Joseph H. Beale Attorney At Law, PLLC

Virginia Legal Blog

Parent's divorce choices can impact their kids' marriage

When a couples chooses to end their marriage, it affects more than just those two individuals. The choices they make will have an impact on the youngest members of the family, and sometimes, these effects are not always positive. Studies have shown that children who lived through their parents' divorce are more more likely to eventually go through a divorce themselves. 

Virginia parents cannot control the choices their children make when they become adults. However, they can be cognizant of the ways their decisions have impacted the mental and emotional well-being of their children. During a divorce, they may strive to provide as much stability and security as possible for the kids. Through practical and fair custody and visitation plans, parents are able to help their kids adjust to post-divorce life.

Single parents can benefit from trusts in their estate plans

A single parent is solely responsible for the physical, emotional and financial well-being of a child. This is an immense responsibility, and it's easy to see how some Virginia parents may get caught up in day-to-day life and overlook plans for the future. Estate planning is critical for single parents, and they may benefit from using trusts as a way to accomplish their goals.

A trust is a way to set aside and protect assets for a specific use in the future. In the event that the parent passes away, a trust will accept funds from his or her estate, IRA accounts, insurance settlements, retirement accounts and more. This money would be protected and used solely for the benefit of the child. A parent can also name a trustee, which is a trusted individual named to oversee how the funds in the trust are used. 

Smart money management during divorce is important

When people initiate the process of ending their marriage, one of the main concerns they have is about their financial futures. It's normal to have serious misgivings about what the future will look like on one income, and it may take some adjustments to various areas of a Virginia reader's life. Smart money management during the divorce process will lead to a smoother transition to post-divorce financial circumstances.

One helpful money management tip is to plan a budget. By knowing what's coming in and going out, a person can better monitor spending. Divorce can be an expensive and financially uncertain time, and it's smart to be cautious with spending. A person may also want to start making adjustments in lifestyle now. Even in high-income divorces, each party may have to get used to new financial circumstances, and having a spending plan now can pay off in the future. 

Could you negotiate an uncontested Virginia divorce?

Not every divorce is acrimonious. Marriages end for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, you and your spouse just grow apart over time. You may find that you have less in common with each other and that you both want the opportunity to find a more fulfilling relationship.

Regardless of why you want to end your marriage, you're probably worried about the difficulty involved in the process of divorcing. Almost everyone has heard a horror story from a friend or family member that went through an expensive divorce that resulted financial havoc.

Moms may have to fight for their financial interests in divorce

When a Virginia couple has children, it may make sense for one of the parents to leave his or her career and stay home with the children. In many situations, the mother is one who does this. Stay-at-home moms can provide necessary care for young kids, but these women may face significant financial difficulties in the event of a divorce. 

Moms who give up their careers to care for their children play an invaluable role in the home, but it can be difficult to put a monetary value on that. The division of marital property and spousal support for the nonearning spouse should offset the economic inequity brought about by divorce. Unfortunately, many stay-at-home moms find it difficult to get a fair settlement

Helpful child support facts for parents navigating divorce

Financial matters and what will happen to the children will be one of the most difficult issues Virginia parents will have to address in the process of ending their marriage. Divorce is not easy, and a person will need to consider all long-term implications before agreeing to the terms of a settlement. It is also beneficial to be aware of how child support works and what it means for both the payee and the recipient.

The court typically views child support as more important than spousal support. This means that if there is a future modification to a child support order, it will often impact alimony payments as well. The needs of the children take precedence. Child support payments have neither positive or negative tax consequences. Payments are not tax deductible for the payor, and the recipient does not have to pay taxes on it as income. 

When it comes to wills, do-it-yourself may not be smart

There are many steps a person can take to protect his or her interests for the future. One way people can do this is by drafting a strong and thoughtful estate plan. There are various websites and programs that allow people to do this online, but that is rarely a good choice. DIY wills are more likely to contain errors and issues that can lead to complications in the future. 

DIY options for drafting estate plans are attractive options for some in Virginia because they may be a more cost-efficient option. It may be a quicker and easier choice than sitting down with an attorney to draft a will, but these websites often don't provide support or allow a user to ask questions. Finances and family lives are complex, and a DIY online estate planning service may not be able to account for unique circumstances.

Wills and estate planning steps for unmarried adults

Unmarried adults often believe they have no need for an estate plan, especially if they are young and healthy. In reality, drafting wills and having certain plans in place is a smart step, no matter a person's marital status, income level or age. In Virginia and elsewhere, there are significant benefits to planning for the future, both for the individual and for his or her loved ones. 

One of the most important steps for a single person who does not currently have an estate plan is to draft a will. This allows a person to decide what will happen to his or her property and assets in case of death, and even plan for the care of a beloved pet. Another consideration for a single person's estate plan is to draft documents for medical purposes and in case of incapacitation. This includes power of attorney and establishing a health care proxy.

Help yourself and your children with these co-parenting tips

Co-parenting is all what you make of it. If you don't want things to work out, you'll always find a reason to argue with your ex-spouse. Conversely, if you're devoted to providing your children with the best life possible, you'll always find a way to make things work.

There are a variety of tips you can follow to help yourself and your children during this often stressful time. Here are five to consider:

  • Think about everyone's feelings: Don't focus so much on your feelings that you overlook what's best for your children. Just the same, spend some time thinking about your ex-spouse, as this person is in the same position as you.
  • Keep an open mind with schedules: Yes, a schedule is extremely important when co-parenting, as it helps keep both parents on the same page. It also gives your children a clear idea of where they'll be every day of the week. However, there are times when you have to adjust your schedule, such as if your children have an extracurricular activity or your ex is out of town.
  • Pick your battles wisely: As tempting as it is to argue with your ex about everything, this will only add stress to your situation. Pick your battles wisely, while getting into the habit of letting the small things roll off your back.
  • Know how to effectively communicate: It's up to you and your ex to settle on the best way to communicate. If you're able to get along, this won't be an issue. Conversely, if you're always fighting, it's often best to communicate via text or email.
  • Don't get in the way during visits: When your children are with their other parent, find something to occupy your mind. This ensures that you aren't calling or texting your children, which could upset your ex.

Preparing well can make the divorce process smoother

The process of ending a marriage is not easy. Even when both parties decide this is the best step and resolve to work together amicably, there are complex issues at hand and strong emotions with any divorce. If a Virginia reader is facing the divorce process, one specific way to reduce complications is to gather all appropriate documentation and get organized before moving forward. 

The outcome of a divorce will impact a person for years to come, and it is beneficial to pursue terms that are reasonable and sustainable. This starts in the earliest stages in the divorce process, beginning with taking a thorough financial inventory of everything from marital property to retirement accounts to insurance policies. Organizing all pertinent paperwork and documentation will help a person access important information during the divorce process quickly and easily.

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