26
Oct 18

The Financial Woes of Divorce

Finances During a Divorce

Finances During a Divorce

There’s a lot involved with getting divorced, and the second biggest question on people’s minds when it comes to divorce is “How much is divorce going to cost?” (The first question is usually about the children, if there are some.) The cost of a divorce will vary on a variety of factors, but in most cases, you can count on divorce to cost thousands of dollars before its finalized. If you want to have a general idea of the cost of divorce, here are the financial woes you need to take into consideration.

Mediation/Attorney Fees

In most divorce cases, couples either hire divorce attorneys or they opt for mediation. Of the two, mediation is often the least expensive option, but you will still need to pay for it. Divorce attorneys vary in price too, so you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right decision when it comes to finding the right one to represent you.

Documents/Paperwork

Aside from the cost of attorneys or mediators, you’ll also have document and paperwork fees that will be filed with the courts. Some lawyers will roll this fee into their own expenses while others will make you pay for this cost separately. There’s no right or wrong way to go about paying for them, but it’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when determining your budget.

Filing Fees

Once your divorce has been approved by the courts, you’ll also notice filing fees, which happen to make your divorce legal. Again, the way this cost works will depend on your lawyer, but it’s important to ask questions about this upfront so you’re not hit with a surprise bill when it’s all over.

Child Support/Alimony

In some instances, one parent will be required to pay child support and/or alimony to the other parent. The cost of this will depend on the state you live in and the number of children you have, but if you’re required to pay child support or alimony, you’ll need to factor this into your financial plan. After all, failing to pay child support can keep you from obtaining a passport or force you to serve jail time.

Division of Property

During your divorce, there will be a division of property between you and your ex. This again will be determined by the laws and the court systems in your state. In most cases, the courts decide what is considered a marital asset and what is considered pre-marriage individual property, and then the division of assets will fall into play after this has been determined.

Housing

Some married couples opt to sell their house and split the profit (or loss) of the house. In some cases, one person will buy the other person out of the house. There are plenty of options, but it’s important to know that housing will be an expense during the divorce. If you remain in the home, you’ll still need to cover the mortgage payments. If you move out, you’ll need to pay rent in another location. And if you decide to sell, you’ll have the cost of selling the home. Either way, it will be a big adjustment for you to consider.

General Expenses

When you were married, you had a shared income that allowed you to live a certain lifestyle. When you get divorced, this income is now cut in half, and each person will be forced to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate your new budget. This means you may need to make necessary changes, such as trading in a luxury vehicle for one that’s more affordable or quitting that prime gym membership.

Divorce will certainly make an impact on your finances, but if you can at least be semi-prepared for what to expect, you’ll at least be in a better situation.

 

 


16
Oct 18

7 Ways to Make Learning Fun for Children

When learning is fun, it becomes more meaningful. If someone is having fun, they will be attentive and motivated.

By including engaging and creative activities, learning at home or in the classroom will be more enjoyable.

Many parents decide it is better to teach their children at home rather than send them to an outside school.

There are various reasons that parents make this decision to homeschool their children ranging from the quality of the schools to religious preferences. Educating your children at home is a balancing act.

One challenge is for these parents to make sure their children are not isolated and learn how to socialize and interact with their peers.

Enrolling children in extra-curricular activities, joining social groups, and taking field trips, are options for exposing them to other children. Another way to not only encourage socialization but also to add a little fun to learning is by using video education technology.

Using video technology to learn extends education outside the walls of a classroom or homeschool environment. It also helps create memorable experiences.

Children can “visit” places virtually like labs and museums. This not only provides educational value but can also be fun.

Offer Choices

Most of the children’s daily routine is set and doesn’t offer them a lot of choices. This can feel somewhat stifling. Offering them some options when possible, can make them feel like they do have some control over their lives. Even adults don’t like always being told what to do and when to do.

You don’t want to allow children to choose between learning and playing, that would be counterproductive.

How about allowing them to choose the order of their lessons or their assignments? They will still get the necessary education but will also have some control over the process.

Use Technology

What do children do when they are not in school? They are on their phones, iPads, or tablets texting their friends, playing games, and watching videos.

Why not capitalize on that and add some fun to their learning? Using technology in the classroom can increase student learning and engagement.

A few suggestions on how to utilize technology are:

  • Teach by using presentations instead of lecturing
  • Let them do some of their research on the Internet
  • Use video conferencing to allow children to virtually visit different areas of the world
  • Show educational videos to explain some of your lessons

Field Trips

Whether children are learning in a classroom or in their home, taking them outside of their educational environment is important and will add some fun. Field trips help connect what students are learning with the outside world.

You can take them on a field trip to attractions like your local city hall, a government office, or a museum. If you are teaching your children about pre-historic animals, taking them to a museum ties in well to your lessons.

Don’t forget about virtual field trips. The options online are limitless. You can “visit” anywhere in the world on the Internet.

Utilize Their Imagination

Let children use their imaginations by designing lessons that can foster creativity. If studying criminal justice, how about staging mock trials? When teaching about history, you can have children use role-playing to act out what they are learning.

Allow children the freedom to express themselves by giving them options for different projects. You can let them choose between drawing a picture, writing a story, creating a presentation, or even acting out a history lesson.

Conduct Experiments

Even students who might not be interested in science can have fun conducting experiments. Hands-on activity keeps students engaged.

Make it Practical

It is very difficult for anyone to pay attention when learning something new if they don’t understand why they need to have this knowledge.

Give concrete examples of why the child should care about what they are learning rather than just telling them. This will promote interactivity and allow children to ask questions that will enhance their learning experience.

For example, when teaching history, it can be helpful to discuss what we can learn from things our ancestors have or have not done.

You can relate history lessons to children’s lives by discussing some of their experiences and what they have learned from them.


08
Oct 18

Preparing for Parenthood when you’re a Parent with a Disability

Preparing for Parenthood when you’re a Parent with a Disability

Preparing for Parenthood when you’re a Parent with a Disability

 

More than 4 million people in the U.S. alone are parents who have disabilities, so you are not alone if you’re about to become one of them. Prepare for all the changes of parenthood by getting your home and yourself ready for this major life change. Parenthood is just like anything else: if you’re well-prepared, you’re better-equipped to handle the job.

Getting Started

When should you start preparing your home for the new baby? Right now! You can’t get started too soon because time is going to go pretty quickly. Start by taking a good look around your home and try to spot safety issues before they become real issues later.

Safety Proofing

Every parent, at some point, faces the saga of baby-proofing their home. People with disabilities need to take some extra safety steps for their new bundle of joy. Add non-slip backing to all of your rugs, or replace them entirely with skid-proof rugs. Add grab bars to the walls of the baby’s room to make changing and bathing times easier. Don’t forget latches on cabinet doors, because soon enough baby will be a curious toddler.

Move the Furniture

Before baby arrives, pick a room for the baby. You may need to move furniture or boxes, so get this done early and get the room prepared. Place all the baby’s furniture well in advance, and practice moving around the room. Can you get all the way around the crib? Can you move easily at the changing area? Set everything up so that it’s well within reach and easy for you to get to.

Keep all supplies within reach, so you don’t have to stain to get to them. And don’t forget your baby gates. The baby will be crawling soon, so set up gates by all stairs and ramps to prevent baby from going places they shouldn’t. Carpet stairs that aren’t carpeted, or better yet replace them with ramps that are easier for you to navigate.

 

All the Little Things

A baby may be little, but they bring big changes with them. Don’t forget to look around your home and think about all the little details that may affect your new little one. Decluttering is a must, according to Kiddie Proofers. Babies and toddlers will find a way to get into everything, so start the process right now. Mount the TVs securely to the wall, so little hands can’t pull them down. Add night lights to all your rooms so you can see what you’re doing, even at night.

Consider installing a handheld shower, so you can wash baby more easily. Re-organize all your cabinets, so you can access sippy cups and other baby items quickly. Change out your doorknobs to simple latches, rather than turn-style knobs, so you can get in and out of rooms even when your hands are full. Swap door hinges with expandable hinges to give yourself more moving room, too.

Get the Right Gear

There’s not a lot of baby stuff made especially for parents with disabilities, but there is a lot of items out there you can use, according to Outspire. Get a swivel car seat to make transport simple. Look for baby clothes that fasten with Velcro, rather than tiny little buttons and snaps. You can also find wheelchair-accessible cribs that have sidewalls you can lower, or little doors that make it easier to get to baby.

Having a disability can feel like an isolating experience, and having a baby at the same time may get overwhelming. You’re part of a huge community of millions, and more and more people with disabilities are becoming parents. Take some extra steps to prepare for your baby, and get ready for your brand-new life as a parent.

Photo credit: Pexels.com