Today is National Ex-Spouse Day. And yes, it's a real thing.
The April 14 "holiday" was apparently created by a minister in Missouri in 1987, in hopes that exes would just play nice with each other, if only for one day, according to Examiner.com. Remember that even if your divorce is a painful experience, your current relationship with your ex-spouse doesn't necessarily have to be.
So without further ado, here are five smart tips for dealing with your ex-spouse:
- Don't blast your ex on social media. While it's generally good etiquette not to disparage someone on Facebook or via any other form of social media, doing so during divorce proceedings (or even afterwards) can come back to haunt you. Not only can your ex-spouse potentially sue you for making false statements, but if a judge sees your malicious statements, they may sway his decision when it comes to making custody or support rulings.
- Use discovery to your advantage during divorce. It's unfortunate, but some ex-spouses lie about their money and assets in court during a divorce case. If you suspect that your spouse may be fibbing about his or her financials, your attorney can use discovery tools like depositions or a motion to compel to set the record straight. Getting your ex to come clean about his or her assets would truly be a happy National Ex-Spouse Day indeed.
- There are ways to potentially reduce spousal support. If you're ordered to pay spousal support to your ex, rest assured that the amount can be changed under certain conditions. For example, if you're at a new job that pays significantly less, you can ask for your payments to be reduced by the court or through a private agreement between you and your ex.
- You may or may not be liable for your ex-spouse's debt. The good news is that you're not liable for your ex's debts that were incurred before the marriage. However, if you have joint credit cards or took out a loan together, you'll both be responsible for paying that back.
- Who can claim kids as dependents for tax purposes? If you have kids with your ex, then you know that claiming a dependent will get you a tax exemption. Deciding which spouse gets to make the claim can get confusing. In most scenarios, the parent whom the child lives with will be the one who gets to claim the exemption.
So on this National Ex-Spouse Day, try to remember some positive aspects about your former flame. If not, you can always hire an experienced divorce or family law attorney near you to take care of any unresolved legal drama.
- The Divorce Process: Do's and Don'ts (FindLaw)
- What to Do If Ex-Spouse Won't Pay Support? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- 5 Rules for Social Media Use During Divorce (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Judge Orders Couple to Exchange Facebook Passwords (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)