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News and comments about divorce, child support, child custody, alimony, equitable property distribution, father’s rights, mother’s rights, family law, laws on divorce and other legal information in Maryland.

Archive for April, 2012

Debt Options for Divorcing Women

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Guest Author’s Bio : The following article has been contributed by Sophie Kinsella, Columnist.

Divorce and debt problems go hand in hand and financial problems are the cause of many divorces. In many cases, men who go through a divorce are financially well off while women struggle with soaring debts and no one else to fall back on. If the woman wasn’t working or was financially dependent on her husband, a divorce can be economically devastating.  For many women, being separated or divorced is both challenging and stressful. The situation becomes worse when she is the caretaker for children.

If you are a single woman with a huge amount of debt, you should know about the debt relief options that are available to you.  Debt consolidation vs debt settlement – if this is the question in your mind, make sure you consider the pros and cons of each option and the costs that are associated with them.  While there are several professional debt relief options that you can take resort to, it is still better to be financially diligent and follow some steps on your own so that you may be able to save your dollars on the unnecessary fees. Here are some steps that you can take.

1.  Check your credit report thoroughly. The first step that you should take is to check your credit report thoroughly. Your husband may have handled the family finances before, but now that your marriage is ending, you need to take charge of every financial task. Order a free copy of your credit report in order to check where you stand financially. Check whether or not your credit report still carries debt that is owed actually by your spouse. Try to remove all such erroneous information so as to emerge creditworthy on your own.

2.  Establish a frugal budget and categorize your expenses. You should form a budget so that you can follow it throughout the month and thereby maintain a balance between what you earn and what you spend. You also have to categorize your expenses so that you can spend your dollars on your needs and wants. Always try to keep your luxury expenses after your needs so that you don’t have to repent later on.

3.  Negotiate with your lenders. You can negotiate with your lenders.  Tell them about the financial hardship that you’re going through. Don’t refrain from getting help from the creditors and the lenders as they can often help you with the best steps. Ask them to alter the interest rates and the terms of the loans so that you can more easily repay without falling back on all the other debt obligations.

4.  Save money and start making payments. Make sure you save at least 10% of what you earn so that you can build an emergency fund that can be used during an emergency. Soon as the creditors relax the terms and conditions on your debt accounts, make sure you start making the payments so that you can get out of the debt cycle as soon as possible.

If you are getting divorced and you owe a huge amount of debt on your credit cards, try taking the steps outlined above.  Only when you can’t get out of debt on your own, should you opt for debt consolidation or a debt settlement.

Keeping the House in a Divorce

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Guest Author Bio: Elizabeth Roque is an in-house writer for Franklin Debt Relief. She presents information about debt relief programs, credit card debt reduction and getting out of debt on a variety of financial sites online.

Divorce is a difficult decision in and of itself but after the decision has been made, there are a lot more considerations that must be taken into account.  One of these considerations is what to do about the marital assets, namely the house.  Keeping or selling the house is not just about whether or not you “want” to keep it; there is a lot more to it than that.  If you are considering keeping the home, can you afford it?

The question on whether you can afford it is a two pronged question.  It includes (1) whether or not you have the assets or individual cash flow available to cover half of the value of the equity in the house that must be paid to your spouse if you decide to keep the house and (2) whether or not you can afford to maintain the home.  If you do not have the assets necessary to cover half of the value of the equity of the home, there is still a chance that you can keep the home but the division process is significantly more complicated.  Your ability to split the marital assets equally will play a big role in whether or not the house should be sold and the profits split or whether you will actually be able to keep it.

Next, take a realistic look at your finances and determine if you have the funds to maintain the home and pay all of the taxes and fees necessary on a yearly basis.  If you decide to keep the home, you will have to update all of your marital loan, title, tax records, and homeowner’s insurance information to reflect the change in ownership.  You must be able to afford the costs of updating these documents.  You should also be able to cover routine and unexpected maintenance when necessary.

Divorce Quotes

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

“My wife ran off with my IPad2 and I miss it.” — Apple Shareholder

Divorce Is

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I have a friend who collects “Life Is” quotes, you know, like “Life is a beach.”  HuffPostDivorce had the clever idea to ask for “Divorce Is” quotes from its readers.  Among the 139 quotes received were the following:

1.  “Divorce is hard on the body mind and soul.”

2.  “Divorce is a call to re-awaken your life.”

3.  “Divorce is too common. When you make things the norm…it is no surprise when they become the norm.”

4.  “Divorce is…preventable!!! Take the time to know who you are marrying @Kimkardashian.”

5.  “Divorce is…worth every tear cried and dollar spent.”

One of my favorites is: “Divorce is the exchange of one set of problems for another.”  Feel free to put your description of divorce in the comments.

How to Divide Credit Card Debt in a Divorce

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Guest Author’s Bio : The following article has been contributed by Sophie Kinsella, Columnistm who writes on topics like bankruptcy, credit and debt.

Marriage is one of the most important decisions that every individual takes in his or her life. It is a lifetime commitment that is made between two persons. However, it still happens, perhaps due to difference in opinion or mentality, that one partner decides to leave the other and break the vows of marriage.

When you were married and living together, you probably used credit cards for making various purchases. But you may not have paid the outstanding balance in full. Being entangled in credit card debt in a divorce is doubly painful because it is a stage of your life where you will no more be acting in concert with your life partner. You may need the help of a credit card debt consolidation to repay the credit card debt after getting divorced from your partner.

Here are three ways to divide credit card debt between a couple during divorce:

1. Cancel all your credit cards – When you are planning to divorce, you should not apply for any new joint credit cards. If you have applied in the past, make sure that you cancel all your new credit cards as this may create problems in future since you and your partner will no longer stay together. Also make it a point to cancel all the joint credit cards that you both may have so as to avoid any unnecessary trouble after separation.

2. Make equal distribution of the debt – Since you are divorcing your partner, it does not mean that you are not responsible for the past debts that have been incurred by both of you. The credit card debts that you and your partner had incurred in the past should be paid off before separation.  In case you and your partner have not done so, make it a point to pay it off at the earliest possible time so that both of you can lead a debt free life after divorce.

3. Request a final statement of each card – You and your partner may have several credit cards. You may request a final statement on each card from the credit card companies and add up the total debt amount that you and your spouse need to pay off. Once you get the statement, make it a point to pay off your own credit card debt as soon as possible so that your partner does not have to worry about the debt that you owe after separation.

By following the steps above, you and your spouse will be able to get rid of credit card debts after divorce.

Divorce Quotes

Friday, April 20th, 2012

This one is from attorney Dick Price in Fort Worth, Texas:

“The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters.” ~Harold Nicolson


A House Divided

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Evangeline bought a house on Brandywine Street in D.C. in 1967 for $26,950.  In 1974 she married David and he moved into her house.  David paid the mortgage during the marriage until 1986.

At their divorce Evangline claimed the property was all hers under D.C. Code § 16-910(a) (1981), which provides that property acquired prior to the marriage is the sole and separate property of the spouse who originally owned it and must be assigned to that spouse upon divorce.

The trial court awarded David a 50% interest in the house.  Evangeline appealed and the DC Court of appeals reversed in part.  The statute it said prohibits the divorce judge from giving David a legal interest in the house.  The court could not transfer title to premarital property and therefore, it must remain in Evangeline’s name.  However, the judge could give David an equitable interest in the house.

The court then instructed the trial judge to determine a dollar amount of that interest, not a percentage, based on David’s contributions and appreciation during the marriage.   Yeldell v. Yeldell, 551 A.2d 832 (1988)

 
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