4 Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself Financially During A Divorce

Going through a divorce is difficult for many reasons. It is important that as you go through the divorce process that you are doing everything that you can to protect yourself and especially protect your financial future. Here are some things that you should do to make sure that you are financially protected.

1. Get A Copy Of Your Credit Score

Up to this point there is a good chance that you and your spouse had joint debts. Even things like the electric bill can affect your credit score. So if your spouse has had a hard time with managing finances you could be in trouble too. There bad financial decisions could be affecting your credit score. Although it may be painful and hard, it is important to know where you are at with your credit score, and if need be start doing what you can to repair it. This will come from closing joint credit accounts and paying down any debt you may have together.

2. Get Your Own Mailbox

One of the first things you should do when you are getting a divorce is get your own mailbox. There will be a good deal of financial and legal documents that will be sent to you and you don’t want you spouse to have access to those. So long as they are sent to your home that you had together your spouse could open the mail. So get a PO Box as soon as possible.

3. Reorganize Investment, Retirement and Bank Accounts

Recognize that as long as both people’s names are on the account they can withdrawal money. If you and your spouse are on bad terms, there is a good chance that they will drain your accounts, simply to get back and you. You need to make sure that you are protecting your wealth and transfer money into an account that is only in your name. In some cases this will be challenging, like on an IRA. But you can have the accounts frozen during the divorce. This will protect your finances.

4. Close All Joint Credit Cards

Lastly, you need to close all joint credit cards. Do no let your spouse spend any more money in your name. There is no telling what they will do, and so long as your name is on those accounts, you will be held responsible for any purchases they make.

By doing these things you can protect yourself financially during a divorce. 

For more information concerning divorce legalities, contact businesses like Grafton Law Office.

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Earning Income While Disabled

If you have a qualifying medical condition, you may be able to receive monthly monetary payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. This program uses strict guidelines to access an applicant’s inability to work at their job because of a qualified medical condition, and it is not easy to get approved for the benefits. Once you are approved for SSDI, you will face another hurdle: you must keep your income below a certain amount each month if you want to continue to get benefits. Read on to learn more about the income requirements for the SSDI program.

Don’t get confused about two similar programs.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two different programs for those who suffer from a disabling medical condition: SSDI and the Supplemental Security Disability (SSI) program. SSI is aimed at those who have not worked enough to earn any SSDI benefits, but they must own very little property. SSDI is based on work and money earned in the past, but your property ownership is not part of the qualification. Your income, once you are approved however, is scrutinized.

Substantial Gainful Activity

It only makes sense that the SSA limits your monthly income because you are receiving benefits based on the fact that you cannot do work because of your medical condition. You are allowed to do some work and earn some income, however, as long as your income doesn’t exceed the limits. For 2016, the income limit is $1,130 ($1,820 for the blind). For 2017, the limits go up to $1,170 ($1.950 for the blind). This amount is based on a cost of living evaluation, and can change yearly. It should be noted that the amount does not always rise, sometimes it decreases. The SSA terms the amount of work that you are unable to do as substantial gainful activity (SGA)

It’s important to note that SGA is not determined by your income amount alone; the SSA also looks at the type of work you are doing to earn any income reported to them (and you must report all income earned). For example, you must not be participating in any work that you claimed to be unable to do when you filed your initial claim. You can do other types of work, perhaps more sedentary work or work that is unaffected by your qualifying medical condition.

If you are having trouble getting your SSDI benefits approved, speak to a Social Security attorney like Gieg Law Offices. Being denied on your first attempt is not uncommon, but having legal representation at your appeal is vital.

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Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim? Know Why Timing Is Important

Workers’ comp can be a life saver went you suddenly become injured at your job. With the help of insurance, you’ll be able to recover at home and still collect part of your paycheck. In addition, all your medical bills related to the accident will be paid for, so the added stress from additional expenses will not be a factor. That said, in order to guarantee that you receive workers comp, you need to get moving on meeting time-sensitive deadlines.

Immediate Things To Do

The first thing you need to do is report the accident to your employer. While your state may or may not have deadlines on when you have to notify an employer, the failure to inform them of your injury can cause your claim to be invalidated. If an injury is bad enough to seek out medical attention to treat it, you should let your employer know about it. You want it to be clear that the injury was related to your job, not leaving any doubt that the injury happened in another way. Don’t stress about needing to file out the proper forms, as all you need to do is notify them, ideally in a form like e-mail where there is a record of you notifying them.

Of course, there are exceptions where you cannot notify your employer immediately. If you were incapacitated due to the injury, or the injury occurred while working off-site, it’s understandable that you’ll be taken to the hospital before you even have the opportunity to notify your employer. Focus on your medical care as a priority if notifying your employer is not practical.

Be Aware of Deadlines For Filing

Every state will have their own deadlines regarding when you need to file the necessary paperwork by. Expect this deadline to be anywhere between 30-90 days after the injury, although some states, like California, have a time limit of up to 5 years. There are obvious exceptions to this rule, such as if you are in a coma and not able to file the paperwork, but they are for limited situations.

Hire An Attorney When You Need Help

You should focus on getting yourself healthy again, not navigating all the rules for workers’ comp and making sure you are meeting deadlines. Work with an attorney that specializes in workers’ comp cases. They will take care of the case for you, and only get you involved when it is necessary. Contact a law firm like The Law Offices Of Martin Von Mizener for more information.

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Should You File Bankruptcy Now Or Wait A Few Months?

If you are unable to pay your debts, and your creditors are calling you all the time to get money from you, you may be considering filing bankruptcy. However, before you do, consult with a bankruptcy attorney to see if it might be in your best interest to wait a few months, or even longer, before starting the process. Here are a few reasons you might want to wait.

Income

The bankruptcy court will require you submit documentation detailing your income for the last six months. If you have recently lost your job, or taken a pay cut, the average amount for those six months might be more than allowed to file for a Chapter 7. You may still qualify for a Chapter 13, but this will require you to pay off some of the debt. If your new income – of lack of – will not provide you with the money needed to make these payments, it would be in your best interest to wait until the average shows your inability to pay.

Property and Assets

There are probably going to be some property or assets that you really do not want to lose in the bankruptcy. Before filing, you can sell the property. Take advantage of any equity you have in it and use the proceeds to pay for necessities or to pay down some of the debt. This could include your home, vehicle, valuable items, or even your tax refund. You do not want to lose all that you have rightfully earned.

Purchases and Payments

If your debts show that you have purchased luxury items in the recent past, you may not qualify for a Chapter 7. In addition, if you do sell off some property and use the proceeds to pay down other debt, these payments may be recaptured to go into the funds to be used to pay all creditors equally. While it is good to have done this, you will want to wait the 90-days before filing so this money cannot be taken back.

Being unable to pay your debts is stressful and uncomfortable. Having to deal with creditors calling you at home and at work can be frustrating and embarrassing. While you might be tempted to start the proceedings to get everyone off you back, it might also be better to wait. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney at a firm like O’Brien and Dekker Attorneys at Law to find out what will be best for you. Also, keep in mind that you can send a letter to request the creditors stop calling.

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What If Your Ex Does Not Return Your Child After Visitation?

In many instances, divorced spouses are able to follow their child-custody orders and co-parent their children. However, there are some instances in which problems occur. When your ex refuses to follow the child-custody order and return your child to you, you have legal options available to you. If you are concerned your ex will take your child and not return him or her, here is what you need to know.  

Will the Police Intervene?

Since you have an order in place, asking the police to help resolve the matter seems like a logical step. However, whether or not the police actually get involved depends on the officers who are assisting you. 

Custody is usually viewed as a matter for the family court. As such, some officers are reluctant to get involved and will advise the custodial parent to file a request with the court to hold the non-custodial parent in contempt.  

Alternatively, some officers will get involved and at the least contact the non-custodial parent and obtain his or her location with the children. If the officer you are working with agrees to contact the other parent, ask him or her to accompany you to pick up your child. Even if the child is not returned to you at that moment, you will have the police officer’s testimony regarding your ex’s refusal to return the child.  

Will the Court Intervene?

When you and your ex divorced, and the judge issued a custodial order, ensuring that the order is enforced became the job of the family court. If your child is still with the non-custodial parent, contact your divorce lawyer. He or she can file a motion with the court. A court date will be scheduled to address the matter.  

Before heading to court, you need to decide whether you want to change your custodial order to prevent visitations in the future. If you and your ex share custody, you need to consider whether or not you want to request sole custody. Asking for a temporary or permanent change to the court order could help to prevent a situation in which your spouse has your child and will not return him or her. 

Your divorce attorney can help you decide the right move for your particular custodial situation. He or she can take the necessary steps to help legally protect your child in the future, including asking for a change to your custodial situation.

Visit sites like http://madisonlf.com to find a divorce lawyer in your area to help you with your case. 

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Drawing Up Agreeable Healthcare Contracts for Everyone & How a Lawyer Can Help

In most things having to do with the law, people like to see if they can do it pro se, or on their own. While you certainly can do most things without a lawyer’s help, contracts are something you should avoid doing alone. There are too many things that can go wrong with writing your own contracts, including the wording. If you still want to draw up your own contracts, like healthcare contracts for example, then you should at least have a lawyer help you. Here is how you can draw up agreeable healthcare contracts for everyone and how a lawyer can help.

Go to a Legal Contract Site and Use Available Templates

Attempting to word a legal contract on your own tends to create many loopholes and wording that is open to interpretation. While you want healthcare contracts to be reasonable and agreeable for everyone, you do not want to spend all your time and energy in court debating what you meant in your contract. If you are going to “write your own” healthcare contracts, try using the templates on a legal  contracts website for your state. These are often established by lawyers to help the pro se contract writer create a legitimate and legally binding contract that the state can, in good faith, honor. Several sections of these templates will allow you to fill in details regarding your clinic or hospital’s policies, but maintain and follow regulations set forth by the state government.

Making the Contracts Agreeable for Everyone

Are your healthcare contracts meant to protect and serve the patient? Or, are contracts meant to get the patients to agree to and adhere to payment plans? With all of the healthcare contract types available, make sure that the types you create are favorable to both you and your patients and provide and uphold fair and equitable treatment of all parties involved who sign them. You do not want to be sued for a misconception or misrepresentation in a contract clause.

Always Have a Lawyer Double-Check Your Contracts

Lawyers that specialize in contracts, contract writing, and contract interpretation should be consulted after you have finished your first drafts of your contracts. The lawyers can read all the way through your contracts to see if there is anything amiss or anything that might be interpreted in a way you did not mean. Then you can either ask the lawyers for some suggestions on how to rewrite these passages, or hire a lawyer to rewrite these passages so that they are tight, understandable and will hold up in court.

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Slip And Fall Injuries In A Place Of Business

Of all of the ways that you could end up injured in a place of business, a slip, trip, or fall could easily be one of them. These types of injuries are easily the most common form of accidents that occur in public places where customers are concerned. While some business owners will step up to the plate to ensure you are fine and will take liability for your injuries, it is not uncommon for some to admit they are at fault at all. In these situations, it is highly likely you will have to file a personal injury claim to get any help for paying for your injury at all. If you are involved in a slip and fall injury in a place of business, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind that may help. 

Do report the accident immediately

Try your best to flag down another customer if you are able so they can retrieve a business associate to assist you. It is never a good idea to slip or fall and then wait a while to report your injury. 

Don’t leave the area where the accident occurred unless you have no other choice

Trying to get up in an area where you have just slipped and fell into the floor could easily exacerbate injuries you may not even realize you have yet. Furthermore it is important for the management at the business to see that you did indeed fall. Plus, staying in the area will ensure that the business management can see what it was that made you slip or trip. 

Do seek medical attention after filing an accident report

Once you have reported the accident at the place of business, it is imperative that you go ahead and seek the attention of a medical professional, whether it is your doctor or the local emergency center. This visit will document your injuries and will later be used in court if you do have to file a claim because the business owner’s insurance company refuses to pay. 

Don’t file a report and then wait until later to seek medical help

Waiting to seek proper medical attention after a fall is bad for a few reasons:

  1. waiting could mean that injuries you have will just get worse
  2. waiting could give the opportunity for the business owner to claim you were further injured beyond what happened on their property

For more information, contact firms like Walz Law Office.

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