Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

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Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

10 Steps to Divorcing your Wife

MONEY-DIVORCE

Divorce can be so painful emotionally. Who did what to who is often dragged out between husband and wife while the whole mess plays out. Besides custody the biggest issue of contention is splitting up the assets. Of course both parties’ assets should be included in the negotiations. Oftentimes however one or both parties is ignorant about the household finances. At other times one may be hiding assets from the other but where to look remains a mystery. If your wife is working but the squeeze was put on her salary, or you don’t know what the house is worth due to the Great Recession, don’t worry, you are not alone. There are ways to figure this out, too. A divorce may be protracted and even excruciating but the good news is it’s only a temporary bump on the road of life. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You will certainly be happy again. Though there is a lot of stress, anguish, and sometimes other emotions like guilt, sadness and regret, pretty soon you’ll have all of this behind you. You just have to find out how to manage the situation as well as you can, take breaks for your mental health, manage the situation wisely and keep your head on straight. If you can do that you’ll get through this thing smashingly. Here are 10 steps to divorcing your wife. Step 1: If you’ve been handing your paycheck over to your wife for years and don’t know where the money is going, it behooves you to do so now. Find out everything you can about the finances. Do you have a retirement plan, a mortgage, credit card bills, investments, tax returns and copies of the trust and wills? If not, you’d better get on that. Get as many financial papers together as you can and get to know intimately your financial situation. Ignorance is not bliss and what you don’t know can be used against you, or hidden from you.

Step 2: Take a look into all of your spouse’s affairs. You’ll want to know as much as you can to relate back to your lawyer. Step 3: Protect yourself. Are you the victim of “sudden divorce syndrome?” If so, your wife may have a plan on how she’s going to keep afloat. Make sure to put some money aside just in case. You don’t want to be left in the dark while she cleans out the joint bank account. Step 4: Now it’s time to open a separate credit card in your name only. Step 5: Freeze joint credit cards and any open a home equity line so your wife doesn’t run up the bills. While you two are still legally married your credit can be affected by whatever she is spending. Cancel the joint bank account, too. You don’t want to be left without any cash or credit to your name. If you two are on decent terms you can work this out together, cancelling the cards and splitting the joint account amicably. If not you can take your share out of the joint account and cancel the cards altogether. Step 6: Do you have any savings you brought with you to the marriage, an inheritance or any other personal savings? Make sure to take custody of these immediately. Depending upon what state you live in, if you don’t secure it, it could be split during the settlement.

Step 7: Do you each have retirement plans? If so, both can come up in the divorce settlement. If you are cordial, perhaps this is something to be worked out on your own. If not so cordial, secure your retirement plan. If you have an IRA with a written agreement, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO will be required before you can touch any of that money. For a traditional pension a financial professional will have to assess it. Step 8: Look at the alimony situation. Does your wife work? If she has a low salary or doesn’t acquire one at all you may be paying alimony. But you won’t have to supply her lifestyle with cash forever. Spouses are expected to go out and get jobs these days. Step 9: If your wife was working and you weren’t but you need the health insurance, remember that you have sixty days to sign up for it. Step 10: Have a financial adviser help you plan out your finances from the start. Select a good lawyer with a good reputation and lots of experience. Keep talking to your friends and family. Learn to get things off your chest. Don’t get stuck on the little things; look at the big picture. Heal your heart and when you’re ready look for someone to love again. For more, be sure to read Divorce – Get Your Life Back In 30 Days After A Divorce Or Break Up – For Men by Francisco Bujan.

What you should do Before Getting a Divorce

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If you are pointing toward divorce and don’t think you can be happy otherwise, be confident in your decision, but take the necessary precautions to protect yourself before filing those papers. Lots of people fly into a rage in the middle of an argument and ask for a divorce. Others have had enough neglect, loneliness or awkward emotions and flee the family home one day when they’ve decided they’ve had enough. But carrying through with these emotions is not advised. In fact, it would be better if you took some time and really thought it through. A divorce is a long, painful and precarious situation. How things play out in the next six months could determine what situation you are living under for years to come, and if you have children perhaps decades, even the rest of your life. So it’s important to stop, calm down and start to develop a plan on what is best and how to move ahead. First, consider seeing a marriage counselor. Perhaps your problems can be fixed. But if not, even if it is hopeless and it’s best to move on you can get divorce counseling. It will show you where you two took a wrong turn, how to get along and get the best resolution for all parties, and how to move on. Make sure you find a counselor who is well qualified and has experience in these types of situations.

Before talking to your spouse about divorce speak with an attorney. Make sure they are reputable and have handled similar divorce cases. When you are stressed, angry and anxiety ridden you can’t think straight. In this situation the advice of an attorney is so worthwhile. You’ll need to find out about the allocation of assets, custody issues should you have children, child support and more. Be sure to take steps to safeguard assets and belongings before filing for divorce. Protect things such as your vehicle, furniture, money in joint bank accounts, jewelry, precious art or artifacts, collectibles and other assets. You don’t want a jealous spouse cleaning out the bank account or running off with your grandmother’s priceless diamond ring. If your spouse has any property, you may be able to file with the town or county deeds office your interest in that property. You will need to speak to an attorney about the actual laws in your state pertaining to this. You may want to protect your credit rating by freezing joint accounts or credit cards and opening your own separate account in your name only. You may also want to put the utility bills in your own name.

Make sure to organize all the bills, deeds, car loans, mortgage payments, bank accounts, utilities, insurance policies and other paperwork and assets. Paperwork is your friend now. You don’t want to get sideswiped by anything, nor do you want your soon-to-be ex getting away with any hidden assets you have a right to. In fact, if you can prove they are hiding assets that will give you a leg up in court. These financial records give you insight and perhaps ammunition. Know where everything is and where everything is going. If you have the time organize all your financials into software such as Power Wallet or Mint. Or you can put everything into a spreadsheet using Excel. Know the balances, interest rate and terms on all of the bills. Know the balance of each bank account. Make sure you are intimately aware of whose name is on what account. You need to have a good idea of whose is what and who owes what debts so that assets and debt can be allocated as fairly as possible. The joint assets such as a joint bank account or a mortgage must be divvied up. You have to be ready for that conversation with lawyers or without. If you leave their name on this or these assets you are basically letting them do what they wish with them. Look at when it’s best to look at your credit report. You may want to discuss the matter with your accountant or a financial advisor. See how the divorce is going to affect your credit and safeguard yourself. Always keep a paper trail of everything. Divorce can happen suddenly. So if things are going south you should be ready for it. Otherwise, if you are the one who will be filing for divorce, the more careful preparation you do now the better your chances at a positive outcome in the future. To learn more, pick up a copy of Divorce: Think Financially, Not Emotionally: What Women Need To Know About Securing Their Financial Future Before, During, and After Divorce by Jeffrey A. Landers.

Manage Your Nonmarital/Separate Assets Wisely

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It was found in a recent court hearing, and reported in The New York Law Journal, that nonmarital assets could be considered in a divorce.  Your assets that have remained “separate” from marital property are not supposed to be considered when deciding maintenance/alimony, however, how you use your separate assets could impact decisions in a divorce hearing.

The article suggests that mismanagement of your separate property could afford your ex-spouse favor in maintenance, or vice versa.  If your ex-spouse misused their separate property in a way that was of a negative impact on the family or the marriage, this could be taken into consideration.

This won’t be an issue for you if you kept your separate assets on the side and took care of your financial responsibilities with your family to the fullest extent.  If, however, you did not have enough money coming in during the marriage to take care of your responsibilities within the family, but you had separate assets that you could have tapped into, this could be used against you.

Manage your separate assets wisely by ensuring that your marital and familial responsibilities are taken care of first, and then allow yourself to enjoy your separate assets responsibly and separately.