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  • Financial Illiteracy

    Financial Illiteracy May Leave Parties at the Losing End

    It is often taboo or unthinkable for married couples to discuss financial literacy and marriage assets. This void in financial education leaves many couples with serious problems in settlement matters if divorce occurs.

    Law attorney would agree that financial illiteracy on community property distribution, alimony, etc, should not be dispensed as a crash course but rather, taught to the general public to raise awareness on settlement arrangements and preparations.

    Through enlisting the assistance of professionals such as financial and tax consultants, couples can achieve financial transparency between both parties that will help foster stronger trust and collective asset and property management.

    Traditionally, husbands tend to keep marital assets and properties confidential, with their partners in the dark. According to a recent fidelity survey, most couples are open about their marital finances though some couples still practise an imbalance of financial literacy.

    As censuses show, a significant percentage of married couples end up in divorce, leaving a disparity in the eventual settlement pay out, which is affected by the financial literacy of the parties involved.

    Therefore, it is capital that all married couples consider taking up retirement plans early in the marriage, for the purpose of financial security in preparation for any crisis.  Many factors should be considered before and after divorce proceedings.

    Couples may consider the basic spending budget, medical fees, children support (if applicable), legal fees and other miscellaneous charges that may be incurred upon divorce, along with concessions to lifestyle with the separation from the main earner (if applicable).

    Hence, it is important for parties to consider long-term saving plans and other policies with financial consultants that will help them tide through the tough times.

    Most importantly, the lower-earning or unemployed party in a marriage should be kept updated on the latest figures in marital assets and property as in the case of a finalized divorce, they will require more compensation from the settlement to pay off the bills that was once handled by their former spouse.

    The sharing of commitments and responsibilities do not immediately terminate at the dissolution of a marriage, which means that mortgage and incurred debts through marital finances, continue to stay in effect until they are officially settled in the court of law (which takes time). This means that both parties have equal responsibility in returning the debts to the creditors if the names of both parties were involved in the signing of any applicable contracts.

    Financial literacy not only equips with parties to fight for fairer divorce settlements but also, to be fully aware of any outstanding debts to be shared between them.


    Prenuptial agreements or prenups have always been thought of as a standard procedure for rich people because they always aim to protect their property, if ever the marriage doesn’t work. In truth, prenups are also meant to protect working people. About 62% of lawyers have noticed an increase in the number of clients who have been asking for prenuptial agreements in past few years.

    Now that you are about to enter a lifelong commitment, do you think you need a prenup?

    The Definition

    A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement, is a formal contract made specifically between two people who are about to marry. The unique agreement summarizes a number of different items for both individuals. Usually, the properties owned by the wife and the husband before they get married are indicated in the document, along with the specific things each will get if ever the marriage dissolves.

    Even if many couples don’t really think of divorce before they even enter marriage, it is estimated that half of the marriages in the United States do dissolve. It is considered a prudent step to consider a prenup to be protected, just in case. This type of formal agreement is often created to secure the assets of wealthy individuals before marriage. It can also protect long established family businesses.

    What Prenups Protect

    Premarital agreements protect the things agreed upon by both parties during the contract’s creation. It is vital to understand that the prenup can only secure specific rights such as the following:

    • Distribution of property
    • Segregation of individual and marital properties
    • Plans for the children
    • Debt
    • Protection of property owned by the birth property

    Take note that this document cannot protect monetary incentives for the divorce, child custody, personal preferences or properties acquired illegally.

    Is a Prenup the Right Choice?

    Assets are crucial in considering a prenup. If you are aware of the significant assets you have before you get married, a premarital agreement can surely protect each one of them. Even average, working people consider prenups to benefit the individual and the individual’s family. Choose to have a prenup if you or your better half:

    • Have acquired debts. When your marriage dissolves, a prenup can protect you from the debt your spouse has.
    • Have kids from previous marriages. A prenup can help you provide for your children from your relationships in the past. In case of your untimely death, the signed prenup can secure your property from your spouse, so that it could be given to your older children.
    • Want protection from any more arguments. Heated conflicts are always expected in any divorce. The document can secure your emotional stability by helping avoid discussions about finances and property.

    A Prenup Can Help You Keep Your Property Safe

    A divorce that’s asset-driven can cause stress and confusion. Prenups can secure your hard-earned property in case a divorce happens.

    Learning about premarital agreements can enlighten you about its advantages. If you want to create one with your intended, contact one of our experienced lawyers and we’ll make sure you get it right before you say the proverbial yes.

  • Divorce Settlements

    The Division of Community Property

    There are several factors that enter into play when couples divide their  property. They will determine how much one party receives and can be highly subjective with each case.

    Divorce settlements are never an easy process but with the right experienced legal advice, separated couples can work towards the best outcome that benefits both sides. Always be mindful though, that a finalized division of community property is an irreversible process, so careful planning is advised before committing to any of the stipulated clauses.

    By being clear and concise about social & employment statuses, property value, and child custody, legal professionals can make better plans for a fair settlement. 

    The Custody of Children

    Bringing up children takes a higher toll on finances as compared to individuals without the heavy responsibility. Hence, a court may review custody matters between former spouses. Shared custody will entail in a fairer division of community assets.

    Whereas sole custody will likely see a greater distribution of the property to the parent in charge. With ample documentation and declaration of custody, each parent will be granted entitlement of property accordingly.

    The law usually arrives at the best possible arrangement that will benefit the child or children involved in the settlement procedure.

    Earning Ability

    While being a essential factor in determining the custody of children, earning ability also greatly affects the settlement process of community property.

    If a party has been out of the work force for an extended period due to a legitimate reason such as sickness, disability or old age, the court may award the person with a greater entitlement of the property to set back losses.

    The court may identify the working parties as self-sustaining and hence, award them with a smaller share of the settlement. However, cases differ and on a subjective basis according to the finalized decisions of the court.

    Valuation Matters

    The price of a property goes a long way in the settlement process. As a highly valued property can be easily evened out to ensure financial stability to both parties upon divorce proceedings, a lower evaluation may lead to an insufficient sum for both sides to benefit from the process.

    Thus, it is important to acquire the greatest evaluation of a property for the best outcome.

    Age Matters

    Lastly, the age difference between the parties may also be taken into consideration. A person who is closer to the age of retirement may be more entitled to benefit from retirement schemes and other age-related policies while couples with closer age gaps may receive even distribution of the property.

  • Protecting Children – Domestic Violence or Kidnapping

  • divorce mediation

    Why Choose Divorce Mediation

  • Financial Infidelity

  • Is it Too Late to Sign a Prenup?

  • Should a Family Suffer Because of DNA?

  • Mediation versus Lawsuit: A Case of Custody

    Divorce is never an easy matter and things can turn ugly during the settlement of disputes. This is worsened with the involvement of children, leading to long and tiring custody battles in the courtroom by the involved parties. Thus, it is perhaps beneficial that clients considered the alternative of consulting with a divorce mediator, which could settle grievances in a more tactful manner. A few main factors may be assessed towards making the best decision.

    In the case of a divorce lawsuit, each party is represented by their own lawyer who defends the client and makes negotiations for the termination of a marriage. Litigation is presented in front of a judge in the family court of law if the lawyers do not come to a peaceable agreement. Through this arrangement, the final decision lies in the hands of the judging official. Although different states and countries may have contrasting steps in their lawful practices, the procedure is essentially similar. These cases may last up to 3 years.

    The biggest issue with the divorce approach is that there might be a lack of fairness in the ensuing decision that may be detrimental to one party and any children involved. In other words, the better case based on the merit and standing of the client will overrule equality.
    Alternatively, with a divorce mediator, both parties iron out details with an impartial third-party (mediator) through a collaborative settlement of divorce away from the court. Mediation offers fewer complications and professional mediators are trained to offer a decision that is ideal for both parties and any children who might be involved, balancing financial matters out in the most justified manner. Mediations may be settled within 6 months through several sessions.

    Ultimately, the couple has full arbitration over the outcome and the mediator is the authority who legalizes the divorce based on their decisions.

    The issue with mediation is that couples must amicably agree to the terms set out by the mediator for the process to work out.
    The final decision lies in the motive of the involved parties, do they value the needs of their children over their own personal sentiments and fulfillment?