much longer period of time.

There are a few exceptions that will fall outside of the 10-year rule. This includes spouses, chronically ill or disabled beneficiaries, and beneficiaries whose age is within 10 years of the owner. Minor children are also exempt until they reach the age of 18, at which point the 10-year rule also kicks in.

How divorce can affect people over 50

For some people in South Carolina, divorce can cause both emotional and financial stress. Studies show that this stress can be even more acute for adults who are older than 50, and divorce is on the rise among this age group.

Several studies on how divorce affects people have been conducted by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University. Divorce among older people is sometimes referred to as "gray divorce," and according to one study, it can cause higher rates of depression than the death of a spouse. Another study found that for women, a gray divorce meant a 45% drop in the standard of living. For men, the drop was 21%.

Should you accept the role of trustee?

If a loved one approaches you with an offer to serve as his or her trustee, you may feel a mixture of flattery and uncertainty. While it is an honor for someone to see you as responsible and trustworthy, the thought of being in charge of a trust may be daunting. 

It is normal to feel unsure about such an important request. Here are some guiding factors and questions to help you determine whether it is a good idea for you to accept the role. 

The role of a trust in estate planning

A trust may be a better choice than a will for some South Carolina residents. It can offer a number of advantages over a will, including more privacy since a trust does not have to go through probate. A trust can protect an estate from taxes, provide charitable contributions and protect assets from an irresponsible beneficiary as well as from creditors and divorce. A trust can provide for a spouse but ensure that children receive assets if the spouse remarries. It can allow assets to be left for a beneficiary with special needs without affecting that beneficiary's receipt of government benefits.

The person who creates a trust is known as the settlor, and the settlor appoints a trustee to manage the trust. A trustee has a number of duties related to the trust. The terms of the trust will specify how transparent the trustee must be with beneficiaries. The trustee is required to behave objectively toward beneficiaries and manage the assets in the trust responsibly.

How student loan may be divided in a divorce

A person who is considering divorce and whose spouse has student loan debt may be concerned about whether that student loan debt will be divided in a divorce. Most of the time, a person is responsible for the debts brought into the marriage, including student loan debt. However, if the debt is incurred after the marriage, a spouse could be responsible for a portion of it. In South Carolina, an equitable property state, several factors could influence a judge's decision about how to divide this debt.

A spouse who has cosigned on a student loan will generally share equal responsibility. A judge could still hold a spouse partly responsible for student loan debt even if it was only in one person's name if the couple used the loans to pay joint expenses, such as rent, and it was not solely used for education-related expenses.

Credit card delinquencies on the rise among millennials

Generally, millennials and members of Generation Z in South Carolina and other states have been more cautious about debt than earlier generations. Part of the reason for this is because many of them lived through the recession that took place around 2008-10. But this trend may be reversing as more individuals within the younger generation continue to accumulate credit card debt.

Among 18- to 29-year-olds, credit card delinquencies of 90 days or more passed the 8% mark for all balances within the first quarter of 2019, which represents a nearly 10-year high. Part of the reason for this trend may be the increase in appealing credit card signup bonuses and perks like travel credits. Interest rates are also on the rise after many years of being kept at very low levels, which further contributes to debt risk.

Tips for telling your toddler about your divorce

Your toddler may not even have the word "divorce" in his or her vocabulary, let alone understand what it means. But that does not mean the end of your marriage will not affect your child. This big change will certainly impact your toddler, but you can help with the right words and actions. 

It may sound impossible to explain divorce to your young child. You may even feel helpless or guilty about the situation. But there are plenty of ways to teach and support your toddler through this transition. 

Co-parenting mistakes some divorced couples make with teens

Parenting teenagers is sometimes difficult for South Carolina parents because adolescence brings with it physical and hormonal changes that could affect mood and behavior. Adding a divorce to this mix has the potential to make things even more volatile if parents no longer living together don't make an effort to avoid co-parenting mistakes.

One common co-parenting mistake with teens that divorcing parents sometimes make is failing to share information with each other. There's sometimes an assumption that a teen will tell each parent what's going on with them or exhibit the same behavior around each parent. Failing to communicate often leaves one or both parents in the dark. It's also not advised for co-parents to get into the habit of passing messages through their teen. Doing so sometimes results in messages either being delivered incorrectly or not at all.

Choosing an IRA beneficiary

While it may seem like a minor step, it can be important for those in South Carolina with an IRA to name a beneficiary. Failing to name a beneficiary could result in a lot of stress and lost money for surviving family members. The same could be true if a person fails to update the beneficiary designation. There are many questions that an account holder should ask prior to deciding who will be the beneficiary.

First, it is necessary to consider whether the money will go to a family member or a charity. Those who don't have family members will generally select a charity or some other organization to benefit from proceeds in an IRA. If a person is married, his or her spouse is the most likely person to be the account beneficiary. However, there is no obligation to do so.

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