Mar 15

Why it’s Important to File Custody with the Courts Instead of a Verbal Agreement

Going to court for child custody can be time consuming and expensive. Because of this, many parents often decide to ditch the courtroom altogether and instead create a verbal custody agreement. These agreements can be anything from one parent seeing the child every other weekend to both parents getting equal time with the child.

Even if you and your ex get along and both have the best interest of your child in mind, it’s still important that you file your custody with the courts instead of simply having a verbal agreement.

 Situations are going to change.

Many parents create this verbal agreement based on their current situations without looking toward the future. The problem is that both parents’ situations are going to change over time, and this will put you in a bind when it comes to custody.

For example, if one parent gets a promotion that will force them to move, this will cause an issue with your verbal agreement. The moving parent may want to bring the child with them, but the non-moving parent will want the child to stay close. This will likely cause a blowout that is not healthy for your child, and the two of you will just end up in court anyway.

If you make the arrangement in court, these types of situations can be settled before they arise. Also, you and your ex can always decide to go back to court when situations change or your custody agreement needs to be revamped. This will always keep your child’s best interests at the forefront.

 You won’t have anything legally binding you.

When you have a verbal agreement, it makes it easier for you and your ex to break it. For example, you may have a verbal agreement that says you’ll both pay 50/50 when it comes to your child’s educational and extracurricular needs. When you don’t have a legal agreement, your ex could decide to back out on this part of the agreement at any time, putting you fully responsible for footing the bill.

When you legally file custody, your agreement is set in stone and you or your ex cannot back out. If your agreement says that you will split costs and your ex doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain, you can take them back to court where they can either be forced to pay you or they can serve jail time for breaking the agreement.

 It defines the parents’ responsibilities.

When you have a verbal agreement, your parenting responsibilities may not be entirely thought out. For example, you may decide to take your child to see one doctor, but your ex may decide to take them to another doctor. This isn’t beneficial for your child.

When you are filed through the courts, they will decide the type of custody both parents receive. For example, if you have joint legal custody, then both parents need to be in agreement when it comes to the upbringing of the child. This means that parents will need to agree on medical care, school, and other items. If you have sole legal custody of your child, then you and you alone get to make these decisions for your child without input from the other parent. Having this determined by the courts will make raising your child easier.


Mar 15

Protecting the Family Business During a Divorce

Going through a divorce is never a fun process, and it’s even worse if you and your ex cannot agree on anything. Trying to determine who gets control of what and who receives which assets can be a nightmare, especially if you both want control of the same things.

One area that gets a bit hectic during a divorce is when the couple owns a family business together. Obviously, you both want the business to continue doing well, so how do you protect the family business during a divorce?

 Determine the Premarital Ownership

If you want to keep the family business after your divorce, one way to do so is to prove the premarital ownership of the business. For example, if you owned the business before you were married, you may be entitled to keeping the business after your divorce.

There are exceptions to this, though, and every case will be viewed differently. While you may have owned the business before the divorce, you and your ex could end up having to split the business if your ex had anything to do with the business once you were married. For example, if your ex held responsibilities at the business, or even if you deposited profits from the business into a joint checking account, your ex could claim potential ownership of the business. If you owned the business and your ex had absolutely nothing to do with it once you were married, then your chances of keeping the business are much greater.

 Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

Most people think that prenuptial agreements are only used so the wealthy can protect their assets, but this is a common misconception. Prenuptial agreements can be used to help you keep any of your premarital assets after a divorce, including a business.

If you owned a business before you were to get married, you could use a prenuptial agreement to ensure that you will continue to be the sole owner of the business if your marriage was to ever dissolve. This is a legal and binding contract that will ensure you protect your family business. Even if your ex were to work at the business after you were married, the prenuptial would protect you during the divorce. While the topic of prenups can be uncomfortable, it may be something to consider.

 Have a Salary

Another way to protect your business is to pay yourself a regular salary from the business’s profits. When you do this, you are lowering your net income, and this can be a saving grace. If you don’t pay yourself a salary and instead put the money back into the business, your ex can come after you for part of the business during a divorce because you have no net worth. However, if you pay yourself a salary, then you will have a net worth, and that—in most cases—would be all your ex can use against you during the divorce proceedings.

Protecting a business during a divorce can be tricky, but it is possible. If you want to be truly sure that your family business isn’t affected by a divorce, it’s best to keep your spouse out of your business entirely. If he or she has absolutely nothing to do with the business before or during your marriage, then he or she cannot claim responsibility for it when the marriage is over.


Mar 15

Different Types of People to Help with Your Divorce

Going through a divorce can be tough. Losing the companionship of someone you once loved and being back in the world on your own can be hard, especially if your marriage lasted a significantly long time.

Most people turn to friends or family members to help them with their divorce, whether it’s for financial help or general emotional support.

While friends and family can be helpful, sometimes you need the help of a professional to get through the divorce successfully. The following are a few different people you should consider reaching out to when you get divorced.

Having a lawyer is extremely important during a divorce, even if the divorce is amicable. You and your spouse will not only need to legally dissolve the marriage, but you will need to separate assets and possible determine custody of children. This is best done with the help of a lawyer. These professionals know how to handle divorce law, and they can do their very best to ensure that you get all the assets and provisions you need to move on. Your lawyer will be there to answer any of your questions regarding the divorce, and they can also recommend other professionals to help you with other aspects of your life during the divorce.

A mediator is similar to a lawyer, but they are there to help you and your ex resolve your issues without fighting specifically for one side. For example, your lawyer will have your side during the divorce and will do everything they can to help you get what you want. A mediator will not take sides during your divorce and instead will help you and your spouse compromise on everything from assets to custody. You and your ex can agree on which mediator to use, or you can allow the courts to choose one for you.

Divorce can be emotionally tough, and you may find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, or just not like yourself. In these instances, you may want to seek the help of a professional therapist. These professionals will be able to help you work through your feelings in a healthy way and get you on a path where you can feel more like yourself again. Being able to move on after the divorce is extremely important, and sometimes a therapist is exactly what you need in order to put your divorce in the past and welcome your new future with open arms.

Support Groups
While a support group may not be one specific person, they can still serve as a great help during a divorce. Support groups are filled with people who are going through similar situations, which in your case would be a divorce. You will be able to share your experience and talk about your feelings with people who share the same thing and are nonjudgmental. You can also build relationships with these people outside of the support group, which can help you get your life back in order. Your lawyer or your therapist may be able to help you find a support group in your area.

Family Advocacy Groups
There are certain types of groups that help families going through a family legal matter at an affordable rate. Once such group is National Family Solutions. They utilize the services of attorneys, Legal Documents Assistances (LDAs), family psychologies and Private Investigators (PIs) to help families going through a divorce, custody, guardianship or conservatorship. If you qualify for their services, it could save you thousands of dollars.