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September 2015 Archives

The benefits of prenup agreements

Virginia residents who are about to get married might not think that a prenuptial agreement is for them, particularly since people often think only the very wealthy need them. However, a prenup can be a good idea for any couple who is about to get married, whether they are already wealthy or not.

Financial planning and divorce

Many Virginia couples see their marriages come to an end for a variety of reasons. Some people who divorce make the mistake of not planning for their finances after the process has ended. Doing so while the divorce is still pending can help avoid some major pitfalls after it is finalized.

Unmarried parents face no increased divorce risk

Virginia couples who had their first child before getting married have no increased risk of divorce, one study finds. Researchers at the Council on Contemporary Families aggregated data from families in two separate time groups, the first including women who had their first child between 1985 and 1995 and the second including women who gave birth to their first child between 1997 and 2010. What researchers found was that as the stigma of having a child before marriage has lessened over time, the rates of divorce between couples who had their first child before marriage have also declined.

Parental alienation may lead to court-ordered therapy

Some Virginia parents may be familiar with a phenomenon called parental alienation that was coined by a psychiatrist in the 1980s. It refers to what happens when one parent turns a child against the other parent, often as a result of a bitter divorce, and now there is a controversial treatment called reunification therapy that is sometimes mandated by a judge in child custody cases.

Virginian parents must juggle custody arrangements

Divorced parents who share custody of their young children need to be willing to put serious effort into making things work. Those in the midst of negotiating new custody agreements as well as those with existing ones are advised to consider whether their parenting plans were actually true to the realities of their situations. Instead of demanding full custody after a tough breakup or trying to overfill their schedules, ex-spouses need to think about what's best for the child.

Retaining assets with Chapter 13

Virginia residents may benefit from learning more about which properties are exempt under Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy involves reorganizing the debtor's assets and setting up a repayment plan to reimburse creditors. In contrast, Chapter 7 turns non-exempt assets over to the bankruptcy estate so they may be sold to compensate creditors. Chapter 13 is reserved for debtors who have sufficient means and income, which enable them to actually repay the debt within a predetermined amount of time.

Creating a prenup in Virginia

Regardless of a person's age or financial status, it is reasonable to create a prenuptial agreement. Even if a couple decides not to create one, it may be best for them to sit down prior to the wedding and discuss their current financial situation and their future financial goals. For instance, a couple should disclose all debts, assets and other liabilities in full. Bank and credit card statements need to be shared to ensure honesty during the discussion.

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