While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
One of the biggest factors that comes up during a divorce is typically money. This not only includes your annual income, but other forms of income in your home. If you have any hobbies that you get paid for, these activities can have a large impact on your divorce case. It's important to be upfront and open about these paid hobbies. Instead of getting accused of dissipation and hiding these hobbies, keeping everything in the open is the best way to continue these hobbies and still earn money from them. By working with a family law attorney, you can break down different aspects of a paid hobby and sort out the money associated with it.
When working on a paid hobby, you may have purchased materials, supplies, and other items related to it. When these items were purchased during your marriage, they are typically considered marital assets. These assets are commonly split evenly among you and your spouse. For example, if you're a hunter that sells meat or fur, then all of the supplies used for hunting is considered a marital asset and is typically split evenly among you and your former spouse. By working with a family law attorney, you can participate in mediation sessions that help you keep all of your hobby items so you can continue the hobby without having to purchase new items. In some cases, the even split may not occur. If this is the case, you may have to rebuild your paid hobby business and get a fresh start.
If your paid hobby started before the marriage, then you have a better chance of keeping your supplies and items. The items that you brought into the marriage are typically referred to as non-marital assets. The key to keeping the items that you kept before is by having proof. A receipt or images of you using specific items before your marriage is key to proving a non-marital asset and keeping it from being included in a divorce settlement.
There are also a number of items you may have gotten during a marriage that could still be considered a non-marital asset. For example, if you are a hunter and inherited a gun from a relative, then the gun is typically yours to keep. Your family lawyer can use wills and transfers of ownership to prove these items. Special gifts that were given just to you may also count towards non-marital assets. For example, if you bake and sell baked goods, a special cooking set given to you by friends or family may qualify as a non-martial asset.
The income that you receive from paid hobbies should almost always be included in the filing for a divorce. Even if the full amount doesn't equal that much, it's important to keep it included. This is especially true if the hobby income is a part of your annual tax filings. By working with your family lawyer, you can determine the costs spent on the hobby versus the actual income so it doesn't factor as much into your total settlement amount for the divorce. Depending on your relations with your former spouse, you can go through mediation to exclude the hobby income as part of the income.
When getting divorced during a specific season, it may be easy to forget that you get paid for hobbies during other parts of the year. For example, if your divorce is occurring in the spring, it's important to include any holiday hobbies that you get paid for. This includes holiday crafts, selling holiday items online, or temporary hobbies like selling Christmas trees and plants. Even though these hobbies only occur during a specific time of the year, they must be included in your divorce settlement. It's a good idea to go through the calendar and remember any specific paid hobbies that you have. A family lawyer can also help you break down financial records to determine what these hobbies are and how much income you earn.
By planning ahead, you can help keep your hobby alive and not have a huge impact on the divorce case. Go to websites like this one for more information and advice.