Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

How Can You Help Your Children Through a Divorce?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Marriage How Can You Help Your Children Through a Divorce?For children, divorce can be stressful, upsetting, and confusing. Whatever their age they are bound to feel uncertainty and anger at the prospect of their parents splitting up and things never being the same again.

But as a parent, you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children, making the whole experience slightly more bearable for them and maybe a little easier for yourselves.

There are many ways you can help your kids adjust to separation or divorce, but being honest with them from the start will form a solid base for you to maintain a healthy and loving relationship throughout this difficult time.

When it comes to telling your kids about your divorce, many parents freeze up. So make the conversation a little easier for everyone by preparing what you say before you sit down to talk.

Here are a few things you can do in order to help your children through the turmoil of a divorce.

Be honest -  Your children are entitled to know why you are getting a divorce, but a long-winded response may only confuse them more. You may need to remind your children that while sometimes parents and kids don’t always get along, parents and kids don’t stop loving each other.

Tell then you love them - It may sound simple but letting your children know that your love for them hasn’t changed is a powerful message. Tell them you’ll still be caring for them in every way as you always have.

Listen -  Encourage your kids to share their feelings and really listen to them. They may be feeling sadness, loss or frustration about things you may not have expected, so this is their chance to tell you.

Be patient - Kids may seem to understand one day and be unsure the next. Treat your child’s changing moods and confusion with patience and understanding.

Tell them it’ll be okay -  Tell kids that things won’t always be easy, but that thing will be okay in the end. Knowing it’ll be all right can often provide an incentive for your kids to give a new situation more of a chance.

Show affection -  Give your children as many hugs and kisses as you can. This will reassure them that whatever is happening in your marriage, your feelings for them have not changed.

Have fun - Try to inject as much fun-time and play into your life and the lives of your children as you can; it can relieve stress and give you all a break from the sadness and confusion that exists.

Who Keeps the House?

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Hand Over Home Who Keeps the House?The home is the largest asset for couples because the home most likely has some equity. Of course, the amount of equity fluctuates with the housing market. During the most recent collapse of the housing market, it became a case of taking losses and many couples that divorced saw their homes lost in the foreclosure process because neither party could afford the payments.

Now the housing market is on the rebound in Minnesota and that is putting divorcing couples in better positions to split the equity in the home. In the 13-county metro area, the Pioneer Press states that the median sales price has risen to $160,000, which is 14.3 percent higher than January of 2012. The market is finally thawing out and that means that home valuation being correct is going to be a priority in a divorce.

There are usually two scenarios that occur in property division of the marital home. One of the former spouses may be able to continue to live in the home and pay the other spouse their share of accumulated equity. Sometimes an interest in the homestead equity can be offset by awarding retirement accounts to the spouse who does not continue to live in the home. There are various adjustments that can be made to the value of these accounts. In other cases, the home may be refinanced in order to split the equity, but the other common solution is to sell the home and split the money. Either way, it is a must to determine the property value.

The first way to determine the value is through a professional appraisal. What it was worth during the housing bust may not be what it is worth now. It could be worth more or less. If the value is inflated, that could mean paying more than what a person should to live in the home. The opposite an also happen, which is when the tax-assessed value is too low. If it’s too low, the spouse that does not live in the home may not receive a fair amount of money. This makes it worth the cost to hire an appraiser.

If upside down on a mortgage (mortgage is more than the worth of the home), it may be worth arranging a short sale with the lender. This may occur when neither spouse can afford to refinance or stay in the home, but this action is up to the bank. However, a November 1 federal rule states that homeowners current on their payments are allowed to qualify for a short sale. Short sales are typically for those seeing a hardship and divorce is considered a hardship when it involves a change in finances.

When it comes to property division, your attorney can advise you of what to do and the options available. Finding the best solution for you can mean not taking on an expense that you cannot afford or losing the home when you need a place to live and the other spouse doesn’t.