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June 2019 Archives

USDA promotes linking SNAP benefits to child support

Almost 40 million people in Virginia and around the country receive benefits administered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to help them pay for food. The rules governing the program, which is sometimes referred to as food stamps, are laid down by SNAP regulations and the Food and Nutrition Act of 2015. The rules allow states to deny SNAP benefits to custodial and noncustodial parents of children under the age of 18 when they refuse to cooperate with support agencies, but few states actually implement these restrictions.

Letting go of grudges before they impact your divorce

There’s an ancient proverb saying that holding onto your anger is like picking up a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else – you are ultimately the one who gets burned. Most divorce attorneys would tell you from experience that this is true. There may be a lot to be angry about when going through a divorce or child custody dispute, and much of it is justified. But is it helpful to hold onto that anger, or do you need to let it go?

Credit card interest and fees topped $113 billion in 2018

Consumers throughout Virginia and the rest of the U.S. paid credit card companies more than $113 billion in fees and interest in 2018, according to the New York Federal Reserve's latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. That figure represents a 12% year-over-year increase, and it's $37 billion more than Americans paid in 2013. Credit card interest charges and fees are expected to keep climbing; analysts predict that they will surpass $122 billion by the end of 2019.

Planning for education despite post-divorce finances

When a couple in Virginia decides to divorce, they may be most concerned about the effects of the separation on their children. These soon-to-be exes need to hammer out a parenting plan as well as the details of child custody and visitation. Many parents may work hard to protect their kids from emotional harm by avoiding negative talk about the other parent or working to co-parent positively together. Still, the financial effects of divorce are often some of the most significant, and the same is true when it comes to the children's education.

How divorce impacts Social Security benefits

If you are divorced you may be entitled to social security benefits based on the work record of a former spouse, even if that former spouse has gotten remarried. This is typically true for those who were married for at least 10 years and who would receive a smaller benefit than their former spouse would. This does not have to be addressed in your final divorce decree for you be entiteld to the benefit. 

Bill would make student debts easier to discharge

The amount of student loan debt outstanding in Virginia and across the country is expected to grow to $2 trillion by the year 2022. This would be far more than the amount of auto loan or credit card debt, and experts believe a large percentage of the student debt will ultimately not be repaid. Student loan borrowers, though, have largely not had the option to discharge their debts in bankruptcy. A new bill might soon make it easier for them to do that.

PET TRUST: CARE FOR YOUR PET AFTER YOU ARE GONE

You can provide for the care of your pet after you are gone. You can name the person, and any successor person as the Trustee to care for your pet. Included in your trust plan is funding for veterinary care, medicine, housing and food for your beloved pet for the rest of its life. You can also direct your Trustee to take advantage of advanced veterinary diagnostic tests, treatments and surgeries. You can set aside funds for your Trustee's use for these services as well as to address the disposition of your pet's remains by euthanasia when their time comes. You can also compensate your Trustee for their time and efforts on behalf of your pet. The trust lasts for the lifetime of your pet. If you become incapacitated, disabled or are absent for long periods your trust can provide for the care of your pet. You can also provide for the care of more than one pet in one trust.

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Bowen Ten Cardani, PC

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