Top Financial Challenges Faced By Divorced Mothers

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you know the challenges that lie before you as a single mom, it becomes easier to prepare an appropriate action plan so that you can take care of the kids in the best possible manner in your next stage of life. Here are some of the top financial challenges moms face after a divorce gets finalized. 

Ways of paying the bills

One of the top financial concerns for the newly single moms is paying the monthly mortgage or bills. It can be an overwhelming and daunting affair to take care of the household utilities. However, do not despair and give up hopes. You can get through the trying time through many ways. For instance, you can sell off your house and move in with your close friends or family members during this trying time so reduce the financial burden. Alternatively, you can also contemplate refinancing your house to procure a lower rate. 

Providing necessities for the family

It is quite likely that your household income could have been slashed considerably after your divorce. You could be a homemaker while being married. There are other financial concerns after your divorce too such as clothing and school supplies. After all, these can be expensive too. A serious concern for you as a divorced mother is to look out for ways of providing for the entire family. 

Getting the required money to pay for childcare

If you are a newly divorced single mom, you may have a series of financial obligations that may compel you to join work once again or opt for double jobs simultaneously to meet ends. In fact, it can be a big blow as you, not only feel tired and anxious but cannot spend much time with your kids.

When you work full-time, you also need to look out for a reputable childcare facility to take care of your little ones when you are at office. You can take the help of your friends and family members to seek care for the kids when you are away from home until the time you start enjoying financial stability once again. 

Finding a suitable place to live

It is a sad truth that 20 percent of the divorced women fall below the poverty line after their marriages end. Now, that is hardly an encouraging statistic for divorced and single moms who want to offer the finest housing facility and schooling situation to their kids. A serious financial concern after your divorce is where you will live. In case you are incapable of staying in your original house, you should not feel disappointed, you can get help from various assistance programs for housing designed specifically for single moms and families with low incomes, which can come handy during this difficult time.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

3 Things You Must Do Prior to Filing for Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsMany couples who are on the verge of getting divorced feel extremely emotional and cannot think rationally while the process is underway. Often, the decision of taking a divorce roots from negative emotions, which can trigger a person to take a leap towards the divorce process.

Similar to other high-impact decisions in one’s life, it makes sense to take some time, know what will be your financial position in the future and where do you stand now, and align yourself with a good divorce lawyer who can help you by protecting your legal rights, prior to and after filing for the divorce.  The following 3 steps are some of the things you should do before going ahead and filing for divorce.

Seek the help of a reputable divorce attorney

You should interview a minimum of three divorce lawyers before hiring one. Opt for an attorney who has an experience between five to ten years and has been practicing divorce and family law. However, your divorce becomes a cakewalk and less costly when you and the other party can settle all matters without litigation. However, when that is not possible, you need to ensure that a capable attorney is hired who will be prepared to litigate your divorce case in the court before a judge.

Collect evidence of income

There will be a requirement of relevant documentation to show your income as well as your spouse’s income. In case both of you are salaried employees, there may be also a requirement to produce your recent pay slips’ copies along with your latest Income Tax Return.

Ascertaining income could be a tough task when your partner is self-employed.  In scenarios like that, copies of financial statements and statements of bank accounts can have proper clarity on your spouse’s income. Make sure that you have copies of all these statements prior to filing for your divorce. However, it will be difficult to know the actual and exact amount earned by your estranged spouse when he or she is self-employed, though you can get a fair idea with the suggestions given above. Collect whatever information you are able to. Later on, your attorney may help you in getting the remaining information through the process of discovery.

You need to have a fair idea of your financial position

One of the major goals of any divorce process is to ensure an equitable division of your marital debts and assets. So, you should have a clear idea of where you and your estranged spouse fare financially. If you want to receive your just share while negotiations for your divorce settlement is going on, it is essential to know what is owed and what is owned.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Tips for Mothers Going Through Legal Separation or Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Once the initial shock settles down and the divorce becomes a reality, you start realizing that your life will change in many ways when you become a single woman once again. A realization like this can be actually scary for many. However, like many others, you will also get used to these new changes gradually. So do not lose your cool and be patient.

It is indeed a gutsy role to be a single mother once your divorce gets finalized. Such a role will also be a challenging one as you transform into a stronger individual with each day. Do not feel scared and prepare yourself for the rainy day. You should start doing everything on your own so that your life becomes less stressful and easier. You may consider the following divorce tips that are helpful for single moms so that you can prepare yourself and plan accordingly.

Spend time in reviewing your financial position 

Do not indulge into self-pity or worry unnecessarily about your inability to provide for your kids. It will not serve any purpose and will end up giving you headaches. Thus, it is advisable to put aside your worries about how to get enough money to purchase a bicycle or doll for your little one. There are various ways of giving toys to your kids without going to the market to purchase them. You can make those toys at home. Let your kids help you out as they are going to love such activities. When you spend your time together and create these toys, it will be a memory they are going to cherish for a long time to come.

Self-education is extremely important 

Self-improvement initiatives and education are important things to work on at this crucial juncture of life as you need to be self-equipped and self-dependent in your new life. You can go online and research for some free courses on the net, find out easy tips to earn money and check available resources as a part of your action plan.

Be well-informed about issues like insurance plans, savings, credit, and taxes as they will come quite handy after your divorce. You can do so by either researching about them online or by hiring a professional consultant. Try to find out whether there are any government sponsored programs along with the benefits they offer to single mothers. The bottom line is you should have all relevant information at your disposal so that looking after your household and finances after your divorce become simpler.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

What Happens When Your Former Spouse Files For Bankruptcy?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you go through a divorce, it can be both financially as well as emotionally painful. Moreover, if your former spouse suddenly files for bankruptcy, things can be even more stressful for you as there is a possibility that your financial stability can get greatly affected.  Divorce, as well as bankruptcy, may have a great impact on your financial position in various ways based on the new circumstances of your ex-spouse. Check out some of the important things that you can consider while going through a bankruptcy and a divorce.

Cosigned or joint credit liabilities

When your former spouse files for bankruptcy, the responsibility for any debt falls on you in case you are a cosigner or a joint owner. The lender may hold you accountable as a cosigner or a joint owner to pay for a loan when your ex-spouse declares that he/ she is bankrupt and is unable to make the due payment.

Though it is unfortunate but the creditors are least concerned about the statements mentioned in your divorce agreement. So, your liability to pay the debt still exists when your former spouse fails to make the payment. A divorce payment does not remove your accountability to pay; it only indicates that you can compel someone else to do so. So you should be ready to pay the debt in case your former husband or wife is discharged from the need to pay off the loan or stops paying due to the bankruptcy. In such a scenario, you should immediately get in touch with your divorce lawyer and discuss what legal options are available for you.

Child support and alimony

Expenses for child support and alimony should be paid prior to paying the other creditors as well as taxes. However, though your alimony cannot be discharged, it does not mean that you will continue receiving the same amount before your former spouse fee pared bankruptcy.  In a majority of the States, the obligations for alimony can be revised when the ex-spouse submits his or her request to a bankruptcy court. It is up to the bankruptcy court to decide a revised amount for the alimony or enter into a new agreement with you after the petition filed by your former spouse.

But there are a few rare situations when alimony may be also discharged. Thus, in order to be on the safer side, it is better to consult your divorce attorney to make sure that your support payments or alimony remain protected.

Impact on your credit report

Though your ex-spouse filed for bankruptcy, your credit score may not get affected directly. The reason for this so your credit score is considered to be distinct and separate from your former spouse.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Can An Orange County Divorce Destroy Your Retirement?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediators; California Divorce MediatorsWhen you have finally made up your mind to get a divorce, it is likely that you may not think too much about how it can have an impact on your retirement. However, it is an extremely valid matter to think about. Insured Retirement Institute conducted a study which observed that about 24 percent of the divorced couples who are born after World War II felt their condition will deteriorate after retirement because of the divorce. About 23 percent of the respondents mentioned that they must work for longer years to combat the hardship. Thus, it signifies that you need to take certain measures for protecting your retirement plans. Additionally, it is better to do so as quickly as possible. After all, the financial impact of a divorce can actually last for many decades. Check out some ways to ensure that your retirement dreams are on a proper track irrespective of your divorce.

Retirement and divorce

Although your divorce could be taking place many decades before your retirement date, it is likely that your retirement savings may be badly affected. First of all, a divorce would typically mean that your retirement funds could be split between your former spouse and you. As a result, you may find a substantial reduction in your retirement savings. Secondly, a divorce also signifies that soon it will be a single income household albeit temporarily. Thus, it is possible what you would be able to save quite less for your post-retirement years as compared to what you had initially anticipated or planned.

Divorce and your retirement savings

Local as well as state laws ascertain the manner in which your retirement savings will be split between your former spouse and you. In case you are residing in one of the community property states, any assets acquired by your spouse or you during the course of your marriage are regarded as joint property irrespective of who saved the money. California is also an example of a community property state along with other States like Washington, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Idaho and New Mexico.

The most certain technique to ensure that your retirement savings are protected is to enter into a prenuptial agreement, which specifies which party will get the exact percentage of the saving in the accounts in the event of a marriage breakup. In case, you have not set up a prenup, you should negotiate with your former spouse and come up with an agreement that will benefit you both. You can hire one of the reputable Orange County divorce mediators at California Divorce Mediators to help you in the process.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

4 Tips for Protecting Your Money during Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsOne of the most important things to focus on during your divorce should be how you can protect your money. Money is one such issue that one should start preparing and protecting long before filing a divorce. Do you suspect that your spouse could be hiding money? When you feel that your divorce will be full of conflicts and not a harmonious one, it makes sense to take certain precautionary measures with respect to your financial matters prior to filing for your divorce.

If you are a stay-at-home mother, whatever money your partner earns to run the family is “your money”. So, even if you end up getting divorced, you should not feel that just because you do not give your own income it means that you do not have any bucks to protect. After all, your kids and you should feel financially secure until the time you can start working. Now, this also means that you do not have any issues with respect to protecting the portion of your husband’s income that is required for you to be financially stable after your divorce is finalized. Check out some of these easy tips for protecting your money during your divorce.

Immediately close all such joint credit accounts that you hold with your spouse

You need to put an end to all the joint credit accounts that are held by your spouse and you together r pay them off. For instance, a home mortgage will come under this category and should either be paid off quickly if possible. Alternatively, it should be put only in the name of your spouse. In case you are unable to settle the payment of such credit accounts, get in touch with your creditors and try to figure out the steps that should be taken so that your name gets removed from these accounts.

Open a new personal account in your name

It is possible that you did not have a bank account in your individual name before. Now is the time for you to open a new savings as well as a checking account. Once you open it, do keep your spouse informed about it and let them know the amount of money that you plan to deposit in your account. Your spouse should know about these accounts so that there would be no allegations of trying to hide funds. When you separate from your spouse and file for the divorce, you will require money to meet the fees of your attorney, court fees as well as a new house to live.

Do not incur fresh debts

Your priority should be to save the maximum amount of money prior to filing for a divorce. When you run charges on your credit card, you are not saving money but accumulating new debts.

Protect your precious items

When your spouse has been abusing you for some time now, or you have a gut feeling that he or she will hide or destroy expensive possessions, you should hide them. However, you should note that if there is any valuable that were bought with the marital funds, it needs to be valued and then divided during your divorce process.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Out-of-State Properties Held by a Couple in a California Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsProperty division is an important part of a divorce and many people are cautious about what happens to their properties after a divorce. Properties can be many types and are usually seen as separate or marital. Properties can include stocks, loans, shares and intangible materials. In recent years, the number of out-of-state marriages has risen and this includes individuals who belong to a different nationality. Now, these ‘other’ nationality individuals have properties which are not present in the U.S. soil. How are such properties treated once the couple gets divorced?

A divorce comes with many complications and most of them involve dividing properties and other finances. Even with an experienced lawyer, it can be tough for some to accept the final outcome of the divorce proceeding.

How are out-of-state properties treated in a California divorce?

California state laws allow family law judges to have jurisdiction over properties that are located outside the state of California, which are considered “quasi-community property.” They are  entitled to make decisions that directly involve out-of-state properties.

Properties that are acquired during a marriage are regarded as marital community property by the California law and must be divided equally after a divorce. Properties purchased during the marriage outside of California are generally treated  as quasi-community property and are liable for equal distribution.

Dealing with out-of-state properties can become complex and confusing. During such property divisions, the family law judge plays a vital role and much of the outcome depends on the judge. It is advisable for individuals going through divorce mediation to hire an Orange County divorce mediator lawyer who has experience in out-of-state property dealings and division.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Tips for Single Divorced Moms

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsAre you a single divorced mom? There is a high possibility of dealing with the process of healing your pain as a result of your murky divorce. Moreover, you also had to take up the added responsibility of taking care of your children mostly not only that, you need to arrange for meals for your family, deal with your former husband who could be irrational at times and have a roof over the head of your family. At the same time, it is natural that you want to move on with life and want to date a new man and gave a fulfilling future. Life is full of new challenges for you and you need to face then to put back your traumatic past and lead a rewarding and rich new life. Follow some of the tips mentioned below to do so.

Make conscious efforts to eliminate the trauma related to your divorce

As they say, time is the biggest healer. While you may have gone through a lot, do not keep thinking about your past. Look out for exciting activities that can keep you engaged. Instead of being stuck with old pain, start dating and going out with friends with whom you share common interests.

Do not depend solely on alimony and child support for your financial needs

You should stop thinking of alimony or child support as your income. After all, the money that is coming to you in the form of child support is only temporary.  In a majority of cases, even alimony too is a temporary inflow of cash. You need to establish your financial position so that there is no difficulty in your survival when these today checks do not come to you anymore. It is crucial that you make a proper investment in yourself to get a sound return in the future. It may be possible that you possess a degree but are not employed. You can call up a local university or college and inquire about classes, which will enable you to refresh some of the skills or get certified so that your marketability in the job market goes up. You can get in touch with the financial aid office and procure student loans to pay for these courses when you attend them.  Be confident about your talents and skills that you believe are marketable and contemplate starting your own business.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how Orange County divorce mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation.

Issues When Dealing With Commingled Funds In A Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsPrior to getting married, the property owned by you is regarded by the court as your “separate property”. This dignified that such a property is owned only by you and not by your spouse. For example, if you have $15,000 in your bank account and own a property while getting married, you are bringing your separate property in the marriage. Such a property remains your separate property if it is not “commingled” with your spouse’s separate property brought into your married life. For instance, in case you get married and both of you stay in the same house that is owned by you prior to the marriage. However, if the incomes of both you and your spouse are being contributed toward paying the mortgage, such a house is automatically counted as a marital property. In other words, it becomes a property your spouse may be interested in,provided both of you decide to divorce in the future.

The job of splitting property as well as other marital assets could be a tough one and full of conflicts especially for those couples where there has been a commingling of funds in the course of the marriage.

While negotiations continue for divorce settlement, determining which property should go to whom while depend on the degree of the occurrence of commingling of funds during that marriage as well as the complexity of transactions like home or automobile purchases, a big and crucial role is played by commingled funds during a divorce.

In case you fail to keep a thorough accounting of what is being done with your assets and properties during your marriage, it is not easy to prove that the purchase of that property was not done with commingled funds. The following are some of the tips for all those spouses who do not want to commingle during their marriage.

Enter into a prenuptial agreement

It makes sense to have your prenuptial agreement in place, which will clearly state, which properties will be counted as marital properties and which will be not in the event of a divorce.

Avoid paying off marital debt using your separate property

You should not use your separate property for paying off any marital debt. For instance, if you receive a hefty amount of money from your parents as a gift, the money should be used towards paying off a credit card debt or your home debt. You need to note that when funds benefit a marriage, they become marital property.

You should have separate bank accounts

Funds should only be deposited in a joint account when you want to count it as marital funds. When you deposit funds in your separate and individual bank account, it is regarded as your separate property.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

How to Determine Your Financial Needs After Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in Orange County; California Divorce MediatorsYou may think that estimating your expenses after the divorce is an easy task but in reality it may not be true. In fact many people are unable to name a proper estimate of their current lifestyle expenses. Majority of the people are practically clueless about where their money is going. Even if they have a tough idea, they are unable to articulate it properly when queried about it. When someone prompts them about what their expenses and requirements could be at present, they may agree to that.

What could be a big mistake?

Usually, your attorney may request you to prepare a budget based on their expenses. You may not down the obvious expense heads such as phone bills, Internet bills, cable TV/ satellite TV charges, cat insurance, loan payment for car, utilities, rent and mortgage. However, you may still feel that something is still amiss. Since you are well e not certain, you do not hand your budget to the attorney. Although your attorney may be constantly after you, you cannot be specific though your time could be running out.

In fact may find that the process has a strong likelihood with done or being asked the sand question repeatedly in a torture like situation.

While you may not have a sure shot answer to their question, you may eventually give your attorney something so that they do not pester you again. You should remember the figures you hand them over will be used for ascertaining some major monetary issues in your divorce case.

A financial consultant specialized in divorce cases suggests their clients that in case they want spousal support but do not know what their exact requirements are and what they should ask for, there are high chances of not getting it. On the other hand, when you are supposed to provide for spousal support but are ignorant on what are your needs. It is a tough job to hang to it. Plus it may not be there if you require it.

Merits of consulting a good divorce financial professional

When you work closely with a reputable divorce financial professional, the financial aspects of a divorce can be smoother. Additionally, it will also be more financially sound. Remember that it is the most crucial financial decision in anyone’s life. A divorce financial expert is well-equipped with the knowledge of a detailed list of all possible costs that could either be applicable to you or may help in reminding you to add it to your expense list. A well-prepared statement of expenses as well as a proper understanding on how up use your money can be the foundation of your financially secure future.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation