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Maintaining a strong relationship with your kids after divorce

For any couple working through a divorce, daily life can be tough and there could be a considerable amount of uncertainty. However, parents often have an especially hard time when their marriage is coming to an end. Not only do some worry about child support and how their life will change financially (raising children can be incredibly expensive, of course), but some are completely unsure of how custody will be split up or whether they will even be able to visit their children after the divorce is finalized.

First, it is important to understand the ins and outs of your divorce and unique family situation. Whether you are pursuing sole custody, plan on splitting custody with your spouse or even just want to secure your visitation rights, you should prepare for court and try your best to maintain a healthy relationship with your kids. Even if you are awarded custody, you may face challenges as a parent. For example, your kids may disagree with the divorce and they may harbor bitterness toward you as a result of your marriage falling apart.

Are you eligible to file for Chapter 13?

If you are familiar with U.S. bankruptcy law, then you probably understand why Chapter 7 cases are the most popular form of personal bankruptcy. They offer the chance to have debts be discharged, allowing one to get back on their feet in Hernando County (financially speaking) that much faster. Yet not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 13, on the other hand, is viewed as almost being the default option that everyone qualifies for. There are scenarios, however, in which you may not qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy either. 

According to information shared by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, you are only eligible to file under Chapter 13 of the total amount of your secured debts is less than $1,184,200. Your unsecured debts must also be less than $394,725. There are also certain actions that can inhibit you from filing for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As is the case with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must complete credit counseling at least 180 days before submitting your bankruptcy petition. The only exception to this rule would be cases where a bankruptcy trustee decides there are no qualified credit counselors in your area to serve you. 

Common financial scams aimed at the elderly

You may already know that many types of scams exist with the goal of separating hard-working people from their money. Some of the worst financial abuse ploys out there are those that target senior citizens and mentally vulnerable people in Florida and elsewhere. You may think that your parents are smart enough not to fall prey to one of these scams, but unfortunately, financial abuse tactics are getting more sophisticated and difficult to identify. Many senior citizens are also at risk of age-related cognitive disorders that can make them open to the manipulation of a con artist.

The National Adult Protective Services Association warns that about one out of every 20 elderly Americans become the victims of scams and financial abuse. Sadly, it is not just strangers who can target your parents. Caregivers and family members you should be able to trust may also have ill intentions of getting ahold of the nest egg your parents built throughout their lives.

Understanding the disadvantages of permanent alimony

Divorcing couples in Florida often find themselves in a panic when they realize that they are now responsible for financing their expenses on their own without the help of their spouse. In many cases, courts require that alimony is paid in situations where a spouse spent considerable time at home raising children, is disabled or has not received an education. Depending on the situation and the negotiations that take place, this requirement for one person to pay each month for a portion of the other person's expenses may be temporary or it may be permanent. 

In cases where it is permanently required, it can play a significant disadvantage to the person who is required to make the payments. According to U.S. News, permanent alimony can be a burden for those who are required to pay, especially because money continues to inflate in value, but the amount they are required to pay stays unchanged. In one such example, a man who initially was paying his wife 30 percent of his income, ten years later was paying nearly 57 percent of his income to his former wife. 

Stopping foreclosure with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Most in Hernando County may assume that when one files for bankruptcy, their debts are discharged and they are no longer required to pay for them. This is indeed what happens in a Chapter 7 case, and there is good reason behind this popular assumption; indeed, according to information compiled by the American Bankruptcy Institute, 63.72 percent of all non-commercial bankruptcy filings in the second quarter of 2018 were Chapter 7 cases. Yet people have another option to consider when filing for personal bankruptcy: Chapter 13. This type of bankruptcy is often referred to as a "wage earner bankruptcy" in that filers are still required to pay their debts back over time. 

One might wonder why one would seek a Chapter 13 bankruptcy when a Chapter 7 case allows them to completely discharge their debts. Chapter 13 may end up being one's only bankruptcy option if they fail to qualify to file under Chapter 7. Yet there may indeed be scenarios where filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be more advantageous. The first (and most obvious) is when one is facing foreclosure. Per the website for the U.S. Federal Judiciary, a Chapter 13 can allow one the chance to get on top of their delinquent mortgage payments over time  (whereas under a Chapter 7, a foreclosure sale is only halted until after the bankruptcy case is resolved). Missed mortgage payments can be included in a Chapter 13's repayment plan, which means that as long as one is able to keep current on their mortgage payments while working through bankruptcy, any mortgage arrears should be settled by the time their repayment plan ends. 

What is a fair and equitable property division?

As you likely already know, if you and your spouse get a Florida divorce, the court requires that your property settlement agreement be a fair and equitable one. But what constitutes “fair and equitable?” That depends on a number of factors particular to your own situation.

As reported in the Huffington Post, most people tend to equate fair and equitable with a right-down-the-middle 50/50 division of marital property. That does not necessarily need to be the case. In fact, in some cases, an exactly equal split of your marital property might be highly unfair and/or inequitable to one of you.

Divorce during a midlife crisis

With respect to divorce, a midlife crisis may have an impact on this decision and a person’s experience in many ways. For example, some people may decide to end their marriage as a direct result of a midlife crisis they are going through and certain realizations or changes of heart that have arisen due to this difficult time in life. For others, divorce may bring on such a crisis. For example, someone may find themselves in this position after their spouse announced unexpectedly that they were filing for divorce.

Someone may be unsure about their future and question their decisions throughout life, and these feelings may be brought on by a spouse’s decision to call off the marriage. Others may have a sudden change of heart and wish to completely change the course of their life, including leaving their spouse. Either way, divorce can be even harder for someone who is experiencing a midlife crisis and it is crucial to try to stay focused.

Can my spouse keep the house?

The desire to keep a family home after getting divorced is not uncommon and is certainly understandable, especially if children are still living at home. If you are getting divorced in Florida and your spouse wants to keep your house to maintain stability for your kids, there are some things you should know so that you can protect yourself in the process.

As explained by The Mortgage Reports, it is important for you to separate yourself not only from the ownership of the home but from the loan attached to the home going forward. Despite what you may think, your divorce decree cannot do this for you. Your spouse will need to find a way to obtain a new mortgage in their name only or remove you from the existing mortgage. Lenders will pay attention only to whose name or names are on the loan documentation, not what a divorce settlement says.

3 methods of reducing estate tax

When you create your estate plan, chances are, one of your priorities involves maximizing the amount of money you get to leave behind for your loved ones. While there are many different steps you can take in your efforts to do so, one way you can increase the amount you leave behind involves reducing how much your beneficiaries pay in estate tax.

Reducing estate taxes allows you to leave more of your legacy behind for the people and things that matter most, and there are several methods you can use to reduce estate tax.

Important estate planning considerations amid divorce

Divorce can throw your entire life into a tailspin, potentially affecting everything from your home address to the amount of time you get to spend with your children. Your financial situation and your estate planning needs are also likely to change when you separate from your spouse, but there are certain steps you can take along the way to get your financial and related affairs in order ahead of the day your divorce becomes final.

Why act now? Until your divorce finalizes, your spouse still has certain legal rights over your affairs, and in the unlikely, but possible, event that you pass away or become incapacitated while your divorce is ongoing, he or she may have more control over your personal matters than you may like. So, to regain as much control over your affairs as you can during your divorce, consider taking the following steps.

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Day Law Your Hometown Attorneys

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