Thursday, November 10, 2011


Several years ago my accountant gave me a mug which had the inscription, "I See Stupid People." It was funny. It was not entirely accurate though. Usually, I see people who are smart enough but who are doing some fairly stupid things. It can be the situation that they are in or the emotions that they are feeling that cause this.

I have written before about how parents in custody cases make mistakes by bringing their children into the fray or by using their children as messengers, among other things. I also have suggested that you are ill-advised to invite the law into your home by initiating Child Protective Service Complaints or filing criminal charges, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

The most unbelieveable actions, however, are in the financial area. People often are more than willing to take themselves down so long as their spouse goes down too. Jobs are quit. Businesses are lost. Houses are foreclosed on. Cars are repossessed. Everyone's credit is trashed!

It is true that nothing is certain but death and taxes. It also is true that the average non-corporate American pays plenty in taxes. Under normal circumstances, would anyone volunteer to pay extra? Probably not. In divorce cases, a still married, but separated, spouse will file an income tax return using the married filing separately status...just because he or she can. Even though it is the highest tax rate. Even though it costs them money! It is as if paying extra taxes themselves is worth it so that their spouse will have to pay too. Note that there are occasions when there are valid reasons (financial or legal) for using this filing status instead of filing a joint return. This should be a business decision, not an emotional one. Talk to your lawyer and your accountant about the best filing status. The goal should be to pay your fair share, but nothing extra, in taxes.

1 comment:

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