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Global Guide to Divorce

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Finances

How to Recover Financially After Divorce?

Divorce has an impact on many elements of your life, including your emotions and finances. It might have an effect not only on your disposable income but also on your credit and other assets. Use these five tips to improve your finances after your divorce.

 

  • Examine Your Credit

 

When going through a divorce, one of the first activities you should do is get a credit record from one of the main credit reporting agencies. Obtaining a credit report and determining your credit score may appear to be a daunting undertaking, but it will only benefit you in the long run. In addition, this can assist you to figure out how much effort you’ll need to accomplish to recover.

 

Severing financial connections with your spouse can significantly impact your credit, but fortunately, rebuilding your credit can be rather simple. Paying off any outstanding debts and making sure your payments are paid on time are the two simplest strategies to improve your credit. In addition, you should aim for a credit score of at least 700, as this will allow you to obtain loans and credit cards without paying excessive interest rates. Lenders view you as less risky if you have a better credit score.

 

  • Make a Budget

 

Setting a budget is one of the initial things you should do after finalising your divorce. Most of the time, you’re going from a two-income to a single-income household. Salary disparities can have a major influence on your discretionary money. Setting a budget is a simple process that can have a significant impact on your overall economic well-being.

 

To start, write a list of all your costs, whether they are basic necessities such as electricity and housing or alimony and child support. Then, each month, you should keep a detailed record of all your recurrent spending. After you’ve outlined all of your costs, figure out how much money you’ll need to cover them all.

 

The next stage in constructing the perfect budget is to figure out how much money you make each month. Now, take your total revenue and subtract your total costs; the remaining money should be divided in half. Half of your money should go into savings accounts, while the other half can be utilised for fun or other non-essential purchases. This can help you turn your financial condition around on its own. In addition, having sums set aside for monthly costs and savings will help you avoid overspending.

 

  • Identifying Your Assets and Transferring Them Into Your Name

 

Identifying your assets is a critical step in the process of divorce. Trying to figure out what comes to you, what belongs to your spouse, and what belongs to both of you might appear to be a difficult task. However, depending on the state you live in, it is actually quite straightforward.

 

First, determine if the assets were purchased using individual or shared funds. Anything purchased with a personal credit card or cash belongs to the individuals. The tricky part is making joint purchases. In most cases, combined purchases include houses and other large-cost products.

 

Fortunately, the Court will assist you in determining who receives whose assets. Once you’ve determined which assets are yours, it’s critical to transfer them into your own name. Your net worth is directly affected by your assets, which might help you qualify for other forms of financial assistance in the future, such as private lines of credit.

 

  • Close shared accounts and open new ones in your name.

 

The next stage in cutting financial ties with your ex-partner is to shut joint banking accounts and create new accounts with your own name, which is similar to splitting and shifting assets into your own. This will not only assist you in cutting financial links with each other, but it will also assist you in protecting your money during the process of divorce.  When creating new bank accounts, make sure to send this information to your divorce lawyer to protect the safety of your funds.

Ensure you do your study on banks to guarantee you’re getting the most value for the money. Each bank has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Banks with no fees are something you should seek for. Some banks even go so far as to waive credit checks in order to give you a second opportunity at banking. As already stated, divorce may negatively influence your credit, so finding a bank that offers a second opportunity at banking can be quite useful in decreasing financial stress.

 

  • Make a safety net or an emergency fund.

 

Finally, once you’ve created your own accounts, it’s a good idea to set aside money for a safety net or an emergency fund. We recommend that you open a second savings account at a different bank and have a percentage of your paycheck put directly into it. Opening a bank account at a different bank makes it significantly more difficult to get your money; this reduces the incentive to use it. It doesn’t have to be a significant sum of money, but simply putting away $10 to $20 per paycheck will assist ensure that you have some funds set aside for “just in case” situations.

 

With the stress of divorce, it may be very tempting to neglect the small things in life, such as your financial well-being. However, financial stress is unavoidable after a divorce, but several options and services are available to assist you in getting back on track and improving your financial health. We hope you find these money-saving suggestions useful and that you recover soon once your divorce is finalised.

 

Bio-

 

Suppose you find yourself at the crossing point of separation and divorce later in life. In that case, it is critical to seek the best advice from the Divorce Lawyers Gold Coast, who can help you navigate that new path and safeguard your financial and emotional well-being as you enter the best years of your life and start riding into the sunset. Working with a qualified Lawyer Gold Coast. can also allow you to settle your divorce finances without having to go to court saving you a lot of money and mental distress.

 

5 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Stay-at-Home Moms

For single, recently divorced mothers, figuring out how to balance work with childcare is challenging. Maybe it’s time to consider starting your own home-based business. And with a little support from Wendi of Global Guide to Divorce, you’ll feel confident about becoming a “mompreneur!” If you’re interested in opening a home-based business, these tips will help you in every step of the process.   

Come Up With a Business Idea  

Naturally, deciding on your business idea should be the first item on your to-do list! Frugal Budgeter recommends thinking about possibilities like becoming a bookkeeper, a proofreader, a social media manager, or even selling arts and crafts.

You’ll also need to decide how you want to price your products or services. To determine how much you’ll charge, consider your own fixed expenses, the cost of any materials you’ll need, and what your time is worth based on your previous income from W2 jobs.   

Hire Freelance Help   

As a business owner and stay-at-home single mom, you’re inevitably going to have a lot on your plate — but you don’t have to handle all of your entrepreneurial responsibilities on your own! Instead, you can hire freelance experts for help.

For instance, you could work with a freelance web designer to set up your company website or a social media manager to outline a digital marketing plan. And rather than trying to design a logo on your own, you can hire a graphic designer — to illustrate, freelance graphic designer pricing is approximately between $15 and $35 per hour. To find a graphic designer (or any other freelancer, for that matter), you can browse online job platforms and check out reviews, estimated delivery times, and rates before hiring someone.

What if you also need support navigating your divorce and getting back on your feet? You can turn to Wendi Global Guide for Divorce for coaching!  

Start Networking   

Now, you’re ready to work with your first clients or customers! But how can you land those initial sales? The secret is networking. As a new entrepreneur, you need to get the word out about your business! Startup Nation recommends joining groups with other professionals in your industry. If attending networking events in person with your kids in tow would be tough, you can connect with virtual groups instead.  

Working From Home With Kids  

When you’re running a business and raising a family at the same time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To stay productive while working from home with your kids, Healthline recommends picking out a few quieter activities that your kids can do during the workday, sticking to a regular schedule for the household, and aiming to get more work finished while the kids are napping. If your kids spend time with their other parent as part of your custody agreement, you can also plan to get extra work done during those days. Hiring a babysitter on your busiest days is also an option.  

Bring an Assistant on Board   

If you need a hand with your business, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to help you stay on top of everything you need to do, freeing up more time for you to spend with your kids! To find a reliable assistant, you should look for someone who has fantastic attention to detail, the ability to multitask effectively, great writing skills, and basic accounting skills.

After a divorce, it can take some time to move forward in your personal and professional life. If you’re staying home with your children for the foreseeable future, starting your own business can give you a new goal and a sense of fulfillment. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to succeed as a “mompreneur!”

Are you trying to navigate life after a divorce? You’re not alone, and the resources from Global Guide to Divorce can help you make it through. Reach out to Wendi for a coaching session today.

Author Kelli Brewer is proud of her military family and is passionate in supporting military families. Together with her husband, they created DeployCare to offer understanding and support to our service members and their families before, during, and after deployments.

 

What are Some Common Financial Mistakes Made During a Divorce?

A divorce is usually a time of great instability. Almost everyone involved in the process is said to go through a tremendous personal change to come out as a different person at the other end.

Amid the emotional crisis and the ensuing paperwork, it is customary to forget to take care of some crucial details, especially when it comes to finances.

Throughout the marriage, you and your spouse must have made financial investments together. It is not always obvious how to share these assets equitably.

Decisions made in the heat of the moment without considering your future income and expenditure can have lasting implications. Here are some of the most common financial mistakes spouses make during a divorce, and how to avoid them. It is best to discuss these with a qualified professional such as a divorce attorney for detailed info.

Not Keeping an Eye on Joint & Individual Finances

This is not a healthy marital practice. Always calculate how much you and your spouse have invested financially in the marriage by all parameters such as a personal source of income, joint expenditure, investments, and so on.

If you let the other person handle this, it will put you at an unfair advantage. In a worst-case scenario, you might miss out on calculating assets that your spouse has kept hidden, which is illegal.

You are entitled to your ex’s employer-funded pensions and investments. Work benefits, company shares, and 401(k)s are all subject to division. Remember to include your spouse’s investments when predicting and calculating your earnings from the divorce.

Underestimating your Expenditure Post-divorce

Since you’ve yet to experience a life without your partner, you might overlook aspects such as a fall in overall income and an increase in personal spending after divorce. Make sure you calculate these factors beforehand, preferably with the help of a divorce lawyer.

Your calculations should include the current standard of living, future inflation, and insurance premiums. Both you and your spouse should also consider your cost of living during the divorce period itself, which sometimes takes months from the date of separation.

Assuming Equal Division is Fair by Default

Equal doesn’t always mean equitable. The value of some assets, such as property or bonds, can increase more than their market value in time. Hence, fair sharing of property should be based on its expected monetary value.

Beth W. Barbosa, divorce attorney at a prominent divorce and family law firm in Edina, Minnesota, can assist in this breakdown of assets and their value.

Splitting the house itself can be a tricky one. If you choose to keep the house for emotional reasons, know that financial returns on the house vary greatly depending on external circumstances. What seemed like a good idea might end up costing you a lot more in terms of the mortgage, maintenance, and property tax.

Not Filing Proper Paperwork

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is legal proof of how you and your spouse would divide a contribution plan, such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans, or a pension plan. Even your spouse’s employer is legally bound to pay you the share agreed upon in the document. Don’t forget to fill it up at the time of the settlement.

Ignoring Tax Liabilities, Debts

Certain assets come with tax liabilities after settlement. For example, the alimony tax distributed over time might be more than the tax deducted on a lump sum. Always go by the value of an investment after removing tax liability. The same goes for debts such as credit card debt and bank loans. Obligations taken together during the marriage should be considered while sharing.

Seeking Bad Legal Counsel

Choosing the right divorce attorney can save you from a lot of stress and burden, but not every type of lawyer suits everyone. Find a lawyer who understands your needs. Someone not too aggressive to cause further friction between parties. A lawyer who can find a resolution in the shortest time possible, thereby reducing the cost of litigation fees. A good lawyer can also mediate a compromise between parties without involving the courts, saving a lot of time and money.

Author Bio: Beth W. Barbosa  is a family law attorney in Edina, Minnesota who represents family law clients in the seven-county metro area. With over 20 years of high-profile experience as a family law attorney, Beth W. Barbosa focuses on high-asset divorces, gray divorces, child custody, co-parenting, and more.

Beth W. Barbosa is a knowledgeable  estate planning lawyer to guide you through this complicated process. Beth aims to be there for her clients to take some of the stress and confusion out of family law proceedings.

With over 20 years of experience as a divorce attorney, Beth Barbosa can provide you with reliable, unique, and innovative solutions to your family law issues. Regardless of the details of a specific case, Beth ensures that you and your spouse move forward with grace and dignity after the proceeding’s conclusion. Resolve your financial issues with Beth today and take time to heal without worry.

 

 

What is the impact of the lockdown on Personal Injury Claims?

As we arrive in 2020, few of us might have expected that COVID-19 will wipe the world as fast as it has done, and that it would have such a serious effect on many.

The lockdown has affected everybody in many different ways across all walks of life. In the world of personal injury COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought about slower progress across the landscape of litigation in general.

While the number of new claimants has slipped around the board, we expect an explosion of claimants that would emerge from the pandemic.

While personal injury cases are still reported and those that were filed before COVID-19 are making significant progress, this scenario is affected by several obstacles.

Personal Injury Lawyers provides some of the ways the COVID-19 could impact personal injury claims:

  1. Delays in medical treatment

It is necessary for us to seek prompt medical attention anytime someone is involved in a car crash or suffers some other form of personal injury. Therefore, it is always important to obey the guidance of those who concern for you, which involves attending all of your follow-up appointments and following them along with diagnoses and procedures as directed by the doctor.

You have a legal responsibility to prevent your losses if you file a personal injury claim, which means doing something that healthcare experts advise to recover or achieve maximum health care improvement. You will also need to have paperwork showing the full magnitude of your injury issues to recover your reasonable and true compensation.

The Coronavirus epidemic has posed a range of problems in terms of medical care for victims of personal injury. Firstly, people are naturally anxious about visiting a doctor who is infected with COVID-19. This can result in them wasting precious consultations and not getting the treatment they need to get onto the road to recovery.

Please note that all the appropriate steps are taken by the open clinics and hospitals to ensure that patients are healthy, and the danger is very small compared to the risk of failure to obey up on the care Protocol.

  1. Restricted access to court cases

Court hearings in all federal courts are put on hold until the pandemic subsides. Non-jury trials were allowed to proceed, at the judge’s discretion, with only attorneys, their clients and extremely important witnesses in a position situation can appear.

 

In some cases, videoconferencing is also used for pretrial hearings and other gatherings. How all that adds up to is that you should face substantial delays in the process, should you lodge a personal injury case.

However, there are drawbacks that video conferencing will not be suitable in every situation. It may also be particularly difficult to use video conferencing in the sense of psychological disorders where the injured party still feels depressed and may not feel comfortable talking about such sensitive issues via a video link.

We can feel awkward doing so at home, during lockout, in household with other family members, kids etc.

  1. Pressure to Settle down Quickly

Personal injury claimants are likely to face greater pressure to resolve their lawsuits due to delays in the trial and stricter finances. With the chance to wait several months for a jury trial, many people will now be tempted to take the money.

Insurance providers are now mindful of this, and would definitely benefit from the situation. An insurer intends to pay out as little as possible on a claim for an accident and give a lowball deal to a patient realizing other people need the money immediately.

Those most seriously affected would-be plaintiffs who have no legal assistance since most are untrained with the procedure or traditional techniques of compensation used to mitigate a lawsuit’s costs.

  1. Insurance compensates lapses:

 

Owing to the deepening recession certain drivers might not keep up with paying their insurance premiums. That may contribute to the lack of evidence that could exacerbate the condition of a victim following a traffic crash.

A rider injured by an uninsured vehicle may not be able to take out insurance from the estate of the driver.

Their only option may be to obtain cover from their insurer in spite of their uninsured motorist scheme

A defendant must keep in mind that their trustee is an unfavourable party in these proceedings and will definitely not resolve a lawsuit without challenge. First-party claims can be as contentious as third-party lawsuits, and assistance from an attorney can be nearly as necessary.

  1. Impact on Employment

COVID-19 has, and will continue to have, impact on the work force. In certain cases, this could help to reduce the value of claimants not only in terms of demand for wage loss but also in terms of knock-on impact.

There will be problems of sick leave, unemployment and other cost-cutting steps to be addressed, such as wage cuts, pay freezes and unpaid leave. It will also require professional evidence to consider the medium to long-term impact on whichever sector of employment a pursuer works in.

Bio-

Mitchell is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Gold Coast. He is a Senior Associate and was admitted to the Queensland Supreme Court in December 2012.

 

Saving Money Using the 30 Day Rule

There are those times that you might just be browsing and see a beautiful dress or cute shoes. Or maybe you were on Facebook and saw a deal that seems too good to ignore. In such circumstances, it is very tempting to make an impulse purchase. The extent to which impulse purchases hurts a person’s budget depends on how frequently they make impulse purchases, their income, and monthly expenses, and the cost of the items that they buy.

If your budget gives you room for impulsive buying, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if you are looking for ways to control your impulsive buying so that you can use the money on other things such as paying down a bad debt or saving for something that you really need. In such a situation, the 30-day rule will be an excellent budgeting tool.

What Is The 30 Day Rule?

The 30-day rule is a method of saving money by delaying your gratification. This money-saving technique is meant to help a person make better spending decisions by stopping them from impulse buying. When using this technique, a person is needed to be rational when they feel the urge to spend.

When using this rule, you are required to give yourself at least 30 days before making a purchase, even if you have enough savings to buy it.

How It Works

It can be tempting to buy an item right away, especially if a salesperson tells you that it is a limited edition or a limited stock. On the other hand, when using the 30-day rule, you will be required to follow the steps below before purchasing the item.

  • Please take note of the item, for instance, its cost, specifications, details then leave the store. You should also add the date that you found that item and indicate if the store was offering a discount on it.
  • After noting all the details about the item, place the note where you can see it when you get home.
  • For the next 30 days, think if you need that item and if it is worth the price,
  • Look for alternatives to those products and find out if there are better deals in other stores.

If you still need the item after the 30 days, you can go ahead and purchase it. When buying it, you are only required to purchase it with your debit account or cash. You are prohibited from using your credit card unless the cars have a good deal such as mileage points or zero interest. If you use a credit card to make the purchase, you should be able to repay the amount with each billing cycle.

How to Stop Impulse Buying

To curb impulse buying, you should avoid shopping when you are stressed or angry. Most people do unhealthy things when they are angry, to make themselves feel better. Shopping is one of those things, and it can get expensive or out of control. You can find healthier hobbies such as yoga whenever you feel angry instead of going shopping.

Do not fall for checkout lane or “end caps” on items. An end cap in retail marketing is the display on products that stores want buyers to purchase on impulse. You now know better and can avoid that.

You should also avoid going shopping with shopaholics. If you have friends that have the habit of impulse buying, it can be easy for them to convince you that the 5 pairs of shoes and 7 dresses that you tried on looks perfect on you and you should buy all of them. A little flattery will go all the way, therefore, if you have to shop socially, consider bringing friends who have frugal spending habits.

It is also recommended that you use cash instead of credit cards. Credit cards give a person an easy way to buy things on impulse. These cards charge high-interest rates. Therefore you should limit yourself to buying items only using cash. Also, buy items that have a return policy. This is because after purchasing an item, you could rethink your decision and find yourself wanting to return it.

In Addition to the 30-Day Rule, Here Are Other Ways on How to Save Money In U.K

  1. Practice the 24-Hour Rule.

This is like the 30-day saving challenge, but it is used in less expensive purchases. In this rule, you are required to wait for 24 hours to 42 hours before making a purchase. This will help you to differentiate between a want and a need.

  1. Do Not Spend Too Much Entertaining Your Kids

Most young children can be entertained cheaply. You can play with them, plant a garden, play in the backyard, teach them how to ride a bike, or buy them a newspaper and let them be creative with it. Have in mind that a child prefers to spend quality time with you other than getting them stuff and you will have more money to save.

  1. Invite Your Friends to Come Over Instead of Going Out

Going out with your friends can destroy your entertainment and food budget at a go. No matter the circumstance, it would be cheaper to invite your friends over and find ways of entertaining yourself. After inviting your friends over, you can choose activities such as playing cards, watching movies, sitting around the fire pit, or other activities that can save you money.

  1. Lower Utility Bills

Evaluate if you are conserving and utilizing your utilities to the maximum. Some tips such as unplugging appliances that are not in use, insulating your windows, or turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth can be simple ways of lowering your utility bills.

  1. Avoid Fast Food and Convenience Foods

Instead of getting pre-packaged dinner or eating fast food, you can make simple and healthy food at home that you can carry with you. An hour’s worth of preparing the meal can end up saving you a lot in the long run. In cases where you have to dine out, maximise your savings using coupons or reward credit cards that give you a bonus for spending in a restaurant.

Article is written by Loanza  blog.loanza.co.uk/

Teaching Your Kids Discipline Through A Savings Account

One of the major pillars of developing teenage independence is to have financial independence. In most cases, children will likely never become financially independent while living at home, since there is no real pressing need. However, that will not always be the case.

So, unless you want your children moving back in with you after college because they can’t manage their finances well enough to support themselves, it is critical that they learn discipline when it comes to their money—and it can all start with learning to save.

Learning To Save An Allowance

For most children, saving money can’t really begin until they have some sort of steady income. Otherwise, it can be difficult to persuade them that they should save whatever money they may receive on their birthdays and Christmas. Since I personally don’t believe in paying for regular house chores, my wife and I have opted to give our children an allowance starting when they are five years old.

I’m not saying spoil your children with an unrealistic allowance, as it is far more likely to develop a sense of narcissism in your teen. Instead, you can try something similar to what our family does, which is the amount they receive is a dollar for how many years old they are. So, my seventeen-year-old daughter receives $17 a week while my ten-year-old son receives $10. As the system is based on their ages, it helps my children feel like it is fairer that they don’t receive the same amount of money.

With the steady “income stream” of a weekly allowance established, it can be far easier to help children learn to save.

Helping Children Set Savings Goals

Even for myself, having a goal to save toward makes it far easier to save my money. For us adults, these goals may look like saving for retirement or for a desired home upgrade. But children often have different goals they consider important.

So, no matter if you wish you had started saving for retirement as a teenager, it is not very likely that saving for retirement in 50-60 years will really appeal to your child. And without your kid’s buy-in, the goal will likely be a failure.

Instead of pushing your money-saving goals onto your children, help them set their own savings goals. Some ideas you may want to offer to kickstart their thinking are:

  • Saving up for a high-end toy or game
  • Putting away money for their first car
  • Set aside money to spend when out with friends
  • Saving for a trip or experience

As you can see, some of these money saving goals can span a shorter time period. But that’s okay. In fact, it is a fairly realistic look at how most adults spend their money. The important thing is that you don’t just step in and give them the money to reach their savings goals.

Allowing Self-Directed Savings Provide Discipline

For example, my oldest daughter liked to buy snacks at school with her allowance, then mall crawl on the weekends. She managed to hold onto enough of her allowance until her weekend mall time, until one week, she was completely out of money to spend.

Naturally, in her mind, I would provide more, but to her surprise, I told her no. Rather than have her learn later in life when it was a bill she couldn’t pay, my daughter went with her friends to the mall but felt the sting of being left out of buying a new accessory and food court fare. That, far more than anything I could have said or lectured, taught her the importance of saving her money.

If you want to help your children save more proactively for the long-term, there are several great kids’ savings account options. All of my children have a savings account with their own long-term savings goals that they determined.

Much of what we teach our children involves practicing lifelong self-care, from learning self-discipline to saving for the future. As you go about teaching your children to save their money, I recommend you keep in mind that learning to be independent and self-sufficient is a lifelong process. It may be frustrating for you and your children at times to practice these techniques of self-care, but it can also be ultimately rewarding.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter

Real Estate Today: It’s a Women’s Market

Home sales remain strong through much of the country, and single women are, in part, to thank for the housing boom. According to CNBC, unmatched maidens are more than twice as likely to buy a house as their brothers, uncles, and male friends. If you’re a lone lady ready to take on the responsibility of homeownership, keep reading for things you should consider, including how to evaluate your finances and ways to ease the burden of moving day.

Checks and Balances 

Your first and most important task when entering the real estate market for the first time is to know what you can afford. There are a number of factors that determine your future home’s value, including your income, outstanding debt, credit score, and current monthly expenses. SmartAsset   Smart Asset explains that a lower debt-to-income ratio may put you in a better position to qualify for a lower interest rate. Even if your credit isn’t perfect, there are still loans available if you have a FICO score of less than 600, although 620-plus will be required for a conventional loan. (Check your credit score at FreeCreditReport.com.)

Regardless of your income, assets, and liabilities, the vast majority of loan products require a down payment of between 3.5 percent and 20 percent of the home’s selling price. The higher the down payment, the lower the mortgage. If you’re purchasing a home after a divorce and you owned mutual property with your former spouse, you can use your portion of the proceeds from the sale of that property as a down payment. Keep in mind, however, that your first mortgage must be satisfied and any equity lines of credit or second mortgage products paid. You may also be required to pay capital gains taxes from the sale.

Once you have an idea of what you can afford, you can begin shopping for a mortgage provider. By speaking with a lender before you attend your first open house, you will have a realistic picture of your financial health and will know precisely what you can afford. Further, as the market remains fiercely competitive, having a pre-approval letter on hand may open more opportunities than would be available to the casual buyer.

When it’s time to begin looking at properties, start at the low end of your pre-approval. Keep in mind that the list price does not accurately reflect your future monthly expenses. In addition to the mortgage payment, you will also be responsible for property taxes, HOA fees (if applicable), PMI, and homeowners insurance. You will also pay closing costs, which Zillow explains can equal 5 percent of your home’s cost. Research the average list prices of homes in the area you want to live and don’t count out the possibility of expanding your search a few miles outside of city limits.

Now that you’ve gotten your finances in order, know how much you can afford, and have narrowed down your search parameters, you’ll need to apply “personal filters” that will weed out homes that don’t fit your lifestyle. Crime rates, access to public transportation, proximity to and quality of local schools, neighborhood amenities (such as nearby parks and playgrounds), and local property tax rates are all things you should consider.

Save the Date 

As the closing date draws near, you’ll want to plan ahead for the day. Consider hiring movers to handle the heavy load and contact the cable, internet, and utility providers for an estimated installation timeline. You will also save yourself lots of headaches and stress if you stay organized throughout the packing process and label boxes clearly so your movers can drop them in the right place at your new home.

Congratulations on your upcoming move. It’s both an exciting and anxiety-filled time, but it’s one made much easier on the mind, body, and soul (not to mention the wallet) if you take the time to know what you’re going into and avoid getting in over your head.

Author of this article, Tilda Moore, researches and writes about educational resources for openeducators.org. She is passionate about helping parents and teachers in providing kids with the best education possible. She works directly with teachers and other public education groups to ensure they are working toward our vision of constructing a reliable database of verified information

What Are the First-Year Costs That Come with Raising a Baby?

When you feel you’re ready to have a baby, it can be exciting as well as overwhelming. Having a baby means expanding your family, but it also means that you’ll have some logistics to consider. Namely, what about the financial considerations that come with having a child?

There are short- and long-term factors to think about. In the short-term, you’ll have to think about the medical costs related to pregnancy and labor and delivery, as well as maternity and paternity leave from your job. You’ll have initial investments for items such as cribs and other baby accessories. Then, you’ll have to think about health insurance for your new child and childcare when you do return to work.

These first-year costs can add up very quickly, and they require planning and strategizing to manage them effectively.

LendEDU recently surveyed 1,000 parents with a child who was at the time of the research, at least a year-old but not older than three. The goal of the research was to determine what to expect when it comes to raising a child and the costs it requires within the first year of the baby’s life. The survey took place over two days in February 2019 and was conducted by online polling company Pollfish.

The following are highlights of the research.

On Average, a Baby’s First Year Will Cost $13,186

The research indicates that the year-one costs for a new baby amount to an average of $13,186, with a median cost of $6,000. This number represents quite a jump from a 2010 USDA report, that showed the average household would spend $12,000 during the first year of a baby’s life.

  • For around ¼ of the poll respondents, first-year spending for a new baby represented anywhere from 21 to 30 percent of annual income.
  • 13 percent said it was 31 to 40 percent of take-home pay, and eight percent said they had to spend up to 50 percent of their income.
  • Eight percent spent more than half of their annual income on costs related to the baby.

How Is the Total First Year Cost Broken Down?

So, more than $13,000 is quite a bit in a year. What is that spent on? The costs break down in the following way, based on the LendEDU research:

  • Toys, diapers, and gear like strollers was the most expensive category. These costs represented 30 percent of total spending, amounting to $3,965.
  • 28 percent of spending went to food, which was on average $3,692 of the total first-year costs.
  • Next was healthcare, taking up 17 percent of total first-year spending.
  • Childcare accounted for 13 percent of first-year costs for a new baby, and behind that was miscellaneous expenses at 12 percent of the total.

Did Parents Save in Advance?

With such high costs associated with having a baby, did parents plan, save and budget in advance of having a child?

58 percent of people who participated in the survey said they started saving money to prepare, although 42 percent said they didn’t budget ahead-of-time. 52 percent of parents who did say they started budgeting and saving didn’t save enough for all costs.

Many parents also underestimated how much it would really cost. The average parent in the survey expected to spend $9,371 on a newborn, with their estimates being off by more than $3,800.

So what’s the takeaway? Babies are expensive, and it’s important for parents to have an idea of just how expensive and start financially planning and preparing as soon as possible before having a child.

Author of this article is Mike Brown  at  lendedu.com/

9 Tips for Men Facing Financial Hardships During Divorce

As a man facing divorce, there is a lot you go through with little support. You might be constantly wondering how things will turn out at the other end- whether or not you will get enough time with your kids, how you and your spouse will work everything out, and so on. One of the major concerns for fathers getting divorced is the time and money spent on the process.

Some men understand the importance of saving money during the divorce process; for other men, some critical divorce issues end up hogging most of their attention. Either way you look at it, finances are a pressing matter worthy of concern during a divorce process.

Since divorces come with a price tag, it is important to consider how much you can afford to shell out in the process. The last thing you want is a lot of money wasted in the divorce process.

Maintain your desired quality of life throughout the divorce process by using these tips.

Build a Trustworthy Team

While going through a divorce, men are often prone to feeling intense emotions. The emotionally charged circumstances might compel you to make the wrong choices. This is when you need a trusted financial advisor, lawyer, and accountant by your side.

These professionals can help you make wise financial decisions all through the divorce process, allowing you to save money you might have otherwise spent in the spur of the moment. Financial decisions should be based on logic more than on emotions. Seek help from a trusted team of professionals to guide you along the economic lines.

Expensive is NOT Always Worthy

Quit believing that all expensive services are the best. You might feel inclined to hire the most expensive lawyer in town to win child custody for men in New Jersey and negotiate alimony.

However, a lot of other factors play a role in determining how efficient any professional is.

Expensive is not always the best. Take the time to understand in depth all the services you need and make informed financial decisions. Considering your spending power and your post-divorce future will help you create a spending limit. Learn about the quality of services offered by various professionals (therapists, lawyers, financial assistants, etc.) and ponder their importance to your situation. Calculated spending will prevent you from wasting money in useless places.

Separate Your Cards and Financial Accounts

You don’t want an emotional drama surrounding finances while going through a divorce. If they are not already, separate your joint accounts and credit cards right away. This will save you the hassle of monitoring how much you or your spouse is spending after filing for divorce.

Often, these issues spring up during the divorce process, opening channels to unnecessary disputes. Reduce the potential for conflict and keep finances straight and simple throughout the divorce process.

Get a Real Picture of Your Budget

Family lawyers for men in Nutley, NJ suggest fathers and men going through a divorce plan and chalk out their budgets during divorce. They also encourage their clients to project their financial needs post-divorce.

The financial picture changes a lot after divorce with one less adult contributing to the household. If there are children involved in your case, consider how much you will potentially spend on their needs.

Track your expenses and cut back where you can. Outlining a crystal-clear budget will help you predict financial responsibilities and plan your expenditure during divorce accordingly.

Straighten Out Financial Imbalances   

If your spouse has always kept track of finances, this needs to change. Try to keep up with the finances as soon as you file for a divorce. You need to know how much money comes into the household and where it is spent. If your spouse has been in charge of finances up until now, ask them to involve you.

Knowing about the flow of finances in your household will help you negotiate a fair settlement when you enter the divorce process. Get on a level footing with your spouse when it comes to handling finances and documenting them.

Set into a New Lifestyle

There are a lot of changes after a divorce. Your income might not allow you to keep the family home, and you might have to do away with some of your habits that involve spending heavily.

Get into a fresh lifestyle where you prioritize your needs and responsibilities and plan finances wisely. Your post-divorce living standard will likely drop to some extent. Prepare for the change to make the process easier.

It makes sense to downsize your expenses and move into a smaller home until you can get back on your feet and afford the lifestyle you are used to.

Strive for Financial Independence

Fathers’ rights allow men to receive alimony payments when their spouse was the higher earner in the household. Either way, aim to be financially independent and not rely on your spouse’s child support or alimony. Life can take unexpected turns, and your spouse might lose their job or need to take time off from work.

When that happens, you should be in a condition to support yourself and your children. Focus on improving your earning capacity so you are prepared to take on any financial challenge in the future.

Protect Valuable Assets

If your spouse might hide or sell assets that were purchased with marital funds, protect them. Know that these assets will be valued and split during the divorce process.

Safeguard these assets while not hiding the fact that they are in your possession. Never sell any property you bought with marital cash during the course of a divorce. You will need to pay for any sold assets at the time of the divorce settlement negotiations.

Avoid Impulsive Decisions

Family lawyers for men advise you to refrain from making any major financial decisions for at least 6 months during your divorce process and after your divorce gets finalized.

Don’t move to a new city or change your job on impulse.

Family lawyers for men believe that with a little caution and patience, men can sail through these hard times. Adapt to circumstances and be prepared for a challenging financial future; men are often the ones who pay child support and alimony while also supporting their own lifestyle.

While divorce can be frustrating and devastating, it’s like any other change that feels highly uncomfortable at first until you settle down in the routine. Know that things will get better. Continue to make the right choices. It is also desirable to take help from therapists to keep your sanity intact and financial advisors to get a clearer picture of your finances and plan ahead of time.

About Author :-

Brad M. Micklin, Esq., is the lead family lawyer Montclair and managing member at The Micklin Law Group, LLC. For more than 22 years, he has helped men through some of the toughest, most emotional experiences in their lives, including child custody battles.

How to Prepare Your Finances to Leave an Abusive Relationship

If you are in an abusive marriage, you may not know where to turn or what to do. Abuse comes in many forms, and financial abuse is more common than you may think. If you’ve been the target of financial abuse, it can make it exceptionally difficult to gather your assets before you leave.

Financial abuse is likely not the only type of abuse you’ve experienced; it is often found in relationships where physical or emotional abuse also exists. In fact, of those who have suffered violence at the hands of a romantic partner, 98% have also endured financial abuse. However, the fear of unstable or inadequate finances can sometimes supersede fear of your own emotional or physical safety. A feeling of instability generally accompanies financial abuse; it can be such an overwhelming feeling that victims are unsure of where to turn. This guide will help you financially prepare yourself to leave an unhealthy marriage.

As an attorney, my experience is in retaining assets for my clients and helping them navigate the financial and emotional aspects of separation. However, your safety should always come first. If you are uncomfortable or feel unsafe following any of the following advice, consult someone who is knowledgeable about domestic violence before proceeding with these steps.

The Tactics of Financial Abusers  

Financial abusers regularly try to control their victim’s ability to acquire and use financial resources. This may mean you have been encouraged to not work or have been completely prevented from doing so. It can also mean you have limited access to bank accounts and financial resources, even if you earned the money yourself. All these abuse tactics are attempts to control someone and make it difficult to leave. Often times, these gaps in employment, unpaid debts, and low credit scores keep the victim in an abusive relationship simply due to fear of the unknown. Common fears amongst victims of financial abuse include:

  • Where will I live?
  • How will I find employment?
  • Can I afford the high interest rates I’m offered as a result of my poor credit score?
  • How can I financially support my children until I start getting paychecks?
  • Will I need to prioritize my basic necessities and give some up to survive?

If you are in an unhealthy marriage and have found the strength within to leave, you’ve already overcome your biggest hurdle. A brighter future is ahead, and you will find support from friends, family, and community members at every turn.

Preparing to Leave an Abusive Spouse  

Before making any changes to your finances, consult a victim advocate. The role of an advocate is to provide information to anyone who is dealing with domestic violence, including helping victims who are planning to leave an abusive marriage. They can help you find housing, transportation, and financial assistance when you leave your relationship. Someone who is trained as a victim advocate will have had extensive safety training, so he or she can help you make safe decisions regarding your finances. There are many online resources for finding your own advocate.

After you’ve consulted a victim advocate, you should begin to save as much money as possible. Whether it’s through a job, some kind of lump sum (like a tax return), or another source of income, having savings set aside when you leave will help ease the financial burden.

You should keep this money in your own bank account–one to which your spouse doesn’t have access. If you work, see if you can have part of your wages directly deposited into your new bank account. You may be able to adjust your tax exemptions and get more money each paycheck; you can deposit the difference in your personal account.

As you’re preparing your savings, make sure to keep any important financial documents – including any you can find from the past several years. This could include tax returns, paystubs, car titles, and more.

Finally, consult several divorce lawyers prior to leaving your spouse. A consultation is the perfect time to get a feel for whether you feel comfortable with the attorney and learn more about how their legal experience applies to your own case. Find an attorney who will fight to help you retain all the assets you need to start rebuilding your finances.

Rebuilding Your Finances After Leaving Your Spouse

The first financial move you’ll want to make once you’re over the hurdle of leaving your marriage is to review your finances, including your income and expenses. You may need a new job to pay for your new housing situation, for example, or it may be wise to get a second part-time job to build some savings.

You can also take time during the divorce to familiarize yourself with your credit report and resolve any debts that accrued. If you haven’t been privy to financial information for years, it’s possible your spouse has been hiding both income and debt from you. By creating a budget that addresses your monthly income, bills, and unpaid debts, you’ll put yourself on the path to financial security and  freedom.

Once you’ve safely left your marriage, it may be necessary to obtain a harassment restraining order or an order of protection against your spouse. A domestic violence lawyer can help you support yourself and your children by negotiating and litigating these legal protections. Consult an attorney if you feel your situation requires either of these orders.

Finally, a financial planner can be a tremendous help when you’re getting back on your feet. While a professional would be ideal, not everyone can afford it. If you’d like the benefits of financial knowledge without the price tag, you can use online resources, books, and even community education classes to learn more about handling your own finances.

About the Author   

Allison Maxim is a collaborative attorney St. Paul MN whose family law firm is Maxim Law PLLC. Allison believes strongly in the benefits of mindfulness in family law. Her background in psychology has given her a greater awareness of and empathy for the difficult situations faced by her family law and divorce clients.    

Article Summary 

Financial abuse is a powerful force keeping many victims in unhealthy relationships. This guide outlines how a victim can prepare his or her finances for long-term prosperity when faced with leaving an abusive relationship. It offers actionable steps to follow both before and after leaving an abusive spouse.

Starting a Small Business: Tips for Parents with Disabilities

starting small businessStarting a small business comes with a lot to consider, from figuring out whether you want a storefront or a solely online company to making sure you have the motivation and energy to put into running everything yourself. When you’re also a parent who is living with a disability, it’s important to also think about the best ways you can make life easier for yourself during the process of getting things off the ground. For some entrepreneurs, working from home is much easier than going into an office every day, but this can present its own set of challenges, especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get the ball rolling smoothly. First, think about the details: a brick-and-mortar store can bring a lot of benefits, such as bringing in lots of foot traffic, but it can also come with a lot more issues and responsibilities than an online business. Will you keep your stock on-site or dropship? Once you’ve figured out the details, you can move on to the big things, such as securing the necessary financing.

Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to start a successful small business when you’re a parent with a disability.

Understand What It Takes

Starting your own business may sound like a dream come true, but it’s much harder in many ways than finding a job with an established company. You need to be self-motivated, a problem-solver who can minimize distractions at home and get things done even when there’s no one giving you direction. Being able to give your all even when you’re sick or have lots of things going on at home will help you find success as an entrepreneur.

Consider How You’ll Support Yourself

Financing a small business is no small feat; there are many things to consider, from startup costs to maintaining your home and lifestyle until you begin making a profit. Often, new businesses don’t turn a profit for at least a year, although those run exclusively online can save a lot of money by not having a storefront. You might think about a loan or grant for disabled business owners to boost your funds, but make sure you find the right one for your needs. Look online to find out more about the resources available to you.

Think About Your Family

As a parent, you want to ensure that your family is well taken care of while you’re getting your dream up and running. This might mean securing daycare for your children if you’ve been a stay-at-home parent in the past, which can be a big change for everyone. Sit down with your family members and talk about your goals, and plan for the future together. Allowing your children to be involved in the preparation process will help them feel a little bit in control.

Take Care of Yourself

Starting a business can be a dream come true, but it’s also a lot of work, and it can be very stressful even if you’re organized. This is especially true when you’re living with a disability. Practicing self-care can help you reduce stress and anxiety when things become overwhelming, so take time out for yourself when you find things are getting busy. Ask for help when you need it. Get plenty of exercise and eat right, even on busy days.

Starting a plan for your future can be scary, but if you keep in mind that it’s a big step in the right direction when it comes to your goals, you’ll be able to stay motivated no matter how difficult things get. Start with some prep work and do some research online before you make any decisions. As a disabled business owner, juggling parenting and your dreams might sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your goals.

Author of this article is Ashley Taylor   ashley@disabledparents.org

Splitting Shared Assets when Divorcing

Divorce proceedings can be extremely stressful and traumatic for everyone involved, even more so when shared assets need to be split. When tying the knot, the last thing couples anticipate is divorce and as a result, few actually plan what would happen to their shared assets should they get divorced.

Over the years, you and your partner will have invested together, saved together and perhaps opened joint bank accounts, and in order to make financial settlements fair, there are a number of factors that have to be taken into consideration before splitting your assets.

Before we continue, it is important to note that how assets are split between a couple will be determined by the relationship. Simply put, the rights of a cohabiting couple will differ from those of a married couple, so bare this in mind.

Step 1:

The first thing you must establish is who legally owns what assets. If you’re in a cohabiting relationship then any investments or savings in your name will belong to you and your partner will not have access to these assets. Likewise, savings or investments made in your ex-partners name will be theirs and you will not be granted access.

However, there are exceptions to the rule. You may be entitled to beneficial interest if you have made contributions towards something in your ex-partners name, such as investing your own money into one of their projects. If this is the case, then you should seek legal advice.

On the flip side, investments or savings made throughout the duration of the marriage will be taken into consideration and divided as part of a financial settlement. Whilst assets amassed prior to the marriage aren’t typically subject to financial settlements throughout divorce proceedings, there is still a chance that your assets are at risk and you should seek legal advice to make sure your savings and investments are protected.

Step 2:

Next, it is time to find out what your savings are really worth in the eyes of the law. If you save money into a savings account such as a cash ISA or cash deposit, it should be pretty easy to get a rough idea of how much your savings are worth as you should be receiving regular financial statements.

However if you have invested in the stock market, or own shares and investment bonds, then it may not be as straightforward when it comes to determining the worth of your assets. This is solely because the value of your investments will differ from week to week, even day to day especially in a volatile and quick-changing market. You should talk to a financial adviser about finding out the value of invested assets tied up in the stock market.

Step 3:

It can be difficult to make sense of the whole process when splitting assets and couples often aren’t aware of how to split their savings and investments. Generally, it depends on where your savings are kept. Cash ISA, shares, investment property or savings accounts – there are a number of ways in which your money can be invested and each will differ when it comes to paying out financial settlements.

Cash ISAs

Cash ISAs can only be held in one individual name and therefore money cannot be transferred from one party to another. If the court has demanded you pay a financial settlement to your ex-partner you must withdraw the money from the account.

Shares

You have a bit more flexibility when it comes to shares as there are a number of different options in which you can pay off a financial settlement. Simply hand over control of the shares, sell the shares or give the value of the shares once sold to another party – it is your choice.

It’s easy to transfer shares, just fill in a J30 form which you can get from the company you initially brought the shares from. Alternativley, if you decide to sell your shares you will need to use the same service you used when buying those shares.

Investment property

If either you or your partner owns a property, then that asset is legally yours/theirs and the other party will have no claim to it – unless contributions have been made. In that case, you will both need to come to an agreement as to how the appropriate party will be paid back.

If you jointly own the property, then you may choose to sell your share to your ex-partner, or buy them out.

Savings accounts

If you plan to transfer money to your ex-partner as part of a financial settlement from a fixed-rate account, then you must first notify your bank so that you do not lose interest. If you are transferring from a normal savings account then you don’t have to give notice.

You should now be fully are of all your legal responsibilities and the claims you can make when it comes to splitting both shared and individual assets when divorcing. We understand how distressing divorce proceedings can be and that is why we have put together this comprehensive guide so that the process can be as amicable, straightforward and stress-free as possible for both you and your ex-partner.

Kerry Smith is the Head of Family Law at K J Smith Solicitors, specialist family law solicitors in Reading that deal with a wide range of issues, including divorce, domestic violence, civil partnerships, and prenuptial agreements. Kerry has over 15 years experience in family law and is recommended by the Legal 500 guide to law firms in the UK.