Nearly all law firms make their money by billing their clients by the hour. This method is referred to as the billable hour. The more hours billed, the more money the law firm will make. In legal circles, lawyers are notorious for charging in billing increments of 10 minutes, which means 6 minutes of actual work is billed at the hourly rate.See what other words mean
Clearview Divorce Blog
Going through a divorce is an emotionally painful experience no matter what time of year you happen to file the papers, but dealing with separation and divorce during the holidays can be especially rough. If you’re not careful, memories of happy holiday occasions in past years can turn what should be a joyous time of year into a season you can’t wait to be over.
Though there’s no denying that divorced families have a particularly challenging time during the holidays, there are several things you can do to make sure that you and your kids enjoy the Easter or Passover season.
Most couples would agree that, by far, the most difficult part of separation and divorce is trying to lessen the impact the divorce has on their children. Increasingly, divorcing couples are doing that by sharing custody of their sons and daughters. However, managed poorly, these arrangements can turn into a constant stream of comings and goings, leaving the children confused and without a secure home base.
What is Co-parenting?
Although the strict legal definition of co-parenting varies by state, in general usage, the term refers to any agreement where both mother and father share physical and/or legal responsibility for the raising of their children. Such an arrangement can mean that the children spend weekdays with one parent and weekends with the other or many, many other variations.
A family limited partnership (FLP) can be an effective means of protecting assets and transferring wealth between generations while minimizing taxable consequences. FLPs have also played an important role in family estate planning, because of the many non-tax advantages they offer. They are also a good planning tool businesses use to protect assets in the event of a divorce. Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of FLPs.
How It Works
Formed under state law, an FLP is a legal entity in which the partners are family members. An FLP requires at least two partners, who each contribute assets (hence the term “donor”). At least one of the partners (either one of the donors or a corporation owned by the donor) must be a general partner. An important requirement is that an FLP must generally operate as a trade, business, investment or income-producing venture. The partnership cannot be an S corporation shareholder, and problems are associated with the partnership owning voting shares of stock of a corporation controlled by the general partner.
If you are contemplating divorce or are already in the process, one of the first things you may ask about is spousal support. Will I have to pay? How much will I receive? Will I have enough money when I’m divorced to make ends meet? Whether you anticipate you will have to pay or expect to receive spousal support, the uncertain outcome will likely drive you crazy as you proceed through the divorce process. In order to alleviate your fears so they don’t get the best of you and make matters worse, here are a few things you should know:
- Line Up Your Facts – Spousal support is based on an individuals need and their spouse’s ability to pay. Both you and your spouse must present an honest representation, not a fictitious accounting, of the cash flowing into and out of your household before you are in a position to negotiate terms. It’s pointless to have a discussion about the amount or duration of support without having this critical information at hand. If you or your spouse try to fudge the numbers in an effort to gain an advantage, you can guarantee that you will have a long and very expensive divorce.
One of the most challenging issues divorcing individuals face is figuring out how to manage the shift from two household incomes to one. Planning for the loss of income, one day in the future, may not be high on your priority list right now, but the sooner you address your new realities, the better off you will be. Your financial – and emotional – survival depend on it! Here are few steps to get you started:
Uncover Your Spending Habits
Before you can create a realistic budget, you need a clear understanding of your spending habits. This means you must be able to answer questions such as; Where does the majority of your money go? How often do you replace your vehicles, get your driveway plowed or lawn mowed? How many times a week do you eat dinner out or grab snacks on the run? Do you bring your lunch or buy it at the local deli? How many coffee runs do you make in a day? How many times a year do you visit the hair salon? Understanding how you spend your money is just as important as what you spend your money on. The goal here is for you to understand your spending behavior so you can make informed decisions about your finances going forward.
It should come as no surprise that financial certainty ranks as one of the top concerns among divorcing individuals. Whenever trust breaks down in a marriage, it is natural to fear your partner may be hiding assets or shielding income from you – particularly if you have not taken an active role in managing the family finances. Before you run out and spend an enormous amount of money on a lawyer to subpoena your spouse’s financial records to prove your suspicions, there are a number of things you can do on your own to get prepared before you even consider filing for divorce. Active pre-planning is one of the smartest decisions you can make to protect yourself financially. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Get educated on your family’s finances – You need to have a firm handle on the money that flows into and out of your household and a solid understanding of your total net worth. Since most households allocate their income and expenses across multiple different bank, brokerage and credit card accounts, it is often difficult to get an accurate picture of your family’s financial situation. Compiling this information manually is not only time-consuming; it can also be very costly if you require a lawyer or forensic specialist, such as Certified Divorce Finance Analyst, to do it for you. To get started, you will want to gather copies of your most recent bank, credit card, brokerage and retirement account statements, loan applications, the last three to five years of tax returns and W-2’s, property tax bills, mortgage statements and credit card bills handy.
Most individuals contemplating divorce have preconceived notions about what their divorce process will be like, how much they will receive in the financial settlement and what their life will be like post-divorce. Managing your expectations may be one of the hardest things to do when there are so many uncertainties ahead of you. Here is list of some common misconceptions people have about the divorce process:
- Litigation is the only way to resolve my divorce – The first thing the majority of individuals do when they make the decision to divorce is run out and hire a lawyer. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is highly litigious – where anytime there is conflict we hire lawyers and choose to fight our battles out in courtroom as opposed to finding another solution where everyone can win. In you thinking about divorce, before you make such a blind leap of faith to use litigation to solve your problems, you must know it is not the only way. It is just ONE way. You have other options, which include mediation, arbitration, pro-se or “do-it-yourself”, collaborative law and thanks to advancements in technology, you can even resolve your divorce completely online from the convenience of your home or office. Be sure to do your homework and consider all the options before you move forward. The decision to divorce is not an easy one and the option you choose should be as important as the decision to divorce itself.
You’ve made the decision to divorce. Now what? One of the most important things you can do to make sure you get what you want from your divorce is to have a plan. As with anything in life, if you don’t plan – chances are you won’t get it. Here are a few things you can to do to make sure you get what you want out of your divorce:
- Pre-Divorce Planning – One of the best things you can do is educate yourself so you can prepare for what lies ahead. It’s not just about the legal process of dissolving your marriage, pre-divorce planning also involves careful planning in all aspects of your life. It’s about recognizing where you are today and where you want to be after your divorce. The more you plan, the better equipped you will be to deal the divorce and transition to your new life ahead.
When couples finally make the decision to end their marriage and there are children involved, the needs of the children become paramount. How your children will be impacted by your divorce often varies based on factors such as their age, personality and your relationship with your soon-to-be ex spouse. While divorce is never easy, it does not have to be damaging your children. Here are some insightful tips you can use to help your children adjust better to this major life transition.
- Beware of Your Behavior – Divorce is not a single event but a process that unfolds over time. How you react during these challenging times will have a tremendous impact on your children. While an occasional argument can be expected in any family, it is not healthy for your children to live in a continuous battleground of hostility and conflict. The ongoing stress can often lead to behavioral problems in children. In addition, you may also be teaching your children to resolve conflict through aggressive behaviors as opposed to having a calm discussion. This is an essential social skill children need to develop so they can build and maintain meaningful relationships later in life. If you’re having trouble coping with your stress, seek help from a mediator or therapist so your emotional outbursts don’t unintentionally harm your children.
I know how difficult it is to make the decision to divorce. In my free eBook, I explained the single biggest decision you will make about your divorce is the “process option” or the method you choose to pursue in your divorce.
Here are five great reasons to mediate your divorce.
- Save Money – A divorce attorney will charge an initial retainer and bill by the hour. Retainers can start at $2,500 per person and some can run as high as $25,000. More often than not, you will exhaust your retainer by the time you finish your first meeting. A mediated divorce can be completed at a fraction of the cost!