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Divorce

More Couples Should Consider Prenuptial Agreements

Posted by on Dec 21, 2018 in Divorce | 0 comments

We all know the story behind the prenuptial agreement. A very rich celebrity couple sign a prenuptial agreement despite claiming they plan to stay together forever. Six months later, they get divorced and somehow, they end up fighting things out in court despite the prenup.

For most of us, this story is full of assumptions about the prenuptial agreement. First, it only applies to the very rich. Second, it’s for flaky people who can’t stay married and never really have an intention to do so. Third, the prenuptial agreement is easily broken and really just leads to more legal headaches. And fourth, the prenup is really just a means of getting attention.

The thing is, all of these assumptions are wrong. The idea that the prenuptial agreement exists solely to help fuel the gossip magazine and reality TV market is ridiculous, when you think about it. The prenup wouldn’t exist if it is was so useless and made life so dramatic for everyone.

It’s time to disabuse ourselves of just what a prenuptial agreement is and what its purpose is. In fact, this agreement can make life a lot easier for many of us, and not just if we’re rich. With such a high percentage of marriages ending in divorce in America, more of us would benefit from the simple, straightforward process a prenuptial agreement allows. To make this a more popular option, though, we need to demystify it and focus more attention on the benefits instead of the negative assumptions.

With that in mind, we need to reestablish, first and foremost, what a prenuptial agreement is. According to Adams Law Firm in Houston, Texas, a prenup is nothing more than “a written agreement drawn up before the marriage. This document can be used to prevent disputes later down the line, should a divorce occur.”

In other words, all a prenuptial agreement does is streamline a potential divorce if it should ever occur. There’s not a word in there about having millions in assets that need protection. So, the first assumption can be done away with. Anyone can have a prenuptial agreement, no matter how much they’re worth. It just avoids future arguments over property and assets.

The above definition also takes care of assumption number 3. Prenuptial agreements aren’t easy to fight. In fact, they almost always lead to a simpler, less expensive, shorter, and less stressful divorce. That obviously makes this a fairly worthwhile thing to consider, since we know about the high divorce rate, meaning this isn’t really about getting attention, it’s just good common sense.

That leaves the second assumption, that only flaky people who expect a divorce draw up a prenuptial agreement. Here’s the thing. We are always told to prepare for the worst-case scenario in every aspect of our lives – except marriage. We should have money saved in case of an accident or in case we suddenly lose our job. We should be prepared for bad luck and misfortune around every corner. Yet, somehow, we’re told not to prepare for that in our own love lives. Why should marriage be any different?

It’s time to move past this prejudice and do the smart thing before we jump into a marriage. It’s time to give the prenup a new reputation, so it can really do its job.

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Factors That May Influence Child Custody Decisions

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Child Custody, Divorce | 0 comments

Divorce is a legal nightmare. You have to navigate through laws concerning alimony, division of assets, and division of liabilities. But it gets worse if there are children involved, because you have additional laws to navigate through, such as those relating to child custody and child support.

A child custody lawsuit is always the most emotional in the family court. This is because either parent wants to get custody. Whether the child goes to the mother or father, it doesn’t change the fact that there will be major changes in their lives.

But how is child custody decided? There are certain factors that need to be considered.

Earning Capacity

There may be a lot of factors that may influence child custody, but they boil down on the same core idea – it is for the best interest of the child. To determine best interest, each parent’s ability to provide for the child is considered, and this generally means each parent’s financial stability to give the child food, shelter, education, healthcare, and security.

Medical Condition

The physical and mental conditioning of each parent is also considered, because these things can negatively affect the child. Those with physical and mental conditions, such as illnesses and anger management issues, may have a harder time fulfilling parental obligations and may even hurt the child in the long run, so they are less likely to get custody.

Relationship with Child

It is not always about money and health. Sometimes, it is about who is closer to the child and who is doing more for the child, such as on the following domestic aspects:

  • Bonding with the child, like participating in recreational activities
  • Handling the hygiene needs of the child, like giving him a bath and changing his diaper
  • Handling the medical needs of the child, like taking him to the dentist and doctor
  • Handling the nutritional needs of the child, like preparing him meals and packing him lunches for school

Child’s Choice

A child, especially one that is already rational enough, may have a voice regarding custody. However, his choice does not top the other entries in this list, because the best interest of the child is still the absolute criteria for child custody. But in the right conditions, the child’s choice is definitely considered in the decision process in child custody.

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Making sense of child support: What is it? Under what circumstances/why does someone pay it? Common misconceptions?

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Divorce | 0 comments

Once child custody has been arranged, the judge may determine whether or not one of the parents needs to provide financial support to the primary custodial parent. According to the website of Houston law firm Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, child support is a fixed figure determined by the courts that one party must pay to the other on a set schedule (usually monthly). Child support agreements are legally binding, and repeated failure on the part of the provider to pay on time is a felony.

Child support depends on a variety of factors, namely the income and benefits of the primary custodial parent and his or her demonstrated financial need. When the court decides the cost of supporting a child, they can then determine the financial fitness of each parent to pay their share of the cost. Essentially, if one parent is lacking, the other will pick up the slack.

There are many common misconceptions of child support and the reality of how it is paid, used, and nullified. Here are some of the hard facts:

Custody arrangements don’t play a large part in determining child support. No matter how long or how often a parent sees their child(ren), he or she is still responsible for half of the cost of raising said child.
The child support provider has no legal right to know how their money is used. Child support can be used on things directly related to the child–such as food, clothing, and haircuts–or expenses for the child(ren)’s home–such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc.

Because outstanding child support payments are considered a debt, they can affect credit score ratings. Child support, even more so than credit card debt, must be paid in full at the frequency determined by the court. Besides being a criminal offence, missing child support payments also affects how reliable a parent can appear to financial institution.

However, this particular debt cannot be escaped by filing bankruptcy. Unlike other forms of debt, child support debts cannot be swept under the rug by filing for bankruptcy. Child support is considered a priority debt by the court and, in accordance with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cannot be eliminated.

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