Saturday, December 27, 2008

Divorce: "Divvying Up" the Debt*

In any divorce, financial matters can be the stickiest issue for couples to get around. When you carefully consider all of your debts without bias or hard feelings, the both of you can eventually reach an agreement that is fair to all.

Contacting an experienced attorney is the fist step in getting the best divorce advice for your particular situation. Next, you will want to make a list or spreadsheet of all your joint and individual debts, sorting them into three separate columns. Be sure to include the names of your creditors and the balances owed along with the account numbers. Prioritize which are the debts you will need to pay first, such as utility bills and mortgage or rent.

Once you have listed all your debts, assess your individual incomes. Whoever earns the most will naturally be better able to pay a larger chunk of the debt. This is can be a very crucial detail, particularly in the case of women and divorce, since they will many times be the ones to stay home and care for the children throughout their marriage.

Get a copy of both your credit reports. Decide which, if any, debts can be eliminated or paid off immediately. Be logical about how debts are assigned and try to be sensitive to your spouse’s future plans such as going back to college or starting a new business.

Finally, obtain information with regard to debt consolidation and bankruptcy (as a last resort).

Once you and your spouse have sorted out a fair plan, have your lawyer incorporate it into your divorce settlement or judgment of divorce. While there is no such thing as an “easy divorce,” staying civil and calm throughout the debt division process will certainly help to speed things along for the both of you.

*Written by Nathan Dawson
About the author:
Nathan Dawson writes for http://www.lifeaftermarriage.coma great online source for finance information.

*Metts Law Firm, LLC is not responsible or liable for the content in this post. It is intended for informational purposes only, and not as an offer of legal advice or representation. Anyone seeking a divorce should contact an attorney to get advice.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mediation versus Litgation

The two biggest differences between mediation and litigation are (1) mediation allows the parties to decide the outcome of their legal issues, while with litigation Judges decide the outcome of the legal issues; and (2) mediation is generally less costly and time consuming than litigation. For parties who have children, mediation may be particularly attractive as a means of making the process easier for them.

Mediation is a problem solving process where a neutral third party helps the parties facilitation discussion that allows the parties to mutually discuss and compromise as a way to settle issues such as child custody, child support, and property division. As a Certified Family Court Mediator, we can help you determine if mediation is right for you.

Litigation involves using Judges and Courts to decide the legal issues. The parties have to worry about witnesses, evidence, testifying and proving their version of the legal issues. Speaking with an attorney can help you explore your case and determine which is the best alternative for you.

We welcome you posts regarding questions and experiences with mediation and/or litigation in South Carolina.