SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN & MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS

When working out a marital settlement agreement with your spouse, consider the current and future special needs of your child. This includes what happens when your child becomes an adult. Your special needs child will benefit greatly if you and your spouse take the time to work in a collaborative manner. Otherwise the situation can become quiet traumatic for your child and cause long-term damage.

When determining the child visitation schedule with your spouse, remember to pay close attention to the needs of your child. All children need consistency and solid structure in their lives, especially special needs children. Moving between homes can make children feel destabilized. Transitions for special needs children, especially if they do not understand the concept of time, can add to a child’s confusion.

If your child will be traveling between homes after your divorce, consider what they will need when traveling and when they are living in the second home. Some items to take into account include being close to a medical facility and any necessary medical equipment. This includes medical equipment for moving the child between homes and equipment that needs to be in both homes in order for your child to be comfortable. Take time to consider the details. This is especially important if one parent has been the primary caretaker. The non-caretaking parent may not know how to handle certain situations such as:

  1. Special diets;
  2. How to administer medication;
  3. Managing behavior (including potential triggers); and
  4. Preferences of a non-verbal child.

Consider how education will be handled once your are divorced. Will your child be starting in a new school? Are there special considerations that need to be put in place for the child’s new school, including the signing of legal papers? Will both parents have legal custody of the child? Will one parent sign school papers or will your agreement require for both parents to sign-off? Some other questions you may want to answer consider in the educational section of your marital settlement agreement include:

  1. How will additional educational needs be handled?
  2. If your child requires additional tutoring, which parent will pay for it?
  3. Does transportation need to be included in your agreement? If so, will a parent be compensated for time spent transporting the child, gas money, special transportation arrangements for school and other activities?

Another useful tool that can be written into your marital settlement agreement is the use of software for keeping track of your child’s schooling. Technological tools can be a great way to reduce potential conflict between parents. Programs such as Our Family Wizard allows both parents to have access to the latest medical records, school information and a joint calendar for easier schedule coordination between parents. You may not want to specify the software program, but have an agreement to use one and spell out what the program should include. Technology changes quickly and it would be prudent to keep your options open.

A parenting coordinator can be useful during times of conflict for divorced parents. a parenting coordinator is a person who is familiar with your marital settlement agreement, thereby allowing him or her to effectively work with both parents. The parenting coordinator is a standby for communication and decision making. Keep in mind this should be a neutral third-party.

No Contest Divorce Law, LLC offers a free questionnaire to get started with your marital settlement agreement. In addition, please feel free to visit the Marital Settlement Agreement section in our blog for more ideas on how to create your personalized and specific marital agreement with your spouse.

For further reading on divorce and special needs children consider the book Divorce and the Special Needs Child: A Guide for Parents. The book includes a checklist and further resources. If you have other reading or software suggestions please share them with our parents in the comments section below.

HOW TO INCLUDE GRANDPARENTS IN A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

Grandparents are living longer, and this means more involvement in their grandchildren’s lives. Being a grandparent to children of divorced parents has become a modern reality. The emotional turmoil and uncertainty of your divorce has the potential to make grandparents fearful of losing their relationship with their grandchildren. Getting a grandparent’s visitation rights written into a martial settlement agreement can provide structure for your grandchildren and give them the comfort of knowing that they will continue to be part of their grandchildren’s lives in the future.

There are several ways that you can help grandparents to cope with your divorce, and how to help them stay in their grandchildren’s lives. Consider the following suggestions for helping grandparents cope with your divorce, and for including grandparents in your marital settlement agreement.

The first step is to give grandparents space to grieve, it’s part of the emotional healing process. Many of the dreams that grandparents may have had are no longer a reality, and there is a deep disappointment which comes with facing the reality of the situation. Even if grandparents may have suspected things weren’t going well in the marriage, the traumatic news can be difficult to emotionally cope with.

Feelings of guilt are also normal. Grandparents may feel guilty for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons can include guilt from their own divorce and how it has impacted your mariage. Grandparents may wonder if they could have done something to prevent the divorce. Don’t let them fall into the trap of being stuck in guilt. Gently communicate with them and help grandparents move their emotions in a positive direction.

Ask the grandparents to keep their opinions to themselves when around your spouse and thier grandchildren. Staying as neutral as possible will not only give your family some stability, but will leave the door open for spending more time with their grandchildren. Divorce is between you and your spouse, and it is not their place to pick sides and verbally annihilate your spouse. A great way to include grandparents at this difficult time of divorce is by asking them to help watch their grandchildren. This could be a few hours of time for them to connect and feel a part of their grandchildren’s lives instead of feeling threatened and alientated. It can also give you the break that you’ll need during the difficult time of divorce.

Encourage grandparents to listen to their grandchildren when the grandchildren talk about the divorce. After all, the grandparents may be the only ones that your children feel comfortable expressing themselves to and they can provide a safe place for them to blow off some steam. Don’t make the mistake of forcing grandparents to take sides or pass judgment on your soon to be ex-spouse. Also, they may able to help the grandchildren to express themselves if they don’t have the vocabulary to express their emotions.

When you are negotiating your marital settlement agreement with your spouse, you may want to ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much time do the grandparents get with their grandchildren?
  2. Are there opportunities for the grandparents to help out, such as picking up a grandchild from school once a week? Taking the grandchildren to an activity?
  3. When do the grandparents get to see their grandkids?
  4. Will the grandchildren be part of family get togethers, reunions and celebrations?
  5. Will grandchildren travel with their grandparents? If so, when? How often?

Once you are ready to have your marital settlement agreement finalized, Attorney Cairns can create a marital settlement agreement for you and your spouse to sign. You can contact Attorney Cairns for a free consultation at 888.863.9115 or start right away by clicking on DIVORCE MASTER. Read client testimonials and see why No Contest Divorce Law, LLC is a better choice.

5 TIPS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY DURING DIVORCE

You have realized that traditional divorces are expensive, especially with an average attorney’s rate ranging from $150 – $300 an hour. Here are some practical tips on how you can save money during a divorce.

Organize

Start with buying yourself a three-ring binder, tabs and pocket folders (make sure they have the holes punched in them for your binder). Your tabs will grow over time. To get you started think about financial accounts, property, taxes, loans, insurance, business, other assets, debts, children/grandparents (i.e., schedules), and pets. Leave a section for questions. Write them down as you think about them, you don’t have to get the answers immediately. Your organized binder will be a great reference for when you are ready to negotiate the settlement agreement with your spouse. You will have everything in one place and won’t be left worrying if you forgot something.

Do your homework

Figure out the value of your assets and debts. Start by looking at your credit report and create an assessment of your finances (you can get a free copy of your credit report online). For financial items often overlooked, click on the words overlooked finances. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets click on hidden asset for more information. You want a clear picture of what your financial future will hold for you. Knowing exactly what you are dealing with can save you money when negotiating with your spouse for a settlement agreement.

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorces are a cost-effective way of getting a divorce. Try to figure out how you and your spouse can have a mutually agreed upon divorce. If you can’t find a common ground you can end up in a long drawn out court battle, costing both of you a considerable amount of money. Some people have spent more money on their divorce then on their wedding. The lawyers can end up with more of your money in a divorce then either you or your spouse in the end. Ask yourself if a constested divorce is worth it.

Letting Go

When you and your spouse are ready to negotiate a martial settlement agreement, you will most likely have several personal items to go through, anything from the toaster to pictures. If you and your spouse cannot agree on whom should get an item consider why you want it. Often the hardist part of letting go is because of an emotional attachment, not the financial value. Figure out how to get what you really want, see if you can use it to negotiate for something else.

Emotional Control

Divorce is very emotional, but you don’t want to enter a settlement agreement fully pumped up on emotions. You want to make the best financial decisions possible for your future. When the emotions have ran their course, you are going to be left with the reality of what you previously negotiated. Find ways to blow off steam: therapist, friends, spiritual advisor, exercise or even punching pillows before you talk to your spouse. Think of this as a business plan. Being emotionally savvy will save you money, possibly get you extra money and give you a more secure future. Try to take the emotions out of the property settlement negotiations. Think of it as business. It will only work if you both get something out of the agreement.

Once you have gotten your binder and done your homework, contact No Contest Divorce Law, LLC for a free initial consultation at 215-398-6760. For an immediate free virtual consultation click on DIVORCE MASTER. The Divorce Wizard will analyze and qualify your case for an online Pennsylvania divorce, calculate your legal fees, and file your case immediately. It’s just like sitting in our office for a free consultation. Also, read our client testimonials to see what other clients think of our services.

WHY JOURNAL DURING DIVORCE

Journaling during your uncontested divorce can be an invaluable tool. This can be a place where you relieve stress, collect your thoughts and let out pent up emotions. Note, this journal should be separate from your daily journal where you keep track of your day to day divorce details, such as how much time you spend with the kids. For more information on daily journaling to protect yourself click on PROTECTING MYSELF.

There are different ways you can use your divorce journal. If you are seeing a therapist or counselor your journal can be helpful during your process of healing and recovery. In addition, having to show your journal on a weekly basis keeps you on track with your commitment to writing. Also, some people have gone on to either publish a book or work in the field of divorce one they complete their own divorce.

Some individuals will spend a considerable amount of time in searching out the perfect looking journal, something that speaks to her/him, others are fine with a generic notebook from the local store. Pick out what feels comfortable to you.

Don’t limit yourself by feeling you are not a writer. Everyone has a little writing muse hanging around, just put pen to paper and start writing what comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, don’t read the first few entries, just keep writing away for 2-4 weeks without reading. Grammar, punctuation and all the things your English teacher told you matter don’t matter here. What’s important is that you just do it, like Nike says.

There are some items to keep in mind to make your journaling as productive as possible. First, find a quiet place. If you have kids, get up before them and start writing or wait till later in the evening when you have finished dinner and have a moment to yourself.

Journaling during your uncontested divorce can be an invaluable tool. This can be a place where you relieve stress, collect your thoughts and let out pent up emotions. Note, this journal should be separate from your daily journal where you keep track of your day to day divorce details, such as how much time you spend with the kids. For more information on daily journaling to protect yourself click on PROTECTING MYSELF.

There are different ways that you can use your divorce journal. If you are seeing a therapist or counselor your journal can be helpful during your process of healing and recovery. In addition, having to show your journal to your therapist on a weekly basis can help to keep you on track with your commitment to writing. Also, some people have gone on to either publish a book or work in the field of divorce one they complete their own divorce.

Some individuals will spend a considerable amount of time in searching out the perfect looking journal, something that speaks to her/him, others are fine with a generic notebook from the local store. Pick out what feels comfortable to you.

Don’t limit yourself by feeling you are not a writer. Everyone has a little writing muse hanging around, so just put pen to paper and start writing what comes to mind. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, don’t read the first few entries, just keep writing away for 2-4 weeks without reading. Grammar, punctuation and all the things your English teacher told you matter don’t matter here. What’s important is that you just do it, like the Nike commercial says.

There are some items to keep in mind to make your journaling as productive as possible. First, find a quiet place. If you have kids, get up before they do and start writing, or wait until later in the evening when you have finished dinner and have a quiet moment to yourself.

Write from you heart. Write down whatever comes into your mind. Don’t be concerned with anything except expressing yourself since no one will see it unless you show them. Keep on writing until you feel you no longer have something to write. Challenge yourself and just keep writing until you have exhausted your feelings and thoughts. Divorce can take a while to work through, so don’t be concerned that you seem to be going around in circles. This too shall pass.

While writing you don’t have to be nice. This is the place where you can write what you really think of your spouse. You can yell at him/her, tell him/her how hurt you are, what really made you angry– you get the picture. If you are having a hard time writing down your feelings about your divorce, write about how you have been physically affected. This may include how your heart was racing, how your blood was boiling and/or how your stomach got cramped up and you felt nauseas. Make sure though you keep this journal in safe place away from your spouse.

Journaling can be a great way to effectively and inexpensively express yourself and move through your emotions and the grieving process. Make the commitment today to yourself to go get a journal and start writing. You may want to pick up a journaling book or do some online research about journaling that can give you some ideas to get started.

One way to save the stress of an expensive divorce is by getting a simple, no-fault, uncontested divorce with No Contest Divorce Law, LLC. There are no hidden fees and you will know all your costs upfront. Contact No Contest Divorce Law, LLC for a free consultation at 215-398-6760.

For an immediate free virtual consultation click on DIVORCE MASTER.

The Divorce Master analyzed and qualifies your case for an online Pennsylvania divorce, calculates your legal fees, and files your case immediately. It’s just like sitting in our office for a free consultation.

Read client testimonials to see learn about our clients’ experiences.

5 EASY STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF DURING DIVORCE

There are several steps you can take during an uncontested divorce to protect yourself. Though your divorce may be “amicable”, it’s wise to take measures ahead of time to safe guard yourself and your property. We are talking about your personal property, not jointly owned or marital property. So, don’t start hiding jointly owned property, or you can easily set yourself up for a contested divorce – meaning more time, money, hassles, and stress before your Pennsylvania divorce can be finalzed.

Keep a daily journal. This may sound like an imposition with everything else going on, but will come in handy later on should you need it. Address each entry to your attorney. Should your spouse try to subpoena your journal, this will make it harder since it could be considered privileged communication between you and your lawyer. That being said, keep your journal in a safe place. If it’s on your computer, then use a password that only you know in order to get into your computer. Remember to record only the facts, this is especially important if your spouse tries to use the journal against you. Some of the items you want to include in your daily journal are:

1. Bills you have paid;

2. Money you have give to your spouse and/or children;

3. Time you have spent with your child(ren);

4. Any item which you feel is important to your divorce;

5. Arguments with your spouse;

6. Significant events;

7. Telephone calls; and

8. Emails.

Record all of the property in your home. Walk through your house and take pictures and/or videotape each item in each room. Don’t forget to turn on the date on your camera or video camera. Think of items which not only have a monetary value, but also a sentimental value. Some of the items to include in your inventory are: jewelry, clothes, furniture, antiques and electronics. Remember to record items in your attic, basement and detached structures such as a shed. If something is missing later on, this will serve as evidence to its existence in your home. You may want to store the pictures or videos in your private safety deposit box in order to make sure it’s not subject to being tampered with by your spouse.

Reduce your bills. Meet right away with your spouse and see how you can cut down on your bills. This would include extra phone lines, perks such as caller id, cable, shopping around for cheaper insurance and call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate.

Secure your personal documents. Move your documents such as: birth certificate, passport, diplomas to a trusted friend’s home or get a safe deposit box in your name only. For communal documents such as tax forms and bank records make a copy and add the copy to your safe stash of documents.

Start establishing your own credit. Get a credit card in your name only and start building up your own credit rating. Be prudent when using the card. You may want to initially store it in your safety deposit box as well. It can be a good backup source of funds if an emergency arises, as well.

Once you’ve taken the above steps to protect yourself, you’re ready to file for an uncontested divorce. Contact No Contest Divorce Law, LLC for a free consultation at 215-398-6760.

For an immediate free virtual consultation click on THE DIVORCE MASTER.

The Divorce Master will analyze and qualify your case for an online Pennsylvania simple, no-fault, uncontested divorce, calculate your legal fees, and file your case immediately. It’s just like sitting in our office for a free consultation.

Read client testimonials to see learn about our clients’ experiences.

HOW MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS SAVE YOU MONEY

A marital settlement agreement, also referred to as a MSA, is an opportunity for couples to save money on the division of their assets and debts, without having a judge decide for them. If a couple is not able to come to an agreement they will spend a considerable amount more in money and time fighting the issues out in court. The trend of today’s savvy divorcing couples is to spell out their own settlement agreement terms. This means that the couple saves considerable attorney’s fees by deciding the terms for the dissolution of their marriage. They then have their attorney draft the marital settlement agreement and file it with the divorce court. By doing it this way, the couple then does not have to go to court.

Marital settlement agreements are legal contracts which define the terms of a divorce for couples with or without children. This option is available when both parties consent to the terminating conditions of their divorce and plans for the future. Conditions for an agreement can include a range of items such as: wedding debt, personal property, spousal support, child financial responsibilities, involvement of grandparents, pets,and frequent flier miles.

Couples have the freedom to decide which items are of importance and should be included in their marital settlement agreement. They become the authors of their lives after divorce; instead of being forced to accept the order of a Master or Judge after lengthy and expensive divorce litigation. If divorcing couples can find mutual ground they can tailor their agreement to their personal needs. This means saving headaches, time and money and is one way to divorce “on budget”.

There are different ways to work on a Pennsylvania marital settlement agreement with a spouse. Some couples have an initial conversation and go from there. Another option is to have one party write up a draft and then email his/her spouse, they go back and forth a few times until they have terms they feel are acceptable. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that each person will have to compromise in order to create a fair agreement. It’s very rare for a person to get everything he/she wants.

If you hire No Contest Divorce Law, LLC to draft your Pennsylvania marital settlement agreement, you will be emailed a marital settlement agreement questionnaire. Just fill out the questionnaire and No Contest Divorce Law, LLC will draft your agreement promptly. The questionnaire will help you to address important areas that you should consider. This is a good way not to overlook critical issues. You can always contact No Contest Divorce Law, LLC if you have questions about the terms of your marital settlement agreement.

In addition, couples who come to an agreement with their spouse will be spared additional emotional trauma. Divorce tends to catapult people into uncharted emotional territories where they find themselves experiencing unsettling emotions. Couples who decide to battle it out in court increase the frequency of painful episodes and often take a lot longer to emotionally heal. With an agreed upon marital settlement agreement, divorcing couples tend to emotionally recuperate quicker.

Once you and your spouse have agreed to the terms of your divorce, contact No Contest Divorce Law, LLC to file the legal paperwork at 215-398-6760 or start right away by clicking on MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

You are also invited to read our client testimonials. See what others have to say about our services.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UNCONTESTED & CONTESTED DIVORCE

When considering getting a divorce in Pennsylvania, there are two basic options. Uncontested divorce and contested divorce are the two options available to couples who are ready to be divorced in Pennsylvania. A contested divorce is when the couple cannot come to an agreement on the terms of their divorce such as assets division and debt division. An uncontested divorce means that the divorcing couple agrees on the terms of their divorce.

An uncontested divorce does not mean the couple is amicable towards one another. It does mean that that they are going to save a considerable amount of money by not fighting out the terms of their divorce in divorce court. There is less financial burden due to high attorneys fees and a quicker dissolution of the marriage in an uncontested divorce.

A contested divorce allows for a high level of conflict and stress. With a contested divorce both parties will have to go to court and pay fees for litigation and having the lawyers work out an agreement. Also, after a judge’s ruling, the losing party can file an appeal – meaning you may have to go back to court and restate your case. All of this costs considerable time and money for both spouses. Many times, the attorneys end up getting more that the spouses in the end.

An uncontested divorce does not mean couples are in agreement about why the divorce ended, but they are able to put aside their difference to efficiently end their marriage. Couples who decide on a simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce also have the opportunity to create their own marital settlement agreement. The agreement allows couples to decide for themselves how they want to divide their assets and debts – versus a judge telling them how they are going to divide them. Attorney James Cairns offers his clients a free marital settlement agreement questionnaire which is an easy to use guide to figuring out a marital settlement agreement. Also, you can contact him with any questions you may have about your divorce or marital settlement agreement matters.

If you and your spouse are able to leave the fighting outside the courtroom and are ready for a Pennsylvania simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce, then contact Attorney James Cairns for a free initial consultation at 888.863.9115.

Are you ready to start right away? Use the DIVORCE MASTER to analyze, calculate your legal fees and give you the option to file immediately. It’s just like sitting in our office for a free consultation.

You can also read what our clients say about us in their email testimonials.

THE RISKS OF NOT HAVING A MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

What is a Fair Settlement Agreement?

What constitutes a “fair” marital settlement agreement is a headline that has recently been blasted across media circuits. Most recently, Tom Cruise has been accused of getting out of his divorce easily, since his ex-wife Katie Holmes will “only” receive a stated $400,000 for child support. The comparison has been made to his $250 million fortune.

What the media has failed to cover is that this amount is what Holmes felt was suitable for her daughter Suri’s annual needs. In addition, we still don’t know details of how other expenses will be covered, such as medical coverage or a college education. The sensationalism of the dollar amount has overlooked other components of the divorce, such as Holmes being the primary caretaker and the restrictions she has placed on Suri’s exposure to Scientology, Cruise’s religion.

A marital settlement agreement is not just about a lump sum of money for child support. A properly prepared marital settlement agreement also covers several other areas, including: involvement of grandparents in the children’s lives, division of the residential home and other assets and debts, family business and even the household pets. It’s rare for an individual in a divorce to get everything s/he wants; a marital settlement agreement is a compromise between both parties. The agreement should be fair and reasonable, and ensures that both parties will have a more certain future with clearly written conditions.

Also, when a divorced couple has a signed settlement agreement between them, it allows them to save time and money and stress, because they do not have to battle out their disagreements in front of a judge. For example, Grammy Award winning R&B singer, Usher Raymond IV, fought for over a year and a half to win primary child custody. Tameka Foster Raymond, Usher’s ex-wife, now suffers the result of not working out an agreement under more amicable conditions, such as shared custody, but is also dealing with the recent death of her son Kile.

Tempers can flare and emotions tend to run high during a divorce. It’s in the best interest of the divorcing couple to find healthy ways to channel their emotions and quickly move towards a marital settlement agreement. Some of the odd items fought over in divorces include: David Hasslehoff wanting his golf-cart back, Kris Humphries fighting for the engagement ring from Kim Kardashian, and Beth Shack battling it out over 1,200 pairs of designer shoes.

Michael Douglas has battled with ex-spouse Diandra Douglas about intellectual property rights to Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. The coupled reportedly have been fighting over this for fourteen years. Do you want to spend a considerable amount of our future fighting out matters because you didn’t write it up in a marital settlement agreement?

Once you’re ready to file for an uncontested divorce and/or martial settlement agreement contact No Contest Divorce Law, LLC for a free consultation at 215-398-6760.

For an immediate free virtual consultation click on the DIVORCE MASTER.

The Divorce Master will analyze and qualify your specific case for an online uncontested Pennsylvania divorce, calculates your total legal fees, and allows you to file your case immediately. It’s just like sitting in our office for a free consultation.

Read client testimonials to see learn about our clients’ experiences.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SEPARATION AGREEMENT AND A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?

The terms sound very similar, and many people call both by one or the other’s name and they are used interchangeably. In fact, they are slightly different.

A Separation Agreement is a contract between husband and wife that is entered into prior to a divorce being final. The Separation Agreement is meant to settle any issues that may exist between the parties, such as property, alimony, debts, insurance, taxes, child custody, child visitation, child support. It is an agreement that is entered into in contemplation of divorce. It does not have to be filed with the court at the time it is entered into.

Once divorce paperwork is filed, a Separation Agreement is often incorporated into what is called a Settlement Agreement. In other words, a Separation Agreement becomes a part of the Settlement Agreement. Separation Agreements may also be written to function as Settlement Agreements if both parties can agree on how to handle issues in contemplation of divorce and after the divorce decree is ordered. The Settlement Agreement is filed with the court, and becomes a part of the final divorce decree. The Settlement Agreement can contain the same terms and govern the issues between you as the Separation Agreement, or it can have different terms.

Sometimes a Separation Agreement is used as a temporary agreement between the parties to govern the relationship while they are separated and not divorced yet. While the parties are separated, they can then work on a more permanent agreement called a Settlement Agreement.

Both a Separation Agreement and a Settlement Agreement may state whether the agreement is to survive the decree of divorce as a separate contract (“incorporated”), or whether it should be merged along with the decree.

If you have questions about settlement agreements, call for a free initial consultation with an attorney at 888-863-9115. You can get started with your divorce now by CLICKING HERE (can can also choose your settlement agreement when at the same time).

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET: – YOUR HOUSE

Marital homes tend to be the biggest asset of a couple and can also be the largest liability of a couple. As you are considering who gets to keep the house, put aside the memories and emotions tied into it and seriously consider how the house is going to affect your financial future. Don’t let your home become a financial nightmare.

When it comes to your house and the mortgage there are four basic options:

  1. Purchase the house from your spouse;
  2. Sell your home and share the profits or debt;
  3. Sell the house to your spouse; or
  4. Continue to share ownership with your spouse.

Purchasing house from spouse

There are several important factors to consider when purchasing the house from your spouse. The number one consideration is how your monthly income will change. Will you be able to comfortably continue the mortgage payments? Are you financially prepared to incur the cost of a major house repair, for example a pipe bursting and flooding your kitchen? If the mortgage is in both of your names then you may have to refinance in your own name. Refinancing means taking into account your debt, job history and credit history.

Selling your house

An important consideration when selling your home is to take into account the expenses which come along with selling the house. Don’t forget the real estate commission and also possible tax implications. Also, be discreet of why you are selling your home. Homeowners have lost on the average $10,000 when buyers realize that the house is being sold due to divorce.

We strongly urge you to put the details of selling your home in a settlement agreement, making it legally binding. Some of the items to consider in your settlement agreement are:

  1. Steps each spouse will take to sell the house;
  2. A timetable – how long are you going to have the house on the market; and
  3. What action will you and your spouse take if the house is not sold within your specified timetable?

Selling house to spouse

If you are on the title and mortgage make sure your name is taken off. Not taking this measure can possibly ruin your credit because of late mortgage payments and back taxes. You can use a settlement agreement to legally spell out how the title will be transferred to the spouse who is buying the house.

Shared Ownership

Another use of settlement agreements is when spouses decide to continue to share ownership of the house. You can spell out the financial agreements. Who will pay for the mortgage, taxes and insurance? How will repairs be handled? Will you sell the house after the children become adults?

The value of a settlement agreement can not be understated. It it always better and less costly to have a settlement agreement prepared now than it is to go to court to settle a dispute later. A marital settlement agreement is the legal document which will protect you when your ex-spouse becomes emotional or has a change of heart. Attorney James Cairns concentrates in settlement agreements and can help you secure the future of your home and finances. You can either call 888.863.9115 for an initial free consultation or learn more about settlement agreements by clicking on the words SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.